Board of Trustees - 2018

Published: 17 February 2018
Written by IQA Staff

On January 13th, 2018, the National Governing Bodies’ representatives elected the new Board of Trustees. 

The Board of Trustees are responsible for managing the risk of the International Quidditch Association (IQA) and for ensuring it is protected legally, financially, and otherwise. They represent the interests of the National Governing Bodies in day-to-day management. They also bring substantial business, policy, and legal expertise to the International Quidditch Association at an administrative level.

New Trustees

Maggie Burlington


Photo credit: Maggie Burlington

Born and raised in western Canada, Maggie is eager to join the International Quidditch Association and develop a greater understanding for this growing sport. She has just finished her Juris Doctor from Queen’s University Belfast, and also holds a honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Celtic studies from the University of Toronto. Maggie has played water polo for upwards of 15 years, and hopes to transfer that experience to the IQA. Currently, she is working toward qualifying as a lawyer in Alberta with hopes of working in criminal law or family law. Maggie is very excited to be a part of the IQA and looks forward to helping grow the sport and community over the next two years.


Christina Verdirame

Photo credit: Lisa Parry

Christina is delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees. She has a background in international law and sporting internationally. Originally from Chicago, she has lived, studied and worked in Scotland and Northern Ireland for the past several years. Wherever she has lived, she has also played volleyball. She is excited to continue to learn about quidditch and bring her experience working with different sports and international organisations to the IQA.


Re-elected Trustee

Nicholas Oughtibridge


Photo credit: Nicholas Oughtibridge

Nicholas joined the IQA as one of the three founder trustees in 2016. His interest in quidditch started at the turn of the millennium when he organised Harry Potter themed holidays for his cub pack featuring a competitive indoor quidditch tournament. Although this predated IQA quidditch by some years, it brought out the value of mixed gender contact sport drawing on the three themes of the quaffle, bludger and snitch games. Although he has never picked up a broom to play quidditch, he is a frequent spectator at national and international games. 

In his professional life Nicholas is a public servant setting the standards that enable the health records to be shared in the National Health Service to deliver safe, effective care in England. He led the development of a number of international (ISO) standards and chairs the UK Health Informatics Committee along with committees for three government departments. He has served on the boards of local and international not-for-profit organisations. 


Current Trustees

Alex Benepe


Photo credit: Isabella Gong

Alex and his friend Xander Manshel invented and played the first game of quidditch in 2005 at Middlebury College, and he has led the sport from a dozen students playing at one small college to thousands of players, hundreds of teams, and dozens of leagues and championship events globally. Alex founded the first IQA in 2010, which is now US Quidditch, inc., and helped start the new IQA in 2014. After working full-time for US Quidditch for three years, he left to join Sky Zone in 2015, a global active entertainment center with over 200 locations around the world, to run the Ultimate Dodgeball Championship, which he developed into a premier event on ESPN and Snapchat with over 200 million media impressions annually. He now serves as Sky Zone’s Senior Director of Innovation at their headquarters in Los Angeles, where he is tasked with developing and rolling out new events and attractions for the brand. Alex is currently an executive board member of USA Dodgeball, advisory board member of Bubbleball Association, and honorary board member of US Quidditch.

You can see Alex’s TED talk on real-life quidditch here.  


Nicole Hammer 


Photo credit: Nicole Hammer 

Nicole has been involved in quidditch since 2011, holding a variety of leadership roles that she lovingly coined to herself as "having more titles than the organization has NGBs". She is currently a Masters of Education student and pursuing a PhD in E-Learning and Curriculum Development in August 2018. She holds a certificate in Sports Industry from Columbia University as well as a Bachelors in Social Work. Nicole works professionally as an Accreditation Coordinator in Lake Mary, FL where she compiles and submits documents to government agencies and regulatory agencies to maintain school licenses and Title IV eligibility. 

She hopes to help bring a great World Cup to the quidditch community and continue voicing for the sport's development. 

Additionally, she hopes to contribute towards a more transparent and progressive organization.


Andy Marmer


Photo credit: Andy Marmer

Andy Marmer is a corporate lawyer in New York and a trustee for the IQA. He first started volunteering in quidditch in 2013 in the editorial department of the organization that is now USQ. He went on to found the Quidditch Post and ran that organization for approximately three years. His goal is to help the IQA continue to move towards increased legitimacy and to help the establish the processes and procedures needed to move quidditch forward.


Luke Nickholds

Photo credit: Bronwyn Jeynes

Since his first quidditch match in 2010 Luke has been hooked. A couple of years later he helped to found the Monash Muggles Quidditch Team which has trained many players who went on to national and international success. He has also been previously heavily involved in quidditch administration through the Victorian Quidditch Association, Quidditch Australia and Quidditch New Zealand.

Outside of quidditch Luke has been part of various community groups, including governance roles such as on the board of the Monash Student Association. He currently lives at the southern end of New Zealand where he works as a Technology Teacher, putting his programming and baking skills to the test.

In 2018 he looks forward to the IQA continuing to strengthen as it moves towards a more formal structure, as well as cheering on Team Australia (and hopefully Team New Zealand) at the World Cup in Florence.