USA Racquetball Announces the Candidate Slate for the Upcoming Election

by Tony Prater, Election Committee Chair

2024 USA Racquetball Election Slate
(Photo by Ro-El Cordero, Corey Litchfield, Cheryl Kirk, Scott Reid)

The search for interested candidates for the 2024 election cycle is complete. The voting process will be announced in late February with the voting to begin March 1st. Candidates were selected based on a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), passion for the sport, and the time to be very involved, well beyond the two annual face-to-face meetings and regular conference calls (e.g., committee work). Specific experience is valued in areas including, but not limited to, professional management/leadership experience, marketing, fundraising, public relations, communications, finance, and/or technology. Potential Board members should be willing to be directly involved in fundraising activities. Board members must be citizens of the United States; at least 18 years of age; and current members of USA Racquetball. 

I am submitting a request to be considered for service on the Board of Directors for USA Racquetball

My background includes tech and management roles that I'm already putting to work to grow our sport and looking to push the limits of where we can grow into.

This year I've taken on the role of Commissioner for the Oregon High School Racquetball League and would love to get more involved at the national level to:

A) work with state programs to develop and grow more junior, high school and collegiate programs and

B) Improve USA racquetball's online and tech presence – I have lead the development of the newly updated OHSRL website, as well as my own racquetball platform,

Our League is comprised of 15 competitive programs that collectively make Oregon the center of youth racquetball and I am looking forward to helping USA Racquetball continue to grow our youth involvement.

I am interested in serving on the USA Racquetball Board of Directors because I am dedicated to continued participation with the best sport on Earth that has given me so much. An active player for over 40 years, I look forward to seeing our sport thrive. I currently run a 30-person league in Shrewsbury Mass, while participating and sponsoring our local tournaments in New England.

I have served on several boards in the past that includes The Rhode Island Cerebral Palsy Group and a Youth baseball organization. I have experience with nonprofits as well as vast experience in running local fundraisers with many business contacts in an industry that aligns nicely with the benefits of racquetball.

Key strengths include:

1. Leadership and ability to ensure outcomes

2. Building strong performing teams

3. Fundraising

4. Strategic planning

Thank You for your consideration for my participation on the USAR board. I look forward to growing racquetball together.

My business and sports experience provide a clear understanding of the challenges at hand. I would welcome the opportunity to re-join the USA Racquetball Board of Directors and continue to contribute my organization, communication, and leadership skills in service to the Board, to USA Racquetball, and to those who love the sport.

Racquetball requires a wide array of dedicated leaders and supporters with diverse skills, experience, and backgrounds: people who will wholeheartedly work to preserve it for future generations. That, in part, means saving courts through creative programming initiatives at the facility level and inspiring Racquetball players to take the time to teach the sport, both indoor and outdoor, to new players -- juniors and adults alike.

Our culture must be moved toward equal parts of passion and preservation. We need to stop giving attention to those who, sadly, engage in slinging blame and negativity...and instead place positive focus on strengthening this national association that provides infrastructure and support to those across the country who teach and promote and inspire.

Skills and experience summary:

• Career spanning 27 years with McDonald’s Corporation in operations, training, special projects, and Olympics sponsorship activation

• Current roles in USA Racquetball include Team Leader of U.S. Team/U.S. Junior Team; Chair, Legislative Committee; Member, U.S. Team Committee; Member, National Events Committee; Contributor to USA Racquetball’s “Serving Up the News”

• Additional current roles outside USA Racquetball: Officer, IRF Executive Board; President, ISRA Board; Member, LPRT Board of Directors

• Past President, USA Racquetball Board of Directors, 2008-2012; Secretary, USA Racquetball Board of Directors, 2016-2022

• Tournament Director/Asst. Director on local, state, national, and international levels since 2007

My unwavering commitment, extensive experience, strategic vision, and collaborative approach make me an ideal candidate. I am passionate about promoting racquetball`s growth, expanding its reach and ensuring its long-term viability. By electing me, the USAR can tap into my expertise and dedication to elevate the sport, inspire a new generation of players, and solidify racquetball’s position as a thriving sport on the National stage. Together, let’s build a brighter future for racquetball, one that embraces inclusivity, innovation, and excellence!

With years of active involvement in racquetball, I possess a deep understanding of the intricacies and challenges the sport faces. As a player, I know firsthand the value racquetball brings to individuals, including physical fitness, mental agility, and community building opportunities. I am actively engaged in local, regional, and National events, while volunteering time to promote the sports accessibility and inclusivity.

Through my professional experience in project management and teamwork, I have developed Executive Leadership and Collaboration skills. I value open communication, active listening, and consensus-building, essential skills for effective governance. As a BOD member, I will work diligently to foster a culture of transparency, inclusivity, and accountability, ensuring all stakeholders have a voice and active involvement in shaping the future of racquetball.

If earned the occasion to serve on the BOD, I will bring a fresh perspective, partnering with the members providing a strategic vision to USAR. Critical to expand the reach of racquetball to diverse communities, especially the youth and underserved populations. Implementing targeted outreach programs, fostering partnerships while leveraging digital platforms, we will increase participation, enhance public awareness, and secure sponsorships to ensure the sports sustainable future.