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MAHA Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion through newly-formed DEI Committee

By MAHA, 06/03/22, 12:30PM EDT


Education, resources and training will focus on cultivating an all-inclusive community


CANTON, MI – June 3, 2022 – In May, The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) held its first meeting of the newly-formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. MAHA’s DEI Committee will be charged with providing guidance on how to champion an all-inclusive environment throughout the statewide hockey community, thereby supporting sustainable growth of the game.

Led by MAHA Executive Vice President Dan Pozdol, the DEI Committee consists of administrators and volunteers from across the state. This includes Rico Phillips, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Ontario Hockey League; Cynthia Wardlaw, Vice President of Detroit Ice Dreams; Jean Laxton, MAHA Vice President of Girls/Women’s Hockey; Michael Palmer, Director of Disabled Hockey; Brad Johnson, Michigan Goalie Coach-in-Chief; Nick Zajas, MAHA District 4 Chairperson; and Gordon Lietz, District 4 Director and coach at Compuware Hockey.

“We’re thrilled to be launching this committee within our organization,” stated Pozdol, who will serve as DEI Committee chairperson. “We’ve assembled a tremendous cross-section of leaders within our community, each of whom brings a unique perspective to the collective discussion. All of these leaders understand the importance of fostering a welcoming environment for all, and I look forward to working with this group on the steps that lead to meaningful change.”

The DEI Committee will provide educational resources, tools, and workshops in order to stimulate growth as cultural leaders, improve the cultural availability of our sport, and increase opportunities to play in areas where traditional access may be limited. To achieve this, MAHA will actively seek strategic partnerships and field experts to help spearhead these initiatives.

“The DEI Committee will play a very critical role in our hockey community,” said Jason Reynolds, MAHA Director of Operations and Marketing. “This is a step forward in prioritizing the well-being of our hockey culture in Michigan. We realize that this is not an exercise that produces overnight results. This is a long-term investment in our community, with the intent of offering a safe and welcoming environment to new members, as well as minimizing barriers to entry. This will be critical to membership growth, as well as retention.”

The MAHA DE&I Committee will meet monthly to discuss its mission and establish community goals.