USA Pickleball Names Mike Nealy as Its New CEO

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PHOENIX — USA Pickleball, the Nationwide Governing Physique for the game of pickleball, named Mike Nealy as its new Chief Government Officer. Nealy, a extremely regarded longtime sports activities government, will start his new place at USA Pickleball in mid-June.

Nealy served for eight years as Government Director of the Arizona Sports activities Basis, which operates the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, one in all six school soccer bowl video games that’s a part of the Faculty Soccer Playoff. He’s extensively credited with restoring the Fiesta Bowl’s standing as one of many premier bowl video games within the U.S.

Underneath his management, the Fiesta Bowl gained the Phoenix Enterprise Journal Company Philanthropy Award in 2018 for its notable group influence, donating extra in charitable giving yearly than every other school soccer bowl group. Nealy was additionally acknowledged with the Jerry Colangelo Integrity Tiger Award, introduced by the Arizona Commerce Authority, and was named to Phoenix Enterprise Journal’s Most Admired Leaders listing in 2018.

“On behalf of our Board of Administrators and over 74,000 members, I’m thrilled to welcome a sports activities business government of Mike’s caliber and pedigree to the USA Pickleball workforce,” mentioned USA Pickleball Board Chair Robert Quicksilver. “We’ve got been impressed with Mike’s accomplishments and management, which have earned him widespread recognition and respect within the NHL and school soccer. At this pivotal time in our sport, which continues to develop at exponential charges, we’re extraordinarily assured that Mike is the fitting individual to information us, because the Nationwide Governing Physique of pickleball, to the subsequent degree.”

“I’m honored to hitch USA Pickleball at such a interval of development for the game—pickleball’s explosion has been unbelievable to witness,” mentioned Nealy, a Minnesota native who has resided in Phoenix for the previous 17 years. “The potential of pickleball’s future can’t be understated. I’m desperate to dive into, and capitalize on, this large alternative. As a leisure pickleball participant who’s hooked on the game like hundreds of thousands of others, I look ahead to advancing USA Pickleball’s mission and taking the group to even larger heights. I want to personally thank Robert Quicksilver and USA Pickleball’s Board of Administrators for entrusting me with this crucial duty.”

After leaving the Fiesta Bowl in March of 2022, Nealy has most not too long ago served as knowledgeable marketing consultant for sports-related companies, working underneath Nealy Group, LLC.

Previous to heading the Arizona Sports activities Basis and the Fiesta Bowl, Nealy spent eight years with the Nationwide Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes (now the Arizona Coyotes), finally serving for 4 years as President, Chief Working Officer and Alternate Governor. On this function, Nealy was accountable for overseeing all enterprise operations for the Coyotes and Jobing.com Area and, as Alternate Governor, represented the group at NHL Board of Governors conferences.

Along with restoring the steadiness of the franchise and elevating its standing within the league and Phoenix group, Nealy additionally achieved record-breaking gross sales and working successes. His efforts earned the Coyotes nationwide recognition, most notably in 2012 when ESPN The Journal chosen the Coyotes because the sixth-best skilled sports activities franchise in North America as a part of the publication’s annual Final Standings, which measured how a lot sports activities groups give again to their followers. Earlier than becoming a member of the Coyotes in 2006, Nealy spent 4 seasons with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, the place his tasks included strategic planning and finance.

Nealy, who turns into the second CEO in USA Pickleball’s historical past, replaces present CEO Stu Upson, whose closing day with the group was Could 31.

Nealy earned a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration and a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise from the College of Minnesota. He and his spouse, Brenda, dwell in Phoenix and are the mother and father of a daughter, Regan, and a son, Simon.

 

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