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Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars
Pop Warner Little Scholars is the oldest and largest youth football, cheer and dance organization in the country.
Jon's background combines business and athletics—having served eight years as president of Rae Crowther Co., the leading manufacturer of football blocking sleds and field equipment, and six years as a high school assistant football coach and one year coaching CYO. He is a long-time member of the American Football Coaches Association.
Jon has always enjoyed working with children, as shown by his eight years' service as a Big Brother. For his volunteer work with fundraising and recruiting for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Philadelphia, Jon was recognized by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. In 2006, he was selected as the Hershey's S.T.R.I.V.E Awards' National Youth Sports Administrator of the Year.
After several years as a director, Jon was elected vice president of the National Council of Youth Sports. He also serves on the advisory board of the National Children's Literacy and Book Alliance and on the Board and Executive Committee of USA Football.
Sally Johnson, executive director of the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS)
NCYS membership comprises the "who's who" of the youth sports industry and represents 52 million youth participants in programs nationwide.
Sally is a founder and advisory board member of the National Center for Safety Initiatives, a solution-based company designed to take the criminal background screening burden of ethical, legal and financial challenges off youth-serving organizations, letting them focus on what they do best while helping to implement proven policies, procedures and training that will better protect the children. Sally also serves The National Task Force on Backgrounding of America, convened by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, and SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics.
Other achievements include Florida's 2003-2006 Businesswoman of the Year, appointment to the Mayor's and Governor's Advisory Commissions on Women, Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) Leadership Team Award, and the National Leadership Award as Honorary Co-Chairman of the Business Advisory Committee in Florida.
Sally graduated from the nationally recognized Institutes for Organization Management at the University of Delaware and received Certified Sports Administrator designation from The George Washington University.
Alicia McConnell, director of athlete services and programs for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC)
Alicia’s main responsibility is to cultivate partnerships with community organizations throughout the United States, to access additional resources, services and facilities for athletes and national governing bodies of sport. She oversees 10 Olympic Training sites serving national athletes and teams, as well as seven Community Olympic Development Programs that create sport opportunities for youth. Additional responsibilities include overseeing Athlete Services Centers at the three Olympic Training Centers providing programs, services and resources for America’s finest athletes.
Alicia has an extensive background as an elite athlete and coach, in sport program development and in program management. She was a professional athlete from 1986-1991 after competing at the collegiate level— winning the U.S. Nationals for seven consecutive years (1981-1988); earning a spot on the U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse Team in 1984; achieving the No. 14 world ranking in squash in 1988; and competing in six world championships and one Pan American Games (winning silver and bronze medals in 1995). In addition, Alicia held the National Women's Squash Doubles title for 1996-2006. She has worked for the YMCA and The City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation; as Head Squash Professional at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, N.Y., and as National Junior Squash Coach. She moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1998 to become the manager of athlete development for the USOC.
Alicia earned a bachelor’s of arts in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the T.E.S.S.A. (A Community Without Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, formerly the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence), El Pomar Youth Sports Park, on the board of directors for the National Council for Youth Sports, and on numerous advisory boards and committees for local and national nonprofit organizations such as USA Swimming’s Diversity Committee, United Way’s Community Funding Panel and the Colorado College’s Business and Community Alliance Advisory Board.
In 2007, Alicia was awarded “Woman of Distinction” by the Girls Scouts for her community service in Colorado Springs, and has the honor of being in three Halls of Fame: the U.S. Squash Racquets Association Hall of Fame (2000), the inaugural class of the University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame (1996), and the Intercollegiate Squash Hall of Fame (2001).
Scott McClure, manager of championship sports for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
As the administrator for Men's Soccer, Division II Men's Basketball, Wrestling, and Baseball, Scott is charged with creating and editing manuals, scripts, and contracts for championship event hosts, participating teams and support staffs. He also serves as the national office liaison to coaching bodies and constituent groups at national championships, conferences and conventions.
Scott came to the NAIA after 10 years as Siena Heights University's Sports Information Director and Conference Media Director for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. He also was head coach for the junior varsity men's basketball team from 1996-2000, assistant coach of the Siena Height's women's basketball team from 1993-1996 and assistant coach for the varsity men's basketball team.
Scott is involved in a number of professional organizations, including the American Baseball Coaches Association, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, National Association of Basketball Coaches, National Soccer Coaches Association of America, National Wrestling Coaches Association, USA Baseball, USA Wrestling and the National Association of Sports Commissions. Additionally, Scott has previously served on countless volunteer projects and is currently a KSHSAA Registered Basketball Official.
Scott earned a Bachelor of Art in English/Communications from Siena Heights University in 1986 and Master of Art in English Language and Literature from the University of Toledo in 1988.
James Parker, director of sports for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
As AAU’s director of sports, James manages AAU’s youth and adult sports programs—encompassing more than 35 sports programs, 250 national championships and more than 30,000 age-division events across the country.
James has more than 12 years of experience in the sports industry in many different capacities. Prior to his work with AAU, James was affiliated with organizations such as the International Basketball League, Orlando Magic of the NBA, the NBA Pre-Draft Camp, NCAA First Team Program, Arena Football League and Old Dominion University.
James attended Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Va., where he lettered in baseball and basketball. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration from Old Dominion University and a Masters in Business Administration from Webber International University. James loves to travel, listen to music, write poetry and is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Don Ruedlinger, president and founder of Youth Basketball of America (YBOA)
Don established YBOA in 1989 to create and develop a unique kind of basketball organization—one open to every child who loves the game and wants to play basketball, whether on a team, in a tournament or by participating in a basketball camp or clinic. Since it was established 19 years ago, YBOA has spread the spirit of basketball and sportsmanship, growing from 5,000 youngsters to more than 300,000 basketball players across the United States and in 23 countries throughout the world.
Don has enjoyed a 46-year career in sports management, business and the insurance industry, as well as 29 years as a high school football official in Missouri, Illinois and Florida. In addition to his YBOA duties, he is currently president and founder of the South Orlando Youth Sports Association (SOYSA), a local football and basketball organization that helps support local teams in need of sponsorships. As president and founder of Sports Insurance Specialists, he oversees a full-service insurance agency in Orlando that specializes in the youth sports insurance market.
Previously, Don served as the executive director of the Seminole Youth Sports Association in Seminole County, Fla.; football director and president of the board of directors for the Seminole YMCA; and executive secretary for the Five State Conference from 1977-80. Don received the 2009 Naismith Sportsmanship Award for his contributions to basketball, and in 1984 Don was named AAU Basketball Outstanding Meet Director. His many positions in sports and community leadership include: AAU Junior Olympics Boys Basketball Advisor; Metro St. Louis YMCA Board Member; Red Cross Swimming & Life Saving Program Counselor and Mid-Florida Pop Warner Youth Football Commissioner and Coach. Don is also a member of the Florida High School Coaches Association.
Jon Schmieder, chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC)
Jon Schmieder was elected chairman of the NASC board of trustees for 2009-2010 at the association’s annual Sports Event Symposium in April 2009. He also is president of the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC), a position he has held since June 2008. Reporting to the PRSC board of directors, Jon oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, including strategic planning, budget management, fundraising, marketing and communications. He is the primary liaison to sport’s national governing bodies and rights holders, national and local event organizers and PRSC partners. Jon also serves as the lead staff member for the annual Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
A 12-year veteran in the sports industry, Jon brings a wealth of experience in sports administration, having served as executive director of both the Metro Denver Sports Commission and the Tulsa Sports Commission. In addition to his sports commission posts, Jon has held leadership positions with the Senior Olympic Games in Tucson, Ariz., Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc. (Pop Warner Football) in Langhorne, Pa.; has been a featured panelist for the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Tourism (1999), NASC (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2009), NCAA YES Clinic (1999); was a columnist for TulsaSportsWeb.com (1999-2000); and served as the national vice chairman for AAU Golf (1997-1999).
Originally from Tucson, Jon has been active in the communities in which he has resided, having served as a coach for a variety of collegiate and youth sports teams, with alumni boards and activities with the University of Arizona, served on various junior golf committees and boards, and is a past board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Green Country, Tulsa, Okla. Jon has a bachelor’s degree in marketing, with coursework in athletic coaching, ethics, athletics administration and psychology from the University of Arizona. He also earned a master’s degree in higher education leadership administration from Northern Arizona University.