Adam Miles-Founder, Executive Director
In 2017 Adam Miles left the soul-sucking environment of Wall Street after nearly 20 years of working as a successful financial advisor serving venture capitalists, corporations, and high net worth individuals. Prior to his career as a financial professional Adam worked for global powerhouse, Honda Motor Co. in both the USA and Japan in various capacities including new model cost control and government relations. While staying very busy as an advisor, Adam founded Bridges To America, Inc. (the entity behind Refugee Soccer) in 2005 and has loved the extreme challenges of building and growing the mission of creating moments of hope and happiness for refugees. After 25 years helping others make money, Adam is now solely and happily focused on growing Refugee Soccer into a sustainable venture maximizing positive impact around the world.
Adam has lived numerous years outside the USA on several expatriate assignments, and is fluent in spoken and written Japanese. His home base is Utah but he travels extensively. He has four amazing children, and two great sons-in-law. He also has 5 beautiful, shining grandkids whom he loves dearly. He loves being active including mountain biking in nearby Park City. He is a published author and loves to write and speak publicly as he did with a TEDx Salt Lake City talk about refugees in 2022. Adam loves to say about this work: “It takes so little to do so much.” It is this view that provides him and his team the most extraordinary and fulfilling return on investment of time, capital, and heart.
BOARD of ADVISORS
Gil Kuruneri-Advisory Board Member
Gil Kuruneri has vaulted his way to the top of the advertising industry on the back of one unalienable personalty trait: relentless curiosity. With more than 30 major advertising awards to his credit, it’s clear that his impassioned pursuit of knowledge and understanding has given him an edge, allowing him to carve his name into the annals of creative history.
His advertising career began in 2007 with an invitation to use science and creativity to launch platforms that still drive sales today. Gil’s entree into purpose-driven creative work began at Ogilvy & Mather, where he cofounded the shadow network of activist-creatives called “The Pirate Team”.
Gil’s innovative form of creative leadership has led to culture-shaping campaigns that address social injustice, such as The Refugee Nation. Today, the iconic orange & black refugee flag is part of the permanent collection of several design museums including MoMa (NY) and V&A (London).
It doesn’t matter if he’s finding a third life for leftovers, or discovering new ways for technology to empower people to enact change, Gil lives the values that the pirate code preaches: use creative intelligence to help each other make a better world for everyone.
Angel Maroto-Advisory Board Member
Angel is an accomplished senior marketing and sales executive leader who has had an extensive and successful career spanning international management, business development and client relationship management for Fortune 1000 companies. A versatile and decisive executive with strong strategic, operational and leadership skills. He has also been cited for expertise in developing and executing business plans and strategy for large strategic clients. Angel is bi-lingual (English-Spanish), and throughout his career has demonstrated a passion for communication, relationship-building and negotiation.
Most recently, Angel was Vice President and General Manager for American Express’s Large Commercial Card Business, where he managed sales and account development of Fortune 1000 companies in the Western region, a $300M+ revenue market for global commercial payments.
Previously at American Express, Angel led the Global Client Group Commercial Card business where he held global management responsibility for the largest and most strategic clients in the company’s technology and online travel agencies segments. Earlier roles with the company in the merchant business include Vice President, Client Management in the U.S. Western Region and Country Manager for Spain. Angel held numerous leadership roles with Cigna and for Citibank in both the U.S. and Spain.
Angel holds an MBA in Business Administration and Marketing from the I.E.S.E. Universidad de Navarra in Barcelona, Spain, completed an MBA Exchange Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Complutense University in Madrid, Spain.
Carla Swensen-Haslam- Advisory Board Member
Carla comes to Refugee Soccer with an immense desire to provide opportunities for both refugees and immigrants. A dual-citizen of the United States and Colombia, Carla began playing soccer at a young age. It was through the beautiful game that she was able to travel the world, play with the Colombian U-20 National team, and be a part of an NCAA Division One soccer program at Brigham Young University.
Since graduating from BYU with a degree in News Media (Communications) in 2018, Carla has been accepted to law school, and is planning on studying immigration law. Outside of school, Carla has pursued a career in sports broadcasting, becoming the first female in the state of Utah to call a men’s professional sport (Real Monarchs 2016-2017). Carla also worked for Utah’s female professional soccer team, Utah Royals FC, as the radio and TV on-air broadcaster, and Media Relations Manager.
In her free time, Carla loves to read historical biographies–especially on Abraham Lincoln. She would love to write a book — if only she could choose one topic to write about. She enjoys memorizing poems from her favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, and can often be found whistling a show tune from Mamma Mia or La La Land. Carla is married to her sweetheart, Daniel Haslam, and credits her desire to help refugees from her loving parents, Jason and Josefina. Carla also has one younger brother, Christian, who is currently serving and LDS mission in Taiwan, but will return in one year to finish his study at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
McKenzi Huskinson-Operations Director
McKenzi Huskinson is from Logan, UT and has lived in the Salt Lake City Area for 7 years. She is the full time Director of Operations at Brightbox. She loves her job because she is able to use her operational skills and organization for good to help with the company mission to “Brighten 1 Million Days.” She is often encouraged and inspired by the notes that people send in their Brightboxes and strives to be aware of others’ needs. Service has been an important part of her life and she loves to find and fill needs where she can. She has spent time in Ecuador and Texas doing long term volunteer work.
Mckenzi has been playing and watching soccer on and off for most of her life, and she enjoys going to Real Salt Lake games here in Utah. She enjoys playing in local leagues and playing pickup games with different groups around the valley. She is eager to be involved with Refugee Soccer and make it easier for refugees and non-refugees alike to come together and enjoy the beautiful game.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.