USQ has added three new members to the Board of Directors, effective September 2020: Christian Barnes, Brandi Cannon, and Kristin Ladia. Together they bring a combined 23 years of quidditch experience to the Board. They are all current USQ volunteers.
Barnes, Cannon, and Ladia have joined the USQ Board of Directors effective September 2020. They were selected as part of the Board’s recent open recruitment process, which focused on bringing on new board members who identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).
“Christian, Brandi, and Kristin have made incredible contributions to USQ through their time as volunteers. Their connections to the community and history in the sport will be so helpful on the board,” said USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball.
Christian Barnes (he/him) started playing quidditch during pick-up matches in New York City’s Central Park in 2013. Since then, Barnes continued to engage with the player base as a college player and leadership for the Macaulay Marauders (2013-2017) and The Rogues (2018-2019) before starting the New York Nocturns in 2019 with Tyler Walker and Natasha Sydor. The goal of NY Nocturns is to expand club quidditch in the NYC area.
Beginning in 2017 with his onboarding as a USQ regional coordinator, Barnes has prioritized improvement in communication between USQ and every level of player. Barnes has experience as every level of USQ stakeholder- player, captain, coach, conference leader, tournament director, referee, snitch, long term volunteer, regional and national championship staff. He brings an intersectional lens to all volunteer work across USQ and MLQ, including working with MLQ's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Team.
After winning the USQ spirit award at the regional and national level last season, Barnes decided that applying for the board of directors was an important next step in connecting league decisions with the community of players. One of the first goals Barnes has is to continue conversations around racial diversity and inclusion within the sport. In his personal life, Barnes works for the NYC Department of Education, helping families with the high school admissions process. Barnes's hobbies include anime, comics, and finding a new show to binge. He currently volunteers with USQ in the member services department, as a Northeast regional coordinator, as well as in the gameplay department with both the referee and snitch teams.
Brandi Cannon (she/they) has been involved with the quidditch community since 2011, beginning with serving as leadership with her alum team Sam Houston State Bearkats. Since then she has volunteered in many roles, since 2012, including: state representative for Texas, event hospitality coordinator for both local and national tournaments, and tournament director throughout the years. Before her move to the Northeast she and her postgraduate friends formed the Houston Cosmos. She now mostly focuses on outreach in youth quidditch and acts as a consultant for diversity related materials for NGBs. She is currently USQ’s DEI Coordinator.
Cannon’s background in botanical sciences and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) has led her around the country to explore her passions. She uses her personal and professional experiences to drive critical thinking in classrooms with a focus on underrepresented narratives in science. She now works as a middle school science curriculum coordinator, and 8th grade science teacher; where beyond hyping up teenagers about science, she leads the Kids of Color affinity group and the middle school WISE (Women in STEM Education) club. Cannon is also one of the co-founders of Black Botanists Week, which promotes, encourages, and creates a safe space for Black people (and BIPOC) who love plants and want to find other like minded plant enthusiasts.
Kristin Ladia (she/her) is a product analyst based in Fort Myers, Florida. She received her degrees in bioengineering and software engineering from Florida Gulf Coast University, where she began playing for FGCU Quidditch in 2013 and served the team as vice president, coach, and tournament director. Kristin is active in the quidditch community as a referee, member of Terminus Quidditch Atlanta, and development coordinator for USQ, where she supports fundraising efforts.
Outside of work and quidditch, Kristin is pursuing her master's in engineering management from the University of Central Florida; she also volunteers with a civil liberties non-profit and competes in both hackathons and anime conventions alike. Her favorite pastimes are cooking, traveling, reading, gaming, soccer, and playing with her dog.
Badal Chandra and Amanda Dallas have stepped down from the board of directors. Both Chanda and Dallas had a significant impact on the club division restructuring that took place last season, and Dallas was especially instrumental in the #savequidditch fundraiser this past spring. USQ thanks Chandra and Dallas for their years of service on the board.