At 19, Ryan was a passenger in an automobile accident the left him a T6 paraplegic. The accident occurred while Baker and his family were moving to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1991. Growing up in San Diego, Ryan's only exposure to lacrosse came early in the form of stories, told by his late grandfather, who spoke to him about the sport being played by Native Americans that were gifted with the Creator's Game, now known as lacrosse. In Steamboat Baker skied, hit the golf ball, competed in tennis, and participated in many different wheelchair races. It wasn't until a friend was able to give him a more formal introduction to the game of lacrosse that Ryan became fascinated and impressed by the sport. He thought about the possibility and how adaptable it could be while holding to the traditions and legacy of the game.
Bill was injured at T7 in 2002 after getting hit by a car while on a motorcycle ride with a friend. Lundstrom, also a San Diego native, was not introduced to Ryan until 2008. After some time together the duo learned that they had similar interests. Both also had a desire to play a team sport, but were not interested in any of the available offerings. Baker proposed the idea of lacrosse to Lundstrom on a ski trip to Steamboat in 2009. Within days of their return they got some used sticks, balls and gloves and went out to have a catch. They soon had several players out throwing the ball around. Wheelchair Lacrosse USA was born and later in 2010, Ryan and Bill did their first WLUSA Camp. The pair live in San Diego where Ryan works for Spinergy Wheelchair Wheels and Bill is owner at Lundstrom Engineering and Surveying.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board members include people from all over the country invested in helping WLUSA responsibly and respectfully reach its goals and objectives. The members of the board drive fiscal acumen and direct the grow path of WLUSA into the United States and internationally.
Ryan Baker / Founder & President: Ryan started WLUSA in 2009 with Co-Founder Bill Lundstrom. Not playing lacrosse growing up, Ryan is now committed to growing the sport sharing what he has found in this great game and its community.
Bill Lundstrom / Founder & Treasurer: Bill was injured as the result of a motorcycle accident that left him a T7 paraplegic in 2002. Bill is a proud father and owner of Lundstrom Engineering & Surveying.
Rocco Cimarusti / Secretary: Rocco comes to WLUSA having played at La Costa Canyon High school, prior to his injury. Once he found out about wheelchair lacrosse, he could not get enough of it. Rocco is a business owner and proud father of 3.
Jill Fales / Member at Large: Jill's son, Peyton, succeeded in organizing a dynamic and powerful fundraiser for WLUSA for his Mitzvah Project. Since then the Fales family have been involved and active in their support.
Chase Howse / Member at Large: Chase has played an integral part with assisting WLUSA rules development. Chase is a lacrosse referee in the greater Philadelphia area and remains committed to helping grow and 'keeping it fair'.
Dan Meehan / Member at Large: Meehan is from Bay Shore, Long Island won a National Championship while at Washington College, playing attack. He now coaches for Coronado High School, in San Diego and works for Adrenaline Lacrosse.
Jamiel Morris / Member at Large: 'Miel' come to us through our relationship with Nike and has acted as a stable and valuable resource supporting events and exhibitions. Jamiel lives in Portland with his family.
Amy Penn / Member at Large: Amy is an executive with a large ecommerce payments service company and brings business knowledge and planning strategy for the future of WLUSA. Her son, Owen, coached and volunteered at the WLUSA Camp in Atlanta.
Eric Rudolph / Member at Large: Eric has been instrumental in assisting WLUSA develop the domestic rule book for Wheelchair Lacrosse USA and has helped prepare a Wheelchair Lacrosse Rule Book for the Federation of International Lacrosse. He is a collegiate officials assigner in the South Eastern part of the United States. He has served on the US Lacrosse Men's Rules Subcommittee and is on the FIL Rules Committee.
Lorne Silverstein / Member at Large: Lorne played lacrosse at Syracuse and has been involved in the lacrosse community for over 30 years. His passion and knowledge will help direct WLUSA in the right direction.
Joe Taylor / Member at Large: Joe acts as the North American Representative for Nike Lacrosse. His involvement has helped WLUSA with equipment needed for the camp events. His love of the game and his drive to make lacrosse inclusive will continue to be an asset.