(Nashville, TN – December 15, 2021) – TPH is excited to announce Alan Keeso as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022. Having served as Strategic Advisor to TPH over the past 5 years, Keeso brings in-depth knowledge of TPH and its Center of Excellence (CoE) academy model, its team members, and culture.
“We’re so excited to have Al lead our team going into our next 20 years at TPH,” said TPH founder Nathan Bowen, who will move out of the CEO role and into the Chairman role, remaining heavily active in TPH. “Having celebrated TPH turning 20 years old this year, we are absolutely pumped about what’s to come as we strive to lead the world in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes. Al is the leader to help us scale that impact.”
In addition to consulting for TPH in recent years, Keeso has helped dozens of small and medium-sized businesses grow for over a decade as a management consultant, independently, as well as through Grant Thornton and BDC. When asked early in 2021 by Bowen and his Investing Partner Taso Sofikitis to work more closely with TPH, Keeso decided to make the move with his family to Nashville.
“TPH to its core is a purpose-driven organization, with an outstanding team of committed professionals,” said Keeso. “It’s an honor to have this kind of confidence from Nathan and Taso to take TPH to new heights, and the responsibility that comes with the CEO role to the TPH team and our student-athletes is something I take very seriously. We’re a team that’s poised for growth through our Center of Excellence Study/Train/Play academy model, association management, camps and clinics, The Prospect Exchange, prospects teams, and events, now featuring Champions League Hockey in partnership with World Hockey Group. All of these efforts and their growth will enable us to positively impact the lives of a greater number of student-athletes, not only at our current locations, but also at many new locations to come. The future is bright at TPH.”
Keeso’s own journey as a student-athlete, and ensuing career, lend perspective to what Bowen believes will continue to differentiate TPH to prospective partners as well as families weighing the incredibly important decision on where to have their children develop as students, athletes, and people.
“Al has not only been an aspiring elite student-athlete, who reached levels in hockey that many TPH student-athletes are working towards daily, but he also exemplifies to our families what the bigger picture can be when lessons learned from sports are applied beyond the game,” said Bowen. “That’s what TPH is all about, and that’s what we feel differentiates us; we prepare our student-athletes not only for the next level in their sport, but also mentor them on habits that will help them experience wild success on the ultimate journey – life. With Al’s leadership, that differentiator will only get stronger. He has lived the ups and downs the game can throw at you and is an incredible role model for young aspiring student-athletes, because he never quit and he has used those tough times as motivation and lessons learned to prepare for the next challenge in life and hit it head on in pursuit of the next success.”
In addition to a successful business career, Keeso has earned two master’s degrees – an MBA and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management – from the University of Oxford. At Oxford, he also published a working paper, took to the TEDx stage, and was goaltender for the university’s historic ice hockey team, becoming the only men’s player in the club’s history to have earned an Extraordinary Full Blue, the highest honor in sports at Oxford. Keeso also served as an infantry officer in the armed forces reserves and ran in a federal election.
A native of Listowel, Ontario, Keeso played hockey in his hometown before joining the Huron-Perth Lakers AAA organization and continuing on to Jr hockey with the Listowel Cyclones, Strathroy Rockets, and Sarnia Blast of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOHL). He then went to Boston to study at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he was a goaltender for the varsity NCAA Division III hockey team and graduated with a BSc in Technology Management with honors.
“Having grown up in the game of hockey, I understand the opportunities for growth that youth sports provide for young people, on and off the ice, field, and court,” said Keeso. “Team members at TPH are deeply committed to the holistic development of student-athletes, knowing that the skills and habits learned extend well beyond the game to many other arenas of life. As a result of Nathan’s leadership and an all-star team of people, we have a great foundation in place as we head into ‘The Next 20’ at TPH.”
If you are interested in learning more about our #StudyTrainPlay model at the TPH Center of Excellence, Alan and other key members of our team will be participating in a Nationwide Virtual Open House on January 10th at 8:00 PM EST. Register for free here!
TPH is pleased to announce a partnership with the Florida Panthers to bring its Study, Train, Play Center of Excellence (CoE) academy model to aspiring-elite hockey players and figure skaters from across Southeast Florida for the 2021-2022 school year. The CoE model allows student-athletes to receive a completely individualized, customized, NCAA accredited education, sport-specific training, and mentorship, while still participating in their youth or club organizations. TPH presently operates a Center of Excellence in Estero, and its Coral Springs based CoE will be TPH’s fifteenth in the United States.
“On behalf of all of us in TPH, we are thrilled to be able to offer the Center of Excellence experience to student-athletes across Southeast Florida,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “We are beyond grateful to Keith Fine and the Panthers organization for trusting us to house a Center of Excellence in their facility. We are thrilled to grow our Florida footprint and feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to play a role in developing driven, goal-oriented student-athletes who are looking for a flexible, individually-tailored academic learning option that allows them to pursue their sport, school, and life goals all at once, without having to worry about fitting into a traditional school structure. In year one, our doors will be open not just to competitive Tier I and Tier II hockey players, but also to figure skaters. Between the passion and resources of the Panthers, our desire to shape well-rounded student-athletes regardless of their individual sport, and the resources that will be available to us in the IceDen, we see endless possibilities with this partnership.”
“We’re excited to partner with TPH in bringing an academy-style model to the Panthers IceDen,” Panthers IceDen General Manager Keith Fine said. “Our facility wanted to provide academic resources at the rink for our dedicated hockey players and figure skaters so they could feel comfortable dedicating time to both their academic and athletic careers. TPH and the Center of Excellence model allows that to happen.”
While training hockey players has always been at TPH’s core, its main focus has been strengthening what Fine referred to as its “academic resources.” Delivered in partnership with Edmentum, the Center of Excellence education model is created in a blended learning environment that combines online curriculum and online learning with on-site infrastructure and academic support. Coursework can be completed on-demand, with 24/7, fully accessible NCAA courseware and full-time instructors who are dedicated to the student-athletes across all Centers of Excellence. CoE attendees have access to their instructors as well as a virtual tutoring service, in the event academic assistance is needed after-hours or right on the spot during the CoE school day. A full-time academic leader will be on-site daily and will ensure that all student-athletes are held accountable, are studying in a positive learning environment and are receiving an experience that is tailored to when, where and how the individual learns best.
“As we all know, student-athletes have to be extremely dedicated to reach the highest levels in sport and in life,” Bowen added. “In many cases, reaching their goals requires flexibility on the academic side. Our model provides that. The CoE is the anti-one-size-fits-all educational and sport training program. Students study at their own pace and train to their own individual standard. We believe Southeast Florida families are going to quickly see the advantages and positive outcomes that come with the Center of Excellence model.”
Ryan Brindley serves as a Partner and Director of TPH’s Estero-based Center of Excellence, which reached capacity in its first year in operation. A staple in Florida youth hockey circles, Brindley believes Southeast Florida families will be impressed by what the CoE program has to offer. He also believes that families who would ordinarily need to look beyond their backyard for a high-level sport and education opportunity for their son or daughter, now have an “incentive” to keep their athletes living at home as long as possible.
“I have been proud to call Florida home for close to two decades,” Brindley said. “The quality of life that all of us get to enjoy as Florida residents is second-to-none. What I love about the Center of Excellence is that it allows our student-athletes to stay home, get high level training and get an education experience that prepares them for the more independent lifestyle they will live once they graduate to the university setting, all while enjoying the great benefits of living in the Sunshine State. The CoE has been that missing piece for us over in Southwest Florida, and I am confident families in Southeast Florida will feel the same way.”
Families interested in learning more about the Center of Excellence model are invited to attend our first TPH-Fort Lauderdale Center of Excellence Virtual Open House, presented through Zoom Webinar, on Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00 PM. To register for our Virtual Open House please click here. Please know that registration is required for families to attend this event.
Founded in 2001, it is TPH’s vision to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport. TPH prides itself on operating at a standard that exceeds expectations of student-athletes, families, coaches, teachers, advisors and all other entities within both athletic and academic circles… With platforms that include association management, elite prospects programs, tournaments and showcases, camps and clinics and its hallmark Center of Excellence academy model, TPH services over 10,000 student-athletes on an annual basis, throughout 15 U.S. based divisions… While sport, specifically hockey, has been TPH’s primary vehicle for positively impacting the lives of our student-athletes, our company prides itself on taking a holistic approach, one that emphasizes the development of the individual in four ways: (1) as a player within a team setting, (2) as an athlete, dedicated to reaching his/her physical potential, (3) as a student, working to achieve his/her academic goals, and most importantly, (4) as a person, striving to win the ultimate game, and that’s the game of life.
About the Panthers IceDen
The Florida Panthers IceDen is a community facility that hosts over 1 million annual guests in the tri-county area. Located in Coral Springs, the 125,000-square-foot facility is the official practice facility of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers IceDen is home to the Florida Junior Panthers, Coral Springs Makos, Youth Hockey Leagues, Learn To Skate, Learn To Play as well as figure skating lessons, making it the perfect location to reach families in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties. For more information on Panthers IceDen and its offerings, please visit PanthersIceDen.com or follow @PanthersIceDen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Paul Healey, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, is the Director & Head of Hockey at the TPH Center of Excellence in Fort Lauderdale. Healey a former professional player with 15 years of experience competing at the NHL, AHL, ECHL, and European pro level has captured championships as a member of the AHL’s s Philadelphia Phantoms in 1998, and then, 10 years later, while playing overseas in Slovenia with Jesenice. A three-time captain with the AHL’s St. John’s Maple Leafs, Lowell Lock Monsters, and San Antonio Rampage, Healey concluded his professional career in 2010, has totaled over 1,000 games played.
Since 2011, Healey has served as Hockey Director for the Miami Toros organization, where he has also coached at the Tier II level. In addition, Healey spent one season as the Assistant Coach with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and dedicates his time to mentoring Florida youth hockey players.
Hernández-Acosta has credentials that consist of a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with Concentration in Business Administration from Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana, where she was also a member of the Women’s Soccer team. Additionally, she has a Master of Science in Educational Media and a Doctorate in Education with a Dual Concentration in Instructional Technology & Distance Education and Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Miami, Florida.
In 2012, she was a recipient of the Francisco Walker “Teacher of the Year” award at Shenandoah Elementary School and committed her time as a Team Manager for the Miami Toros Ice Hockey 8U and 10U teams. Hernández-Acosta is bilingual in both Spanish and English and has a working knowledge of French.
Kevin grew up playing hockey in South Florida. At the age of 15, he moved to the Northeast with opportunities to play Junior Hockey in the EMJHL, EJHL, AJHL, MJHL mostly with the Bay State Breakers and had a short minor league career with the Danbury Whalers of the FHL.Kevin started his coaching career as a goalie coach before taking on a full time coaching role where he helped develop the Miami Toros Hockey program. After many seasons with the Miami Toros Hockey program, Kevin relocated to Michigan to serve as the Hockey Director at Suburban Ice Macomb this past season before moving back to Florida.Kevin is the Coordinator of Operations & Programming for TPH Ft. Lauderdale and a Head Coach with the Florida Junior Panthers.Kevin loves the competitive edge that sports help you develop and the effect it has on your ability to progress and improve daily. He loves helping kids grow and prosper with a sport they are passionate about.
Born and raised in Florida, Josh played youth hockey in Orlando for the Orlando Stars. Josh moved to Colorado at 16 to play for the nationally renowned Pikes Peak Miners AAA program. With the Miners, Josh was on the inaugural 16U NAPHL Championship team and finished as the second-leading scorer in the NAPHL 18 division.
Josh went on to win a National Championship with the Idaho Jr Steelheads and finished his junior career with the Witchita Falls Wildcats in the NAHL. While in Wichita Falls, he was recruited by UMASS Boston where he played on their NCAA D3 Frozen Four team until injuries cause the end of his playing days.
Along with experience as an assistant and head coach with the Makos, Josh has worked numerous hockey camps around the country, including the prestigious Turcotte Stickhandling School. Before moving back to Florida in 2019, Josh was on the staff of Pro Vision Hockey Academy in Knoxville, TN.
Petr was the 4th round pick (101st overall) of the Ottawa Senators in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He played one season with Torpedo Yaroslavl of the Russian League before coming to North America for the 1999-00 season. He spent the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons playing with both the Senators and Griffins, before being traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in February 2004. He played 22 more games for the MightyDucks at the end of the 2003-04 season, before returning to Russia to continue to play hockey. Besides working at the CoE, Petr works within several IceDen programs and travel hockey.
The Montreal native, Spano, brings over 10 years of goalie coaching experience and has the unique experience of training goaltenders all over the globe. Following his time playing at Yale, Spano competed one season in the SPHL before going overseas to play in France and Belgium the past two seasons. Spano has worked at many goalie camps over the years, done private goalie coaching and was in charge of
overseeing the development of close to 20 goalies last year in
Belgium (Liège Hockey Association).
Growing up being inspired by great athletes, sports and fitness has been a way of life for Alfio, always participating and playing competitive baseball, football, basketball, and wrestling from elementary school through high school. Alfio always competed at high levels in these sports but found he calling in health and fitness when joining the US Army. During his service, Alfio became Noncommissioned Officer (SGT) in just 3 years of joining the service. During this time Alfio started to do personal training on the side and take part of group training sessions where he learned under US Army Master Fitness instructors and eventually became an instructor. Proceeding his service, Alfio attended Florida Atlantic University and is a graduate of the Exercise Science and Health program. In the early 2010’s he began working with various pro athletes from the NHL, NBA, and NFL. In 2017, Alfio became the Head of Athletic Performance for the Florida Panthers. Today I teach one on one, small group, large group, A, AA, AAA Level athletes and teams.
David Ros is a Broward native and a high school graduate from Pembroke Pines Charter High School. He is now attending Broward College majoring in Finance. David played for the South Florida Golden Wolves from Peewee, Bantam to 16AA then relocated to play for the Coral Springs Makos at the Florida Panthers IceDen where he was Assistant Captain for two seasons. David loves the game of hockey and enjoys being at the rink and on the ice as much as possible. He currently plays for the Florida Alliance 18AAA team and is an assistant at the Panthers Pro Shop. He volunteers at hockey camps to help, improve, and develop the younger generation of hockey players. Whether it is off-ice workouts or hockey camps, David enjoys helping and mentoring others that have taken an interest in hockey.