At LEAP Worldwide, we want you to know and trust the people who are working behind the scenes to make the global sports network function for athletes, coaches, and sports organizations as efficiently as possible. After all, our mission is to make the process of players finding abroad opportunities and coaches finding players of great fit, honest and clear through better communication and universal knowledge, and we hold ourselves to that standard as well. So, without further ado, we reckon it’s time for you to meet the team at LEAP Worldwide!

 

Ainsley McCallister

CEO & Founder

Birthplace: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

 

 

Ainsley grew up as a three-sport athlete, playing field hockey, basketball, and soccer. Once she reached the university level, she played D1 field hockey for the University of Michigan. There, she not only became a Big Ten champ but was named multi-year Captain and an All-American. On an international level, Ainsley represented the U.S. in the Jr. World Cup in Germany in 2013, and played a very short stint abroad in Montevideo Uruguay for the Yacht Club while still in college. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Pre-Med degree in Movement Science, Ainsley LEAPt overseas to play for Beeston HC in Nottingham, then for Whitfords HC in Perth, then for Canterbury HC in Kent County of England, and lastly for Hale HC in Perth. She was able to participate in the National Championship of England and in the Europeans in Holland while playing for Canterbury. Ainsley also competed in Australia’s pinnacle competition, the Australian Hockey League (AHL), for the Tasmania Van Demons! She remains in the U.S. hockey system today and is excited to see what other doors hockey will open for her! Ainsley reckons there are too many great memories and highlights from her sports career to pick just one, but all of her rich experience has taught her how to remain resilient. She says, “From sports, I know that with hard work, learning from your mistakes, and using your perseverance, you can accomplish more than you imagine!” Her dream LEAP is to play in New Zealand, hands down!

 

As Founder and CEO, Ainsley has contributed to every aspect of LEAP Worldwide, doing what she calls a little bit of everything. This includes carrying out customer discovery, networking, and of course, hiring all of the people you’ll soon learn about. Ainsley leads and works with LEAP’s marketing, business, and tech teams, constantly pushing LEAP in the  right direction towards our goals. This summer, she will attend the Conquer Accelerator and work full-time tapping into the mentorship of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, working to ensure that LEAP Worldwide has a strong foundation built to meet the needs of our users. She will also be coaching junior players and doing some hockey training herself!

Q: What’s something you’ve learned from your traveling?

A: Just having a backpack, a little language cheat sheet, running shoes, and not much planned besides your flights and a couple fun to-dos is the best way to travel!

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?

A: The friendships that come along with it!! It also always amazes me how sports truly break down borders and open so many doors to educational opportunities, travel experiences and becoming a part of different communities and ‘families’.

Q: What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned while founding and building LEAP?

A: I’m learning so much every day, from marketing and business strategies, to how to best run a business and supply a great service; these are all fun, interesting challenges. But I’ve most loved learning the specifics of how hockey differs all over the world and what’s unique to each location!

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: Oh that’s tough, there’s so much…but I can’t wait to relaunched our platform and introduce our new features!

 

Zach Nagelvoort

Director of Media Relations

Birthplace: Ridgewood, NJ, USA

Zach’s love for the world of sport started early on when he began playing ice hockey at the age of four. He played junior hockey in Traverse City, Sault Marie MI, and Aberdeen, SD. This past season, he finished up his college career of playing D1 ice hockey for the University of Michigan, where he graduated as a member of the Class of 2017 from the School of Kinesiology- Sports Management. Some of the highlights of his sports career lay in his time as a Michigan Wolverine, including the B1G Championship in 2016, and his 46-save shutout on his Senior Night. Even prior to graduation, however, Zach began his professional hockey career with the Missouri Mavericks, which is an ECHL affiliate of the New York Islanders. A few weeks ago, he experienced his first professional career win with the Mavericks against Wichita Thunder! He plans on playing for a similar professional organization in North America this fall. Afterward, he has plans to take the LEAP to play a season in Australia, and then immediately after that, a season in Europe. His dream LEAP would be to find a way to play a season in Switzerland. When asked what he finds most amazing about sports, he said, “In the world of sport, it does not matter who you are, what you look like, or how you live your life away from the competition venue, if you have skill and a passion for the game, you can achieve greatness.”

Q: What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned while working for LEAP?

A: While working for LEAP I have had the chance to chat with some really cool people from all over the world, and through these conversations I have learned that new experiences can be daunting, and the best way to attack one is to jump right in with an open mind; there are a lot of good people out there willing to help you out if you ask.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: I am excited for the people right now that have no clue, but for whom LEAP is going to make a huge difference in their lives. I believe that a platform like this has the potential to facilitate some far-reaching relationships that otherwise would not have come together, and that is awesome.  I also look forward to seeing what other sports LEAP ends up branching off into (I would love it if it were ice hockey).

Zach says that he has loved working for LEAP, but even more importantly for Ainsley. He says, “Ainsley is passionate about this idea without a single shred of doubt, and has shown me that there is no limit to the amount of time and effort she will put into following that passion, which I find to be pretty impressive and for lack of a better word, really cool.” Just like on a sports team, strong leadership is absolutely key to a growing a business’s success, and LEAP Worldwide is lucky to have Ainsley leading the way towards achieving our goals.

 

Ashley White

Programmer

Birthplace: Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Ashley has always loved sports. She did track, cheerleading, and lacrosse growing up. Now, she coaches and plays intramural sports for fun! She says that sports have taught her work ethic and how to balance priorities. In April, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information. She specializes in big data collection and software design. On traveling, Ashley says, “I love traveling to new places for outdoor sports like hiking, surfing, and kayaking. My favorite so far has been a sunrise hike on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.” This summer, Ashley has some travel and camping plans, and will be participating in LEAP’s accelerator program in June!  

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?

A: The bond created between teammates is amazing to me. My best friends abroad were made through teams I joined, and I remain close with teammates I had in high school as well.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: I am very excited for our launch of the new app! We have big plans for improvements, and it will be really cool to see our community grow with that technology. 

 

Kathryn (Kara) Hall

Business Strategist Intern

Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, USA

Kara is a rising senior at the University of Michigan, where she is pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration at the Ross School of Business. Kara is a member of Michigan’s D1 women’s tennis team. As a business strategist, Kara’s job has been to help build the pitch deck and business plan in preparation of presenting to venture capitalists before the next launch of LEAP. From her own travels, Kara has learned the importance of comfortable shoes when doing a lot of travel by foot! When asked about what she has found most interesting while working for LEAP, Kara said, “I have found learning more about all the different playing opportunities that several sports offer around the world very interesting. I did not know about this before.”

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?
A: 
How exciting it can be because you never know what will happen. Anyone can win on a given day.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: The most exciting thing is recognizing where LEAP can grow in the future. There are so many features that our team has recognized that we can later add into the platform that has not previously been offered to users. I am excited to see what users will think of the new launch and later as we plan to add more features.

 

Andrew Hausman

Business Strategist Intern

Birthplace: Beverly Hills, Michigan, USA

Andrew is a 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He played water polo at Michigan throughout his time in college and previously had played football, basketball, baseball, swimming, and track and field. One highlight of his sports career was winning the Big Ten Tournament in 2016 in Canham Natatorium (Michigan’s home pool in Ann Arbor). Andrew also had the opportunity to play water polo abroad in Agrupacio Esportiva Santa Eulalia in Barcelona, Spain and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Though it’s hard to beat these two  LEAPs, Andrew says he’d love to play in Southeast Asia. When asked about his travel experience, he gives some good advice, saying, “Take time to explore by yourself – you have so much flexibility and the opportunity to meet many interesting people.” As a business strategist, Andrew has worked with Kara building the pitch deck, business plan, and financial statements. While working with LEAP, he has found learning about which sports are popular in different places all over the world particularly interesting. Starting this August, Andrew will be working as a Venture for America Fellow!

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?

A: How it can unite people from completely different backgrounds across the world. It is a universal language that ignites equal passion all over the world.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: As a member of the business team I am definitely excited about securing the first round of funding.

 

Christiana Cromer 

Writer, Marketing Strategist

Birthplace: Oceanside, CA, USA

Christiana is a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a major in Political Science and minors in Digital Studies and Entrepreneurship. Her sports background is in soccer and tennis, and she now plays intramural sports for fun while at school. The highlight of her sports career was when her club soccer team went undefeated league champs in 2015! In terms of traveling, Christiana has learned the power of packing light after living out of a backpack for 10 days traveling through Italy. She says, “You really start to learn what’s a necessity and what’s not when you’re that cramped for space!”. Christiana hopes to study abroad  either the Czech Republic or France during her time in college. As a member of the marketing team, she has been writing LEAP’s blogs and editing video content. Recently, she has also taken over management of our social media pages. This summer, she plans to continue expanding LEAP’s brand and online presence, as well as spend time enjoying the California sunshine while she can through some hiking and camping trips. While working for LEAP, Christiana has found retelling the stories of the LEAPers to be not only very interesting but a privilege. She believes everyone deserves to have their story told, and that we can learn a lot from one another’s experiences.

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?

A: Like education, sport is an equalizer. It doesn’t matter what you have off the field, all that that is relevant is how much work you’re willing to put in, and money and power can’t do that for you.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: One thing that is so special about working for a new, growing business is getting to witness the everyday victories. I’m really looking forward to our re-launch and seeing the network connect hundreds of people from across the world. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to contribute with the rest of the team.

 

Lauren Turner 

Head of Global Outreach

Leicester, England 

Lauren has played hockey in five different countries, starting with her journey to Holland in 2011, where she stayed for three seasons. After developing her game abroad, she was invited to join the Great Britain program and therefore returned to her home club of Leicester HC. After she was released from the program, Lauren again decided to take the LEAP, this time to Perth in Western Australia. There she remained for two seasons, during which she won the Premier League title, represented the WA Diamonds in the Australian Hockey League, and traveled to New Zealand to play in their national state competition for Midlands Hockey. Lauren received her first senior outdoor cap in 2013, and also represented England in indoor at the U18 and U21 levels. In 2009, she helped Great Britain bring home the gold at the Youth Olympics. Currently, Lauren is enjoying a new challenge playing for R.C. Jolaseta in the premier division in Spain! Her dream LEAP would be to play in South Africa.

 The highlight of Lauren’s sports career rests in her time representing her country and playing for England. The biggest thing hockey has taught her is how to work with the different characters within a team, and utilize everyone’s strengths. She received her degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Loughborough University in the UK, and she completed her Coaching Performance Excellence Programme at Lane4 and Middlesex University in the UK. When asked about traveling and the amazing experiences that stem from it, Lauren says, “Say yes- throw yourself into as much as possible!”. She reports that from her time working with LEAP, she’s found that people from all corners of the globe want the opportunity to play overseas, which motivates the LEAP team to build out this platform in the best way possible.

Q: What do you find most amazing about the world of sport?

A: How it can bring so many different people together.

Q: What most excites you about the progress LEAP Worldwide is making?

A: Having the ability to connect people and share their journey!

 

And there you have it, folks! Now you know the team, and we would love to know all of you. If you would like to share your story, reach out to us on Facebook or by email at [email protected]. And as always, hit the sign-up button below to become a part of the always growing global sports network, let’s start planning your LEAP today! Connect with us on social media for the latest updates. Thanks for reading!

 

Twitter: @LeapWorldwide

Instagram: @leap.worldwide

Facebook: @leapworldwide.net

 

Sign Up