Youth travel hockey program playing out of Winter Garden Ice Arena, Ridgefield, CT

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RAHA Board Members, Terms & Bios:

Jane Hoeffner (2019) - Registrar & RAHA Uniforms & Equipment

Jane and her family have been members of RAHA since 2011. For the past four years, Jane has served as the manager for her son Henry’s teams and for the past year, as the Squirt B scheduler. Last season, Jane was responsible for coordinating and curating the celebration of RAHA’s 40th anniversary, including the memorabilia display at Winter Garden and the collection of photos and stories on the Web site. She greatly valued learning about the organization's rich history with the community and with Connecticut youth hockey, and as a new board member, is enthusiastic about working to continue RAHA's tradition of excellence.

Jane is a Weston resident and a longtime dedicated volunteer with many organizations there, including the Weston Women’s League, the Weston Neighbors and Newcomers Club, and the school PTOs, for which she is currently a board member and the publicity chair. Jane is a graduate of Georgetown University and has a M.Ed. from George Washington University and an MBA from Fordham University. She also spent many years as a project manager at Morgan Stanley.

While serving on the RAHA board, Jane’s ambition is to serve in a way that helps RAHA maintain a program that is well respected for its player development and its organizational integrity. She is passionate about cultivating a solid environment for players to learn more about the sport, progress to the highest level at which they desire to play, make friends, create great memories, and have fun. Jane is the Board representative for the Bantam A1 team.

 

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.

 

Hilary Kao (2020) - Secretary & Winter Garden Relations

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.

 

Patrick Walsh (2020) - Vice President

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.

 

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).

 

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.
 

Susan Price (2021) - Treasurer

After joining RAHA only last year, Susan and her family have quickly become acquainted with the program. Her son, Joey, played on the Squirt B Team; while she served successfully as the team’s manager.

Susan and her family are long-time residents of Wilton. She has played a very active role in the school PTAs serving as Miller-Driscoll’s PTA President for two academic years while also holding many chair positions for major school events and fundraising activities. She also spends time on committee work for Wilton Cub Scouts Pack 17.  She and her family are very active at St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield where she has been a Catechist for the past nine years.

Professionally, Susan is a CPA licensed in New York and in Connecticut.  She started her career at KPMG LLP and reached the level of Senior Manager.  She then became the Manager of SEC Financial Reporting for Crane Co., where she spent many years.  She currently works at King School in Stamford as their Senior Accountant.  She is hopeful that her strong accounting background will add value to the organization through her role as Assistant Treasurer. 
 

Elizabeth Zimels (2021)

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.