Salt Lake City, UT–With Rugby Utah’s first competitive Major Rugby Championship season underway with the newly formed Select XV, along with a 2016 Club 7s National Championship in the rear view mirror and with a multitude of plans set for inside and outside the state of Utah this year and beyond, Rugby Utah Ventures (RUV) has announced an executive-level organization re-structuring, along with the additions of three key staff members and advisors meant to develop community outreach.
“We’re seeing a lot of exciting things on the horizon,” said newly promoted Chairman of the Board and President Ken Rivera, “And restructuring ourselves a bit to reflect our ability to take on those forthcoming opportunities was needed.”
The changes Rivera mentioned were his promotion to Chairman along with former High Performance and Operations Partner Kimball Kjar taking over the CEO role.
Rivera’s responsibilities will include the management of RUV’s Board of Directors while also collating RUV’s conversations with potential partners on local, regional and international entities.
Kjar’s shift in responsibilities sees his continued involvement with the rugby-centric activities while adding the day-to-day business development activities including marketing, sponsorships and other partnership activities.
Also added to the RUV business development team are William Racule, Marketing Manager, Ishmael Tilialo, Director of Rugby Utah Operations and Nic Benson as a Business Development Consultant.
All three bring a wealth of rugby experience and creative energy for RUV.
Racule’s career spans a variety of creative roles including print, media and UX design for companies across domains and brings a wealth of experience with him in from the Midwest with the Kansas City Blues Rugby Football Club and the new Rugby Gold Cup Championship. He will oversee the branding, creative and marketing activities for RUV across the board. Racule led the Rugby Utah Touch Rugby League in 2016 and will also continue such leadership again this year.
Tilialo is currently working in the marketing world but brings a wealth of experience in team and league operations having been responsible for BYU Rugby’s operations and marketing activities from 2014-16. Tilialo also oversaw the inaugural Rugby Utah Men’s Premier Division competition last Fall and will take on an expanded role overseeing the operational direction of Rugby Utah overall, including the MPD and other related activities.
The third addition is Nic Benson who will work with Rugby Utah as a business development consultant. Benson comes to Utah with a profile in professional sports having worked as the Dir. of Operations for the Indian Super League, a professional cricket league in one of the world’s largest markets of India. Benson will work with the RUV executives, Tilialo and Racule on marketing, sponsorship and operational activities.
“We’re lucky to have such passionate and hard working folks to lean on like Billy, Ishmael and Nic,” Kjar said, “They are savvy on not just the game of rugby, but more importantly they are well-equipped to run business-minded rugby operations that will help us as we continue to build.”
About Rugby Utah
Rugby Utah Ventures, LLC (RU) is the recognized Geographic Rugby Organization for USA Rugby and is focused on aggregating the strengths of rugby in the state of Utah, from the youth to the elite levels. The goal of RU is to unify rugby within the state through High Performance programs like the Olympic Development Academy and Community programs like the Rugby Business Network, Touch Rugby League and A 2nd Try Foundation. With these programs already producing positive results on and off the pitch the “United State of Rugby” looks to develop the most elite rugby players, coaches and referees and to develop the economic engines necessary to build and strengthen America’s rugby culture. For more information, visit www.rugbyutah.com #UnitedStateofRugby #yOURteam