Our Team


Our BlazeSports multi-disciplinary team is comprised of passionate, motivated and experienced professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality adaptive sports programs. 



Cynthia Frisina | Executive Director

Email Cynthia

Cynthia is responsible for the strategic direction, growth and overall operations of BlazeSports. As a successful marketing, fund development and nonprofit professional, Cynthia has committed her professional career and personal life to improving the lives of others through advocacy, education and strategic outreach. Cynthia spent more than 25 years as an award-winning marketing professional for Fortune 500 companies, biotech companies, global healthcare and technology startups.  After Cynthia’s youngest daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, she launched the nonprofit foundation “Reaching for the Stars. A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy” in 2005 in order to change the future of the most common motor disability in children. In a few short years “Reaching for the Stars” rapidly grew into the largest pediatric nonprofit cerebral palsy foundation in the world with presence in the U.S., Canada, Asia and Australia helping to create meaningful change in the way Cerebral Palsy is researched, diagnosed and treated.  Cynthia was also the CEO and founder of two high growth marketing consulting companies focusing in the healthcare, technology and digital marketing sectors and served on the BlazeSports Board of Directors before assuming the position of Executive Director because of her passion for the BlazeSports mission and belief in how lives can be changed through the power of sport for people of all physical abilities.

Cynthia is known as a worldwide expert on disability advocacy and family education on a U.S. and international level. She is recognized for excellence in brand building, marketing strategy, fund development and strategic alliances. Cynthia was awarded the international Cathleen Lyle Murray Award by the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine for her tireless work on behalf of people with disabilities. She has co-authored numerous articles, publications and curriculum content, and has presented many instructional courses, educational conferences and workshops for families impacted by physical disabilities and clinicians on several different continents. Cynthia was the first to establish a U.S. National Awareness Day for Cerebral Palsy through bi-partisan Congressional agreement and has been a champion of bringing the power of sport to children with physical challenges on a global basis.Read more»

Mara New

Mara Galic, MHSc, RD |Director of Operations and Evaluation

Email Mara

Mara Galic returns to BlazeSports America as the Director of Operations and Evaluation after a brief period as Health Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specializing in nutrition and obesity prevention among youth focusing on the school environment.  In this role, Mara will draw upon her leadership, evaluation and management skills along with four years experience as BlazeSports’ Director of Organizational Development and Evaluation.  Ms. Galic has also worked with the Georgia’s state health department where she successfully built and managed a five-year, $2.5 million cooperative agreement with the CDC focusing on nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention across the state. Mara is a registered dietitian and holds a master’s degree in community/public health nutrition from the University of Toronto, and Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the same.  In her spare time, Mara enjoys tending to her garden, trying new recipes and most of all playing soccer with her son William.


Belinda New

Belinda Morris, MBA, CPA |Director of Finance

Email Belinda

Belinda is the Director of Finance for BlazeSports America. Belinda manages the finance and accounting operations of BlazeSports including financial management and support for grants and other funding. Belinda has over 20 years of consulting experience in financial advisory, corporate finance and valuation services working with companies in such areas as: valuations, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, tax planning, due diligence, strategic planning, purchase price allocations and litigation services. Prior to joining the BlazeSports, Belinda worked with international accounting and consulting firms including Navigant Consulting, KPMG, Coopers & Lybrand and Shearson Lehman Brothers. Belinda is a Certified Public Accountant, Accredited in Business Valuations. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration, and holds an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University.

Felipe New

Felipe Rodrigues, MS |Director, Adaptive Sports and Recreation Programs

Email Felipe

Felipe comes to BlazeSports America with a wealth of knowledge in sport development and sports governance as well as professional and collegiate sports. As Director of Adaptive Sport and Recreation programs, Felipe has oversight of the development and implementation of sport and recreation programs in the U.S. and Internationally. Read more»

Gill New

Gillian Sharp |Manager, Adaptive Sports and Recreation Programs

Email Gillian

As a Manager of Adaptive Sports Programs, Gillian is responsible for a broad range of programs and services that include community-based sport, healthy lifestyle and adapted physical activity programs. In addition the role also has a focus on delivering sport and recreation camps, school-based programs, and technical assistance to support those with disabilities in the wider community. Read more»

 Jessie new

Jessie Romito |Manager, Youth Adaptive Sport and Recreation Programs

Email Jessie

Jessie is responsible for the management and implementation of youth programs at BlazeSports America which includes our rapidly expanding Wheelchair Basketball program, Adaptive Swimming program, Track and Field program and Girls With Bows Archery program. In addition, Jessie is integral to new program development and her aim is to bring new and exciting opportunities to youth in Georgia. She brings to BlazeSports 8 years of experience in sport facility and event management, staff management, and a Level I Boccia coaching certification.  Jessie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management from the State University of New York at Brockport.  

 Eric New



Eric Gray CTRS |Manager, Veteran Adaptive Sport and Recreation Programs

Email Eric

Eric is responsible for the development, organization and management of veteran sports programs at BlazeSports America.

As a graduate of the University of Georgia and an Atlanta native Eric began his time in the non-profit world working for the Lighthouse Family Retreat in 2001. Following graduation, as a Recreation Therapist, Eric became immersed in the world of adaptive sports. It was through the National Ability Center that he learned how to develop strong community programs. During his time at the NAC he taught individuals with a variety of abilities  how to canoe, cycle, climb, ride horses, water ski, snowboard, snow ski and a whole host of other activities.

Following his time in Utah he spent 5 years developing programs at the VA Hospital in Augusta GA. Eric developed the first adaptive climbing program within the VA system as well as an adaptive golf, cycling, and kayaking program. Eric also has a strong clinical background from working at the Shepherd Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Eric is also the founder of Catalyst Sports which provides adaptive climbing and kayaking opportunities to individuals with physical disabilities throughout the Southeast..




Erika Mueller |Manger, International Programs

Email Erika

Erika joins BlazeSports America as Manager for International Programs and brings to the team a significant background and experience in International Sports Development.  Erika graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ethnic Studies. During her university years Erika found a passion for sport for social inclusion and traveled to South Africa where she worked for the Football Foundation of South Africa as a Project Coordinator.  In this role Erika was responsible for the planning and coordination of the Gansbaai Youth Sport Development Program which addressed social issues such as racial integration, inclusion of people with disabilities and female empowerment. 

Furthermore, as Executive Director of Sports Symposium Inc., a non profit that promotes the development of young leaders through accessible sports business education, Erika was responsible for the strategic planning and daily operations and also the oversight of four volunteer committees that included university students, emerging sports business leaders and established industry professionals. 

Through her International travel and work experience in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa, Erika has been able to bring her passion for sports (herself a Captain of the Varsity Softball team) and sport for development to life and looks forward to making an impact on the lives of others around the world through BlazeSports International Sport Programs.

 Kit Pic New



Kit McCluskey |Program Specialist

Email Kit

Kit joins the BlazeSports team as a Program Specialist in our Sport and Community Department. She found her passion for adaptive sports after she interned with Blaze in the fall of 2012. She is responsible for organizing and implementing our sport and recreation programs, as well as, leading adaptive sport sessions for local organizations and camps. Besides programming, she is also responsible for the coordination of special events throughout the year.

Kit graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. During her time at Springfield, she worked for the school’s athletic department and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. She is a Certified Disability Sports Specialist and a certified boccia coach.

 Maggie New

Maggie Frederick |Office Manager / Sport Specialist

Email Maggie

Maggie Frederick is our Office Manager and a Sport Specialist here at BlazeSports. She a graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.  Maggie was offered a track scholarship and competed for 5 years while studying Speech and Hearing Science. During her free time, Maggie likes to spend time with family and friends, CrossFit, and try anything new. Maggie’s favorite personal quote is “You can do anything you set your mind to”. 




Becky Van Horn |Intern, International Programs

Email Becky

As the International Sport Development intern for BlazeSports, Becky works around the office on many projects. She is involved with adaptive sport development in international programs in Haiti, Turkey and Brazil. She is increasingly interested in sport for development and humanitarian crisis intervention and hopes to pursue a career involving both fields of study.

Becky recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a double major in Political Science and English. In her free time, she plays and coaches soccer. She holds a USSF National E Coaching license and coaches both club and high school soccer. Becky’s favorite quote is also, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”




Fred Lamback |Head Swim Coach 

Fred Lamback began coaching to support his son Lantz, who has cerebral palsy.  Lantz took up swimming (after deciding that baseball was not for him) and entered into swim meets against able-bodied swimmers .  Every step of the way he was encouraged by his dad.   His dad heard about an opportunity for swimmers with a disability and decided to drive his son to a disability swim clinic taking place in Warm Springs GA.  Lantz was immediately targeted as having a natural talent.  Fred drove his son across the country to compete in disability swim meets and when Lantz won all 7 events at the National Championships, he was immediately targeted for bigger things.      Lantz, coached by has dad, went on to compete in 3 separate Paralympic games winning a bronze and 2 gold medals.  From his introduction to adapted swimming through his son, Fred became involved with BlazeSports.  For the past 12 years Fred has coached swimmers of all abilities and served on the 2004 Paralympic Staff. The results of Fred’s swimmers speak for themselves.  He has coached countless swimmers to national level and multiple Paralympians including Bradley Snyder who achieved Paralympic Gold 1 year after being blinded by an IED in active duty.  




Eric Johnson |Head Wheelchair Basketball Coach

Coach Eric Johnson comes to BlazeSports with over 30 years of coaching experience in football, track & field, and basketball.  In addition to his coaching knowledge, Eric brings to the table a background in strength & conditioning training for both beginner and elite athletes.  Eric runs his own Strength & Conditioning training company providing expertise to a range of athletes from high school and college players looking to elevate their game to professional athletes needing to stay in top shape during the off season. 

Eric is also currently the Running Backs Coach at Holy Innocents Episcopal School for their varsity team.  His passion is helping children achieve personal life success using sport as a platform.  He believes that all children should have the opportunity to experience what it means to be a part of a team and learn the life lesson that comes with participating in sport.


Because of her effective advocacy work, Cynthia has been invited to testify and provide public witness testimony before U.S. Congressional Sub-Committees on multiple occasions on behalf of families impacted by physical disabilities and cerebral palsy. She has championed ground breaking scientific research and clinical trials with leading medical institutions and researchers around the world with a particular focus on neuroplasticity and the value of the athletic model for people with physical disabilities. Cynthia has been a frequently invited presenter and speaker at the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, CP Alliance of Australia, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy and many research institutions and universities including University of Michigan, University of Massachusetts, Washington University  Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Cynthia is an ex-officio member of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, serves as an External Partner of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Birth Defects and Disabilities Branch.  She is a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Effective Health Care Program Issue Exploration Forum for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and serves on the Global Review Panel for World CP Day.  Cynthia is the recipient of many awards for her marketing work and service on behalf of people with disabilities.  She is a published author and sought after speaker on a variety of nonprofit, marketing, advocacy topics.  She holds a BA from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Business Administration and Masters in English from Northwestern University.

Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Felipe grew up actively involved in sports at a young age. His father worked with the Brazilian Basketball Federation for over a decade, influencing Felipe’s desire for a fulfilling career in sport management. He himself worked for the Brazilian Basketball Federation for over five years managing the day to day operations and activities of various basketball teams. His experience also extends to major sport events like the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio and the High School Olympics events organized by the Brazilian Olympic Committee. He has also worked with USA Basketball during events in Brazil as well as in the United States. Felipe has also served as the director of basketball at Ability Sports Agency, where he helped found the basketball athlete recruitment program. He developed a keen interest for Paralympic sports when his home city, Rio de Janeiro, was selected to host the 2007 Pan-American Games. His interest grew once Rio de Janeiro was again selected to host the Olympics in 2016 and he started pursuing a career in the field.

Felipe graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Master’s Degree in Conflict Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from the same.  A native of Brazil, Felipe is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Felipe believes in opportunity for all and that sport can be used as a tool for development and inclusion.

Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Gillian graduated with a 4 year Honors Degree in Sport in the Community from the Scottish School of Sport Studies at Strathclyde University. Since graduating she has gained a wealth of experience in the promotion, organisation and sustaining of community level sport and physical activity.

She worked as the project coordinator for the award winning ‘Healthy Lifestyle Project’ where she was responsible for leading a program of holistic health education and training for staff and school students. Gillian also spent several years working for North Lanarkshire Council as Active Schools Coordinator, where she integrated a physical activity pathway between kindergarten, elementary schools , middle schools, high schools and local clubs therefore ensuring that there was ‘life long’ approach to sport within the area. 

As a keen sports woman Gillian has represented the Scottish National Volleyball Squad at Senior, Junior and College level, in addition to playing within the Scottish Volleyball Premier League for nearly a decade. Able to turn her hand to most sports Gillian possesses numerous coaching qualifications and has also gained the prestigious honor of Black Belt in Karate.

Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5