Odgers Berndtson Recruits CEO for the Positive Coaching Alliance

September 13, 2019 – Greg Santore and Jennifer Biehn of Odgers Berndtson have placed Chris Moore as the new CEO of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). Jim Thompson, the group’s founder and CEO, is stepping down after 20 years.

“I’m proud of all we’ve achieved in the past 20 years, but we have only scratched the surface of youth sport’s potential to develop the kind of high-character people our world will need to face the coming daunting challenges,” said Mr. Thompson. “I am excited about Chris taking PCA to the next level of impact. He has the experience, skills, passion, character and vision needed to do so and I will do everything I can to help him.”

“I’m delighted to have Chris stepping forward to provide leadership to our formidable movement of talented and committed staff, national and chapter board members, trainers, leadership council members, national advisory board members, partner youth sports organizations and volunteers. He is the right person to do this,” Mr. Thompson said. “A special thanks to Greg Santore of Odgers Berndtson, search chair Karen Francis DeGolia and the entire search committee for identifying a perfect fit to join and lead a team so committed to our mission of developing better athletes, better people.”

A veteran of the industry, Mr. Moore has driven considerable growth at both non-profit and corporate organizations over the past 25 years. Most recently, as CEO of U.S. Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in the country, Mr. Moore accelerated revenue growth by creating value for its 55 local state associations and more than 6,000 clubs and leagues across the country. He also increased sponsorship and partnership engagement, rebranded the association and mobilized an army of nearly one million grassroots volunteers to help transform the lives of three million youth soccer participants.

Before that, Mr. Moore was president and chief operating officer of GENYOUTH, where he facilitated the organization’s growth from a start-up to a high-performing, youth empowerment organization dedicated to creating healthier kids, schools and communities nationwide. While at GENYOUTH, Mr. Moore convened leaders in the public and private sectors, media, schools, health professional organizations and the NFL, to collaborate on a nationwide platform to improve the health of our nation’s youth. He also led GENYOUTH’s partnership with former first lady Michelle Obama to promote Fuel Up to Play 60, in conjunction with her signature “Let’s Move” program to reduce the incidence of obesity in the U.S.


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With leadership experience at some of the country’s largest and most influential youth sports organizations, Mr. Moore will continue to build on founder Jim Thompson’s mission since he established PCA two decades ago: to transform youth sports so sports can transform youth. He will report to PCA’s board of directors and will be charged with taking the organization to the next level of growth while leading the national effort to promote positivity in youth sports as a way to increase participation and enjoyment for kids and develop them as people of character.

Positive Coaching Alliance’s mission is to develop better athletes through resources for youth, high school and collegiate sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. The non-profit offers more than 1,500 free audio-video and printable tips and tools. It has also partnered with about 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver live group workshops, online courses and books by Mr. Thompson that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.

Experienced Recruiters

Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011, and under the stewardship of Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S., has become one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson currently has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Related: Executive Recruiters Continue Their Expansion into the Sports Industry

Mr. Santore, head of the firm’s U.S. sports leadership practice, works closely with Odgers Berndtson’s education practice’s collegiate athletics initiatives across all divisions. He was previously a principal and head of the sports leadership practice at WittKieffer, where he recruited athletics directors and coaches for many academic institutions, including Yale, University of California at Berkeley, the College of William & Mary, Tufts University and others. He also has experience recruiting executives for sports foundations, national governing bodies and other sports and entertainment-related organizations. Before starting in executive search, Mr. Santore held leadership positions as CEO, COO and president in the orthopedic rehab, sports medicine and technology fields.

Ms. Biehn is a partner in the higher education and sports practices in Odgers Berndtson’s Denver office. Her search work in education spans across the academy to include presidents, chancellors, professional school deans, business officers, advancement and athletics leadership. Her experience includes C-suite and senior-level engagements for a variety of organizations across higher education, sports and not-for-profit. Prior to joining Odgers, she was co-leader of the higher education practice for DHR International.

Related: Recruiters Offer Sports Clients an Expanding Talent Platform

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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