San Diego, California. Brian Vizard, President of the US Rugby Foundation has announced the appointment of four prominent rugby players and community leaders to lead the second phase of the With You! Campaign toward a final goal of $2.5 million. All of this taking place after a successful first phase of the campaign that reached $1.3 million.
The With You! Campaign is the US Rugby Foundations Campaign to make rugby available to America’s youth and to create pathways so those young athletes can achieve their rugby dreams. The Campaign is dedicated to providing funding for grassroots programs, as well as expanding our work in four main areas: Health & Safety Issues, Coach & Referee Improvement Programs, Pathways to Excellence, and Youth Programs including Start-Up Kits, Scholarships, and New Pitch Development.
“For more than a half century, the mission of the US Rugby Foundation has been to support and build grassroots rugby in America” said President Vizard. “The With You! Campaign will take our work with the youth of this country to a new level, in terms of providing our time-tested programs to a growing number of young boys and girls. We are extremely pleased to have the leadership of Mr. Yancey and his three co-chairs who collectively represent the best that Rugby has produced in this country. We are confident that under their guidance and influence that we will be successful in our second phase of the With You! Campaign,’ he concluded.
General Chairman | With You! Campaign
Dave Yancey, a distinguished San Francisco attorney and a devoted former rugby player, who has been deeply involved with rugby for 40 years, has been appointed General Chairman of the With You! Campaign.
He began playing at Stanford followed by almost 20 years with the Bay Area Touring Side Rugby Football Club (B.A.T.S.), winning multiple championships at the Monterey National Rugby Tournament, Aspen Ruggerfest, and a national club championship. Dave earned Pelicans, Poppies, and Team America select side honors.
Past and present off-field rugby activities include Member of the US Rugby Foundation Board of Governors; Co-Founder, Board Member and Development Chairman of the Stanford Rugby Foundation; President of the B.A.T.S Rugby Club; Administrative posts for the Northern California and Pacific Coast Rugby Unions; co-Founder of the Super League; Secretary and General Counsel of Team America. Dave is also the Founder and President of Opportunity Partners, a non-profit 501(c) (3) public charity organized to foster and conduct amateur sports competitions and to support and develop amateur athletes for competition in the sport of rugby.
After law school, Dave practiced banking, real estate, and tax law in San Francisco before becoming the Owner, President, and General Counsel of Crown Capital. Dave is a licensed attorney, real estate broker, and former California State Probate Referee and Appraiser.
Other past and present activities include National Defense Executive Reservist, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Chairman, Stanford undergraduate, and law school classes; Member, Stanford Law School Board of Visitors; Member, Stanford Athletics Board; Member, Stanford Associates; Board Member, Rotary Club of Palo Alto, CA; President and Board Member, Palo Alto Rotary Endowment Fund, Inc.; Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow; and Eagle Scout. Dave resides in San Francisco with his wife and four children.
Co-Chair | Public Campaign
Jay Waldron began his involvement in the sport of rugby in 1968 while attending the University of Virginia. He played for the Cavaliers for seven years, eventually captaining the side. He was also selected to various Potomac Rugby Football Union and Eastern Rugby Union representative sides and was also a member of the Eastern Rugby Union’s Board of Directors from 1971-74.
Upon graduating with a J.D. from UVA in 1974, Mr. Waldron moved to Portland, OR where he joined the Portland Rugby Football Club. During his nearly decade long playing career in Portland, Mr. Waldron represented the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Coast President’s select sides on numerous occasions. He coached the Portland RFC from 1981-88 while also coaching the Pacific Northwest representative teams. Mr. Waldron also coached the Pacific Coast Junior Grizzlies and was an Assistant Coach for the Pacific Coast Senior team from 1987-92. He was a rugby broadcaster for PSN and Fox from 1986-93. Mr. Waldron has been on the United States Rugby Foundation Board since 1988. He was inducted to the US Rugby Hall of Fame in 2017.
Mr. Waldron has been an attorney with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, from 1975, specializing in environmental and energy law, and trial practice.
Mr. Waldron was on the Port of Portland Commission from 1999 to 2006, serving as President from 2002 until 2006. He was on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Health Sciences University from 2007 to 2015, including as President in 2014 and 2015. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of Lewis & Clark College since 2010.
He sat on the North Clackamas School Board from 1989-93 and was Chairman of the North Clackamas Education Foundation from 1994-99. He was also Chairman of the Clackamas County Planning Commission in 1983 and the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies from 1999-2000.
Co-Chair | Major Gifts
Bob Watkins, established the R.J. Watkins & Company, Ltd, an executive recruiting firm in San Diego, in 1980. Bob is a past three-term President of the United States of America Rugby Football Union, and today sits on the US Rugby Foundation Board of Directors as past Chairman. Mr. Watkins will serve as a Co-Chair of the second phase of the With You! Campaign in charge of securing major contributions.
Bob is a past three-term president of the United States of America Rugby Football Union. He also served in a number of other capacities for the USARFU, including manager of the Men’s National Team, the Eagles. Bob was also a three-term President, founder and first commissioner of the USA Rugby Super League. Along with being a Director of the US Rugby Foundation, he also served as a Past Chairman. He was inducted into the US Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.
Bob currently participates on the Boards of the MSG, Inc. Owners of 1904FC, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation; Chair, Cali Baja Mega Region; and the San Diego History Center, San Diego Art Alliance. Previously a Chair, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, President, San Diego County Board of Education. He is Managing Partner of Toll bridge Ventures LLC, a seed capital venture fund and a Board Member of Armor Designs; Power Waste Gasification LLC and MLEP LLC; Former Board Member of Orogenesis Biomedical and Origen Pharma, Inc.
He is a Founding Member and Trustee of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego. A Board Member of the San Diego Sports Alliance Foundation, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego International Sports Council; the YMCA of San Diego County; was Chairman of the Board of the San Diego County American Red Cross; and was the President of the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Board of Trustees.
Co-Chair | Corporate Gifts
Robert LW (Bob) Erwin has also been appointed as a Co-Chair of the With You! Campaign with responsibilities for attracting corporate support of the campaign. He is the Senior Managing Director of MaxEn Capital, LLC and has dedicated much of his adult life to leadership roles with rugby programs around the country.
Robert LW (Bob) Erwin is the Senior Managing Director of MaxEn Capital, LLC. MaxEn focuses its capital resources and financing capabilities on middle market opportunities with projects generally in the range of $15 million to $100 – where technology assets enhance the client’s service/sales offerings and business plan.
Mr. Erwin has over 25 years of experience in project finance with worldwide experience encompassing over $10 billion in transactions for energy, infrastructure and commercial real-estate assets in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
In terms of rugby, his experience includes: Member – Houston RFC 1969-1971; President – Minneapolis RFC 1974-1976; President – Midwest RFU 1977-1978; Member – Board of Governors; USRFU 1977-1978; Member – US Owls 1977- Present; Member – Texas XXX’s 1981-Present; Chicago Lions Touring Sides Player 1975-1983; Member – Olde Peculiar RFC-Present; Supporter – Minnesota Area Rugby Foundation; Supporter – Team America – Bermuda.
CEO/President | US Rugby Foundation
Vizard, an outstanding rugby player from 1978 to 1995. He retired as one of the most accomplished rugby players in the history of USA Rugby, having played in three Rugby World Cups, representing the United States in 22 full internationals and 21 sevens internationals. He has served as President and CEO of the US Rugby Foundation for the past 17 years.
Brian Vizard began playing rugby in 1978 with the Grand Rapids Gazelles Rugby Club. He played with the Gazelles for four years before attending Michigan State University for a year, playing with the MSU Rugby Club.
In 1984, Vizard moved to California where he joined the Monterey Rugby Club. In that same year, he represented the Northern California Junior Pelicans and Pacific Coast Junior Grizzlies All-Star teams. In 1985, he traveled south to San Diego joining the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) rugby team. In his first year he helped lead OMBAC to the first ever United States National Sevens Club Championship.
In 1986, Vizard made his first of 22 appearances for the United States National Team. He also made his debut for the United States National Sevens Team of which he went on to appear in 21 international sevens matches.
In 1990, Vizard was named captain of the United States National Team. Vizard retired from full international play following the 1991 World Cup.
Vizard retired as one of the most accomplished players in the history of the United States Rugby Football Union. In the 25 years as a rugby broadcaster, Vizard has been the on-air talent for over 1,000 rugby television broadcasts, appearing on Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, FOX, FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Soccer Plus, all FOX Regional Affiliates, Versus, Oxygen, and Prime Ticket.
He was the Executive Director of USA Premier Rugby, Inc., owners and operators of the USA Rugby Super League, from 1996-1999. He served on the United States of America Rugby Football Union’s Board of Directors from 1996-1998.
Vizard received the Craig Sweeney Award in 2014, inducted into the Grand Rapids (MI) Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, the US Rugby Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Grand Rapids Catholic Central Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.