AYSO National President Paula Berriz announced today that Kim Roberts Hedgpeth has been named the American Youth Soccer Organization’s new National Executive Director.
Kim brings a strong background of non-profit leadership and strategic management, including seven years as National Executive Director of the Los Angeles-based American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). She is the first African American woman to be named chief executive of a major national U.S. soccer organization and will begin her new role on April 1.
“We see Kim as the ideal person to support the change management of the AYSO Strategic Plan,” said President Berriz, in making the announcement. “We believe that Kim’s diverse and successful background brings many talents and unique capabilities that will impact our organization in many new and exciting ways as we approach our 50 year anniversary. Kim is a proven leader for our national staff and is a very welcome and important addition to our organization.”
Kim helped negotiate and implement the 2012 merger of AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Upon completion of the merger of the two unions, she chose to step down from her executive role to pursue personal projects.
"I am honored to become associated with AYSO's 50-year tradition of providing fun, safe and inclusive soccer for children of all ages and abilities,” said Kim in accepting the new assignment. “ I look forward to working with the dedicated coaches, referees, volunteers, staff and parents in expanding its excellent programs for players across the U.S. and the Caribbean, as AYSO celebrates the start of its next 50 years of great soccer."
The search for the new AYSO top executive was conducted by New York City-based search firm DRG, which specializes in non-profit senior executives. Kim replaces Tom Tobin who retired in December. DRG worked with an internal search committee made up of AYSO volunteers and national staff. NBOD member Tony Veronico, a retired CEO of two different New York City non-profit organizations, served as the interim NED on a volunteer basis during the search process.
“Over 500 candidates were reviewed for this position,” said Robert Daniel, the NBOD member that chaired the search committee. “And DRG narrowed that down to the six best candidates for us to interview. In the end, Kim was just a standout and our committee was pleased to be able to unanimously recommend her candidacy to the National Board of Directors.” The NBOD voted unanimously at their board meeting on March 23 to approve the recommendation.
Kim joined the staff of AFTRA in 1981 and served a wide variety of roles including Co-Director of the New York Local and Executive Director of AFTRA’s San Francisco Local and the San Francisco Screen Actors’ Guild.
From 1998-2000, she served as Director of Labor and Employee Relations for Harvard University before returning to AFTRA in 2001. Kim received her Bachelor of Arts in American Government from Harvard in 1978 and her Juris Doctor in 1981 from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is admitted to both the New York and California State Bar.
She was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of two performers. She is married to Gilbert W. Hedgpeth, a former law enforcement executive for the State of New Jersey. They now reside in Los Angeles, Calif. Gilbert was an amateur boxer and is now a professional boxing referee, and he played varsity soccer at Ewing High School in Ewing, New Jersey. Kim’s niece and nephew (ages 8 and 6 respectively) play AYSO soccer in Region 1441, Castaic, Calif.