Meet The

Leadership Team

League Staff

Tony Zasowski

League Commissioner

Tony Zasowski is the League Commissioner of the Tier 1 Hockey Federation and Atlantic Hockey Federations. Tony comes to us from the NAHL where he was Commissioner of the NAPHL and led all aspects of NAHL Combines, NAHL Central Scouting and Education Initiatives for the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL including General Manager for Team NAHL at the 2019 World Jr. Club Cup in Sochi, Russia.

Prior to his position with the NAHL, Zasowski has served as Head Coach and General Manager for the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues from 2012-16. Zasowski was also President and Goaltending Coach of the San Jose Jr. Sharks along with Head Coach of Tier I teams. Tony was one of the founding members of the NAPHL back in 2009.

As a player, Zasowski grew up playing goaltender winning Championships under the USHL.  From there, he earned a scholarship at the University of Notre Dame where he was named Freshman of the Year for the Irish. He finished up his playing career with the Dayton Bombers in the ECHL.

Zasowski and his wife DJ have a daughter, Esmee.

Blake MacNicol

Director of Hockey Operations

Blake MacNicol is the Director of Leagues and Tournaments for the Black Bear Sports Group. In his role, MacNicol is the Deputy Commissioner of the Atlantic Hockey Federation.
 
Blake MacNicol served as the Director of Hockey Operations for the North American Hockey League since 2017. He also served as Commissioner of the North American 3 Hockey League for multiple seasons. In these roles he oversaw all aspects of league operations as well as overseeing youth hockey events. He also served as a member of the USA Hockey Junior Council for 3 seasons. Prior to these positions, he served in other roles with the North American Hockey League as well as Associate Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League.
 
MacNicol attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He appeared in two NCAA tournaments for the men’s ice hockey team as well as earning an all CHA tournament team selection. He graduated with a degree in Sports Management and Business from Ohio University. 

Brent Gough

Deputy Commissioner

Brent was born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Brent played 3 years of Junior A hockey for the St. Albert Saints before receiving a scholarship to NCAA D1 Merrimack College in North Andover Massachusetts; a member of the Hockey East Conference. Brent served as captain for 2 years with Merrimack Warriors and has recently been named to Merrimack’s All-Decade Team. After completing 4 successful years with the Warriors and graduating with his BA in Business Administration and a concentration in Organizational Behavior he signed a contract to play professionally in the UK. Brent retired in 2010 and began his coaching career with the Junior A West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. He spent 5 seasons with the West Kelowna Warriors as the Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. Following West Kelowna, Brent and his family moved to Arizona to join the Arizona Bobcat Program. In his time with the Bobcats he has coached U18, U16, and U14 AAA Teams. In the 2021-22 Season his team won the U 18 Tier 2 National Championship. 

Jodie Penn

Director of Operations

Jodie Penn is the Director of Operations for Black Bear Sports Group. Jodie comes from USA Hockey where she was the Manager of Youth Administration for 14 years.  With USAH, she managed National Championships, Player Development Camps and was the liaison with many of the committees and councils within USA Hockey. Jodie earned her degree in Business Administration and became a vital part of their operations.  Prior to working at USA Hockey Jodie lived in London where she worked in London’s Insurance markets and moved to the United States with her husband Nik and her two Children Oliver and Charlotte. 

Matthew Kiernan

Director of Scheduling

Matthew Kiernan is Vice President of Hockey for the Atlantic Hockey Federation. Matt oversees all aspects of the AHF. Matt is the co-founder and co-owner of the New Jersey 87’s, a member of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) where he serves as an Executive Committee member and is also on the league’s Board of Directors. He has held various coaching titles including Associate Head Coach of the EHL and EHLP teams and Head Coach at the U18 AAA level. Matt is a graduate of the University of Scranton. Prior to shifting his career to youth and junior hockey, Matt was an equity derivatives trader for 20+ years.

Kevin Keiper

Referee in Chief

As the Referee in Chief, Kevin Keiper will be responsible for all the officials and assignors for the AHF/THF.  Kevin has a wealth of officiating experience, 16 years as a USA Hockey official and over 10 years as a member of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association.  Kevin has worked many finals and county championship games in his time at USA Hockey and NIHOA Metro NY/NJ. During Kevin’s time as a member of NIHOA Metro NY/NJ Chapter, He was selected on multiple occasions to officiate the New Jersey High School finals at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Kevin is also on the NIHOA Metro NY/NJ membership committee where he recruits and mentors officials looking to further their officiating careers. In his free time, he enjoys spending it with his wife and two children and coaching his son's travel hockey team.

Nikki Miller

Director of Administration

Nikki Miller is the League Commissioner for the Atlantic Girls Hockey Federation, as well as the Atlantic Hockey Federation’s and Tier 1 Hockey Federation's first Director of Administration. Nikki handles all league communication, league rules, and bylaws, invoicing, discipline enforcement, and administrative affairs of the league. In addition, Nikki is Manager for the Princeton Tiger Lilies, in her 8th year as Manager for the New Jersey Stars and Manager of Black Bear Selects. Nikki also is in her 5th year as the Director and Tournament Coordinator for the VSK Wings Spring hockey program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Stockton University.

Julia Duncan

Marketing Manager

Julia Duncan is the Marketing Manager for the Tier 1 Hockey Federation, as well as AHF, AGHF, and NGHL. She specializes in social media, photography, and graphic design. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s in both Sports Management and Advertising. While in school, Julia managed UGA Hockey’s social media, where she grew her passion for the sport. 

Board Of directors

David Gibson

Director

David Gibson is the owner of the New Jersey Rockets Hockey Club and is the Managing Member of Molokai Partners LLC; a New Jersey based private investment firm that manages in excess of $50 million of committed and invested assets. Previously Gibson served as a Partner at Socratic Fund Management LP; a $250 million energy-focused hedge fund based in Short Hills, New Jersey.  Prior to Socratic, Gibson was a Managing Director at Tremblant Capital LP, a $4.5 billion retail-focused hedge fund, where he held the position of Head of Trading from its inception in 2001. He started his career as a trader at William Trading. Gibson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from St. Lawrence University.

Murry Gunty

Director

Murry Gunty is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. Gunty is also CEO and founder of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC and Blackstreet Capital Management, turnaround investment businesses. A lifelong hockey fan, Gunty grew up in Portland, Maine, where he spent countless hours playing hockey and watching the former Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League. He has coached and managed his sons’ AA and AAA hockey teams from Mite through Midget and is passionate about growing the game. His vision for Black Bear was to combine his turnaround experience with his passion for the sport of hockey, and to bring professional management to the rink industry, turning around poorly run facilities and investing badly-needed capital in 20-30-year-old rinks thereby saving them for their respective communities.

Jim Hunt

Director

Jim Hunt has been with both the Ice Vault and the Hitmen organizations since their inception, serving as the first Hockey Director and Head Coach/General Manager of the expansion EJHL Junior team. After starting the Bandits program and acquiring the Hitmen as part of the Ice Vault brand, he was promoted to Vice President of Hockey Operations and President of the Hitmen in 2006 and charged with overseeing the growth of the program in the youth Tier I market while ensuring the culture of the building remained a player first development driven atmosphere. Jim has represented the United States in nearly a dozen international events and has served as an Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Personnel to the original National Team Development Program established by USA Hockey in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2000, he accepted the position as an NCAA Division I Head Coach at Fairfield University, where he led the program to its first ever playoff appearance. Under his direction, the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association Player Development Program was established in 1993 to provide players within the Atlantic Affiliate an opportunity to compete on national and international stages. From 2009-2012, he served as the first regional ADM Manager for USA Hockey’s National Player Development Model launched in cooperation with the NHL. While cultivating his hockey knowledge and gaining valuable experience, Jim also served as a police detective in his hometown of Fort Lee, NJ, where he retired after twenty-five years of distinguished service.

Ron Kinnear

Director

With over 38 years of experience in junior hockey, he provides valuable leadership to the PAL Ice Hockey
Organization and Principal Owner of the Florida Jr Blades. I’ve helped lead teams to 12 USA Hockey
National appearances and won it all in 2008. I have been lucky enough to produce numerous NHL,
professional, and over 650 plus collegiate players, and he continues to dedicate his time to the development
of USA hockey. Currently Hockey Director for PAL Ice Hockey and Owner of the Florida Jr Blades

Graduate of New England College played 4 years at the D3 level-1980-1985 with a degree in Business Administration.

Robert “Bobby” Reiss

Director

Robert “Bobby” Reiss spent 48 years in New York City’s Garment District. Reiss was a partner in the billion-dollar jean brand, Gitano. Purchased the No Excuses Jean brand in 1993 which provided apparel sportswear to Wal-Mart and Target stores. In 2003, Reiss built the Ice Vault Arena in Wayne, NJ seeing a major void in the hockey marketplace. In 2016, it was expanded into a 3-sheet facility. The Ice Vault has hosted 5 USA Hockey National Championships from 2010-2018. Reiss also owns the New Jersey Bandits Tier II youth hockey program as well as the Jersey Hitmen, Squirt thru Junior (NCDC) Tier I programs, in the USPHL.

Steve Santini

Director

Steve attended the 1983 USA Hockey National Select Camp in Colorado Springs where he landed a spot on the D1 University of Maine (NCAA) hockey team; In his senior year the Black Bears made it to the Elite 8 of the Frozen Finals. After graduation in 1987 he worked with his father Bob to open the Long Beach Arena and create the flagship NY Apple Core Hockey Club which they operated there for 20 years. In 1997 they opened the Brewster Ice Arena and founded the Brewster Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs organizations, later welcoming the Westchester Express program, and migrating the Apple Core up from Long Beach in 2012. Steve continues to own and operate the "BIA" and teams at every age group under all four banners. Through his thirty-five year tenure he has coached the following birth years at the AAA or Junior Levels: 1977, '83, '85, '87, '89, '94, '95, '98, 2001, '03, and '07, bringing many of those teams to compete at the NY State Championships and onto the National Championships. In addition to his experience in travel hockey, Steve volunteered as Head Coach of the NY Empire State games three times and coached Kennedy Catholic High School's varsity team for seventeen years. He takes great pride in helping players develop through coaching and providing positive experiences. Hundreds of players Steve coached have reached their goals in the NCAA, with several more going on to play professionally.

Mike Weiss

Director

Mike has served as Executive Director for Team Maryland AAA Youth Hockey Association since 2014.  In addition, Mike was a Head Coach for Team Maryland leading his team to an AYHL Championship, Finalists, and playoffs in 5 of his 6 seasons as Head Coach. 

Mike is a member of the Hockey Operations for both the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) and Maryland Black Bears (NAHL). In addition, Mike oversees the operations of several ice rinks in the Mid-Atlantic region and serves as an advisor to several Tier 1 & Tier 2 youth hockey programs.

Mike graduated from the College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Competition Committee

Rob Broderick

Rob Broderick is the General Manager of the Mercer Chiefs hockey program and Ice Land Arena. He is the Head Coach for our NCDC team. For the past 3 years, he was the Head Coach for our U16 National and U18 Premier teams. Prior to his role with the Chiefs, Rob had served as President of the New Jersey Rockets, Managing Director of the Midget Program and Head Coach of U18 team for 14 years. Rob is the Head Scout for the Maryland Black Bears in the NAHL, and Northeast scout for Youngstown in the USHL. He was the U.S. Scout for Ottawa Junior Senators in the CCHL for last 8 years.

Rob was drafted by and played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL and he was captain of his ECAC hockey team his junior and senior years at SUNY Potsdam. Over the past sixteen seasons, his teams have averaged thirty five wins per regular season and have made the District playoffs every season in the AYHL and USPHL. Prior to joining the NJ Rockets, Rob was the head coach of Team Carolina, with that team being the first in the organization’s history to win the AAA Regionals.

Bob Ferraris

Ferraris is the Hockey Director for Hartford Junior Wolf Pack and the current Head Coach of Trinity-Pawling School. 

 
In 2018, Trinity-Pawling won their first Founders League Hockey Championship; before joining Trinity-Pawling in 2015, Coach Ferraris spent twelve years in NCAA DI Men’s Hockey, the last ten years at Mercyhurst and the two previous seasons at American International College. While at AIC, Ferraris earned a master’s degree in psychology. 
 
Before coaching college hockey, Ferraris played and coached 400+ minor professional hockey games. Ferraris is a graduate of Saint Anselm College where he earned a bachelor’s degree and lettered in hockey and golf. 

Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt has been with both the Ice Vault and the Hitmen organizations since their inception, serving as the first Hockey Director and Head Coach/General Manager of the expansion EJHL Junior team. After starting the Bandits program and acquiring the Hitmen as part of the Ice Vault brand, he was promoted to Vice President of Hockey Operations and President of the Hitmen in 2006 and charged with overseeing the growth of the program in the youth Tier I market while ensuring the culture of the building remained a player first development driven atmosphere. Jim has represented the United States in nearly a dozen international events and has served as an Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Personnel to the original National Team Development Program established by USA Hockey in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2000, he accepted the position as an NCAA Division I Head Coach at Fairfield University, where he led the program to its first ever playoff appearance. Under his direction, the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association Player Development Program was established in 1993 to provide players within the Atlantic Affiliate an opportunity to compete on national and international stages. From 2009-2012, he served as the first regional ADM Manager for USA Hockey’s National Player Development Model launched in cooperation with the NHL. While cultivating his hockey knowledge and gaining valuable experience, Jim also served as a police detective in his hometown of Fort Lee, NJ, where he retired after twenty-five years of distinguished service.

Chris Kanaly

Chris was named Director of AAA Hockey- Philadelphia Region in November 2021. Previously, Chris spent 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Revolution.  His coaching resume spans 3 decades and includes stops at the Youth, Junior, NCAA, and Professional Levels. He has served as the Philadelphia Revolution’s President and General Manager for the past 10 years. Chris is a demanding coach who stresses the covenants of accountability, trust, and teamwork to achieve his goals.  A true developer of the elite athlete, Chris is driven to enhance his players' self-discipline and skill sets through repetition and self-sacrifice.

Chris resides in Southampton, NJ with his Wife Melissa and their 3 Children.

Dave Kosick

Following a lengthy amateur hockey playing career, Dave grabbed a coach's clipboard and entered the world of coaching and hockey administration.
 
Post my playing days, I decided to get involved on the coaching side of the game, as well as the officiating side, as I wanted to pay back what I had received from coaches that I played for," Kosick said.
 
He has served as a head coach, guiding player development (including at the Midget Major Tier I level for the Stars which he founded 38 years ago) for 40 seasons. In addition to founder and director, Kosick has also served as general manager of the program.
 
His record places him among the winningest amateur hockey coaches in the U.S. As head coach, U18 AAA, Kosick has guided three of his teams to the Tier I USA Hockey National Championships.  Additionally, two teams for which Kosick has served as an assistant coach, U16 AAA, have also advanced to the USA Hockey National Tournament.
 
The program (Pittsburgh Stars) which Kosick founded in 1984, is the oldest Tier I program in the Mid-American District of USA Hockey and one of the oldest under the USA Hockey umbrella nationally.
 
Born, raised and remains a Pittsburgh-area resident, Kosick is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.  He has two children (Josh and Matt) and two grandchildren (John and Brooks). He is also the owner of a couple of non-hockey related businesses, including KMA Design, a leading national firm in the field of experiential graphic design.

Marvin Minkler

Thomas Palamara

Thomas Palamara is the Executive Director of PAL Ice Hockey. He is responsible for the operations of this 47-year-old Youth and Junior Hockey organization. In addition, he is the President of HPP Rinx managing the day-to-day operations of the twin rink facility with the largest House league in Suffolk County and the largest Learn to Skate in the country. He was an off-ice official for the NHL for 19 years. He founded the Northern States Junior Hockey League and was Co-Founder of the Providence College Women's Ice Hockey.