Meet the Carolina Region Board of Directors – Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis

I was not long out of college when I first walked into the Asheville YMCA volleyball gym. For me that was like stepping through the wardrobe into volleyball Narnia. Doors opened for me, some doors leading to leadership roles in our great sport, others leading to lifelong friendships, one even leading me to meeting my wife. With the aid of Milton Ready, a master coach in Asheville, I was able to make a quick ascent to the top levels of competition. I became an all-region player in the old five-state Southern Region and in the later formed Carolina Region. Those were pioneer days for volleyball in North Carolina, so it was natural to wear multiple hats. I coached adult teams, went to national coaching clinics, and became the first national USVBA referee from North Carolina. I filled leadership and regional clinician roles for officiating and coaching in the Southern and Carolina regions. I also was able to fit in a late start at law school. After beginning my law practice, I coached junior clubs for four years. I have been active in the life of my hometown, working with local governmental bodies and serving on community boards and in church leadership. From those experiences, I have gained a sense of best practices for boards and their working relationships with their staffs.

When I retired from my law practice a few years back, two trusted friends opened another door and asked me to join them on the board of directors of the Carolina Region. I now serve as the Vice President of the Board. Serving on the Board has reawakened my passion for volleyball and given me a place to apply that passion. I have been an active supporter of the growth of boys’ volleyball, serving as an advisor to the NC Boys High School Volleyball Association. On the Carolina Region Board, I proposed what has become our Boys Growth Grant program, which over the past two years provided $74,000 in grants to first and second-year high school volleyball clubs. For the past two years I have been the leader of the Board’s strategic planning efforts. In surveying our members, we see recognition of the foundational strengths of our organization. We also see the continuing growth of membership in our organization and the need to plan for that growth. We see the accomplishments of our clubs in their local communities and on the national competitive stage.