Photo courtesy Birmingham Legion FC
TAMPA, Fla. – The USL Impact Committee, comprised of representatives from Championship and League One clubs, met for the first time on Tuesday afternoon to open the 2020/21 USL Winter Summit. Working in collaboration with USL HQ, the newly formed group will serve as an advisory board to both the league office and its clubs, working to identify issues, provide recommendations on how to better address areas of social impact, and use soccer as a force for good.
The creation of the USL Impact Committee began this past November when each club in the Championship and League One was given the opportunity to put forward a nominee. Each nominee was required to submit a short statement explaining their interest in being a part of the committee.
Once candidacies were submitted, a summary was compiled and presented to both the Championship and League One Board of Governors. Following meetings, a group of eight representatives – four from the USL Championship, two from USL League One, one USL HQ staff member and one nominee appointed by USL HQ – was selected to serve on the Committee. The committee was first announced by USL President Jake Edwards while on the Back Yard Footy Podcast with USL Black Players Alliance Executive Committee member Hugh Roberts this past November.
“We are fortunate to have such a talented, passionate group of individuals who are willing to dedicate their time and energy towards making our league a more thoughtful and compassionate place,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “We look forward to getting to work.”
Each USL Impact Committee member will serve a minimum two-year term.
USL Impact Committee
Jovan Chavez – Latino Outreach Manager, Forward Madison FC
Martie Cordaro – President, Union Omaha
Mike Geddes – Chief Purpose Officer, Oakland Roots SC
Lucy Gonzalez – Head of Marketing & Brand, FC Tulsa
Shannon MacMillan – Senior Advisor, San Diego Loyal SC
Madison Prillwitz – Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, Indy Eleven
Curtis Walker – Senior Director of Corporate Partnership, USL HQ
Chanel Wiese – Executive Director of Somos Unidos Foundation, New Mexico United (Committee Lead)
For the 2021 season, the Committee has identified four areas of social impact to begin their work. Those areas are Anti-Racism efforts, LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Community Engagement and Gender Equity. In addition, members will lead Sub-Committees that will continue to work on each issue between full Impact Committee meetings. Sub-Committees will meet every two weeks between formal meetings of the Impact Committee, which will meet every six weeks throughout the year.
The USL Impact Committee and Sub-Committees will also work closely with representatives of the USL Players Association and the USL Black Players Alliance. The USLPA was represented at the committee’s inaugural gathering by Executive Committee member Connor Tobin, and the USLBPA by Executive Committee members Roberts, Brandon Miller and Matt Watson.