COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - One of the most important roles of any Board of Directors is to ensure that the appropriate leadership team is in place to help drive the attainment of its mission and strategic plan. Over the course of the last 18 months, the NWBA Board of Directors has reduced in size as several external members of the board have left the organization. Most recently, the appointment of the new NWBA CEO, Will Waller, has also created another vacancy. Of the 13 total number of elected or selected NWBA Board of Directors , the NWBA currently has eight serving in this role.
The Board of Directors has recently spent time, in consideration of our Strategic Plan, looking at what knowledge, skills and capabilities the NWBA needs more of, and 3 areas stood out:
-Coaches Development / High Performance
-Financial / Business Acumen
The Board of Directors then spent some time considering various candidates, and is excited to announce to you three members of the NWBA who have agreed to take on an At-Large role. Effective immediately, the Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of appointing the following three individuals to the NWBA Board of Directors: Stephanie Wheeler, Ryan Martin and Mike Godsey.
Stephanie Wheeler has spent over 25 years in the sport of wheelchair basketball, and has developed a storied career spanning many levels of the game. She was inducted into the NWBA Hall of Fame in 2018, as a result of her many accomplishments in the sport. Her results include 2 Paralympic Gold Medals as an athlete (2004, 2008), as well as a Paralympic Gold Medal as a head coach (2016). She’s also competed in the NWBA Junior, Collegiate and Women’s Divisions. Her educational background is in Kinesiology, Adaptive Sports and Pedagogy, and she is currently completing her Doctoral Degree in Cultural Sports Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wheeler is the Head Coach of the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team at Illinois.
Reflecting on her appointment to the Board, Wheeler added: “I’m beyond excited to be appointed to the BOD of the NWBA as the organization takes its next steps into the future. This sport has had a huge impact on my life. I’m honored to have the opportunity to give back in a way that aligns with my passion of creating diverse and inclusive sporting cultures that are built upon the knowledge that our strength as an organization lives in the diversity of our membership, which will in turn lead to the development of the next generation of high quality coaches at all levels for our athletes. I look forward to using my passion and skills to contribute to the growth and development of the NWBA.”
Ryan Martin, a beneficiary of the sport of wheelchair basketball, has been in the business of giving back to the sport for over 10 years. He started the Ryan Martin Foundation, which is a global non-profit organization that provides wheelchair basketball opportunities in the USA and Spain (where Martin played professionally for several years). Ryan has built a capability for establishing partnerships that allow him to create compelling programs, while helping businesses achieve their return on investment. He recently announced the creation of a wheelchair basketball program at City University of New York, where he began as an advisor and is now taking on the role as Head Coach.
On his appointment, Ryan Martin said: "I'm thrilled to be appointed to the BOD of the NWBA as we collectively write our next chapter. The game has given me so much and this will be an opportunity for me to help serve the membership, ensuring that the future generations of the sport will be able to have the same level of opportunities I did. I look forward to using my background in non-profit work towards contributing to the rich tradition of the NWBA."
Mike Godsey brings a wealth of experience to the NWBA Board of Directors, both from a business perspective, as well as in the realm of adaptive sports. He has been a Chief Financial Officer of multiple organizations that required him to have both technical accounting and financial analysis capabilities. On the adaptive sport side, Mike has been involved in this space for nearly 20 years. A highlight of Mike’s work is that he directs wheelchair basketball programming for Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas, which now provides opportunity for 6 wheelchair basketball teams.
Mike Godsey stated, "I'm excited about the opportunity to join the NWBA's Board of Directors and I look forward to utilizing my background from the business world and my passion for wheelchair basketball to help expand the growth of this wonderful sport across all Divisions."
On behalf of the NWBA Board of Directors, we are excited to have such highly capable members as Stephanie, Ryan and Mike take on a leadership role for the organization,” said Will Waller. “Our greatest asset as an organization is our members, and I’m grateful to have so many people stating a willingness and taking action to become more involved. Balancing local needs with broader organizational needs will be crucial to our success. I am excited to work with this Board to create a better future for our sport and our Association.”
Please join us in congratulating the newest members of the NWBA Board of Directors.