Lori Okimura Elected USAV Board Chair

By BJ Evans | May 23, 2014, 8:49 p.m. (ET)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 23, 2014) – Lori Okimura of Los Angeles was elected chair of the USA Volleyball (USAV) Board of Directors for a four-year term at the organization’s annual meetings on Friday in Phoenix.

Lori Okimura
  Lori Okimura

Okimura becomes the second woman and first Asian-American to serve as chair. She is the president/CEO of Creative Sports Strategies with extensive experience in sales, marketing and promotion of various major volleyball and beach volleyball organizations and events, including several USAV Junior National Qualifiers.

“This is a very humbling moment,” Okimura said. “I’ve spent my entire life involved in volleyball, beach volleyball and, most recently, learning about sitting volleyball. I have a deep appreciation for those serving in our sport, the very resourceful and diligent staff of USAV, and especially the men and women who represent the U.S. at the highest levels.

“I am a proud member of the Southern California Volleyball Association and as a former club director and coach, I am a big supporter of our regional volleyball associations and their membership, especially our junior boys and girls, who are a key part of our growth.

“This opportunity to lead is one that I take very seriously; to hear from all sides of our organization, and to address our needs moving forward with a commitment to transparency and continued support of our USA teams and programs.”

Okimura joined the USAV board in October of 2012 as the beach volleyball at-large director. She has a long and successful career in the sports industry, having amassed a unique portfolio of professional experience in business management, media relations, marketing and manufacturing.

“I am delighted with the election of Lori Okimura,” USAV CEO Doug Beal said. “She brings a diverse and creative set of experiences throughout the world of volleyball and I look forward to working with her as we head towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

Okimura replaces outgoing chair Adam Rymer, also of Los Angeles, who completes a six-year tenure on the Board, initially as an Independent Director, the last three-and-a-half years as chair.

“The last six years on the USAV Board of Directors have gone by in a flash,” Rymer said. “My sincerest thanks to the other Board members, the various committees and ad hoc groups, and, of course, Doug Beal and the entire USAV organization for their support and for all that has been accomplished. I look forward to watching the organization grow and evolve with the strong leadership of new chair Lori Okimura. See you on the courts!”

In 1995, Okimura joined Mikasa Sports, an Olympic volleyball supplier, as sports marketing director. She worked with the AVP Pro Beach Tour and Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) with beach volleyball beginning in the early 1990s, serving as Technical Manager of the 1997 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Los Angeles, and in 2004 began a five-year tenure as the FIVB Technical Supervisor for the FIVB World Tour, a 40-stop, 15-country circuit.

In 1993, she co-founded the Southern California Volleyball Institute, an indoor volleyball training facility in Anaheim, Calif., where the Magnum Volleyball Club produced more than 300 collegiate all-American players, professional indoor and beach players, and U.S. National Team and Olympic Team players.

Okimura was appointed to the USAV International Beach Commission from 1999 to 2001 and was honored by USA Volleyball with the 2000 Robert Lindsay Meritorious Service Award for her distinguished to the sport at the executive level.

Okimura is an alumna of the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and a master’s degree in Business Administration.