WHO WE ARE
It is our mission to provide young athletes the opportunity to become the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow using a leadership and values-based curriculum delivered through sport.
We are a passionate, driven and motivated team that believes whole heartedly in our vision of creating a world where they will lead and succeed.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Hannah Harper (she/her)
Hannah has personally been transformed by the positive culture of the sport of rugby and the supportive coaches and mentors throughout her time as an athlete. She is passionate about creating positive rugby experiences for young girls and inspiring the next generation to fall in love with rugby just as her coaches and mentors did for her.
Jenn Heinrich (she/her)
Jenn, originally from Short Hills, NJ, grew up playing soccer, basketball, softball and swam competitively. She played soccer for Vanderbilt University and stays active today either on the tennis court or with her husband and two children in the amazing Oregon outdoor playground. Jenn spent 17 years building Rugby Oregon, the first Youth and High School State Rugby Organization (SRO) in the United States. Rugby Oregon became the foundational model used by USA Rugby to roll out 46 SROs across the country.
Jenn is passionate about the transformative power of sport and believes that a positive culture, steeped in respect, changes lives. Jenn knows first-hand that participation in a positive youth sports environment builds confidence and teaches valuable life lessons that prepare you for success in life. Many young people will never play another sport post-high school, but they will carry the valuable skills they’ve learned into the communities where they live, work and play.
Lisa Nelson (she/her)
Lisa is an accomplished finance and business development executive with nearly 25 years of experience with companies of all sizes – from high-growth, early-stage startups to mature, multi-national corporations. Her industry experience includes software, technology and financial services. Lisa currently serves as a director and advisor to several startups and organizations around the world, including New Zealand Rugby, Movac Venture Capital, Flying Fish Partners and Peacetrees Vietnam.
Prior to her current engagements, Lisa was General Manager at Microsoft. During her 14-year tenure, Lisa held key roles across corporate accounting, finance, investor relations and business development.
Lisa has been an advocate for gender equality throughout her career and considers herself a citizen of the world, with her professional experience and personal passions having taken her to over 90 countries (including Australia, England, and South Africa where she developed her love of rugby!). Lisa currently lives in Seattle, Washington and is an accomplished triathlete and is an avid runner.
Blaine Scully (he/him)
Blaine had a distinguished career as a professional and international rugby player, captaining the United States from 2016-2019 including at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. In a decade-long career representing the USA, Blaine competed in 54 test matches, three Rugby World Cups, seven tournaments on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games 2011. Blaine’s overseas professional career began with the Leicester Tigers of the English Premiership and ended with the Cardiff Blues, where in 2018, he was part of the European Challenge Cup winning team. Blaine served as co-founder and former chairman of the US Rugby Players Association, the representative organization for all U.S. national team athletes (men and women), as well as a member of the International Rugby Players Global Council. Since transitioning from sport, Blaine has provided broadcast analysis for national networks, as well as advising sport-focused firms and start-ups, leveraging personal experience in global and elite professional sport. Currently, he is working as a Senior Associate management consultant with PwC and pursuing an Executive Masters in Business Administration at the University of Oxford.
Sarah Quist (she/her)
Sarah is a mother to four children and has stayed active in sports through her children. Several years ago, Sarah was thrilled when two of her children joined Rugby teams. A game she loved but could never play as a young adult because she was a “girl.” Sarah’s love for rugby dates back to her grandfather, Dink Templeton. Dink was a rugby, track and football star at Stanford. In 1920, Dink was on the United States Olympic rugby team, and that year the U.S. upset France to win the gold medal. As an athlete, mother, and woman, Sarah believes in giving unconditional support and guidance to the next generation of women, which is why she decided to join Girl Rugby.
Erin Kennedy (she/her)
CEO & Co-Founder
Erin grew up in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania called Jim Thorpe. She was immediately drawn to sports and spent her time playing softball, basketball, and running cross country. After graduating from Marywood University, Erin made the trek across the country to pursue her passion of sport and performance psychology at the University of Denver. She started her career following graduate school at USA Rugby, where she managed various youth programs. She also started her own path in rugby as a player, coach, and educator. Erin continued her career following her tenure at USA Rugby by consulting with Rugby America’s North (RAN) and Rugby Canada, before working for the International Olympic Committee on the Youth Olympic Games. She moved back to the US in 2016 and continued consulting for Rugby Canada and other sports organizations.
Erin has seen first-hand the difference that sports can make in a young woman’s life and believes that every girl needs an opportunity to play. She is incredibly passionate about empowering women to do better and be better in every aspect of their lives. Young girls become great women when they are given the right opportunities early on.