Changing of the guard: Sweeping leadership changes made at Region I meeting
ROCKVILLE, Md. – After decades of service, several familiar faces are departing important leadership roles atop US Youth Soccer’s Region I, starting with long-serving regional director Bob Palmeiro.
That was just one of many changes which surfaced at the organization’s annual general meeting – which stretched well over two hours in length – at a Maryland hotel on Friday during the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Adele Dolansky, a living legend in girls soccer, announced at the end of the meeting that next month she will step down from Region I’s administrator post, a role she has held for three decades.
Meanwhile it was also revealed that her daughter Michelle, the organization’s bookkeeper and website manger, had resigned from her duties earlier in the week. And deputy director Joe Robb has also stepped back from his position due to illness.
A dedicated but at times polarizing figure, the Rhode Island-based Palmeiro has long led Region I, which includes Virginia, West Virginia and all other states to the north and east. But he was absent at Friday’s meeting, which was brought to order by deputy director Tim Miller in an interim capacity.
Palmeiro’s absence was not explicitly explained, but an election was later held to fill his old position, with western Pennsylvania representative Natalie Schwoeble winning after running unopposed as the only nominee. But Miller alluded to a range of wider upheavals in his opening remarks.
“It’s been a tough year and a very challenging year,” said Miller, stating that in his opinion the organization had undergone the most change it has experienced in more than 20 years. “Bob was a larger-than-life figure and we’ve all pulled together one way or another.”