Jenny Pleasant - President / Founder
Jenny first began playing soccer at 12 years old in Johnson City, TN. Her love of the game grew quickly and she played on various teams in the area, as well as the regional ODP team. A graduate of Science Hill High School, Jenny decided against playing college soccer to pursue her bachelors in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology, with a focus on cancer research. She took 10 years off from playing to build her family, but once she began playing soccer again, she knew she was hooked. In 2012, Jenny founded the inaugural Knoxville Kickin Cancer Soccer Tournament as a way to bring together two of her biggest passions: soccer and cancer advocacy. Since that first year, the tournament has grown tremendously and most recently raised over $13,000 for two local, female soccer players both battling cancer. Jenny hopes to grow the tournament to bring in teams from surrounding regions and be able to raise even more money for people fighting cancer.
Austin Rhodes - Vice President
Austin was born in Sarasota, FL where he started playing soccer at the age of 4. Austin and his family moved to Knoxville in 2000 where he continued to play soccer for the Smoky Mountain Knoxville Fire and Farragut High School. Austin won 2 Division 1 State Champions, 2 TSSAA High School State Championships, and 1 High School National Championships. He then attended King College on a soccer scholarship where he won a conference title his freshman year. After injury he moved home to continue college. He graduated from Tusculum college in 2010. Austin’s love for soccer has never wavered and when asked to be on the board of Kickin’ Cancer he didn’t hesitate. Austin will be marrying Jenny in 2019, which is probably why he was voted in as Vice President.
Lauren Phillips-Stadler - Treasurer
Lauren moved to Knoxville, TN from Texas in 2007 and joined the Knoxville Soccer Community soon afterwards. A soccer player since age 4, Lauren participated in Select, ODP and International soccer before playing soccer for her college. Lauren joined the inaugural Kickin’ Cancer board and has held the position of Treasurer for the last two years. Lauren currently works for the Knox County Sheriff’s department as part of a program that supervises felony level offenders who have been unsuccessful on other forms of probation. Lauren has worked with individuals with severe addiction and/or mental health issues for years and is currently a member of the Knox County Recovery Court Advisory Committee.
Shannon Phillips - Secretary
Shannon is an Applications Analyst with PerfectServe, Inc. Shannon grew up playing soccer in the Dayton, OH area. She and her husband Brad joined the Knoxville Metro Soccer League in 2002 after moving to Knoxville. Her passion for the game is also shared by her son who plays for Knoxville Soccer Academy.
Shannon has served on the KMSL board for 12 years, as Secretary and the current Field Officer. In addition, she also volunteered as an AYSO coach for several seasons. She also has managed several KMSL and indoor teams over the years.
Shannon feels fortunate being able to play with many amazing Knoxville players/teams. Some of these teams have proudly brought home tournament championships to Knoxville:
Lady Killas - 2004 Charleston Memorial Day Tournament Women’s Division Champions
Team Nancy - 2016 Neptune Classic 040 Womens Champions
Victorious Secret – 2015 &2017 Beer City Cup Women’s Champions, 2018 Women’s Finalists
The best thing about the Knoxville soccer community is the lasting friendships my family has made. It is amazing to have met such a diverse group of people who love the game with the same passion and energy. Shannon is excited to join the Kickin Cancer Board of Directors as way to continue giving back to this community.
Richard (Rich) Keck - Board Member-at-Large
A Knoxville native, except for a few “missing years,” Rich decided it was time to take his life-long kicking abilities beyond the soccer pitch. Combining his love for “the beautiful game” with a passion for helping others, Rich hopes to land his fair of strikes into the back net of cancer. Bringing years of graphic design knowledge, and a willingness to play any position, Rich will be doing his part to ensure that the Knoxville Kickin’ Cancer team continues the winning streak of providing aid and support to community members battling cancer. His cleats are laced up.
Christian Stadler - Chairman
Christian Stadler, III was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond in Virginia, with a double major in Political Science and in History. After college, he worked as a liaison for the Tarrant County Elections Administration, for a member of the Texas House of Representatives, and for Trinity Habitat for Humanity. Christian was a member of the inaugural class of the Lincoln Memorial University, Duncan School of Law. He was the President of the Student Bar Association, the President of the Family Law Society, and the President of the Federalist Society. He was a student member of the Academic Integrity Committee, and he worked as a Faculty Research Assistant. For four consecutive years in a row, he was recognized by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division for leadership as a law student at the annual Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Conference. His work, Ethics of Cost Efficiency: The Impropriety of Cost Consideration When Deciding to Charge a Death Penalty Case was published in the 2013 edition of Perspectives on Capital Punishment in America. Christian began his practice of law as a solo practice attorney by accepting appointments in the criminal and juvenile courts. Over time, he took on matters including adoption, divorce, conservatorship, probate, social security, and immigration.