After a combined 17 years at the helm of the sport and league, CEO Alex Benepe and COO Alicia Radford will be stepping down this spring and fall respectively, to be replaced by a single Executive Director selected by the Board.
Benepe, who helped found the sport in 2005, has accepted a new role as director of another emerging sport starting on May 1, details of which will be announced shortly. Radford, who started one of the first intercollegiate teams in 2008 and was a founding board member of US Quidditch in 2010, will serve as interim CEO while the Board of Directors begins a comprehensive executive search process. She will continue her career in nonprofit or business management and strategy, and will be stepping down from her interim CEO role in USQ once a new Executive Director is hired. She is also looking towards an MBA in her near future. Radford and Benepe will both stay on the Board of Directors, in full and emeritus (advisory) roles respectively.
Both have been with the sport and league since its founding and believe that a change in leadership is a healthy and important step for the league’s long-term sustainability. The Board, which has recently added Matt Hayden and Alison O’Neil, will be looking far and wide for the most qualified individual with professional sports and/or nonprofit management experience to help take the the league and sport into its next chapter. Additionally, the Board and senior staff team will be assessing options for fleshing out its employees, and the current core group of paid staff - Sarah Woolsey, Events Director; Katie Stack, Membership Director; and Mary Kimball, Assistant Events Manager - will all continue to provide amazing services and fantastic events for US Quidditch members.
“It’s been a fantastic ride,” wrote Benepe in an email to members tonight. “I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had not only to develop as an individual and leader, but to offer life-changing experiences to so many others... I must at this point offer my sincerest, most heartfelt thanks to everyone everywhere who has ever helped us grow our sport and league to where it is today.”
“I’ve been with quidditch since 2008,” said Alicia in their announcement video. “And since then I’ve had the pleasure to work with hundreds of dedicated individuals who have really put in so much fantastic work to make this sport what it is today. And to be able to say we’re at a point where we have five employees, 100 volunteers, and we can run events like World Cup 8 is pretty amazing, and I’ll always be grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be at the helm of this sport in its nascency. I’m also really excited to transition that over to the person who will be able to take us to the next level.”
Board Chair Jacob Adlis prepared an official statement for the occasion:
“The Board would like to thank Alex and Alicia for their service to both USQ and the sport of quidditch over the past 10 and seven years respectively. The Board will be working closely with Alicia and the rest of the staff during the interim period in order to ensure that the transition is managed smoothly and effectively. We are looking forward to bringing on an individual who will add both experience and new perspectives to USQ’s leadership, and will help to grow the sport of quidditch in the coming years.
“This is an exciting time for USQ – as we concurrently move forward with our previously announced Strategic Planning process, we have a tremendous opportunity to put the organization on a well-defined path to advance and grow quidditch within the U.S. As always, USQ is committed to providing its players, coaches, referees, snitches, and fans with resources, events, and opportunities of the highest quality."
US Quidditch will be publishing and promoting their Executive Director job posting shortly, and is excited to reach a wide audience of talented potential leaders to help lead the league and sport in its next chapter of development.