Beach Volleyball America Announces Addition of Lori Okimura To Management Team
from Charlie Jackson, CEO of the BVA Tour
POWAY, California (July 24, 2000) Beach Volleyball America (BVA), the premier women's professional beach volleyball organization in the United States, announced today the addition of Lori Okimura, former Sports Marketing Manager of MIKASA SPORTS, to the BVA management team. Okimura will join the BVA as its Chief Operating Officer, working alongside Charlie Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, and Christine (Schaefer) Podraza, Vice President of Operations. Okimura will begin her term with BVA on August 15, 2000.
"It will be challenging and exciting to return full time to the world of beach volleyball and I am looking forward to joining such a strongmanagement team. Charlie [Jackson] and Chris [Podraza] have done an excellent job launching the inaugural BVA Tour and I am looking forward to joining forces with them to continue the momentum in the future," said Okimura.
"Lori brings tremendous experience to our executive staff," said Charlie Jackson, BVA's CEO. "Hiring someone of her caliber is a critical step forward as we finish out this 2000 season in August and begin preparations for 2001."
In 1995, Okimura joined MIKASA SPORTS as the company's first female executive, in charge of Sports Marketing and Product Development for the company's Olympic Sports of beach volleyball, volleyball and water polo. She is credited with the development of key products in the MIKASA product line, in addition to founding MIKASA SPORTS' Marketing Internship Program, providing academic internships for college student-athletes interested in pursuing a career in sports beyond the playing years. During her tenure at MIKASA, Okimura was named the Co-Chairperson of the prestigious Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association (SGMA) Volleyball Executive Council and to the International Beach Commission (IBC) of USA Volleyball, shaping the future of the sport at the elite and high performance level. She is a founding advisory board member of the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL) and has helped to develop inner city youth sports programs through the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles (AAFLA) among others. Prior to joining MIKASA, Okimura held key positions with the SPEEDO/Authentic Fitness Corporation, the Assoc. of Volleyball Professionals and the University of Southern California Sports Information Department successively. She was awarded the Robert L. Lindsay Meritorious Service Award by USA Volleyball this year, for her contributions to the sport of volleyball and beach volleyball through her leadership in the industry.
Okimura, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, now resides in Manhattan Beach, California and graduated from the University of Southern California, where she was involved with the women's volleyball program. She is highly regarded in the international volleyball community, and will attend the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney this September as part of the beach volleyball delegation.
The 2000 BVA Tour, includes 7 tournaments with over $500,000 in prize money. All of the top United States teams are participating in these events, including the current Olympic qualifying point-leading teams of Annett Davis/Jennifer Johnson Jordan and Misty May/Holly McPeak. Other top-ranked United States teams on the BVA Tour include Liz Masakayan/Elaine Youngs and Lisa Arce/Barbara Fontana.
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