Board Welcomes New Directors

June 28, 2022 by Claire Williams

At the 73rd NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, three new district directors will join the NATA Board of Directors. Ray Davis Jr., MSS, LAT, ATC, will represent District Three, Kasee Hildenbrand, PhD, LAT, ATC, will represent District Ten and representing District Eleven is Ryan Wilkinson, EdD, LAT, ATC.

Davis, Hildenbrand and Wilkinson will be featured in the upcoming July NATA News – open up your copy to learn more about their inspirations and goals.

District Three

Ray Davis Jr., MSS, LAT, ATC

Why did you want to join the NATA Board of Directors?

I was fortunate to join the NATA Board of Directors because I wanted to continue to give back to the profession that has enhanced my 35-plus-year career. I have always been about paying it forward and giving it back. I want to maximize my role on the board by being a strong voice in the boardroom. Furthermore, I feel it’s important we maintain transparency in our work on the board.

What is the most pressing issue currently facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?

First, one pressing issue in District Three is in the area of state representation on our board.

We are in the process of developing a task force to address state leadership concerns. We want to maintain transparency as the District Three leadership moves forward in appropriate representation of all members. Secondly, District Three, like most districts, needs to address how to retain and increase membership from students to professionals. As we move forward, I am hopeful our District Three leadership will devise ways to address these concerns. As I officially begin my term in June, I want to serve all athletic trainers and bring a strong voice from the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association. Lastly, I hope, as a national leader, we can find ways to attract and retain students in our district and in the NATA.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the board?

I want to continue to serve the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association in a leadership role, as I have over the previous six years as treasurer. Hopefully, I can bring my expertise in finances, secondary schools and student leadership involvement. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the NATA membership overall. And, since November 2021, my own task experiences shadowing outgoing District Three Director Katie Walsh Flanagan, EdD, LAT, ATC, on the board have increased 100%. It truly has been a rewarding experience and challenge at the same time. I look forward to serving all of our members.

District Ten

Kasee Hildenbrand, PhD, LAT, ATC

Why did you want to join the NATA Board of Directors?

I have preferred to lead from behind the scenes by providing input when needed and guidance when asked. Joining the NATA Board of Directors is a personal challenge to step into a more visible role within the district and the national organization. I have had several amazing opportunities to volunteer, and I always learn so much about the profession and the ATs in the field. By serving the board, I hope to continue to learn, grow in knowledge and continue to advocate for those who need a voice.

What is the most pressing issue currently facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?

As we come out of the pandemic, we all need to figure out how to reengage and reenergize.COVID-19 turned everything upside down, and many of us spent a significant amount

of energy and time pivoting to changing demands, both professionally and personally.

Our energy levels were depleted, and we are just now able to feel like things might be stabilizing into the new “normal.” The pandemic forced us to adapt and grow, but we also need to be aware of what was lost. We need to apply lessons learned during the pandemic, to guide forward motion. It was amazing to gather in person this spring at our District Ten meeting. It allowed us to bond as a community and reestablish connections. I think the most pressing issue facing our district is how to continue building upon this type of momentum.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the board?

I hope we can develop resources to help members feel not only connected to, but confident in, NATA. As a program director, I feel strongly that one of my roles is to provide students with the tools to navigate the AT profession. Athletic trainers need to know how they can continue to use the skills of an AT in a wide variety of ways. I truly believe there is a place for everyone to have a career in athletic training and still feel fulfilled outside of the profession.

I want to bring that perspective to the board. I want ATs to feel they can have career advancement that may drift away from direct patient care, but they can still feel at home within athletic training and NATA.

District Eleven

Ryan Wilkinson, EdD, LAT, ATC

Why did you want to join the NATA Board of Directors?

After serving the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (GLATA) and NATA in various committee and board positions over the past 15 years, I am humbled, honored and excited to continue service to the profession on the NATA Board of Directors. Looking back on the past leaders who have served on the board of directors, I am so incredibly honored to follow in their footsteps and to serve the members of the NATA and District Eleven in this role, and I look forward to the critical work in front of us. I don’t take this responsibility lightly and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to give back to the AT profession and NATA, as both have given so much to me over the years, both personally and professionally.

What is the most pressing issue currently facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?

The most pressing issue we are facing is to develop a solid foundation and infrastructure to support our district and its members, establishing District Eleven as an autonomous entity while also preserving and protecting the strengths and values that GLATA has traditionally provided so well. Our goal is to capitalize on the significant history, legacy, leadership and passion that has existed within GLATA and District Four and to find creative opportunities to collaborate across GLATA and the other districts nationally. To accomplish this, we will continue to develop policies and to create a financial structure that allows us to maximize member engagement and support to meet the needs of our members. We are in the process of filling numerous NATA committee vacancies, and we will continue to identify future leadership roles and leadership development opportunities for District Eleven members. It is an exciting time to be a member in District Eleven and we look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the board?

During my time on the board, I hope that we continue to support the successful launch of District Eleven, meeting the ever-changing and expanding needs of the membership in new and creative ways. Creating District Eleven is a momentous expansion across the NATA, increasing our members’ voices, creating more equitable representation and establishing additional leadership opportunities at the national level. The benefits of this historic expansion are now squarely in front of us, and we look forward to providing more of these opportunities in the coming months and years. At the conclusion of my time on the board, I hope that District Eleven is on a solid foundation and that there is a strong pipeline of new and engaged members and leaders that will continue to improve the profession, District Eleven and NATA in the future.