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US Elite founder and national director, Mark Helsel, is no stranger to giving presentations. He’s been doing it professionally for over 30 years. So, when he heard that Curtis Wyers was interested in becoming the State Director for New Jersey, he immediately set up a meeting. However, there was one caveat; Curtis had to bring his wife, Leslie to the meeting. Curtis agreed.
“We set up a meeting where I could explain what the opportunity of becoming the State Director of New Jersey was all about. The reason I wanted Leslie there is because an opportunity like this does not work without the solid support of the spouse”. Helsel found out quickly just how important having Leslie present really was.
Wyers, who has been an athletic director at Robbinsville High School for 12 years, has a son in the program. Drew plays for the 15U National team, coached by Hansel DeSoto. “Drew has been playing for US Elite for three years and I have seen first hand what a positive impact this program has had on my son” said Wyers. “That alone inspired me to want to be involved at a more significant level. I’m born and raised in New Jersey and I want to see the influence of US Elite throughout this state. New Jersey needs US Elite”.
Helsel said he got a very unexpected surprise about half way through the meeting. “I could tell as I was describing the opportunity that Leslie was on board. She was nodding her head the right way with everything I said. Then, she turned to Curtis and said, ‘you need to do this’. I couldn’t help but to ask her to elaborate and she said her husband is ‘most happy when he’s involved with baseball, and this was an opportunity to be involved in baseball in a way that nothing else could match’. I found her desire for her husband to be happy to be very moving and I knew right then that I wanted this dynamic couple as our New Jersey State Directors. Helsel says he feels like he got a two for one special. “I knew Curtis more than I knew Leslie, but after learning about her successful background in establishing non-profits, I realized that they are a dynamic couple, each bringing talents and experience to the table”.
Shortly thereafter, Curtis and Leslie accepted the State Director position and they are off to a fast start. By this fall, New Jersey could already have as many as (12) US Elite teams, with plans to double that in 2020. “It’s incredibly exciting”, said Wyers. “I love everything about this organization. My goal is for New Jersey to be one of the top states in the country for US Elite Baseball. When Mark explained what the roles of a State Director were, and his vision for what we could accomplish, I knew Leslie and I could do this. The first thing we saw was an opportunity to get more young men involved in this program in New Jersey. I love my state, and I feel bringing this program will raise the bar much higher than it currently is right now. The Uncommon Standards this program commits to is unparalleled in all of travel baseball. The second thing we quickly picked up on was US Elite’s ability to open more doors for its players. New Jersey has some really good players and many get very little, if any promotion or exposure. Our goal is to help lots of players have many options when it comes time to choose a college to attend. The relationships US Elite has with college coaches is impressive. As a State Director, I have already been introduced to many college coaches”.
Helsel says the key to Wyers success will be recruiting his coaching staff. “Our growth model focuses on attracting leadership first. Once we have the State Director in place we begin recruiting coaches who we feel will be a good fit for the program. Curtis is a high school athletic director, so he knows all about managing coaches. In just a short period of time, he has already attracted some great guys to lead our teams. New Jersey is off to a great start”.