Who We Are
Scott has had a career in education for 38 years. He was a founding member of The Preuss School UC San Diego. For eight years he served as the Dean of Students and was the Principal/Director for twelve years. Scott retired in July 2019 but looks forward to continuing to support educational missions that give all students an equal opportunity to a high quality college prep education.
Malin Burnham was Chairman of John Burnham & Company Insurance and Burnham Real Estate and has remained involved since 1949. In 2008, Burnham Real Estate was acquired by Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Burnham is a native San Diegan who graduated from Stanford University in 1949 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering.
In addition to his involvement with the Burnham Companies, he has been active as a board member of several major corporations and 16 firms, in total. His present involvements include: Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, UCSD Foundation, Rady School of Management, and the USS Midway Museum, and is Chairman of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Mr. Burnham served as Trustee of Stanford University from 1985 to 1995. He co-endowed the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at University of San Diego.
Mr. Burnham has been awarded numerous honors, some of which include: Junior Achievement/San Diego Business Hall of Fame, 2002; Philanthropist of the Year, National Society of Fund Raising Executives, 2000; Civic Entrepreneur of the Year, Economic Development Corporation, 1999; Mr. San Diego, Rotary Club of San Diego, 1998, Gold Spike Award, Stanford University, 1996, and inducted into the Stanford Real Estate Hall of Fame, 2012.
Mr. Burnham has chaired nine major non-profits and has co-founded 14 organizations in his career, most providing direct benefit to San Diego, California and the nation. In the sports world, he has been a world-recognized sailor for five decades and has helped San Diego achieve prominence in both local and professional sports. At age 17, he became the youngest skipper to win a World Championship in the International Star Class. In 1987, he played a leading role in bringing the America’s Cup to San Diego. He is a former partner/owner of the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Sockers.
As Chief Sustainability Officer, Erik leads implementation of the City of San Diego’s ambitious efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Under Erik’s leadership the city’s implementation efforts are focused on increasing the energy and water efficiency of facilities, furthering the use of renewable energy, expanding transit and alternative mobility choices, diverting waste away from our landfill, and preparing the city for the impacts of climate change. San Diego’s sustainability team is recognized nationally and internationally as an innovator in exploring how technology, renewable energy, mobility, climate resilience, and creative financing can accelerate San Diego’s transition into a post carbon future.
Prior to taking on the CSO role, Erik held several other leadership positions with the city including Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Economic Development Department. Erik’s experience also includes a long career in public policy, having advised elected officials at the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, California State Board of Equalization, and California State Assembly. Mr. Caldwell previously worked for the City of San Diego as Deputy Director of Policy to former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. In this capacity, he was responsible for the implementation of the Mayor’s economic development strategy and leading the City’s efforts to support the region’s innovation economy.
Erik earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University San Marcos, a Master of Business Administration degree from San Diego State University, in addition to completing advanced studies in Real Estate, Data Analytics, and Data Visualization.
Reo is the founder of Research Group LLC. Reo has also served as Corporate Vice President of Digital Media at California Business Journals, and Editor in Chief at the San Diego Business Journal. Reo is a journalist for more than 25 years and is heavily involved in the San Diego community, including serving on several boards and charities. He completed post-graduate work in publishing and business at Stanford University and University of California, Berkley. He holds a Bachelor' s and Master's Degree from San Jose State University.
Alan Fox is an active California lawyer, with more than 40 years of legal practice experience, most recently as general and senior corporate counsel with California corporations. He currently serves on various nonprofit boards, bar association executive committees, and commissions, including the Long Beach Planning Commission. He lives with his wife Cheryl and three cats in Long Beach.
Alan learned to play squash as a senior at Andover, an east coast prep school. His college alma mater, Stanford, did not have squash courts during his tenure, and he consequently played with the tennis team. He resumed squash while in law school at Berkeley, and has played ever since. Alan was squash commissioner of The Olympic Club in San Francisco from 1976-79, and thereafter became regional vice president for the Pacific Coast to the United States Squash Racquets Association (USSRA), predecessor to what is now US Squash. He served as president for two years each of the Northern California and the Southern California Squash Racquets Associations. He was First Vice President of the USSRA from 1990-1993, and President of the USSRA in 1993-95.
Alan has been periodically ranked both regionally and nationally in both singles and doubles squash. He continues to actively play both singles and doubles squash.
Sarah Fitz-Gerald is an Australian women’s squash player and perhaps the greatest of the 1990s, collecting five World Open titles – 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002. She won a gold medal as part of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. In January 2004, Sarah was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her achievements and services to women’s squash, and the promotion of sport and a healthy lifestyle. She was Chairwoman and President of the Women’s International Squash Players Association from 1991 to 2002, was named the Australian Female Athlete of the Year of the Year in 2001 and 2002, and was the Dawn Fraser Athlete of the Year in 2001.
Sarah’s career has covered just about every aspect of the game including tenures on World Squash Federation board and as President of Squash & Racquetball Victoria (Australia). Sarah and her husband, Cameron, have also been instrumental in building and renovating quality squash courts in the Oceania Region.
Kevin is President & CEO of US Squash, the national governing body for the sport in the U.S. Since his start at US Squash in December 2004, membership has increased 149%, and participation in the US has increased 126% to 1.3 million players according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. In addition, long term management partnerships have been established with all major squash bodies in the US including the College Squash Association (CSA), the New England Interscholastic Squash Association (NEISA), and the National Urban Squash and Education Association (NUSEA), where Kevin serves as one of the original members of the Board of Directors.
Prior to US Squash, Kevin worked for Sun Microsystems in the Worldwide Marketing Operations group. Kevin also managed worldwide sponsorships, which included negotiating sales and marketing deals with MLB.com and a multi-year relationship with the National Hockey League. Prior to Sun, Kevin worked in the corporate consulting division of the sports marketing firm ProServ. Kevin graduated with a B.S. from Cornell University, where he was a four-year member of the varsity squash team. His senior year, he was a co-captain and recognized as an All-American Honorable Mention.
Sandra McBrayer is the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Initiative and an internationally known advocate for children, youth and families. The Children’s Initiative is a San Diego-based child advocacy agency. The Initiative, through collaboration and partnerships with community leaders, organizations and government agencies develops, enhances and strengthens policy, programs and projects, which serve children and youth.
As an adjunct professor in the College of Education at San Diego State University, she introduces new and first-year teachers to the multi-cultural, socio-political and economic dynamics of education.
President Clinton named Ms. McBrayer the 1994 National Teacher of the Year, and as such she served as an education ambassador. Ms. McBrayer participates in national and international debates, addressing issues and concerns facing children and families. She was also the 1993 California and San Diego County Teacher of the Year.
In 1987, Ms. McBrayer founded and developed the first successful school in the United States for homeless and unattended youth, serving as head teacher for the Homeless Outreach School (now known as Monarch High School ) in San Diego until 1996.
A knowledgeable and inspirational advocate for education, equity and individual involvement in bettering the lives of children and youth, Ms. McBrayer has been spotlighted on Good Morning America, CNN, Primetime, Lifetime Magazine, and CBS This Morning. Radio interviews have aired on National Public Radio (NPR) and Voice of America, and she has been featured in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and in 2001, as a “hero for children” in Ladies Home Journal.
Ms. McBrayer has been appointed by the California Governor to chair the State Advisory for Before and After School Programs. She has also been appointed by the Chief Justice of California to serve on the Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee. Ms. McBrayer chairs and serves on numerous local, state and national boards including: Agency for Instructional Technology, San Diego Commission on Children, Youth and Families, San Diego Workforce Investment Board, San Diego Council on Literacy, Department of Justice – Project Safe Neighborhood, California After School Partnership, and the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.
Other honors include Distinguished Alumna of the Year of the San Diego State University (SDSU) College of Education, Outstanding Service Recognition Award from the California State Senate and Assembly, Headliner of the Year award from the San Diego Press Club, Woman of Vision in Education from the League of Women Voters, Exceptional Service Award from the California State PTA, Humanitarian award from Youth Advocacy Association, and Living Legacy Award from the International Women’s Center.
John Nimick is an American squash player and promoter who has pioneered the use of portable glass squash courts in some of the most memorable venues in the world. His continuing dedication to the sport has included 17 years as the producer of the Tournament of Champions in Grand Central Terminal, the sport's most recognized international championship, and as the founder of both the Canadian Classic in Toronto and the Showdown at Symphony series in Boston's venerable Symphony Hall.
Nimick recently created the NetSuite Open at San Francisco's waterfront as this country's premier outdoor squash championship. The 4-time Grand Slam winner on the WPSA Hard Ball Tour from 1982-1993, who also represented the USA twice in international team championships along with peers Mark Talbott and Ned Edwards, was inducted into the US Squash Hall of Fame in 2006. He lives in Boston with wife Kate and occasionally with their son Tyler, a Senior at Brown University and regular contributor to Event Engine's squash projects.
Ivy Pochoda is the author of the novel The Art of Disappearing, which was published in September 2009 by St. Martin’s Press. Her writing has appeared in HOW Journal and Canteen. She is a contributor to the books section of the Huffington Post.
Pochoda began playing squash at age eight. Within two years she was active on the U.S. Junior squash circuit. At twelve she won her first national junior title and went onto win three more nationals junior titles between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.
After high school, Ivy went to Harvard University. She led her team to three national team championships and was a four-time All American athlete, as well as Varsity Squash Team Captain in both her junior and senior year. In 1998, as a senior, Ivy capped her collegiate career by winning the NCAA intercollegiate squash title. Pochoda graduated in 1998 with a BA in Classical Greek and English Literature.
After college Ivy competed on the professional squash tour. She won several international events and reached a world ranking of 38 and a national ranking of 3. She represented the United States five times in international team competition, and won three gold medals during her two appearances at the Pan Am Federation Cup. While on tour Ivy documented her adventures and observations in a bi-monthly column in Squash Magazine. She presently lives in Los Angeles, California.
William E. Simon, Jr. is co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC. The Firm, which he co-founded in 1988 with his brother and father, former United States Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon, Sr., has built a diverse and significant investment portfolio with holdings in real estate, private equity, and fixed-income securities.
Mr. Simon co-founded a successful municipal bond company in 1990, stemming from his previous experience holding senior positions on the municipal securities and foreign exchange desk for Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. Earlier in his career, from 1985 to 1988, Mr. Simon worked in the Southern District of New York as Assistant United States Attorney under then United States Attorney, Rudolph Giuliani.
A 1982 Boston College Law School graduate, Mr. Simon earned his bachelor’s degree at Williams College where he serves today as a lifetime Emeritus Trustee.
He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the William E. Simon Foundation and the Cynthia L. and William E. Simon, Jr. Foundation. Through these foundations, Mr. Simon helps needy youngsters in urban areas through faith-based efforts. He and his wife, Cindy, established the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation, providing state-of-the-art athletic equipment, curriculum, and training for Los Angeles area middle and high schools. The program now impacts more than one hundred thousand students per year.
In addition, Mr. Simon serves as Chairman of the Board for Parish Catalyst and The National Urban Squash and Education Association. He is a Trustee on the Boards of St. John's Health Center Foundation in Los Angeles and The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. Mr. Simon is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, and he also serves on the Board of Advisors at UCLA Health Systems. Mr. Simon is a member on the Board of Directors at Douglas Emmett and Co. and a current member of the Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Mr. Simon is a Visiting Professor at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Department of Economics. He is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California, where he co-teaches a course with Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. In March of 2014, Mr. Simon was honored by the Pacific Research Institute with the Baroness Thatcher Liberty Award, and he has been the recipient of a number of honorary degrees.
Mr. Simon was the 2002 Republican Gubernatorial nominee in California where he came within five-points of unseating Gray Davis, despite being outspent three to one. In addition, Mr. Simon also served as Chairman of California and Director of Policy and Speech Writing for the Rudy Giuliani 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee.
Mr. Simon resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Cindy, and their four children.
Chris Walker is a former professional Squash player from England and reached a PSA world ranking of 4. He is one of the founders of Surf City Squash (Access Youth Academy), current coach of the USA Men’s Squash Team and runs a successful coaching business out of New York and Connecticut.
Walker was a member of the England teams which won the World Team Squash Championships in 1995 and 1997. A three-time European Champion, he finished runner-up at the British Open in 2001 and won the Men’s World Doubles title at the inaugural World Doubles Squash Championships in 1997 (partnering Mark Cairns) and the World Mixed Doubles Championship (with Fiona Geaves).
James Zug is an award-winning journalist and historian. His writing has appeared in the Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and the New Criterion. A graduate of Columbia’s nonfiction writing masters program, Zug is the author of seven books, including Squash: A History of the Game (Scribner, 2003) and Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear (Penguin, 2010). Having covered the game of squash for more than a quarter century and a longtime staff member at US Squash, he is the executive editor of Squash Magazine; the host of Outside the Glass, the squash podcast; the chair of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame; a blogger at SquashWord.com; a columnist for Squash Player magazine in London; and a regular speaker about the game. From 2004 to 2008 he was a founding board member of DC Squash Academy, an urban squash program in Washington; and since 2015 he has been a founding board member, secretary and active volunteer at First State Squash, the urban squash program in Wilmington, Del. Zug captained the squash team at Dartmouth and since 2010 has chaired the Friends of Dartmouth Squash. He is the U.S. representative for the Jesters Club.
BY STEVE ATKINSON
JULY 29, 2021
It begins with an after-school program of academics and squash from 7th through the 12th grade. Students visit colleges, prep for the SAT and ACT, get help with college applications, and of course, play in squash tournaments ...
BY ELISABETH FRAUSTO
JULY 9, 2021
La Jollan Blair Sadler, a former president of Rady Children’s Hospital, is using retirement to continue his crusade to squash social inequities via Access Youth Academy ...
BY M.G. PEREZ
FEBRUARY 2, 2022
“Why is it called squash? Because the ball is squashy,” said Deon Saffery, the Academy’s squash manager. She was recruited from the United Kingdom to come to San Diego and teach children as young as 10 how to play the centuries-old game ...
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to transform the lives of underserved youth. Access was founded in 2006 by Greg Scherman and Chris Walker, who believed the San Diego community could benefit from an urban squash program that provided opportunity and support unlike any other non-profit in the region.
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