Board of Directors

2018 - 2019 Elected Officers

Rick Elias


Rick Elias has been an AZDBA member for over 10 years.  He has served on the AZDBA Board of Directors for 3 terms and is considered one of the most senior AZDBA Steerspersons at the lake.  Rick is most known for holding Steering Clinics for new steers people and he currently steers for multiple AZDBA teams.

John Glitsos


John Glitsos is a Senior-level professional experienced as a CEO, a VP of Worldwide Marketing, a Division President and General Manager for both public and private companies.  He has worked with startups to a $7 Billion Fortune 500 company.  John is an experienced AZDBA Steersperson for multiple crews and volunteers his time at Liberty Wildlife caring for, and rehabilitating injured/rescued wildlife.

Laura Rasmussen


Laura Rasmussen has been a dragon boat paddler for five years, and was introduced to the sport through a breast cancer support group.  She paddles with Phoenix Desert Dragons and also with the Arizona Dragon Riders.   Laura is a professional bookkeeper, and does paid consultancy for two non-profit entities, but she also donates her time to other non profit organizations.  In addition to these clients, she also works with over half a dozen other non-profit organizations doing financial verification of expenses for their events.  Laura loves to volunteer her time to good causes, and has been involved in various capacities with a number of other organizations, from Susan G Koman to Ironman, to the Girl Scouts.

Michele Laye


Michele Laye has been a member of the Arizona Dragon Riders for about 3 years, assisting with their administration and team planning.  She has also been a big part of the AZDBA Festival for the past 2 years serving to coordinate the Corporate teams, which involves registration, communications, scheduling practices, and right through coaching and steering for them – at practices and during race weekend.  She is currently the head coach for AZDBA’s Team Blue, the team of disabled veterans that practices once a week.  She has also served as an assistant coach to crAZy Cuddlefish, and has steered for them also. She loves to paddle, she loves the water, and she loves all that AZDBA has to offer. She plans to utilize all of these skills to continue to expand and grow AZDBA during her time on the board.

Manager Positions

Ben Choi

Media (Website/IT) Manager

Ben Choi has been a SW Engineer with Intel Corporation for 18 years, and brings a wealth of technology knowledge to the AZDBA board.  He has been paddling with the AZ Gila Dragons and MonGi crews for the past 3 years, but his passion has always been working with Corporate Dragon Boat teams and growing the sport from the Corporate environment.  Ben currently is the captain/coach of Intel Blue, the two-time defending corporate crew champions.



Betty Flores

PR (Social Media / Conventional Media) Manager

Betty Flores has over 18 years of customer service, non-profit association management experience that will support the strategic planning of the AZDBA Board. Paddling with the AZDBA for over four years, Betty understands the great sense of community the association is built upon and wishes to grow the community statewide.

Emil Benov

Coaches & Captains Liason

Emil Benov was introduced to the sport of Dragon Boat paddling 2 years ago.  He has been a part of the ASU dragon boat team and its board and has served as its president. Emil has also been involved in the boards of other ASU organizations for over a year now. Emil has enjoyed being a part of the AZDBA community and has a desire to improve and grow the sport as one of the Board of Directors.

Melissa Adams

Membership Secretary

Melissa Adams has been a member of the AZDBA for 2 years. She has 10 years of dragon boating experience.  Melissa previously paddled with Pink Steel, a BCS team in Pittsburgh, PA.  Currently, Melissa is the head coach of the AZDBA BCS Team, Phoenix Desert Dragons and also paddles with Phoenix Fire Dragons, SunGi, and MonGi. Melissa has served on the AZDBA Board of Directors for the past 2 years and is currently the Secretary.  Melissa is a school psychologist and a health coach, and has a passion for helping others, health, fitness, nutrition, and breast cancer awareness. She enjoys dragon boating, traveling, photography, and exercising.

June Hammer

Safety and Compliance Manager

June Hammer spent 36 years in the Copper Mining Industry in the Source, Milling, and Accounting departments.  She has worked at various mine sites around Arizona, including Bagdad, Green Valley, and Globe.  She recently retired in 2015.  June started dragon boating in June 2016 with the BCS team Phoenix Desert Dragons and loves the comradery, travel, and the exhilaration from the physical activity.  June advocates for the sport and actively recruits new members for AZDBA and loves meeting new people.

Additional Board Members

Gary Cumberland


Gary Cumberland is an IT specialist consultant and has been around AZDBA almost from its inception.  Gary has served on many past AZDBA boards in the secretary and president roles, and brings much depth, experience and insight to the board, having been a part of AZDBA’s early history. Gary and his wife recently returned to AZ after being on the East Coast for 5 years .  Gary has also been involved with 14 of the 15 Arizona Dragon Boat festivals, and has served as the festival chairperson twice.  Gary currently serves as the Dockmaster at the Festival each year, and paddles with the AZ Gila Dragons, having served in the past as their head coach.

Stephen Butler


Stephen Butler is an equal opportunity paddler and has paddled with almost all of the Arizona based teams. He has been paddling since 2014, and has found some of his most rejuvenating and rewarding times on the water with his paddling family. His goal for being on the board is to promote growth in the sport and community unity.