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From the Board of Directors:
After wrapping up what was another overall successful season, we would like to provide you with an update on the current staffing situation at KOHA. As you know, we are actively searching for an Executive Director to lead our program. While we have had some interest in the position, we haven’t identified what we feel is an ideal match for our organization at this time. We will continue our search, but in the interim, we need to have staffing in place to support our membership and to continue moving KOHA towards our vision of being a national leader in youth hockey and a regional destination.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m pleased to announce that we have approved an interim plan for the upcoming season as follows:
• Matt Kakabeeke will join the staff and serve as our ‘Interim Hockey Director’, overseeing all of our on-ice initiatives, including the leadership of our coaches and skills team and the development of all hockey instruction and programming. Not only is Matt our 2007 KWings Head Coach, for the last decade he has been USA Hockey’s Associate Coach-in-Chief for the Michigan District.
“I have known Matt since he coached my son 25 years ago. When I became the leader of coach education in Michigan, I sought him out to be one of our instructors, which he has been for almost 15 years. Matt has a passion for making players better, as individuals and team members. He has great hockey knowledge, is highly respected by USA Hockey's professional staff, and has something perhaps most important to his new role - absolute integrity, in that he does what he believes is right. I am thrilled to see him take on this new role, and I wish Matt and the KOHA family the best.” ~ Jack Witt, USA Hockey, Michigan Coach-in-Chief
“As KOHA enters its fifth season as a Model club, I can't think of anyone better to lead the Association into the future. Matt brings not only a wealth of hockey knowledge to the position, but a passion for improving the youth hockey experience. He is focused on continuing KOHA's emphasis on long-term athlete development and does a great job to ensure that developing character individuals is always part of KOHA's direction. I am excited to see the positive impact his leadership and guidance will bring for this next chapter of KOHA hockey.” ~Bob Mancini, USA Hockey, ADM Regional Manager
• Frank Noonan, our current Director of Operations, will formally transition to ‘Interim Executive Director’. Frank has been involved in youth hockey in Kalamazoo for 25+ years, as a parent, volunteer, coach, rink manager, board member, and staff/administrator and before his retirement was in the Banking Industry for 29 years. He will work closely with the Board of Directors to execute the strategic plan and direct all aspects of the day-to-day operations both on and off the ice in addition to continuing as the KOHA Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) Representative. Frank will also continue his responsibilities as the League Commissioner and President of the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League.
• Dave Toth, our current Travel Director, will transition into a full-time role to provide additional support to the membership and operational functions. Dave has been involved with KOHA as a parent, travel team manager, board member & travel director for nearly twenty years.
These changes are on an interim basis and will be re-evaluated when an Executive Director is hired, or once again at the end of the season. We’re excited about each of these individuals taking on additional responsibility and providing the support to you, our membership. Additionally, the following staff remain in their current roles: Stephanie Dukesherer (Marketing & Communications), Bob Kirk (House B Director), and Lynda Colvin (Bookkeeper). If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Frank Noonan.