Bree Schaaf, Bobsled and Skeleton - Chair

Bree Schaaf was selected to serve as Athletes’ Advisory Council Chair in 2021. Schaaf began serving as the AAC second vice chair in 2017, and recently finished a six-year term as an elected athlete representative to the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation board of directors. She will continue in her role as the chair of the AAC anti-doping committee.

Schaaf was a pilot for the U.S. Women’s National Bobsled Team from 2007-2014, finishing 5th at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. A four-time world cup/world championship team member, Schaaf is also a three-time IBSF America’s Cup Overall Champion. Prior to her bobsled career, Schaaf competed on the U.S. National Skeleton Team from 2003-2007 and finished 11th at the 2007 IBSF Skeleton World Championships. 

 

A dedicated athletes’ rights advocate, Schaaf works professionally as the program manager for Global Athlete, a progressive athlete-led startup movement aiming to inspire athletes and drive change across the world of sport. She continues to stay involved with sliding sports by coaching Para bobsled. In 2009, she started work as a color commentator and has been performing analysis and play-by-play for sliding sports over several national and international broadcast networks and streaming services. Schaaf also joined the NBC Olympics team as its skeleton analyst and sliding sports correspondent at the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

In her spare time, Schaaf has a passion for working with Special Olympics and children with special needs, and enjoys combining that passion with her sport associations to coordinate community service projects. 

Recognized for her leadership in sport, she has been honored as an inductee to the Kitsap County Sports Hall of Fame, a 2010 Kitsap County YWCA Women of Achievement Award recipient, the 2009 USABS Bobsled Newcomer of the Year, and a 2013 Women’s Sports Foundation Grant recipient. In 2011, Schaaf became the first female to push and pilot an all-woman 4-man sled in Lake Placid, New York.

Schaaf graduated with high honors and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she attended on both a volleyball and Presidential Academic Scholarship. She currently resides in Bremerton, Washington.

Chuck Aoki, Wheelchair Rugby - Vice Chair

Chuck Aoki began serving on Athletes’ Advisory Council leadership in 2021 after serving as an AAC representative in since 2017.

Aoki is a two-time Paralympian in wheelchair rugby and helped lead Team USA to the bronze medal at the Paralympic Games London 2012 and the silver medal at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. He has also helped the team earn gold at the 2010 world championships, as well as two bronzes at the 2014 and 2018 world championships.

Off the field, Aoki is a Ph.D student at the University of Denver – focusing on comparative politics, international relations and civil-military relations. In his free time, he enjoys watching his beloved Minnesota sports teams, reading books about the Civil War and U.S. Presidents, doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, and playing with his 6-month-old cavapoo, Winnie. 

Aoki was named the United States Wheelchair Rugby Association Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2019, and has been named the most valuable player of the USWRA national tournament three times in his career. 

He is currently training for Tokyo 2020, where he hopes to complete his set of bronze and silver medals with a gold.

Aoki earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and earned his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota. He currently resides in Denver.

Greta Neimanas, Para-cycling - Vice Chair

Greta Neimanas began serving on Athletes' Advisory Council leadership in 2021, after serving as an AAC representative since 2013. 

Neimanas is a two-time Paralympian (2008, 2012) and two-time world champion (2013, 2015). She competed with Team USA from 2006 through 2015 before retiring due to injuries. She was the first para-cyclist to race in the Tour of California (2014) and the first female para-cyclist to race as a professional.

Off the field, Neimanas is cycling coach for Mind Right Endurance. Her focus is on military sports programs with the U.S. Navy’s Wounded Warrior Cycling Team where she is the program’s head coach, and the U.S. delegation for the Invictus Games, an international multi-sport competition for wounded, ill and injured active-duty military and veterans. She also serves as an athlete representative on the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice.

Outside of work, Neimanas enjoys drinking coffee, reading and hiking. 

In retirement, Neimanas has begun rowing recreationally with a local club in the Washington, D.C., area. She is enjoying the more relaxed side of a new sport.

Neimanas earned her bachelor’s degree in business communications from DeVry University in 2020. She currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, Clark, also a retired para-cyclist, and their two dogs, Summit and Cricket.  

Anthony Ervin, Swimming

Anthony Ervin began serving on Athletes' Advisory Council leadership in 2021 after serving as an AAC representative since 2016. 

Ervin is a three-time Olympian in swimming and helped Team USA to three Olympic golds and one silver medal, as well as three world championship golds and one bronze medal. In addition, Ervin has earned three Maccabiah gold and one silver medals.

Off the field, Ervin is an educator – focusing on the philosophy of swimming and mentorship – and continues to give back to the sport as a member of the Athlete Voice and Advocacy steering committee on the Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice, a founding member of the Black Leaders in Aquatics Coalition, and as a member of USA Swimming’s national team athlete and international relations committees.  

He has been honored with the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Buck Dawson Author Award for his memoir Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian.

In 2017, Ervin was entered into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and was honored in the Cal Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Ervin is currently training for the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Ervin earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently wanders from town to town as a vagabond.

Mark Ladwig, Figure skating

Mark Ladwig began serving on Athletes' Advisory Council leadership in 2021 after serving as an AAC representative since 2013. 

Ladwig was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but competitively trained in Florida to be a pairs figure skater. He represented the United States at the Olympic Games Vancouver 2010.

He has been active in U.S. Figure Skating's governance since 2007, including two years as the organization’s Athletes’ Advisory Council chair, four years on the board of directors, three years on the nominating committee, and various other committees. 

Ladwig competitively retired in 2013 and transitioned to his other full-time passion as technical representative teaching sharpening, assembly and equipment best practices throughout the eastern U.S. 

Married and raising two sons, he started sourdough bread making – a skill he picked up in 2020.

Cody Mattern, Fencing

Cody Mattern began serving a second term on Athletes' Advisory Council leadership in 2021 after holding a leadership position since 2016. He began service as an AAC representative in 2008 as the elected alternate in the sport of fencing and assumed the position of the primary representative in 2010. He was elected again in 2012.

Mattern is a USA Fencing World Team Champion and was part of the first men’s team in USA Fencing history win gold at a world championship. He represented Team USA in the sport of fencing in the weapon discipline of epee. He competed in eight world championships, two Pan American Games and the Olympic Games Athens 2004. 

Off the field, Mattern is a Fencing Master (coach and program director) at Northwest Fencing Center in Beaverton, Oregon. He served four years as an athlete representative and four years as a vice president on USA Fencing’s board of directors. Currently, Mattern is the president of the United States Fencing Coaches Association. In his free time, he enjoys origami, 3D printing, board games and reading single subject monographies.

Mattern was inducted into the USA Fencing Hall of Fame in 2017 and was honored as the 2019 United States Fencing Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

Mattern is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration, program management from DeVry University through DeVry’s scholarship program with the USOPC.