Dear Friends of WASUSA,
I would like to take this opportunity to extend an open invitation to each of you, whether you are a member of WASUSA or not, to attend the WASUSA 2014 (and first ever in this format) National Leadership Summit. This event is part of the ongoing effort within our organization to provide a strategic focus, enhance the educational opportunities and collaborate on initiatives for the betterment of all. Our hope is that this Summit will be the foundation for the establishment of a coordinated effort to provide additional benefit to WASUSA Members, Chapters and their strategic partners. The benefits derived will include learning more about WASUSA initiatives and overall programming, charting the future direction of WASUSA and coordinating efforts among our Chapters and our collaborative partners.
This Summit is especially exciting for us in that it will witness the full implementation and launch of our Chapter Regional Councils. These councils have been designed to provide Chapters in specific demographic areas (Eastern, Central and Western) the opportunity to develop specific plans to address the unique challenges facing each region. It is the desire of the Board of Directors that as we develop our grant initiatives and other funding opportunities, we can provide these Regional Councils with autonomous budgets that are planned, developed and distributed by the Chapter Members within the Regional Councils. In this manner, we can be responsive to the individual challenges and priorities of each region.
In addition, I would encourage representatives from other Disabled Sports Organizations, non-members of WASUSA and any other interested parties to attend. We will be sharing our plans for coaches certification in the target sports arena, specifically Air Rifle, Air Pistol and Archery, and also introducing plans for a Junior Program (ages 16-22) in this area. It is our desire to develop a series of regional target sports competitions that will lead to a National Grand Prix series for wounded and injured veterans, including cash prizes and national rankings. And, in collaboration with our friends at BlazeSports of America, we want to continue the effort to expand competitive opportunities for our athletes with Cerebral Palsy.
This is an exciting time for Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA and I would encourage each of you to join us in Phoenix in November and become part of the excitement.......it is a new day!
See you in November!
Chairman, WASUSA Board of Directors
Who? The Summit is an educational, governance, certification, strategic planning and continuing education opportunity for members and non-members of WASUSA.
Why? This Summit represents an ongoing effort to provide value, education and input into the workings of WASUSA for Chapters and Members. Additionally, by including non-members, it is the hope of the Board of Directors of WASUSA that more collaborative and cooperative initiatives can be developed and shared, to the betterment of all. Additionally, the 2014 WASUSA Leadership Summit marks the rollout of the Regional Council structure for Chapter Members.
When? Thursday, November 6th through Sunday, November 9th, 2014
Where? Phoenix Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel
Double Room $99 plus tax
4300 Washington Ave, Phoenix, AZ
1 602 273 7778
Book Rooms Online:
Note: A limited Number of Accessible Rooms are Available
Thursday, November 6th
6:30-6:45 PM: Delegate Welcome
6:45-7:00 PM: Chairman Report Gregg Baumgarten
7:00-7:30 PM: Executive Director Report Mike Mushett
7:30-10:00 PM: Chapter Member/Delegate Meet & Greet Social
Friday, November 7th
Saturday, November 8th
Sunday, November 9th
8:00-10:30 AM: WASUSA Final Delegate Session/Voting
(WASUSA Members Only)
10:45 AM: Announcement of Voting Results
11:00 AM - 12:45 PM: WASUSA National Leadership Awards Brunch / Presentation
1:00 PM: Summit Attendees Depart for Home
Ralph Armento Ralph is currently the Director of Office Operations for WASUSA and has served in this capacity twice in the last 10 years. Ralph has been instrumental in the survival of WASUSA during some very tough financial times. His experience in wheelchair sports dates back more than 25 years as a coach and supporter for his daughter. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Tri-State Wheelchair & Ambulatory Athletics Association for many years. He is a master level programmer with the Sports Able Management System (SAMS) and also has served as a WTFUSA official over the years. Ralph received his BS in Management from Rutgers University.
Gregg Baumgarten Gregg is the National Chairman of Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA having been involved in sports for the disabled for the last 30 years. He is the founder of Arizona Disabled Sports, SkiAble and the Desert Challenge Games, among other events. Gregg recently retired from the Mesa (AZ) School District after 34 years in education as a teacher, administrator and school principal. He has served on the Board of Directors of DSUSA, Far West Wheelchair Athletic Association and Arizona Disabled Sports, prior to serving on the WASUSA Board of Directors. Gregg is the recipient of the 2013 Jan Elix award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the disabled sports movement. He lives in Gilbert, Arizona.
Tim Baumgarten Tim has been involved in the disabled sports movement for almost 25 years in his capacity as the Target Sports Director for the Desert Challenge Games LOC. He started the Desert Challenge Air Rifle and Air Pistol competition in 1991 and continued to direct those efforts through the years of the Beeman Challenge. In addition, Tim has been the Director of Archery competition for the DC Games for the same number of years. Tim is the Boating Safety Director for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, an NRA certified firearms instructor and a certified Law Enforcement Firearms Trainer.
Kelly Behlmann Kelly has a BS degree in Physical Therapy from Maryville Univ. She specialized in pediatric and SCI rehab as a clinical therapist and worked 11 years before acting on a vision she had. Kelly founded the Disabled Athlete’s Sports Association (DASA) in May of 1997 with the intent of developing athletic and fitness opportunities to children with physical disabilities. As a Physical Therapist, she understood the need to stay fit and the importance that all the DASA athletes realize and reach their greatest potential. Kelly was inducted into Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013 for her efforts in establishing the St Louis Sled Hockey Program; awarded the Dean’s Award School of Health Professions from Maryville University in 2012; the Paralympic Leadership Award 2011; The USATF Mentor Award Ozark Association 2012; an Honorary membership of US Olympian & Paralympian Association for Missouri; and Educator Of the Year in Special Education 2005.
Lt. Colonel Todd Benson Lt. Colonel Todd Benson is an active duty USAF officer assigned to the Space Operations Squadron Command for the United States Air Force in Colorado Springs. Lt. Colonel Benson is a graduate of the USAF Academy where he was a national champion Air Rifle competitor. He has served as a shooting coach for the United States Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program, coaching in various Vet Games, Warrior Games and Invictus Games. Lt. Colonel Benson is a veteran of the Enduring Freedom campaign in Iraq.
Kelly Bonner Kelly received her BS degree from Samford University in 2000 and started working at Lakeshore Foundation as a fitness specialist. She went on to get her Master’s in Exercise Science at the UA - Birmingham. She has worked in many capacities including adapted water skiing, rock climbing, aquatic class, land based classes, youth programs and coaching track and field as well as her first love, designing adapted exercise prescriptions for individuals with a disability. Kelly currently holds certifications in Personal Training through ACE and an Inclusive Fitness Trainer through ACSM/ NCHPAD. Kelly joined the NCHAPD team in 2012 as an Information Specialist. She also teaches at her Alma Mater, Samford University in the Exercise Science Department.
Melinda Chappell Melinda serves on the Board of Directors of WASUSA and also provides leadership in her role as the WASUSA Regional Chairperson for the Eastern United States. Melinda is the Executive Director of the Southeast Wheelchair Sports Association in Myrtle Beach, SC. She serves as the Director of the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center and previously was the Aquatic Therapy and Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor for the South Carolina Rehabilitation Department. Melinda received her BS from Clemson University in Recreation Parks Administration/Therapeutic Rec.
Dr. Jerry Clayton Jerry has been involved in disabled sports as a coach, educator and official for over 30 years, including being a regional official’s rep, coaching two US Paralympic athletes and serving as a skiing instructor for the National Sports Center for the Disabled for over 25 years. He currently is an International Technical Official and educator for the IPC. Jerry is currently a board member of WTFUSA and WASUSA, both of which sanction and organize competitive sports in the USA. Dr. Clayton is a clinical research scientist at the Colorado Children’s Hospital specializing in the treatment of brain and spinal cord injury and developmental disorders in children. He is also a proud disabled military veteran.
Phil Galli Phil currently serves as Chairman of Wheelchair Track and Field USA and is a Board member of WASUSA. He also serves as a Board member of Tri-State Wheelchair and Amputee Athletics Association and has been a
coach of track, field and swimming at Children’s Specialized Hospital’s Lightning Wheels disabled sports team for over 25 years. Phil is a certified USA swimming Official, US Paralympics IPC Swimming Official, USA Track and Field National level official and an IPC certified USA Official. He served as the Co-Meet director for the 2008 IWAS Junior World Games in New Jersey and the Sports Director for the 2013 IWAS Junior Games in Puerto Rico. He also served as a member of the games committee for the 2014 IWAS Games in Stoke Mandeville, England.
Cindy Housner Cindy is the Executive Director and Founder of the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA). GLASA provides recreational and competitive sports opportunities for youth and adults who have physical disabilites, including the injured military. She serves as the Games Director for the GLASA Regional Games and Adult Open Nationals. Cindy was a 1988 Paralympian Staff member, and currently serves as a junior committee member of WASUSA. GLASA is the regional sport organization for Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports, USA, a Paralympic Sports Club, a chapter of Disabled Sports, USA, and affiliated with United States Association of Blind Athletes. Cindy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with a degree in Recreational Therapy.
Dr. Darlene Hunter Darlene is a long time WASUSA athlete, volunteer and Board Member. She represented the United States as a member of Team USA Baskeball team at the 2012 London Paralympics. Darlene continues to represent the United States as a result of her participation with Team USA in the recent World Championships. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Psychology; received a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas in 2006 in Social Work; and a Doctorate from the Texas Women’s University in 2009 in Family Studies. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Marketing Committee of the WASUSA Board.
Denise Hutchins Denise has served as Vice- Chairperson for WASUSA for many years and provides leadership as the Competition/Classification/Certification Chair. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Oklahoma Disabled Sports Association (GODSA) and is a key member of the Local Organizing Committee for The Endeavor Games. A Physical Therapist, Denise is an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) certified classifier and can be found travelling the world to classify, educate and assist. Denise lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Paul Johnson Paul started coaching wheelchair athletes in 1989 in Hawaii to prepare kids to compete at the Junior National Championships held in San Jose CA. He became a Track and Field Official for National Wheelchair Athletic Association in 1992. He served on the Coaches Education Committee for the NWAA. Paul currently serves as one of the Regional Representatives on the Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports USA board of directors. He has served Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association as both President and Treasurer and is currently on the LOC of the Texas Regional Games and the Gateway Games in St. Louis. Paul is a certified USATF Official and officiates at both able bodied and disabled meets. Paul is retired from the US Marine Corps and works at Bell Helicopter.
Mike Mushett Mike has been the Executive Director of WASUSA since February of this year. Prior to that, he was the Director of Paralympic Sport Outreach and Development for the USOC for seven years. In addition, Mike has served as Vice President of Programs for BlazeSports of America; International Sport Production Consultant; Senior Vice-President/Chief Games Operating Officer for the Atlanta Paralympic Organization; and Executive Director of the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association. Mike received his BS in Education from Xavier University and his Master’s in Recreation & Leisure Services from Central Michigan University.
Glen O’Sullivan Glen serves as the Chairman of the Sports Technical Representative for the Swimming Program. He also serves on the Board of Directors of WASUSA. He serves as the Swimming Event Coordinator for NJDC as part of the Junior Committee. Glen has served as the Head Coach for Team USA Swim Team at 4 IWAS World Junior Championships. He is a swim coach for Great Lakes Adaptive Sports in IL and the Zion-Benton High School Boys Swim Team. Glen also is certified as a USP Technical Swim Classifier and a USP Team USA Swim Coach. Glen is retired from the US Marine Corps.
Barb Peacock Barb is a retired special education teacher from the Mesa (AZ) Public Schools who worked students with a wide variety of physical disabilities for 35 years. She has coached disabled athletes of all ages in the areas of track, field, boccia, and power soccer for the past 20+ years. The majority of her experience coaching track and field is with athletes with CP and similar conditions. Barb currently serves the Board President of Arizona Disabled Sports and the Secretary General of FIPFA, the international governing body of powerchair football, aka power soccer.
Cathy Sellers Cathy has served as the High Performance Director for US Paralympics Track and Field since 2009. Previously, she served for five years as the Manager of Coaching for the USOC and was responsible for developing innovative programs in education for US coaches. Prior to to that, Cathy spent 8 years working for USATF in the areas of Coaching Education, Elite and Jr. Elite Athlete Development along with conducting National Championships and overseeing the USATF Drug Testing program. A head T&F coach for over 35 years at Stephen F. Austin State, Ohio State University and others, Cathy is a former All-American, who spent her collegiate career jumping over barriers in the 400 Hurdles. Sellers received her B.S. from Texas Woman’s University and Masters from the Univ of Houston.
Charles Sheppard Charlie’s involvement with Wheelchair Ambulatory Sports USA began in 1988. Jan Elix recruited him at a meeting of USATF officials to work at a national meet. Charlie is a USATF Masters level official and also a Paralympic track and field official. He is currently the treasurer for Far West Wheelchair sports, Treasurer for Wheelchair Track and Field USA and serve on the Junior Committee of WASUSA. Charlie is the brain behind the Sports Able Management System (SAMS) software and currently maintains and develops upgrades and alterations for any rule changes. He continued his efforts to simplify games management by developing a simpler version called MINISAMS for small games and does maintenance for it. Charlie is a retired software engineer from IBM, having worked there for 30 years. Charlie resides in San Jose California.
We are currently working with several accreditation organizations to qualify for CEU credit for the sessions offered at the National Leadership Summit. Once we are certified to provide participants with CEU credit, an announcement will be circulated via email blast and social media. Stay tuned!