Lane Miller, 36 – MAAVA Commissioner
How did you find out about, and eventually become the Commissioner of MAAVA?
After moving to the area in 2008 and recovering from yet another knee surgery I decided it was time to play again. I did a search online for a gay league to play on and that is how I first came in contact with MAAVA. I played last season and helped Shila design and complete all of the team and league awards. In that process I was voted in to become the next commissioner at the end of season banquet.
What is currently being done to promote MAAVA?
For the promotion of MAAVA, word of mouth is huge and we are in the process of launching a totally new website for MAAVA. Our current website is still a tool for promotion but it has needed an upgrade. My job as the commissioner of MAAVA is to continue to promote the league, gain interest, and increase fundraising for the betterment of the league, association, and all of its members. This is the first year that MAAVA is initiating year-round play. Typically MAAVA only plays one season of about 4 months for each year. This year we play every week breaking the calendar into 3 seasons; winter, summer and fall. This play will allow our new players to develop skills while veteran players can further develop existing skills all the while every member benefits from year round development and further fostering social relationships.
What are some of your immediate and long term goals?
Immediate goals are to launch the new website, increase membership, promote the league, and raise some money. MAAVA needs to make some money so we can serve our players and teams. Long term goal is to have MAAVA as a premier league in this area; a league that supports its members, has increased membership, provides a great atmosphere for all levels of play, and a great atmosphere to foster friendships and build new ones. I would love to put together an annual tournament that would bring North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA) teams from all over the country to play here. This would be a great benefit to our league, MAAVA, NAGVA and the numerous businesses that it takes to pull off such a large tournament. In addition, and as mentioned above, would be the initiation of year round play for all of our members.
What has been your greatest experience working for MAAVA?
My greatest experience would be fostering relationships and building new ones that directly benefit MAAVA and our players. I am rewarded by introducing new members to our members and teams and watching those relationships begin. I personally am rewarded by the development each week on the court of new/beginner players. Seeing that growth on the court is very rewarding and is what our league is all about; fostering new talent that can blend in with our existing skill levels in the league.
How long have you been playing volleyball?
I am a “veteran” player who has been playing for close to 20 years now. I absolutely love the sport of volleyball. I have given a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears, literally to this sport. I hope that my body allows me to play for another 20 years or so.
What draws you to MAAVA to play?
MAAVA is a great outlet of play for me. Volleyball is a stress reliever for me, a social outlet and network, and a place to “get away” for a few hours to enjoy some time with other gay and lesbian men and women. The best thing about playing MAAVA is the people.
What has been your greatest moment on the volleyball court?
I have had many great moments on the court – winning tournaments while deployed in Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but also playing on Air Force base teams. With MAAVA ,I have two in my short time with the league – helping my team get to the championship game, and being named my team’s and the league’s MVP, were very rewarding for me. Regardless of how many not-so-great moments that you have over the years on the volleyball court, you always remember how you felt in those great moments, and I want more!
Why is MAAVA so important to you?
MAAVA is so important to me as it provides a place for gay, lesbian and straight men and women to play a sport that we all love in an environment that is respectful and nurturing. MAAVA is all about its members. MAAVA also incorporates all skill levels in our league. Each team has an equal level of play from beginners to advanced players which further allows for team building and skill development. Not many places or leagues do this – most leagues separate players into like skill sets not allowing for much development for new or beginner players to play with more advanced skill-set players. MAAVA has allowed me to meet some of the greatest people in my life who have now become my family.
Meet the other board members: