Pass the Puck
Robert Lopez is a Disabled NAVY Veteran and President of Pass The Puck, Inc., a development firm that creates programming for ice hockey facilities all over the world.
Robert saw his first hockey game at 14 and was immediately hooked. It didn't matter that he was a poor, Latino kid, he knew he needed to play. And play he did! In two short years, he became one of the most sought-after young goalies in the country, and was drafted by the International Hockey League--a dream for any player wanting to go pro someday. After suffering a major injury in a game when he was 19, Robert pivoted and joined the NAVY.
Robert served his country for nearly four years when he was medically discharged for chronic kidney stones. He met and married his wife shortly before his discharge, and they relocated to Seattle to be near family and raise their newborn daughter. It was there that hockey found him again.
Robert was hired as the Head Coach and General Manager for the University of Washington Huskies, and the demands of this team ignited his talent for programming. He created a world-class program in just a few short years.
Then he caught the attention of the PUMAS of UNAM in Mexico City, who invited him to build their program from scratch. He took a floundering double-slab ice rink with no revenue and built a flourishing youth hockey program with over 900 players in two years. He held international tournaments where teams from Russia, Europe, Canada, and the US traveled to play his elite teams. The rinks and programs became wildly successful money-makers, and all of this in "The Land of Soccer"!
Hearing of his triumph in Mexico City, The Houston Aeros reached out to Robert for help. They had a youth hockey program, but they couldn't keep their players for long. They were bleeding money, and they needed him to recreate his Mexican prosperity, so he went to Houston to save the program. Robert was determined to prove that his programming worked, and guaranteed them a 50% increase in revenue by the end of the year. Six months into his contract, the General Manager called Robert into his office. "You lied," he said, "you didn't increase our revenue by 50%. You increased it by 83%!" Then the Aeros sent him to save another of their failing rinks, and in just two months, he brought in a quarter of a million dollars.
Since then, he's gone on to create programs all over the US and in Mexico, eventually becoming a Hockey Commissioner for Mexico. But everywhere he goes the amount of prejudice he's faced as a Latino in a White man's sport has been ever-present.
So now, he's training a new generation of Latino hockey directors, who will run his facilities all across the country. He may have been victorious in "The Land of Soccer" and everywhere else, but that's because any land Robert stands on is "The Land of Hockey".