USA Ultimate Announces Membership Department Staff Changes

Posted: June 26, 2015 03:58 PM
Murphy Appointed to Director of Member Services & Community Development; Gallagher Joins Team; Byrd Departs
Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 26, 2015)—USA Ultimate announced today several changes to its membership department, including the departure of longtime Director of Membership & Sport Development Melanie Byrd and the promotion of Josh Murphy to Director of Member Services & Community Development.
USA Ultimate also announced the hiring of Kristen Gallagher to the position of Manager of Community Services & Development. 
In 13 years with the company, Byrd guided USA Ultimate’s membership department through unprecedented growth, increasing the organization’s membership base by more than 270 percent – from 13,700 members in 2001 to nearly 50,000 members in 2014. Most recently, she laid the foundation for USA Ultimate’s Affiliate Program, which to date includes 13 affiliate organizations in 12 states. 
"Melanie has made an enormous contribution, not only to USA Ultimate, but also to the sport of ultimate as a whole," said USA Ultimate CEO Dr. Tom Crawford. "She is a consummate professional with a tremendous passion for the sport who brought both of those qualities to work every day. She also was a blast to work with, and we thank her for all that she has contributed over the years. We will all miss Melanie very much but will keep her engaged as best we can moving forward. We extend to her our sincerest best wishes in her new adventure."
As Director of Member Services & Community Development, Murphy’s role will be primarily focused on supporting USA Ultimate members through a variety of programs and services, as well as developing the national infrastructure necessary to grow the sport and deliver USA Ultimate programs across the country.
"After so many months of working directly with Melanie, I am very sad to see her move on and will sorely miss her insight and expertise," said Murphy. "But I am thankful for this fantastic opportunity to lead an incredibly dynamic team with the Member Services and Community Development department. Kristen brings an impressive set of skills and background to the organization and will make a fantastic collaborator along with Rebecca (Simeone), Leah (Dolan-Kelley) and myself. Together we plan to continue providing a high level of service to our members, as well as support the continued increase in the quality and quantity of ultimate being played by communities around the nation."
"Josh is a very talented professional and is a perfect fit for his new role," continued Crawford. "He experienced first-hand the challenges associated with the growth of ultimate at the local level while serving the Triangle Flying Disc Association in North Carolina. His team will be focused on continuing to deliver the same high-quality member services we do today, while also placing a greater emphasis on helping local organizations thrive and grow."
Gallagher holds a master’s degree in recreation and sports administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She brings to USA Ultimate a wealth of community outreach experience from the University of Notre Dame Department of Athletics, National Wheelchair Basketball Association and Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. As Manager of Community Services & Development for USA Ultimate, she will support the membership department’s league sanctioning and affiliate programs and assist in the development and support of local organizations.
"I’m very excited to be joining the USA Ultimate team," expressed Gallagher. "I’m looking forward to developing relationships with our affiliates and continuing to grow ultimate at the youth level to offer additional opportunities for sport involvement. USA Ultimate has a great team culture, unique sport philosophy and very exciting future ahead!"
"Josh’s recruitment of Kristen, who joins our team with experience in athletic administration and the non-profit sector, adds some great new talent," added Crawford. "She was an outstanding athlete who is very excited about the future of a sport that girls will fall in love with."


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