New Hires Announcement

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We’re absolutely thrilled to announce the addition of nine talented individuals to our Gameplay, Financial and Legal and Marketing departments.

Gameplay

Credit Jonathon RulandGAMEPLAY DIRECTOR: MOLLIE LENSING
Photo by Jonathon Ruland

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
The opportunity to take quidditch to the next level. This organization is developing the framework to make semi-professional and, eventually, professional quidditch a reality, which is critical to the sustainability of the sport. The gameplay will be at the highest level possible which will lead to an increased occurrence of new strategy development and a faster growth of players’ skills. It will make for reduced parity next season, specifically on the east coast, and an even higher level of competition in the sport come Nationals.

– What prior experience would you like to highlight that would apply to this role?
I have played in six World Cups, one Global Games and numerous other tournaments around the league. I have been a coach and captain of multiple teams. I was also the Field Staff Coordinator of World Cup VI. I have seen firsthand the frustrations of many players across the league and experienced those same frustrations myself over the years as a player. I have also had many great experiences. I can empathize with the average quidditch player and what they expect when they step on the field for a game, so I plan to use my experiences as one source to develop processes and policies that mitigate the risk of bad experiences and duplicate the situations in which good experiences can occur.
From my professional career, I have had numerous experiences in managing both people and projects. Many of my key strengths are focused on process improvement, change management and stakeholder analysis, as well as engagement.

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of this organization, and I wanted to be a part of it. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity such as this to present itself and allow me to take on a bigger role in the continued growth of quidditch. I want to continue moving quidditch toward further legitimacy as a sport while still respecting the value of change management.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
My biggest goal for the inaugural season is to gain trust from the community. I also plan to improve the quality of reffing and snitching by working with my staff to fill in whatever gaps currently exist in terms of skill-development tools and references and, more importantly, to implement appropriate motivators to get the most qualified refs and snitches to want to do the job from game to game. I also plan to develop player safety and disciplinary policies with accompanying standardized processes on how to handle various situations that will be consistently upheld across the league. I want as much clarity and transparency as possible and upfront to avoid anyone being blindsided by a decision.

 

14465_635151826504268_145504525_nREFEREE COORDINATOR: ANDREW CANTO
Photo by Michael E. Mason

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
The excitement of the MLQ, first and foremost, is that it is brand new and its organizers have seen the evolution of quidditch and where it needs to go. The fact that the league operates in a quidditch “dead-zone” will help satisfy the demand for quidditch year-round. Being part of something this special is very exciting.

– Tell us a bit about your relevant experience.
1) Member of the IQA/USQ’s Referee Development Team from 2011-13
2) RDT Manager from 2012-13
3) Northeast Regional Referee Coordinator 2012
4) Assistant Referee in every World Cup final since World Cup V
5) IRDP member 2014-present
6) IRDP Board Member

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
Aside from it being a totally new venture, the selling point was the people involved. These individuals are responsible for pushing the sport to new heights. Ethan Sturm and Amanda Dallas have always been highly influential forces in the community. Working under a veteran leader in Mollie Lensing and other giants of quidditch such as Dan Hanson and Martin Pyne is just a no-brainer.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
As mentioned before, gameplay is the top priority of this league, which means referee quality is of the utmost importance. With the help of the IRDP, I plan to further develop referee ratings/rankings to make sure higher-quality referees are assigned to important games. I also plan to use the IRDP to create rational and sensible referee schedules to ensure that referees aren’t stretched during matches/tournaments. I am humbled that the MLQ has given me this opportunity and I can’t wait to hit the ground running!

 

Credit Monica WheelerHEAD OF STATISTICS: MARTIN PYNE
Photo by Monica Wheeler

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
It’s exciting to have more quidditch, especially summer quidditch that isn’t just random teams that exist for a weekend. I’m really looking forward to what quidditch in a more organized, scheduled format looks like.

– Tell us a bit about your relevant experience.
I’m a huge believer in trying to track quidditch statistics. I’ve been trying to do so off and on for the last three seasons, on both my website, quidditch-reference.com, and in person.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
I’m really looking forward to being able to systematically track statistics for an entire league season. We just don’t have enough data on existing quidditch leagues to say anything much interesting. I plan to make sure that MLQ’s data is as complete as possible. No more of these annoying gaps in data that we have in other leagues.

 

Credit Jessica Jiamin LangSTATISTICIAN: DAN HANSON
Photo by Jessica Jiamin Lang

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
I’m just excited for more quidditch. It’s really cool to see a new league format. Teams based in cities should boast a lot of pride and talent and should be really fun to watch.

– Tell us a bit about you relevant experience.
I tried to create some new ways to keep stats when I worked for the Monthly Seer and then tracked simple individual and team stats for the Southern California Quidditch Conference. I currently organize The Eighth Man scoreboard. There’s a lot more we can do with it and it should be fun to work with a league where score and statistics reporting are fairly manageable, and complete stats are a realistic possibility.

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
I found the prospect of the new league incredibly exciting, and I wanted to get involved however I could from a part of the country with no MLQ teams.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
I plan to make sure MLQ continues its well-branded debut with good coverage—both with complete objective statistics and some subjective articles interpreting those statistics and capturing stories.

 

Finance

11099_812056082212145_7226030826429875061_nFINANCIAL DIRECTOR: CHRIS LOPEZ
Photo by Chris Lopez

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
It is pushing the boundaries of the sport to further enrich it.

– Tell us a bit about you relevant experience.
I have been previously tasked with running a grant committee to raise funds for awarding scholarships to students who excelled in their studies. I also bring with me over eight years of business management experience, especially in the financial aspect.

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
That’s simple. I love quidditch. I know this league will further enrich the sport of quidditch and bring something new to fans, and I’m happy to be part of it.

 

Marketing

11060915_855719664500363_157807874656955466_oMARKETING DIRECTOR: LUIS DE CASTRO
Photo by Isabella Gong

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?

MLQ is in a unique situation. Quidditch has an extremely passionate and dedicated fanbase, more than any other emerging sport. Quidditch appeals to nontraditional markets, but its growing legitimacy is increasing its appeal to traditional sports markets as well. MLQ’s organized structure has it in a prime position to make the unprecedented leap from “fictional sport” to market force by taking advantage of these opportunities.

– Tell us a bit about you relevant experience.
I’ve worked with high schools in their marketing efforts and in helping students learn marketing through hands-on methods. I’ve also focused heavily on marketing while a student at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
I love quidditch and I love marketing. I’ve always wanted to get involved in advancing the growth of quidditch and working to help MLQ grow as a league is the perfect opportunity.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
I have huge hopes for the future of MLQ. I want to make the league as accessible as possible, working to eliminate the confusion that often discourages people from watching quidditch. I want to reach out to news sources which have thus far ignored quidditch and get them to start reporting on us. Even if Grantland is writing about us as a novelty, we still want them writing about us. We want people to see that we exist. I also hope to reach an agreement with an online streaming service for our games. This would bring in new viewers from outside the quidditch community and allow us to establish MLQ as a legitimate league.

– Anything you’d like to add?
Based on Google trends, since 2011, there has been more interest in the sport of quidditch than in arena football, the largest ultimate league or the largest lacrosse league. There is as much interest in it as there are in most of the second-tier European soccer leagues. I believe that MLQ will be able to consolidate that interest and finally get quidditch the recognition it deserves.

 

11134143_858420134230316_8317261112266316941_oPHOTO EDITOR: MICHAEL E. MASON
Photo by Isabella Gong

 

 
Credit Isabella Gong
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR: MIKE IADEVAIA
Photo by Isabella Gong

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
What excites me most about Major League Quidditch is the potential it has to redefine professional sports leagues. Most sports leagues do not stress inclusivity and athleticism among all genders like quidditch does. I believe this league will change the world, and I am eager to be apart of it.

– Tell us a bit about you relevant experience.
I have an extensive background in social media for various quidditch accounts. I ran social media and public relations for Hofstra University’s quidditch club for the past 2.5 years. Under my supervision, our social media across all our platforms has increased to 2,200 followers and our club membership soared to its highest membership ever with 60 members this year. Additionally, I have assisted running the Northeast Quidditch Twitter for the past and current USQ Northeast Regional Directors. As manager of this Twitter, I promoted various events and programs throughout the region. Furthermore, my experience as the Social Media Editor for The Eighth Man has helped prepare me for this role. I have created graphics, composed and scheduled posts and promoted site content. As a result, the site generated roughly 25,000 new pageviews from August to December 2014. I have established myself as a social media pro in the quidditch community.

– What made you decide to pursue this position?
I pursued this opportunity because if MLQ is to be successful, a responsible and dedicated person must hold this position. I have stepped up before in the community, holding leadership on my team, in the Big Apple Quidditch Conference and in the league’s most prominent media outlet. This position requires a capable person. I am confident that I am that person.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
A few of my plans to make the league a success include social media campaigns and exploring new rising apps. Apps I would like to use for the league include Meerkat and Periscope, live-streaming services that post videos instantly. This will help people from across the league and the world watch matches that they are unable to see in person. Additionally, an idea I have for a social media marketing campaign includes “#MoreBalls.” While it does have an edgy title, the campaign would bring MLQ into the spotlight, helping to challenge the idea of quidditch as a weak sport and highlighting the physicality required through pictures, videos and infographics

 

Credit Alex GatesMEDIA ASSOCIATE: ABBI PITTMAN
Photo by Alex Gates

– What about Major League Quidditch excites you?
MLQ is an exciting step toward a higher level of competition in quidditch. It allows for the best of the best to compete in the off-season, giving other members of the quidditch community a new stage to observe and enjoy the sport.

– Tell us a bit about you relevant experience.
My prior experience lies primarily in copy editing. I’m the Chief Copy Editor of The Eighth Man and have worked on various publications since high school.

– What are some of your plans to help make the league a success?
I want to make MLQ a success by putting forth consistent, accurate and professional copy that reflect the high standards of MLQ.