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USA Softball leaders acknowledge organizational progress despite 2020 curveball

Dec. 14, 2020, 4:38 p.m. (ET)

In the spirit of 2020, USA Softball Council Members convened in an unconventional way last month by virtually signing in from across the country for the USA Softball 89th Annual Council Meeting General Session. 


Despite not meeting together in-person, USA Softball Council Members still heard from both President Rodney Cobb and Chief Executive Officer Craig Cress. Additionally, then-Major League Baseball (MLB) Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, Kim Ng, presented on the continued MLB partnership and year-round opportunities for grassroots development. 


Participation was virtual and topics included USA Softball’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in organizational business practices and partnerships, as well as the release of newly-launched educational and development programs aimed to grow the grassroots level of the sport.


CEO Craig Cress praised the response and work members did nationwide to follow and adhere to state, city and local guidelines when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic. Acknowledging the impact of the cancellation of various events and National Championships, reduction in personnel and programs, Cress recognized the resourcefulness of the USA Softball community to adapt to the new environment. 


“There is no playbook or manual for COVID-19,” he said. “This is not something that anyone has ever faced, so I am extremely proud of the work from our staff, Board of Directors and Council Members.”


It was announced that induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2020 will be held at the 2021 USA Softball Annual Council Meeting. The Class of 2020, previously announced at the 2019 Annual Council Meeting, includes: Phil Gutierrez (Meritorious Service), Lovieanne Jung (Fast Pitch Player), Terry Muck (Fast Pitch Player), Bill Pfeiffer (Fast Pitch Player), Doug Roberson (Slow Pitch Player), Carl Rose (Slow Pitch Player), Natasha Watley (Fast Pitch Player), Cecil Whitehead (Slow Pitch Player) and Curtis Williams (Slow Pitch Player). 


Despite canceling numerous National Championships as a result of COVID-19, the below cities were recognized for hosting one or more National Championships during the 2020 season through a James Farrell Award of Excellence:




FOUR TOURNAMENTS: Salem, Virginia and Worcester County, Maryland

THREE TOURNAMENTS: Findlay, Ohio and Hendersonville, Tennessee

TWO TOURNAMENTS: North Mankato, Minnesota; Osage Beach, Missouri; Rockford, Michigan; Topeka, Kansas; Yankton, South Dakota

ONE TOURNAMENT: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Sioux Falls, South Dakota




Council Members were recognized for their years of service and are set to be honored at the 2021 Annual Council Meeting:



Jeff Alsip (USA Softball of Indiana)

Lori Chafe (USA Softball of Washington)

Holly Clark (USA Softball of Arkansas)

Nancy Hill (USA Softball of Nevada)

Scott Mercer (USA Softball of Detroit)

Bobby Pena (USA Softball of Arizona)

Mia Rodrigues (USA Softball of Hawaii)

Chuck Shlimon (USA Softball of Massachusetts)

Matt Stoddard (USA Softball of West Virginia)



Herman Garza (USA Softball of San Antonio)

Jessica Hicks (USA Softball of North Carolina)

Frank Kolarek (League of Dreams)

Cassi Ponzo (USA Softball of Sacramento)

Tom Rausch (USA Softball of Wisconsin)

Suzanne Robison (USA Softball of Pennsylvania)

Steve Roscia (USA Softball of Maine)

Carolyn Shafer (USA Softball of Oklahoma)

John Turnbull (Indiana Parks & Recreation Association)

Gary Young (USA Softball of South Dakota)



Dale E. Ferron (USA Softball of Wisconsin)

Rick Hansen (USA Softball of Washington)

Jack Hutcherson (USA Softball of Maryland/Delaware/DC)

Steve Rollins (USA Softball of Utah)

Bill Skinner (USA Softball of Louisiana)

James Villarreal (Texas Amateur Athletic Association)



Bob Adams (USA Softball of Illinois)

Mike Blondino (USA Softball of Northern California)

Scott Gagnon (USA Softball of Minneapolis)

Manuel Gomez (USA Softball of Northern California)

Dave Maudsley (USA Softball of Sacramento)

David Persing (USA Softball of Pennsylvania)

Tom Topping (USA Softball of Iowa)

Mike Wells (USA Softball of Oregon)



Mike Cappa (USA Softball of Texas)

Mark Nelson (Allied Member)



Stoney Burke (USA Softball of Houston)

John Gouveia (USA Softball of Northern California)

Jerry Stewart (USA Softball of Illinois)



Donn Addante (USA Softball of Ohio)

Tommy Barrett (USA Softball of Tennessee)

Don Brewer (USA Softball of Illinois)

Bill Humphrey (USA Softball of Michigan)

Tony Laws (USA Softball of North Carolina)

Glen Payne, Sr. (USA Softball of Southern New York)

Bernie Profato (USA Softball of Ohio)



Angelo Frannicola (USA Softball of Newark)

Walt Sparks (USA Softball of San Antonio)



G. Pat Adkison (USA Softball of Alabama)



Doug Dicey (USA Softball of New Hampshire)



USA Softball recognized individuals retiring as Commissioner in addition to welcoming newly-selected Local Association Commissioners. 


Retiring Commissioners include: Mick Renneisen (USA Softball of Indiana), Joey Rich (USA Softball of Missouri), Jerry Hanson (USA Softball of Michigan), Phil Gutierrez (USA Softball of Southern California), Herman Garza (USA Softball of San Antonio), Natalie Norman (USA Softball of Alabama), and Henry Pollard (USA Softball of Central Virginia).


Individuals recently appointed to the Commissioner role include: Brett Williamson (USA Softball of Indiana), Kristy Rich (USA Softball of Missouri), Darrin Duistermars (USA Softball of Michigan), Chris Drumm (USA Softball of Southern California), Bill Rodriguez (USA Softball of San Antonio), Tracy Morgan (USA Softball of Alabama), and John McPhail (USA Softball of Central Virginia).



USA Softball also recognized the retirement of long-time National Office staff members, Mark Loehrs (Chief Financial Officer) and John Miller (Chief Operations Officer). Cheryl Bond has since been hired and has assumed responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer. 



USA Softball held a moment of silence for those Council Members and Local Association staff that have passed in the last year, including, but not limited to:


Don Porter – former ISF President, ASA/USA Softball National Office Executive Director and USA Softball (ASA) of Southern California

Don McGee – ASA/USA Softball of Arkansas

Joe Walker – ASA/USA Softball of Central Virginia, Regional Player Representative (Region 2)

Milt Barton – USA Softball of Missouri

Dan Blair – USA Softball of North Carolina

Kevin Caswell – USA Softball of Oregon

John Cowan – USA Softball of Oklahoma

Bob Dearborn – USA Softball of Seattle

Bob Gill – USA Softball of Oklahoma

Shara Glenn – USA Softball of Oklahoma

William (Bill) Lucky Gubel – USA Softball of Sacramento

Russell Lacy – USA Softball of Idaho

Lowell Mathiowetz – USA Softball of Minnesota

Jo Ann Nance – USA Softball of Piedmont Virginia

Floyd and Gary Nohen – USA Softball of Illinois

George Sneed – USA Softball of St. Louis

Delores Rankin – USA Softball of Piedmont Virginia

Paul Turner – USA Softball of Seattle

Randy Sears – USA Softball of Seattle

Art Serafinski – USA Softball of Michigan

Lee Shiflett – USA Softball of Piedmont Virginia

Dave Southerland – USA Softball of Oklahoma