WHAT WE DO
Since it’s inception, The Zone Sports helps youth become not only better athletes, but better citizens. Due to The Zone’s unique access to collegiate and professional level training, athletes have the ability to learn from high-level professionals ranging from individual skill development to various life courses ranging from business to nutrition.
MEET OUR TEAM
Ivan Tchatchouwo | Founder and CEO
• Division II collegiate basketball player & 2X Captain at Concordia College-‐New York
• Helped lead Concordia to it’s first conference tournament in the CACC
• Currently enrolled at Columbia University to attain Masters Degree in Physiology & Biomechanics
• Prior to starting The Zone, Ivan coached at Iona Prep High School & served as a Sports Performance Director at Prime Performance & Development in Larchmont, NY.
• Started The Zone to make an impact within the community and influence future generations to be well versed in a variety of subjects ranging from athletics to business.
Coach Jahrod Lide
Coach Lide attended All Hallows High School where he played for four years. Coach Lide then went on to study & earn his Bachelors in Behavioral Science while playing basketball for four years at Concordia College.
What may have seemed like an easy journey, was anything but. At All Hallows High School, Coach Lide quickly realized that he was in the middle of an academically competitive school where politics dominated the game. He continuously took the back seat and watched players who were ‘more connected’ play. He gained a different perspective as the team lost more games than they won. It taught him to stay hungry, stay coach-able, stay competitive, and do well academically. This allowed him to connect with players on & off the court. His efforts didn’t go un-noticed as Coach Lide managed to win the ‘Hardest Worker’ award four years straight.
At Concordia College, with no scholarship, and no help, Coach Lide managed to make the team as a ‘walk on’. In the midst of another politically challenging atmosphere, he gained perspective that those around him who constantly looking for approval, failed to gain. Coach Lide found himself in the midst of the top players in the Tri-State area, and instead of throwing in the towel, he let it fuel him. He became a quick study, and even hungrier to succeed. Thus, he gained a perspective of the game not many attain.
Not getting what he wanted from the game, led him to his calling; coaching. He found that passing on this knowledge & perspective to others, to be rewarding and something he was missing. He could help prepare athletes to face adversity, while teaching them how to play the game.
During the summers Coach Lide helps run the MakeAPlay Organization while running the Chelsea Piers Basketball Camp. Coach Lide works with inner-city kids, and kids from all backgrounds who all love basketball. His experience combined a Degree in Behavioral Science has given Coach Lide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand, communicate, and instruct each athlete, and allows him to see athlete’s attitude toward the game and others, to help them succeed.
Coach Cedrick McFadden
Erik Poldroo | COO
• Current Vice President of Sales at Paulson Investment Company
• Member of Junior Board of Directors for the Felix Organization
• Former professional baseball player
• Division II collegiate baseball player & 2X Captain at Concordia College-‐ New York
• Four-year starting outfielder at Concordia
• Has worked closely with athletes in endorsement & marketing appearances within MLB, NFL, & NBA
• Currently holds Series 7 & Series 66 Financial Securities licenses
Carly Mertens | Team’s Executive Manager
• Holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Concordia College
• Recently received her Masters in Business Leadership from Concordia College
• Former Division II collegiate softball and cross-‐country athlete at Concordia College-‐ NY
• Currently coaches softball at Concordia College while advising the Student Athlete Advisory Committee within the college
Lexis Valentine | Project Manager
• Former Division I Women’s Basketball athlete at Wagner College
• Has worked with brands such as Nike and Jordan, assisting with event production
• Has worked within event presentation for the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, and Jet
• Also curated independent events for NBA/WNBA Players
Brittney Briggs | Lead Creative Director
• New Jersey Native; Film Director & Editor at Common Courtesy Collective
• Leads and develops new media content including developing brands, creative direction, and media design
• Contracted by brands such as Cinematic Music Group (Cinematic TV), Victory Productions, and Rep Showroom
• Helps brands/companies develop a strong media presence and story
Michael Dwyer | Lead Content Creator
• Freelance Videographer, Photographer, and Screenwriter
• Helps create content and consulting in media strategies for companies
• Has created content for companies such as: Prime Development and Performance, The Cama Group, and Burton Fit
Nafisa Hussein | Head of Public Relations
• Unable to participate in sports due to heart disease, Hussein took advantage of being on the sideline by developing her ‘Bigger Than a Game’ (shared by The Zone)
• Created to assist in media and public relations, with a passion for community relations
• Nafisa joined The Zone with the goal of inspiring others through sports, mainly by writing our feature blog stories