At last month’s National Annual General Meeting (NAGM) five AYSO volunteers were honored for their extraordinary dedication to AYSO and their respective disciplines.
The Spirit and Enrichment Award winners received were recognized during the NAGM’s Opening Business session on Saturday, May 24. Congratulations to the following:
Susan Reed: 2014 Management Spirit Award Winner
Susan Reed started her AYSO experience 21 years ago when she started coaching her son’s team in Region 727 in Roane County, Tenn. She fell in love with the organization and took on multiple roles before settling down as an administrator.
The past seven years she has been the Section 5 Management Administrator and has made great strides to make the management program stronger and more successful for the Administrators and Instructors in the Section.
Susan oversees four Management and Instructor training events each year and has traveled to all seven states in her Section to ensure that each chartered and pilot Region gets appropriate training. Part of the training process is promoting the AYSO Philosophies and Mission. Susan sends out Regional Report cards every few months in an effort to see what type of training the Board Members need.
Susan is still active in the AYSO community serving as the Area Director for Area 5G. She is a great instructor and lives by the motto “To teach is to touch generations of children.”
John Ouellette: 2014 Coaching Spirit Award Winner
John Ouellette began his AYSO experience 35 years ago as a volunteer who wanted to coach his daughter’s team. His experiences in that role led him on a lifetime journey with AYSO.
John started volunteering in Region 118 in Aiea, Hawaii. He later moved to Utah and started coaching for Region 239 in Layton, Utah. After years of volunteering in a variety of positions, John wanted to improve the overall coaching program.
He created an age-specific National Coaching Program that helps players all over the nation get a better coaching experience. He also helped AYSO gain its first and continuing accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE).
His influence is evident in many of AYSO’s core programs and materials. John was involved in the origin of the Safe Haven Program, the College Athlete Program, the “Let Them Play” video, the online coaching courses and the National coaching courses.
John has held many positions at AYSO including, but not limited to, being AYSO’s National Coach and Director of Coaching. He held those positions for over 22 years.
John is still active in the AYSO community serving as a National Coach Instructor and still participates in local and national events. He now coaches his grandchildren in Region 51 in Farmington, Utah, alongside his wife Carol, who is also a life-long volunteer.
Cathy Farless: 2014 Referee Spirit Award Winner
Cathy Farless began her AYSO experience 26 years ago, simply wanting to volunteer for her son’s team. She knew that she wanted to somehow be involved, but was unsure of where she would fit. Six months and three courses later, Cathy had her Regional referee badge.
Cathy started her refereeing path by centering a U-6 game and was hooked. She became the Regional Referee Administrator (RRA) and then the Area Referee Administrator (ARA) before instituting training for referees, coaches and managers - which led her to become a Referee Instructor. After that, she stayed busy by becoming the Section Referee Administrator (SRA) from 1997 to 2013, as well as the Regional Commissioner (RC) for seven years for Region 160 in Huntsville, Ala. She also served as a member of the AYSO IT Task Force.
Her influence is evident in many of AYSO’s training camps and tournaments. Through her hard work and diligence, Section 5 now has annual referee training camps in its west, central and eastern portions. Cathy also helped establish the Section 5 games, which are hosted in each of the Areas. The success of these games helped prepare the Section to host the National Games in 2012.
Pat Greco – 2014 VIP Enrichment Award Winner
Pat Greco is currently the Section 1 VIP (Very Important Player) Tournament Administrator. Since 2006, Pat has held every Region and Area VIP position, and has also served in many non-VIP Regional and Area Board positions.
Pat frequently attends tournaments and festivals throughout Sections 1, 10 and 11, as well as National VIP Funfests to lend her expertise, energy and positivity. As Section 1’s VIP Tournament Administrator, she is responsible for the Section 1 VIP Tournament held annually in Chino, Calif. Teams from all over Southern California and Arizona travel to attend this well-known event.
Pat is also an active member of the VIP Task Force, adding her voice and knowledge to a plethora of projects. In addition to assisting with VIP, Pat gives presentations at the Braille Institute Southern California headquarters in Hollywood, to share the tools that AYSO’s VIP program uses and to explain how the buddy system can work with vision-impaired athletes. Pat touches hundreds of VIP families every year.
Patrick Ryan – 2014 VIP Enrichment Award Winner
Patrick Ryan started his local VIP program in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in the fall of 2009 with nine players. He was not only the VIP Administrator, but a VIP coach and recruiter.
For the next two years, Pat continued coaching and recruiting new players. In 2012, Pat took his team to the National Games, the first Games to host VIP pool-play. His VIP team made history as they played every day during the Games against various mainstream teams. Pat’s history-making team was also featured on television and in printed publications, which led to tremendous growth in his Region and Section.
To ensure that the program would continue to grow, Pat became a VIP instructor and continues to mentor new Regions by helping them set up their program, sharing best practices and donating his time as an instructor.