The perfectly imperfect team.
It happens when you least expect it.
Sarah Kate Noftsinger
"Skate" is a woman of many accomplishments. Among a wide range of endeavors, she has played professional soccer, explored wilderness camping for an extended time, founded two non-profits, and suffered a career-ending neck injury, to mention a few events. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Fan Engagement for Atlanta United of Major League Soccer (MLS).
Previously, she was the Commissioner of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), the nation’s top soccer league for young women and a breeding ground for the U.S. Women's National Team. Skate engages her amazing drive and unquenchable optimism as she leads the player development of more than 8,000 soccer players. She is a passionate motivating force in today's soccer world. Skate has faced cancer and broken her neck, although to use the word survivor in connection with her would be a great disservice to this strong, positive and dedicated woman. She embraces the vivid texture of life. Skate's entrepreneurial and philanthropic work has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, ESPN, and more. She has also coached prolifically at the highest level of women’s soccer, including as the Developmental Assistant Coach for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team in the 2006 World Cup and as the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at Stanford University. She was an all-American midfielder at Wake Forest University before being the first female student-athlete to be drafted by a professional sports team, as the #22 overall pick by the Washington Freedom in 2002.
Skate lives by the philosophy captured in Les Brown's famous quote "Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars."
From a distance, her 6’5” stature is undoubtedly the most striking characteristic Ruth Riley has. Encouraged to see life beyond her economic means, she developed a quest for knowledge that led her to graduate with honors from the University of Notre Dame and eventually be inducted into the NCAA Academic All-American Hall of Fame. Currently, Ruth is pursuing her MBA at Notre Dame.
More than Ruth’s natural born talent, the combination of her height and her very determined work ethic has enabled her to achieve a unique level of success in basketball. Beyond being the first female to be named Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Final Four (2001) and the WNBA Finals (2003), she has won championships at the collegiate and professional levels, (NCAA Champion 2001: WNBA Finals 2003 and 2006). In addition, Ruth is an Olympic Gold Medalist (Athens 2004). Whether it was leading her college team to its first NCAA title or holding a leadership role as the vice-president of the WNBA player’s union for the last eight years, Ruth Riley is a visionary by nature.
As one moves beyond the accolades and inspects Ruth’s life more closely, they will see an endless passion to make a meaningful contribution in this world. She has a unique global perspective that she was fortunate enough to obtain from her experience playing basketball in Europe and Asia and from working as a humanitarian spokesperson throughout Africa. Ruth’s gratitude for those who have helped her in her life’s journey has propelled Ruth to use her platform to help others overcome the obstacles in their life and accomplish things beyond their means, with a particular focus on women and children in the realm of global health and education. Whether it is working as a national spokesperson with Share Our Strength’s NoKidHungry campaign, with Inspire Transformation, or with the NBA as a global ambassador, Ruth has seen how her humble beginnings and athletic and academic success have allowed her to effectively partner with corporations and NGO’s to make progressive and sustainable change.
Katherine is a Licensed Psychotherapist in private practice in Miami, Florida. She obtained her graduate degree with honors from The University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University, where she was a Division I swimmer. Katherine has over 12 years of experience providing therapy to clients with a wide variety of emotional issues.
She was one of the founding members of 1st & Alton, a grass roots Haiti relief organization that was created with friends after the 2010 earthquake. In addition to traveling to Haiti after the earthquake, to help train local people to work with victims suffering from stress and trauma, Katherine helped fundraise and assembled supplies. To date 1st & Alton has been able to collect individual, community, and corporate donations in excess of $12 million for earthquake survivors.
Katherine primarily focuses her energy now on working with the Masisukumeni Women's Crisis Centre. She was particularly drawn to working with the women at the centre due to her specialization in counseling trauma survivors. When Katherine was informed of the high incidence of rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and HIV in the Nkomazi region, she knew that her expertise in working with patients suffering from PTSD provided her with a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the community.
Katherine has been traveling to Nkomazi since 2010 to help train local women in basic counseling techniques and to work with the center’s survivors. She is a Certified EMDR Therapist, and Certified Clinical Supervisor with extensive postgraduate training in various therapeutic modalities including Psychodrama, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Play and Art Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Katherine has been able to utilize this training in working with the women at Masisukumeni, and to help educate and train the center’s counselors.
She feels honored to be able to work with such courageous and strong women, and to help empower them to reach their highest potential.