President and Commissioner
Just the league’s third Commissioner in 20+ years, Fallen enters his third full season at the head of the USHL in 2016-17. Prior to his arrival at the USHL, Fallen managed the U.S. trade marketing efforts for Reebok-CCM Hockey – the world’s largest hockey equipment manufacturing company and equipment supplier to many leagues including the NHL, AHL, and USHL. His career has included several sports business related endeavors including league, retail and venue marketing; sales, magazine publishing, corporate sponsorship and event management.
Fallen has been heavily involved in hockey at the amateur level. He served for several years on the USA Hockey Marketing Council, supporting various initiatives in marketing, sponsorship, media, and membership development. His professional experience includes significant roles USA Hockey Magazine along with developing the partnership development efforts for Minnesota Hockey and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award – college hockey’s top individual honor. He is also a board member for the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, a Minnesota-based league for top high school hockey talent, leading the effort that significantly increased the Elite League’s sponsorship and media efforts. In a personal role, he is the Director of Skaters Keep Achieving Thru Education (S.K.A.T.E.), a non-profit organization devoted to promoting academic achievement among youth hockey players.
Born in Chicago and raised in nearby Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Fallen began his professional career in the area after graduating from Northern Illinois University. Early career opportunities encompassed roles for a number of sports management and promotion companies, including International Management Group, Kemper Sports, and Sport F/X, an agency he founded which had a client roster that included the National Hockey League, USA Hockey, and United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Fallen and his wife, Kathy, have two children, a daughter Kelley (27) and son Thomas (25). Kelley played NCAA hockey at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and was a four-year letter winner, including serving as a captain during her senior season in 2011. Thomas spent two seasons playing in the USHL for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2009-11) and helped the team capture the regular season Anderson Cup title in 2010-11. He played collegiately at Yale University (2011-15) serving as the captain of the Bulldogs for 2014-15. He was part of the school’s first-ever NCAA Ice Hockey Championship in 2013 and is among the school’s all-time scoring leaders for defensemen.
Vice President of Business Operations
Joe Macdonell joined the USHL office in July 2010. His experience in the sports industry spans over 25 years, and covers the full array of team management functions including ticket sales, operations, and financial management. Previously he had served as the Vice President of Business Operations for the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Homer Glen, Illinois native began his career in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets. He was a key member of the club's management team in the early 1990's when ticket sales surged under legendary NBA executive Jon Spoelstra. As Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Nets, Macdonell was one of the youngest vice presidents in the NBA. He also served as part of the senior management team that turned around the MLS's New York/New Jersey MetroStars, now known as the Red Bulls.
Macdonell earned an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 while also holding a bachelor's degree in accounting from Seton Hall University.
Director of Player Development & Recruitment
Doug Christiansen joined the USHL in September 2014 to manage the League’s player recruitment efforts with communications targeted at players, parents, and family advisors – the latter of which are playing an increasing role in evaluating opportunities for players. He will also be charged with developing a strategy for expanding the League’s player development events, such as the USHL Player Combines.
He joins the USHL after spending the last seven years as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for three teams in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the top professional league in the United Kingdom. He was twice named EIHL Coach of the Year, once each with the Belfast Giants (2011-12) and Edinburgh Capitals (2009-10). In addition to coaching in league play, Christiansen coached on the international stage, serving as the Head Coach of the Great Britain National Team in 2013 where he was responsible for team selection, development strategy, and game management. Great Britain attained their highest world ranking since 1989 when they climbed to #20 in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rankings.
Prior to embarking on his coaching and management career, Christiansen played professionally in the AHL, ECHL, UHL, and Serie A (Italy) from 2002-07. He played NCAA Division I hockey at Union College and was a four-year letter winner at Union College (1998-2002). He was collegiate teammates for three seasons at Union with Jay Varady, Head Coach of the Sioux City Musketeers.
It is a return to the USHL for Christiansen after he played two seasons in the League with the Green Bay Gamblers (1996-98). He helped the team capture the Anderson Cup during the 1996-97 regular season under head coach Don Granato. The Gamblers also went on to win USA Hockey’s National Championship that spring.
Christiansen is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He and his wife Meghan currently reside in Elm Grove, Wisconsin where he will be based for his USHL activities.
Director of Communications
Aaron Westendorf joined the USHL in September 2014 as a Digital Media Manager to oversee daily digital communication and marketing efforts. He also assisted with daily communication and public relations efforts with outreach to both regional and national media outlets, in addition to overseeing the content of USHL.com. In addition to league communications and marketing efforts, Westendorf has been a major contributor in the recruitment effort of future USHL players.
Prior to the 2016-17 season, Westendorf was promoted to the Director of Communications after two successful seasons in which the USHL experienced record growth in media mentions, social media and a successful rebrand of the USHL logo and USHL Web Network that now includes USHL member clubs.
Prior to his time with the USHL, Westendorf spent two years in Texas with the American Hockey League's Texas Stars. While there he specialized in digital analytics, digital community management and communications. He was also tasked with managing community events. Westendorf was the Marketing Associate for the Stars during their Calder Cup Championship.
The native of Cincinnati, OH earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism (Athens, OH) where he worked for the school's club hockey team. Westendorf currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Director of Hockey Operations
Rand joined the USHL in August, 2016 as the Director of Hockey Operations. Rand is responsible for league operations including dissemination of rules and regulations related to roster management, affiliate and injured reserve lists, player safety, transactions, and international transfers. The league’s Hockey Operations department has oversight responsibilities over events, licensing and management of league relationships with vendors that provide services for statistics, player databases, online streaming and player equipment.
Rand comes to the nation’s premier junior league after spending eight seasons with the National Hockey League in a variety of roles. For the past five seasons, Rand served in the NHL’s Department of Player Safety where he was involved in the monitoring of player conduct during league games and preparing presentations for GMs, the NHL Board of Governors and Competition Committee. He was also involved in managing the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend’s Skills Competition.
In an earlier role with the NHL, Rand served as the Coordinator of Direct & Digital Marketing where he was involved in the marketing of Game Center Live, the league’s online game streaming service.
Originally from Roslyn, NY, Rand graduated from New York University with a degree in Sports Management.
Kevin Meyers joined the USHL in September 2015 as a Media Intern. He was then named a Communications Assistant in March 2016. In those roles, he was reponsible for writing articles for USHL.com as well as completing a variety of research and statistical projects. Meyers has been instrumental in the recovery of USHL historical information including boxscores, records and player information dating back to the USHL-MJHL merger in 1979.
Meyers also worked the 2016 Clark Cup Playoffs and was on-air talent for USHLTV throughout the entirety of playoffs, as well the 2016 USHL Draft and USHL Combines. During the 2016-17 season, he also began producing and hosting The U-Show, a weekly podcast that features League headlines, interviews and previews.
In December 2016, Meyers was promoted to Communications Coordinator. He is responsible for creating content for the League’s social media platforms, writing and publishing content for USHL.com, hosting The U-Show podcast and USHLTV, as well as supporting the Director of Communications at League events such as the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Clark Cup Playoffs, Fall Classic, USHL Draft and NHL Draft.
A 2014 graduate of Bowling Green State University, Meyers’ previous experience includes various roles in hockey broadcasting. He served as a play-by-play broadcaster and color analyst for Bowling Green during his time at the school. He has also spent time as a fill-in broadcaster for Boston College hockey as well as the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Prior to joining the USHL staff in 2015, Meyers worked for STATS, LLC. and the Chicago Sky (WNBA).
Meyers is a native of Roselle, Illinois and graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Sport Management.
As manager of USA Hockey’s junior officiating development program, Scott Zelkin guides all aspects of the USHL’s officiating program, including assignment and evaluation as well as recruitment and retention.
Zelkin has an extensive on-ice background that made him one of the most highly-accomplished officials in the United States. After three seasons as a referee in the USHL and graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in Finance, the Chicago native went on to an officiating career in higher levels of hockey, culminating as a referee in the NHL. In addition to working in the NHL, he has over 1,000 games to his credit in the AHL and IHL, as well as having officiated in multiple IIHF World Championships and the 1990 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
Zelkin also spent numerous years working as an instructor in USA Hockey’s Officiating Development Program helping to train some of the best young officials in the United States. His contributions to hockey earned him an induction to the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.
Away from the rink, Zelkin is a competitive triathlete that has completed multiple IRONMAN races. He qualified for and raced in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
Scott currently resides in suburban Chicago with his wife and two sons.