USA Team Handball

The USA Team Handball Board of Directors consists of eleven (11) members: three athlete representatives consisting of two athlete directors and one beach athlete director, six independent directors and two general membership directors. 

 Name  Title  Term Ending
Michael J. Wall Board President  2023
Patrick Jalabert General Membership Director  2023
JD Orr General Membership Director
 2023
David Buckman  Independent Director  2021
Tracy Deforge  Independent Director  2023
Dee Miller  Independent Director  2021
Camille Nichols   Independent Director  2023
Sandra De La Riva Repede  Independent Director  2023
David Thompson  Athlete Representative  2021
Sarah Gascon  Athlete Representative  2021
Bill Bigham  Athlete Representative  2021

 


Advancement Committee

Michael Wall Headshot

Michael J. Wall, President 

Michael J. Wall is of counsel and a business lawyer for Foley & Lardner LLP where he is a part of the Transactional & Securities Practice and the Sports Industry Team. Before joining Foley, Mr. Wall served for 22 years on various executive management teams of businesses directly related to sports. For 13 years, Mr. Wall was the sole in-house counsel for the TD Garden and Boston Bruins, followed by nine years as General Counsel for Performance Sports Group, Ltd.—the former manufacturer of BAUER hockey, EASTON baseball, and CASCADE/MAVERIK lacrosse equipment and apparel.

Mr. Wall’s corporate law background includes public company corporate governance, M&A, litigation strategy, intellectual property procurement, management and enforcement, and consumer products regulatory compliance. Mr. Wall’s first-hand daily involvement in the sports and entertainment arena position him to counsel clients seeking to acquire or sell sports franchises; to finance, develop and construct sports and entertainment venues; and to negotiate the myriad agreements that are necessary to capture and preserve the revenue- generating opportunities ancillary to stadium and team operations.

He received his J.D. degree in 1988 from Boston College Law School and his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in 1984 from the College of the Holy Cross.

Patrick Jalabert, General Membership Director

Patrick Jalabert is a mechanical design engineer with a Master of Science degree in civil and structural engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL) and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from ENSTA Bretagne (France). He has been working as a product design engineer for Poclain Hydraulics for over six years. In that role, he has successfully managed innovative hydraulic motor design projects for industry leaders such as John Deere, Caterpillar or Bobcat.

Patrick has also spent the past seven years in a leadership role within Chicago Inter Handball, one of the country’s most prominent handball organizations. He has contributed his more than 20 years of passion for the sport of handball and his advanced organizational skills to support the continuing development of handball in the Chicago-land area and the Midwest. Most recently, he has driven the development of a Midwest Team Handball League, despite the difficulty in rallying and securing commitment from other organizations within the region.

Patrick was appointed to the USA Team Handball Competition Committee in 2014 and took on the chairmanship of the committee in 2017. In that capacity, he has undertaken the ambitious project of continuously updating the USA Team Handball rulebook to reflect the ever-changing landscape of team handball in the United States. In addition, Patrick has supported the implementation of a new membership and event management platform and is contributing to the effort to improve the federation’s tools in that area.

JD Orr, General Membership Director

JD Orr has extensive experience with club and grassroots development, founding the Team Handball Club at The Ohio State University in 2012 and serving as head coach. He competed with the U.S Junior National Team in 2013, and made team handball a recognized sport of the Arnold Sports Festival, the largest sports festival in the world. Orr served as Assistant Coach of the U.S. Men’s Junior (2017) and Senior (2018) National Team Handball teams and was named 2018 USATH Volunteer Coach of the Year. 

Outside of handball, Orr works as a Validation Engineer for Barry Wehmiller – Design Group, an international engineering firm. Orr has received various awards for his efforts towards creating excellent client relationships and managing difficult situations. From the moment he began his career, he was thrusted into the lead role to handle all validation needs for clients.

Orr has taken his attention to detail to help spur more handball growth in the Ohio and Midwest regions. His passion for development has encouraged many to begin playing the game, as well as pursuing the game to higher levels. Orr regularly meets and discusses handball development in the region with representatives from several cities. These discussions have led to the creation of adult clubs, high school programs, clinics, and a 501(c)(3) organization; all for the betterment of team handball. He has put in the time and effort to ensure handball does not continue to go unnoticed in the United States.

 

Dave Buckman, Independent Director

 

Dave currently serves as the Director of Space Programs for Lockheed Martin. In this capacity, Dave develops and manages Lockheed Martin's engagements with the Pentagon and other Departments in the Executive Branch on all matters relating to military space programs. Prior to his tenure with Lockheed Martin, Dave was the President of East Coast Operations for Braxton Science & Technology Group, and served 27 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Colonel after a career in acquisition, operational requirements, and resource management. He served as a program manager on the Consolidated Space Operations Center (CSOC) program, the F-16 multinational fighter and C-17 airlifter programs, as well as working joint interoperability at U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command.

 

Dave also served in the Pentagon as the Panel Chairman for the Air Force’s Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) portfolio and as the Deputy Director for Space Programs under the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. Other key assignments included serving as the Command Lead for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing and as the Deputy Director of Requirements at Headquarters Air Force Space Command. Dave deployed to Afghanistan as the Deputy Director of the Operational Contract Support Drawdown Cell in U.S. Forces–Afghanistan, New Kabul Compound.

 

Dave holds three Master of Science degrees: Systems Management from the University of Southern California; Operational Art and Science from the USAF Air Command & Staff College; and Strategic Studies from the USAF Air War College. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the U.S. Air Force Academy. As an intercollegiate athlete, Dave was recruited to play Division I basketball at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) and did so from 1982-83. He then transitioned to the newly formed USAFA Team Handball Club where he was a two-year starter, and was selected for the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival as a member of the North Team Handball team.

 

Tracy Deforge, Independent Director

 

A founder of The Players’ Impact, a venture platform for professional athletes, Tracy is focused on the growth of early stage companies, venture investment and pioneering business initiatives. An attorney by training, an entrepreneur in spirit, and an executive leader through her experience, her career has focused for more than a decade on start-up companies and sports/media technology offerings.

 

Tracy’s background provides management expertise, startup business initiatives, legal affairs experience and managing operations. Tracy has been launching, growing and selling companies for over 17 years. Her roles and positions throughout her career saw her intimately involved in all aspects of entrepreneurship, from envisioning the concept, business planning, hiring, operations build out, fundraising, strategic partnerships, outsourcing, finances, marketing, and more.

 

After earning her J.D at Seton Hall University, Tracy worked for the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and was a partner in a venture investment firm focused on companies that intersected sports, technology and media/entertainment. Tracy started the Boston chapter of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), a not-for-profit representing the voice and invaluable resource for professional women in the business of sports and remains an advisor to this day. She is an adjunct professor at Dean College and serves as a board member of the New England Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance and an advisor for the MIT Launch program. 

Dee Miller, Independent Director

 

Diana Miller (Dee) is an international business strategy and organizational change consultant with more than 25 years of industry experience across manufacturing, retail, service, and technology sectors. She has managed strategic change projects for companies such as: Electronic Data Systems, Frito-Lay, Inc., Good Year Tire, International Business Machines, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo, and the Zale Corporation.

 

Dee has consulted for many Fortune 100 companies and has provided executive coaching and training to all levels of organizations, working directly with CEO's and hourly employees. She has worked in a variety of settings such as operational start-ups, corporate offices, union environments, participative management systems, and non-profit management. Helping organizations meet their mission and improve their organizational effectiveness is a passion of Dee's. She has facilitated thousands of strategy sessions on a broad range of topics, including as a volunteer for various nonprofit groups in the Dallas area. She currently is a member of the board of directors for Equality Texas – Dallas.

 

Dee Miller has a Bachelor of Science in Sports Science from Texas Woman’s University and Masters of Science in Organizational Development and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to her professional career, Dee was a member of the USA Team Handball’s Women’s National Team from 1978 -1987. She competed at the 1982 World Championships, was the first Alternate for the 1984 Olympic Team and coached several teams at the USOC’s Olympic Festivals. As an entrepreneur, Dee has applied her business and management acumen to start and manage her own consulting business. During her leisure time, she is physically active, enjoys biking, hiking, and swimming. 

 

 Camille Nichols, Independent Director

 

Camille Nichols is the Vice President of Business Operations at Fluor Government Group. She retired as a Major General from the United States Army after serving in various Engineer and Department of Defense Acquisition roles in both leadership and staff positions in the United States, the Far East and the Middle East. Nichols most recently served as the Director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. Prior to that assignment, she was the Deputy Commanding General of the Army’s Installation Management Command in San Antonio, Texas. She also has over 20 years of experience in Department of Defense acquisition.

 

Nichols has a wealth of experience in managing large organizations with a broad product portfolio and has a successful track record in delivering results. She is a frequent keynote speaker, covering topics on effective leadership, the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the power of STEM education.

Ms. Nichols earned a doctorate in Engineering Management at George Washington University, and a B.S. degree in Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy. Also of interest, she was a member of the 1984 Olympics Women’s Team Handball Team. An avid bicyclist, she is currently serving on the nonprofit boards of USA Team Handball and Concurrent Technologies Corporation.

Sandra De La Riva Repede, Independent Director

 

Sandra De La Riva Repede is a two-time Olympic athlete in Team Handball, who competed in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. She played in two World Championships in 1982 Hungary and in 1986 Netherlands.  As a national team player from 1979 to 1988, she competed in over 120 matches, representing the United States around the world.

 

After retiring from the national team, De La Riva Repede coached local handball teams in the Los Angeles and Ventura areas to give back to the sport and the community where she lived.In her role as a coach, she oversaw the management of club teams, hosted tournaments, determined a pipeline of new athletes at the elite and youth levels, and developed training programs for new coaches and officials at various levels of the sport.

 

De La Riva Repede is now retired after working 28 years in government at the County of Los Angeles and City of Ventura. She has a wealth of work experience in financial strategies, organizational administration, budget development and financial analysis. At the County of Los Angeles, she served as Assistant Director for the Department of Parks and Recreation.  At the City of Ventura, she served as Principal Financial Analyst. De La Riva Repede earned a Master of Science degree in Public Policy at University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

David Thompson, Athlete Representative

 

David Thompson has been a member of the USA Team Handball national team since 2001 and has represented the U.S. in two Pan American Games, a World Championships, and various other international competitions. He also sits on the Athlete Advisory Council for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

 

Thompson is currently a full-time pastor in Birmingham, Alabama. He is married to Tina and they have three daughters, Madelyn, Anna Blakely, and Lily. He enjoys time with family, sports and playing music. He was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and earned a Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Alabama.

Bill Bigham, Athlete Representative

 

Bill Bigham first began his team handball career in college, joining his school’s club team after initially going to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to play football. He began playing with the men’s indoor national team in 2001 as they competed at the International Handball Federation world championships in France. Since then, he’s competed on the following national teams:

 

2001 USA Team Handball World Championships

2007 USA Team Handball Pan-Am Qualifiers for Beijing Olympics

2016 USA Beach Handball Pan -Am Championships

2016 USA Beach World Championships

2018 USA Beach Pan -Am Championships

2018 USA Beach World Championships

 

He is the only American to ever compete for the United States in both indoor and beach handball at the IHF World Championships. Bill is currently the team captain for the United States men’s beach handball national team and has helped build the men’s beach program from its creation in 2016. He helped the team earn a qualification slot as one of 12 beach handball teams competing at the inaugural World Beach Games, which are taking place in Qatar in October of 2019.

 

Outside of sports, Bill works in the medical device and healthcare industry. Formerly, he served as Regional Sales Director of the entire West Coast for one of the world’s largest orthopedic medical device companies. He is currently running his own company in the same industry.

Sarah Gascon, Athlete Representative

 

Sarah Gascon has been a member of USA Team Handball since 2005, and is currently the captain of the U.S. Women's National Team. She has represented the U.S. in the Pan American Games in 2011 and 2019, and various other international competitions. 

 

Sarah earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Biomechanics at Auburn University's School of Kinesiology, and works in the Sports Medicine and Movement Laboratory. She married Matt Chandler on July 4, 2014.