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MVP Softball Experience
One of the first experiences into a new sport for MVP International trip was an incredible softball trip to Spain.
On that first trip to Spain, the 12 young women representing the USA competed against multiple national teams and had a remarkable experience competing and training with European teams preparing to go to the Euro Championships.
Since that inaugural trip in 2016, MVP has sent several softball teams overseas and has covered a variety of destinations such as Spain, Italy, Australia, and Puerto Rico.
The MVP Softball staff includes a variety of prominent softball coaches and organizations that take great pride in helping to share the game on a global level. Softball is more than a game overseas, it also serves as a tool to empower young women through athletics in a variety of developing countries.
Rich Stiehl is the Director of IT and Operations for MVP International. Rich is the essential guy behind the scenes that helps to make all of the moving pieces, technology, and infrastructure work smoothly. Rich is also the Director the MVP Baseball School where he runs the operations for hundreds of young ball players and 35+ teams. After decades in the corporate world managing large-scale IT projects, Rich enjoys being able to connect his passion for baseball, family, and travel with his professional skills. Rich and his family have been traveling with MVP International since 2015 when they went on their first trip to Central Europe. Their family has been one of the most well-traveled families in the MVP community as they have been on 8 trips including Central Europe, Spain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The Dominican, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Cruise.
Eli’s background in international sports tours goes back to 2009. After going on back-to-back undefeated trips to the Dominican Republic and Italy under Coach Pudge, the travel bug had bit Eli and he was hooked. Eli went on to play Division I baseball at Lehigh University.
While there he majored in Finance with a minor in Spanish, and was also afforded the opportunity to do a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain.
It was during that semester abroad that he re-connected with the MVP International team and slowly began to support the organization. Eli continued to work for MVP International part time as a senior at Lehigh University and became MVP International’s first full-time employee upon graduation in 2015. Since then Eli has helped grow the organization and currently oversees all enrollment operations and trip concepts.
Eli has developed a passion for traveling and the travel industry, which has led him to visit over 35 countries. Eli currently resides in Arlington, VA.
Having joined MVP International as a traveler many times in the past, O’Kelly brings a perspective that is highly valued by the MVP International Athletics team and organization.
O’Kelly advises US and international clients on a wide range of business and employment law matters. He has extensive experience handling employment aspects of M&A and other corporate transactions as well as employment disputes and compensation issues.
O’Kelly has collaborated with some of the world’s leading companies and emerging businesses to mitigate their risks and advance their business plans.
He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Retirement System — a nearly $80 billion pension plan — and participates on its Benefits & Actuarial, Audit and Compliance, Defined Contribution Plan, and Administration and Personnel committees.
To help organizations manage employee relationships and reduce their liability, O’Kelly works with them to establish industry-specific employment policies and to provide board members and managers with compliance and employment training. He also conducts compensation audits to mitigate risks related to pay disparity issues.
Coach Pudge is known by both the Virginia High School Baseball community as well as the national baseball community for bringing a high level of energy, charisma, and absolute passion to the field, every single day. With decades of accomplishments, 2 State Championships, coach Pudge is currently the 4th winningest baseball coach in Virginia High School Baseball history with nearly 400 wins.
Coach Pudge’s story begins back in 2008, when Coach Pudge was given the opportunity to bring a local team abroad for a tournament. After much hesitation and some convincing by his supportive wife, Beth, Coach Pudge got his first taste of international baseball on a trip to Germany with some of the top players in the DMV area. After experiencing the eye-opening impact the game of baseball was having around the world, he was all-in.
Coach Pudge went on a few more trips before he started to brainstorm how he could share these experiences that were transforming not only his life, but also those of hundreds of athletes and families that were joining him on the trips, with more athletes. He had a vision to reach the lives of thousands across a variety of sports with these unforgettable escapades.
In 2012, Coach Pudge contacted now business partner, Matt Foley, to help turn his dream into a reality. While Coach Pudge handled the sports side of things, Foley handled the business side, and the partnership was formed. Since then, Coach Pudge has continued to share the vision with which he founded the company with hundreds of athletes from the DMV area and also directs all things related to baseball.
This thing is just getting started! Coach Pudge also operates MVP Baseball School, the MVP Terps, and MVP Summer Camp. He currently resides in Reston, VA with his wife, Beth, and 3 kids Samantha (20), Josh (18), and Trevor (14).
Matt played for Coach Pudge, graduating in 2003 and racking up a laundry list of awards, both in the JMHS record books as well as at the state level. After 4 successful years, 2 regional championships and a state championship at Madison, Foley went on to catch at Virginia Tech for 4 years.
Although Foley spent a few years in the corporate world, he was drawn back to the game as a coach, and he enjoyed staying connected to the baseball community. When he was approached by Coach Pudge in 2012 to form what is now MVP International Athletics, he saw it as an opportunity to further apply what he had learned in the corporate world in order to build something very special.
Since then, Foley has served as President of MVP International and oversees the business operations, which under his leadership runs smoothly.
Foley also has a focus in the real estate field and currently resides in Arlington, VA with his wife Meghan and 2 kids, Bryce (3) Blake (1).
Tonya attended travel school in VA and then worked in Virginia and Colorado, as a Leisure Travel Specialist, specializing in Disney, Caribbean and Hawaii. Tonya planned total vacation packages and enjoyed playing a major role in helping her clients turn their dreams into a reality, as well as help them create memories and friendships that would last a lifetime.
As a member of a military family, Tonya was afforded the opportunity of being stationed in several areas throughout the United States as well as overseas. She had the pleasure of being stationed in Italy for 3 years with her husband Bob and their two children, Makayla and Noah. They lived in Vicenza, which is about an hour west of Venice. While stationed in Italy, the family traveled throughout Europe and cruised the Mediterranean on several occasions. They did not return to the US until their three-year military assignment was complete because Europe had so much to offer and they wanted to take full advantage!
A few years later after returning to Virginia, Tonya and her family joined MVP International on the 2017 Germany Baseball Tour and had a blast! It was then that the MVP team realized she would be a great addition to the team.
Tonya absolutely loves to travel, meet new friends and to help others achieve their dreams…For all of these reasons and more, Tonya is an absolute perfect fit for MVP International!
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Tara became an avid sports fan at a young age. She went on to play softball and basketball in college while earning degrees in Business Management and Psychology. Her husband, Ryan, was in the Air Force for 9 years when they decided to settle in Northern Virginia with their three children, Marly, Kyle, and Tatum.
Tara has been active in her three children’s lives, managing sports schedules, school activities, and volunteering to coach various basketball and softball teams over the last 20 years. Tara met Coach Pudge while their son, Kyle, was in little league and quickly formed a relationship that has lasted over 10 years. MVP has been a major part of their lives, with Ryan coaching several teams, and Kyle playing for MVP and for Coach Pudge at Madison HS. Tara and her family have gone on five international trips to Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico (twice), and the Dominican Republic. The MVP International trips were such a unique experience and she is excited to join the team to help others have the same incredible experience!
Dana attended Penn State University where she received a bachelors’ degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. She moved to the Washington DC area upon graduation and pursued a career with Hyatt Hotels. Having a strong desire to travel, Dana took a job as a Director with an Independent Meeting Planning Company and worked with Corporations and Associations to plan and facilitate their conferences ranging from 100 – 1500 attendees.
While taking time off from her career to raise three sons, Dana followed her new found passions of health and fitness and working with children. She has substituted for Arlington Public Schools for 8 years as well as held several volunteer roles gaining both community and state level recognition. These roles include being a member of the Arlington Public Schools Health Advisory Board, Whole Child Working Group and Healthy Community Action Team, serving a variety of board member roles on elementary and middle school PTA as well as Arlington Little League and being a member of the Action for Healthy Kids Tri-State Coalition. She was awarded Arlington Public Schools Volunteer of the Year award in 2016 and the Virginia Governors Outstanding Adult Volunteer award in 2018 for her efforts.
Navigating her own boys through the world of sports, she has witnessed first hand the amazing experiences, opportunities and lasting memories travel ball has given them. After taking an MVP trip with her family in 2019 to Italy, she realized she could fulfill all of her passions and she joined our team. She is excited about the opportunity to engage in travel, planning logistics/events, sports and working with youth groups and their families to create moments they will never forget!
Jason is a native to Vienna, VA and is rooted in Youth and High School Baseball around the area. He has coached multiple travel, little league and high school teams and is currently an assistant varsity coach at Marshall High School in Falls Church, VA. He played for Coach Pudge in the mid 90’s and went on to George Mason University where he red-shirted for one season with the Patriots.
After college, Jason found himself working with a direct marketing company where he became an Account Manager handling day to day sales and reporting from multiple inbound and outbound call centers around the United States and Canada. He was in constant communication with high level clients ensuring their direct marketing campaigns were a success.
With a quick move to Roanoke, VA Jason became the Fly Fishing Technical Advisor for The Orvis Company. He spent his days on the phone giving customers product information and providing customer service and sales support. He learned the value of customer relations and the importance of building trust and confidence to ensure that each customer was treated with dignity and respect.
Eventually, Jason moved back to Northern Virginia accepting a retail position with Orvis. Within a few years he he became the Fishing Manage at the Arlington, VA locvation. He built lasting relationships with customers that continue today. Jason’s passion for fly fishing has taken him across the United States and he has competed in several fishing competitions that were featured on the Outdoor Channel.
Jason is excited to join the MVP International team and provide customers the support needed to make their arrangements as stress free as possible.
Coach Simon Roberts brings decades of international hockey experience to the MVP International hockey program. As Director of Ice Hockey, Coach Roberts has brought international Ice Hockey opportunities to the DMV community. Along with being the bench boss of several Tier 1 hockey programs, including the Washington Little Capitals, he’s also also been involved with USA Hockey Player Development Camps and participated as an Affiliate coach with the NTDP.
With a background in Strength & Conditioning, coach Roberts also works with the Washington Capitals Player Development & Training camps.
Coach Roberts also grew up in various places around the world and brings a cultural tone to the program that is highly valued by the MVP team. Coach Roberts led his first tour with MVP International in 2018 to Central Europe with a group of 16u players and families. With the amazing experience gained, Coach Roberts has ambitiously contributed to bring new opportunities to the Ice Hockey community at large. Coach Roberts resides in Reston, VA with his wife Mary and their Son, Colin
Alexis is from Cary, North Carolina and has been around sports her entire life. She began playing soccer at the age of 6 and was successful from a very young age. By her senior year of high school, she led her Green Hope High School Women’s Soccer team to the 2013 North Carolina 4A State Championship, scoring the winning goal and earning MVP of the game. She was also awarded 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year as well as NSCAA High School All-American that year.
From there, Alexis went on to play for the University of Virginia Women’s Soccer team. She played in every match from Freshman year to her Senior Year, and the team appeared in three ACC Championships and one NCAA National Championship. Alexis finished out her college career with numerous accolades, including ACC Offensive Player of Year, ACC Midfielder of the Year, NSCAA First Team All-America, All-ACC First team selection, and named to the ACC Women’s Soccer All Academic Team.
Today Alexis travels full time with her husband Josh Sborz, who plays in the MLB for the Texas Rangers!
Originally from Houston, Texas, Matt moved to Northern Virginia at the age of 7. He played 4 years of Varsity baseball at South Lakes High School earning 1st team all-district 3 times, 1st team all-region, 1st team all-state, and 2nd team all-met. From there, Matt went on to play 2 years of Junior College baseball at Chesapeake College before finishing out his final two years of baseball and academics at Roanoke College, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
During a gap year in his college journey, Matt served as an assistant coach at South Lakes. Since then, Matt has coached with the MVP Organization for the last 3 years, but has been helping out with camps and other baseball lessons for the past 5.
Matt’s passion for baseball has allowed him many possibilities that he never knew existed. During Summer 2019, he traveled as a Player/Coach on our inaugural Caribbean Cruise. Matt describes it as being “one of the best experiences he’s had in his entire life,” and that going on that trip made him “truly buy in to what is going on at MVP International,” and he couldn’t be happier to be a part of our team.
Brennan has been in California since 2012. After completing his degree in Recreation and Sports Management he balanced living in multiple states while coaching basketball at his alma mater for three seasons along with running a youth summer camp on the beaches in California.
Throughout his career in education and youth development, he has had the opportunity to travel and work with amazing organizations from Minnesota to California. It’s his goal to continue to enrich athletes with the energy, joy and the passion they deserve while always looking for fun and creative ways for them to travel.
Brennan was recently brought on to be the West Cost Regional Director to bring the amazing opportunities that MVP International offers to the families and athletes (yes, even those bocce players are athletes) all over Southern California and the entire state.
Samantha began interning with the MVP International team in the Spring of 2018. Samantha is currently a junior at James Madison University where she is also the Manager of the Dukes Baseball team. Samantha brings a unique perspective to the team as she has gone on these trips as a player, sibling, and a staff member.
Samantha is passionate about sports media and enjoys creating exposure for players and teams. Her role with the MVP team is quite versatile as she helps with daily needs ranging anywhere from administrative support, to social media, or even helping out with the team apparel.
Coach Stu Vetter brings decades of experience coaching, inspiring, and mentoring high school men’s basketball players at the highest level in the country.
Coach Vetter has been coaching for over 40 years. Few coaches have ever been able to bring such a passion for the game to so many.
In addition to graduating over 100 players who have become Division 1 student/athletes, nine of Coach Vetter’s players have gone on to play in the NBA, and many have gone on to coach at the High School and College level. Coach Vetter attends and takes a very hands-on approach and will be ensuring that all men’s basketball players are ready for the task of representing the USA internationally.
Having coached internationally several times, Coach Vetter knows exactly what it takes to represent the USA on the international stage. He brings a passion for connecting the world through basketball and has seen this impact personally as he has had a number of international players on his team over the years.
Eve Mendolia earned her BA in Theatre Arts from Hofstra University and her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College in NYC. She has been teaching for over 18 years and is currently teaching in Arlington Public Schools. She is currently the Montessori Public School of Arlington’s Teacher of the Year.
Originally from New York, Bob worked at James Madison High School in Vienna, Virginia as a Counselor for 30 years. One of the things Bob enjoyed most was the sense of community that Vienna and Madison fostered, and the care that each individual had for those around them. This is the same sense of community that the MVP team creates for its travelers.
Bob first got the travel bug in his early 20’s when he visited Italy and fell in love with that country, having gone back a number of times since. He has have visited numerous countries since then, and gets excited when seeing how positively the experiences affect his traveling companions. Bob brings that same enthusiasm to MVP International and is an absolute fireplug on the team.
Bob supports customers with account needs amongst other things and provides an extremely level head on any trip, having dealt with many challenging circumstances in his 30 years as a counselor!
Tom is a long-time teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. He is also the former Men’s Basketball Coach at McLean High School. Tom owns ‘Vienna Sports,’ which serves as a vendor for many different organizations, specializing in team sports apparel.