Boston MA — In an unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of Boston Youth Wrestling last week, Bior Guigni was promoted as the organization’s first-ever full-time Executive Director. Bior becomes the nation’s first female Executive Director leading a wrestling-based youth development organization.
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and the second oldest of 11 siblings, Bior began wrestling at the age of 14 at Norwich Free Academy (CT), the only girl on the boys wrestling team. Before wrestling, Bior struggled with grades and staying in school, and was bullied for being an immigrant and an English language learner. Wrestling gave Bior a safe space to grow and thrive — and thrive she did. After four years of wrestling on the varsity team, Bior was recruited to wrestle with a full scholarship at one of the nation’s first collegiate female wrestling program at Menlo College (CA). She would continue her wrestling career after Menlo training with the Olympic Team, until injuries forced an early retirement. Bior began her post-collegiate career in hospitality and event management, before finding her way back to the sport of wrestling when volunteering for a Boston Youth Wrestling tournament that was being held in 2013.
Bior was tapped as the first Girls Head Coach in 2014 with funding provided by the Dicks Sporting Goods Foundation. Her success in that role led to her promotion of the organization’s first Director of Programming in 2015, which became a full-time position in 2016. Bior’s fingerprints are all over the DNA of programs run in Boston, Chelsea, and Lynn, including the successful “E3” program, the Wrestl(H)er initiative for girls empowerment through wrestling, and M.A.T. Time, BYW’s signature mentorship program.
“I speak for everyone on the Board of Directors, when I say how thrilled we are to have Bior take on this role as our first-ever Executive Director,” said founder José Valenzuela. “The work that Bior has done since 2016 is nothing short of amazing. As an organization, BYW would not be where we are today without the incredible dedication from Bior on a daily basis over the last 3+ years.”
Over the past several months, BYW has been working on accreditation with Beat the Streets National, which cultivates youth development in underserved communities by encouraging a desire for excellence, respect, teamwork, leadership, integrity, and perseverance through the instruction of quality wrestling programs nationwide. Their network, which BYW hopes to be a part of soon, includes New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Providence, and Cleveland. BTS National’s Executive Director Jeffrey Marsh had this to say about Bior: “To see her leadership and passion for the cause over the past year has been inspiring. As far as I am aware, she is the first female Executive Director of a major wrestling organization. Bior and Jacque [Director of Girls Development], through BYW, are leading the way for female careers in the sport of wrestling and setting an example for their students.”
In addition to her role at BYW, Bior is also the first female President of the Massachusetts Wrestling Association, the first female State Director for Massachusetts USA Wrestling, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Boston Chapter of the Wrestlers in Business Network. Bior recently completed a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice at Tufts University, and is a 2019 Lead Innovator with the Social Innovation Forum.