The History of NYSWYSA

In the Beginning 


NYSWYSA’s previous logos
Prior to the spring of 1982, youth soccer in western New York state was combined with the amateurs as part of the Northwest NY Soccer Association. As the youth component continued to grow, a group of individuals began discussions about the formation of a separate recognized youth soccer association that would bring together various groups and leagues throughout western New York. Members of this group were Tony Simpkin, Bernd Koehler of Buffalo, Robert Todd Downey of Binghamton, Thomas Block, Joseph D’Amato of Syracuse, and Jack Hayward, Linda Schepler, Eileen Gailpeau of Rochester.

By the spring of 1982, this group put together the original set of by-laws and proceeded with the incorporation process. The consent to take action in lieu of the organization meeting of New York State West Youth Soccer Association Inc. reads as follows:

"The undersigned being the incorporator(s) of the corporation hereby consent(s) to the action taken, as hereafter stated, in lieu of the organization meeting:

A copy of the certificate of incorporation together with the receipt issued by the Department of State showing the date and payment of the filing fee for the original certificate of incorporation was appended to this statement.

By-Laws regulating the conduct and the affairs of the corporation, as prepared by John J. Foster, ESQ. counsel for the corporation were adopted and ordered appended thereto.

The following person(s) were appointed director(s) of the corporation:


Bernd Koehler Joseph D’Amato
Linda Schepler Jack Hayward
Robert Todd Downey Eileen Galipeau
Thomas Block  

The principal office of the corporation was fixed at Rochester, New York.

Dated April 4, 1982"

The combined first meeting of the membership and the directors of the corporation was held at the Airport Marriott Hotel, Rochester, NY on April 25, 1982 at 12:00 Noon.

After determining that all present were members of the corporation and a quorum was represented, the meeting proceeded.

The following directors were present: Robert Todd Downey, Tony Simpkin, Bernd Koehler, Eileen Galipeau, Jack Hayward, Linda Schepler, Thomas Block and Joseph D’Amato being all the directors of the corporation and a quorum, Jack Hayward was elected temporary chairman, and Eileen Galipeau was elected temporary secretary.

The chairman reported that the incorporator(s) took the following action:

  • Adopted by-laws regulating the conduct and affairs of the corporation
  • Appointed directors of the corporation
  • Fixed the principal office of the corporation at Rochester
The chairman circulated a copy of the Consent to Action Taken In Lieu of Organization Meeting executed by the incorporator(s) and upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, it was:

RESOLVED, that the actions taken by the incorporator(s) as set forth in the Consent to Take Action In Lieu of Organization Meeting is hereby approved, ratified and in all respects confirmed.

The chairman stated that the election of officers of the corporation was now in order. The following persons were nominated: President - Jack Hayward; Vice-President - Thomas Block; Secretary - Eileen Galipeau; Treasurer - Linda Schepler.

A vote of directors was taken and the nominees were elected officers of the corporation.

The president and secretary thereupon assumed their respective offices and stead of the temporary chairman and temporary secretary.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, it was:

RESOLVED, that the seal now presented at this meeting, an impression of which is directed to be made in the margin of the minute book, be and the same hereby is adopted as the seal of the corporation and further

RESOLVED, that the president and treasurer be and they hereby are authorized to issue certificate for members in the form as submitted to the meeting and appended to the minutes of the meeting and further

RESOLVED, that the corporate record book and membership book now presented at this meeting be and same hereby is adopted as the corporate record book and membership roll book of the corporation.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, it was:

RESOLVED that the treasurer by and hereby is authorized to open a bank account in behalf of the corporation with a bank located in Hilton, NY and a resolution for that purpose on the printed form of said bank was adopted and was ordered appended to the minutes of this meeting.

Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, it was:

RESOLVED, that the signing of these minutes by the directors and members shall constitute full ratification and waiver of notice of the meeting by the signatories.

There being no further business before the meeting, on motion duly made, seconded and carried, it was adjourned.

Dated April 25, 1982


NYSW Presidents:


Jack Hayward


September 1982 - September 1984

Joe D’Amato


September 1984 - September 1986

Roger Skinner


September 1986 - September 1992

Joe Madreo


September 1992 - September 1995

Tony Buiniskis


September 1995 - August 2004

Gary Acker


August 2004 - October 2004

Bob Sokolinsky


October 2004 - January 2005

Oystein (Sandy) Ostebo


January 2005 - September 2006

Michael Radecke


September 2006 - August 2010

Richard Wagner


August 2010 - August 2015

Curtis Regruit   August 2015 - Present


The First 25 Years

Originally there were four districts, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Southern Tier district was added in 1985 and Twin Tier district was added in 1990 as youth soccer continued to grow throughout the state. In 2001, New York State West Youth Soccer had 84,000 registered players.

In 1995, NYSW opened its first full-time state office in Corning, NY and hired Dan Watson as the Operations Manager. Today the office, is staffed with six full-time employees.

In 1996, this website was started.  The originial website was developed by Micah Mellander.

In 1998, the need for better coaching education and a more organized effort in the area of player development lead to the search for a full-time State Director of Coaching. George Herrick of Vestal served in that role on an interim basis while the search for someone to fill the position full time was undertaken. In the fall of 1999, NYSWYSA hired Glen Buckley as the full-time State Director of Coaching.

As the business has continued to grow, the Board of Directors decided the day to day operations of the association would be best served by the hiring of an Executive Director.  A search of candidates began in the late summer/fall of 2003.  In November 2003, Mr. Omer Doron was hired as the first Executive Director of the association.   Mr. Doron left the position in 2005.  The Board of Directors choose not to refill the position.

The 2003-2004 seasonal year saw the introduction of Demophere’s RosterPro system to the membership under the direction of state registrar, Tim Mellander.  This web based registration and rostering application brought the state membership database together into one collective spot for the first time and simplified and improved the ability of the member clubs to transfer their membership data to the state association in real time.

The 2007 season brings New York West to its 25th anniversary year.  The commitment to bring excellence and service to its membership is stronger than ever.  The state continues to maintain its member base at 80,000 players and further help was needed to make NYSW/US Youth Soccers programs run better throughout the state. To help in program delivery, the board authorized the the Director of Coaching to hire 6 assistant directors of coaching.  One for each of NYSW’s distircts.  The program enhances the availability of the State Association in each of the districts. The intent is to help the member clubs further benefit from the services provided by NY West, and to provide new programming to our members.  These assistants work first hand with the clubs in each district to help deliver coaching courses, player development programs, TOPSoccer development, recreational organization and district league support.

We were saddened as the 2008-2009 seasonal year began when our long time Operations Manager, Dan Watson passed away unexpectedly.  Dan served the state association in that role for 14 years and his contribution to the association was invaluable.  Instead of hiring a replacement Operations Manager, the Board of Directors felt it was more prudent to have the organization under the direction of an Executive Director.  In February 2009, Amy Gush was hired for that position.

Recent History

In 2009, saw the departure of our long time Director of Coaching, Glen Buckley.  The search for a new director brought us Dean Foti who brought with him 20 years experience as a Division 1 College coach.  Also in 2010, Tim Mellander was hired as an associate director to help with the day to day soccer operations.  His 20 years of experience as a soccer administrator at the state, regional and national levels have made him an excellent addition to the staff.

Spring of 2010, the state association purchased a building and relocated the office from downtown Corning, to a location just outside of the city. 

The 2010-2011 season brought another change as the state association has decided to partner with the Thruway League and administer this league as the first state run premier league in New York State West.  We think this will be an exciting opportunity and see the potential for growth in this endeavor. 

September 2012 marked New York State West's 30th year of providing soccer opportunities for the youth of western New York.  

2017 brought the 35th year of operation to New York State West.  It also marked some changes.  In September of 2016, Amy Gush left the position of Executive Director and a search was initiated for a new person to fill that role.  In May of 2017, New York State West welcomed Alex Brame to the position of Executive Director.  Alex brings a fresh perspective and is a total soccer junkie.  We look forward to his leadership as the soccer landscape is very dynamic and faces many challenges as we move toward the future.  2017 also brings the retirement of long time director, Tim Mellander.  Tim has served New York West as state registrar since 1995 and been a full time employee since 2009.  Wearing a multitude of hats during his twenty plus years with the orgainzation, including state registrar, Region I registrar, and US Youth Soccer National Registrar Chairman, he is leaving some big shoes to fill.

2018 and beyond??  Soccer continues to grow and New York State West will continue to be the leader in youth soccer programming for Western New York State.