It’s hard to imagine what goes into the process of running a successful bout. Our skaters are obviously a huge part of it but many people don’t realize what it takes to set up and clean up a bout, and also what it takes to keep those fans in the stands happy.
Well, Humboldt Roller Derby concessions volunteer Kate Shea Ortiz knows exactly what it takes. On top of being a mother of two, Kate has spent countless hours not only filling in for every bout job possible but also building relationships with food, beer, drink and ice vendors to ensure that our bouts are run seamlessly. On bout days Kate spends hours running around picking up food, beer, and all of the supplies needed to keep concessions full. Kate usually spends at least eight hours working on bout days and at the end of it all, she often heads home late at night and washes all of the soggy beer-soaked towels. Now that’s dedication!
Even at the busiest bouts, Kate works through the night with a smile on her face. A fellow volunteer states, “Given almost any situation, she can calmly figure out a solution or a work-around. She doesn’t get flustered. She simply moves forward.” Between all of the running around and the training of two beer tables worth of volunteers, she always seems to find another way to offer her assistance. In fact, at a past bout an entire concessions crew didn’t show up at the last minute. Despite the major blunder, Kate calmly moved forward and gathered a group of untrained volunteers to the fill the positions. By the end of the night you never would have known it had happened. Kate is always able to see a problem from various perspectives, come up with solutions, and make everybody feel great while she’s doing it.
Kate’s doesn’t offer her hard work just at the bouts themselves. Behind scenes, Kate handles the concessions invoices to ensure that vendors get paid and that bouts are fun and profitable. On top of dedicating hours of her time to Humboldt Roller Derby, she also works with the Humboldt Area Foundation, the McLean Foundation, and she is currently working for The California Endowment. Kate works with these community groups to help them organize their ideas into fundable strategies that improve the community, much like she does for Humboldt Roller Derby. Kate’s experience in community building is what makes her passionate about what she does and it truly shows.
One fellow volunteer states, “Kate is an unsung hero of Humboldt Roller Derby”. Well Kate, we are proud to say that you truly are our hero and you deserve the recognition! Humboldt Roller Derby might be in a serious rut without you. Thank you for your time and dedication.
Please join us to congratulate Delia as the November Volunteer of the Month.
Some HRD jobs seem like they will never end, so it’s a good thing that Delia is a volunteer who never stops!
She skated as a kid and jumped at the chance to apply herself as an adult. She started at boot camp in May of 2007 and quickly noted that she could best apply her mad skills to being a referee and call penalties instead of making them. By the end of that year she proved herself and worked her way the Head Referee. Jammer ref, inside pack and outside pack–Delia has worked every possible skate referee position. She has a perfect record and has served the league as a skating referee in every home bout, including the phenomenal responsibilities of being Head Referee for over 40 bouts!
But her work doesn’t stop there. As Head Referee Delia’s responsibilities stretch from administrative regular duties like budget management, referee insurance management, Yahoo maintenance, and ref attendance records into special duties including communicating with and scheduling visiting coaches, liaison between the officials and both skaters and the board of directors, and then makes time to take care of HRD long-term concerns as a member of the Training Workgroup that creates bout rosters and trains new HRD officials.
Delia’s work and effort has shaped the competent crew of officials which has helped Humboldt Roller Derby obtain WFTDA membership. She is an official HRD WFTDA representative and diligently keeps the team current with new rules, clarifications and practices. She attends WFTDA meetings and keeps the BoD up to date with her professional presentation of topics covered at that meeting
During competition Delia maintains excellent bout flow and keeps the game moving with a minimal number of official time-outs. She calls penalties in a consistently clear, fair and unprejudiced manner and, and importantly, she prioritizes skater safety and does not tolerate any code of conduct violations by the officials.
Thank you Delia, for your commitment that has contributed so much to the growth and reputation of HRD!
“An awesome jammer, gives it her all” –HRD
Please join us to congratulate Xeno as the November Skater of the Month.
Xeno’s hard driving desire and dedication first showed when she was just three years old and taught herself to skate, despite bruises and scratches. Having only a few skating opportunities through her childhood and youth didn’t dampen her desire, and she kept her competitive spirit well oiled by taking every athletic opportunity she could. She joined HRD boot camp in 2011 and graduated to a L3 skater in May 2012.
She’s a team player and consistently at practice, and her positive, competitive attitude is characterized by her team mates her as a “great team player,” “always positive,” and “an asset to her team.” She’s a hot jammer, jumping and dodging to take advantage of her size and speed.
Off the floor her team spirit and athletic ability are combined with her family. Every summer she plays first base on her family softball team and goes wakeboarding. In the fall she’s a sparkplug on her family volleyball team, and winter she snowboards. We are lucky she squeezes in time for HRD!
Her community commitment shines in her off-track career, working for the Hoopa Tribal Court as the Court Administrator; and her family, her son Pegoy, and her boyfriend and step son.
Her only weakness seems to be a fear of cameras. Her friend complain that there are more photos of Bigfoot than there are of her! But as a jammer for HRD that phobia is fading away under the spotlights and cameras at a bout. We are lucky she has overcome those fears, because with her talent, dedication and commitment she can expect to be in the spotlight for years to come.
Thank you Xeno, for sharing the wonderful you with the team and community!
I have had the privilege of skating with Humboldt Roller Derby for 3 seasons, and from that experience I can tell you: PLAYING ROLLER DERBY IS HARD. “What makes it so hard?”you may ask. As a player you must block, hit, evade, and work with a team all while flying around the track at 10-15 mph wearing skates on your feet. It is challenging enough for most people to skate, let alone add movements that most other athletes only accomplish on their own two feet.
Every season, Humboldt Roller Derby trainers coach Training Camps for new skaters. These camps teach basic roller skating skills and roller derby techniques needed to play the sport. Each year we have new women who are up for the challenge of joining our Level 1 and Level 2 training camps to see if they have what it takes to become a part of our teams. Many of these women have never skated or played a contact sport. Yet, they are able to accomplish what to many others may seem impossible; they learn the skills that it takes to play. My deepest admiration and respect always goes out to the skaters in our training camps. Trying ANYTHING new for the average person is hard. Most people don’t want to fail or go through the struggles of learning something different or difficult. But these women do. They come to practice, work hard, and kick some serious ass! It takes so much commitment and fearlessness to learn how to play this sport, and these women exhibit those qualities every time they step on the track.
This past week, our league held assessments for our Training Camp skaters. This is a nerve wracking test where skaters show our league coaches how far they have come with their skills. At the end, they find out if their skills are strong enough to move up and become a part of HRD’s teams. We are so excited to announce that all of our amazing Training Camp skaters passed their test and are ready to join!!!!
A huge thank you goes out to our trainers: Ruckus, Ferocious Dimples, Jule Injection, Addios Bitchitos, Pressure Cooker, McNasty, Harley SanQuentin, and Ole Chole for working tirelessly to coach and support our new skaters.
And now without further ado, Humboldt Roller Derby’s talented and hardworking new teammates:
Top Row: Amanda, Bambi. Michelle, Vena, Mel, Aria, Michelle
Kneeling: Michelle and E. Wheels
Stay tuned to learn more about these new skaters!
We now introduce our two beloved Volunteers of the Month, Malice in Wonderland and SueSueSuedio!
Roller derby isn’t just a rough sport on the track, it is also a rough sport off the track, with hundreds of volunteers needed to keep our league rolling. Some of the most dedicated volunteers we have are on our Board of Directors. Both serving on our Board of Directors for the past few years, Malice in Wonderland and SueSueSuedio have contributed countless hours of hard work – without the bruises and ice packs.
Malice in Wonderland not only served on our BOD (and we are sad to see her go!), but also handled the coordination of our sponsorship drive for 2010 and 2011. Contacting sponsors, collecting contracts and being the go-to gal for the drive is a feat for a whole team of volunteers, let alone just one! She also managed to be available to direct business traffic and be a face for HRD for all of our home bouts, and we are eternally grateful for her contributions. Malice’s favorite part of Humboldt Roller Derby is the people she got to know and the fun and exciting bouts. “Helping transform Franchesci Hall from a big metal building to a space filled with noise, fans, music, lights and DERBY is pretty cool! I really enjoyed working with my fellow board members – they are an amazing and hard working group of people,” says Malice.
One of the hats that Malice wears that takes up even more time than roller derby is that she is a Principal at Redway and Whitethorn Elementary schools for her job. Tirelessly commuting from Arcata to Redway each day, Malice has tackled one of her dream jobs, and they are certainly lucky to have her! In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her two daughters, cook, underwater basketweave, work on her house, go to the river, and watch endless episodes of shows on Netflix.
Sadly, Malice’s call of duty to the children and teachers of Southern Humboldt and other commitments has resulted in her having to leave our Board of Directors at the end of this year. We thank you so much for everything you have done for us, Malice! We look forward to seeing you back as a fan (and hopefully a volunteer, if we can twist her arm) next season!
SueSueSuedio had a great roll with us. She was with HRD for about three years, working hard on our Board of Directors and spending time behind the scenes helping us stitch together our roller derby league. Sue is well-known in the non-profit world, volunteering with many organizations over the years. We are truly lucky to have had her help for so long and will miss her dearly! Says Suedio about the sport, “It’s definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever done…The dedication of every person associated with Humboldt Roller Derby is so impressive. It always felt like I had to work as hard as the people around me. . . and that meant I was always working pretty darn hard. Having been involved with many non-profits, I was astounded by the strides this organization made in such a short time. Once I got on the board, I knew how they were doing it: lots of intense discussion with a clear organizational mission. I was always proud to be part of an amazing organization. I was fortunate to get to know some wonderful women and men in the process.”
For a career, SueSueSuedio is the Program Director for the Arcata Economic Development Corporation, which helps support economic development by providing lending to businesses who may not be able to find funding through traditional banks. ”I work with the community on projects that support small business . . . including Lemonade Day, a youth entrepreneurship program that encourages kids to have lemonade stands to learn about running a business.” Totally sweet!
Once you see the roster of organizations that Sue is involved in around the community, you realize why we were lucky to enjoy such a large piece of her volunteer time pie. Always striving for change and progress, Sue works on different projects such as the Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival, several Youth Entrepreneurs projects, Toastmasters, and other projects as they come up, like a TedxEureka Conference coming in December. “There are so many interesting things in this community, I have a hard time sticking with one for too long,” says Sue. Don’t you other non-profits get any ideas now!
Sue has two kids: a daughter who is a former Sapling (and future Redwood Roller!) and a junior at Eureka High, and a son, Cedric, who just started at College of the Redwoods. When they have the rare chance to spend time together, they all enjoy playing charades and lip-syncing to episodes of Hannah Montana.
If you ever see SueSueSuedio around town, please give her a high five from us! We appreciate what you’ve done for us, Sue! Warm thanks from HRD!:)