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Manhattan SC Board Elections 2019-2020

By MSC, 06/02/19, 2:00PM EDT


The Manhattan Soccer Club annual meeting will be held on Monday, June 17th at 7:15 pm at Goddard Community Center (593 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024). One major purpose of the annual general meeting is the election of a new Board of Directors for the club. This annual election is an opportunity for people who would like to help direct the club and determine its future, to run for, and get elected to the board. Below is a list of members on the slate for this year's election.

Current Board Members

Name – Anna Lonergan

Team Affiliation – B15 Clash B19 Emelec

Time in Club –10 Years as Board Member and Team Manager

Statement - It would be an honor to serve on the Board of Manhattan Soccer Club for another year as we continue to evolve and mature as an organization.  Of particular interest is launching our development / fundraising program as well as finding new ways to market and brand the club.  MSC is an organization that is very near and dear to my family's heart and I would like nothing more than to be able to help foster its growth and ensure its future success.


Name – David Kramer

Team Affiliation – G16 Charge and B13 Express

Time in Club – 8 Years with MSC / 2 Years on Board / 1 Year Vice President/Asst Coach Wolves

Statement - I have simply been a lifelong soccer fan.  I was part of that wave of kids who started playing soccer in the mid to late 70s on Long Island, rooting for the Cosmos, and scrounging for any glimpses of European soccer on TV.  I played club soccer, much like my two children (Emma U16 / Will U13), and was ultimately able to continue playing Division I soccer in college and participate in a Final Four.  I understand the dedication that is required to successfully compete at high levels in addition to the time and effort required to be a successful contributor to MSC. 
I have had my children play on both Premier and non-Premier teams and I appreciate there is balance between what is right for each child.  I also have children who participate in both the boys and the girls programs at MSC and have seen the unique requirements and needs of each.
With my background and being involved with the club for over eight years, I thought I had something to offer and was fortunate to be elected to the Board in 2017 and I have served as an active member since then focusing on coach evaluation, player experience and the club’s long-term strategy.  For the 2018-19, I have held the position of Vice President on the MSC Board.  This involvement has excited and motivated me to seek reelection and further help the club as it strives to become better and better. 
I have worked in finance at large firms (JPMorgan) and also risked my own capital in investing and managing small businesses.  I understand the time required of people to make things work efficiently.  Already knowing and respecting the DOCs and MSC Board members, I believe I can work well with all parties critical to the club and I hope I have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the ongoing growth and success of MSC.


Name – David Ottavio

Team Affiliation – B19 Emelec

Time in Club –10 Years, 7 as team manager and 3 as board member

Statement - This club has given so much to our family as we have watched our son grow both on and off the field during our ten years with Manhattan SC. Thanks to the club, I have had the good fortune to meet so many incredible people through my involvement as a manager for seven years and for the last three years with the board of directors.
For the past three years I have been proud to give back to the club by working to improve our website with current news and information along with getting word out on social media. In addition to working with a strong group of experienced managers I have assisted new managers with getting ready to support their teams. In addition I have help with the KOC tournament by putting together the tournament binders for each day and field with the help of my amazing wife.
This has been another incredibly gratifying year and I would truly appreciate to the opportunity to serve again on the board of directors to continue the fine work of this incredible organization!


Name – Grace Mandigo   

Team Affiliation – B9 Chelsea

Time in Club – 3 years; Chelsea manager 2 years, board member 1 year

Statement - I have 3 kids who currently participate in MSC: one is in the Tiny Tigers program, one is in the U5-7 program, and my oldest plays for the U9 team Chelsea. I have served as manager for Chelsea for 2 years, and I have served as a board member for 1 year. Because I have 3 children in the club and hope to continue with MSC for at least the next decade, I am deeply invested in the long-term success of MSC, both as a soccer club and as a community. Over the past year, I have served on the Manager's Committee and the Health and Safety Committee. I welcome the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board and work towards improving the organization of the club and ensuring the wellbeing and success of our players.


Name – Jeff Thorp

Team Affiliation – G16 Charge

Time in Club – 7 years; Board Member, various board subcommittees, Finance Committee, team manager, tournament coordinator, parent assistant coach, co-managed and organized Surf Cup trip

Statement - My daughter Kylie has played at MSC for 7 years and is currently on the U16 Charge. 
I am a current member of the Board of Directors of Manhattan Soccer Club and the manager of the Girls 2003 U16 Charge team.  Before acting as manager, I was Tournament Coordinator for Charge.  I serve on the Finance Committee and several other sub-committees of the MSC Board.
If re-elected to the Board, I will continue to work hard to support our kids, coaches, the MSC Community as well as the Club’s missions to promote the physical and mental development, self-esteem, leadership and community & global citizenship of our kids. 


Name – Jon Graber

Team Affiliation – B15 Thunder and B19 Emelec

Time in Club – 10 years, board member 4, club President 1

Statement - I believe over my years as just a member of the club and then as a board member I have shown myself to be dedicated to the club.  I am more than happy to put the time into it that needs to be invested to ensure the club continues to grow.   I am grateful to the club for all that have done for my kids and what it has meant to them.  This club has helped make them who they are and any way I can give back, I am happy to do it.


Name – Loryn Bergman

Team Affiliation – B11 Barcelona

Time in Club – 6 years - Board Director (1 year), Manager of MSC 2008 boys Barcelona (3 years), Manager MSC boys United (1 year)

Statement - My name is Loryn Bergman and I would be honored to continue serving as a member of the MSC board. My main goal as a Board member is to work with the Board and our parent body to build community in support of our children’s soccer development. My family has been part of the MSC community for several years and our son plays for the B2008 team, Barcelona. I want to help ensure that MSC continues to be an inclusive environment where all players and families feel welcome.  
As for my qualifications, I have volunteered as Team Manager for several years and as a Parent Assistant Coach; worked with MSC, Prestige Prep and Yours in Soccer Foundation to bring academic support programs to our athletes and to assist our players with high school placement; and served on several MSC Board committees. In my professional career, I have worked as a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s Office. After leaving, drawing on my undergraduate background in education and my legal expertise, I began focusing on helping families to obtain educational services for their children (both special needs and gifted and talented), managing middle and high school placements in NYC, and navigating the admissions processes.
I am grateful to all those who have helped make MSC such an incredible organization, and am committed to further supporting the Club and all members of our community. 


Name – Michael Knopf   

Team Affiliation – B15 Thunder

Time in Club – 7, Manager 3 years, Board member 2 years, head of legal affairs 2 years

Statement - My family has been involved in MSC for seven years and I was fortunate enough to serve as manager for my son's team the past three seasons. This past year I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board and chairing the Legal Affairs Committee. As a manager, it is a pleasure to see the players close up and to get to know them better, as well as having the chance to get to know the other families. My experience as manager has exposed me to all of the hard work and commitment shown by the board and others on behalf of the Club and made me want to increase my commitment. As an attorney, I can bring legal and financial skills that will help the Board carry out its mission and be responsive to the needs of the families and players. In my career as a general counsel, I have advised and served on a number of corporate boards and am familiar with corporate governance issues, how boards operate effectively and how to bring a common sense, commercial approach to help manage the vast range of issues that confront organizations like MSC. I have also served as a director and officer on a number of non-profit boards, including as Treasurer of my coop, and have experience with budgeting and long-term financial planning. I believe that I can make a strong contribution to the Board and look forward to having the opportunity to help MSC continue to thrive and prosper. Thank you for your consideration


Name – Noelle Savarese  

Team Affiliation – B19 Pride and B16 Gremio

Time in Club – 11 years with MSC, Board member for 3 years and team manager for 7 years

Statement - I have two children at MSC - my daughter Sarah (GU19 Pride) is graduating this year after playing 11 years for the club.  My son Ben plays for BU16 Gremio and has also been playing for MSC since U8.  I've been a member of the Board for three years and look forward to continue building on the initiatives I've been involved with. In particular fundraising and community relations.  I have a unique perspective as a parent of both a son and daughter in the club, both premier and non-premier players. I understand the time and effort required to be an active member of the board and I'm committed to work for the overall success of the MSC programs.


Name – Phil Poppinga     

Team Affiliation – G14 Union and G16 Charge        

Time in Club – 8 years - Director 3 years - Charge Team Tournament Coordinator 2 years           

Statement - I am a parent of two girls -- Ella (G14) and Sydney (G16) -- who both have an incredible love for soccer that has come from their experience at Manhattan Soccer Club. Our family has been a part of the MSC community for 8 years. We have been part of many teams including Stars, Spirit, Surf, Charge and Union. Both girls have also helped other teams as guests on Storm, Beat, Timbers, Galaxy, Fire and Albion. I have enjoyed volunteering as a member of the Board for the last three years and have worked on committees including Fundraising and the MSC Tournament committee and Coaching committee continuing to help advance the club's mission. My background is in real estate development and operations and I also am committed to an ed-tech startup as an advisor and full-time director of operations. I have served on numerous boards where I have added an entrepreneurial approach. I am excited about the opportunity to continue to serve the MSC community and ask for your vote.


Prospective Board Members

Name – Brian Dolan

Team Affiliation – B14 Freedom and G16 Timbers

Time in Club – 6 years - Manager of Wolves and then Freedom

Statement - I have played soccer at various levels since I was a kid and still play despite my rapidly advancing years.  I started my association with MSC when my son joined the first U7 program six (?) years ago.  My wife volunteered me to be the team manager and I have been a manager ever since:  first with Wolves and then with Freedom.   My daughter recently signed up for Timbers but thankfully they already have a manger.  So now I have a boy and a girl playing for MSC.  One team is a serious premier team and the other is a little more casual.  This gives me a balanced perspective on MSC.  If I was elected to the board, one area of focus for me would be raising money.  I am on the board of another youth-related non-profit and I have learned a lot about raising money from them.  But I'd be happy to help in any way I can.


Name – David Jacobson

Team Affiliation – G10 Revolution

Time in Club – 3 years, 2 years as team manager

Statement - If elected to the Board I will try to be an active participant as well as a voice for the younger teams of the club, and continue to work hard by supporting the coaches and players.  I have truly loved watching the team building, friendships, and future leaders growing over the past few years right in front of my eyes.


Name – Justin MacFarlane

Team Affiliation – B8 Real and B10 Derby

Time in Club – 2.5 Years - Derby Team Manager

Statement - I am interested in becoming an MSC board member for three reasons.  1) MSC is a high-quality organization that is organized, well run, and provides a terrific soccer education for my kids.  As the parent of younger children that plan to be with the organization for a long time, I want to do my part to ensure that this quality remains for many years to come.  2) I have a passion for and have been involved in youth sports for my entire life.  I have fond memories of playing youth sports. Now, as a parent, I've enjoyed coaching kids as well as serving as a league director, team manager, and parent council member.  I volunteer my time because I love teaching kids through sports and enjoy the logistical, organizational, financial, and educational aspects of youth sports organizations. 3) I am excited and interested in the future of soccer in this country and MSC’s part in building that future.  I believe MSC is the best soccer organization in the NYC area with continued growth potential. The opportunity to help MSC grow at the youth or USL2 level is exciting for me.

I bring a unique balance of skills and experience to the MSC board through my involvement in youth sports and the business world.
Prior to my involvement with MSC, I volunteered with West Side Little League for four years as a coach and division head. As division head, I was responsible for 80 kids and up to 24 coaches per season. I built teams, set schedules, and led coach training every season.  As a coach of children aged 5-9, I helped kids and parents learn baseball through a skills-based approach that was educational and fun.  My boys have since moved on to travel baseball with the NY Bluebirds where I am both a team parent and a member of the parent executive council.  Having the hands on coaching and operational experience will bring a valuable perspective to the MSC board.
From a business perspective, I have 25 years’ experience in retail as both a member of senior management teams (Macy’s, Ann Taylor) and as a management consultant (AlixPartners, Kurt Salmon).  I am considered an expert in retail transformations, leading teams that have helped these major retailers grow and become more efficient.  I have a wide range of financial, operational, and marketing skills with experience leading large teams, interacting with boards of large companies, and working with financial stakeholders.  My business experience and organizational and leadership abilities may be of additional value to the MSC board.


Name – Scott Searcy

Team Affiliation – B10 Atletico

Time in Club – Four Years: Team Manager; Parent Coach; Team Managers Help Group

Statement - Over the last four years my son’s love for soccer has grown under the tutelage of Manhattan Soccer Club. During these years, I have also become attached to the Club and would be honored to help continue its success and help build an even stronger club for my son and other New York City kids.
Being new to the Board I can offer fresh perspectives along with ideas from parents that I have collected in my role as Team Manager over the last three years. We have involved parents that are always sharing ways they believe the club can improve. I take these messages to heart and it would be great to share these ideas with the Board.
I always promote Manhattan Soccer Club to other parents when their kids’ express interest in soccer. I give them honest feedback about the Club and my son’s experience, and it is clear that I am proud to be associated with MSC. As a Board member one of my main goals would be to ensure that Club parents continually see their kids grow and thrive with MSC. This will result in higher retention of current players and increased Club recommendations to friends, family and acquaintances.
Our family is happy to belong to this Club and my son loves that I help with his team.  His excitement with the prospect that I could be helping shape his future with the Club and the overall success of MSC will be all the motivation I need to put my heart and soul into this position.  Thank you for your time and consideration.