NJCAA expands National Office staff

Charlotte, NC - The NJCAA has announced a restructuring of the National Office staff while proudly adding five full-time employees. In an ongoing effort to best serve the needs of the NJCAA membership, the National Office will assume a divisional structure that focuses on four integral areas: 1) Administration, 2) Compliance, Eligibility, and Legal, 3) Marketing and Development, and 4) Membership, Championships, and Events.

When asked about the expansion and restructuring of the national office staff, President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker expressed his excitement regarding the recent changes.  "The additional staff will help to provide countless opportunities for growth to our member colleges.  The association's leadership, athletic directors, and student-athletes will gain support in all of the NJCAA's functional areas, while streamlining communication with the national office.  I look forward to seeing all five new staff members use their skills and abilites to positively impact the assocation."

Kendra Pollard - Compliance Associate 

Pollard will assist the compliance, eligibility, and legal division in the areas of processing hardships, audits, LOIs, and all other forms.  She will also serve as the association's expert on rules pertaining to Division III sports. 

A native of Bowie, MD, Pollard attended Hampton University in Hampton, VA where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Sport Management.  Pollard completed a compliance and governance internship with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in Charlotte, NC.  Following graduation from Hampton, Pollard advanced in her role at the CIAA to a compliance and governance graduate assistant. 

Pollard brings a wealth of knowledge to the NJCAA National Office regarding amateurism, compliance, and providing overall eligibility customer service to member schools. 

Darren Drake - Sport, Events, and Championship Associate 

A recent graduate of UNC Charlotte, Drake will serve all aspects of the NJCAA's sports, events, and championships division.  In this role, Drake will act as the primary liaison between coaches associations, sport committees, and the NJCAA National Office.  Drake will oversee the updating of sport codes, rules, and any additional sport changes.  

While at UNC Charlotte, Drake was a member and captain of the Charlotte 49ers football team.  A well-rounded student-athlete, Drake earned a Bachelor's degree majoring in psychology and worked as an intern with the UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation.  Passionate about pursuing a career in collegiate athletics, Drake was one of 240 student-athletes who were chosen to participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in 2018.

Michael Orokos - Coordinator of Membership, Information, and Data

Orokos will provide primary oversight of NJCAA Connect, the association's new membership management system.  This oversight will include assisting athletic directors, athletic staff, coaches, and student-athletes with day-to-day support for NJCAA Connect and managing the system's information databases.

Prior to arriving at the NJCAA National Office, Orokos worked as a Community Development Manager for the American Cancer Society managing a portfolio of community-based events.  Orokos earned his Bachelor's Degree in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources from George Mason University in May 2017.  During his time in Fairfax, Orokos worked with the Patriots' athletic department as a Ticket Sales intern.  Orokos gained further experience working as a Corporate Sales intern at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC.  

Will Tyner - Multimedia and Production Associate

Tyner joins the NJCAA National Office staff after completing a two-year stint at Lenoir-Rhyne University as an Athletic Communications and Video/Digital Strategy graduate assistant.  In his role, Tyner served as the primary media contact for men's and women's soccer, women's basketball, baseball, women's lacrosse, and men's and women's golf for the Bears.  Additionally, Tyner was responsible for all game-day video streaming and mulit-media content for the Lenoir-Rhyne athletic department.

A 2014 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Tyner earned his Bachelor's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.  During his time in Oxford, Tyner worked as a media relations student intern with Ole Miss Athletics and the SEC.  

At the NJCAA, Tyner will serve as the primary coordinator of all video needs for the association.  This includes creating and producing multimedia content for social media channels, serving as the liaison between the National Office and NJCAA TV production, and developing tutorials for online systems.

Diane Martin - Office Manager

After more than 20 years at Pfeiffer University, Martin joins the NJCAA National Office staff. During her tenure at Pfeiffer, Martin held positions as the Financial Aid Counselor, Associate Director of Admissions, and Director of Enrollment Operations. A native of Charlotte, NC and current resident of Albemarle, NC, Martin will assist the NJCAA in a multitude of areas including overall office management, accounts payable, and special events.

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