Board Of Directors
Tyler Kinch is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University. He graduated with a degree in Athletic Training and is now certified in the field. Throughout school, Tyler was involved with many other organizations such as habitat for humanity as well as taking the responsibility for recruiting all the teams for GVSU’s annual Relay for Life. Tyler also is a proud member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, where he served as the Philanthropy Chair, Vice President of Programming, and Senior Marshal on the Standards Board. Tyler is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in physical therapy at the University of Toledo.
Tyler’s original goal when starting S.P.O.R.T.S. was to take what he has learned and Play it Forward to those who may yet to experience similar opportunities. Through his Christian faith and values that were found throughout athletics, Tyler utilized what the fraternity had to offer and assembled his team. He aims to create an atmosphere for children around the world to learn and grow as individuals; He hopes that one day the efforts of this organization will give children the ability to Play It Forward in their own way.
Chris Longstreet is currently Director of Learning Experiences for Choice University and Choice Hotels International – the world’s second largest hotel franchisor with over 6,000 hotels worldwide. In his role, Chris oversees the creation and administration of training events and programs for the franchise system – including the educational programs for the corporate annual convention, field staff annual meetings, and Fall regional association meetings. He leads a team that creates many on-line learning programs and resources that assist in developing the property management skills of those owning and leading Choice Hotels franchised properties.
Chris is also a senior adjunct, and a former Assistant Professor for the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Grand Valley State University. He teaches the program’s introductory level class as well as a special topics course in trends and current issues that face the hospitality industry. Prior to his experience with Choice Hotels International, Chris was the Director of Certification Programs for the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was a member of the human resources team of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Nathan Krafft grew up on a dairy farm in Frankenmuth, Michigan, a town made famous for Christmas cheer and chicken dinners. Already a graduate of Frankenmuth High School and Grand Valley State University, Nate earned a Master’s degree in accounting from Grand Valley in December 2014. Nate now works as an Accountant at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan,
Nate spends his free time as an assistant Varsity boys basketball coach at Nouvel Catholic Central. He has been driven by sports (not just S.P.O.R.T.S.) since he was young and as the oldest of three boys, is also passionate about being an older brother.
Laurie Kinch is a retired public school administrator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Central Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Administration from Oakland University. Laurie has over 25 years of administrative experience serving as a building administrator at all levels from pre-school to high school as well as central office. The majority of her career was spent in districts with high numbers of at-risk students. Her work with an alternative high school in Macomb County earned recognition from the United States Department of Education.
Laurie and her husband, John, have been married for 35 years, and are extremely proud parents of three sons and a daughter-in-law. All four children have completed or are pursuing doctorate degrees in their professions. In addition to her interest in serving on the board and promoting the mission of S.P.O.R.T.S., Laurie enjoys interior design, gardening, and quilting.
Jacob Rohde served as the chief financial officer for S.P.O.R.T.S. He attended Grand Valley State University and received a degree in finance. He held an internship position with Northwestern Mutual in Grand Rapids where he accomplished his goal of becoming a representative in April 2014. Jacob is also a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and has enjoyed the many opportunities that the fraternity has provided him to help in the community.
To Jacob, S.P.O.R.T.S. is the next leap forward to giving back to others. He firmly believes that athletics are a place where children of all ages learn essential life lessons, and that no child should be denied this opportunity. S.P.O.R.T.S. will have a lasting positive impression on many young men and women and he feels blessed to be a part of this amazing organization.
Curtis Vaden was born and raised in Northern Michigan. In 2012, Curtis graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Safety & Health Management. Throughout his life Curtis has looked to participation in team and individual sports as a way to maintain an active lifestyle and sharpen leadership skills.
Zach Sepanik graduated from Grand Valley State University in December 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and during his undergraduate experience, Zach served as the Vice President of Communications and chairman of the National Save a Life Tour. He also was a sports reporter for The Lanthorn, Grand Valley’s student-run newspaper.
In July 2015, Zach graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Master’s in Strategic Communication through the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. During his 2-1/2 years in Norman, he served as a graduate assistant for OUTV (campus television network) and The Wire (campus radio station). As part of his duties, Zach incorporated several shows into the curriculum including GamedayU, Sepanik Sports Spin, and The Round Table. He also produced a documentary on concussions in football for his Master’s project titled, For the Safety of the Game (http://bit.ly/1DxWMLc).
Zach is now a sports reporter and anchor with WOOD-TV8, the NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started at the station in October 2015. Zach joined the S.P.O.R.T.S. board because he believes in the vision of the organization, as well as the values and direction S.P.O.R.T.S. provides.