The “President’s Message” is a continuing effort on my part to keep the members of USA Swimming informed about current happenings in our sport and our organization. Please feel free to share the message with others.
We just completed the 2012 U.S. Aquatics Sports Convention, held in Greensboro, N.C., and I would like to give you an update on some of the activities from last week. I thought the Convention was very productive and all through the week I felt an overall sense of optimism and excitement about USA Swimming and its future. As is customary, I addressed the House of Delegates on Friday and a copy of my remarks can be found here.
Executive Director Update
As I have reported to you previously, Chuck Wielgus, our Executive Director, always provides a general update to our Board of Directors that provides a very good summary of what has happened since the last Board meeting. Please click here to see the update.
State of the Sport
One of the highlights of our annual convention is the State of the Sport Report given by Chuck during our House of Delegates meeting on Saturday. The outstanding performance of Team USA in London, along with the successes of our programs and initiative during the past year, made his report especially enjoyable. You can see the complete report here.
This was the year for the election of many of the positions on the Board of Directors. With the exception of the treasurer position, all the other officers were running for their second term and for the most part were unopposed. The newly elected or reelected members of the Board of Directors are as follows:
- President – Bruce Stratton
- Vice President, Program Development – Jeff Gudman
- Vice President, Administration – Mary Jo Swalley
- Vice President, Program Operations – Jim Sheehan
- Vice President, Technical - David Berkoff
- Treasurer – Stu Hixon
- OIOC Coordinator – Brandon Drawz
- Western Zone Director – Ben Britten
- Eastern Zone Director – Ed Dellert
- Central Zone Director – Steve Potter
- Southern Zone Director – Jay Thomas
- Athletes Executive Committee Chair – Tim Liebhold
- Athletes Executive Committee Vice Chair – Dan Procter
- Athletes Executive Committee Representative – Kelley Otto
Other new members are Peter Vanderkaay as the representative to the USOC Athlete Advisory Council and Margaret Hoelzer the alternate representative. John Morse will continue to serve as the Secretary and General Counsel.
Quadrennial Business Plan for 2013-2016
The Quadrennial Business Plan was presented to the Board of Directors and approved unanimously. Much work has gone into this over the past nine months and it provides an excellent pathway to our continued success over the next four year. A summary brochure of the Plan was prepared and distributed during the convention. Click here to see a copy.
Our efforts in the area of Safe Sport continue to be one of our highest priorities. We have made great strides during the past two years and as a result of our efforts, we are recognized as one of the leaders among Olympic National Governing Bodies and other youth sports organizations. An excellent article about our effects was published last week by the Associated Press and can be found at this link (USA Swimming: Major Progress Since Abuse Scandal).
Two Safe Sport pieces of legislation were passed by our House of Delegates that I believe are very important to our continuing efforts to enhance our programs. The first was a new provision added to our Athlete Protection Policies under Article 305 of our Rules. This provision requires that each member-club of USA Swimming develop its own anti-bullying plan and USA Swimming will provide a model plan as an example. As with all our Safe Sport endeavors, the key is getting them implemented at the club level and this will require our clubs to develop plans and policies to deal with this very important issue at the level where the problem usually takes place.
The second item is a requirement that all LSCs establish a Safe Sport Coordinator. This person will be responsible for the implementation and coordination of the USA Swimming Safe Sport Programs at the LSC level and will serve as the liaison between the USA Swimming Director of Safe Sport (Susan Woessner) and the LSC. This position is critical to providing an all-important communication link between USA Swimming and the LSC on all Safe Sport matters.
The future of USA Swimming is very bright and I am very excited about the successes we will enjoy over the next quad. We are fortunate to have the greatest athletes, the greatest coaches, the greatest volunteers, and the greatest staff of all the NGBs in the Olympic Family.
It is important to me, as your president, to provide open and transparent communication to all our members. I am always available and you should never hesitate to call or email me. If you have any topics or questions you will like covered in a future edition, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USA Swimming President