Saint Paul Blackhawks is a nonprofit corporation, governed by its Board of Directors for the benefit of its members and larger community. Serving as a director is an excellent way to make a difference in our organization and community.

Bylaws define roles of our individual directors and the board as a body. The organization is also subject to external rules and bylaws (for example, MYSA, US Youth Soccer), as well as statutes (State of Minnesota and United States).

Your Blackhawks board is a working, volunteer team. Directors serve without compensation, though each accepts responsibilities in common with all board members and others specific to her or his position.

The board conducts regular, monthly meetings in December through October. In November, the board hosts Blackhawks’ Annual General Meeting and elections. The board publishes notices of its monthly meetings on the club calendar; they are open to members. Your board encourages all members to attend the Annual General Meeting. Board members may conduct or participate in other meetings from time to time to address specific agendas.

Serving on the Blackhawks Board of Directors

Our board members serve in three ways: they oversee and govern the club’s efforts in carrying out its mission; foster an inclusive culture in which we can develop highly skilled, respectful, competitive soccer players; and fulfill responsibilities specific to their positions.

Board members…

  • promote the club to the community (internal and external)
  • attend at least 80% of monthly board meetings, which are generally two-hour, monthly meetings; and attend other meetings or events as needed
  • are financially supportive of the club
  • must be active, informed, and engaged; act in good faith, with care, and in the best interests of the organization
  • serve three-year terms (some directors offer to serve a second term)

Board Structure

Our Bylaws prescribe a board of 12 directors: President • Secretary/Treasurer • Boys Director • Girls Director • Communications Director • Marketing Director • Capital Campaigns and Philanthropy Director • Referee Director • Fields/Facilities Director • Community Outreach Director • Boys Development Director • Girls Development Director. The term for each position is three years; members elect roughly one-third of the positions each year to ensure continuity. The board may appoint a director to complete a vacated term.

Candidates Elected November 2016

  • President – Danah Ditzig (second term)
  • Boys Director (U12-U19) – Karla Kraemer
  • Communications Director – John Wilson (second term)
  • Community Outreach Director – Shirlene Perrin
  • Referee Director – Ben Exley (mid-term appointment)

Expand any position below to learn more.

Girls Competitive (U12–U19) • Next election Nov 2017
  • Develop processes to assure quality experiences for all players, families, and volunteers
  • Support the staff and programs that develop passionate players and winning attitudes
  • Create and cascade communication top down and bottoms-up (in person or digital)
    • Solicit feedback from parents and volunteers; share information with board and staff
    • Attend district (or other MYSA) meetings as-needed
    • Attend and support meetings of staff, age group coordinators, team managers, including: try-outs, new program registration, and others as requested
  • Engage membership through recruitment and support new volunteers
  • Work with staff, AGC, team managers to develop team plans which develop players for high school and college
  • Generate ways to attract quality players
Girls Developmental (U5–U11) • Next election Nov 2017

Identify and develop ways to grow membership and customer satisfaction (specific emphasis on the girls program)

  • Develop processes to assure quality experiences for all players, families, and volunteers
  • Support the staff and programs that develop passionate players and winning attitudes
  • Create and cascade communication top down and bottoms-up (in person or digital)
    • Solicit feedback from parents and volunteers; share information with board and staff
    • Attend district (or other MYSA) meetings as-needed
    • Attend and support meetings of staff, age group coordinators, team managers, including: try-outs, new program registration, and others as requested
  • Engage membership through recruitment and support new volunteers
Referees • Next election Nov 2017
  • Supports staff with referee and field assignor vendor management
  • Strives to increase both the pool of available referees and experience level
  • Coordinates on-site and in-club referee training and development, may include: classroom or on-the-job mentoring
  • Supporter, player and coach education
  • Liaises with referee associations
  • Supports referee coordination for Blackhawks events, where appropriate
Treasurer • Next election Nov 2017
Oversee and manage the club finances. Includes:

  • Establishing annual budget in support of staff and board
  • Creation of monthly balance sheets
  • Prepares required financial reporting forms, including year-end documentation
  • Monitoring expenses and transactions
  • Establish and implement spending policy
  • Identify and report trends and concerns
Boys Developmental (U5–U11) • Next election Nov 2018

Identify and develop ways to grow membership and customer satisfaction (specific emphasis on the boys program)

  • Develop processes to assure quality experiences for all players, families, and volunteers
  • Support the staff and programs that develop passionate players and winning attitudes
  • Create and cascade communication top down and bottoms-up (in person or digital)
    • Solicit feedback from parents and volunteers; share information with board and staff
    • Attend district (or other MYSA) meetings as-needed
    • Attend and support meetings of staff, age group coordinators, team managers, including: try-outs, new program registration, and others as requested
  • Engage membership through recruitment and support new volunteers
Capital Campaigns and Philanthropy • Next election Nov 2018
  • Identifies new sources of revenue and improves existing programs including: Give to the Max, Gala, online donations, etc.
  • Identify and lead initiatives for capital campaigns, includes: establishing need, identifying funding opportunities (grants, etc.)
  • Establishes database and messages to build compelling applications with support from President, staff, Marketing, Communications, and Outreach
  • Leads volunteer recognition program and supports voice of customer efforts
Fields and Facilities • Next election Nov 2018

Responsible for identifying available fields for use by Blackhawks in winter and summer

  • Working with field owners, including: St Paul City, St Paul Schools, St Paul Parks and Rec, to obtain needed space, and maintaining the fields in the summer (with support from volunteers and staff)
  • Identify and lead initiatives for new field and indoor space opportunities for development with support from Capital Campaigns and Philanthropy, Outreach, and staff
  • Identify and lead field and facility space improvement needs for safety, maintenance, and
  • Identify and lead funding opportunities for facilities and fields
Marketing • Next election Nov 2018

Create, implement, and manage the strategic marketing plan for the club to build brand and programs to build customer satisfaction and grow membership. Specific tasks may include:

  • Create advertising materials and program collateral (anything used to promote and educate)
  • Advertising planning and execution (Soccer Times, Villager, Midway Como Monitor, etc.)
  • Direct campaigns (fliers to schools, recreation centers, direct mail promotions to members, etc.)
  • Implement and manage branding guidelines. Oversee use of brand in materials, apparel, merchandise, signage, and all digital outlets. Maintain library of brand images.
  • Market research: research and report on competitive and complimentary programs (trends, demographics, pricing, etc.)
  • Voice of Customer (with support from Communications and staff): customer satisfaction surveys, coach and player evaluation program
  • Co-branding, sponsorship, and partnerships (with support President, staff, and Outreach).
Boys Competitive Programs (U12–U19) • Next election Nov 2019
  • Identify and develop ways to grow membership and customer satisfaction
  • Develop processes to assure quality experiences for all players, families, and volunteers
  • Support the staff and programs that develop passionate players and winning attitudes
  • Create and cascade communication top down and bottoms-up (in person or digital)
    • Solicit feedback from parents and volunteers; share information with board and staff
    • Attend district (or other MYSA) meetings as needed
    • Attend and support meetings of staff, age-group coordinators (AGCs), team managers, including: tryouts, new program registration, and others as-requested
  • Engage membership through recruitment and support new volunteers
  • Work with staff, AGCs, team managers to develop team plans which develop players for high school and college
  • Generate ways to attract quality players
Communications • Next election Nov 2019
Manage (through creation and review) internal and external communication. Specific tasks may include:

  • Drafting and approving collateral content (brochures, advertisements, web copy, etc.) in support or cooperation of Marketing. Topics may include: programs, registration, uniforms, handbooks.
  • Management of the club-wide contact list, document repository, etc.
  • Reporting and publishing articles and news in local and trade media
  • Digital content management (website, social, video, etc.)
  • Consistency, appropriateness, and strength of message in all outlets (web, social, print, etc.)
  • Lead creation of content for Annual General Meeting
Outreach • Next election Nov 2019
  • Facilitate communication with all members of our club. May include: one-to-one communication related to programs and club services, translation support for club collateral, etc.
  • Need-based financial assistance: Evaluate and update program guidelines, support staff management of the program, and liaise with membership
  • Identify and lead staff and member training to improve the club’s ability to support our diverse membership
  • Support the creation and implementation of business-to-business partnerships in our community with staff, Marketing, and Capital Campaigns and Philanthropy to further enable inclusiveness in our programs.
President • Next election Nov 2019
  • Establish governance and assure the club is acting in accordance to all bylaws, laws, and is true to the mission and strategy established by the board
  • Provide leadership to the board of directors and staff
    • Lead and conduct monthly board meetings
    • Provide MYSA representation
    • Primary liaison between board and staff
    • Leads strategy development
  • Supervise and develop staff and conducts performance evaluation
  • Leads community relationship building for all (players, parents, donors, business partners, media, etc.)
  • Acts as signing officer for the club
  • Facilitate and manage conflict resolution and responds to customer feedback, as appropriate