Board of Directors

Jen Headshot 22

Jennifer Ford

Executive DireCtor and board chair

“The visionary of our Foundation is Jerry Ford. His desire to level the playing field for underserved children across America while creating fans of the game of baseball has been the cornerstone of our work. Reimagining the foundation as an unaffiliated and independent nonprofit allows us the freedom to work closely with all groups and organizations operating inside and outside the baseball and softball ecosystem to make a substantive difference in the lives of others. The commitment of our board and so many like-minded, generous partners, individuals, and former and current MLB players enable us to serve thousands of children each year. The future is bright at R2G.”

Dustin Shindo

Dustin Shindo

Board Vice Chair

Dustin is an entrepreneur based in Hawaii and the Bay Area, with ventures in software, data, medical devices, material sciences, and renewable technology. He has taken three companies public on the Nasdaq. Dustin is also the first Perfect Game state director for Hawaii where he is working to create a platform to provide more exposure and opportunities for Hawaii ballplayers.

Dustin graduated from the University of Washington, earned his MBA from the University of Virginia, and completed the SEP program at Stanford University. He previously helped form the Calvin Shindo Student Venture Fund at the University of Hawaii and served on the Hawaii board for the Nature Conservancy.

“Baseball is much more than a game to so many of us. It connects family and friends. It brings joy and memories to so many. Having the opportunity to give back and support the future of baseball is an honor.”


jerry ford

Board Member

Jerry Ford is the Founder of Perfect Game.  Baseball has always been a part of his life, from growing up and playing in Cedar Rapids, IA, to becoming an expert of the game and building his dream that is a very profitable business today.

After an early stint in the U.S. Army, during which time he met and married his wife Betty, he returned home and began coaching all levels of youth baseball. During all of this he and his wife raised four kids. He had many jobs throughout the years, some baseball related and others as far from baseball as possible, and yet his love for the game kept him coming back. Some jobs included scouting for the Minnesota Twins, coaching at Mount Mercy College, writing a manual on base stealing and improving base running skills, partnering in a roofing business, developing and running a national softball magazine, and co-managing an assisted living/retirement home with his wife.

In the mid-1990s Jerry started Perfect Game. Originally a place for local kids to learn and develop the skills of baseball to equalize the playing field with areas that played their seasons earlier than in Iowa, the company has grown from four original employees into the most successful and widely respected international baseball scouting company it is today. 

Jerry’s success is due to the stubbornness not to quit, his knowledge of baseball and the life-skills of integrity and hard-work that he has maintained throughout his life. All levels recognize Jerry as one of the elites in the game of baseball and he was recognized by USA Today as the 57th most influential person in Major League Baseball directly behind Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees.

Jerry’s focus has always been on the kids that play the game. He decided that the success of Perfect Game allowed great opportunity to use the platform to give back and worked to form the Rise 2 Greatness Foundation as a 501(c)(3) public charity in 2003.

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CC Sabathia

Board Member

Drafted in the first round and overall 20th pick of the 1998 MLB Draft, CC Sabathia is the newest appointed member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Sabathia had an impressive 19-year career with the Indians, Brewers and Yankees, winning the 2009 World Series, becoming a 6X All-Star, and earning the Cy Young Award.

Following his retirement in 2019, Sabathia has quite the resume, continuing his work with his PitCCh In Foundation with his wife Amber Sabathia, which aims to enrich the lives of inner-city youth by raising their self-esteem through educational and athletic activities. Sabathia also serves as Special Advisor to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Vice Chair of The Player’s Alliance and host of R2C2 podcast.

“My purpose in life is to give back to the youth in underserved communities. Every child with a love for the game deserves an opportunity to showcase their skills, with access to equipment and coaching like those who are privileged with the opportunity. My mission is to level the playing field for all, R2G’s purpose-driven mission is set to do the same. I’m honored to be a part of the R2G foundation and help support the passion of the Ford Family.”

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Luis Gonzalez

Board Member

1988 MLB Draft pick and 2001 World Series hero Luis Gonzalez went on to be a 5X All-Star and 2001 Silver Slugger Award recipient through his stints with the Astros, Cubs, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Marlins. Gonzalez continues to excel as the Senior Advisor to D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, eventually earning inductions into the Latin American Sports Hall of Fame and the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Gonzalez has strong philanthropic ties to first responders through his Gonzo’s Hometown Heroes Fund, which supports programs and nonprofit organizations serving police officers, firefighters and first responders throughout Arizona. Gonzalez also serves as a founding member of the Rise 2 Greatness Foundation’s caravan team.

“I’m proud and honored to be a part of Rise 2 Greatness, an organization that has a huge impact on the lives and futures of young kids. Rise 2 Greatness levels the playing field for kids who grew up like I did and shows kids that when they work hard, they can be successful too.”

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Charles Johnson

Board Member

Charles Johnson was drafted in 1992 by the Florida Marlins. Johnson went on to a 12-year career with the Marlins, Dodgers, Orioles, White Sox, Rockies and Rays, going on to win four Gold Gloves, two All-Star bids, and the 1997 World Series.

Johnson founded the Charles Johnson Foundation, which aligns with Rise 2 Greatness’ mission to provide opportunities for underserved youth to reach their full potential, on and off the field.

“To be a part of a board that thrives on providing lifelong skills to youth in underserved communities is a mission that I support tremendously. I believe it takes teamwork to mentor and empower kids through sports.”


reggie sanders

Board Member

Reggie Sanders was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1987. He joined Gonzalez in winning the 2001 World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was also named an All-Star in 1995. Throughout his 17-year career, he played for the Reds, Padres, Braves, Diamondbacks, Giants, Pirates, Cardinals and Royals, ultimately winning three National League championships.

Sanders now serves in his seventh season with the Kansas City Royals and second as the Special Assistant to Baseball Operations/Leadership Development.

“I am honored and excited to join the Rise 2 Greatness board, where I can leverage my passion and purpose to inspire others to discover and pursue their own. Together we can create a culture of growth and empowerment, where everyone has the opportunity to rise to their fullest potential.”

Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan

Board Member

Brian O. Jordan is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and National Football League safety. For almost 20 years, Jordan has helped make sports history as a leader on both the baseball and football fields, an uncommon occurrence in professional sports. In the NFL, he played for the Atlanta Falcons. When playing MLB he played for the St. Louis CardinalsAtlanta BravesLos Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers.

The Baltimore native has contributed more to Atlanta, St. Louis, and other cities than just home runs and bone-jarring tackles. Jordan is an Emmy award-winning sports analyst for FOX Sports South and a recurring broadcast personality for the MLB Network, Sports South.  

Jordan served as a TV pre-game analyst for the Atlanta Braves on Braves Live, the official pregame show on Fox Sports South. He has participated in the Georgia Public Broadcasting family as a game analyst for Football Fridays in Georgia, covering high school games across the state of Georgia. Jordan is active in the community with the Brian Jordan Foundation and has authored several children’s books, including a best-seller, I Told You I Can Play! which reflects on his own childhood.  Jordan currently commits much time working with school systems to help youth with literacy.

Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon

Board Member

 From 1995 to 2012, Johnny Damon was a professional Major League baseball player, and was an All-Star in 2002 and 2005, a World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and the New York Yankees in 2009, and the American League stolen base leader in 2000. Johnny Damon has been self-employed since he left baseball and has appeared on TV shows, such as celebrity apprentice, Family Feud, Dancing with the Stars, Below Deck Mediterranean, Tanked, and has been running his Johnny Damon Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3, to raise and donate funds to charitable organizations. The Foundation assists local and national programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for disadvantaged children at risk. Since 2016, Johnny Damon has been on the President’s Council for sports, fitness, and nutrition.

Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick

Board Member

Tim Fitzpatrick was named the Deputy Director of Athletics. Chief Operating Officer for Brown in May 2023.

At Brown, Fitzpatrick oversees facilities, capital projects, events, external relations and revenue generation, and serves on the Executive Leadership Team. Fitzpatrick is also the sport supervisor for women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse and men’s hockey.

Fitzpatrick is a veteran in college athletics, having previously served as Director of Athletics at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He comes to College Hill after a four-year tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Diamond Sports Foundation (2019-23). Additionally, Fitzpatrick held senior leadership roles at Indiana University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of North Texas.

While at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Fitzpatrick secured a comprehensive shoe and apparel agreement for all varsity and chartered clubs, oversaw a rebranding initiative, created an athletic booster organization, and led significant fundraising efforts in partnership with the Alumni Association. Under his guidance, the department conducted an annual women’s professional development seminar (the Women’s LeadHERship Symposium), which featured prominent national leaders in women’s athletics.

At Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Fitzpatrick secured major gifts for the construction of a new outdoor tennis center, as well as the renovation of the university’s baseball and softball stadiums. He additionally served on the NCAA’s Division I Women’s Basketball Issues Committee while in South Texas, and executed a strategic plan that increased the department’s corporate sponsorship revenue by nearly 40 percent.

At Indiana, he was responsible for the department’s internal administration, oversaw capital construction and facilities management, and had oversight of the football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball programs. Additionally, Fitzpatrick managed IU’s external units, including marketing, ticket operations, licensing, merchandising, website, and publications. He also negotiated a 6-year, $21 million shoe and apparel agreement, and administered the Hoosiers’ multi-media partnerships with Learfield Sports and the Big Ten Network. During his tenure, Indiana realized a ticket sales revenue increase of 15 percent over annual budgeted projections.

A 1981 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College with a bachelor’s degree in English, Fitzpatrick earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1982.


Todd Yancey

Board Member

Todd Yancey, Vice President of Sports Facilities Companies and Co-Founder of PBX Pickleball,
has 20 years’ experience developing and producing experiential events in youth, amateur, and
B2C markets.  Along with event/venue management, he specializes in client relationships, team
development, and operations focused on customer experience.  
In his current role, he develops and drives the national baseball/softball initiatives and national
partnerships for the SF Network. Additionally, guiding venue leadership teams to achieve their
clients’ goals through SFC’s mission of improving the health and economic vitality of the
communities we serve.  
In previous roles, Yancey developed and led the Ballparks of America experience-Branson, MO,
where the overall mission was to connect the on-and-off field experience giving the player’s
memories that will last a lifetime. He also served as the Executive Vice President of Cal Ripken
Major 70 World Series, a division of Babe Ruth League, featuring community-based teams who
have won on the tournament trail awarding a berth in the World Series with teams from the
United States and abroad to determine a true “World Champion”.

While over the last 2 years, I have celebrated what Rise 2 Greatness stands for and been a
pleasure to support the mission, it is now my honor to join the other board of directors with
hopes to serve communities most in need. I believe that thru sport, especially baseball, we can
provide kids of all demographics an experience in-between the lines that will prepare them for
lifetime outside the lines. My past on the field experiences continue to provide opportunities and
influence who I am to this day and every kid regardless of background deserves the same
outcome. Although I hope all kids achieve their dreams of playing at the highest level, sports
should produce life experience(s) and used as a tool to present opportunities for everyone,
especially the underserved youth, to improve their lives and truly rise 2 greatness.

Eamon Springall headshot

Eamon Springall

Board Member

Eamon is the President and Founder of STITCHED Lifestyle. He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and shareholder of Eliades & Springall Enterprises, the venture capital firm that financed the development of STITCHED, and several other noteworthy projects.

Through STITCHED, and personally, he supports over 75 charities and community organizations every year. He provides university, and private high school scholarships, sponsorships, and donations annually. Springall also serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Springall has a philanthropic passion for youth baseball. Since 2009, he has funded and supported youth baseball in Las Vegas. Through LV Rebels Baseball Inc. and former DBA’s: LVR, and XXXX Baseball, he was able to support several teams of youth baseball players to travel nationally, showcase, make names for themselves, and compete. Many of his past players have gone on to be drafted by Major League Baseball, and/or earn scholarships to notable NCAA and Junior Colleges.

“Baseball. An amazing game, and an amazing sport. Once Baseball touches your heart, and pierces your soul, it never goes away. Life changes when the romance of baseball gives you no choice but to fall in love with the game, and stay in love forever. The only thing more gratifying than playing baseball, is giving + providing the game to others — even beyond your own children. I’ve been impressed, and had my heart warmed by the works of the Ford family and PG Cares. Their love and passion is infectious, and they made PG Cares very easy to support. Joining the board of directors of PG Cares as they transition to Rise 2 Greatness (R2G) is an amazing honor. R2G will be an unstoppable pathway to deliver the happiness of baseball to so many, worldwide. I look forward to serving our youth, and communities through the focused lens of baseball. Making baseball accessible to those with critical illnesses, unfairly fighting for their lives — also to those who haven’t had the opportunity to fall in love with the game, through location & circumstances alone, is an incredible mission and a challenge worth partnering up with the Ford family + fellow board members. R2G, made up of the big-hearted & philanthropic Ford family, decorated MLB players, and accomplished business people is going to change lives of as many we can reach. Play Ball!”