USA Advisory Board
The aim of the American Advisory Board is to offer guidance to the USAFL Executive Board for it's projects and to provide support with major strategic issues on an as-need basis. The board is made up of buiness and community experts across the United States.
Laurence Gration - Chairman
Born in Melbourne, Laurence has been on Boards and Committees for sports, political, and professional associations for more than 30 years. He has been a professional association manager for most of that time, both in Australia , and now as the association “turn around” guy in the US .
Always active in sports, Laurence has spent more time on horse back than in footy short; but that up-bringing keeps calling him back. “I remember sitting in the stands, in the rain, at the SCG with only a few hundred other people in the bad old early days of the Sydney Swans, and thinking ‘this is about as Aussie as you can get’.
“Loving sport, loving committee work, and loving politics, educated in all these areas too, I am pleased to be allowed to play a small part in the growth of the game in the USA”.
Rob is the CEO of ZBB Energy Corporation, an energy storage technology company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and with research and development facilities in Bibra Lake, Western Australia. He has been a resident in the US since 1998 although he commutes on a regular basis between here and his “permanent home” in Perth.
Rob is a keen sportsman and had a lengthy career playing club cricket in Perth. He has been an avid football fan for life and has retained membership of the West Coast Eagles since their inception into the AFL in 1986. Golf is his current sporting passion in both countries but claims the slice is not affected by hemispheres.
Since coming to Milwaukee Rob has been involved in the formation and evolution of the Milwaukee Bombers as a past player, coach, patron and sponsor and has helped develop the Milwaukee Bombers – West Perth Falcons scholarship relationship. Today he and his wife, Flavia, live in Mequon Wisconsin and their three adult children and three grandchildren are all in Perth.
Gary Lerch is the global treasurer of General Electric’s Healthcare division, based in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Gary relocated to Wisconsin in 2005, after having spent eight years with GE Corporate Treasury in Connecticut.
Gary graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 with a BA double major in business and history. Gary obtained his MBA in finance and international business from the University of Connecticut in 2000.
Gary’s involvement with Australian rules football began when he saw a game at the MCG on his first trip to Australia in 2001. That led to his joining the New York Magpies, where he played 50+ games, spent five years on the board, and was voted a life member of the club. Gary is now in his first year as a member of the Milwaukee Bombers ARFC.
Gary currently lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with his wife Renata
Sheranne Fairley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where her primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of sport marketing, international sport management, and marketing research. She has conducted market research for organizations including U.S. Soccer, the Boston Red Sox, the Springfield Falcons, Special Olympics North Carolina, National Amusements Showcase Cinemas, and Major League Lacrosse. Sheranne has published her research in various sport management journals, research monologues, and book chapters. Sheranne continues to present her work at numerous international conferences.
Growing up in Queensland and being an avid rugby league supporter, Sheranne first developed a passion for AFL in 2001 while traveling around Australia with various supporter groups as part of her PhD research on fans that travel to follow their team.
Graham has had a long and distinguished umpiring career in Australia. He was appointed to the VFL Senior Goal Umpires Panel 1977 and umpired VFL games for 15 years, which included 253 senior VFL/AFL games. In 1982 he umpired the Carlton v Richmond Grand Final in front of some 109,000 people, as well as the 1982 Night series Grand Final, and the 3 senior Country Grand Finals that were available. He remains the only Goal Umpire to umpire every Grand Final in one year.
After moving to the US Graham joined the Milwaukee Bombers in 2007 and umpired the Nationals Division I Grand Final. He lives with his wife, Sue in Madison and has two grown sons in Australia.