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.