Barrett Takesian and Patrick Williams Join Board of Directors
SEA is thrilled to welcome Barrett Takesian, Executive Director of Portland Community Squash, and Patrick Williams, Executive Director of SquashDrive, to its Board of Directors. Takesian and Williams, who began their three-year terms in September, bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in youth development, community squash, and SEA programming. With these new appointments, SEA is proud to have increased member program and alumni representation in our leadership, with four executive directors and two program alumni now serving on the Board of Directors.
Takesian founded Portland Community Squash in 2012, a non-profit community center delivering squash, wellness, and education and uniting neighbors of all ages and backgrounds. Rally Portland, a program within PCS that serves young people demonstrating academic, social-emotional, or extracurricular need, is an SEA member program. Prior to leading PCS, Takesian was Program Director at SquashBusters Lawrence and completed his B.A. at Bowdoin College, where he captained the varsity squash team. Takesian serves as Senior Advisor for Community Programs to US Squash and a national ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance, a nonpartisan organization advocating for afterschool and summer youth programs.
“Barrett is a visionary and a doer, and his addition to the SEA Board is significant,” says Kevin Klipstein, President and CEO of US Squash and SEA Board Member. “His leadership of the US Squash Community Affiliate Network will create an important bridge to squash and education programs across the country. Several Community Affiliates including our Specter Center operate SEA programs, and this type of collaboration, and the programs that intentionally integrate the squash community, increases the value of the experience for everyone.”
“The Squash and Education Alliance represents the gold standard of youth development in the United States,” Takesian says. “I watched my peers excel at SquashBusters growing up, and I am grateful for my nine years working within the network. SEA is committed to serving the whole student, and in return, participants call their respective programs a second home. I believe adding wrap-around services to our sport is a model, not just for squash, but for all arts and sports-based programs around the country. I look forward to advocating for our member programs while sharing the story and best practices nationally.”
Williams is a graduate of SquashBusters and the first SEA alumnus to serve as executive director of a member program. Before joining SquashDrive in 2020, Williams was the Site Director at the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club and the Youth Program Director at the YMCA in LA. Williams has coached squash at Beaver Country Day School, the University Club of Boston, and the Union Boat Club, taught elementary school, and worked as an after-school coordinator at the YWCA. He earned his B.A. from Bates College, where he was senior class president, co-captained the varsity squash team, and founded a program for Sudanese and Somali refugees called Lewiston Squash. Williams has a Master’s in Coaching & Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine.
SquashBusters’ Founder and CEO Greg Zaff describes Williams as ““the embodiment of urban squash success” and “a person of incredible character and competence.” “He is the reason why I started this program and why I remain so committed to it 25 years later,” says Zaff.
“I am excited to join the SEA board and and support the growth of our amazing movement in any way that I can,” says Williams. Williams is the second SEA alumnus to be appointed to the Board of Directors, joining CitySquash graduate Jessenia Pacheco, who chairs the Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.