2022 Combined Candidate Statements

Henry Von Jouanne

I am honored to be considered again for an NBUA Board of Director position.  I have completed two terms – four years – as a board member and I am eager to continue serving for another term. 

Why am I interested in serving on the board?  Because those that went before us built a great organization and I feel compelled to do all I can to maintain the quality and reputation of the NBUA.  I served as the Training director the past four years and I am proud of the training programs we put-together.  If selected to continue as the Training director, I pledge to continue developing high quality training programs – leveraging on the great umpiring talent we have available. 

My goal as a Board Member is simple:  to fully and enthusiastically support the NBUA mission.  That is, “We deliver the highest quality service to our customers by umpiring all games to the best of our ability and with fairness to all participants via state-of-the-art training and evaluation and demonstrated examples of inclusion.”  The NBUA has – in my opinion – always separated itself with a strong training program – so I believe our excellence and “highest quality” starts with training.  And I believe the training starts with emphasis on the basics:  superior rules knowledge and superior mechanics knowledge.  Of course, this begins with the formal pre-season classroom, field training, and cage training.  The training extends to the mentorship program and the important and valuable pre-game and post-game discussions.  A strong and comprehensive training emphasis should convince every member that the NBUA strives to support their improvement as an umpire – and their eventual promotion as a result.

What qualifies me to be a Board Member?  First of all, I believe the NBUA is an exceptional organization and I am committed to be a strong advocate for our organization.  I maintain my collection of experiences and skills serve me well as a Board member and NBUA advocate.  As a helicopter Instructor Pilot in the U.S. Air Force, I was responsible for developing and teaching the ground-school and flight curriculum.  I learned the age-old truth that instructing is the best way to learn.  As an aerospace engineer, I was expected to develop systems in a systematic manner – driven by facts and data – while also leading with energy and passion.  As a manager, I have identified seven good rules to follow:  1) it is impossible to over-communicate, 2) in all ways, be completely honest and overt in your actions – no agendas, 3) from this day forward, always do the right thing, 4) make mistakes, 5) learn from your mistakes, 6) the most important job you’ll ever have is the job you have now, and 7) sweat the details – really understand the facts – before making a decision.  These rules are not rocket-science – but they have served me very well and I intend to hold myself to these rules if elected again to the NBUA Board of Directors.

I believe the NBUA is a great organization – filled with great people.  I am proud of our members and the quality of the product we place on the field.  As an NBUA official, I take great pride in knowing I walk onto the field with a partner who 1) loves the game, 2) loves to officiate, 3) wants to be there, and 4) wants to improve. 

If elected again to the Board of Directors, I pledge to continue as a strong advocate for the NBUA.  Thank you for your consideration.

Brian Sweet

2022 marks my 15th season with NBUA. In that time NBUA has taught me plenty about baseball and being an umpire. During these past 15 seasons I’ve helped and worked on the various committees (Recruiting & Retention, Evaluations, & Training) which make NBUA a great organization. As many of us know and have directly experienced, there is a shortage of officials in all sports, including baseball. When I first joined NBUA in 2007 we had nearly 200 officials in the group. Today that number has dropped to just under 140 and yet we still officiate the same number of games and in some cases turn customers away. Increasing our numbers and retaining our members is vital to supporting the youth baseball programs in Washington.

I’ve decided to run for the NBUA Board to work with the Board leadership and our membership to reverse this trend. Unfortunately, there is no simple or single solution that will fully fix this trend. I’ve have had many pre/post game discussions on how to improve our numbers and have heard many ideas worth further consideration. As a member of the board, I will be better able to bring these ideas to the entire leadership team for action.

Earl Smith

Dear Members,

Thank you for your dedication to the vocation of Umpiring. We all have felt the mounting pressures on sports officials and we all know it is becoming a tougher environment to work in. Don’t let it tarnish your love for the game……

It has been my pleasure to serve on the board for the last four years. As the board member who oversees our By Laws, and our Policies & Procedures, my duties have included navigating these waters and implementing this content when necessary. I have served on the Evaluations Committee, as well as chairing the Elections Committee. I have had influence in our bargaining with our customers, and improving our wages and working conditions.

My background as a 17 year Prevailing Wage Compliance officer / Field Representative for the Laborer’s International Union of North America has helped me in my officiating, and in my participation as a board member. Collective bargaining for 5000 members in King County alone, my participation in labor management negotiations has translated well to the same types of approaches in representing our members with our customers. We have a great association that has, and will continue to produce, the best umpires in our service area! We train better, we bargain for the best game fees we can secure, we show fiduciary responsibility with the member’s money, and we ensure that we have customers to assign our umpires to. You belong to the largest baseball umpire association in the state of Washington, and the most highly regarded one!

If it is the will of the members, I would like to continue to serve on this Board of Directors and continue to step out between the lines as an eleven year member of the Association

Greg Olmstead


I have decided to run for a second term on the BOD. I have previous experience on the football (PNFOA) BOD and am honored to have been given the opportunity to give back to both associations.  I feel I can bring a calm and thoughtful approach to issues that arise to help support the membership of the NBUA.

My 2 years have been spent as chairperson of the Evaluation committee.  In that role I have eliminated the task of scoring a partner after every game and replaced it with a one-time request at the end of the season.  This has yielded much more useable peer feedback in determining placement.  I have endeavored to make post-game feedback more constructive and eliminate any unnecessary in-game feedback. 

I understand the promotion process can cause great disappointment amongst members. I have tried to make this process more transparent by posting all methods online and by listening to our membership’s suggestions for improvement.

While the umpire shortage has created challenges for the committee it has also provided great opportunities for our member umpires to work at levels it used to take 5 or 6 years to be offered – often with our most experience members.

If re-elected I will continue to work hard in whatever role I take and will always look to strengthen the relationships within our membership and with our customers.

Hank Margeson

I am continually humbled to serve this fine association as a member of the Board of Directors, and it is in service of the association that I seek to be honored with an additional 2-year term. Over the past two years we’ve survived a zero-income year (2020) by managing our expenses and still putting more dollars in members’ pockets. We also solidified our relationships with Puget Sound Senior Baseball League and Seattle Elite Baseball, ensuring members are provided with opportunities to hone their umpiring skills while working the best available baseball in the area.

Over the next two years it is my goal to continue to push on the WOA to adapt their payment processes such that each contest is properly compensated. I intend to start advocate for a paradigm shift with how travel pay is handled with the goal of increasing game fees to reflect the professionalism needed to officiate each game.

Additionally, I will work with my fellow board members to address game fee increases considering inflationary pressures for our annually contracted summer ball customers. At the same time, I will work with the board to ensure the reserves we used to carry us during 2020 are replenished with minimal impact to members.

Finally, I want to make sure the association is not just on firm financial footing, but also recognize a changing demographic and adapt our processes and procedures to ensure benefit the whole association. While some processes are well grounded in our history, we should examine all to ensure the benefits are accruing properly.

I would be honored to continue to represent you as a member of the NBUA Board in 2023-2024.

Peyton Coffin

Fellow Umpires,

I’d like to thank you for electing me to the NBUA Board in 2020. After 17 years. it was about time for me to get out from behind the plate and contribute to you, our members.

Two years ago, I presented my past work and volunteer resume so there’s no need to reiterate, and for those newer umpires who didn’t have to wade through all that, I’ll trust you to rely on your current experiences of me.

Once elected, the Board members appoint committee chairmen, and I sought out the Member Services and Communication Committee. One reason was that our member communication needed an upgrade and another was that our entire training procedure was going to have to be changed to a virtual model. Somebody was going to have to organize all of that. We had a lot of help from our fellow tech-savvy members and a Training Committee that adapted expertly, and I believe we did a great job by working together.

You all also did a great job by adapting and excusing the few hiccups we experienced.

I have tried to open the communication within NBUA and have always tried to solve any issues brought to my attention by you, our NBUA members. That so many of you have felt comfortable to approach me with their issues, comments and suggestions has been one of the rewards of the job.

Our mid-season bulletins have been favorably received and I plan to continue with those, even in the off-season, as we prepare for 2023.

I trust these past two years have proven to you that your choice two years ago was the right one as I have tried to improve the communication and service to our members.

I ask for your vote to continue my efforts for you in 2023-4.

Thank you,