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The First Dink Board of Directors provides organizational leadership and counsel while empowering youth through mentorship and a love of Pickleball.

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Executive Director

Sam Veal's formal educational experience includes The University of South Carolina, The American Ballet Theatre School, The Florida Insurance School, and as a licensed Private Pilot. His early career was in the performing arts and included artistic residencies in New York City, Paris, Teheran, and Tel Aviv. Sam is a passionate and dedicated volunteer who has served on several nonprofit boards in various capacities including as Executive Director of the world-renowned, Springing the Blues Music Festival, for which he received several citations of distinction.

Sam is the founder and CEO of All American Insurance Systems, Inc and Samuel Veal & Associates with Headquarters in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He is an avid reader and researcher, and his other extracurriculars include golf, surfing, cycling, mountain biking, and of course, Pickleball. But most of all, Sam adores his wife, Tracey, and their five adult children and five grandchildren. He counts his blessings every day!

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Ricky Thais is a graduate of Binghamton University in New York and has worked as the executive director for an environmental and nutritional sales company. He has also served as a branch office supervisor for over 100 securities and insurance licensed agents and held Series 6,63, 26, life and health insurance, mortgage, and general contractors licenses. He is currently the founder/owner of Prestige Realty Investments. Thais has been married to his wife, Tien Le, for over 20 years and together they have three boys: Richie, Rex, and Remy.

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Mike Gainer is a long-time Beaches resident (since 1973) and currently resides in Jacksonville Beach with his wife Martha.  He has been involved with both youth and adult recreational sports and is a graduate of Florida State University. In addition to playing college baseball and softball nationally, he has served as the president of the Fletcher seniors girl's softball booster club. He has also coached the Fletcher girls in the fall Northeast Florida senior girl's league. Grainer is an active member of the Beaches community and is an avid pickleball player. He is the president and owner of First Coast Payroll, which is a payroll brokerage company in Neptune Beach.

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Bradley Ernst is a graduate of Flagler College in St. Augustine and currently works as a Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual in Jacksonville, Fla. Here, he loves helping clients solve problems in their financial world and guiding them to make wise and effective decisions. Ernst married his wife Mariah in 2018 and is a proud father of two sons, Jacob (16) and baby Breckett (1). When he’s not working, you can find him in the gym, on the court showing off his pickleball skills, flying north to catch a New York Giants game, traveling to Miami with his eldest son for a Heat game, or cheering on the Florida Gators.




Molly Alleger was born and raised in Jacksonville, obtained a degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida, and is nationally certified in nonprofit management. She is a resident of Jacksonville Beach with her husband and two young children. Alleger has a background working for various local nonprofits and is currently the Office Administrator for the City of Jacksonville Beach in the Parks and Recreation Department.

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Loren Gay is a member of the Marine Corp League, a health enthusiast, motivational speaker, and joy ambassador. He has excelled in the U.S.Marines, Marine Corp League, and in running his
own business. In his free time, Gay enjoys practicing martial arts, boxing, body sculpting, track & field, and pickleball. His passion is helping others understand that success is a choice when combined with a "never quit" attitude. He believes joy is achieved by focused desire. His greatest achievements include having served his country honorably, raising two highly-successful children, and spreading a positive mental attitude that has altered lives for the better.

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