College Athletics Veteran, IBM Diversity Exec Join You Can Play Board to Fight Homophobia in Sports

Spread the word

You Can Play Project announced today that it has added two new members to its Board of Directors: America East Conference commissioner Amy Huchthausen, and IBM diversity and LGBTQ markets development executive Kimberley Messer. The addition of these two front runners in the fight for equality and respect in sports and business will help You Can Play to continue reaching millions of athletes and families across the world to promote the message that if you can play, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity – you can play. 

Amy Huchthausen is in her eighth year as Commissioner of the America East Conference, an NCAA Division I college athletics conference. During her tenure, the league has been recognized as a leader in diversity and inclusion through its partnerships with various organizations and its emphasis on LGBTQ+ programs such as its #SpreadRespect campaign. Huchthausen has served on the Board of Directors for Women Leaders in College Sports and numerous NCAA committees during her 19 years in the college sports industry.  A native of Minnesota, Huchthausen currently lives in Boston.

Kimberley Messer has spent more than 18 years with IBM, currently serving as a business development leader for the Global Diversity Business Development segment with a focus on LGBTQ markets in the US and Canada. She is a member of Out & Equal’s Global Advisory Committee, serves on Pride at Work Canada’s Executive Board of Directors, and previously served as the chair of IBM Canada’s LGBT business resource group. Kimberley lives in Toronto with her wife and two children.

“I’ve seen first-hand the importance of You Can Play’s mission through our partnership with the America East Conference over the last few years,” said Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference commissioner.  “Joining the board is an amazing opportunity to help spread that message to more locker rooms and stadiums.”

“You Can Play’s work is just as important in the board room as it is in the locker room, and I know that there are millions of people across the world that will benefit from hearing it,” said Kimberley Messer, IBM diversity and LGBTQ markets development executive. “I’m honored and excited for the continued growth of this organization and to join such a talented and passionate group.”

You Can Play works with collegiate and professional sports organizations, such as the partnership with the NHL for Hockey is for Everyone month and the trainings that the organization runs for players, coaches, and staff at universities in multiple countries. These programs have tangible impact on helping to create an environment of respect for current and future athletes and fans. Additionally, You Can Play has forged strong relationships with the corporate community through organizations such as Out and Equal's Workplace Summit and more, assuring that the message of You Can Play is being voiced and supported everywhere. With the help of Huchthausen, Messer, and the rest of the organization, You Can Play is committed to growing this message in 2019 and beyond.



About You Can Play

You Can Play is dedicated to erasing homophobia in locker rooms and sports venues through a focus on language and programs that emphasize and athlete’s talent, skill and commitment to a sport over sexual orientation or gender identity. Visit www.youcanplayproject.orgfor additional information.


Ryan Pettengill