Board

Rod Ricciardi | Managing Director

rodRod Ricciardi brings over 30 years of entrepreneurial and marketing / sales and most of all, people skills – to Find A Dream.

His passion has always been to lead a team helping youth and young adults to realize their potential. He has donated his time and money to build Find a Dream into a strong resource for youth and Veterans seeking mentorship.

He has produced and promoted the “invincible martial arts” training video featuring the Grand Master Ernesto Presas and John Bruce Daniels which has sold over a million copies, and has trained law enforcement agencies in stick and knife defense including agencies such as the FBI and CIA and has become one of the top auto dealership executives in the United States.


“Merciless” Ray Mercer | Director

ray-mercer

“Merciless” Ray Mercer (born April 4, 1961 in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American professional boxer, mixed martial artist and former WBO World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist who resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Mercer was the 1988 United States Amateur Champion at Heavyweight while in the US Army and compiled an Amateur record of 64-6. He won Gold in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as a heavyweight. In 1989, Mercer fought Barry Flowers (USAF) which contributed to a K.O. win in the 7th round.

On June 13, 2009, Mercer defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at Adrenaline III: Bragging Rights. He won the fight via knockout in 9 seconds, becoming the first man to ever defeat Sylvia by knockout. He then called out Eric Esch after the fight. In March 2010, it was announced that Mercer had signed with the King of the Cage organization.


Chris Pappas | Executive Board Member + Treasurer

pappasChris Pappas is the owner of Pappas Landscaping & Lawncare based in Pomona, NJ. Involved in coaching and playing for over 45 years, as a coach he taught multiple ages in Baseball and Football. Chris was also instrumental in the starting of the Galloway Twp. PAL, He was Assistant Director as well as Coach of the girls traveling basketball team. As a 13 year old, Chris was the youngest player in NJ to play in the ACBL Semi-Pro Baseball League. A 1980 graduate of Absegami High School, Chris was one of the first to be inducted into the Absegami Athletic Wall of Fame, He still holds the unbroken school record of 35 years for the HBA of 540. He also holds the single game scoring record of 35 points in a basketball game. Chris was a High School All-American his freshman year & the Philadelphia Bulletin Scholar/Athlete of the Year and was an MVP and Captain in baseball & basketball. He was also entered into the Major League Scouting Bureau as a freshman and invited to a closed tryout. Chosen for multiple All-Star Teams (All Press, All State, All South Jersey and All Southern Division), he won the State’s batting title with an average of .540. Chris’ career was cut short in 1980 due to a drunk driver.

Chris is passionate about giving back & helping youth. He has run numerous baseball and basketball clinics for boys and girls, as well as a football introductory clinic for young boys. Chris’ passion also extends to assisting Veterans. He has a special place in his heart for our wounded warriors & donates faithfully to their cause. Chris is a single father to an 8 year old son (Chris “Dallas” Pappas). They currently reside in Pomona, NJ along with his mother Claire Pappas, and is a member of the Holy Trinity Church in EHT.


Matthew Howard | Executive Director

matthew-howard

With more than 28 years experience in the sales and marketing field, Matthew Howard brings Find A Dream a wealth of experience. Howard’s hard work, genuine integrity, warm personality and business knowledge has earned him respect from many celebrates, dignitaries and company leaders.

In 1988 Howard was known for his expertise in the sports field of boxing. He trained and managed many boxing athletes and led them to championship status. Talents such as Ray Mercer, Arturo Gatti and Virgil Hill all gained their championship titles under the training expertise of Howard. His strategic mind and keen business style continues to keep him connected to many top celebrity athletes.

Howard’s career has also thrived in the casino gaming industry as he most recently held the key positions of Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Resorts Casino Hotel, Tropicana Casino Resort, Harrah’s Casino and the Trump Organization. Howard is known as a superstar in the gaming business and has led the sales efforts of these properties to exceed sales goal and performance budgets. He has also single-handedly cultivated high end customers who have produced millions of dollars in revenue.

Howard is a resident of Absecon, New Jersey where he lives with his wife Kathy, two daughters and two grandchildren.


Jeff Youngman | Director

jeff-youngmanJeff Youngman is an entrepreneur that has built a number of successful businesses, Jeff believes strongly in second chances and employs numerous people that have been turned away by other establishments.

Jeff has coached many years with various youth teams, establishing great rapport with the children and parents in the community. After nine years of holding a seat on the local athletic booster club, Jeff has a wealth of experience promoting sporting events, raising funds and handling budgetary issues. During his tenure at the booster club, Jeff and his fellow board members were able to raise enough money to help the school build some of the best facilities in their respected conference.


Sal “Rocky” Cenicola | Board Member

sal

Everyone knows Sal as the energetic and spirited pie guy, but did you know he was also a pro boxer? A Jersey boy born and raised, Sal boxed for over 18 years and was among the “Who’s Who” of Atlantic City Boxing. Some of Sal’s acquaintances range from Sylvester Stalone to Don King.

During the 1980s Sal was undefeated through his first 18 professional bouts scoring 12 knockouts! Boxing defines Sal as a tough go-getter up for any challenge. His childhood gloves given to him as a gift remind him of tying kite strings to apple trees in his backyard to create a boxing ring for his friends.

Sal trained with Roberto Duran, Aaron Pryor, Bobby Czyz and Vinnie Pazienza at the world famous Gleason’s Gym. Together, Sal and Vinnie became known as the “Bruise Brothers.” After turning pro in 1982, a good friend of Sal’s named Rocky Graziano, the real Rocky, asked Sal if he would carry on his ring name, and Sal has been known as “Rocky Cenicola” ever since.

After winning several European Gold Medals and the coveted Golden Gloves Championship, he continued his Midas punch in many other successful ventures. Sal proved a leader in business world with his very profitable salon “The Upper Cut.” He learned early on the importance of service and quality of a great company. He learned to confront challenges in boxing which led him to join the army as an expert infantryman and paratrooper, part of the 82nd Airborne.

Sal always had his family, friends and food to give him support in whatever he accomplished. His family recipes and Italian heritage have found a home in his newest project, Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. Sal will tell you his most rewarding success has been his family. He is thankful for his two sons.


 

Michael Moorer | Board Member

michael-moorerMichael Moorer is a 3-time heavyweight world champion and 1-time light heavyweight champion. Through his career he has faced countless hall-of-famers in the ring, including George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, David Tua, Francois Botha and more. Moorer won by way of KO in 40 of his 52 wins. He is also the first universally recognized southpaw world heavyweight champion, and scored knockouts in each of his first 26 bouts, placing him in the exclusive list of boxers who have won at least 20 fights in a row by knockout, alongside such other fighters as George Foreman, Wilfredo Gomez, Carlos Zarate, John Mugabi, Aaron Pryor and Edwin Valero.

Since stepping out of the ring Moorer has been active in boxing training, as well as serving as a bodyguard for Tiger Woods. He has worked with Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, helping them prepare for fights, and has been featured countless times on ESPN as a guest commentator for Friday Night Fights.

 


Bobby Czyz | Board Member

bobby-czyzRobert Edward “Bobby” Czyz (born February 10, 1962) is a retired American boxer. A New Jersey native of mostly Polish and Italian descent, he is both a former world light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion. Czyz was born in Orange, New Jersey. He lived in Wanaque, New Jersey and attended Lakeland Regional High School. Nicknamed “Matinee Idol”, Czyz was a member of the United States amateur boxing team whose other members died in the LOT Polish Airlines plane crash in Poland in 1980. Because of an auto accident one week before the fatal trip, Czyz was not on the plane.

Czyz had a quick start to his professional boxing career in the early 1980’s as he was soon in line for a shot against world middleweight champion Marvin Hagler. He had to start from scratch, however, after suffering a 10-round loss at the hands of veteran Mustafa Hamsho in November 1982.

He has since been inducted into the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Czyz is a member of Mensa, the organization for people who have scored in the highest 2% of takers in an IQ test. He even wore a shirt with “MENSA” on it while walking to the ring to fight Evander Holyfield.


Clinton Portis | Board Member

clinton-portisClinton Portis is best known for being the starting running back for the Washington Redskins for seven seasons and considered one of the best Redskins in history. On August 21, 2012, Portis announced his retirement – officially, two days later. Portis was 77 yards short of the 10,000 yards rushing mark, making him 27th all-time rusher. During the press conference it was announced that he made it into the list of the 80 Greatest Redskins of All-Time.

After his playing career, Clinton has been active in broadcasting with the ACC, spending quality time with his family, making corporate appearances and being active in speaking engagements. Clinton was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame on April 10th, 2014 at a ceremony in Miami.


Tim Hightower | Board Member

timhighTim Hightower is an accomplished Running Back with the New Orleans Saints and a University of Richmond Alum.
We’ll provide a longer bio as soon as he gets off the practice field!


Mike O’Loughlin | Board Member

mike_grey  Mike’s bio is coming soon.

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