ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER, OPERATIONS
Alyssa Bennett was named Associate Commissioner, Operations for the WCHA in September 2014. In this position, she manages the conference budget, accounting and payroll, vendor contracts, conference office operations and serves as the tournament director for the men's WCHA Final Five and the women's WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF.
Bennett came to the WCHA with a background in business consulting for a global consulting firm in Minneapolis. She has experience working with corporate, non-profit and sports organizations navigating organizational change and helping clients reach business objectives through external and internal communications and marketing tactics.
Born and raised in The State of Hockey, Bennett received a bachelor's degree in strategic communications and a minor in anthropology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Bennett currently resides in Blaine, Minn.
ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER, PUBLIC RELATIONS
A seasoned communications professional, Matt Hodson enters his second season as the WCHA's Associate Commissioner, Public Relations. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the Association's external and internal communications, branding and marketing strategies.
Prior to joining the WCHA, Hodson accumulated a wealth of experience with a Major League Baseball franchise, a Directors' Cup-winning Division I athletic department, a tier I public research university and a nationally renowned public relations firm.
Hodson was with the San Francisco Giants media relations staff from 2001-08, playing a key role in the club's communications surrounding Barry Bonds' home run record chases in 2001 and 2007, along with media relations support for jewel events such as the 2002 World Series, the 2003 National League Division Series and the 2007 All-Star Game. His time in collegiate athletics includes a stint as Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director at Stanford University, where Hodson worked with Cardinal football along with the school's nationally-ranked baseball and women's swimming and diving teams.
Hodson also served in the central communications office at the University of Minnesota, providing strategic counsel and public relations support for the Office of the President, the Board of Regents and other administrative units. Most recently, he developed communications initiatives for a range of clients at Spong, a Minneapolis-based public relations agency.
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Matt graduated from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in communications. Matt and his wife, Betsey, reside in Minneapolis with their two children.
SUPERVISOR OF OFFICIALS
One of the most experienced and respected ice hockey officials and supervisors in college hockey, Greg Shepherd enters his 37th season with the WCHA – and 23rd as Supervisor of Officials – in 2015-16. The longest-tenured officials' supervisor in college hockey, Shepherd began in the role with the men's WCHA in 1992 and has served in that capacity since the inception of the women's WCHA in 1999.
Known for being an excellent instructor who stresses the importance of proper and open communication with players and coaches, Shepherd is responsible for identifying, training, developing and sustaining the WCHA's officiating staff. Under his tutelage, several men's and women's officials have received prominent postseason assignments – including his sons Derek and Brad, each of whom have worked NCAA Frozen Fours.
Shepherd's commitment to hockey has spanned more than 40 years and five decades on and off the ice. After beginning as a youth hockey official, he worked his way up to the collegiate level and debuted with the WCHA in 1978. Shepherd spent 14 years as an on-ice official with the league, working in 10 NCAA Men's Frozen Fours during that time.
A veteran, Shepherd served in the United States Navy from 1967-69. He also worked for Northern States Power Company for 35 years, while serving his community on the West Saint Paul City Council for four years.
Shepherd and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 44 years. Greg and Nancy are parents to three children (Derek, Tiffany and Brad) and are proud grandparents to Austyn, Madison, Cameron, Lauren, Gabby, Anthony, Joe and Ryan.
Samantha Stevenson enters her first season as WCHA Coordinator. In her role, she will assist in the league's overall public relations and operations efforts, while supporting the Commissioner and Associate Commissioners in a variety of daily and administrative tasks.
Prior to being hired by the WCHA, Stevenson served as an apprentice for the league, worked for the Minnesota State High School League, and a Division 1 collegiate hockey facility.
Stevenson has worked with the Minnesota High School League during the State Hockey Tournaments each of the past five years, serving as Assistant Game Manager and coordinating teams, coaches, players, bands, cheerleaders and media throughout the tournament. In 2012, she served an internship with The Hockey Academy at the Ralph Engelstad Arena on the University of North Dakota campus.
Stevenson graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor's degree in management and a minor in sports Management. Stevenson currently resides in Apple Valley, Minn.