Meet the National Esports Association Team
Lori Bajorek is president of the National Esports Association (NEA), through which she champions greater support for the wellness and academic success of esports athletes. She has pioneered a governance structure for esports in education, including establishing academic standards for initial eligibility.
Bajorek partners with Microsoft to bring her esports programs to colleges across the country and now is expanding her K-12 focus. She currently works with the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) to bring esports to college campuses across America.
Bajorek also serves president of ArtsROC, a not-for-profit enrichment program that focuses on alternative learning for K-12 students, under which the NEA is a division. With a decade-long proven concept to her credit, she has developed what is considered the first educational programs for esports. This pioneer status, advocacy, and expertise has resulted in her being a sought-after speaker at national conferences as well as with the media, including NPR.
Bajorek’s entrepreneurial background includes work with Fortune 500 companies, including Progressive Insurance and Metropolitan. She earned a degree in child psychology from the University of Buffalo. Bajorek and her husband, Ronald, have two children, Alia, age 21, and Trip, 16 (who is ranked in the top 1 percent of all Fortnite players worldwide).
Director of Hospitality
Tracy Armstrong is a proven leader who has developed and managed highly motivated and successful sales teams throughout her career. She has planned and managed hundreds of conventions and conferences worldwide.
Clients benefit from her in-depth expertise of the tourism industry and event planning coupled with the extensive business-related partnerships and personal contacts she has forged during more than 30 years in the industry.
VP of Educational Advancement
Michael Belmont’s doctoral work focused on creating educational contexts that engage students and teachers. He authored and published the first psychometric measure of the motivational affects of students on teachers to better understand the dynamics of teacher burnout in urban education. Michael helped to found The Charles Finney School in Rochester, NY serving as High School Principal and President for 16 years. His recruitment efforts for this fledgling private school, which focused on under-served urban students, helped the school grow into a highly regarded school with an array of STEM programs, National FIRST Robotics finalists, State Champion Basketball teams, National Art Awards, a highly regarded music program, and an array of student-led community outreach programs. The experience also aligned him with the New York State Education Department and the tedious ins-and-outs of running a private school in New York State. Today he is based in Ithaca, N.Y., and works as a consultant focused on performance management, marketing communications, and institutional advancement. Additionally, Michael’s 7 year service as a zoning board chairman enables him to guide clients through the red tape of municipal planning and zoning. His business-consulting clients include Monro Inc., Bausch & Lomb, Thompson-Reuters, Passero Associates, Rochester City School District, Frontier Telephone, Children's Memorial Hospital (now the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago), and Ithaca’s “Save South Hill” Group.
VP of Academic Engagement & Operations
Brandon Dawson is a seasoned Student Affairs professional with seventeen years of experience
in the field of higher education. Brandon brings with him knowledge and skills to manage and
implement services and activities around student engagement, student conduct and crisis
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice from the State University of New York College at Cortland, and a Master of Liberal Studies - Educational Leadership degree from Manhattanville College. He is currently writing his dissertation for his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Northcentral
University. Brandon has served in numerous leadership roles including Dean of Students at Elmira College, Vice President of Student Affairs at Endicott College, and Dean of Students at Manhattanville College. Brandon has certifications in BASICS, Clery Compliance from the Clery Center, Sexual Assault Investigator Training from Boston University, and is active member of various student affairs national organizations. Alongside his professional roles,
Brandon enjoys spending time with his family - his wife Brooke and their three children; Parker (7) and twins Mackenzie and Miles (5).
VP of Communication & Collaboration
Dresden Engle is a nationally award-winning communications professional with 30 years of experience in the field, including journalism, public relations, marketing and advertising, and social media. She has earned national awards for media relations, writing, blogging, PR campaigns, social-media campaigns, and videos.
Dresden works extensively with local, national, and international media and has secured lead features in The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal, with the Associated Press, and on ABC World News, CBS News Sunday Morning, and NPR. She has managed media events in New York City, Hollywood, and European cities.
VP of Policy
Lisa Goldstein, M.S., joined the National Esports Association as vice president of policy in early 2014, after 20 years of increasing responsibility at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Her mission is to represent the needs for diversity and inclusion for all gamers.
Director of Video Creation
Shawn earned his BFA in Film & Animation from the Rochester Institute of Technology. His expertise lies in videography and editing as well as sound and lighting. He has worked on indie films, industrial videos, music videos, and TV commercials, for a variety of clients including LiDestri Food and Beverage, George Eastman House, Indus Hospitality Group (Microtel, Taco Bell, and KFC), and the Buffalo Bills.
His most recent national film project included cinematography for a documentary being produced by Robert Redford and he currently is creating a documentary about the life of silent © film actress Louise Brooks. Shawn is also a comedian and stage actor.
Director of Social Media & Digital Visibility
Micayla is a writer and researcher heading up social media for the NEA. She holds a BFA in musical theatre and communications. She was social chair for Alpha Psi Omega, as well as secretary for the Public Relations Student Society of America, which gave her the opportunity to delve into event planning as well as coordinating different social media platforms.
With a background in communication and theatre, Micayla strives to find new ways of interacting with audiences of all kinds. Micayla develops and creates social content calendars for businesses or individuals, as well as website creation, event planning, and graphic creation.
Esports Producer & Director of Technology
A technology enthusiast, David Morse works professionally in the video production, web design, and computer hardware industry. He has worked with institutions, organizations, and companies including the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, State University of New York at Fredonia, Eastman School of Music, Elmira College, Blackmagic Design, Rode Microphones, and Elgato Gaming.
Specializing in live production and broadcast, David has designed and implemented live production setups and systems for the Brighton Central School District, Jewish Family Service of Rochester, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein School of Music, State University of New York at Fredonia, and the Rochester Cello Society.
Director of Promotion & Events
Courtney is a 2010 graduate of Niagara University with a BFA in Theater Performance. Since moving home to Rochester six years ago, she has focused on building a career path in sales and development management, working in both retail and restaurant industries.
Her business skills include event planning and management, client and media relations, superior customer service, staff training and coaching, creating lasting relationships with clientele and setting budgets and performance goals. An actress and singer, Courtney has worked at various local venues and fronts local pop/rock group That Party Band.
National Booking Agent
David Yugar is an entertainment Producer and National Booking Agent from Pittsburgh, PA. He is the President of Yugar Productions which has produced thousands of live events for Colleges, Corporations, Fairs & Festivals, Casinos, and Resorts. David and his wife Shelley Yugar produced and managed the MTV Real World Campus Tour from 2001 – 2009 booking speaking engagements and reality tv casting events at colleges around the country. David’s current focus is on producing eSports Tournaments and finding work for musical artist and other performers. His passion is to use the popularity of video gaming to improve student engagement and create career opportunities in the eSports industry.