Peter Wacht, CAE, has coached (D license) for Vienna Youth Soccer for the past 10 years.
Starting with his son and daughter’s house teams, Peter now serves as coach for the rising U17B Eagles Black travel squad and as a parent coach for the rising U13G Fury travel academy.
Peter has worked closely with several members of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic Development Program staff to institutionalize the latest training techniques within the noted age groups. During the spring and fall seasons, Peter is often on a soccer field seven days a week, teaching the techniques and skills for becoming a better soccer player, and helping those players understand the value of working together to the benefit of the team.
Peter has an extensive background on leading volunteer nonprofit organizations. He is the Executive Director of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), having served in that role since December 2008. He also serves as coordinator to the National Guardianship Network, a coalition of 10 national organizations focused on establishing and implementing guardianship and conservatorship standards, and on the Executive Committee of the Synergy Summit, a coalition of nine national organizations that helps bring quality estate, financial, and charitable planning information and services to the public through multidisciplinary partnerships and projects. Having earned the Certified Association Executive designation, Peter continues to participate in various roles for the American Society of Association Executives and is a strong advocate on the use of best practices in the association
As a player and a coach, soccer is more than a game. It’s a way to teach our children valuable life lessons. I believe in ensuring that VYS is appropriately positioned to support its players and their families as the players learn not only how to become better at soccer, but also to be better members of the Vienna community. I have 20 years of experience successfully managing and leading volunteer organizations like VYS. I enjoy helping organizations achieve their strategic objectives with the effective collaboration of diverse stakeholders, including volunteers, staff, trainers, coaches, parents, and kids. Vienna offers a distinct community-based soccer culture. To improve upon that culture, I believe that we need to focus on:
- Professionalism. VYS strengthened its training and operations with the hiring of Technical Director Rich Gunney and his staff and Executive Director Catherine Keightley. The emphasis now needs to be on ensuring that the technical and professional staff have the resources they need to be successful in working with and supporting VYS’s committed volunteers.
- Governance. As a volunteer-driven organization, VYS needs to modernize its governance structure with the adoption of association best practices, such as Board term limits. Moreover, the transition from an operational to strategic Board needs to continue.
- Revenue. To properly invest in programs that benefit all our players, and to increase the number of quality fields available, additional revenue streams need to be pursued, which means an emphasis on sponsorships and partnerships.
- Value. When the VYS Board makes a decision, it must always be with the key consideration of helping our children become better players and better members of the Vienna community.
- Development. Every player, whether house, travel or TOPS, must be given the opportunity to improve their skills so that they have the opportunity to progress as a soccer player, learn the value of commitment and hard work, and enjoy their experience with VYS.