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Board of Directors

Pete Zopfi

Dr. Pete Zopfi
Chairman 
707.421.2480
Chairman@calnorth.org

kbrown

Kim Brown
1st Vice Chairman
707.479.7750
1stViceChair@calnorth.org

dlovinger

Craig Winans
2nd Vice Chairman
2ndViceChair@calnorth.org

Rich Pinnell
Rich Pinnell
3rd Vice Chairman
cmurray
Chris Murray
Secretary
559.307.9535
imontoya

Ilona Montoya
Chief Financial Officer
650.871.8166
CFO@calnorth.org

LRustia

Lawrence Rustia
District I Commissioner
415.823.0548
District1Commissioner@calnorth.org

rrobinson

Rodney Robinson
District II Commissioner
415.265.6062
District2Commissioner@calnorth.org

Donna Kerger
Donna Kerger
District III Commissioner
925.838.9272
jsantos
Joseph Santos
District IV Commissioner
510.731.7527
chardaway
Cheri Hardaway
District V Commissioner
707.527.0171 
Mark Dickerson
Mark Dickerson
District VI Commissioner
916.606.1998
John Hodgson
John Hodgson
District VII Commissioner
559.924.5064
SGonzalez
Sue Gonzales
District VIII Commissioner
209.824.2472
mmassa
Michael Massa
District IX Commissioner
530.624.4996
John Murphy
John Murphy
Past Chairman
 
rolivas
Ric Olivas
CSA-N President
415.467.1881

cwinans

Craig Winans

 
Most coaches experience a pivotal moment in their career, one that ultimately defines their purpose of devoting countless hours on the field. But for Craig Winans, the moment went beyond the soccer field and straight into the core of his being.

His voice cracks as he thinks back to the year 2007, when he was the Assistant Women’s Coach at San Jose State University. It was also the year both his parents had passed away within 23 days of each other.

"The girls helped me get through one of the toughest times in my life", Winans admits.

His team was playing a match against the United States Air Force Academy, with the game dedicated in honor of his mother.

"When one of our players, Roxy Kamal, scored a goal, she immediately ran to our bench and gave me a great, big bear hug," Winans recalls, then adds in a shaky voice, "That’s when you look at it and you know why you’re coaching."

No doubt, Winans has a passion for soccer. He devoted 41 years to coach both girls and boys teams and just this year, landed a spot on the California Youth Soccer Association board as District 1 Commissioner, which encompasses his hometown of San Francisco.

His resume is robust and impressive, to say the least, although one would never know this by conversing with Winans. And this can be attributed to his soccer philosophy.

"If you coach for the wins, for the trophy at the end of the year, then the coach has lost the reason why we do this," he says matter-of-factly.

A fourth generation native of San Francisco, Winans began playing at the age of 8. He held the position of forward throughout his teen years, later switching to center midfield once he joined the U.S. Air Force Academy team. Two years later, he was recruited to the semi-pro team San Francisco Glens, which at the time, ranked #2 in the nation.

His coaching career began as a freshman at Archbishop Riordan, when he coached 7th and 8th graders, followed by high school and later, Club coaching for CYSA. He recently wrapped up six years as Assistant Women’s Coach for the San Jose State University, where they garnered two WAC Championships and four NSCAA Team Academic Awards.

In addition to earning a plethora of coaching licenses, including a USSF A license, Winans held the positions of District Olympic Development Coordinator (ODP), District Coaching Coordinator and Region IV Staff Coach at Girl’s ODP Camp. He continues to be a CYSA Coaching Instructor.

When asked how he feels about the beautiful game of soccer, Winans doesn’t skip a beat when stating it’s the best sport for a youth.

"For me, soccer players learn sportsmanship, how to work together, and leadership skills – things you don’t learn in a classroom," he says with determination. "In the workplace, you have to learn to work with others because it’s not just about you. If you work with others, you can be so much stronger."

By Andrea Garcia

imontoya

Ilona Montoya

 
It's obvious Ilona Montoya's proudest moment in soccer centers around her daughter, Elisa, former player in the California Youth Soccer Association.

"She was playing her last game as a youth with Central Valley Mercury when she scored the first goal in the National Championship!" the Chief Financial Officer of CYSA recalls proudly. "The team won three National Championships, which Elisa played in two. It was an incredible moment!"

Like most parents involved with CYSA, Montoya made the sacrifices necessary to further her daughter's development in soccer. And for the Montoya's, this meant traveling three times a week for four years from their home in San Bruno to the team in San Jose – never once missing a game.

Being part of her daughter's soccer life also helped to develop Montoya's philosophy, which coincidently, parallels that of CYSA's.

Like most parents involved with CYSA, Montoya made the sacrifices necessary to further her daughter's development in soccer. And for the Montoya's, this meant traveling three times a week for four years from their home in San Bruno to the team in San Jose – never once missing a game.

Being part of her daughter's soccer life also helped to develop Montoya's philosophy, which coincidently, parallels that of CYSA's.

"This is about the kids, not only learning the sport, but instilling those lessons to become responsible adults," Montoya says. "It's teaching them things they'll take for the rest of their lives."

Instilling life lessons is paramount to Montoya, as she has proved to herself. Six years ago, the mother of two made a decision to lose weight – one that she says was the important to her health.

"I wanted to stand on one foot and put a sock on but I couldn't do that," she admits. "That's when I reached a point in my life that I just couldn't do this anymore. I had to change."

The determination led Montoya to lose a total of 65 lbs. and can now dead lift 195 lbs.

"I was really heavy and didn't know how to eat. I was getting older and thought that this way of living is just not going to work," she says. "I got myself a personal trainer, started to do cross fit, and got into shape. It's important to me now."

Montoya became involved in soccer more than 20 years ago when her family joined CYSA. Her involvement eventually led Montoya to become Commissioner for District 1 before accepting the challenge of CFO on the board.

In the midst of all these activities, Montoya found time to teach 3-to-7-year-olds the game of soccer when she volunteered to coach indoor.

"I would have some players say they couldn't use their left foot to kick. So we practiced and by the end of eight weeks, they were able to kick with both their feet," she says. "We just had fun. It was the best time ever."

When asked why she continues her involvement in CYSA, given her children have aged out, Montoya takes a deep breath before answering.

"It's a passion. You want to see this work out and you want to see the kids playing," she states. "You have kids out there who need something to do and this is something they can be proud of. This is their motivator. And if I can help, I will."

By Andrea Garcia

jsantos

Joe Santos

 

Meet Joe Santos, District IV Commissioner with a true sense of love and devotion for the game of soccer. Well, there's one more thing that should be added - he's loaded with a sense of humor that offers rounds of belly-jiggling laughs.

"I'm all about making people smile and laugh," he says candidly.

It's not that Joe tries to be funny; he's just sincere … with a twist. When asked what one of his former players would say about his coaching, he gives a deep laugh and pauses before answering.

"It depends on who you talk to," he responds about his former Girls and Boys team in the Castro Valley Soccer Club. He then gives another infectious laugh.

But to his own credit, he's being humble. There's a reason why he was voted District Coach of the Year and State Coach of the Year more than five years ago – he has a genuine passion for his players and it comes across to them.

"If they ever said that having Joe as a coach inspired their love of the game, then I know I must have done something right. I couldn't ask for more," the former Olympic Development Program player admits.

Finding the genesis of Joe's passion for soccer wasn't hard. As a child, he would watch his father play in an adult league on Sundays, quickly becoming enamored by the sport. Unable to play any other sport due to being born blind in one eye, soccer was a natural choice.  So when the time came for Joe to get those boots on at the age of six and play in the California Youth Soccer Association, he was ready.

And to no surprise, his passion continued throughout years. Joe played in Cal North until he aged out, dabbled with the game in college, became a referee, and within time, became a board member of the Castro Valley Soccer Club. He was also a recreational and competitive coach for 12 years, having coached both his children until they aged out of the league.

When asked about his dedication to Cal North, his answer is quite simple and direct – "I feel I have a bond and debt to Cal North because it's where I got my start," he says.

But dig a little deeper, peel off a few more layers, and the core gets exposed. Joe's father and a few of his friends founded the Southern Alameda County Youth Soccer League decades ago - the very league where Joe started playing.

"My dad, who was friends with the founder of Cal North, Don Greer, said to him one day that it would be wonderful if we could have a league in our area. Dad got together with some friends and created SACYSL," Joe recalls.

"Turns out my kids played in the club that was originally part of the league my dad help start. That's why I'm still in it. It's genetic."

The affable board member, who's always lived within a 10-mile radius of his hometown San Leandro, has some other credits up his sleeve. He had a side gig as a sports writer for America Online as well as other media outlets, covering the Women's World Cup in 1999 and the San Jose Clash/Earthquakes, as well as worked at the 1994 World Cup in Accreditation. And there's something else about Joe.

Auditor by day and coach by night, Joe also moonlights as a photographer, having shot photos of the Clash, Earthquakes, Bay Area CyberRays, FC Gold Pride and US National Teams.  He's had a photo make the cover of Soccer America and his images have been published in numerous magazines and websites.

Yet with all these accolades, his focus remains wedded to the sport that brings him a sense of thrill and enjoyment.

"Whether or not we continue to grow the interest in the game (of soccer) here, it will continue to be a wonderful sport," he says. "There's a reason why it's the most popular sport in the world.  I just hope America finds that out sooner rather than later."

By Andrea Garcia

rrobinson

Rodney Robinson

 

For Rodney Robinson, a 15-year veteran in the California Youth Soccer Association, being a board member is all about driving great initiatives through a transparent and democratic Cal North.

The current commissioner for District 2, encompassing San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties, speaks candidly about the importance of running a nonprofit, and the value of weaving a civic governance model into everyday decisions.

"This has been a huge learning experience for me as I didn't know how nonprofits innovate and drive," Robinson said.

"Our District 2 folks may want a new program, but if we fail to show the importance to the rest of the state it may not happen. You have to make others feel your passion and make sure the initiative serves our common goal – the good of the kids."

Robinson adds that a reason he enjoys Cal North is its diversity.

"Cal North programs serve players at the recreational level all the way to the US National team players," he added. "Each group requires unique and innovative programs."

Cal North, a 501c (3), is a nonprofit whose purpose is to develop, promote and administer the games of outdoor and indoor soccer, among youth (boys and girls under nineteen years of age) within the northern California territory for the benefit and development of all youth.

All 17 members who sit as the Board of Directors for Cal North embrace this purpose to ensure that kids come first … such as Robinson.

His involvement began 15 years ago when his daughters began playing in the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club (MVLA). He admits his reasons were mainly to ensure his daughters' experiences in soccer were enjoyable and fit their busy schedules. However, as the years passed and time progressed, so did his involvement in Cal North.

"I believe strongly in the Cal North league and club franchise system," he said.

"My goal during the last years on the board is to really increase the Cal North value proposition to the affiliated leagues/clubs. I want leagues and clubs screaming to be affiliated because our local, state, region, and national programs are so great for all our constituents – kids and adults."

Robinson has been on the Cal North board for four years and has held the positions of District 2 (D2) Assistant Commissioner; D2 Secretary; Protest, Appeal and Disciplinary Committee; Foothill Youth Soccer League President; MVLA Soccer Club President; Referee Scheduler, Club Treasurer; and an array of other local-level positions.

Asked if he has any regrets in volunteering for so many positions, Robinson doesn't hesitate to answer.

"Not one moment of regret – volunteering on the Cal North board or local boards is a fantastic way to make a positive difference and learn," he said.

For information on volunteering, contact your local League President.

For Rodney Robinson, a 15-year veteran in the California Youth Soccer Association, being a board member is all about driving great initiatives through a transparent and democratic Cal North.

The current commissioner for District 2, encompassing San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties, speaks candidly about the importance of running a nonprofit, and the value of weaving a civic governance model into everyday decisions.

"This has been a huge learning experience for me as I didn't know how nonprofits innovate and drive," Robinson said.

"Our District 2 folks may want a new program, but if we fail to show the importance to the rest of the state it may not happen. You have to make others feel your passion and make sure the initiative serves our common goal – the good of the kids."

Robinson adds that a reason he enjoys Cal North is its diversity.

"Cal North programs serve players at the recreational level all the way to the US National team players," he added. "Each group requires unique and innovative programs."

Cal North, a 501c (3), is a nonprofit whose purpose is to develop, promote and administer the games of outdoor and indoor soccer, among youth (boys and girls under nineteen years of age) within the northern California territory for the benefit and development of all youth.

All 17 members who sit as the Board of Directors for Cal North embrace this purpose to ensure that kids come first … such as Robinson.

His involvement began 15 years ago when his daughters began playing in the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club (MVLA). He admits his reasons were mainly to ensure his daughters' experiences in soccer were enjoyable and fit their busy schedules. However, as the years passed and time progressed, so did his involvement in Cal North.

"I believe strongly in the Cal North league and club franchise system," he said.

"My goal during the last years on the board is to really increase the Cal North value proposition to the affiliated leagues/clubs. I want leagues and clubs screaming to be affiliated because our local, state, region, and national programs are so great for all our constituents – kids and adults."

Robinson has been on the Cal North board for four years and has held the positions of District 2 (D2) Assistant Commissioner; D2 Secretary; Protest, Appeal and Disciplinary Committee; Foothill Youth Soccer League President; MVLA Soccer Club President; Referee Scheduler, Club Treasurer; and an array of other local-level positions.

Asked if he has any regrets in volunteering for so many positions, Robinson doesn't hesitate to answer.

"Not one moment of regret – volunteering on the Cal North board or local boards is a fantastic way to make a positive difference and learn," he said.

For information on volunteering, contact your local League President.

By Andrea Garcia

 
 

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Office: 925.426.KIDS (5437) Fax: 925.426.9473

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