From the President; First 100 Days

Published on March 29, 2017


By: John Puglisi, NISOA President

John Puglisi (NY)
NISOA President

I am not quite 100 days into my term as NISOA President but I thought it would be a good time to report on what our Senior Leadership has done and what we are working on for our members.

Our annual plan and priorities for 2017 focused on financial management, value to the membership and succession planning. I am very pleased with the progress made on financial management and adding talent to the organization to deliver value to our membership. While we have not been especially focused on formal succession planning in the first few months of the year, we need to increase our efforts to get younger members more involved with our leadership.

Financial Management

The external financial audit of our organization is underway. Carmen Serbio, National Referee from North Carolina has been appointed to the Executive Board as Director, Financial Management to assist the auditors as well as oversee and improve the organization’s budgeting and financial performance. We are working with the chapters to provide financial support for their initiatives as a result of positive financial performance in 2016. Each chapter was asked to provide a brief statement regarding how the financial support would be used. I will continually report on our financial management progress over my term.


We have added some very talented people, including Carmen Serbio, to the Senior Leadership team. Nicole Ward has joined us to help on the Operations team with Julie Fabsik-Swarts and Tom Richardson. Many of you will recognize Nicole (or her name) from her years of exemplary service to the US Soccer Referee program. We are very excited to have her helping our organization.

Ben Trevino from Indiana has been appointed as the Region VII (Michigan, Ohio and Indiana) Regional Representative. Ben had a distinguished career on the field as both a U.S. Soccer National Referee and NISOA National Referee. He’s currently a U.S. Soccer National Referee Coach and U.S. Soccer National Assignor in Indiana.

George Noujaim, the long time NISOA National Referee Program Director and current U.S. Soccer State Referee Administrator for California South, has been appointed to the Executive Board as Senior Director of Evaluations. This position is responsible for the physical fitness and assessment programs. George’s accomplishments are too numerous to mention in this brief note.

We are always looking for energetic members to join the Senior Leadership team. We created a Job Board on the web site listing positions that are available. We are currently seeking a Assistant Director of Communications and a Director of Assessment as Gary Huber is now the NISOA Vice President, a position which requires quite a bit of attention and effort.

I am personally very thankful to welcome the volunteers who give their time and work to our organization without compensation. We can not effectively run our organization employing two part-time staff and one hourly employee so volunteer effort remains essential.


I have met quite a few assignors, chapter leaders and members from all over the country in the past few months. There is no shortage of opinions about what NISOA needs to do and what we needs fixing to improve our organization. A common issue in these discussions is NISOA and the chapters need to make sure our members are qualified and capable of handling the matches assigned. We have elevated our requirements for physical fitness and performance. We will be publishing additional guidance for the administration of the physical performance test in the next few weeks. We will also be reviewing the delivery of our high quality instructional material under the leadership of Todd Abraham, Sr. Director of Instruction. We remain the ONLY organization that provides training specifically focused on the collegiate game. Our members receive the training as well as insurance to meet the demands of the collegiate game. Our membership criteria are specifically designed to deliver the highest quality college match officiating possible.

I want to encourage all of our members to use one or more of our communication tools. Most of the information in this note has been published on our Twitter timeline so please follow us if you do not do so already. If you are reading this in your email, you already know about the ability to subscribe to our website news articles. Signing up for this service is a two step procedure. Go to the front page or the sidebar of this post and type in your email address in the box titled, “Subscribe to NISOA News.” When you hit the “Submit” button, you will receive an email with instructions how to confirm your subscription. If you do not confirm your subscription, you will not receive future news articles from the website.

Registration for our 2017 National Convention is now open. We want to make this event truly beneficial and worthwhile for our members. The Convention Committee has been surveying membership for ideas and topics of interest. I look forward to seeing you in Nashville this summer.

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