From The Desk Of Joe Bertagna - Summer 2019

Joe BertagnaThe following is an excerpt from Joe Bertagna's column in Stops and Starts:

The AHCA Officers and Governors sent out a ballot to the Active Membership in early June which presented the slate of 2019-20 Officers and Governors.

Those new for the coming year are: President Casey Jones of Clarkson and Governors Chris McKelvie (Bethel), Paul Pearl (Boston University), Cory Schneider (UMass Boston) and Holley Tyng (Colby.) Two of our people have changed addresses: Vice-President for Membership Curtis Carr has moved from Merrimack to Bowling Green and Grant Kimball has gone from Aurora to Yale.

I'm pleased to welcome Casey Jones back to the "Officer Track." He recently completed a three-year stint as Vice-President for Sponsorships.

The month of June has always been a bit of a travel month for me. In my role as a conference commissioner, June involves a trip to the NCAA Office in Indianapolis, where the commissioners meet regularly with the various NCAA committees and staff liaisons. It has often involved work as a member of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee, though my committee days have ended.

Then, my travel takes me to the annual USA Congress in Colorado Springs, where I serve as an At-Large Director, representing the NCAA. (Mike Snee of College Hockey Inc. is the other NCAA Director.) It was interesting to note how many of the sessions at the Congress focused on what I would call societal issues. The general "Town Hall" meeting spent a good deal of time on the matter of "diversity and inclusion." It wasn't just a "let's do the right thing" session but a topic that spoke to USA Hockey's ability to grow. Looking around the room, and then digesting demographic information about how the country is changing, it was clear that USA Hockey doesn't much look like the USA.

There was also a good deal of discussion on "Safe Sport" concerns, the somewhat recent news reports of what happened with USA Gymnastics over the past several years resonating with all. Congress has mandated significant changes to how national governing bodies must oversee this area to prevent another scandal of that magnitude. It is, as Congress is wont to do, an unfunded mandate that will force NGBs like USA Hockey to be creative and proactive. And USA Hockey has been a much praised and acknowledged leader in this area long before the troubles in other sports have been made public.

– Joe Bertagna

Joe's full column is available in each edition of Stops and Starts - The Official Publication of the American Hockey Coaches Association. Each AHCA Member has access to current and archived editions of Stops and Starts in our Member's Only Section and can read Joe's full column in each edition of Stops and Starts.