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CYHA Board Of Directors

Charleston Youth Hockey Association Board of Directors


President

Dustin Hapka

CYHA President

Dustin Hapka Bio

Profession: President – Sure Step Enterprises

Bio: Dustin grew up in North Dakota where a passion for hockey is easy to come by. Lacing up the skates after school and skating on the pond in the crisp North Dakota nights are his hockey roots. As a youth, Dustin was a recreational player who never played organized hockey. His experience within a hockey organization came later in life as a father and volunteer coach. Having already been through an entire youth hockey career with his eldest son – Chase, who is currently in his last season of Junior Hockey, Dustin brings with him experience from a traditional hockey market. As President, Dustin will use this experience to help grow the CYHA with great focus and positive energy. As an experienced and dedicated leader, Dustin looks to make hockey more accessible for beginners, while elevating the level of performance throughout the CYHA. As President, his focus will always be for what is in the best interest of the youth athletes and the organization. Dustin has been a part of CYHA since arriving in South Carolina in the summer of 2022. For the last two years, Dustin has served as a coach at the 8U / Mighty Mite level, Learn to Play, Little Rays, and volunteering for various other camps and hockey activities. Dustin and his Wife – Vanessa, have four children. Chase, Drake, Phoebe, and Banks. The Hapka’s will be around youth hockey for many years to come and Dustin looks forward to helping grow the organization and the passion for hockey within the community.


Vice President

Phil Passarelli

CYHA Vice President

Phone: 856-220-5802


Hockey Director

Ryan Blair

CYHA Hockey Director

Ryan Blair Bio

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Blair also spent time living in Montreal, QC, before moving to Ashburn, VA at the age of 16. Blair played Midget AAA hockey for the Reston Raiders under former NHL player Paul Mulvey. From there, Coach Blair played three years of junior hockey, split between the NAHL and the EJHL. Blair committed to playing at Division 1, UMass-Lowell, in his final year of junior hockey. During four seasons of NCAA Hockey with the Riverhawks, Blair appeared in 141 career games and helped the program reach the Hockey East Championship game in 2009. Blair was an alternate captain of the River Hawks in 2010-2011 and was the Gus Coutu Award recipient in 2011, given annually to the most spirited player on the River Hawk Hockey team. He was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) while at UMass Lowell. He graduated from UMass Lowell in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences with a concentration in Psychology and Sociology.

 

After graduation, Blair played in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) for three seasons with the Orlando Solar Bears, Reading Royals, Toledo Walleye, Wheeling Nailers, and the Cincinnati Cyclones. He served as an alternate captain with the Solar Bears in 2013.

 

Following the conclusion of his playing career, Blair was an assistant and head coach with the Boston Jr. Rangers in the Eastern Hockey League (Tier III Junior Hockey) for three years from 2015-18. During his time with the club, he helped oversee a combined record of 90-25-11 that included playoff championships in 2016 and 2018, as well as a regular-season championship in 2018. After the 2017-18 season, Blair was honored as the EHL Premier Coach of the Year. Coach Blair was also the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Jr. and Youth teams with the Boston Jr. Rangers and is a Level 4 USA Hockey certified coach and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a performance enhancement specialist.

 

Coach Blair also spent time at his alma mater as the Director of Hockey Operations during the 2018-19 season. Blair was named the assistant coach for the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) for the 2019-20 season and took over as head coach for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. He is entering his second year with the Carolina Ice Palace and Charleston Youth Hockey Association (CYHA) as the Hockey Director.

 

Coach Blair lives in Johns Island with his wife Casey and twin daughters, Liv and Shay.


Business Manager

Casey Marshall

CYHA Business Manager

Phone: (704) 905-4181


Registrar

Angela Brady

CYHA Registrar

Phone: 843-371-7688

Angela Brady Bio

I have been honored to serve as your Association Registrar since 2018. I have a soon to be 16- year-old son, Zachary “the goalie”. We have been members of the Ice Palace Programs and the CYHA for this our 12th year. Zachary began skating at the age of four and hockey at the age of five, making his way through Little Rays, Mites, House League and now a second year Midget, in his 8th Travel Season. The phrase, “Hockey is Life,” is a true resemblance of our life.

As for who I am, I was born and raised in North Florida. I attended the University of Florida, graduating with a BA in Criminal Justice. After two years as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Georgia, I relocated to South Carolina with my career path leading into healthcare. For 18 years, I was employed with the largest healthcare organization in the USA, HCA, Inc. holding positions from Market Manager to Operations Vice President here in South Carolina to Mergers & Acquisition Director for the East Florida Division in South Florida. In 2013, I left Corporate America becoming an Independent Healthcare Consultant working with a hospital network in Central Georgia. After successfully aiding their leadership team in creating an internal infrastructure to facilitate merger & acquisition processes in-house, I ended my contract in October 2016. Soon thereafter, I began and continued a career as a Licensed Realtor affiliated with ERA Wilder Realty in Summerville, now 8 years.

Outside of real estate, being a Goalie Mom and volunteering for our Association, I also volunteer with Meals-on-Wheels, Dorchester PAWS, Collective Soul Soup Kitchen and, am a member of the Charleston Greater Business Network. My free time is sparse but when I have it, I enjoy gardening and wine tasting.

Year-over-year, our Association continues to grow. Growth, however, does not come without both pain and reward! I feel these past two years have brought about not only exciting opportunities but equally, a positive shift in culture. I believe in our Association and the commitment and efforts put forth by our Board of Directors team. We continue to work together to improve our overall Association operations, our transparency and communication with our membership and community partners. With the addition of Hockey Director Ryan Blair this time last year, our player development programs have and continue to grow exponentially, which is thrilling to see! This upcoming season I am particularly excited with the strides made to strengthen those initiatives by offering additional skills, goaltending and off-ice programs with new coaches. However, our work is never quite done! We continue to focus on the growth of our female hockey program, enhancing opportunities which will attract players to the goalie position, developing more coaches as well as building upon our visibility in the community. To be an integral part of these efforts is rewarding! Some may believe the role of the Registrar is merely an accounting of heads. However, it is a role of vital importance to the Association. The position interacts with every facet of the Association’s Membership Body, from ensuring compliancy with players, personnel, and rostering to collaborating with Coaches, Team Managers, Parents, Committees, Officiating, CAPS Coordinator, Try Hockey for Free Directors as well as, Association Leaders throughout the country. I continue to work with CAHA Directors on the October Saves initiative as well as the committee for the “We Honor the Game Here” program. The most rewarding part of my role, however, is the membership interaction and building relationships with so many of you and your children; learning the personalities, the quirks, seeing the smiles and being an ear to hear your concerns. As Registrar, I also have the privilege to collaborate with other youth hockey leaders in regional and national organizations. These opportunities open the door to networking on the ever-changing landscape of youth hockey, advocating for policy change, gathering best practices as well as, brainstorming on how we collectively continue growth and development while, preserving the love of the game!


Secretary

Chris DaBaldo

CYHA Secretary

Chris DaBaldo Bio

Originally, from the Washington DC area I have lived in the Charleston area for the past 20+ years. My wife, Kaylan, and I have a 10- year-old daughter, Adelaide (#80), who currently plays at the 10U Travel level. I am a level 4 certified coach with USA Hockey who has a passion for player development and teaching good sportsmanship to our players. I currently coach 10U Travel and have previously coached 10U/12U House teams, 8U House, Mites, and two seasons with the Little Rays. I have a powerful sense of commitment to supporting youth hockey in the Charleston area and am eager to help grow the sport of hockey though increased parental engagement and by finding new ways to increase both male and female participation.

As a currently serving board member, I have been a strong advocate for expanding player development opportunities across all age groups. Additionally, I believe that as a Board member my priority is to serve our members and to be a good steward of our organization. In my role as Board Secretary, I have worked closely with our other board members to improve our board operations, advocating for better communication and organization in all that we do in support of the CYHA. Over the past two years as a board, we have focused on improving the culture within our organization and expanding our player development opportunities. My key goals for the upcoming term include sustaining our achievements of the past 2 years, continued improvement in transparency and communications, and a strong focus on organizational growth which includes the development of a permanent female program within CYHA.

Outside of hockey, I have experience leading committees and project teams throughout my career. I am an energetic leader who has over 18 years of management experience in both the public and private sector, specializing in team development and IT project management at the enterprise level. Having served as CoChair for multiple executive committees, working closely with Executive and Board level leadership, I have considerable experience in consensus building and conflict resolution. I have previously held various leadership positions with Roper St. Francis Healthcare and Charleston County School District. I currently work for Boeing as part of their IT team.


Travel Commissioner

JC Gaskins

CYHA Travel Commissioner

Phone: (843) 452-6464

JC Gaskins Bio

I have been a part of the CYHA for over 20 years and have been coaching for over 13 years. I’ve coached everything from Little Rays, Learn to Skate, House League to all age levels of travel hockey. I’m currently a level 4 certified coach. I reside in Summerville and am a manager at a local electric company.

As Travel Commissioner of the CYHA for the last 2 plus years, I have helped introduce a lot of new ideas for our organization that have helped benefit and grow our organization. One of the improvements I have helped create and introduce is a more in depth, detailed program detail for each age group, which includes a “progressive commitment” budget for each age group. With the help of others, we have also introduced more “skills coaches” for our programs to help development within our organization. These are just a few of the major improvements we have been able to accomplish while I have been serving as Travel Commissioner. We still have a lot of good ideas that we will continue to implement to continue to grow our program and develop our players.


House Commissioner

Justin Pence

CYHA House Comissioner

Phone: (803) 513-8245

Justin Pence Bio

I was born and raised near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Hockey has always been a big part of my life since I was a young kid and attended my first Fort Wayne Komets game. I have been coaching within the Organization for the past two years and was also a coach in Little Rays prior to that for three years. I am also a captain in our Adult League and have experience as a player and a goaltender. I have three little kids, with my oldest Eli currently playing in our travel program, my middle, Paisley, has played in Little Rays, and my youngest, Wes, will be joining us on the ice soon! 

Since being elected to serve on the Board of Directors, I have two main missions. One to support our House League and the members of our association by placing transparency and communication at the front of the line. I have and always will have an open-door policy that will ensure parents voices are heard and those voices acted on in what is best for the players, teams, and parents.

My second mission is supporting our players age appropriate development and our goaltenders across all age levels. At the start of the 2023-2024 season, I implemented USA Hockey’s recommendations for goaltender development. Along with the proper development of goalies, building a pipeline of goaltenders within our organization is a vital component to the CYHA's future success. To properly build this, we must have coaches that are trained in a goaltender development mindset. Soon we will have at least 2-3 coaches at each age level certified in goaltender development through USA Hockey.