Inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee announced

Inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee announced


The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) is proud to announce the formation of an inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee. The committee consists of Certified Youth Sports Administrators (CYSAs) from around the world dedicated to operating youth sports programs with integrity and professionalism.

The CYSA Leadership Committee is the first of its kind and brings together youth sports administrators to further promote the need for education and professional standards of those overseeing youth sports programs. The Committee will also help guide policy and standards in youth sports programming and administration.

“I believe that the work we do as CYSAs is essential in providing the correct environment and culture for youth sports in each of our communities,” said CYSA Leadership Committee member Jeff Ryder, athletic and fitness manager at Huntley Park District in Illinois. “I am looking forward to working with committee members to make our vision of what the youth sports experience should be accessible to all communities.”

Youth sports administrators play a crucial role across the youth sports landscape. They are responsible for tasks like upholding the program’s youth sports philosophy, volunteer and parent management, conflict resolution, assessing insurance and risk management, program evaluation and marketing. The CYSA curriculum, offered through the Academy for Youth Sports Administrators, has certified more than 3,000 professionals and educates youth sports administrators on these topics and more.

“The CYSA credential sets the standard of professionalism required to provide quality youth sports programs for all participants,” said Lisa Davol, deputy director of programs at Oconee County (Ga.) Parks and Recreation Department and a CYSA Leadership Committee member. “CYSA professionals acquire a vast knowledge of youth sports principles needed to ensure sports have a positive impact on youth.”

Administrators with the CYSA credential are highly regarded because they complete the necessary training and continuing education requirements to fulfill the duties of their position. Training for these professionals is the key to raising the level of professionalism in youth sports and setting the standard for successful youth sports in each community.

“The CYSA Leadership Committee is a game changer for today’s youth sports,” said Lisa Licata, director of professional youth sports administrator programs at NAYS. “There are many moving parts in youth sports, from volunteer coaches and parents to parent-run leagues and travel leagues, as well as accountability, safety and abuse issues. There needs to be a CYSA in every community – a leader equipped to handle these topics, oversee the community’s entire youth sports operation and enforce a positive youth sport philosophy on behalf of the children.”

The inaugural CYSA Leadership Committee has 26 founding members from municipal park and recreation agencies, Boys & Girls Clubs and U.S. military youth sports programs as listed below:


Lacy Bienkowski, recreation programmer, youth sports, City of Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilitie

Georgeanne Soberay, park manager, City of Phoenix


Alex Hampton, recreation administrator, Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club - Fayetteville


Manuel Escobar, East County regional operations manager, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation

Zack Ortiz, sports coordinator, Arden Manor Recreation & Park District


Rance Gaede, athletics supervisor, City of Tamarac

Tim Hanlon, assistant program manager, City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department

Aileen Henderson, youth sports manager, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department

Eduardo Martinez, Park, Recreation and Open Spaces manager III, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Space

Michael Wardlow, supervisor, City of Largo


Lisa Davol, deputy director – programs, Oconee County Parks & Recreation Department

Steve Mellinger, program manager, Glynn County Recreation and Parks Department

Pat Sebring, youth sports program supervisor, Athens Clarke County


Jeff Ryder, athletic and fitness manager, Huntley Park District


Ryan Dalton, recreation director, Wellsville Joint Recreation Commission

Chris Nelson, youth sports supervisor, Manhattan Parks and Recreation

Ricci Tucker, sports director, Winfield Recreation Commission

New Jersey

Donald Russoniello, youth sports and fitness director, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

North Carolina

David Guthrie, youth sports director, MCCS Cherry Point

Tory Miller, athletic program manager, City of Raleigh


Miste Adams, recreation superintendent, National Trail Parks and Recreation District

Kristen Maiden, program supervisor, Village of Evendale Recreation Department

Casey Wooddell, sports activities supervisor, Oxford Parks & Recreation Department

South Carolina

Rich Dixon, assistant athletics manager, Greenville County Parks, Recreation, & Tourism


Rick Bruya, recreation coordinator, Auburn Parks and Recreation


Jeff Shelton, recreation specialist, Rota Naval Air Station

CYSA Leadership Academy Administrators

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