Wynters was the driving force behind the creation of the "Road to the TD Garden" Tour, the Hockey East Kids Club, and "Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer" initiative. After ten seasons, the Skating Strides program has raised nearly $300,000 for grass roots breast cancer initiatives, while at the same time increased attendance at women's hockey games and gave the student-athletes the opportunity to give back to the communities in which they study and play hockey. The Skating Strides program was recognized in May 2016 as a "100 Everyday Amazing" recipient. Sponsored by Mass General Hospital, this international award program honors individuals and groups — caregivers, researchers, philanthropists, advocates and volunteers from around the globe — whose commitment to the fight against cancer is inspirational.
A native of Quincy, MA, the former Kathy Walsh earned a B.S. degree in marketing from Providence College in 1982. She began her career while an undergraduate, as a three-year intern with the men's hockey team. Following graduation, she served the Friars in two capacities; first as Assistant Sports Information Director (primary men's hockey contact) and then as Assistant Athletic Director, Athletic Marketing. While at PC, and before Hockey East had a full-time staff, Wynters worked with former PC athletic director, and then Commissioner, Lou Lamoriello on the launch of the conference in 1983, and then coordinated the first three Hockey East championship tournaments (1985-87). She also served as Tournament Director for the 1986 NCAA Men's Frozen Four at the Providence Civic Center, co-hosted by Brown and Providence College.
In 1988, Wynters left her position at PC and moved over to Hockey East on a full-time basis, where she served the conference as Assistant Commissioner during the late 80's and early 90's, before going on to work for the New Jersey Devils in the NHL, spending three years as a Marketing Director, coordinating licensing and souvenir merchandising. Among her earlier accomplishments at Hockey East, Wynters worked with Joe Bertagna in coordinating the first and only "Hockeyfest" events, combining the ECAC and Hockey East championships into single weekend events from 1989-91.
Kathy and her husband Chuck (a retired on-ice official for Hockey East), reside in Waltham, MA. They have two grown children: daughter Annie (24), is a high school history/special education teacher, and son C.J. (23), is a certified athletic trainer (ATC).
BRIAN SMITH - DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Prior to joining the conference in July 2014, Smith spent two years with USA Hockey as the Brian Fishman Intern. Dividing his time with USA Hockey between the national office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Smith traveled extensively while assisting at numerous international tournaments with the U.S. National Teams. While with the NTDP, Smith served as the main media contact and managed both the U.S. National Under-18 and Under-17 Teams. Additionally, Smith played an integral role in the execution of the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
Smith has also spent time working with the Boston Bruins and New England Revolution in various roles. A former high school hockey player at Woburn Memorial High School, Smith is a 2012 graduate of Boston College where he earned four varsity letters while competing as a member of the men's track and field team within the Atlantic Coast Conference. Smith resides in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
GEOFF DION - GRADUATE Intern
He was active on campus in several different areas, including serving as a Building Manager for the Merrimack Athletics Complex. A large part of his responsibilities included overseeing the arena for hockey games. He was the President for Merrimack's Sport Management Club and he volunteered with Hockey East at the Women's and Men's Championships in 2016.
Dion has worked at Gillette Stadium, handling a variety of on-field activities during New England Patriots games as well as assisting with other stadium events such as Copa America Centenario. From 2011 to 2015 he was employed by the Pawtucket Red Sox and worked as a hawker and then as manager of McCoy Stadium hawkers. In 2015 he received the Pawtucket Red Sox Employee Scholarship award.
Dion intends to return to school to earn his master's degree in Sport Management.
RYAN SMITH - GRADUATE INTERN
A native of East Setauket, New York, Smith was a two sport athlete at Ward Melville High School, lettering in baseball and ice hockey. Smith continued to play baseball as a team member and the communications officer of the Boston College club baseball team.
Smith is continuing his studies at Northeastern, working towards a master's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.
History of Hockey East's Intern Program
1st season – 2006-07: Scott Donnelly (Providence); now Assoc. Athletic Director at Fordham
2nd season – 2007-08: Andrew Bartlett (Providence); now working at Boston College
3rd season – 2008-09: Elizabeth Fierman (Boston University); worked as SID at UMass-Lowell, now working at ESPN
4th season – 2009-10: Stephanie Bambury (St. Mike's grad, but worked at Vermont as a jr & sr); also did an internship with Red Sox after HE; now Assistant Athletic Director at Arizona State University
5th season – 2010-11: Greg Rosa (Boston College); now Director of Marketing for Manchester (NH) Monarchs (ECHL Hockey)
6th season – 2011-12: Andrew Zagorianakos (Maine); now Equipment Manager at Providence
7th season – 2012-13: Kristen Blake (Northeastern); now working in insurance industry
8th season – 2013-14: Mike Brown (Northeastern); now working at NESN; also Communications Game Night Staff for Boston Bruins
9th season – 2014-15: Keagan Gallagher (Vermont); now working at Boston College Men's Hockey - And Andrew Veneziano (Boston College); now working in real estate
10th season – 2015-16: Suzanne Friedman (Vermont/Northeastern); now working at Kraft Group - And Justin Martino (Connecticut); now in law school
11th season - 2016-17: Geoff Dion (Merrimack) and Ryan Smith (Boston College)
DAN SCHACHTE - COORDINATOR OF OFFICIALS
Schachte finished a 30-year career as an National Hockey League linesman in 2011-12. He worked 2,009 regular-season games in the NHL dating back to 1982, which ranks fifth all-time and first all-time among American-born NHL officials. He also worked 221 Stanley Cup playoff games, which ranks eighth all-time among NHL linesman. He worked five Stanley Cup Finals ('97, '98, '00, '01, '02) and worked Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. He was one of a select group chosen as linesmen for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, completing his duties with the Bronze Medal Game.
Schachte also served on the NHLOA Discipline Committee from 2002 to 2010, as well as the NHLOA Executive Board (1991-1992) and the NHL Injury Analysis Panel in 2002. He has served as an Officiating Supervisor for USA Hockey since 2011, mentoring many of the top young officials in the United States with instruction and training at camps around the country. Schachte was a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and United States Hockey League (USHL) referee for two years (1980-1982), and co-founded the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) in 2006.
Schachte studied Mechanical Enginering at the University of Wisconsin. He resides in Verona, Wisconsin, with his wife Kim and children, Danny, Ian, Lauren and Maddy.
DICK DECAPRIO - CHIEF OBSERVER
DeCaprio, a native of Arlington, Massachusetts, has enjoyed a wide range of hockey experiences since his graduation from Boston University in 1968. Following his playing days for Jack Kelley, DeCaprio became a referee, working high school and college games, including Hockey East games, for more than two decades. Toward the end of his officiating career, he began assigning high school games in the Greater Boston area.
Professionally, DeCaprio has been a teacher and administrator in the Arlington Public Schools for nearly 40 years. After serving as an assistant coach in both football and ice hockey at Arlington, DeCaprio succeeded the legendary Eddie Burns as head hockey coach of Arlington's storied program in 1997. In that time, he has compiled an outstanding record of 129-55-22, leading the Spy Ponders to six league titles and six appearances in the prestigious "Super Eight" tournament. His contributions to high school hockey have earned him induction into the Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association's Hall of Fame as both a referee and a coach.
Beyond these experiences, DeCaprio enjoyed two different stints as an assistant coach at UMass Lowell (1969-70 and 1989-91) and also served as a scout for the St. Louis Blues from 1985 to 1988. An outstanding teacher, DeCaprio has also directed the Spy Pond Power Skating Hockey School and Clinic since 1980. He and his wife Marsha reside in Chelmsford.
CHUCK NAPOLI - OBSERVER
Chuck Napoli begins his sixth season as an observer for Hockey East.
Napoli has worked part-time for the Boston Bruins as a video goal judge since 1991 in addition to his full-time job at Raytheon as an area supervisor since 1979.
Napoli, a 1988 graduate of Northeastern University, is a lifelong resident of Belmont and has a daughter Elena and grandson Jacob.