Board of Directors

Dar Khalighi

President |

Dar grew up playing Soccer and Tennis in Tehran, Iran.  After high school, Dar moved to France and later to the United States to pursue his studies.  Dar was introduced to Squash only after graduating from college and moving to Seattle from Austin, Texas.  He found the Squash community in the greater Seattle area extremely vibrant and full of friendly and athletic individuals.  Dar’s interest in the Washington Education & Squash Academy stems from his firm belief that children who experience success in a sport tend to become more successful in their future academic, professional, and personal lives.  He believes that WESA is uniquely equipped to fulfill its great mission of helping underprivileged children to have a better chance to succeed in life. Dar has more than 25 years of experience in Software Engineering and Information Technology. The things he loves most in life are spending times with his wife and two daughters, family, friends, and a round of golf every once in a while. 

Anne-marie canis

Co-founder and Vice President

Anne-Marie Canis is director at Les Enfants and Los Ninos de Seattle – an emergent French and Spanish bilingual preschool in Madrona neighborhood of Seattle. She moved to Seattle in 1996 from Paris, France and has worked with children during most of her career in the US as French language teacher. Anne-Marie has numerous close friends in the Squash playing community and is passionate about the educational programs of the foundation.

Naveen Garg

Co-founder and Secretary |

Naveen has decades of computer software industry experience with Texas Instruments, OpenText Gupta Europe, Microsoft and now to his own startup NLPCORE. Naveen has worked in India, Europe and USA over the years, played Squash in many more places and is passionate about this game ever since he picked up the racket for the first time in his first year at college. As the chair person for the board, Naveen is the spokesperson and manages the long-term mission, fiscal and social responsibilities of the organization.

Bill loughrin


Raised in Edmonds, WA, Bill now has a CPA firm there, which his father started in 1972.  He Graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in business with a concentration in Accounting. Outside of his work as a CPA, Bill spends much of his time volunteering for a variety of organizations. While the focus of the organizations differs, all of them work to better the lives of youth, by helping them to grow and reach their fullest potential. In addition to sitting on the WESA Board of Directors, Bill is also an advisor to the Edmonds and Cascadia Art Museums, and he previously served as the Board president for JetCity Improv. Despite all of his volunteer work, Bill also finds the time to play squash and participate in numerous charity bike rides with his daughter, when he is not traveling. Bill brings his love of squash, extensive work on nonprofit boards, and his financial expertise to WESA.

Alan cantlin

Alan grew up playing squash in Portland, Oregon.  He became passionate about the game at an early age and played competitively throughout high school and college.  He was a member of the US National Junior Team in high school and a 3-time All American in college.  Alan has experienced firsthand the personal and academic benefits of playing squash competitively and believes that WESA can help provide underprivileged kids the same benefits from the game that he experienced.

Outside the squash court, Alan graduated from Princeton University and received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently a Principal at Madison Development Group, a locally based real estate development company focused on retail and mixed-use development projects.  Prior to that, Alan spent 10 years at Schnitzer West acquiring, developing and leasing office properties.  Alan started his career as an investment banker at Montgomery Securities and Merrill Lynch & Co.


mark leonard

Mark comes from the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. He graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from Nyack College and ended up moving to Seattle in 1987 where he worked in the technology field. Thirteen years ago he joined Swedish Medical's IT department and began managing their regional data centers. Swedish merged with Providence St Joseph Health in 2012 and now he manages 70 data centers for the Providence Enterprise DC Operations group (supporting hospitals in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, & Texas). Because of his acquaintance with Naveen Garg, Mark became aware of the WESA program from its very inception and he continues to support the organization because of its tangible, positive impact upon the children of underserved communities. 

Ross Elkin 3.jpg

ross elkin

Ross is a recreational squash player who, despite limited ability, loves the game.  He came to Seattle from New England where he was actively involved as a member of  SquashBusters’ Lawrence, MA leadership council.  Having seen the life-changing effect of urban squash, Ross is committed to helping WESA build its program, serve more students, and become an official member of the national Squash & Education Alliance.


Karim Ders

Karim was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and picked up the love for the game of squash at an early age. He played competitively in national leagues and tournaments throughout his college days in Amsterdam.  Now being a father takes up much of the time previously dedicated to squash, as it does for many! Karim is passionate about the game and understands firsthand the positive influence the squash community and environment had in his early development and is excited to be part of supporting and building the WESA program. After having worked across Europe, Karim moved to the States in 2013 and enjoys the beauty the Puget Sound area offers together with his wife and three children.

We are interested in expanding our Board of Directors.  If you are interested in joining us and making a big impact for our scholars, send an email to Naveen Garg at


Wibe Wagemans


After 4 years serving on the S.U.S. Board of Directors, Wibe has stepped down from this position. He remains involved in the organization in an informal, but invaluable capacity.