For someone who never played soccer, Joanne Snyder has made a huge impact on the sport in the Northwest suburbs.
Snyder is stepping down later this month as executive director of the Barrington Area Soccer Association, ending a 20-year run with the organization. Her last day is June 29.
In 1992, Snyder was one of 11 founding members of the association. She was a volunteer board member for three years before becoming the director.
Today, BASA has more than 1,500 participating annually in tot, recreational or travel soccer, as well as the association's mentoring and referee programs.
"We've been really lucky that we've been able in our community to develop players at any level," Snyder said.
The sense of community is something Snyder views as important, and people such as Barrington High School varsity girls' soccer coach Ryan Stengren notice.
"She is pretty much the whole environment," he said. "There are opportunities for every type of player."
Snyder's philosophy revolves around the kids, whom she wants to develop into good players and adults.
"Every Saturday when I leave the recreational field I feel like everyone's smiling," Snyder said.
While Snyder said it's been a fun privilege to have her job, she thinks it's time for retirement, saying her four co-workers are ready to take over and share her former responsibilities.
A park bench was dedicated in Snyder's honor on June 2 during BASA's 20th annual recreational jamboree at Ron Beese Park.