Matt Bowers

Dr. Matt Bowers

Dr. Matt Bowers is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at the University of Texas and a founder of Hook & Ladder, a research-based sports consulting firm. His research examines the management of systems for athlete and coach development, particularly in regards to the potential benefits that non-organized sport settings, such as pick-up sports or video games, may have on these development systems. A major goal of his work is to influence the design and implementation of sport programs and policies that promote both elite performance and mass participation throughout the lifespan. As a consultant he works with sport organizations around the world to help them create sport experiences for youth that produce better athletes and better people.

Summit Presentation: The Value of Unstructured Play


Dr. Laurence Chalip

Dr. Laurence Chalip

Dr. Laurence Chalip is the Brightbill-Sapora Professor at the University of Illinois, where he serves as Head of the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism. His research focuses on the theoretical and practical issues related to the use of sport for policy purposes, as well as policy issues specific to the sport industry. The goal of this work is to elaborate a model that enables optimal design and delivery of sport programs and events in order to maximize economic and social development benefits for communities. He has worked with organizations at all levels of sport, from recreation programs to club teams to the Olympic Movement, and has won awards for his work from the North American Society for Sport Management and the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. He is on the advisory board for Project Play, the Aspen Institute's youth sport policy initiative — an experience which prompted the genesis of the Illinois Youth Sport Summit.

Summit Presentation: Sport as an Intervention


Tom Farrey

Tom Farrey

Tom Farrey is an award-winning journalist, author, and director of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program. A veteran reporter for ESPN, his work on youth football safety for Outside the Lines in 2014 earned ESPN its very first Alfred I. duPont Award, the most prestigious award in broadcast journalism. He is the author of Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children, an investigation into the culture of modern youth sports. Following the publication of this book he founded the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program with the goal of addressing contemporary issues in youth sport and identifying solutions. In line with this mission he launched the program's current initiative, Project Play, which brings together leaders and experts on a variety of topics in an effort to reimagine youth sports in America and explore how sport can serve the public interest by developing healthy children and communities.

Summit Presentation: Project Play and the State of Youth Sports


Jamie Gower

Jamie Gower, MS, CPRP

Jamie Gower, MS, CPRP is the Director of Recreation and Facilities for the Decatur Park District, where he is responsible for the overall operation of recreation, fitness, and sports facilities, including the Decatur Indoor Sports Center, Overlook Adventure Mini Golf, Decatur Soccer Complex, Rotary Park Softball Complex, Fairview Park Tennis Facility, Fairview Aquatics Facility, Johns Hill Senior Center and Scovill Zoo. Jamie also supervises ateam of professionals who provide cultural arts, sports lessons and leagues, camps, fitness, special events, aquatics, senior, and therapeutic recreation programming for the greater Decatur area. Prior to this he served as Risk Manager for Decatur Park District, and was previously the manager of the Decatur Indoor Sports Center, athletics supervisor at Decatur Park District, and recreation supervisor at Wood DalePark District. Jamie is a member of IPRA, NRPA, Central Illinois Council for Leisure Experiences, and sits on the EIU Recreation Administration Advisory Council, EIU Recreation Alumni Association Committee, and is part of the "Grow Decatur" initiative.

Summit Presentation: Creative Solutions to Scarce Resources


Christine Green

Dr. Christine Green

Dr. Christine Green is a professor of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois, the director of the Sport+Development Lab at UIUC, and the President of the North American Society for Sport Management. Her work examines the growth and development of sport programs and systems and their relationship to the development of individuals, groups, communities, and organizations. A major challenge she encounters in her work is cultural resistance to change within a model of sport that is highly competitive rather than cooperative, and which values achievement rather than growth. A major goal of her research is to help sport organizations understand that they can broaden what they offer without hurting their elite programs, and that by doing so they will attract new participants and maintain participation over a longer period of time. The practical objective of her work is to enhance the effectiveness of governance, administration, marketing, and policymaking for sport programs and systems.

Summit Presentation: Designing Youth Sport Programs and Systems


Dave McCann

Dave McCann

Dave McCann is the CEO of Sport Development Concepts, which provides consulting on all matters having to do with the development of sport, including recruitment, retention, and advancement of athletes. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and player-centered development of sport. Previously he served as Director of Rugby Development and Director of Coaching for USA Rugby, Manager of Coaching Education for the US Olympic Committee, and Director of the Institute for Sport Coaching. In 2011 he created the National Coaching Conference, which brings together coaches, coach educators, and program administrators to discuss and develop solutions to improve our national sports development, education, and performance system. In 2007 he was elected President of the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. Throughout his career he has trained over 3,000 sport coaches and instructors in clinics across the nation.

Summit Presentation: The American Development Model and the Benefits of LTAD


Scott Myers

Scott Myers

Scott Myers is the Executive Director of World Sport Chicago (WSC), a nonprofit organization that promotes the development of sustainable sports programming that improves the quality of life for under-served youth in Chicago and at-risk communities. WSC partners with community-based organizations such as schools, parks, and sport clubs, as well as the state and regional affiliates of various National Governing Bodies to support programs and events that provide youth with opportunities to develop positive values and leadership skills through sport experiences. He is on the Board of Directors of Youth Guidance, a leading provider of outcomes-driven, school-based programs and capacity-building initiatives that serve at-risk youth in Chicago. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Chicago Sports Commission.

Summit Presentation: Collaboration in the Urban Environment


Jason Sacks.

Jason Sacks

Jason Sacks is the Executive Director for the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Chicago Chapter. PCA is a national nonprofit with the mission of providing all youth and high school athletes with a positive, character-building youth sport experience. PCA helps create "Better Athletes, Better People" by partnering with local schools and sport organizations, conducting workshops, and providing education, tools, and resources for coaches, administrators, parents, and student-athletes. In his role Jason oversees the day-to-day operations of the Chicago chapter, including fundraising, board management, marketing, and partnership development. He has spoken about the value of coaching at numerous youth sports conferences across the country. In addition, he is currently the Varsity Assistant Basketball Coach at Perspectives (MSA) Charter High School in Chicago.

Summit Presentation: The Youth Sport Summit presentation by Mr. Sacks is not available at this time.


Dr. Jon Welty Peachey

Dr. Jon Welty Peachey

Dr. Jon Welty Peachey is a professor of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois focusing on how to leverage sport for development and social change. His research examines how to most effectively design and structure sport-for-development organizations to have optimal individual, community, and economic impact, as well as how to leverage these organizations and events for positive social outcomes. He works with community-based and non-governmental organizations that use sport for development purposes to help determine effective leadership strategies and programmatic and structural design features that are sensitive to cultural contexts and the individuals served by the programs. Organizations that have benefitted from his assistance include Street Soccer USA and the World Scholar-Athlete Games. Prior to joining the academic community, he served as Vice President of International Operations and Program Development for the Institute for International Sport, a world-wide non-profit organization using sport to effect positive social change.

Summit Presentation: Sport to Improve Intergroup Relations