RAHA Board Members, Terms & Bios:
Eric Presbrey (2021) - President
Eric and his wife Megan have lived in Ridgefield for 15 years. They currently have three children (Fred, Lulu, and George...a Peewee, Squirt and Mite.)
Eric started playing hockey in Massachusetts at about six years old and played travel hockey on Cape Cod, trekking all over eastern Massachusetts. He often played on two or three teams per season, even playing in Lake Placid tournaments in the early years just after the 1980 US Olympic hockey Miracle on Ice.
After youth hockey Eric played varsity hockey for the Barnstable High School Red Raiders and Deerfield Academy. He then went on to the University of New Hampshire to play both Division 1 hockey and lacrosse before ultimately opting to play just lacrosse.
After graduation, Eric went on to play for the Boston Blazers in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League while settling into a long career of men’s hockey leagues. Eric is the President of a division of ZetaGlobal, a marketing/technology firm based in NYC. He also races F2000 cars and runs a men’s early morning hockey group here at Winter Garden.
Eric's focus on the RAHA board has been to work with the coaches, players, and parents to build the best RAHA program possible where the kids have fun and develop their skills. His goal has been to build a competitive program where young players at all age and skill levels can continue to reach their own personal potential. Eric has been an assistant coach for various RAHA teams, is a level 3 USA Hockey certified coach and has served as Hockey Operations Director, Webmaster and other leadership roles for RAHA.
Eric is the Board representative for the Squirt AA and Squirt B teams.
Hilary Kao (2020) - Secretary
Hilary was born and raised in nearby Pound Ridge, New York and returned to live there seventeen years ago with his wife, Ja. They have two boys playing at RAHA. Andy is a rising Bantam, who started in RAHA as a Squirt and played on the PeeWee B team this past season. Teddy is going on his fourth season as a Mite and was on the Mite A team last season.
Hilary am running for the RAHA board, because he would like to give back to this wonderful youth hockey program that has been an integral part of their family’s lives these past few years. He has a broad perspective of the challenges and expectations the program, parents and children face, as his kids have played across the range of teams in the program. Hilary would like to see RAHA continue to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment, work to develop all players at every level, emphasize coaching of sports and life skills and, most importantly, ensure kids learn to love and respect the game of hockey and have a positive experience from their time at RAHA. Hilary’s oldest son, Andy, is still recovering from a concussion he suffered during practice in February. He have a keen interest in player safety on and off the ice. In managing his recovery, Hilary has learned that some youth sports programs and schools have their athletes take baseline assessments to aid in evaluating players after they suffer a head injury. He would like RAHA to adopt best practices for player safety in a cost-effective way for families, which may involve education and program-wide assessments. Given how much time, money and emotional capital families and players put into this sport, families’ experiences from RAHA should be as positive and safe as possible. Winning is great, but is not the only thing.
Hilary has been a parent volunteer coach for my kids’ youth sports, including house-level hockey before they were involved in travel hockey so he has some understanding of the challenges coaches face in helping kids focus, grow and develop. When he was younger, he helped run and serve as head coach for his college’s club level rowing program. Hilary has a deep appreciation for the struggles programs face in growing, attracting talent and keeping participants motivated. While college athletes may be far removed from youth programs, in his experience growing a club sport at a Division III college offers similar challenges – attracting and retaining athletes is as much a function of your success as it is creating a culture that attracts and keeps the athletes you want. He felt fortunate that during his six years running and coaching the program, they were able to constantly grow the number of rowers. Given that practices were at 5:30 a.m., this was no small feat. He thinks that their small club made life-changing impacts on our participants in terms of the experiences they had in college and what they learned about themselves. RAHA has that opportunity now to shape and change lives of young athletes. Hilary wants RAHA’s impact to be a uniformly positive experience.
In terms of other volunteer activities, Hilary has been active in his town, previously serving on the Pound Ridge’s Zoning Board of Appeals for several years before his law school teaching commitments out of state interfered. At present, Hilary is chair of the Pound Ridge Community Church Play School Board and a volunteer ambulance driver for the Pound Ridge Lions Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
On a professional level, Hilary is a practicing attorney, who spent 10 years at a large New York based international law firm, then spent four years in academia as a tenure track assistant professor of law at the Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law. He now has a solo private practice in New York and has most recently been working in the renewable energy area.
Hilary is the Board reptresentative for the PW AA team.
Patrick Walsh (2020) - Vice President, Treasurer & Winter Garden Relations
Patrick is a lifelong Ridgefield resident. His son, Clayton, is a second-year Squirt player. Patrick has been actively involved in Connecticut youth hockey for more than 20 years as a hockey referee and is currently the SafeSport Director for RAHA.
Patrick loves the game of hockey and understands the importance youth sports provide our children. Hockey commands sacrifice and instills dedication, camaraderie, and pride. RAHA serves a community of individuals with common goals – fun, competitive hockey, and a program that will foster our children’s success, not only on the ice but wherever their aspirations lead them in the future.
He has volunteered his time and served the town of Ridgefield for fifteen years, three on the Zoning Board of Appeals and twelve years as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner. Patrick is a partner with the Ridgefield law firm Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP.
Patrick is the Board rpresentative for the Midget U16/U18 and Bantam AA teams.
Kevin D. White (2020) - Development
Kevin and his wife Anne have lived in Ridgefield since 2005. They have two sons (Jarrett and Gavin) and two daughters (Aubrey and Tessa) whose athletic activities include basketball, baseball, dance, lacrosse, and ice hockey. Gavin is a rising Bantam and Aubrey is a former Lady Lion who plays varsity ice hockey for Ridgefield High School.
Kevin was the Founder and Managing Partner of Spring Hill Capital Partners, LLC, and is now Executive Vice President with Hunt Companies (TX.) He serves as a Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation and is a former board member of the Beginning with Children Foundation, a Brooklyn-based charter school management organization. Kevin has 24 years of experience across a wide array of disciplines in structured finance, fixed income, and real estate, primarily in roles at Lehman Brothers. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross.
Kevin has served as a coach, assistant coach, and manager for RAHA, Ridgefield Little League, and the Lady Lions, most recently this season as an assistant coach with his son Gavin’s Peewee B team. He loves it, as he grew up in a coaching environment -- his father and two brothers are career high school and college football coaches, and he has learned a lot from watching them. Kevin is a certified USA Hockey coach (Level II).
Kevin is the Board representative for the PW A team.
Kim Hulber (2021) - Winter Garden Ice Scheduling
Kim and her family have lived in Ridgefield for eight years. She spends her days building strategies to make business processes more effective and efficient and at night you may run into her (not literally, I hope) chauffeuring her son and daughter between hockey, skating, soccer, swimming and dance.
Kim dabbled in hockey in her youth but really started playing as an adult. She spent many hours playing at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. and is now thrilled to watch her son play the sport that she enjoys so much, during daylight hours.
Kim is a Ridgefield Parks & Recreation commissioner, was a RAHA team manger this past year, spent several years on the Board of an adult not-for-profit hockey organization in NYC and has coached youth soccer. She has a wealth of experience in communications, program management, problem solving and getting things done. She would love the opportunity to bring her recreation, community and corporate experience to the Board to evolve the RAHA program.
Kim is the Board representative for the Squirt A team.
Danielle Scesa (2022) - Registrar & RAHA Uniforms & Equipment
Danielle and her husband James have lived in Ridgefield for 14 years. They have two children, Cameron a first year Squirt 9 years of age and Gianna, 4-year-old who is up on hockey skates prepping for RAHA.
The hockey bug hit about 5 years ago when Cameron quickly gained comfort on skates and even more so once the stick found his hands when launched into House Program. Cameron met several new hockey buddies while starting to learn and progressing skill in the game. After hockey quickly became his sport of preference the decision was easy to elevate him to the Mite RAHA travel hockey program. Danielle finds herself falling in similar line with Cameron’s newly found hockey obsession and jumped right in volunteering to be the team manager for the Mite C team and then a co-manager for the Mite A team last season.
Danielle’s passion for organized sports goes back to her childhood where she was a competitive Gymnast for over 10 years then transitioning to springboard diving after devastating knee injuries and multiple medical opinions. Danielle moved on to become a Division 1 Diver for the University of South Carolina and later The University of California at Berkeley where she graduated. The passion for sports did not end when her career did as she went on to coach a High School Diving team in California and a Division 1 Diving team for Georgia Southern University. Of more recent, Danielle was also one of the assistant track and field coaches for Saint Mary’s School in Ridgefield.
Professionally, Danielle is encroaching on 15 years within Talent Acquisition Management for Boehringer Ingelheim, a large pharmaceutical company where she remains in constant hunt for the top niche industry talent within the medical and sales & marketing departments of North America.
Danielle is confident in her ability to apply her passion for organized sports and the skills she’s acquired in her professional career in an effort to support and grow the mission of the RAHA organization and its impact on all players and families who aid in its success.
Danielle is the Board representative for the Mite A, B and C teams.
Elizabeth Zimels (2021) - Head Scheduler & Manager, Volunteer Coordinator
Elizabeth confessedly lives in Wilton with her husband, Tom and their son, Henry. This will be Henry’s fourth season with RAHA; he is a rising Peewee.
Elizabeth caught the hockey virus when Henry started playing at age 5. She learned to play at age 45, and plays (badly) for the Danbury Battle Axes, when she can find the time.
Professionally, Elizabeth splits her veterinary career between Broad River Animal Hospital in Norwalk and New Hope Spay/Neuter Clinic in Southington.
Elizabeth volunteered as the 2017-2018 Squirt AA scheduler and hopes a position on the board will expand her understanding and appreciation for “the coolest game on earth” and by extension, help her promote a lifetime love of playing and watching hockey among the kids of Ridgefield and--fingers crossed—expand RAHA’s growing reputation to Wilton families.
She can contribute some on-ice perspective, time spent in the non-profit trenches of a low-cost spay/neuter program, organizational skills, informal fundraising experience and enthusiasm.
Elizabeth is the Board representative for the Squirt A1 team.
Jared Kurtz (2020) - Marketing & Communications
Jared and his wife Kimberly moved to Ridgefield in 2013 from Long Island, NY with their three children Jake, 10 (Peewee Lion), Samantha, 8 (Mite Lion), and Chase, 5 (almost a Lion!).
Jared has been a lifelong hockey player and fan, growing up playing both travel hockey and lacrosse in Nassau County. He attended the Pennsylvania State University and has been actively involved in coaching youth sports both in Long Island and right here in Ridgefield with the Lions. Jared is a level 2 USA Hockey certified coach and brings a focus on both culture and character building for teams he has coached, as well as creating high performing teams.
Professionally, Jared brings a wealth of marketing experience to the Board, having worked on many notable brands throughout his career. Currently, he leads a large, cross-functional Marketing team with responsibility for the development of organizational strategy, budgeting, branding, communications, and collateral development. He has deep experience in the development and analysis of marketing research initiatives, targeting, positioning, and segmentation approaches. He will leverage these experiences to help continue building on the many successes that RAHA has already achieved.
Jared is the Board representative for the Bantam A team.
Vera Herwig (2022) -
Vera and her family made the move to Ridgefield this past August. She and her husband Craig have a daughter (Claudia) and two sons (Craig and Luke) who immediately became involved in Ridgefield Youth Sports. Their athletic activities include soccer, field hockey, baseball, and of course, hockey. In fact, the boys were rostered for RAHA even before she and her family found their new home here in Ridgefield! Craig is a second year Squirt, Luke is a second year Mite, and Claudia is their biggest fan!
Vera has always been involved in athletics. Growing up she excelled at field hockey and lacrosse before going on to captain her college lacrosse team. After graduation, Vera began coaching varsity field hockey and lacrosse at Pelham High School where she coached for 15 years. Vera also volunteered as a travel soccer coach as well as team manager for her children’s various teams. As soon as she moved to town and met her new hockey “family,” Vera knew she wanted to continue her commitment to youth sports here in Ridgefield.
Vera jumped right in and began volunteering her time to Ridgefield Field Hockey as a referee which led to her becoming a member of the parent board and a new coach for the 8th Grade team in the upcoming Summer clinics and Fall season. She is also currently serving as a member of the RAHA Fundraising Committee and has volunteered as a team manager for the Squirt AA team.
Vera is currently a 5th grade teacher in Pelham, NY where she has dedicated her heart and soul to children for the past 18 years. As an educator and coach, she understands that when we develop programs, activities, and instruction for children and young adults, whether it be in school or sports, we have to make sure we are taking into consideration all parties involved, and that the outcomes are in the best interest of the organization and its members as a whole. Vera is confident in her expertise to foster relationships, and will work to connect RAHA to its families. She believes that only when both parties work together can the program truly grow and benefit all involved.