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A committee of the NSGA Board of Directors evaluated nominations from our State Members and others to select 30 individuals, past or present, who have made outstanding contributions to create, promote and help grow The Senior Games Movement. The selection process was not easy, as there are dozens of others who have also provided selfless service at the state level and with our national board of directors, regional coordinators and staff. NSGA humbly thanks everyone who has devoted their time and treasure to advance Senior Games over three decades.

 

  • Recognized as “The Father of the Senior Games Movement.”
  • Lifelong fitness advocate who enjoyed competing in a masters track meet and envisioned having a multi-sport event for aging Americans.
  • Organized the first multi-sport senior event series, called “L.A. Olympix,” held in Los Angeles, 1970-75
  • Turned over efforts to establish national games and endorsed St. Louis organizing committee in 1985.
  • NSGA Hall of Fame, 2000
Warren Blaney, 1903-2000 // Los Angeles

  • Prominent civic leader who, along with Ken Marshall, formed the U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA) to create the first national games in 1985.
  • Co-founder of the first national senior multi-sport event, The National Senior Sports Classic, held in St. Louis in 1987.
  • Co-founder, along with Joy Rice-Dunkelman, of the St. Louis Senior Olympics local games, 1980. Its presence helped generate community support for hosting national games.
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • General Secretary of the first Board of Directors (1985-1989), NSGA Board of Directors Member (1985-1997), Emeritus Member.
  • Council appointee, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, 1993-1994
  • Competed in the first offering of Triathlon in National Senior Games, 1991
  • NSGA biennially presents “The Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award” in his honor.
Harris Frank // St. Louis, Missouri

  • Successful St. Louis businessman and civic leader who, along with Harris Frank, formed the U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA) to create the first national games in 1985.
  • Co-founder of the first national senior multi-sports event, The National Senior Sports Classic, held in St. Louis in 1987.
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • Responsible for ensuring that a woman (Ellen Conant) served as the first Board Chair and others placed in significant organization roles to send a message that female athletes were welcome to participate.
  • President of the first Board of Directors (1985–1989), NSGA Board of Directors Member (1989-1993)

 

Kenneth A. Marshall // St. Louis, Missouri

  • Co-founder, along with Harris Frank, of the St. Louis Senior Olympics local games in 1980. Its presence helped generate community support for hosting national games.
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • Organizing Committee, 1987 National Senior Sports Classic (National Senior Games)
  • Jewish Community Center Association Senior Olympics Coordinator, 1980-1984
  • Dedicated community leader and volunteer among various causes including Senior Olympics, Barnes-Jewish and the American Cancer Society. Founder of the Wellness Community, now known as the Cancer Support Community.
  • Louis Post Dispatch Woman of Achievement, 1989
Joy Rice-Dunkelman, 1925-2015 // St. Louis, Missouri

  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • Organizing Committee, 1987 National Senior Sports Classic (National Senior Games)
  • First Board Chair for the U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA) 1985-1989; Board of Directors Member, 1990-1997
  • Member of Organizing Committee for 1994 U.S. Senior Olympics Festival in St. Louis.
  • Dedicated community leader. St. Louis County Council Member for eight years, Chair of St. Louis University board’s Medical Center committee (1984-1996) and directed a consumer-oriented radio show that matched community needs with solutions (1974-1979).
  • Avid golfer who was Missouri State Women’s Golf Champion as a young adult and St. Louis District women’s golf champion from 1957-1959.
Ellen Conant, 1927-2008 // St. Louis, Missouri

 

 

  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Classic (National Senior Games), 1985
  • NSGA Board of Directors, Member (1985-2014), Secretary (1989-1991), Regional Chairperson (1997-1999), Vice Chair (1999-2002), Vice President (2002-2004)
  • Michigan Senior Olympics Board, Chair (1982-2014), Member (1981-2015)
  • Founder and Executive Director of Rochester Older Persons’ Commission (1983-2014), a leader in senior programs that serves more than 20,000 seniors daily. Recognized in 2010 by the National Council on Aging as a “National Model Senior Center.”
  • Service to numerous organizations including Michigan Association of Nutrition & Aging, Michigan Association of Senior Centers, Michigan Recreation & Park Association Senior Committee
  • Received more than 200 awards for work with Older Persons’ Commission including National Association Nutrition Service Providers Lifetime Achievement Star Award, 2006
Marye Miller // Rochester, Michigan

  • Distinguished career promoting health, wellness and volunteerism among seniors in New Mexico. Key figure in maintaining state level support for New Mexico Senior Olympics and wellness programs by serving as a media spokesperson, promoting Senior Olympics participation and volunteer opportunities, and advocating among state leaders to support older adult programming.
  • Founder of New Mexico Senior Olympics, 1979
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • NSGA Board of Directors, Chair (1996-1999), Member (1993-1999)
  • New Mexico Senior Olympics Board of Directors Emeritus Member
  • State of New Mexico Aging & Long-Term Services Department Senior Services Bureau Chief, 2008-2016
  • Corporation for National and Community Service State Program Director, 1971-2007
  • NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 1999
  • New Mexico Conference on Aging Lovola Burgess Lifetime Leadership Award recipient, 2016
Ernesto Ramos // Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

  • Founder of North Carolina Senior Games, Inc., 1983
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Classic (National Senior Games), 1985
  • Implemented statewide senior health and wellness programs, including Senior Games, during 1980s as the Health and Recreation Specialist for North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services. Consulted nationally for AARP, the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Council on Aging.
  • President and Executive Director of North Carolina Senior Games, 1983-2005
  • Physical Fitness and Recreation Award Winner, YWCA Academy of Women, 1995
  • North Carolina Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health Member and Chair of the Older Adults Committee, 1995
  • "Excellence in Aging" Award recipient, Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 2001
  • North Carolina Senior Games Special Projects Consultant, Present
Margot Raynor // Wilmington, North Carolina

 
  • Founder and Executive Director of Arizona Senior Olympics, 1979-Present
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member for 12 years
  • Represented first NSGA delegation at United States Olympic Committee meeting
  • NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
  • Recipient of numerous awards including Valley of the Sun YWCA Women of Honor Award, News Channel 15 Women of Strength Award, and Lovin’ Life After 50 Publication - Community Service Award
Irene Stillwell // Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

  • Dedicated more than 30 years to promoting senior health and fitness on a local and national level.
  • Founding board member, U.S. National Senior Sports Organization (NSGA), 1985
  • Founder of Maryland Senior Olympics (1980) and served as Chair for 32 years
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member, 1987-1990, 1991-2003
  • President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Member. Awarded President’s Council Silver Eagle Award for significant contributions to the healthy aging of the nation’s seniors.
  • NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2015
  • Maryland Senior Olympics Robert G. Zeigler Service Award created in his honor to recognize outstanding service and dedication to local and national games.
  • Maryland Senior Olympics Hall of Fame, Maryland Commission on Physical Fitness and Maryland Senior Citizen’s Distinguished Volunteer Hall of Fame Award recipient.
Dr. Robert Zeigler // New Freedom, Pennsylvania

  • Love of athletics spanned his entire lifetime, from competing in football, track and field, boxing and wrestling as a young man, to running and swimming in his senior years. Enjoyed sports for their own sake, but also valued the ideals and life lessons that competition can provide.
  • In the Senior Games he discovered an intersection of values practiced that attracted him, including friendly sportsmanship, open competition, and competitors who encouraged each other to bring their best effort.
  • Passed on following a race at the 1992 California Senior Olympics, “going out” as an athlete in the Games, an arena he had come to value greatly.
  • The David D. Hurford Memorial Fund is endowed with the NSGA Foundation and exists specifically to help senior athletes with David’s appreciation for The Games who would not be able to participate in The Games without financial assistance.
  • Two beneficiaries are selected by Foundation Trustees from nominations every other year, providing assistance for registration, housing, transportation and other related costs.
David D. Hurford, 1922-1992 // Laguna Beach, California

  • First individual to make a contribution to the NSGA Foundation.
  • Ohio Senior Olympics Co-founder, 1979
  • Ohio Senior Olympics Board of Directors Founding Member, President, 1993-1997
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member, 1993-1999
  • Retired University of Dayton Department of Health and Sport Sciences Professor
  • Ohio Senior Olympics Hall of Fame inductee, 2007
  • Senior Games Athlete - Badminton, Tennis, Swimming & Horseshoes
Dr. Mary Leonard // Dayton, Ohio

 

  • Director of Illinois Senior Olympics from 1980-1987. Established Illinois Senior Olympics Sports Organizations, Inc. and served as Executive Director till 1997.
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member, 1993-1999
  • Former City of Springfield Recreation Department Special Events Director.
  • Served on several boards including Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Advisory Council and Mayor’s Senior Citizen Commission. Active volunteer with other organizations including Special Olympics, Girl Scouts and Contact Ministries.
  • Sigma Phi Omega Volunteer of the Year, 1998
Annette Fuchs, 1937-2015 // Springfield, Illinois

  • Has set more than 200 world and national masters track and field records, competing in sprints, hurdles, jumps, and multi-events since 1980.
  • Holds 18 - #1 rankings (plus 35 other rankings) in NSGA Top Ten Records over four age divisions, 1997-2013
  • Won 368 US National Indoor and Outdoor Titles from 1980 to 2013
  • Won 85 gold medals from 1983 to 2013 at the World Championships (WMA).
  • Oldest-ever finalist for AAU’s prestigious James E. Sullivan Award honoring the best amateur U.S. athlete of the year; was named a finalist twice, 2003 and 2007
  • Received the USATF Outstanding Female Masters Track and Field Athlete of the Year 13 times; USATF Masters Hall of Fame, 1997
  • National Senior Games Association Hall of Fame, 2005
  • Extensively featured and quoted in media stories, film documentaries and books.
  • Suspended competition in 2013 to handle family matters; will compete in The Games in 2017
Philippa “Phil” Raschker // Marietta, Georgia

 

  • Founder and Executive Director of Georgia Golden Games, 1983-Present
  • NSGA Board of Directors, 1996-2003 (Member), Secretary (1999-2002), Southeast Regional Coordinator (2015-Present)
  • Thirty-five year career in public health, including serving as Georgia Department of Public Health Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program Section Director.
  • NSGA Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award recipient, 2015
  • Significant involvement with Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, serving on Board of Directors and as Therapeutic Recreation Section and Senior Adult Section Chair. Awarded numerous GRPA honors including 1988 Therapeutic Recreation Professional, 1992 Presidential Citation, 1997 Senior Adult Professional of the Year and 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee.
  • University of Georgia Department of Recreation and Leisure Services Distinguished Alumni Award, 1991
Vicki Pilgrim // Winder, Georgia

 

  • NSGA Board of Directors, Chair (1997-1999), Member (1997-2007)
  • South Carolina Senior Sports Classic Executive Director, 1988-2012
  • Developed senior games at the city and county level, 1988-2012
  • United States Olympic Committee Member, 1997-1999
  • NSGA Foundation Trustee, 2014-Present
  • NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2009
  • Developed South Carolina Senior Sports Hall of Fame, inducted for role on state’s first national gold medal-winning basketball team, 2008
  • South Carolina Carl M. Hust Spirit Award for Outstanding Athlete awarded each year in his honor since 2012.
  • State and national Senior Games athlete - Basketball, Volleyball, Track
Carl Hust // Columbia, South Carolina

  • Guided NSGA through challenges and growth for 20 years and is the organization's longest serving staff member (1997-Present). Serves as a key liaison between NSGA Headquarters, Board of Directors and Member Organizations.
  • Worked to foster relationships with Member Organizations, leading to the establishment of Member Organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Province of Quebec and Veterans Golden Age Games. Plans and manages the NSGA Annual Conference for Member Organizations.
  • Instrumental in ensuring a successful NSGA Headquarters transition from St. Louis to Baton Rouge.
  • Passionate about the Senior Games movement and strives to continue its growth.
  • NSGA Vice President of Association Relations, 2001-Present
Becky Wesley // Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

  • Distinguished career includes executive director of two international and two national multi-sport events in the United States, as Chief Operating Officer of one world multi-sport event, and direct supervision over another five international multi-sport events in the U.S. and Europe.
  • NSGA Business Manager, 1999–2000
  • President and CEO of the Baton Rouge Local Organizing Committee for the 2001 Summer National Senior Games, and 2001 USA Masters Track & Field Championships.
  • NSGA President and CEO, 2001–2006; NSGA Board of Directors, 2008-2010
  • Board of Directors United States Olympic Committee, 2001–2005
  • Board of Directors International Sports for All Federation, 2004-2006
  • Board of Trustees National Center for Senior Health & Fitness, 2004–2008
  • NSGA Foundation Donor.
Dr. William H. “Bill” Bankhead // Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Ensured NSGA’s survival through one of the most trying times in the organization's history while serving as Board of Directors Chair and Interim CEO, 2000-2002
  • Founded Massachusetts Senior Games while serving as a professor at Springfield College,1991
  • Distinguished 57-year career helping enrich lives as an educator, administrator, football coach and psychotherapist.
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member,1995-2002
  • NSGA Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award recipient, 2009
  • National Senior Games Athlete - Track & Field, Snowshoeing
  • Massachusetts Office of Elder Affairs Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Community Service recipient.
Jack Neumann, 1927-2010 // Springfield, Massachusetts

  • Longtime NSGA Board of Directors Member and Chair who was instrumental in the redirection of the organization and board. Responsible for establishment of a reserve fund, strategic planning initiative, redevelopment of the National Senior Games model and other initiatives.
  • Began service to NSGA in 1998 as Western Region Representative, elected to Board of Directors as Secretary in 2002. Served in numerous roles from 2002-2014 including Coordinators Council Vice Chair, National Softball Sport Director and Chair of the National Games and Awards committees.
  • Oklahoma Senior Games Executive Director, 1991-2015. Organized year-round sports leagues, events and opportunities for seniors, and assisted in the formation of five local games.
  • NSGA Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award recipient, 2011
  • Spirit of Oklahoma Senior Games Distinguished Service Award recipient, 2010
  • Citation of Excellence from the state of Oklahoma for outstanding dedication and service to Oklahoma Senior Games.
  • Former Member of the Governor's Council for Sports and Physical Fitness.
Dana Brown // Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

 

  • Lifelong sports industry professional with significant event organizing experience including USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, Jr. Pan American Track & Field Championships, International Judo Federation World Cup and more.
  • NSGA Board of Directors, Chair (2013-2017), Member (2003-2017)
  • NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, 2013
  • Worked on creation of Florida Senior Games and Olympic Spirit license plate while with Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, 1988-1993
  • Joined Florida Sports Foundation in 1999 and currently serves as Sr. Vice President. Directs Florida Senior Games in this role, 2001-Present
Stephen Rodriguez // Palm Harbor, Florida

  • Facilitated sanctioning of National Veterans Golden Age Games as a NSGA qualifying event, providing veterans another avenue to participate, 2004
  • Major non-ambulatory sport proponent among state and national senior games.
  • National Veterans Golden Age Games Director, 1990-2013
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member, 2012-Present
DeWayne Vaughan // Wallace, North Carolina

  • Involved with Senior Games Movement since 1981 serving in state and national leadership capacities. Instrumental in leading introduction of Regional Coordinators to NSGA Board of Directors.
  • NSGA Board of Directors, Chair (2017-Present), Vice Chair (2011-2017), Member (2005-2017)
  • Rocky Mountain Senior Games Board, President (1990-Present), Member (1984-Present)
  • Westminster Senior Center Director, 1988-2015
Kate Amack // Westminster, Colorado

 

  • Became active senior games volunteers in 1994 after Kay’s first Texas State Senior Games. Nationally recognized for expertise in registration programming and accurate results reporting. Were instrumental in the progression of state and national senior games results reporting from hand to digital processing. Aided with multiple games management software selections, coordinating with software designers as to best options for state and national games.
  • Involved in all National Senior Games since 2005 as Qualification and Results Entry Quality Control Team.
  • Key players in the success of Texas state and local Games, aiding with registration, results reporting, promotion and volunteer training.
  • NSGA Board of Directors Members, 2005-2011 (Kay), 2010-2016 (Ed)
  • NSGA Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award recipients, 2013
  • Served on Texas Senior Games Association Board of Directors for more than 10 years as member, technical consultant and president (Ed).
  • Texas Senior Games Association Hall of Fame Peter Laverty Award Recipients, 2010 (Ed), 2011 (Kay)
  • Senior Games Athletes - medal-winning Shuffleboard partners, Golf, Bowling, Tennis, Table Tennis, Horseshoes, and Billiards (Kay).
Ed & Kay Roberts // Fort Worth, Texas

  • Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people they serve across the country.
  • Since 2007, Humana has been Presenting Sponsor of the National Senior Games, demonstrating its commitment to promoting health and wellness to the communities it serves.
  • Humana has regularly selected and honored senior athletes as Humana Game Changers. These athletes, through their spirit of determination and dedication to their sports, demonstrate how regular physical activity can positively impact overall health. Humana Game Changers exemplify health and well-being and serve as inspirations to those seeking to live healthier lives.
Humana // Louisville, Kentucky

  • 1992 founder, and longtime coordinator for the Pasadena Senior Games, which also serves as a California state qualifying event for National Senior Games.
  • NSGA Board of Directors, 2010-2015
  • Board member for more than two decades, including service as Vice-Chair, California Senior Games Association.
  • Board of Directors, Pasadena Senior Center, 1986-1992; Director of Events, Volunteers and Senior Games, 1992-2016
  • Well-loved and renowned for going above and beyond to recruit innumerable participants into Senior Games, and to continually support their efforts.
Cynthia Rosedale, 1951-2016 // Pasadena, California

 

  • Accomplished track and field Senior Athlete who has placed 1st in more than 1,000 events in Senior Games and in regional, national and international masters competitions since the age of 45. Still actively competing.
  • NSGA Board of Directors Member, 2011–2016. Described his role to be “the voice of the athlete” on the governing body.
  • Extensive volunteer and board service with Senior Games organizations in both Connecticut and Maine for more than two decades.
  • Constantly recruiting, coaching and encouraging others to “get into the game.”
  • Credits his physical fitness from years as a senior athlete as the reason he has driven back cancer four times.
  • Featured as a 2014 NSGA Personal Best athlete (Link to profile).
Jerry LeVasseur // Brunswick, Maine

  • Distinguished senior athlete who discovered passion for tennis after retirement, playing every morning for 36 years. Competed in state and national senior games for 16 years until age 102, winning numerous gold medals in tennis, bowling and shuffleboard. Embodied the spirit of active aging and living your personal best.
  • Attracted major media attention for his sports efforts, including playing tennis with Regis Philben on the Regis and Kelly Show and appearing on the Martha Stewart Show. Featured in Age of Champions, an award-winning PBS documentary on Senior Games competitors.
  • Competed in first European Senior Games in 2009 at age 100.
  • Survived esophageal cancer in his late 70s to enjoy life and good health for another 24 years. Favorite expression was, “Just get out there and keep moving!”
  • Chosen as 2007 State of Florida Athlete of the Year at age 98.
  • 2009 National Sporting Goods Association Hall of Fame inductee.
Roger Gentilhomme, 1909-2011 // Falmouth, Massachusetts and Dunedin, Florida

  • Provided invaluable sporting event expertise as an industry leader and innovator to NSGA Board of Directors for six years. Notable career includes positions with Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, USA Volleyball, USA Taekwondo and Junior Volleyball Association of Austin. Currently serving as Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director, implementing marketing programs and working with professional leagues to bring sports competition and events to the city.
  • NSGA Board of Directors, Treasurer (2014-2017), Member (2011-2017)
  • Director of Competition for 2007 National Senior Games presented by Humana, one of the most successful and well-attended in NSGA history.
  • Honored as one of Connect Magazine’s 2015 “Top IX Women in the Sports Tourism Industry.”
Monica Paul // Dallas, Texas

 

  • Recognized sports event industry professional with nearly 40 years of event experience, including major management and operations roles in three Super Bowls, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, multiple NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, USA Figure Skating Championships, The Bassmaster Classic and many more.
  • Executive Director, Houston Local Host Committee for the 2011 National Senior Games presented by Humana, 2009-2011
  • NSGA Board of Directors, 2012-Present
  • COO, 2015 World Police & Fire Games, Fairfax, Virginia.
  • Recently named CEO, 2021 World Games, to be hosted by Birmingham, Alabama.
DJ Mackovets // Birmingham, Alabama
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