OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has announced recent changes to the National Office Staff. With a concentrated effort on growing the sport and creating additional opportunities for all participants, Chris Sebren has been promoted to Chief Sport Development/Performance Officer, with Destinee Martinez now serving as the Managing Director of Sport Development. In the Membership Services/Events department, Rich Cress will take on additional responsibilities as the Director of Membership Services, overseeing USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex events and USA Softball local associations. Additionally, Dre McKee will step into the role of Director of Marketing and Communications while Allison Fanning will take on additional responsibilities in her promotion as National Team Manager.
As the former Director of National Teams, Chris Sebren will take on the role of Chief Sport Development/Performance Officer where he will continue to manage National Team Programs while assisting with the development of the sport through the Amateur Resource Center (ARC) and the newly launched USA Softball High Performance Program (HPP). Sebren will work closely with USA Softball local associations in creating opportunities for athletes across the nation to be involved from the grassroots level to the National Teams level.
“I relish the opportunity to connect our National Teams Programs to the grassroots level of our sport, growing the game and enhancing opportunities for athletes across the United States,” said Sebren. “I look forward to playing a role in USA Softball’s strategic plan and prioritizing the growth of our Amateur Resource Center and High Performance Program, in addition to other programs we are currently working on, while connecting with other organizations to promote our sport.”
As the Director of Membership Services, Rich Cress will oversee USA Softball’s network of 67 local associations nationwide in promoting growth at the grassroots level in addition to USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex event programming. His responsibilities include the management and operational budget of stadium events, including the annual Border Battle event, National Championship paperwork and requirements, as well as implementing and enforcing adherence to the USA Softball Bylaws and Code.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my role within USA Softball,” said Cress. “I look forward to continuing to promote our sport while working closely with our local associations across the United States to create the best possible experience for all of our members and participants.”
Destinee Martinez has been promoted to Managing Director of Sport Development where her responsibilities will include overseeing sport development through creative initiatives and opportunities for athletes, coaches and teams across the United States. As part of the long-standing Major League Baseball (MLB) partnership, Martinez will play an active role in the PLAY BALL initiative, Breakthrough Series (BTS) and Elite Developmental Invitational (EDI) in an effort to encourage widespread participation in all forms of softball and baseball activities and promote softball as a viable collegiate option for youth from underrepresented and underserved communities. Martinez brings previous experience as a USA Softball event manager, where she was responsible for managing stadium events, including stadium and tournament budgets, expense reports, event contracts, stadium concessions and product inventory. Prior to USA Softball, Martinez was a member of the University of Oklahoma softball team (2011-2014) and the National Team Program (2011 Junior Women’s National Team and 2012-2014 Women’s National Team).
“I am extremely honored to get this department started and really dive into creating more opportunities for our youth to play this great sport,” said Martinez. “Softball has given me so many great memories and opportunities, and I am excited to give back to the next generation of athletes so they too can have those opportunities to experience everything that our sport has to offer.”
As the former Managing Director of Marketing, Dre McKee steps into the role of Director of Marketing and Communications where she will continue managing the Marketing department while overseeing Communications responsibilities for the National Office. In her new position, McKee will lead all marketing, promotion and sponsorship initiatives, while acting as a liaison between USA Softball and the USOPC and overseeing all media services in the communications department. McKee has been involved with USA Softball since 2016, having served as an Event Coordinator for the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex. Prior to USA Softball, McKee was a member of the Oklahoma State softball team where she was named All-Big 12 Academic Second Team twice in her career.
“I am so thankful to have a boss who believes in me and allows me the opportunity to grow and improve,” said McKee. “I am excited to dig into the communications side of our sport while gaining the knowledge and skills needed to make an impact in my role. The MarComm Team is dedicated to the growth of our organization, and I look forward to continuing to build together.”
Allison Fanning has been promoted to National Teams Manager where her responsibilities will include overseeing the operations and logistics for USA Softball National Teams. As the previous National Teams Coordinator, Fanning will also continue her responsibilities of overseeing apparel and equipment-related needs for USA Softball National Teams. Prior to USA Softball, Fanning worked as the Softball and Field Hockey Assistant Equipment Manager for Duke University where she assisted with day-to-day equipment operations for both teams. Fanning is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she spent four years working as a student manager for the softball program and was a part of the 2016 and 2017 National Championship Staff, four Big 12 Conference Championships and two Big 12 Conference Tournament Championships.
“I have truly enjoyed the past year and a half with the National Teams program,” said Fanning. “I’ve seen myself grow personally and professionally within USA Softball and I look forward to continuing that growth in this new role and new responsibilities.”