Thanks to the Humans

A union is nothing without its members. This Union is no different. As today is such a fitting day for reflection and thanksgiving, it’s only appropriate to take time to recognize and appreciate the humans who have made Union Dubuque possible.

This might read a lot like the “Acknowledgements” section of a book, or even the credits of a movie, but I think it’s necessary that all of these people are properly thanked. So, we’ll take it from the top, but don’t miss what’s at the end.…

I’d like to extend the most thanks a human can possibly give to my wife who caught the vision I was pitching, and who encouraged me to talk to people about it. You’re simply the greatest and I love you.

Thanks to Nick Skoglund and Ben Warren. Even though you both looked at me like I was crazy when I told you about this, you decided to pitch in and give our dream some legs and helped make it crawl.

Thanks to Jackie Mabe of Mabe Design Co. for helping us figure out what we wanted to represent what we were doing, graphically speaking. Your original design remains at the heart of who we are.

Thanks to Katie Kenne and the Dubuque Fighting Saints for sharing with me what you’ve learned about Dubuque over the years, and for being an organization that gives our community even more to be proud of.

Thanks to Ryan Kelley of Asheville City SC and Dennis Crowley of Kingston Stockade FC for sharing your experience and information, without which I still wouldn’t know what I was doing.

Thanks to Jon Denham, the gaffer, for being “interested in learning more” and, through many meetings and discussions, agreeing to lead our club on the field for the very first time. Your commitment to the club and the city is so much more appreciated than you can imagine.

Thanks to Kevin Cattani and Joe Sabin for sharing your expertise in the world of sports management with me. Although I knew (and really still know) very little about running a sports organization, I can always count on you guys to help me out when we need it.

Thanks to Jim Ott for basically starting the renaissance of soccer in the city of Dubuque. Without the work you did 30 years ago, it’s likely that Union Dubuque would not have been possible. Your wisdom and support has been immense.

Thanks to Bob Woodward for taking a meeting with me when our club was nothing, and for pointing us in the direction of who we should be talking to if we were serious about making Union Dubuque a real thing. Also, thanks for inviting me to Rotary, that was a great experience!

Thanks to Dave Davis and Spahn and Rose for your early support. I’m still in awe of the people I’ve been able to meet with as a result of this project.

Thanks to Steve Fisher, Mike Fortman, and Tim O’Neill at the Telegraph Herald. Your partnership and coverage was so important for us right out of the gates. Thanks for believing in us.

Thanks to Brian Jones of Advocare, Joel Janecek and Jim Romagna at Merge Performance Institute, Jason Meyer at Dubuque Physical Therapy, Joe Ketley at Inaria, Tom Rauen at Envision, Adam Linden at Linden Family Chiropractic, Paul Unsen at Pita Pit, and to the good folks at Big Apple Bagels for believing in us enough to support us through our partnerships. We couldn’t have made it this far without you.

Thanks to Andy Burchardt for reaching out after a chance encounter on r/LiverpoolFC. Your help with design and so much more has truly helped our club reach another level of professionalism and class. Beyond that, I’ve really come to appreciate our friendship, so thanks for that.

Thanks to all of our founding members for joining the club at the first time of asking. Claude and Monica Warren, Chris and Jody Conrad, Brian and Tammy Kallback, David and Angie Kelley, Dan and Karen Rothert, Bruce, Catherine, and Matthew Denham, Stephanie and Andrew Moment, Jon and Laura Walker, Lewis and Hannah Shin, Andrew Peckham, Marcos Vega, Tom Richlak, Tyler Loucks, Lyle Hunt, William Hoyer, Brian Denham, Ray Werner, Abhay Rawal, Baltazar Mosqueda, Jane Rife, Tom Walch, Joel Janecek, Brian Burns, and Ben Nessan.

Thanks to Steve Zanias for coming on board at just the right time. Your strategic insight has been invaluable to our leadership, and your friendship has been so encouraging.

Special thanks to Dave Klavitter, Tyler Loucks, and all of Dupaco for your phenomenal support and commitment to making Dubuque a better place. We’re spoiled to have such great people and business committed to helping us accomplish our mission.

Thanks to the thirty-one players that wore the green and white in our first season, and to Ryan Pacholski for leading them onto the field each time. You guys make me proud to have been a part of this club.

Thanks to Abbie Klein for your medical expertise and for keeping our guys healthy. I know they appreciate it greatly and so do I.

Thanks to all of those who volunteered on game day to make what we did possible. Your help was immense!

Thanks to Jorge Ramirez and Michele Blum for being brave enough to be Union’s first interns. It was a work in progress, but what you brought to the club was of great value.

Thanks to Kyle Regan and Jon Walker for your passionate support in starting Uncle Julien’s Army. I hope that the relationship between the club and its fans continues to grow ever closer and that we can be a club that you’re proud of.

Last, but most certainly not least, I wish I could personally thank every single fan, young or old, Dubuquer or Out-of-towner, etc. for supporting this club over the last year and a half. We started this club because we wanted it for the community, not for ourselves. Your support shows that we’ve succeeded in doing that, albeit on a small scale for the time being. It makes me happy that all of you chose to be part of the Union.

So thanks to all of these wonderful humans for a great first year as a club. I apologize if I omitted anyone that feels they should be included here. I can promise you it wasn’t intentional!

So with a year in the books and time to reflect, I’m thankful and yet hopeful. The best part of all? We’re just getting started...


Cliff Conrad