Corporate / Sales
Chris Babiash is located in Circle Pines, Minnesota with his wife and two rugby loving boys. Originally from the land of cheese, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Chris migrated to Minnesota to become a Gopher at the University of Minnesota. Coincidentally, the same place he met his good friend and colleague Ruckie the Moose, the official mascot of Rugby Athletic. Chris is the calculator and number cruncher behind the scenes at RA and continues to travel to rugby events across the country building the RA brand. ‘Our partnerships are our base and our service is what makes us the best.’ When Chris is not at the RA office he can be found attending sporting events nationwide with his pal Ruckie! Contact Chris at cbabiash(at)rugbyathletic.com or call him at 612.590.0065.
Graphic Designer/ Sales
Rob Thoresen lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with his wife, Danelle, and his dog, Rugby. He previously lived in Winona, Minn., where he used to coach rugby at Winona State University. After playing rugby in the windy city, he returned to Minnesota to coach and focus on all things Rugby Athletic. He brings an understanding of club organization to the table at RA having always been involved behind the scenes with every club he joins. Using that experience he strives to provide personal customer service to every club at every level to get them going with gear and apparel. In addition to designing, Rob focuses on offering clubs with multiple tools to plan social events, alumni weekends and fundraisers. Contact Rob directly at rthoresen(at)rugbyathletic.com or via phone at 847.650.6110
Communications / Development
Sara Wright is based out of Orlando, Florida and has served in various communication and PR roles prior to joining Rugby Athletic in 2012. She has nearly four years experience working at USA Rugby as their communications director and now oversees communications for Rugby Athletic, managing content for the company’s website and social media pages, as well as working as the marketing and development director. Wright was born and raised in Minnesota, attending Winona State University, where she was first introduced to the sport, playing prop and second row for the Black Katts. Since then, she has played and served in various administrative positions in both Colorado and Kansas City. Contact Sara directly at swright(at)rugbyathletic.com or 719.310.2606.
Sales Rep/Brand Consultant
Adam Kopp is located in Seattle, USA & Vancouver, Canada - As Sales Rep & Brand Consultant, he is working to build client relationships and developing the overall RA brand. Adam has a decade of rugby experience, from the midwest to the west coast. Adam is also owner of Madak, a custom design agency that was established in 2006. In 2010, Adam approached RA to partner in business to bring more creative to both RA & Madak clients
Leah Berard played rugby throughout college at UW - La Crosse. During her time as an undergrad she also played for the WI U-23 select side team. After college, Leah played a season with the Wisconsin Women’s Rugby Club prior to moving to Minneapolis. She then played a stint with the Minnesota Valkyries Women's Rugby Team before she was forced to resign due to neck injuries. Leah stepped away from rugby for a few years to attend graduate school at the University of St. Thomas, getting an M.A. in English. It was only until after graduate school that Leah picked up the whistle and came back to rugby as a referee. She has since been steadily working her way up in the referee world. She is now in her second year as a member of the national panel and has been focusing on elevating herself within the international ranks.
Michael "Whitey" Nelson has been involved with rugby for 25 years, playing at all levels of the game. He first started playing for Arizona State University, graduating in 1991. He then went on to play in South Africa for a couple years before coming back to the States where he played for Tempe Old Devils, Back Bay Rugby and most recently, the Denver Barbarians. Nelson played representative rugby for SoCal and the West and was even brought into the Eagles pool for several camps in 1999-2000. With that experience, Nelson has gone on to be a long-standing fixture on the USA Classic Eagles side as well as the founder of the Misfits Selects. Off the field, Nelson has been committed to providing a high level of service and professionalism while providing teams with various rugby apparel. He has a long history in sales and will now take his extensive experience and far-reaching contacts to Rugby Athletic.
Jeramy Katchuba started playing rugby in 1992 at Northern Michigan University, where he would eventually graduate with a degree in Sociology. While in Michigan, he played on the select side in college then moved on to playing with the Detroit Tradesmen and the Michigan Union selects before moving to Minnesota in 1998. In 1999, he started coaching at the University of Minnesota Duluth and has seen the team to the Division 2 National Championship finals three years in a row, winning the last two. In turn, he was named the USA Rugby national participation coach of the year for 2014 and most recently was brought onto the USA rugby Eagle Eye scouting network as the lead scout in D2. Katchuba is married with two kids. He thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and as if he wasn’t busy enough, works full time as the Executive Director of the Duluth Area Family YMCA. Jeramy has added this part-time role with Rugby Athletic in an effort to feed his extreme rugby habit and will utilize his rugby contacts in the Midwest and will also focus on sales in the Southeast.