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2019 Lifetime Achievement & Ken Baldeosingh/Ken Concelyea Awards

Mr. Gary Swords (Left: Michael Goenner, Gary Swords, Donald Frye, Ken Baldeosingh)

Mr. Gary Sowrds was born, grew up and graduated from high school in Springfield, Ohio. Mr. Gary Swords attended Ohio University andearned a BBA degree, majoring in business administration. Later, Mr. Gary Swords attended Wright State University and earned an MBA degree, majoring in financial administration.

Mr. Gary Swords served in the US Army Reserves. l was stationed at Ft. Polk, Louisiana and Ft. Bliss, Texas as well as other places. Mr. Gary Swords received an honorable discharge after six years.

Mr. Gary Swords has been in involved in public accounting his whole career.  Right after college Mr. Gary Swords was hired by a CPA firm which had its main office in Dayton, Ohio. He progressed from a junior accountant to a full equity partner in ten years.
That firm dissolved when the founding partner retired, but it gave him the opportunity to venture out on his own with another partner from that firm. They eventually purchased an office building in Butler Township where Mr. Gary Swords still practices today.

During all of the years of service Mr. Gary Swords have volunteered with many non-profit organizations often serving as an officer and/or treasurer. He is currently the treasurer for four different organizations. He has also participated many years in sports as player, coach and official. Mr. Gary Swords still plays competitive softball as a traveling player.

Mr. Swords believes that he owes a lot to the game of soccer. His early life in sports was occupied by the traditional sports. When his oldest son was eight years old he wanted to play football, but at that time you had to be nine years old. His baseball coach talked him into trying soccer and that started it all.  Mr. Sword's son went on to play youth, high school and college, earning a scholarship.

Mr. Swords' younger son then wanted to play as soon as he was six years old. There was a shortage of coaches in those days and Mr. Gary Swords volunteered to help as Mr. Gary Swords had coached other sports. What no one told him was that Mr. Gary Swords had to referee other games in his league as there was a shortage of referees. His younger son went on to play youth, high school, college, earning a scholarship, and became a professional player, playing both outdoor and indoor.

Mr. Gary Swords went on to referee youth, high school and adult soccer. He had the opportunity to go on to national and college,
but he chose to stay at the local level due to his self-employment and wanting to watch my sons play. When it was over Mr. Swords had been a referee for 31 years.

Mr. Gary Swords also contributed to the game of soccer by serving as treasurer for the Dayton Area Soccer Officials Association
for four years and is currently in my twenty-sixth year as treasurer of the Southern Ohio Adult Soccer Association.

He believes, soccer was a blessing to my family as both of his sons were able to graduate from college debt-free and have had successful lives as well as providing me with four grandchildren.

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Mr. Michael Guder (Right: Michael Goenner, Michael Gauder, Donald Frye, Ken Baldeosingh)

Mr. Michael Gauder began his soccer officiating career in 1993, and immediately became interested in officiating adult soccer.  His first opportunity to work a competitive amateur match occurred during his first month as a new referee when he was recruited to “run a line” on a mens match due to an open assistant referee position.  Mr. Gauder worked continuously to improve his officiating skills during the course of his 27-year officiating career by working with other seasoned adult referees and assessors.  He became a State Referee in 2010 and and Emeritus State Referee in 2016.  Mr. Gauder has officiated over 500 adult games at the Local, State, and Regional levels including professional games.  He served four years on the Southern Ohio Amateur Soccer Association (SOASA) Executive Board as Secretary, and also served as Chairman of the SOASA Conduct Hearing board where referee abuse and assault cases were reviewed and adjudicated.

Mr. Gauder assumed the role of District Referee Administrator in 2011 where he provided assistance to Mr. Ken Baldeosingh (OH-South State Referee Administrator) for over 550 referees in the Greater Dayton Area.  He also became an assessor in 2010 and served as a mentor/observer at intermediate academies and other USSF-sanctioned tournaments.  Mr. Gauder then became an Assignor in 2014 and works as a sub-assignor at local tournaments.

Mr. Gauder was very active in the community over the course of his officiating career where he served in various leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America.  He previously served as a Board Member, Instructor, and Instructor Trainer for Health and Safety Services of the Dayton Area Red Cross.  Mr. Gauder is currently active with the Knights of Columbus (KofC) where he holds several leadership positions.  He is also an active member of the KofC Color Corps where he serves as an Honor Guard for special liturgical services at Church, viewings, funerals, and civic events that honor our military veterans.

The extensive service Mr. Gauder has provided to USSoccer and other community organizations reflects credit upon himself.  His selfless dedication will serve as a model for others to follow.

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Ohio South State Referee Committee

Ohio South State Referee Committee