We spoke with Jerica Williams, President of All JACE, Paige Decker, Executive Director of The Headway Foundation, ran down the top plays in sports philanthropy, and brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
Two-time Olympian in beach volleyball, Lina is an experienced sports industry professional, helping brands establish presence and develop market share through sports.
She serves as a Mentor for the United States Olympic Committee’s Athlete Career & Education program. Passionate about leadership and mental performance, Lina is the founder of Mission SOAR, a developmental program for high school student-athletes and coaches.
At the Foundation for Teamwork, Lina has been instrumental to launching the prestigious Joe Moore Award, recognizing the most outstanding offensive line unit in college football. It is the only major college football award to recognize the achievements of a unit versus an individual. Lina oversees operations, development, board relations, and governance.
A sought-after international SPEAKER, Lina inspired audiences to form more cohesive teams and develop their skills further through peer advisory groups. She crafts a masterful message using her unique (and often entertaining) experiences growing up in a communist country, coming to America, playing professional beach volleyball, and competing at the Olympics to communicate lessons of perseverance.
Lina competed on the professional beach volleyball World Tour from 1997 until 2007, taking part in the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games as well as numerous World and European championships.
At the George Washington School of Business, Lina completed a Sports Philanthropy executive program, supplementing her expertise in nonprofit management. As an undergraduate of the University of Idaho with a major in Biology, Lina earned Academic All-American honors, while leading the volleyball team to four consecutive conference championships. She was named Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and was inducted into the University of Idaho Hall of Fame.
Travis Gorsch moved from small town Iowa to San Francisco as a 20 year old kid in January of 2015 to pursue his Masters in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco. He had graduated from Ashford University in December of 2014 with a Bachelors in Sports and Recreation Management where he was also a two-sport athlete on the baseball and cross country teams.
Travis was able to get his foot in the door first as a volunteer for the Oakland Athletics at their Fan Fest in 2015. He later took on a four month internship in the Community Relations department during the 2015 season. Upon conclusion he joined the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee where he was a part of the Most Giving Super Bowl Ever as a Community Relations Associate.
In May of 2016 he rejoined the Oakland Athletics to launch the newly legalized 50/50 Raffles benefiting the Oakland A's Community Fund. In their inaugural season his team was able to raise over $365,000 which led the Athletics to offer him a full-time position in September. He is currently the 50/50 Raffle and Jersey Program Coordinator where he also oversees the A's Youth Uniform Program. The program grew from six local leagues in its first year to over 20 leagues in 2017 serving over 5,500 kids playing youth baseball and softball.
Travis holds a part-time 50/50 Raffle Associate position with the Golden State Warriors Community Foundation overseeing the game day aspects of their 50/50 Raffle program. He is also actively involved in the San Jose Sharks Foundation Young Professional Board. In his free time he contributes articles for Front Office Sports focused on athletes, teams, and nonprofits efforts in the community and philanthropy in sports.
Travis graduated from the University of San Francisco with his Masters in Sport Management this past December. Two short months later he enrolled in The George Washington University Sport Philanthropy Executive Certificate program which he will finish in June of 2017.
per diems against poverty
Amy is the Director of Development and Corporate Partnerships at World Sport Chicago. In this role, she leverages the power of sport and teamwork to make a difference in the community and for the donors who fuel World Sport Chicago’s mission. Amy received her Bachelor of Applied Arts with a major in Interpersonal and Public Communication and a minor in Psychology from Central Michigan University where she was a member of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship Program. Amy has a diverse background in sports, events, volunteer management, business development, sponsorship, marketing, and community outreach at the local, national and international level.
Prior to World Sport Chicago, her career included work with the Detroit Tigers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan, Kforce Professional Staffing and Chicago 2016, the non-profit organization in charge of Chicago's bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Amy is passionate about finding different ways to reach people – to inform them, move them, and provide opportunities for them to become active in making a difference in their life and the lives of others.
vice president Community affairs
norfolk admirals hockey
Brooke Cranor recently joined the Norfolk Admirals Hockey Club as the VP of Community Affairs. Brooke oversees the marketing, social media/public relations, community and player engagement, merchandise, game presentation and building foundation initiatives. Additionally, she is focused on the cultivation of bridging the philanthropic efforts of the team with the local military community in Norfolk, Virginia. Last, Brooke is responsible for growing the fan base through educational platforms in the local school systems, youth hockey involvement, and a strong grassroots movement.
Previously, Brooke worked for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a Sr. Regional Development Representative, managing fundraising events and donor cultivation in South Florida. She found improvements with stewarding relationships among various community demographics and programs including higher educational institutions, media partnerships, and volunteer recruitment.
In addition, Brooke worked as the Manager, Grassroots Marketing and Community Development with the Florida Panthers. She was responsible for the Florida Panthers Foundation being named the 2012 Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation in Broward County, as well as the recipient of the 2013 Kids Crown Award for Best Indoor Attraction & Activity. Brooke received a BBA from Eastern Michigan University and is a lifelong hockey fan.