Overview

USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. We believe rugby is a sport for everyone. Whether you are a player or a fan, rugby is a game that is enjoyed by all. USA Rugby Trust is committed to making rugby fun and accessible at all levels of play across the country.

Our fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our USA National Teams.

We rely on people like you: our friends, fans and corporate donors. It is only through your passion, dedication, and involvement that we can achieve our goals. To learn more about how to become involved, please visit our Show Your Support and Get Involved pages.

About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the USA Rugby Trust is to support, promote, develop and grow the sport of rugby at all levels in the United States by providing financial support to USA Rugby.


History

USA Rugby Trust was launched in 2012. With a newly appointed Board of Directors and staff, the organization is fully committed to bringing the best sport in the world to mainstream America. The current leadership of the USA Rugby Trust is comprised of three dedicated staff members and a Board of Directors.


Approach to Governance

Briefly stated, we believe that the Board's role is to ensure that USA Rugby Trust establishes and maintains the trust of the community, is prudent and ethical in its activities, and is accountable for its actions. Our meetings focus on fundraising planning, policy-making, and assessing the progress of our mission.

Charitable Trust Bylaws

501(c)(3)

USA Rugby Trust 2015 Form 990


Official Philanthropic Partner

USA Rugby Trust is proud to be the official philanthropic partner of the Rugby Business Network, the world's biggest and most influential network for senior business people with a passion for rugby.


Our Corporate Partners

Special thanks to our corporate partners who have assisted us with events across the globe to grow and develop rugby domestically.



Leadership


Board of Directors

The board is charged with identifying, promoting, and supporting annual fundraising projects that focus on rugby outreach and development, nutrition, and safety.


Staff

Chris Reed
Chris Reed
Chief Development Officer

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Chris has been a fundraiser in higher education for more than 13 years and was the head rugby coach for both men's and women's programs at the same college for 15 years. He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Johnson State College in Vermont. Chris has also served as a rugby administrator at the local and regional levels in New England for nearly 20 years and helped to establish the state based youth rugby organization in New Hampshire. He is a current rugby referee and old boy player, and organizes a free summer touch rugby league annually. Chris and his family reside in the Lake Sunapee Region of New Hampshire, and when not on or near the rugby pitch, they enjoy camping, hiking, fly fishing and spending as much time enjoying the outdoors together as possible.

Chris can be reached at creed@usarugby.org or 603-731-2743.


Amanda Lubeck
Amanda Lubeck
Communications Manager

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Amanda received her bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and her master's degree in sports marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver. Prior to taking on this role, Amanda worked as an editor and publications manager. Outside of work and school enjoys attending sporting events and concerts in the Denver area, hiking, snowboarding and spending time with her friends and family, including her dog, Simba.

Amanda can be reached at alubeck@usarugby.org or 720-508-8037.


Board of Directors

May Harris
May Harris
President

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Unlike most of my colleagues, I have not actually played the sport of rugby in any form other than "extreme rookie-rugby." My dedication to the game, and my passion to help grow the sport, stems from watching my children play the game, seeing the impact the sport has had in their development, and the many experiences we have all had together at countless tournaments, all-star games, and in cheering for the national teams.

I believe that rugby is unique, offering a welcoming, inclusive culture to all players regardless of the typical barriers to playing a team sport. With rugby, it doesn't seem to matter if you fit the traditional mold of an "athlete." In fact, many times it seems like rugby appeals most to the "non-athlete," those with bodies of all shapes and sizes who typically feel left out of sports and yet flourish playing rugby.

I have personally observed amazing transformations among the high school girls on my daughter's team, and I want this sport to grow so that this same opportunity for transformation is available to all women. On the rugby pitch, women have found their voice, their leadership potential, and a newly formed self-confidence. This is something that I want to support, by giving my time and financial resources to the cause.

For all of these reasons and more, I truly love the sport of rugby and will continue to work to grow the game in the United States.

--

May Harris has over 15 years of executive, development and leadership experience within the nonprofit sector and within socially innovative businesses. She graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2000, and earned a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management of 2010. She is a member of the San Diego Bar Association, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the California Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She represents organizations in the nonprofit sector and spends many hours volunteering her services and serving those in need.


Chris Geisert
Chris Geisert
Vice President

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Before attending Northeast Missouri State University, (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri, I had never seen rugby, nor did I have any idea how the game was played. I had played football and wrestled in high school and was looking for a sport/activity to fill that void. I saw a flyer on campus for rugby and went to check it out. What I found was a sport that was physical, demanded agility, speed, strength and toughness and it all came wrapped in a package of camaraderie, fun and inclusiveness.

I played for 5 years while I attended Truman State University. At first we were a rag-tag group just learning the game, but eventually developed in to a very good collegiate side under the tireless dedication of our coach Bill Sexton. I witnessed Bill's dedication to us and to the game, and it made an impact. His genuine passion for the game has rubbed off on hundreds of players that have passed through Truman. In our alumni we have players who have gone on to play at a national level, create local programs, coach high school teams and travel the world sharing their love of the game. I could go on about Bill and what he has done, but what he and others like him do for the game inspire me to be involved with the USA Rugby Trust and share my love of the game with others.

During my years at Truman, we had the opportunity to travel throughout the Midwest and also took a 7's side to Santiago Chile to play in a tournament. Getting to play on an international stage (even though not at an international level ☺) allowed me to see the global love of the game. I have memories of traveling with our team that still make me chuckle today; memories of games in bitter weather that remind me I could always be colder; and friendships that would make me hop on a plane at a moment's notice. These memories fuel my love of the game.

After graduating from Truman State, I played for 2 years on the Ramblers club side in St. Louis and still try to make it back for the annual Truman alumni game.

I have stayed active over the years supporting the Truman college program as I felt it was important to give back to a club that had given so much to me. I still remember how tough it was to pay for trips, equipment and all the things it takes to build a successful team. That love of the game and camaraderie has grown into my support for USA Rugby; giving back to a sport that has given me lifelong friends, business relationships as well as a hell of a lot of fun. It is a sport that I truly believe America can (and is) falling in love with. It is a fast paced, hard hitting and passionate game that can be played by athletes young and old.

Chris Geisert has over 20 years of marketing experience at various levels and from various perspectives. His experience includes client side work with Six Flags Theme parks and XIKAR as well as agency experience with Build-a-Bear Workshop and Sonic. In 1997 Geisert started the brand promotions and sponsorships group at AOL where he managed promotions and sponsorships around CPG and media cross-promotions. He is currently the Vice President of Marketing for XIKAR.

Chris lives in Liberty, MO, and is married with two sons.


Nick Bell
Nick Bell
Secretary

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Having grown up being a multi-sport athlete, I was always interested in new and challenging activities. I was fortunate to have grown up during the '80s in one of the few areas that had youth rugby. I stumbled upon my first rugby game at a regional park a few miles from home. It was different, a white pill and bright-hooped jerseys and mud. With my primary sports being basketball and soccer, I found it exciting to watch the nonstop action and the continued change of pace. I loved it, and asked my classmate to introduce me to the coach. The rest is history.

I had the opportunity to start my career as a young player for West End HS Rugby, progressing through University and many rep sides across the country. My home club was NOVA, and there were many great years and a National 7s title. After making my way out West, I had the opportunity to play with some of the best clubs in Northern California, logging Super league time with Golden Gate and Old Blues and making a run for 7s Nationals on several occasions with Olympic, Golden Gate and San Mateo. Some my fondest memories were the call-ups to represent my country as a USA Eagle in the sport of 7s, which has taken me around the world.

Rugby is a unique combination of many skill sets. It's a fluid, thinking man's game that requires athleticism, intelligence, and most importantly, heart. The most redeeming quality for me was the feeling you have after a good-fought match and then walking off the pitch and shaking the hands of those you competed against. It's an experience that changes your life. I've traveled around the world as a USA 7s Eagle, and been to places I may never have been otherwise. That has had profound effect on me and I feel obliged to give back so that others may have that same experience.

--

Nick Bell is a seasoned technology strategist with over 20 years of experience in consulting, sales and services. With over a decade-long career at Microsoft, Nick has worked with companies spanning many industries such as Gap, Levis, Safeway, Applied Materials, and Autodesk. In addition to his enterprise experience, Nick has worked with start-up companies by providing technical and strategic guidance and facilitating access to seed capital.


Ed Russell
Ed Russell
Treasurer

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I started playing rugby in 1983 for the St. Louis Ramblers. In addition to playing for the Ramblers I've had the pleasure of playing Old Boys rugby for a number of teams including the St. Louis Bombers, Kansas City Blues, Boulder Rugby Club and the Huntington Beach Rugby Club. My best memories of the game always come back to the camaraderie of the rugby community. I hope my role with the USA Rugby Trust Board of Directors can help bring that community closer to our USA National Teams as we strive to improve our country’s national programs.

I work for Tortoise Capital Advisors and oversee distribution and sales for the firm. Tortoise manages more than $15 billion in the energy sector through mutual funds, closed end funds and managed accounts. Previously I was a managing director for Stifel Nicolaus & Company where I headed the energy and power investment banking team. I currently serve as a director for Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) and a director for Arc Logistics GP LLC the general partner of Arc Logistics Partners LP, a publicly traded MLP (NYSE: ARCX).


Dean Barrett
Dean Barrett
Director

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Dean M. Barrett is a former Senior Vice President and Global Marketing Officer for McDonald's Corporation. Dean retired in 2015 following a 41-year executive business career. In his role at McDonald's Corporation, Barrett was responsible for generating corporate strategies and marketing initiatives to foster growth across the McDonald's system. He also served as a member of the global senior leadership team and traveled extensively throughout the world.

Over the years he also partnered, managed, and marketed McDonald's relationships with the IOC, USOC, FIFA, Euro Cup, the NBA, NFL, and NHL. 

Dean's decades-long accomplishments at McDonald's are well represented by the many accolades he and his marketing team received including Global Effie Awards for advertising and promotional efficiency and effectiveness and having McDonald's named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age Magazine.

Barrett holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science from Northern Illinois University and currently serves on the Northwestern Medical Foundation Board and on the Advisory Board to the School of Business at Grand Canyon University.


Eugene Gaughan
Eugene Gaughan
Director

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Unlike many USA Rugby supporters, I never played the game. Rather, I became interested in rugby quite by accident. While working in Manhattan as an accountant in the early 1970s, I went to see the Fiji National Team, returning home from a tour of Europe, who had interrupted their journey to play a team of New York All-Stars. Shortly thereafter, I was sent by my employer for a tour of duty abroad and he began to follow rugby in Ireland and elsewhere across Europe.

Over time, I also began to support the USA Eagles. The first time I ever saw them play was against New Zealand in Gloucester, England during the 1991 Rugby World Cup. The next two times were in Dublin against Ireland, in 1994 and during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. My most memorable match, also against Ireland, was when I attended the 2011 Rugby World Cup match in New Plymouth, N.Z. on the day of the tenth anniversary of 9-11. Along with the entire USA team, I attended a memorial service in the morning; then stood along with both teams for a somber moment of silence before the game.

Another way I consider myself connected to rugby is as an alumnus of Xavier High School in Manhattan, which has won the high school national championship three times, the last in 2010.

I am happy to be a contributor to USA Rugby in order to see rugby grow not only in this country, but also for the USA on the world stage.

--

Gene holds degrees from Holy Cross, Rutgers and Seton Hall. He is a lawyer and a CPA and retired as a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has served as a trustee of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and is the Chairman of the Audit Advisory Committee of the Town of Southampton, New York.


Dick Greene
ER "Dick" Greene, PhD
Director

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I was first introduced to rugby while attending Rice University in 1970. However, it wasn't until graduate school that I really began to learn and love the game. My career has taken me all over the world, and as a result, I have played for teams in Brazil, New Zealand and England. I played and coached with the Albuquerque Aardvarks, and I'm in their Hall of Fame. I am founder of the New Mexico Highlands University Vatos, and I've coached them for over two decades. I still hook for the Vatos, Rice Alumni, and the well-known Cardinal Old Boys.

Having played for the New Zealand Barbarians, I believe strongly that the rugby core values of lifelong mental and physical fitness and solid citizenship and sportsmanship make it a positive alternative to the less universal sports of football, baseball and basketball. Thus, I am happy to serve on the USART board.

--

Dick Greene is a Professor of Engineering and Biology at New Mexico Highlands University as well as a Research Professor of Engineering and Medicine at the University of New Mexico. He has an undergraduate and master's degree from Rice University and received his PhD from Colorado State University. Dick has received numerous professional appointments, honors, and awards. He has a long-standing relationship with the American Heart Association and is an advocate for adolescent fitness and nutrition through physical activity.


Shinji Ochiai
Shinji Ochiai
Director

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Shinji was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. When he was six years old, he moved to a house near Yokota Air Base, which is controlled by the US military, and experienced some aspects of the American life. He then realized that he wanted to go to the USA when he grew up. He spent some time in the suburbs of Tokyo and tried to join sports teams but realized that he didn’t like sports because he lacked stamina and agility that were necessary.

When he was a high school student, he began to play rugby. The first time he played, he realized that he was crazy about rugby. He worked diligently and tried to catch up to the levels of his teammates. Finally, when he was a junior, he became the vice-captain of the team. His team became one of the best in the public league and made it to the semi-finals at the tournament in Tokyo. Throughout his 25 years of rugby career, he visited foreign countries such as Fiji, New Zealand, and other countries for training and competition. He also established and owned a rugby club team in Japan.

Currently, he runs a company that makes children’s attractions and manages the exhibitions located all over the world. He innovates educational programs with technology. He has a background as an entrepreneur, and his first venture was advertising events. He chose this type of business because the Japanese economy was developing rapidly in the world at that time, so it was easier to get a budget from sponsors. He implemented new businesses yearly. He started a new bank and became a public company president, creating many new businesses. Although he confronted a lot of difficult challenges, he never gave up because he had a dream: he wanted to change the world for the young, to give them the opportunity to try new ventures even if they failed. He learned the motto “Don’t stop believing!” from one of the best rugby coaches he ever met in his life.

He has a wife and five children: three boys and two girls. He has two master's degrees (MBA and MA in Economics) from the University of New Mexico. His growing businesses, his marriage, and the births of his five children limited him from dedicating time to rugby, but he has never forgotten the importance of the sport he learned over the years. He believes that rugby can change the future of sports.


Chuck Sherwood
Chuck Sherwood
Director

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Chuck Sherwood played rugby for eleven years, primarily with Atlanta Old White. He helped form the Atlanta Old White board of directors and was their first chairman. He is also one of five trustees of Atlanta Rugby Trust, Inc., a non-profit trust that recently opened a five-acre, rugby-exclusive facility in Atlanta.

He is the founder and president of Sherwood Marketing Co. The firm designs, develops and imports consumer goods for corporate clients.

In addition, he is married with one married son (rugby player) and a granddaughter.


Skip Yeager
Director

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Skip is the Managing Director at Marvin J Perry Hospitality, which serves as a "one-stop-shop" for the finest wood furniture, upholstery, and accessories in the Government, Hospitality, and Commercials marketplaces. He received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University and master's degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Skip has played and coached rugby for over 30 years at all levels, youth, college, graduate school, D1Men's Club, Select and Old Boys clubs.


Steve Yeager
Director

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Steve Yeager has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a Master's Degree in Real Estate from Georgia State University. His career in real estate began at the property management level and has risen to include highly sophisticated asset management and transactional execution assignments. Yeager has completed over 130 assignments in more than 70 cities valuing in excess of $4 billion. He currently works at Jamestown Properties, an Atlanta based German institutional real estate investment firm overseeing assets on the west coast of the United States. He is married with three children.

Yeager began playing rugby at 18 in 1980 for the University of Georgia and played actively until 2005 when he started for Atlanta Old White in the Division II National Championship finals. Yeager has played for the UGARFC, William & Mary RFC Washington DC RFC, and Western Suburbs (Canberra, AU) during his career, but primarily Atlanta Old White RFC is his home club. Although a career Flanker, there is not one position on the field that he has not numbered in. He has represented his local GRU and southern territorial teams at various times and the former ERU. Yeager is intimate with local club level operations having served as a team captain, coach, club president, club chairman and currently sits on the board of the Atlanta Rugby Trust - a local Atlanta non-profit trust with a mission to expand the rugby brand in Atlanta - primarily in youth rugby. The ARF recently dedicated a full regulation pitch. He also served as Disciplinary Chair for the GRU. At times, Yeager has played in England, Wales, Scotland, Fiji, Bahamas, Australia, and Canada. Currently, besides an occasional game with Old White, Yeager plays with the Virginia Cardinals over 35's and 45's at premier tournaments around the country, including Aspen and Saranac Lake. With the Cardinals, Yeager plays with many of the top tier U.S. and international players he played with during his career including many former U.S. Eagles.


Dan Payne
USA Rugby CEO

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Dan Payne attended college at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his undergraduate degree in Finance as well as an MBA. He was an All-American wrestler. He did not play rugby in his youth, but discovered rugby in 2001 while living in New York and went on to play for Old Blue. Payne then moved to San Diego where he played for the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) as a number eight. He made his international debut against Scotland in the 2007 Churchill Cup. He also played in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Payne coached for several years at San Diego State University before becoming head coach at Life University in 2009, which has been one of the strongest teams in college rugby since Life's undergraduate rugby program was created in 2009. Payne was promoted in 2014 to Athletics Director while still retaining his role as Director of Rugby. He also served as an assistant coach for the Eagles under Eddie O'Sullivan during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Payne was hired as Chief Executive Officer for USA Rugby with his tenure beginning August 1, 2016.

  • Overview

    Overview

    USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. We believe rugby is a sport for everyone. Whether you are a player or a fan, rugby is a game that is enjoyed by all. USA Rugby Trust is committed to making rugby fun and accessible at all levels of play across the country.

    Our fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our USA National Teams.

    We rely on people like you: our friends, fans and corporate donors. It is only through your passion, dedication, and involvement that we can achieve our goals. To learn more about how to become involved, please visit our Show Your Support and Get Involved pages.

  • About Us

    About Us

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the USA Rugby Trust is to support, promote, develop and grow the sport of rugby at all levels in the United States by providing financial support to USA Rugby.


    History

    USA Rugby Trust was launched in 2012. With a newly appointed Board of Directors and staff, the organization is fully committed to bringing the best sport in the world to mainstream America. The current leadership of the USA Rugby Trust is comprised of three dedicated staff members and a Board of Directors.


    Approach to Governance

    Briefly stated, we believe that the Board's role is to ensure that USA Rugby Trust establishes and maintains the trust of the community, is prudent and ethical in its activities, and is accountable for its actions. Our meetings focus on fundraising planning, policy-making, and assessing the progress of our mission.

    Charitable Trust Bylaws

    501(c)(3)

    USA Rugby Trust 2015 Form 990


    Official Philanthropic Partner

    USA Rugby Trust is proud to be the official philanthropic partner of the Rugby Business Network, the world's biggest and most influential network for senior business people with a passion for rugby.


    Our Corporate Partners

    Special thanks to our corporate partners who have assisted us with events across the globe to grow and develop rugby domestically.



  • Leadership

    Leadership


    Board of Directors

    The board is charged with identifying, promoting, and supporting annual fundraising projects that focus on rugby outreach and development, nutrition, and safety.


    Staff

    Chris Reed
    Chris Reed
    Chief Development Officer

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    Chris has been a fundraiser in higher education for more than 13 years and was the head rugby coach for both men's and women's programs at the same college for 15 years. He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Johnson State College in Vermont. Chris has also served as a rugby administrator at the local and regional levels in New England for nearly 20 years and helped to establish the state based youth rugby organization in New Hampshire. He is a current rugby referee and old boy player, and organizes a free summer touch rugby league annually. Chris and his family reside in the Lake Sunapee Region of New Hampshire, and when not on or near the rugby pitch, they enjoy camping, hiking, fly fishing and spending as much time enjoying the outdoors together as possible.

    Chris can be reached at creed@usarugby.org or 603-731-2743.


    Amanda Lubeck
    Amanda Lubeck
    Communications Manager

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    Amanda received her bachelor's degree from University of Colorado at Boulder and her master's degree in sports marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver. Prior to taking on this role, Amanda worked as an editor and publications manager. Outside of work and school enjoys attending sporting events and concerts in the Denver area, hiking, snowboarding and spending time with her friends and family, including her dog, Simba.

    Amanda can be reached at alubeck@usarugby.org or 720-508-8037.


    Board of Directors

    May Harris
    May Harris
    President

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    Unlike most of my colleagues, I have not actually played the sport of rugby in any form other than "extreme rookie-rugby." My dedication to the game, and my passion to help grow the sport, stems from watching my children play the game, seeing the impact the sport has had in their development, and the many experiences we have all had together at countless tournaments, all-star games, and in cheering for the national teams.

    I believe that rugby is unique, offering a welcoming, inclusive culture to all players regardless of the typical barriers to playing a team sport. With rugby, it doesn't seem to matter if you fit the traditional mold of an "athlete." In fact, many times it seems like rugby appeals most to the "non-athlete," those with bodies of all shapes and sizes who typically feel left out of sports and yet flourish playing rugby.

    I have personally observed amazing transformations among the high school girls on my daughter's team, and I want this sport to grow so that this same opportunity for transformation is available to all women. On the rugby pitch, women have found their voice, their leadership potential, and a newly formed self-confidence. This is something that I want to support, by giving my time and financial resources to the cause.

    For all of these reasons and more, I truly love the sport of rugby and will continue to work to grow the game in the United States.

    --

    May Harris has over 15 years of executive, development and leadership experience within the nonprofit sector and within socially innovative businesses. She graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2000, and earned a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management of 2010. She is a member of the San Diego Bar Association, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the California Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She represents organizations in the nonprofit sector and spends many hours volunteering her services and serving those in need.


    Chris Geisert
    Chris Geisert
    Vice President

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    Before attending Northeast Missouri State University, (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri, I had never seen rugby, nor did I have any idea how the game was played. I had played football and wrestled in high school and was looking for a sport/activity to fill that void. I saw a flyer on campus for rugby and went to check it out. What I found was a sport that was physical, demanded agility, speed, strength and toughness and it all came wrapped in a package of camaraderie, fun and inclusiveness.

    I played for 5 years while I attended Truman State University. At first we were a rag-tag group just learning the game, but eventually developed in to a very good collegiate side under the tireless dedication of our coach Bill Sexton. I witnessed Bill's dedication to us and to the game, and it made an impact. His genuine passion for the game has rubbed off on hundreds of players that have passed through Truman. In our alumni we have players who have gone on to play at a national level, create local programs, coach high school teams and travel the world sharing their love of the game. I could go on about Bill and what he has done, but what he and others like him do for the game inspire me to be involved with the USA Rugby Trust and share my love of the game with others.

    During my years at Truman, we had the opportunity to travel throughout the Midwest and also took a 7's side to Santiago Chile to play in a tournament. Getting to play on an international stage (even though not at an international level ☺) allowed me to see the global love of the game. I have memories of traveling with our team that still make me chuckle today; memories of games in bitter weather that remind me I could always be colder; and friendships that would make me hop on a plane at a moment's notice. These memories fuel my love of the game.

    After graduating from Truman State, I played for 2 years on the Ramblers club side in St. Louis and still try to make it back for the annual Truman alumni game.

    I have stayed active over the years supporting the Truman college program as I felt it was important to give back to a club that had given so much to me. I still remember how tough it was to pay for trips, equipment and all the things it takes to build a successful team. That love of the game and camaraderie has grown into my support for USA Rugby; giving back to a sport that has given me lifelong friends, business relationships as well as a hell of a lot of fun. It is a sport that I truly believe America can (and is) falling in love with. It is a fast paced, hard hitting and passionate game that can be played by athletes young and old.

    Chris Geisert has over 20 years of marketing experience at various levels and from various perspectives. His experience includes client side work with Six Flags Theme parks and XIKAR as well as agency experience with Build-a-Bear Workshop and Sonic. In 1997 Geisert started the brand promotions and sponsorships group at AOL where he managed promotions and sponsorships around CPG and media cross-promotions. He is currently the Vice President of Marketing for XIKAR.

    Chris lives in Liberty, MO, and is married with two sons.


    Nick Bell
    Nick Bell
    Secretary

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    Having grown up being a multi-sport athlete, I was always interested in new and challenging activities. I was fortunate to have grown up during the '80s in one of the few areas that had youth rugby. I stumbled upon my first rugby game at a regional park a few miles from home. It was different, a white pill and bright-hooped jerseys and mud. With my primary sports being basketball and soccer, I found it exciting to watch the nonstop action and the continued change of pace. I loved it, and asked my classmate to introduce me to the coach. The rest is history.

    I had the opportunity to start my career as a young player for West End HS Rugby, progressing through University and many rep sides across the country. My home club was NOVA, and there were many great years and a National 7s title. After making my way out West, I had the opportunity to play with some of the best clubs in Northern California, logging Super league time with Golden Gate and Old Blues and making a run for 7s Nationals on several occasions with Olympic, Golden Gate and San Mateo. Some my fondest memories were the call-ups to represent my country as a USA Eagle in the sport of 7s, which has taken me around the world.

    Rugby is a unique combination of many skill sets. It's a fluid, thinking man's game that requires athleticism, intelligence, and most importantly, heart. The most redeeming quality for me was the feeling you have after a good-fought match and then walking off the pitch and shaking the hands of those you competed against. It's an experience that changes your life. I've traveled around the world as a USA 7s Eagle, and been to places I may never have been otherwise. That has had profound effect on me and I feel obliged to give back so that others may have that same experience.

    --

    Nick Bell is a seasoned technology strategist with over 20 years of experience in consulting, sales and services. With over a decade-long career at Microsoft, Nick has worked with companies spanning many industries such as Gap, Levis, Safeway, Applied Materials, and Autodesk. In addition to his enterprise experience, Nick has worked with start-up companies by providing technical and strategic guidance and facilitating access to seed capital.


    Ed Russell
    Ed Russell
    Treasurer

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    I started playing rugby in 1983 for the St. Louis Ramblers. In addition to playing for the Ramblers I've had the pleasure of playing Old Boys rugby for a number of teams including the St. Louis Bombers, Kansas City Blues, Boulder Rugby Club and the Huntington Beach Rugby Club. My best memories of the game always come back to the camaraderie of the rugby community. I hope my role with the USA Rugby Trust Board of Directors can help bring that community closer to our USA National Teams as we strive to improve our country’s national programs.

    I work for Tortoise Capital Advisors and oversee distribution and sales for the firm. Tortoise manages more than $15 billion in the energy sector through mutual funds, closed end funds and managed accounts. Previously I was a managing director for Stifel Nicolaus & Company where I headed the energy and power investment banking team. I currently serve as a director for Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS) and a director for Arc Logistics GP LLC the general partner of Arc Logistics Partners LP, a publicly traded MLP (NYSE: ARCX).


    Dean Barrett
    Dean Barrett
    Director

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    Dean M. Barrett is a former Senior Vice President and Global Marketing Officer for McDonald's Corporation. Dean retired in 2015 following a 41-year executive business career. In his role at McDonald's Corporation, Barrett was responsible for generating corporate strategies and marketing initiatives to foster growth across the McDonald's system. He also served as a member of the global senior leadership team and traveled extensively throughout the world.

    Over the years he also partnered, managed, and marketed McDonald's relationships with the IOC, USOC, FIFA, Euro Cup, the NBA, NFL, and NHL. 

    Dean's decades-long accomplishments at McDonald's are well represented by the many accolades he and his marketing team received including Global Effie Awards for advertising and promotional efficiency and effectiveness and having McDonald's named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age Magazine.

    Barrett holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science from Northern Illinois University and currently serves on the Northwestern Medical Foundation Board and on the Advisory Board to the School of Business at Grand Canyon University.


    Eugene Gaughan
    Eugene Gaughan
    Director

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    Unlike many USA Rugby supporters, I never played the game. Rather, I became interested in rugby quite by accident. While working in Manhattan as an accountant in the early 1970s, I went to see the Fiji National Team, returning home from a tour of Europe, who had interrupted their journey to play a team of New York All-Stars. Shortly thereafter, I was sent by my employer for a tour of duty abroad and he began to follow rugby in Ireland and elsewhere across Europe.

    Over time, I also began to support the USA Eagles. The first time I ever saw them play was against New Zealand in Gloucester, England during the 1991 Rugby World Cup. The next two times were in Dublin against Ireland, in 1994 and during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. My most memorable match, also against Ireland, was when I attended the 2011 Rugby World Cup match in New Plymouth, N.Z. on the day of the tenth anniversary of 9-11. Along with the entire USA team, I attended a memorial service in the morning; then stood along with both teams for a somber moment of silence before the game.

    Another way I consider myself connected to rugby is as an alumnus of Xavier High School in Manhattan, which has won the high school national championship three times, the last in 2010.

    I am happy to be a contributor to USA Rugby in order to see rugby grow not only in this country, but also for the USA on the world stage.

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    Gene holds degrees from Holy Cross, Rutgers and Seton Hall. He is a lawyer and a CPA and retired as a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has served as a trustee of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and is the Chairman of the Audit Advisory Committee of the Town of Southampton, New York.


    Dick Greene
    ER "Dick" Greene, PhD
    Director

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    I was first introduced to rugby while attending Rice University in 1970. However, it wasn't until graduate school that I really began to learn and love the game. My career has taken me all over the world, and as a result, I have played for teams in Brazil, New Zealand and England. I played and coached with the Albuquerque Aardvarks, and I'm in their Hall of Fame. I am founder of the New Mexico Highlands University Vatos, and I've coached them for over two decades. I still hook for the Vatos, Rice Alumni, and the well-known Cardinal Old Boys.

    Having played for the New Zealand Barbarians, I believe strongly that the rugby core values of lifelong mental and physical fitness and solid citizenship and sportsmanship make it a positive alternative to the less universal sports of football, baseball and basketball. Thus, I am happy to serve on the USART board.

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    Dick Greene is a Professor of Engineering and Biology at New Mexico Highlands University as well as a Research Professor of Engineering and Medicine at the University of New Mexico. He has an undergraduate and master's degree from Rice University and received his PhD from Colorado State University. Dick has received numerous professional appointments, honors, and awards. He has a long-standing relationship with the American Heart Association and is an advocate for adolescent fitness and nutrition through physical activity.


    Shinji Ochiai
    Shinji Ochiai
    Director

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    Shinji was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. When he was six years old, he moved to a house near Yokota Air Base, which is controlled by the US military, and experienced some aspects of the American life. He then realized that he wanted to go to the USA when he grew up. He spent some time in the suburbs of Tokyo and tried to join sports teams but realized that he didn’t like sports because he lacked stamina and agility that were necessary.

    When he was a high school student, he began to play rugby. The first time he played, he realized that he was crazy about rugby. He worked diligently and tried to catch up to the levels of his teammates. Finally, when he was a junior, he became the vice-captain of the team. His team became one of the best in the public league and made it to the semi-finals at the tournament in Tokyo. Throughout his 25 years of rugby career, he visited foreign countries such as Fiji, New Zealand, and other countries for training and competition. He also established and owned a rugby club team in Japan.

    Currently, he runs a company that makes children’s attractions and manages the exhibitions located all over the world. He innovates educational programs with technology. He has a background as an entrepreneur, and his first venture was advertising events. He chose this type of business because the Japanese economy was developing rapidly in the world at that time, so it was easier to get a budget from sponsors. He implemented new businesses yearly. He started a new bank and became a public company president, creating many new businesses. Although he confronted a lot of difficult challenges, he never gave up because he had a dream: he wanted to change the world for the young, to give them the opportunity to try new ventures even if they failed. He learned the motto “Don’t stop believing!” from one of the best rugby coaches he ever met in his life.

    He has a wife and five children: three boys and two girls. He has two master's degrees (MBA and MA in Economics) from the University of New Mexico. His growing businesses, his marriage, and the births of his five children limited him from dedicating time to rugby, but he has never forgotten the importance of the sport he learned over the years. He believes that rugby can change the future of sports.


    Chuck Sherwood
    Chuck Sherwood
    Director

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    Chuck Sherwood played rugby for eleven years, primarily with Atlanta Old White. He helped form the Atlanta Old White board of directors and was their first chairman. He is also one of five trustees of Atlanta Rugby Trust, Inc., a non-profit trust that recently opened a five-acre, rugby-exclusive facility in Atlanta.

    He is the founder and president of Sherwood Marketing Co. The firm designs, develops and imports consumer goods for corporate clients.

    In addition, he is married with one married son (rugby player) and a granddaughter.


    Skip Yeager
    Director

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    Skip is the Managing Director at Marvin J Perry Hospitality, which serves as a "one-stop-shop" for the finest wood furniture, upholstery, and accessories in the Government, Hospitality, and Commercials marketplaces. He received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University and master's degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

    Skip has played and coached rugby for over 30 years at all levels, youth, college, graduate school, D1Men's Club, Select and Old Boys clubs.


    Steve Yeager
    Director

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    Steve Yeager has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a Master's Degree in Real Estate from Georgia State University. His career in real estate began at the property management level and has risen to include highly sophisticated asset management and transactional execution assignments. Yeager has completed over 130 assignments in more than 70 cities valuing in excess of $4 billion. He currently works at Jamestown Properties, an Atlanta based German institutional real estate investment firm overseeing assets on the west coast of the United States. He is married with three children.

    Yeager began playing rugby at 18 in 1980 for the University of Georgia and played actively until 2005 when he started for Atlanta Old White in the Division II National Championship finals. Yeager has played for the UGARFC, William & Mary RFC Washington DC RFC, and Western Suburbs (Canberra, AU) during his career, but primarily Atlanta Old White RFC is his home club. Although a career Flanker, there is not one position on the field that he has not numbered in. He has represented his local GRU and southern territorial teams at various times and the former ERU. Yeager is intimate with local club level operations having served as a team captain, coach, club president, club chairman and currently sits on the board of the Atlanta Rugby Trust - a local Atlanta non-profit trust with a mission to expand the rugby brand in Atlanta - primarily in youth rugby. The ARF recently dedicated a full regulation pitch. He also served as Disciplinary Chair for the GRU. At times, Yeager has played in England, Wales, Scotland, Fiji, Bahamas, Australia, and Canada. Currently, besides an occasional game with Old White, Yeager plays with the Virginia Cardinals over 35's and 45's at premier tournaments around the country, including Aspen and Saranac Lake. With the Cardinals, Yeager plays with many of the top tier U.S. and international players he played with during his career including many former U.S. Eagles.


    Dan Payne
    USA Rugby CEO

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    Dan Payne attended college at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his undergraduate degree in Finance as well as an MBA. He was an All-American wrestler. He did not play rugby in his youth, but discovered rugby in 2001 while living in New York and went on to play for Old Blue. Payne then moved to San Diego where he played for the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) as a number eight. He made his international debut against Scotland in the 2007 Churchill Cup. He also played in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

    Payne coached for several years at San Diego State University before becoming head coach at Life University in 2009, which has been one of the strongest teams in college rugby since Life's undergraduate rugby program was created in 2009. Payne was promoted in 2014 to Athletics Director while still retaining his role as Director of Rugby. He also served as an assistant coach for the Eagles under Eddie O'Sullivan during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

    Payne was hired as Chief Executive Officer for USA Rugby with his tenure beginning August 1, 2016.