About Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education
The mission of Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education is to create opportunity for under-resourced youth of the Greater Philadelphia Region to prosper in life.
Meet our founder
Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education (Snider) was created by the late Philadelphia Flyers Chairman, Ed Snider, in 2005 as his personal commitment to teach children important life lessons and empower them to build health, happy, productive lives.
Chairman, Comcast-Spectacor and Founder, Philadelphia Flyers Ed Snider was an icon – an entrepreneur, a passionate philanthropist, a risk-taker for the greater good, and a true visionary in the sports and entertainment industry.
Driven to succeed from an early age, Ed Snider would bring a new team and a new industry into existence, rooting them into the fabric of the city he quickly fell in love with; one that adopted him as its own.His entrepreneurial drive started early. He first worked at his father’s grocery store and later, during his college years at the University of Maryland, created a business with his fraternity brothers to sell Christmas trees. After graduating from college as a certified public accountant, he quickly realized he wanted to run a business more than anything. He and a partner started a wholesale record distributor, Edge Ltd., in 1955. Three years later, he co-founded the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) which is now known as the Music Business Association.
Ed Snider’s emergence as a leader in the Philadelphia sports market started in 1964 as vice president with the Philadelphia Eagles. Two years later, he transformed sports in the city when he mortgaged his home to establish a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise as the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were quick to succeed and became the first expansion team to capture the coveted Stanley Cup when they won it in 1974 and again in 1975. The Flyers went on to become the only National Hockey League team to defeat the powerful Soviet Union national team when it toured North America in 1976. Ed Snider became the driving force behind the Spectrum, Philadelphia’s iconic arena and home to the Flyers and National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers when, once again, he used his own financing to buy it out of bankruptcy in 1972.
In 1973, leveraging his knowledge of the sports and entertainment worlds, he created Spectacor as the management company to oversee the Flyers and the Spectrum. This move helped launch an entire industry – private management of sports and entertainment facilities. In 1976, Ed Snider’s vision turned to broadcasting. He created PRISM – the first 24-hour regional cable network in the nation to combine sports and movies. Over the next 20 years, Spectacor experienced significant growth, earning national acclaim for its impact in the sports and entertainment industry. Under Ed Snider’s guidance, Spectacor developed and acquired nearly a dozen related lines of business including WIP-AM, which later became one of the first all sports radio stations. Spectacor was renamed Comcast Spectacor after Comcast Corporation acquired the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996 and then merged with Spectacor. The company has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most successful companies in the industry and as an unparalleled innovator. Until his death, Ed Snider served as chairman of Comcast Spectacor.
In the early 1990s, Ed Snider had yet another vision for the city he loved: to create a state-of-the-art arena for the Flyers and the 76ers. He worked with city government and the business community to privately finance and build what is today called the Wells Fargo Center, which opened in 1996. It has since become a must play destination for the best people in the sports and entertainment industry to showcase their talent. Today, Comcast Spectacor has three businesses: the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and Spectra, the company’s hosting and entertainment division. The Flyers are second in National Hockey League history behind the Montreal Canadiens in all-time points percentage.
The Wells Fargo Center is a perennial Top Five arena in North America and Spectra currently manages venues, food services and ticketing for over 300 clients at more than 400 global properties. All of this is a tribute to the man who conceived and steered the growth of the enterprise.
One of Ed Snider’s proudest accomplishments was the creation of Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education in 2005. It provides underserved children from urban neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ, with the opportunity to learn to play the game of ice hockey and as a means to succeed in the game of life. The Foundation partnered with the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2010 to complete a $14.5 million construction project, completely refurbishing four public rinks in the city for year-round use. This project included new classrooms, learning labs, and public meeting space, as well as upgrading these rinks to NHL standards. Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education now funds and administers programming for more than 3,000 boys and girls at nine inner-city sites. Ed Snider matched every $1 contributed by donors with $2 of his own money.
In addition to the legacy of Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education, Ed Snider also created Flyers Charities. The Flyers Wives Carnival, its signature event, is a highly attended annual event hosted by the wives that has raised more than $28 million since its inception in 1977. These charities have impacted millions of people in the region and touched the hearts of millions of fans. The Snider Foundation, Ed Snider’s private family foundation, has been a significant contributor to numerous nonprofit organizations that share and promote the values of limited government, individual and economic liberty, free markets and private enterprise, Jewish culture and survival, fighting anti-Semitism and enriching local communities.
Ed Snider’s business success and philanthropy has been widely recognized. In addition to serving on the NHL’s Executive Committee, he was a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States (1980). He also is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (1985), the Hockey Hall of Fame (1988), the Flyers Hall of Fame (1989), the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1997), the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame (2005), the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2007), and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (2011). In 1999, the Philadelphia Daily News named Ed Snider the Greatest Mover and Shaker of the Millennium. Later, in 2012, the SportsBusiness Journal acknowledged him with The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business award and he was also ranked 43rd on the 50 Most Influential People in their Sports Business list.
He received the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s William Penn Award (2005); the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2005) awarded to Americans of all ethnic backgrounds who have made significant contributions to society; the Philadelphia Business Journal Philanthropist of the Year (2015); and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Global Sports Summit (2015).
Ed Snider was a proud graduate and generous benefactor of the University of Maryland. He received the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Maryland in 2012. He and The Snider Foundation established the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at his alma mater in 2014.
He received honorary degrees from Hahnemann University (1985) and Thomas Jefferson University (1999). He was also a benefactor of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; a member of the board of directors of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and a founder and dedicated contributor to the Ayn Rand Institute.
At the time of his death, Ed Snider resided with his wife, Lin, in suburban Philadelphia, and Montecito, CA. At the center of his life’s work were his children — daughters Lindy, Tina, and Sarena, and sons Craig, Jay, and Samuel, as well as his 15 grandchildren. He was also survived by his sister, Phyllis Foreman, and former spouses Martha (McGeary) and Christine (Decroix).
Snider Board of Directors
Meet the Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education Team
Learn more about our dedicated and dynamic full-time staff
SCOTT THARPPRESIDENT/CEOView Full Bio
It means the world to me, when I think of the thousands of young people that have come through our program who have learned the importance of staying in school, staying out of trouble with the law, and growing up to become productive citizens.
Scott Tharp was named President/CEO of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education in May 2007. He formerly served as the Executive Director of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, which for many years has been a national model for youth enrichment programming. With a similar mission to Snider, this organization is known for providing quality tennis and educational programming to thousands of children, many coming from underserved inner-city communities. Scott is devoted to public service and has long believed that sport can be a powerful force in youth development – when coupled with the delivery of life skills and academic programming, the return in social capital is immeasurable.
Scott attended Old Dominion University and the College of William & Mary where he majored in Communication. He obtained a graduate certificate in Public Administration at Wilmington University. Scott is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard. He currently serves as an officer on the Board of Directors of the Goals & Assists Foundation, a 501 c 3 non-profit devoted to providing post-secondary scholarships to deserving Snider students. He also is a Trustee of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education Support Organization and the Chairman of the PTR Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Professional Tennis Registry. Scott has served as an advisor for the Sports Management programs at Queens University and Methodist University, and on the Board of Directors for USTA/Middle States. He was inducted into the Unites States Tennis Association/Middle States Hall of Fame in 2015 and was the 2007 recipient of Thomas Jacoby Service Award from the Philadelphia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Scott can be reached at [email protected].
JAN KOZIARAEXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENTView Full Bio
JAN KOZIARAEXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Jan Koziara joined Snider in January of 2007 and has served as the organization’s Executive Vice President since 2017. He leads the Snider Program Team, a group of 180 people dedicated to the mission of providing opportunities for students to prosper in life.
Jan grew up playing hockey in the streets and rinks of Philadelphia. He was fortunate to be coached by several of the 1970s era Philadelphia Flyers from whom he learned tenacity, teamwork, and how to come out of the corner with the puck. He went on to play, and then coach, Division III College Ice Hockey at Tufts University. While at Tufts, he earned a B.A in Economics with a certificate in Community Health, and an M.A. in Economics with a focus on Finance and Game Theory. Prior to joining Snider, Jan worked as a management consultant in Boston and New York, advising clients in the power and gas industries on price forecasting, asset valuation, and change management.
In 2010, Jan was certified as a USA Hockey Master Coach (Level 5) after writing a thesis that investigated ways Snider could implement USA Hockey’s Athletic Development Model. Jan is also a graduate of the United Way’s Emerging Leaders Program. He lives with his family in West Philadelphia and can be reached at [email protected].
KATY HSIEHVICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENTView Full Bio
KATY HSIEHVICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT
Similar to many students in our program, it was the robust athletic offerings that drew me in to Snider — but our mission’s emphasis on academics and life skills that kept me here. Our student-athletes’ successes are both inspiring and motivating and I feel very fortunate to play a small role in their journeys.
Katy Hsieh joined Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education in 2015 and serves as Vice President of Development. An advocate for youth development through sport and education, Katy is responsible for overseeing all fundraising and development functions of Snider including donor engagement, grant and corporate partner management, and planning and directing major fundraising and programmatic events.
She also facilitates scholarship funding and tax credit programs for the organization.
Prior to arriving at Snider, Katy worked at Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and the National MS Society. She earned a Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication from Duquesne University.
In her free time, Katy has held U14 girls lacrosse and K-5 soccer coaching positions. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband and daughter. Katy can be reached at [email protected].
CHRIS NEWTONDIRECTOR, EVALUATION & PROGRAM SUPPORTView Full Bio
CHRIS NEWTONDIRECTOR, EVALUATION & PROGRAM SUPPORT
Chris Newton joined Snider in 2007 and currently serves as Director of Evaluation & Program Support. In this role, Chris oversees several functional areas such as data and metrics, program evaluation, human resources, community outreach, community resources, and content engagement. He is also involved with planning special events.
Prior to arriving at Snider, Chris completed his graduate studies at the University of Louisville, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance and a Certificate in Human Resource Management from Saint Mary’s University. In 2010, Chris attained the Level 4-Advanced Level Coaching certificate from USA Hockey and continues to coach with Snider.
Chris is a native of Cole Harbour, NS, Canada and enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and playing golf when he is away from the rink and office. He currently resides in South Jersey with his wife and two sons. Chris can be reached at [email protected].
DAN RUDDDIRECTOR, HOCKEY PROGRAMSView Full Bio
DAN RUDDDIRECTOR, HOCKEY PROGRAMS
Dan Rudd joined Snider in 2006 and currently serves as Director of Hockey Programs. In this role, he manages the various hockey programs Snider offers at multiple rinks around the Philadelphia region. These include the Learn to Skate, Learn to Play, Snider Hockey League (SHL), Travel Hockey, and Summer Camp programs among others. Additionally, Dan is also involved with special events related to growing the game and oversees the Snider coaching staff across all rinks.
Prior to joining Snider, Dan attended DeSales University where he played four years on the school’s hockey team and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. He has completed multiple USA Hockey certifications including the Level 5 Master Coaching Certification in 2013 and the Hockey Director Certification course in 2015.
Dan is a native of Cinnaminson, NJ and when not at the rink he enjoys attending concerts, traveling and exploring the Philadelphia culinary scene. He lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and various pets. Dan can be reached at [email protected].
SAM NAPIERKOWSKISENIOR MANAGER, EDUCATION PROGRAMSView Full Bio
SAM NAPIERKOWSKISENIOR MANAGER, EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Sam Napierkowski joined Snider in 2013 as an intern and currently serves as Senior Manager of Education Programs. In her role, she oversees all educational initiatives ranging from literacy efforts with our youngest students, to academic intervention for those struggling in the classroom, to celebrations of academic achievement, to supports for secondary and postsecondary planning, to scholarships for high school, college, and trade school.
Prior to arriving at Snider, Sam graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor’s in Urban Studies. Since she was a teenager, Sam has been passionate about working to improve educational opportunities for all Philadelphia students.
Sam is a native of Philadelphia, PA and enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her dog in her spare time. Sam can be reached at [email protected].
GIL SCHAFFERSENIOR MANAGER, LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMSView Full Bio
GIL SCHAFFERSENIOR MANAGER, LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS
Gil Schaffer joined Snider in 2011 and currently serves as Senior Manager of Life Skills Programs, where he is responsible for leading our Life Skills Programs team.
Prior to arriving at Snider, Gil graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies. At Rutgers, Gil was named team captain following his sophomore season and led the team to its first two ACHA – Division 1 National Championships appearances. Gil is a USA Hockey Level 5 Master certified coach and was named the 2019 USA Hockey Atlantic District Youth Coach of the Year.
Gil is a native of Hamilton, NJ and enjoys making homemade pizza, trips to the beach and quality time with his wife Alyse and son Carter in his spare time. Gil can be reached at [email protected].
BRIDGETT WILKERSONMANAGER, COMMUNITY OUTREACHView Full Bio
BRIDGETT WILKERSONMANAGER, COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Bridgett Wilkerson joined Snider in 2021 and currently serves as Community Outreach Manager. Bridgett’s primary focus is to recruit new students into the After School Excellence Program, along with building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders in the communities where Snider rinks are located.
Prior to arriving at Snider, Bridgett spent numerous years working in the Philadelphia public and charter schools as a Teacher, Case Manager, Learning Support Specialist, and Project Manager. Bridgett is a graduate of the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English.
Bridgett is a native of Philadelphia and enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and visiting new restaurants in her spare time. Bridgett can be reached at [email protected].
Your Support Goes Further
Thanks to the foresight of our late founder, Ed Snider, every dollar donated to the Snider organization is matched 2:1 – thereby, tripling your impact on our students.