- Trust. Give it until you shouldn't.
- Improve. Always be learning.
- Drive change and challenge the status quo when necessary.
- Surprise and delight
- Don't be a jerk.
- Have fun, be different, & optimistic
- Bring people together and build community
He is our guy that makes the entire machine work. Some use the term “Operations” for what he does. We know him as the guy that builds the behind-the-scenes-systems (inventory, customer service, e-commerce, shipping, etc) that allows all of us to have a blast playing Spikeball. Without him, there would be no fun. Did I mention that he’s 6’7”? Did I mention that at age 29 still has dreams of making it to the Olympics? Did I mention that he likes the color purple and I can’t stand it? Now you know. He heads up the world’s largest Spikeball team, Tiro United, played college football and tried out for the NFL. Yea, thought so—what have you done?
Skyler is our man on stage and the ultimate Spikeball teacher. A recent grad of Cal State Chico, Skyler recently moved from Chico to LA to pursue his dream of making sure every person on the planet is aware of Spikeball. He also makes up half of Chico Spikeball which has been the #1 ranked team as long we’ve had rankings. If you see him on the street, ask him about his previous life as professional Halo player. At age 14, he traveled the country flying to various tournaments chasing the ultimate nerdery title, Global Halo Champ.
I met Joel during his days as an undergrad at Belmont University (Nashville). He reached out saying he wanted to get involved with Spikeball but that he couldn't work days b/c he was going to be in Northern Michigan mushroom hunting for a month. Yea, me neither, I had no idea mushroom hunting was a thing. We couldn't pass that up and have seen nothing short of amazing work from Joel. He graduated a semester early, moved home to PA, and has treated our customers like the fine, beautiful, tasty morel's that they are. If you see Joel, ask him about the stranger that attempted to buy his urine for $5. The deal didn't happen. :(
Scott includes 'mushroom hunter' as part of his resume as well (see Joel's bio for reference). Scott graduated early from Belmont and is the guy that makes sure our retail partners love us. Yes, LOVE us. Not one to waste his relationship building skills, 24 hours before graduation he proposed to his girlfriend and is en route to wedded bliss (fingers crossed the wedding colors are yellow and black). On a recent trip to LA for a tournament Scott had his phone stolen in a public bathroom. The guilty party eventually sold Scott his own phone back to him for $200. He also lost the tournament. Tough trip. Scott and Joel compete as team 'Nashburgh'--- ask them about their insane excel data sheet that most likely includes game play stats on your team.
Michael Wald: (or is it Mike? I'm still confused)
Wellesley (MA) to Lewisburg (PA...home of Bucknell University) to Madison (WI) to Chicago is the path that brought Michael our way. At first glance, we thought he was running from the law but it turns out he was just chasing his dream of making Spikeball a full time gig. College is a place where a lot of people catch nasty diseases. Bucknell University is where Michael caught one called, “Leave me alone, I’m playing Spikeball to cure my hangover!” The bug didn’t let go and the next thing you know he and his friends are in Chicago competing in a tournament. Thankfully, I (SpikeballChris) was there to knock him out in the first round. Michael is the guy that runs and creates the systems to make sure all shipments go out on time, manages our largest retailers, tracks all of our equipment (tents, sets, TV’s, explosives, etc), and, in general, helps keep this whole machine on the rails. If you run into him, you can ask him about his love for Denzel and how he feels about ice cream on sand dollars.
We had a desperate need for someone based in the Spikeball hub of Nashville with experience as a DJ in Hiroshima. Thankfully, we found that in Thomas. (No kidding, his name DJ name was “DJ TomTom”) Originally from a farm in Missouri, but now running things out of Nashville, Thomas manages USASpikeball and all things faith-based at Spikeball (we’re talking about you Young Life and CRU!). That beautiful ranking system on USASpikeball.com is accurate and functional because of Thomas. Consider a handwritten note thanking him. Thinking about hosting a local tournament in your area? This is the dude you chat with. He was the host of one of the largest Spikeball tournaments (90+ teams!), and is starting to talk as if he’s a real Southerner, ya'll.
Do you have an unhealthy, over the top, kinda-creepy, perverted love for the brand Spikeball? Do you tell the boss to hold on a second when you’re reading Spikeball-related emails? Maybe you laughed out loud at a Facebook or Instagram post? You can thank Shaun for all of this. He’s the mastermind behind our social media marketing. On Shaun’s first day of work, we asked for his social security number so we could complete some paperwork. He gave me a blank stare and said he’d have to get back to me. That was fairly concerning until he told me he had perfect attendance until 5th grade. Impressive. Completely irrelevant, but impressive, nonetheless. Since then, he’s been killing it and spreading Spikeball love all over the world. Shaun, a Chico State grad, also makes up half of the dominant National Champion Spikeball Team, ‘Chico Spikeball.’
Chris Ruder: @spikeballchris
I’m the guy that refuses to write in the 3rd person about himself. This whole thing started with some friends and family as a bit of a crapshoot-- but it's working! (knock on wood). I take pride in the fact that we’ve made hundreds of thousands of people cooler and better looking through Spikeball. My team name is Get Off My Lawn, I rode my bike 3,300 miles across the country, visited all 50 states by the time I was 30, and I don’t like the words moist, nook, or cranny. I have the world’s greatest responsibility--- making sure every person on the face of this Earth gets to play Spikeball. None of this would be possible without the support of my lovely, smoking hot wife. For her, I am eternally grateful. Now, GET OFF MY LAWN!!