Five New Members Begin Terms on Little League International Advisory Board
Five people with more than 120 years of combined experience in the Little League Baseball and Softball program are set to begin their terms on the Little League International Advisory Board it was announced by Stephen D. Keener, Little League International President and Chief Executive Officer. The annual fall meeting begins today at the Little League International complex in South Williamsport, Pa.
Noel Corrales, Frederick Lorentsen Sr., Leonard Ricchiuti Jr., Phil Rizzo and Dave Wetmore join the 12-member board that provides input, perspective and opinion on current aspects of the Little League program and propose new initiatives, all for the purpose of maintaining Little League Baseball and Softball as the world’s leader in the youth sports arena.
“The Little League International Advisory Board provides us with valuable feedback from the grass-roots level of our organization – the local league and district levels,” Mr. Keener said. “The five new members of the Advisory Board have distinct backgrounds at various levels of Little League with their collective experience providing educated and informed voices regarding the future direction of the program.”
Noel Corrales, from Guatemala City, Guatemala, has been a Little League volunteer for 13 years. He is currently the District Administrator in Guatemala where there are more than 400 children participating in the Little League program. Mr. Corrales, a former member of the Guatemalan National Basketball Team, has coordinated many Little League tournaments on several different levels along with serving as a team delegate for several Little League regional tournaments. He has been the President of Liga Juvenil de Guatemala since 2002.
He is replacing Serafin Gomez, from Reynosa, Mexico, as the International representative on the Board after Mr. Gomez completed his three-year term.
“Being from a Central American country that has a limited baseball tradition, just being considered for a position on the Little League Advisory Board is a big honor for me and our modest baseball program,” Mr. Corrales, who is a vascular surgeon, said. “I look forward to the opportunity of working with the organization and people from around the world.”
Mr. Lorentsen, from Spring Hill, Fla., has been a Little League volunteer for 21 years. For the last 12 years, Mr. Lorentsen has served as the District Administrator for Florida District 15 after having been an Assistant District Administrator for seven years prior to that. He has served as the Vice President of the Florida State District Administrators Association for eight years and has been a member of the Southeastern Region Advisory Board for four years. He started his affiliation with Little League Baseball and Softball as the Player Agent (one year) and President (nine years) of the Shady Hills Little League in Spring Hill.
Mr. Lorentsen is retired after having worked as a municipal employee in the state of New York.
He is replacing John Mitchell, from Milford, Va., as the Board’s Southeastern Region representative after Mr. Mitchell completed his three-year term. There are 10 leagues and 270 Little League teams in Florida District 15.
“Being appointed to the Little League International Advisory Board is an amazing honor and I am humbled,” Mr. Lorentsen said. “I never imagined having a seat on this prestigious board. I will do my best to make sure Little League remains the best youth baseball and softball program in the world for all the children we serve.”
Mr. Ricchiuti, from Albany, N.Y., has 42 years of experience in the Little League program. Mr. Ricchiuti became involved with Little League as a player in 1969 in the Albany American Little League. He later was an umpire in the league and held several administrative positions before becoming President of the league in 1986. Mr. Ricchiuti was elected the New York District 13 Administrator in 1994, and has continued in that capacity to this day.
He has been the Executive Director of the Albany Police Athletic League, Inc. since 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Ricchiuti worked for the Albany Police Department for 27 years, retiring as a police sergeant.
He is replacing Robert Newnam, from Smyra, Del., as the Eastern Region representative on the Board after Mr. Newnam completed his three-year term. There are nine leagues with 238 teams in New York District 13.
“I spend each working day fueled by the belief that one person, one day, one connection, can change the life of a child,” Mr. Ricchiuti said. “The words ‘Courage, Character, Loyalty’ have defined generations of leaders in this great country and communities around the world. I am privileged to work with youth and volunteers in this great game of life.”
Mr. Rizzo, from Hoffman Estates, Ill., has spent 22 years working with Little League. He served in several different administrative capacities for the Hanover Park (Ill.) Little League including Director for two years and Treasurer for four years.
For the last nine years, Mr. Rizzo has been the District Administrator for Illinois District 13. He has also been the Illinois State Coordinator for the last two years.
He is replacing Tony Tulino, from Ashtabula, Ohio, as the Board’s Central Region representative after Mr. Tulino completed his three-year term. There are 16 leagues and 487 teams in Illinois District 13.
“When I received the letter in the mail about the Advisory Board, I was shocked, honored and humbled,” Mr. Rizzo, who is a sales manager, said. “Little League is my passion, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead over the next three years as a member of the board.”
Mr. Wetmore, from San Ramon, Calif., has been a Little League volunteer for 25 years. He began his association with Little League in 1987 as the Player Agent and Vice President for the San Ramon (Calif.) Little League. The following year, Mr. Wetmore served as President of the league for one year before joining the district staff. He has been the District Administrator for California District 57 for the last 10 years. Mr. Wetmore is the Director of Purchasing and Contracts at the Contra Costa Community College District.
“I’m honored to be selected to serve on the Advisory Board,” Mr. Wetmore said. “I believe this experience will not only prove to be valuable by increasing my knowledge of how the entire Little League functions, but it will also strengthen my commitment, understanding and relationships associated with all aspects of the Little League program both in the U.S. and internationally.”
There are 12 leagues and 633 teams in California District 57. Mr. Wetmore will be replacing Marty Hoy, from Torrance, Calif., on the Board after Mr. Hoy was selected to represent the Western Region on the Little League International Board of Directors.
The Advisory Board, which has existed in its present form since 2000, convenes twice a year. Each board member serves a three-year term.
Little League considers the input of the Advisory Board vital in providing an effective program to ensure that all participants, parents and volunteers have a rewarding and enriching Little League experience. Board members are current and former district administrators, assistant district administrators and other volunteers whose many years of experience at the local level of Little League operations are highly valued by Little League International.
Members of the Little League International Advisory Board began their two-day meeting today at Little League International. Members of the Board include, Front row (left to right): Bob Olson, Dave Wetmore, Irwin Altman, Rob Fitch, Brent Shuff. Back row (l to r): Joe Wendler, Leonard Ricchiuti, Frederick Lorentsen, Noel Corrales, Phil Rizzo. Not present were Board members Larry Brown and Travis Ellis.
Below is a list of the current members on the Little League International Advisory Board:
- Rob Fitch, Canada, British Columbia, 2012
- Bob Olson Jr., Central, Minnesota, 2012
- Joe Wendler, Eastern, Pennsylvania, 2012
- Irwin Altman, Western, Arizona, 2013
- Larry Brown, Southwestern, Texas, 2013
- Travis Ellis, Southeastern, South Carolina, 2013
- Brent Shuff, Southwestern, Louisiana, 2013
- Noel Corrales, International, Guatemala, 2014
- Frederick Lorentsen Sr., Southeastern, Florida, 2014
- Leonard Ricchiuti Jr., Eastern, New York, 2014
- Phil Rizzo Central, Illinois, 2014
- Dave Wetmore, Western, California, 2014