The current USA Rugby Foundation Board of Directors includes a president and up to 21 independent directors.
The board is charged with identifying, promoting, and supporting annual fundraising projects that focus on rugby outreach and development, nutrition, and safety.
PresidentBack to top
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 Foundation – a local Atlanta non-profit foundation 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 SaranacLake. 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.
Vice PresidentBack to top
Michael D. Puopolo was born 12/28/57 into a Navy family in Coronado, California. Oldest of three children, the family moved frequently living in California, Florida, Nebraska, and Virginia. Mike received his undergraduate degree in 1979 from the University of Virginia. Mike is the founder of TrueSports, Inc. (www.trueplaysports.com); a company that develops sports products used in the construction of tennis and basketball courts.
Mike and his wife, Bethany, reside in Charlottesville, North Carolina. He has two grown children that both live nearby.
Mike began playing for the Virginia Rugby Football Club in the fall of 1975. Rugby time became more available in 2000 and he started playing in local "old boy" matches and tournaments. He is currently an active member of the Cardinals Rugby Club. Mike presently serves on the following boards: Virginia Rugby Football Club, in Charlottesville; Rugby Virginia, which is the SBRO for high school competition in Virginia; Cardinals Rugby Club. He is also the Commissioner of the Cardinals Collegiate Rugby Conference (formed 2012) which serves the D2 collegiate rugby clubs in Virginia.
SecretaryBack to top
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 Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation 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.
TreasurerBack to top
Chris Prentice is the CEO of Kibble & Prentice and the regional CEO of USI Northwest. USI is the largest privately held insurance broker in the US
Chris has over twenty years of experience in the financial services arena. His primary areas of focus have been insurance brokerage, employee benefit consulting, investment management and estate planning. Chris is a co-founder of Serevi Rugby, Callison Pacific Pine Chemicals and is a principal of Wolf Creek Partners, a local private equity firm. In addition, Chris sits on the Board of Directors of Logic 20/20 and T3.
Chris has been an early stage private equity investor for over 20 years. His primary focus has been consumer products and entertainment investments. These range from companies such as Starbucks Coffee, Sonicare, Clarisonic, Northland Cable Television, Wizard of the Coast, SceneIt?, Hidden City Games, Emotion, Everlast Sportswear, EazyGrill, SunDog luggage, T3 licensing, Arena.net and Acosta.
He attended Hamilton College and Oxford University. He is a member of many professional and civic associations at the international, national, and local levels. He is also a member of the Seattle Tennis Club and Washington Athletic Club.
In addition to the USA Rugby Foundation board Chris has sat on the board of directors for Rainier Scholars, PONCHO, Museum of History and Industry and Seattle Works. Chris is also a member of the Young President’s Organization.
DirectorBack to top
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. Nick has a passion for innovation in technology as well as passion for rugby having played many years and representing his country in international play.
DirectorBack to top
Pat Boggs is the Regional Vice-President of Pepsi Beverages Company, a division of PepsiCo. Pepsi Beverages businesses distributes—Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Lipton Tea, Starbucks Frappuccino, SOBE, Aquafina, and Muscle Milk are some of the beverages that are enjoyed in North America…a portfolio of beverages that are "fun for you" and also "good for you".
In February 2012, he assumed his current role and oversees all of Pepsi Beverages portfolio and operations for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Boggs is responsible for driving innovation and building brands while driving costs out of the system. He is currently responsible for over 5,000 employees in the Region as well as over $1.5 billion in revenue for 2012.
In 1982, Boggs joined PepsiCo and has held a variety of leadership positions in his 30+ year career to include; Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and Finance which has prepared him for various GM roles across the United States.
Boggs has a BBA (Marketing) from the University of Georgia where he played for the UGA Rugby Football Club. He currently plays as schedule permits for the UGA alumni side (formerly the Blind Pigs). He is married with three children and resides in the Baltimore, Maryland area.
DirectorBack to top
Mark Bryant has been practicing law for over twenty years. During that time he’s had the opportunity and great pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life, each of whom has broadened his experience, added value to his practice, and helped lead him to where he is today. He is thankful to each of his clients and friends for the role they have played in this journey.
The Law Office of Mark Bryant is focused on personal injury and criminal defense. Mark has worked hard to become one of Denver’s leading personal injury and criminal defense attorneys. He takes every case with the same passion and commitment he did when he first began practicing law. He’s helped hundreds of individuals navigate the complex legal system to minimize and/or mitigate criminal charges or receive the compensation they need for medical and other essential expenses after an injury.
Mark is a registered NBA agent and is well known for representing our own Chris Andersen, #11 of the Denver Nuggets, along with several other players. As an agent and advisor, he uses his legal expertise and personal passion to advise and represent the needs and interests of professional athletes.
Over the course of his successful career, Mark has had the privilege of developing relationships with entrepreneurs and professional athletes, as well as wealthy individuals and families. Because of these relationships and his understanding of the lifestyle complexities of the wealthy, Mark developed the Family CEO business in order to be a resource for affluent individuals and families. Mark has earned the trust of these high-profile individuals by respecting their privacy and taking care of their every need.
It’s hard not to catch Mark’s passion when you talk with him; no matter what he does, Mark throws himself into it wholeheartedly. Mark is an avid motorcyclist and owns a large collection of custom-made motorcycles. He’s also a lifelong martial artist, having coached and spent time with ground-breaking American teams in Istanbul in 1999 and as an official delegate in Sydney, Australia in 2000. Additionally, Mark served as the Chair of Law and Legislation for the US Taekwondo team for 10 years.
An Italian-American, Mark recently received his Italian citizenship after a grueling two-year-long application process. Mark is happy to be able to carry on a family legacy and preserve his cultural heritage. Children are also close to Mark’s heart and he spends significant time and resources working with Denver area charities to impact the lives of orphans, at-risk youth, and families struggling with poverty.
Mark is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
DirectorBack to top
John is the Chairman, CEO, and founder of Brain Surgery Worldwide, Inc. a Market Research Consulting Business focused on delivering emotion based behavior insights in 1994, (www.brainsurgeryinc.com). Brain Surgery has been successful in helping clients like, American Express, Amgen, Astra Zeneca, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Schering Plough, Sanofi-Aventis, Toyota, Wachovia/Wells Fargo and Wyeth understand the "voice of the customer" and integrate those insights into strategies and executions. "John specializes in understanding how emotion-based information predicts behavior. He has the unique ability to integrate insight into actionable direction that clients are able to follow." He has helped companies understand how to utilize such information to dramatically increase revenues, discover competitive strengths, and improve marketplace performance. Prior to starting Brain Surgery, he spent his career working in advertising agencies and in strategic marketing consulting.
In addition to his work on the USA Rugby Charitable Foundation, John currently serves on the Executive Advisory Council of the James Madison University College of Business, he is a board member of the Virginia Cardinals Rugby Football Club and the United States Rugby Football Foundation.
DirectorBack to top
Mr. Geisert has 20 years of marketing experience at various levels and from various perspectives. Chris spent 2 ½ years as the VP of Marketing and Managing Director of Tradebot Ventures where he led marketing and oversaw review of start-up investment opportunities. His experience includes 3 years with Kansas City based full service agency Barkley where he led an integrated team creating marketing solutions for clients. The team included specialist in online marketing, customer retention, experiential and event marketing, public relations as well as traditional advertising. His main client while at Barkley was Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Prior to Barkely, Mr. Geisert spent 6 years as the Director of Brand Promotions and Sponsorships for America Online, Inc. While at AOL, Mr. Geisert directed and managed promotions and sponsorships around CPG and media cross-promotions, sales-oriented promotions, sports, charitable and music sponsorships, and leveraged AOLTW assets to achieve brand-building goals.
Mr. Geisert also spent 5 years with Six Flags Theme Parks where he focused on creating and implementing sales and promotional programs driving ticket sales from destination and feeder markets.
In 2012 Mr. Geisert became the Vice President of Marketing for XIKAR, the world’s leading cigar accessory company in the US.
Chris grew up on a farm in St. Clair, Missouri where he wrestled and played football. Chris graduated from TrumanStateUniversity in Kirksville, Missouri in 1992 with a B.A. in Mass Communications. While at Truman State Chris played Rugby, produced the campus TV show, worked as a peer advisor and was active in planning student events. Over the years Chris has served on the National Alumni Association Board and Foundation Board for Truman State University, as well as serving on the Liberty Hospital Foundation Board.
Currently, Chris is married and has two boys age 13 and 10 and resides in Liberty, Missouri.
ER "Dick" Greene, PhD
DirectorBack to top
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.
Dick was first introduced to rugby while attending Rice University. However, it wasn’t until graduate school where he really began to learn and love the game. Dick’s career has taken him all over the world and as a result, he has played for teams in Brazil and New Zealand. He was founder of the Vatos in 1992. Today, Dick still hooks for the Vatos, Rice Alumni, and the Virginia Cardinal Old Boys.
DirectorBack to top
Eric Hillman attended Concord College in Athens, West Virginia from 1979-1983. In 1979 he played for Roanoke RFC as Flanker and toured England and Wales. While at Concord he also served as the Vice President of Membership for the national Alpha Lambda chapter.
A fitness and bodybuilding enthusiast, Hillman immersed himself in the bodybuilding industry shortly after graduating. In 1983 he became the owner of a Powerhouse Gym and Fitness in Winston-Salem. In 1984 he was the VP of the Winston-Salem chapter of the American Marketing Association. Then in 1985 he served as a National Physique Committee judge, and later went on to become a professional judge and promoter.
In 1990, after working a number of sales jobs in the supplement industry, Hillman started Europa Sports Products with co-founder Jeff Compton. The new business was a perfect blend of Hillman’s past experiences, and his and Compton’s business acumen. The two worked out of Hillman’s house in a tireless effort to build relationships with vendors and manufacturers to become a one-stop supplement shop for their customers.
Two decades later, Europa Sports Products is the leading sports nutrition distributor, serving the entire nation through seven strategically located warehouses. The company employs more than 465 people.
In addition to his duties as CEO, Hillman also serves as the president of the Alpha Lambda Alumni Association. He is on the board of trustees for the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and held the Wilson C Fellowship Chair and the Hembree Guild Chair. Still a fitness enthusiast, Hillman is an active chairman for the NPC.
Since starting Europa, Hillman has been the recipient of multiple "Entrepreneur of the Year" nominations and awards. His leadership and entrepreneurial vision has lead to several company growth and employee satisfaction awards, including a spot on Outside Magazine's 2012 best places to work list.
Hillman lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Lori and his two daughters, Halle and Casey.
DirectorBack to top
Mark Lambourne is presently the Managing Director of DC Capital Group, and has over 20 years of advising and overseeing mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and financings of properties and companies in Europe and across the United States. Mark has recently worked as a consultant for a variety of companies evaluating their portfolios, preparing companies for funding, negotiating strategic joint ventures, advising on strategic growth opportunities and creating work out plans.
Present and recent projects include the development of a worldwide business development strategy for a significant privately owned construction company, creating a business strategy and plan for a European Data Centre fund, and assisting with the funding of Telecommunication software Technology Company and the business strategy and funding of a Domestic counter Terrorism Service Company.
Prior to DC Capital Group, Mark founded and operated BJK , which was retained tomanage all aspects of the growth of the European operations of a publically traded REIT called Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR). He was responsible for the development of Digital Realty Trusts business in Europe having been retained to oversee all aspects of the acquisition activity from the structuring of the transaction through due diligence and closing. Over a two year period he acquired on behalf of the REIT over 1,200,000 square feet of existing Data Center assets and sites with development opportunities totaling in excess of € 250,000,000 in value. During this time he closed transactions in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and Ireland.
Mark earned an MA from the University of California, Berkeley and BA (Honors) from the University of Kent. He was an All American Rugby Player and represented the US Collegiate All Stars at that sport.
Mark and his wife Miranda have four sons and two daughters and live in Leesburg, Virginia.
Director, USAR Board LiaisonBack to top
Nigel Melville is the CEO and President of Rugby Operations for USA Rugby. Before serving in this position, he had an extensive rugby career as a player, coach and professional.
Nigel played the scrum half position for the England National Rugby Union Team from 1984 to 1988. He became the youngest player to captain England in his debut match against Australia in November, 1984. Over the next four years, he appeared in 12 matches for England. His national team experience also includes captaining the England Schools Under-19 age group on their tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1979 and England Under-23 on their tour of Romania in 1983. He toured with England to Argentina in 1981, North America in 1982 and New Zealand in 1985. He also took part in the British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1983, but an injury cut his participation in the tour short.
During his playing career, he was the Head of UK Promotions for Nike. In this role, he worked alongside elite athletes from a wide range of sports.
After retiring as player, he began coaching. Nigel was Director of Rugby at Wasps R.F.C and he coached them to their first professional Premiership title in 1996, followed by three National Cup Final appearances-two of which he won. In 2002, Melville moved to Gloucester Rugby where he coached until 2005. While under his direction, Gloucester won the Zurich Championship Final, Powergen Cup and topped the Zurich Premiership table by a record 15 clear points.
Nigel attended Aireborough Grammar School and North East London Polytechnic. In 2011, he received an Olympic Sport Leadership Certificate from Kellogg School of Management. His club rugby experiences include playing for Otley Rugby Union Football Club, Wakefield Rugby Football Club and Wasps Football Club.
Joseph Olzacki, PhD
DirectorBack to top
Dr. Olzacki attended the University of Harford, first completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and Government, then completing at the University's Hartt School, a second Bachelors Degree in Concert Promotion and Conducting. Dr. Olzacki also completed a Masters in Conducting and Music Education at the Hartt School, studying conducting with Moshe Paranov, (co-founder of the Hartt School), Alexander Dashnaw, Michael Yachinin and the late Peter Harvey. Dr. "O" graduated with his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the College of Education, University of Hartford.
Dr. Olzacki’s career in music began at the age of fourteen when he started a church choir in his home town of East Hampton, Connecticut. From these roots, Dr. “O’s” career has seen him perform in such places as the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala, Washington, D.C., The Basilica of St. Ignatius, Rome, Italy, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City – Christmas 1993. He has provided performances for the Education Ministry – Government of Barbados and the two European tours for the tour office of the Vatican and was appointed Music Director to Cardinal Ignatius Pin Mei Kung, Cardinal Archbishop of Shanghai, China.
In 2007, Dr. Olzacki began work on the IDENTITY project; examining the lessons of Genocides past and present to instruct students on self-preservation and “standing up,” for what they believe in. With the help of JFACT, the Hartford Symphony and the Bloomfield community, enough funds were raised to send groups of teachers and students to Washington, D.C. for advanced study in Genocide awareness.
Dr. Olzacki's hobbies are music, gardening, traveling, and skydiving, and he is well known for his love of Rugby. Dr. Olzacki played for the Hartford Wanderers Rugby Football Club and currently plays for the Newport Rugby Club, Newport, Rhode Island where he serves as match secretary and is a founding member and treasurer of the Gypsy Rugby Club, International. In 2006, Dr. O. received the “club man of the year” from the Newport Rugby Club and was recently completed his term as President and CEO of the New England Rugby Union and as a delegate for the USA Rugby Congress where he still serves on various committees. Dr. Olzacki is also an active member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra board of directors and governance committee.
DirectorBack to top
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.