MEET THE TEAM

Chad McDonald

Founder of True Advising Group, and Head Player Advisor

Chad founded the True Advising Group in 2018.

Chad played for the Kalamazoo Wings of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) in 2018-2019 and spent the 2017-2018 season overseas in France for the Gap Rapaces where he competed in both the Ligue Magnus and Champions Hockey League. Prior to his professional career, Chad played Division I college hockey at Ferris State University where he was a part of two NCAA Elite Eight teams, a First Team Senior CLASS Award All-American and named the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year in 2016-2017. A Summa Cum Ladue Graduate, Chad graduated from Ferris State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with Legal Studies along with a Certificate in Data Mining. Before Playing at Ferris, Chad made stops in Kalamazoo (NAHL), Des Moines (USHL) and Muskegon (USHL).

As a former professional player, Chad knows firsthand the expectations all players have for their advisors/agents. Chad’s unique experience, work ethic, leadership, communication, and teamwork skills allow him to
provide the best service possible to all players looking to make it to the highest level. Chad resides in Michigan where he is currently pursuing his J.D. at Michigan State University College of Law.

Brett Welychka

Director of Player Development

Brett joined the True Advising Group in 2020

Brett is a 3-year professional hockey player currently playing overseas. From 2011-2015, Brett played for his hometown team, the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he won 2 OHL championships and played in 3 Memorial Cups. A Scholastic Player Of The Year and two-time Hardest Working Player award winner, Brett finished his junior career as the captain of the Belleville Bulls (OHL) in 2015. Brett then attended Carleton University (USPORTS) as a student-athlete from 2015-2018 where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and also won the USPORTS Rookie of the Year award. In 2018, Brett signed an ATO with the Manitoba Moose in the American Hockey League (AHL), and later inked a contract with the Rockford Icehogs (AHL) for the 2018-2019 season. In 2019-2020, Brett played for the Esjberg Energy in the Metal Ligaen (Denmark). 

Brett is excited about the opportunity to use his experience to help young hockey players maximize their potential. Brett aspires to help players get to the highest levels of hockey and is a great addition to our TAG team. 

 

Brett Welychka

Director of Player Development

Tom Forgione

Assistant Player Advisor

Tom joined the True Advising Group in 2021

A native of South Burlington, VT., Tom played four years at the University of Vermont from 2013-2017. While at Vermont, Tom was a part of three 20-win seasons and helped the Catamounts reach the NCAA tournament in 2014. A four-time member of the Hockey East All-Academic team, and a recipient of the Hockey East distinguished scholar award in 2017, Tom majored in history with a minor in political science.

Prior to attending the University of Vermont, Tom moved away from home to play AAA hockey in New York. Afterwards, Tom started his junior career in the Empire Junior Hockey League and Eastern Junior Hockey League for the Green Mountain Glades. He then went on to play two seasons in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2011-2012) and the Sioux Falls Stampede (2012-2013).

Tom began coaching youth hockey while still playing collegiately. Starting in 2014, he coached various spring AAA programs with the 2004 and 2003 age groups. After his college career ended due to injury, Tom transferred into coaching full time in Vermont until he moved to Michigan where he spent two years with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 2006 team. Tom presently works in the Metro Detroit area as an on-ice skills instructor, with a focus on forward development. Tom’s experience throughout junior and college hockey has helped him understand the ups and downs of the sport, and its this experience that makes him a valuable addition to our TAG team. 

Tom currently resides in Northville, Michigan with his fiancé Jordan, a former Division I hockey player at Northeastern and North Dakota. Tom is also pursuing his J.D. at Michigan State University College of Law, where he will graduate in 2023. 

Tom Forgione

Assistant Player Advisor

Mellissa Channell

Women’s Hockey Advisor

Mellissa joined the True Advising Group in 2022

Mellissa currently plays in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) on Team Adidas in the Minnesota region. Prior to the PWHPA she played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) on the Toronto Furies in 2018-2019, where she was selected to the CWHL All-Star team. Before she started her professional career, Mellissa attended the University of Wisconsin where she played all four years for 1980 Miracle On Ice standout, Mark Johnson (2013-2017). During her time with Wisconsin, her team won 3 WCHA tournament titles, 2 regular season titles, and went to 4 Frozen Fours. Mellissa was also apart of Team Canada National program from 2010-2015, where she represented Canada in multiple events world wide. 

While playing, Mellissa started coaching at Little Caesars girls, where she coached the 16u girls team to a National Championship title in 2021.

Being a professional hockey player, playing at a collegiate level, and moving away from home at a young age to pursue her dreams, Mellissa is very knowledgeable about all aspects in Women’s hockey. She is very excited to be apart of the TAG team and help girls pursue their dreams and development on and off ice skills.”

Mellissa Channell

Women’s Hockey Advisor

Todd Skirving

Hockey Mentor and Performance Coach

Todd joined the True Advising Group in 2021

Todd Skirving, a Kelly Cup Champion and two-time Community Player of the Year award winner, is a current player for the Newfoundland Growlers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Prior to his professional career, Todd played Division I college hockey at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where he was part of an NCAA Elite 8 team, an NCAA Sweet 16 team, two Conference Championships and the recipient of the RIT Men’s Hockey Green B. Williams Academic Excellence Award and nominee for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. A Cum Laude Graduate, with multiple Dean’s List accolades, Todd graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in New Media Marketing and a minor in Public Relations and Advertising. Before playing at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Todd made stops in Sioux Falls (USHL) for two seasons and in Vernon/Prince George (BCHL) for one season. As a current professional athlete, Todd is always looking and willing to help. He takes great pride in giving back to not just his teammates, but upcoming athletes and those in the community. Todd is looking forward to working with Chad and his team as another resource the athletes can utilize. With his experiences through hockey, Todd wants to mentor players so that they can be both the best possible athlete, and exceptional human beings as well.

Todd Skirving

Hockey Mentor and Performance Coach

Kirk Luedeke

Parental Advisor

Kirk joined the True Advising Group in 2021

Kirk Luedeke Bio (LOO-duh-kee) is a native of Hudson, N.H., and has been involved with professional and minor hockey for more than 40 years as a player, scout, analyst, manager, editor and reporter. He is currently the managing editor of both the New England and New York Hockey Journals, in charge of the digital and print content for both premium hockey brands published by Seamans Media out of Milton, Massachusetts.

Most recently, Kirk was Assistant General Manager/Director of Hockey Operations/Director of Player Personnel for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers from 2017-21. During his time with the Tier 1 junior hockey club, he handled a variety of roles and responsibilities to include scouting director from 2017-20, handling logistics, international transfers and administrative requirements, team academic advisor and housing coordinator. He also served as the organization’s senior advisor to Head Coach and General Manager David Wilkie.

Prior to Omaha, Kirk was the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area scout for the USHL’s Chicago Steel from 2010-12, and was also with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL as a special assignments and Midwest area scout from 2016-17 before taking his former position with the Omaha Lancers.

Kirk was a member of the Red Line Report staff as a contributing editor and later area scout from 2005-18. Considered the preeminent independent hockey scouting service, the majority of NHL clubs, along with NCAA and junior teams in North America and Europe subscribe to the Lake Placid, N.Y.-based enterprise.

He was a contributor to the original Hockey’s Future website before beginning a career in the media with Seamans Media, publisher of the New England Hockey Journal as a Boston Bruins correspondent and NHL Draft prospects and feature writer. Kirk was with the New England and later New York Hockey Journals covering the sport in a freelance capacity from 2000-17.

A veteran of the U.S. Army with more than 24 years on active duty assignments with the cavalry and armored force, Kirk also served in the public affairs career field, where he was a spokesman at the brigade, division and corps levels before retiring from the military in 2018. He was deployed overseas in support of Operations Joint Endeavor, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan with the 1st and 3rd Infantry Divisions and 1st Armored and Cavalry Divisions.
He is a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.; Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kans. He has two daughters and currently resides in Nashua, N.H. 

Kirk Luedeke

Parental Advisor

Dr. Frederick Neff

Sport Psychologist

Dr. Neff joined the True Advising Group in 2022

Originally from Miami, Florida, Dr. Neff received his B.S. degree from Florida State University in 1972. He received his M.S. degree in Experimental Psychology in 1974 and his S.C.T. degree (Specialist in College Teaching) from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky in 1975. Dr. Neff went on to receive his doctoral degree in psychology (Psy.D.) from William James College, formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology located in Boston, MA, in 1984.

Dr. Neff is a member in good standing in the American Psychological Association. He is a current member of the Sport and Exercise Division and Consulting Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. He has held the position of Attending Psychologist at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. He has also held the position of Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In addition Dr. Neff served on the editorial board of the “Sports Medicine Newsletter”, a product of Raven/Lippincott Publishers.

As a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of experience, Dr. Neff has worked with many Fortune 100 companies providing services in the area of team building, executive coaching, leadership development, emotional intelligence and stress management training. He also works with elite amateur athletes and professional athletes in the area of performance enhancement, developing their mental skills and addressing such issues as confidence, motivation, and assisted in their ability to focus and better manage their injuries. He has worked with tennis, golf, basketball, hockey, football, swimming, ice skaters, divers, baseball players, lacrosse, marathoners, and rally car drivers. He has also worked with individuals in the performing arts including dancers, singers, and actors across the region.

He served as the consultant to the Harvard Women’s Varsity Tennis Team, Gordon GrahamCoach, Cambridge, MA; he served as the Consulting Advisor in Sports Psychology for the Manchester Athletic Club/Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Manchester, MA, and was the Sports Psychology Advisor to the MIT Golf Team, Bruce Chalas-Coach, Cambridge, MA. He provided sports psychology services to the Boston Bruins for 21 years and for the New York Rangers for 5 years. Dr. Neff also has an established telehealth private practice.

Dr. Frederick Neff

Sport Psychologist