Development Director, Arkansas Athletes Outreach (AAO)

Born and raised in New England, youngest of five children, John Branca has always been involved in athletics. Soccer and basketball have always been his favorites, and he played through high school and eventually became the manager with Villanova’s basketball team. Villanova won the 1985 NCAA championship, and his love for the game continued. After college, he began working for a nonprofit, youth recreation center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and stayed there for four years until he met his wife Kelly, had a family, and needed to pay the bills. John then started his career in sales with Nestle Waters before moving to Rogers in 2006. He enjoyed stints with Acosta and Anderson Merchandisers before Kelly went back to work full time, in a new field for her, e-commerce (OneStone), and he was able to get back to his true love – working within a youth sports organization as the Development Director at AAO. John has enjoyed working with the staff at AAO for the last 15 months! John and Kelly have three children – Erin, Jack and Danny. A dog and a cat round out the family.

What do you do when you are not working?
I am always looking for a sporting event to watch or taking walks with my wife, and now more than ever I need to workout as I need to lose 15 pounds!

Where is your happy place?
After 9 p.m., when everyone has retired to their rooms, and I am binge watching something on Netflix. (I need to find a low-calorie snack)

Favorite quote:
“Carpe Diem”

Favorite meal:
Seafood Fra Diavolo or a great steak!

Best time of day for you:
Weekends 8 a.m. – A walk with Kelly at Crystal Bridges, coffee in hand! We now live in downtown Bentonville, always plenty of reasons to walk.

Favorite song on your playlist:
“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

What book is on your bedside table?
Something golf related

Tell us about the new Arkansas Athletes Outreach location in Rogers.
We opened in July 2020, and it is amazing. So many friends/contacts came over as a favor to allow me to give them a tour. They had come over with no expectations to sponsor anything. At the end of the tour, most of them asked where they could sign! It is a unique complex that had not been available for kids until now. D1 leases from us and has been a great partner for the combo sports programs and fitness programs. The location has four courts, two football fields, and a lot more to come in 2022 thanks to the City of Rogers and our local business support.

For more information on Arkansas Athletes Outreach, visit