Mission & Overview

  • The Board of Directors of USA Water Polo, Inc. is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the corporation.  The board is composed of volunteers and structured on a corporate model, consistent with the board of the United States Olympic Committee.

    At least two athlete representatives are appointed to the Board, comprising not less than 20% of the voting members.  At least two Independent Directors are also elected, who are required to not possess any known affiliations within the corporation. Elected as Independent Directors are Michael Graff, Houston Hall, Sheldon Pang, Robert Sternfels and Walt Price.  At least three other directors must also not hold any relevant or elected positions within the corporation but may be active in other related aspects of the sport.

    Rudy Baldoni
    Director
    - Independent
    Rudy Baldoni

    Rudy J. Baldoni is CEO of Newport Investment Associates, an Irvine, California-based investment company. Newport Investment Associates invests in distressed real estate opportunities and provides early stage investment capital to companies in the technology space.He also serves as Chairman and CEO of MortgageDocs, one of the nation's largest national signing services companies.

    Prior to forming Newport Investment Associates, Mr. Baldoni served in various capacities with Arnel & Affiliates, a real estate development and investment company owned by former US Ambassador to Spain, George Argyros. Prior to joining Arnel, Mr. Baldoni was a commercial real estate banker with Security Pacific National Bank and Bank of America in Orange County, California.

    Mr. Baldoni currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and was the past Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire where he currently serves on their Executive Board.He also serves on the Advisory Board for the UCI Center for Real Estate, and the Advisory Board for the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics at Chapman University and was previously on the Executive Committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He received a BS in Biology from USC, a JD from Western State University and a Certificate in Commercial and Industrial Development and Management from UCI.

    His passion for water polo first started from watching his son and daughter play water polo for Corona del Mar High School and more recently when his daughter played at Stanford University and for the USA Junior National and National teams. Rudy lives in Newport Beach, California with his wife Mary

    Richard Esterkin
    Director - At-Large

    Richard Esterkin
    Richard Esterkin is an attorney with the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP whose practice focuses primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and complex commercial litigation. Richard repeatedly has been recognized as a California "Super Lawyer" and a "Best Lawyer" and has served as a mediator on the mediation panels established by the United States Bankruptcy Court and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  Richard has also donated his time assisting USA Water Polo in a wide variety of legal matters over the past several years.

    Richard is an active member of the water polo community as a member of the Tri-Valley masters water polo club and has competed in USA Water Polo's Masters National Championships, where he has been recognized as a Masters All-American, and the FINA World Masters Championships.  Richard's aquatic background includes recognition as a NAIA All-American swimmer while at Claremont Men's College, as well being named to the All-SCIAC water polo team on two occasions and earning Most Valuable Player honors at the 1971 NAIA Area 2 Water Polo Championship tournament.

    Michael Graff
    Director - Independent

    Michael Graff
    Michael Graff served as president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace before joining Warburg Pincus in 2003. Currently, he is involved with the firm's consumer, industrial and services activities, focusing primarily on the industrial sector. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company in New York, London and Pittsburgh. Mr. Graff is a director of Builders FirstSource, CAMP, Consolidated Precision Products, Extant, Mission Motors, Polypore, QuEST Global Services and TransDigm. In addition, he is chairman of CAMP, Consolidated Precision Products, and Extant. In addition to his role as chairman of USA Water Polo he also serves on the board of US Aquatic Sports. Mr. Graff received an A.B. in economics from Harvard College, and an M.S. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Houston Hall
    Director - Independent

    Houston Hall

    Houston Hall is the co-founder and manager of Falcon Fund, Ltd., a Dallas, TX-based long-short equity hedge fund launched in 1990. Falcon Fund invests in a wide range of securities and businesses, with a strong focus on U.S. publicly-traded equities. Since 2007, Falcon Fund has operated exclusively as a family-office investment partnership.

    Mr. Hall is also a co-founder of BioMatrix Partners, Ltd., a family-owned investment partnership focused on public and private biotechnology companies, with an emphasis on early-stage opportunities. In addition, Mr. Hall is co-founder and Chairman of Agilis Biotherapeutics, LLC, a Cambridge, MA-based biotech company focused on the development of gene therapies for rare diseases of the central nervous system.

    Mr. Hall earned an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College in 1982, where he played on the school's first varsity water polo teams. He continues to be involved in water polo at the local level with the Dallas Water Polo Club, and has been instrumental in the successful development and growth of the sport at the junior level in North Texas the past five years.

    Ray Kennedy
    Director - Independent

    Ray Kennedy

    Ray is currently a principal and a high yield portfolio manager for Hotchkis and Wiley managing almost $2.5B in assets.Previously, he was the global head of high yield for PIMCO where he oversaw $50B in assets and was a senior member of the investment committee.He has worked in Los Angeles, New York and London and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg, and featured in The Wall Street Journal and Barron's. In 2010, he was nominated for Fixed Income Manager of the Year.Outside of work, Ray is active in educational and athletic organizations that service the local Newport Beach community, including women's water polo and volleyball.He has been the President for a number of these community organizations.

    Ray has a BS in engineering from Stanford and a MBA in Finance from UCLA.He is married and has 3 children, all of whom attend/attended Stanford, including a daughter who was a two-time NCAA champion in water polo (2011 & 2012) and another daughter who is currently playing volleyball.The Kennedys reside in Corona del Mar, California.

    Kay Krill
    Director - Independent

    Kay Krill
    Kay Krill was appointed as director of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. by the company's Board of Directors on October 7, 2015. Kay Krill has served as President and CEO of ANN INC. since 2005. Kay joined Ann Taylor in 1994 and quickly advanced within the company. She was responsible for the creation of the LOFT brand and was named President in 2001. Under her tenure it became a $1.5 billion business and one of the fastest growing concepts in women's apparel.

    In 2004, she was promoted to the role of President of the company as well as named a Director. During her tenure, Kay fostered a purpose driven culture. She launched ANN INC.'s corporate social responsibility program, Responsibly ANN, and the company's charitable platform, ANN Cares, to support programs that contribute to women's and children's health and well-being. Since 2005, ANN INC. has raised more than $50 million to support such causes including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    As a female CEO, Kay has a passionate commitment to invest in women and causes that are important to them. She is the driving force behind the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, a program designed to train and mentor the next generation of female leaders in the United States.

    She has been cited by Fortune Magazine as one of America's most powerful women business leaders and Crain's 50 Most Powerful Women in New York (from 2007-2015). In addition to her appointment as a Director of Ascena, Ms. Krill is also on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the Board of Directors of the National Retail Federation and St Luke's School in New Canaan, CT.

    Jeremy Laster
    Director

    Jeremy Laster
    Jeremy Laster currently works as Vice President and Treasurer for Rancho Mission Viejo, a family-owned real estate development company located in Orange County, California. He also has a great deal of water polo experience having played with the Men's Senior National Team from 1992 until 1998. Jeremy represented Team USA at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta among many other world championships. A standout water polo player in college, Jeremy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Jeremy also secured two NCAA Championships and was honored as a three time All-American.  He currently resides in Newport Beach with his wife, Frandy, and their six young children.

    Director Jessica Steffens.

    Sheldon Pang
    Director - Independent

    Sheldon Pang
    Sheldon Pang is the Vice Chairman of Freepoint Commodities, LLC, a global commodities investment and trading concern headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Residing on the boards of many academic and philanthropic ventures, both domestic and international, Pang has served on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars since 2010 after being appointed by President Obama.

    Prior to Freepoint Commodities, Pang was Vice Chairman of RBC Capital Markets and before that spent more than 12 years in the US financial service industry. Alongside his professional career Pang's volunteer work is extensive. He has served on the board of Carmel Academy, Huaxia Chinese School of Greater New York, the Brookings Institute Foreign Policy Leadership Committee, and the China Advisory Council of Brown University. Other service work includes his time as an Educational Counselor at MIT and as Chairman of the Zhejiang University Endowment Fund.

    A graduate of Zhejiang University, Pang earned a master's degree from Vanderbilt University and a doctoral degree from MIT. No stranger to the sport of water polo, he and his wife, Hong, are the proud parents of two devoted water polo players, Charlie and Mindy, of Greenwich Aquatics club. The family resides in Greenwich, Connecticut.

    Walt Price
    Director - Independent

    Walt Price
    As a Certified Financial Advisor, Walt Price, Jr. has built a long career successfully managing a variety of funds for a host of clients over the last 40 plus years. Currently he serves as Managing Director, Senior Analyst and Senior Portfolio Manager at Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC. Prior to his time with Allianz, Price served key roles at RCM Capital Management LLC and Colonial Management. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Price holds an MS and BS in Management from the Sloan School at M.I.T. He also earned a BS with Honors in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. No stranger to the athletic arena, Price was a three-time letter winner on the wrestling team and captain of the 1969-70 team.

    Price is an active supporter of water polo and the Olympic movement. He was introduced to the game through his daughter Olivia who plays for the Diablo Water Polo Club of Northern California. She will compete for the Harvard University Water Polo Team starting in the Spring of 2018. Price's son, Cameron, attends Cal State University, East Bay. Price and his wife Virginia reside in Lafayette, California.

    Alfonso Pulido
    Director - Independent

    Alfonso Pulido
    Alfonso Pulido is Principal with McKinsey and Company's San Francisco Office and a Leader in McKinsey's Operations and Marketing & Sales practices, specializing in High Tech GTM and Customer Experience across sectors. He leads customer-centric transformations to help clients explore new markets and re-imagine their performance and customer experiences.

    Prior to joining McKinsey, Alfonso co-founded Vestal Design a design firm focused on new product introduction and early stage prototyping and as an engineer at Acumen Medical. He maintains close ties to the venture and design community through formal mentoring relationships and ongoing involvement with Stanford University's Mayfield Fellows Program. Alfonso earned a Masters and Undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford he built a foundation of user centered design and received the Mayfield Fellowship.

    Steve Rodosky
    Director - Independent

    Steve Rodosky
    Steve Rodosky is a managing director at PIMCO, in charge of US Interest Rate Trading and a portfolio manager for corporate pension plans. He serves on the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee in Washington DC, consulting senior government officials quarterly.

    Steve holds a BA in English from Villanova University and MS in Financial Markets and Trading from the Stuart School of Business in Chicago.

    Steve and his family have volunteered with Operation Smile, a charity which performs surgeries on children with facial deformities in the third world. They have also been deeply involved with the Samueli Academy, a charter school in Orange County serving students in the foster care system. Steve is on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Harbor Area and is an active supporter of US Olympics.

    Steve and his wife Kim have lived in Newport Beach for 14 years. They have six children--4 boys and 2 girls. Their sons Charlie and Jack play for the UCSB Gauchos. William plays for Corona Del Mar high school and Matthew is an 8th grader in the CDM Club program. Their daughters, Annie and Emily, prefer horseback riding but acknowledge the sport will find them soon enough.

    Bill Smith
    Director - At-Large

    Bill Smith

    Bill Smith has been involved with the sport of water polo for more than 25 years, as an athlete, coach and club director. In addition to age-group athletes, he also coached at three universities and was the assistant coach for the USAWP Cadet National Team at the World Championships in Serbia.

    He is a prolific club organizer having founded several age group water polo clubs and high school teams that have trained over 1,000 athletes in the Greenwich, CT area.

    Past USA Water Polo Board positions include Board Secretary, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and member of the Nominating, Development and Compensation Committees.

    He is the Founder and CEO of Renaissance Capital (Established 1991), the global leader in helping Institutional Investment Managers and Hedge Funds profit from IPOs with its Pre-IPO research. Renaissance Capital also helps individuals invest directly in the IPO market with its NYSE-listed Renaissance IPO ETFs (USA and International).

    Mr. Smith has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University. He has two children that played D-1 water polo at Harvard and Stanford.

    Jessica Steffens
    Director - Athlete Representative

    Jessica Steffens

    2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Steffens spent more than six years on the Womenʹs Senior National Team serving as a crucial piece in the teamʹs defensive approach. In addition to gold in 2012, Jessica helped Team USA to a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games and a gold medal at the 2009 FINA World Championship. A graduate of Stanford University with a BS in Earth Systems, she currently works at RelateIQ in Palo Alto, California. Steffens remains active in the sport today, competing for the New York Athletic Club. Her younger sister Maggie is a fellow 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and currently competes for the Womenʹs Senior National Team.

    Peter Varellas
    Director - Athlete Representative

    Peter Varellas

    A sharp shooting left-handed attacker on two U.S. Olympic Men's Water Polo Teams (2008 and 2012), Peter Varellas was a catalyst in helping Team USA back to the podium for the first time in 20 years with a silver medal effort at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Varellas helped the Cardinal to an NCAA Championship before beginning his international playing career with Rari Nantes Savona in Italy. After his time representing the USA, Peter returned to the Stanford Graduate School of Business to earn his MBA.

    Away from the pool Varellas entered the professional world and currently serves as a Case Team Leader in San Francisco for Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. He remains active in the game, participating in Open and Masters level water polo as a member of the Olympic Club.

    Brenda Villa
    Director - Athlete Representative

    Brenda Villa

    Considered one of the greatest women's water polo players of all-time, Brenda Villa led Team USA to medals in four different Olympic games culminating with gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The longtime captain of Team USA, Villa helped bridge the gap from the pioneer era of women's water polo prior to inclusion in the Olympic Games to the present-day success that has seen consecutive Olympic titles.

    Hailing from the largely Hispanic community of Commerce, CA, Villa played high school water polo with the boys before girl's water polo was widely available and became the first person from her high school (Bell Gardens) to attend Stanford University. An NCAA Champion while at Stanford there isn't an area of water polo where Villa hasn't succeeded. Named FINA's Player of the Decade at the end of the 2000s, Villa was also recognized as the Pac-12 Conference Women's Water Polo Player of the Century in 2016.

    Since her retirement from International water polo, following the 2012 Olympic Games, Villa has pursued another passion, giving back. At the helm of Project 2020, a non-profit organization committed to providing aquatic opportunities for those in under-privileged communities, Villa has helped pave a road for the next generation's involvement in the game of water polo. Working within the Northern California community of East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, Villa paired high school coaching with Project 2020 efforts hoping to mirror the offerings she received as a youth where sports were available regardless of financial status.

    As of late Villa added an additional focus on the promotion of female athletics overall, joining the athlete advisory board of the Women's Sports Foundation. She is also a member of the U.A.N.A executive committee, where she is the liaison for water polo in the Americas.

  • JANUARY 12, 2007 | APRIL 27, 2007 | JUNE 9, 2007 | AUGUST 25, 2007 | DECEMBER 2, 2007

    JANUARY 15, 2008 | JANUARY 25, 2008 | APRIL 5, 2008 | JUNE 16, 2008 | OCTOBER 17, 2008

    JANUARY 24, 2009 | MAY 8, 2009 | OCTOBER 3, 2009

    JANUARY 30, 2010 | APRIL 7, 2010 | MAY 10, 2010 | JUNE 12, 2010 | OCTOBER 16, 2010 | DECEMBER 5, 2010

    JANUARY 10, 2011 | JANUARY 15, 2011 | MAY 2, 2011 | JUNE 3, 2011 | SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 | DECEMBER 17, 2011

    JANUARY 14, 2012 | MAY 14, 2012 | JULY 7, 2012 | OCTOBER 16, 2012

    JANUARY 18, 2013 | FEBRUARY 24, 2013 |MARCH 28, 2013 | MAY 11, 2013 | JULY 9, 2013 | By-Laws Resolution | SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

    JANUARY 18, 2014 | JANUARY 31, 2014 | APRIL 26, 2014 | OCTOBER 19, 2014

    JANUARY 16, 2015 | APRIL 25, 2015 | FEBRUARY 20, 2016 | MAY 21, 2016

MORE HEADLINES

TOP VIDEOS
PROMOTION

CALENDAR

Follow us!

Instagram

USA Water Polo - 2124 Main Street, Suite 240 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 - 714.500.5445. - www.usawaterpolo.org
Back to top