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Director of Competition Candidate

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Running unopposed for Director of Competition is Nate Smith from Los The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association
I have been in the NAGAAA/IPS family for over 15 years; of that time 10 of those years were spent serving as a delegate for Surf & Sun Softball League. In January 2020, I was the first person to ever be elected as the Director of Competition. I wanted to run for this position with the mindset of improving fair play across all divisions. I have been involved in numerous rating changes, as well as served on the protest committee during a few Gay Softball World Series. I wanted our ratings system to be more objective and limit the loopholes, or definitions that were not clearly defined.
Once elected, I shared what everyone was thinking about the need to fix the ratings issues, but I also stood up to volunteer to be part of the solution. I offered to attend local tournaments to sit all day and do player observations. I was looking for skill sets that were demonstrated, yet not rated. I would take this data and report directly back to the local commissioners on what was seen; not to change the ratings of these players, but to bring attention to them. I personally know how hard it can be to rate every player in a league; I wanted to give back and provide some assistance. I visited 8 different tournaments and observed over 1,000 players.
Another area that I wanted to tackle were the rating questions that caused the most confusion (Questions 5 and 14) at the time. In working with the Competition Committee and the Ratings ad hoc committee we were able to propose a change to the rating questions that were easier to measure and keeping them more objective to ensure increased fair play.
Most recently I assisted in the creation of the IT Committee where I serve as the board liaison. This year the counsel elected for this team to undertake a massive process to RFP for a new player database. During this process I have learned a lot of new things, and have found the volume of talent we have in this committee. Each of these members work very diligently, making sure that all I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. I am very excited about where we are going to be taking this organization in the future, and continuing this growth.
In my 4 years as Director of Competition, I feel that I have just started to scratch the surface of everything that I can do and am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve this organization.

Partnerships Director Candidate

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Running unopposed for Partnership Director is Sam Lehman from Los The Big Apple Softball League.
I have a varied sports history. I am the former commissioner of Southern New England and have participated in every GSWS since 1996, collecting four championships. I was proud to be the 2018 Hall of Fame inductee and the sponsorship chair for five years in the 2000s.
Over the past few years, Sam has been the Business Development Director and has elevated NAGAAA’s partnership to include national organizations like Nike and professional sports organizations like the MLB.
Away from sports, Sam owns a technology company headquartered in Stamford, CT, with offices in Charlotte, NYC, and Pittsburgh. Sam is very active with the NGLCC (National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) in Washington DC. The relationships he built with Fortune 500 companies and his love of sports make him a perfect fit as NAGAAA’s Business Development Director. Sam splits between New York City and Milford CT
I am proud to serve as the Director of Partnerships. I will serve with dedicated individuals who share my love of softball, iPride, and LGBT sports

Operations Director Candidates

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Below is 1 of 3 candidates that will be running for Operations Director:
Brad McKinney found NAGAAA softball in 1999, playing in six different leagues (some of the largest and smallest leagues) over the years. Currently, he is part of Bluff City Sports Association, Memphis. Brad is in his 4th year as Assistant Commissioner of BCSA and serving as a NAGAAA delegate for the past 2 years.
Brad has been an active member of the Operations Committee for 2 years and involved with the operations of both at NAGAAA Cup and GSWS. Brad worked closely with Ron Frank on the NAGAAA Operations, gaining insight on past successes and challenges, while helping to refine documentation for work done by the Operations Committee. For 2023 NAGAAA Cup, Brad was an operations member and took responsibility for transportation of NAGAAA equipment from and back to the warehouse; and has committed to repeating this for the 2024 NAGAAA Cup. For 2023 GSWS, Brad served as Operations staff at the fields and during planning for the event, he was tasked with identifying and procuring bids from third party vendors to help GSWS run smoothly. Brad was the recipient of the 2023 Commissioner’s Award. Brad is also a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee.
Brad has served a board member and past president of an LGBTQ+ community center in Connecticut, helping them more than double their revenue in his 6 years on the board. During this time, he was responsible for helping organize multiple pride festivals, including logistics and consulting for an inaugural event with attendance of 25,000 people. Brad is currently retired after spending 30 years in public accounting, advising on complex tax and accounting issues. As a CPA, Brad’s consulting concentrated on real estate investment partnership, with complicated operating agreements and frequent involvement in contract negotiations.
Continuing the success of NAGAAA events, while increasing efficiencies and seeking strategic cost savings for these events are just a few of the goals Brad has if chosen to serve as the Operations Director.

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Below is the 2nd of 3 candidates that will be running for Operations Director:

Ryan Holdhusen from Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association

Hello International Pride Softball! My name is Ryan Holdhusen from Dallas, Texas. I am honored to have been nominated to serve as the Operations Director for iPS/NAGAAA. I humbly accepted the nomination with enthusiasm, as serving on the iPS/NAGAAA board would allow me to bring my professional and NAGAAA-related experience to the leadership of our beloved organization.

I have served the NAGAAA membership as GSWS Vice President and Director of Events (2014), NAGAAA Cup Host City Director (2016) , NAGAAA Marketing Chair (2016), NAGAAA Membership Chair (2017-2019), and as Executive Director of the 2022 GSWS, NAGAAA’s 45th and largest ever GSWS! I have also served my Dallas league locally as Commissioner, Asst. Commissioner, and Recruitment Coordinator. Over my tenure in service to my league, or to NAGAAA, my operational, budget management, and leadership skills have been put to the test several times. I believe these lessons learned, along with my sincere desire to create the ultimate player experience, while serving the best interest of our organization, suit me very well for this position. Additionally, I have been involved in event management and operational oversight in my career over the last 25+ years.

I have been honored to be inducted into my local (PSSA) Hall of Fame in 2016, and the NAGAAA Hall of Fame in 2023. My recent induction has pushed me to follow so many of my mentors and friends, who continue in service to our organization, as long as I am able to give back. I’m proud to have the full support and encouragement of my wonderful partner of 5+ years, Caleb, who knows the amount of time and sacrifice this position will require. I am ready to continue my service to NAGAAA/iPS. I look forward to having the opportunity to present my qualifications and answer your questions in Las Vegas in January! I humbly ask for your confidence and vote!

Secretary Candidates

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Below is the second of two candidates that will be running for Secretary:

Andy Rock from New South Softball

Andy has volunteered with NAGAAA since 2018 and has transformed the organization’s marketing and communications program, led the initial rebrand committee for iPrideSoftball, established an online registration process for GSWS and NAGAAA Cup, led the RFP process for the next player database, and landed a nonprofit license grant from Microsoft.

Andy has served multiple roles on Emerald City Softball Association’s executive board, including Secretary. He has competed at the A, B, and C division and coached C, D and E division levels. Andy is also the first recipient of the Mona Garcia Outstanding Volunteer Award. 

Elections for officers will take place at the Winter Meetings at the end of January. Below is one of two candidates that will be running for Secretary:

Robert “Bobby” Schmahl from Suncoast Softball (Tampa)
Gasparilla Softball Classic

I’m Robert “Bobby” Schmahl, here to introduce myself as a candidate for International Pride Softball Secretary.

I’ve been a member of Tampa’s Suncoast Softball League for approximately 28 years, many in a leadership capacity. I’ve served our Gasparilla Softball Classic tournament as co-producer or committee member, currently in my 10th year overall as league commissioner, and served multiple committees.

Our members describe me as dedicated, detail oriented/organized, and a hard worker. In my day job I’m a database marketing professional in the insurance industry.

I’d like to bring these experiences to International Pride Softball as we continue to grow!