The Team

Join a meeting at Atavus, and you’ll find former NFL and college football players, international rugby athletes, Olympic rugby coaches, data scientists, championship football coaches, and decades of executive experience running professional sports teams and global major events.

The Front Row

Ross Young
Chief of Business Development
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Ross spent 11 years with Rugby’s international governing body as General Manager of Rugby World Cup. Ross was instrumental in the successful delivery of three RWC’s from 2003 to 2011. The 2007 event, hosted in France, firmly established the third-biggest global sporting event, attracting more than 2.2 million spectators across 48 matches, and generating revenue of over $500 million.

In 2013, Ross connected with Atavus founders Chris and Julie Prentice. After a brief consulting spell, he took the helm as CEO, aligned with USA Rugby to form USAR Academy, and guided the early expansion into football.

Karen Bryant
CEO
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Karen Bryant became CEO of Atavus Sports in January 2017 following a brief period as a marketing consultant for the organization. Karen is no stranger to sports, spending 18 years leading professional women’s basketball in Seattle. As President of the Seattle Storm, she brought home two WNBA championships.

Karen was recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal as one of their Women of Influence in 2005 for her work with the Seattle Sports Commision, Seattle U, and University of Washington. She was named Sports Executive of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission, in 2011.

David Chandler
CFO
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David Chandler joined Atavus in 2017, bringing with him more than 35 years of financial management experience in private and venture capital-backed emerging growth companies, as well as publicly-traded companies. Most recently, he helped lead ViewRay, a medical device company, from it’s earliest pre-FDA approval stage to over $100 million in orders and a public listing on NASDAQ.

He has degrees from the University of Washington in business administration and German language and literature and is an active member of the Washington Society of CPAs.

The Pack

Stefania Buckley
Director of Sales
  • Launched a new beverage, Reliant Recovery Water, in large grocery stores, capturing Russell Wilson as a brand ambassador
  • Held several strategic selling and business development roles for Fortune 500 companies, including Starbucks and Pepsi
  • Received top salesperson award from PlayNetWork
  • Former dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and Young Conservatory Theater
  • Lifelong football fan and member of the Mercer Island Football Board
Emilie Bydwell
Head of Rugby
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  • Member of the World Rugby Women’s Advisory Committee
  • 3-time All American and 2007 Collegiate Player of the Year
  • 3 World Cups: 2010 15s, 2013 7s (Bronze medal), 2014 15s (Assistant Captain)
  • 2012 7s National Champion & MVP
  • Member of 2014-15 London Saracens Premiership Champions
  • USA Rugby girls’ high school All American coach
  • Team leader of the 2016 USA Summer Olympic Women’s National Team
Kerry Carter
Director of Football Operations
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  • Founded and operated two Marketing companies
  • Played professional football for the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, and Montreal Alouettes
  • Played college football at Stanford, concluding his career ranked 7th on Stanford’s career rushing list with 2,039 yards, 4th in career rushing touchdowns with 23, and 7th for career touchdowns with 25
  • Won two Grey Cups in the Canadian Football League
  • Coached kids on the island of Samoa
Jon Friesch
Vice President of Marketing
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  • Opened Seattle office for largest woman-owned advertising agency
  • Built Verizon’s digital CRM email communications program
  • Produced content and marketing plan for madison.com, the nation’s number #1 newspaper website
  • Worked with St. Louis Cardinals Public Relations Department
  • Sprinted and rowed for University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Coaches girl’s basketball and youth ultimate Frisbee for Shoreline Sports Foundation, a local Seattle nonprofit
Hugh Gladner
Director of Sales
  • First junior football coach to adopt the Atavus Tackling Program
  • 30 years of coaching youth and high school athletics
  • 20 years of working with nonprofits and supporting at-risk youth
  • Football system safety coordinator for 10 years
  • 30 years of experience leading sales organizations
  • Robert Half Industries 2003 Rookie of the Year
  • AppleOne Employment Service Founder’s Club Winner – awarded to top salesperson
Rex Norris
Head of Football
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  • Football coach in the State of Washington (Kentwood High School) and Texas (Highland Park High School) for more than 25 years
  • Coached in four high school rugby national championship games
  • Played for or coached with four Hall of Fame football coaches
  • Has spoken at football coach clinics across the country
  • Father, Rex Sr., coached for 40 years in high school, college, CFL, and NFL
  • 23 years of high school teaching experience in 10 subjects
Eric Sanderson
Director of Special Projects
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  • Manages projects focusing on the development of Atavus’ proprietary football grading, analysis, and reporting portals
  • Recruited by Atavus cofounders in 2011 for project and relationship experience
  • Helped build Atavus’ first Rugby Training and Resident Camps
  • Assisted in launch of Atavus Football
  • Drove Atavus’ youth ambassador work for HSBC across four continents
  • Built an Asia-wide communications practice for Hewitt Associates, based out of Hong Kong and Tokyo
Wil Snape
Director of Rugby Business Development
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  • Director of Business Affairs at Audible.com, an Amazon company, from 2011-2016
  • Contributor to Elite Coach Development Seminar Course
  • Northampton Saints Rugby Club player, 1999-2004; full-time professional, 2003-2004
  • Saints Academy Most Improved Player 2000-2001
  • Women’s Junior All-American head coach 2015-present
  • New York Rugby Club’s women’s head coach from 2014-2016; youth teams assistant coach from 2012-2015
  • USA Rugby Level 300 Coach