USATF Board of Directors
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Tullamarine/Tegel Room
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Attendance: Stephanie Hightower, Jack Wickens, Darlene Hickman (Secretary),
Kenneth Taylor, Willie Banks, Jeff Darman, Evie Dennis, Philip Dunn, Kim Haines,
Bob Hersh, Aretha Hill, Steve Holman, Larry James (non-voting counsel), Deena
Kastor, Steve Miller, Elizabeth Phillips, and Max Siegel
Staff: Doug Logan, Mike McNees, Lamont Jones, Jill Geer, and Patty Hogan
Other Attendees: Tim Baker and Fred Finke
A quorum was present. Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at about 9 am
President Stephanie Hightower welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the
newly restructured Board of Directors. All in attendance offered brief
NATIONAL OFFICE REPORTS
Doug Logan reported on the finances. Currently, USA Track & Field (USATF)
is on target on both the revenue and expense side. 2008 will end with a
surplus of $1.5 million. The audit visits are scheduled for early April
2009. USATF is on decent financial footing with $4.3 million in
Logan also discussed the current reorganization of the National Office staff,
the increased television ratings, and the challenge to the Jamaicans.
Dr. Evie Dennis, USATF’s representative on the United States Olympic Committee
(USOC) National Governing Bodies’ (NGB) Council, provided a brief overview of
the structure of the USOC. There was a brief discussion on Dennis’ role as
USATF’s representative and the lack of diversity on the current Council. In the
past, USATF’s two representatives to the Council included USATF’s CEO and
Dennis. Moving forward, Logan’s recommendation to the USOC will be that
Dennis and Hightower serve as USATF’s representatives.
Logan provided an update on the recent changes at the USOC with the departure of
its CEO, Jim Scherr, the loss of significant sponsors, and the streamlining of
Bob Hersh, USATF’s representative to the International Association of Athletics
Federations (IAAF), provided a brief overview of the structure of the IAAF.
There was discussion regarding the relationships between USATF’s Board and
national office and its IAAF commission members. Discussion continued
surrounding the lack of communication with respect to the developments of the
Diamond League series of meets.
RESTRUCTURING PHASE I/BYLAWS OVERVIEW
There was discussion on the by-law changes approved at USATF’s Annual Meeting in
Reno, Nevada in December 2008. Additional changes to the by-laws may be
needed. Any recommended changes will be circulated to the Board in a
timely manner for review/approval.
BOARD STRUCTURE PROPOSAL
There was discussion on the recent restructuring of USATF’s Board of Directors.
The current Board will be transparent and will act in the best interests of the
sport. There was discussion on developing cultural and procedural
guidelines for the Board and adopting Robert’s Rules of Order for future
Jeff Darman expressed his concern about having one 5E representative represent
all six 5E organizations. It was agreed Darman and Lamont Jones will have
a conversation outside of the meeting.
There was discussion on USATF’s current Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance
Policy. Jones and Larry James will review our current policy and will
report back to the Board.
MOTION: (Dennis/Hill) Nominate Stephanie Hightower as Chair of USATF’s Board of
Directors. APPROVED unanimously.
The following election was conducted by ballot and tallied by Tim Baker and
MOTION: (Phillips/Denna Kastor) Nominate Jeff Darman as Vice Chair of USATF’s
Board of Directors.
MOTION: (Haines/Dennis) Nominate Jack Wickens as Vice Chairman of USATF’s Board
of Directors. APPROVED by majority vote.
The following election was conducted by ballot and tallied by Tim Baker and Fred
MOTION: (Hersh/Kastor) Nominate Bill Roe as Secretary of USATF’s Board of
MOTION: (Hightower/Hill) Nominate Darlene Hickman as Secretary of USATF’s Board
of Directors. APPROVED by majority vote.
MOTION: (Dennis/Hightower) Nominate Kenneth Taylor as Treasurer of USATF’s Board
of Directors. APPROVED unanimously.
MOTION: (Hersh/Haines) Nominate Larry James as Counsel of USATF’s Board of
Directors. APPROVED unanimously.
The terms of the following Board positions were discussed:
- USATF President – 4 years
- Chair – 2 years
- Vice Chair – 2 years
- Secretary – 2 years
- Treasurer – 2 years
- Athlete Representation (Kastor) – 2 years
- Athlete Representation (Hill) – 4 years
- Athlete Representation (Philip Dunn) – 4 years
PROJECT 30 REPORT, RECOMMENDATIONS & IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
Logan provided background on the formation of the Project 30 Task Force.
The Task Force formed by Logan was asked to impartially evaluate USATF High
Performance Programs, analyze Team USA performance in Beijing, and chart a
course for programmatic change to maximize Team USA performance in Olympic and
World Championship competition. The Project 30 Task Force completed its
report on February 9, 2009.
Logan presented his response of March 8, 2008 to the plan and noted his
openness to additional suggestions/ideas.
As noted below, there was in-depth discussion on the findings of the Task Force
and Logan’s response:
Recommendation 1: Hire a General Manager of High Performance
Logan’s proposed plan recommended the title of Managing Director of Competition.
He or she would oversee all areas designated by the Task Force in its
recommendation. Logan hoped to have this person in place by June 1, 2009.
Steve Miller commented on the recommended salary/benefits for this position and
asked whether it would be sufficient to attract a top candidate.
Recommendation 2: Create a transparent, criteria-based Team Staff
Logan discussed the controversial past of selecting Team Staff. Logan
spoke on it being too soon for him to say how the selection system would
ultimately look, but the system would indeed reflect the Task Force’s
Kastor spoke on her participation on the Task Force and expressed the need to
have a fair system in place.
Recommendation 3: Restructure the composition of Team USA staffs
Logan would immediately implement the Task Force’s suggestion for a new Team
Staff composition of up to 18 credentialed positions.
Recommendation 4: Shorten the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field to
Logan is unsure how the schedule would ultimately look like, but it would be
decided in consultation with the Managing Director. Discussion focused on
a possible schedule with a youth event on one weekend, a master’s event on the
other, and the Trials in the middle. Miller expressed his concern about sending
a mixed message to USATF’s consumers by including youth and masters events.
Logan stated he would have additional discussions with USATF’s stakeholders and
would obtain more information.
The short-program format of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field is
expected to be finalized by July 1, 2010.
Recommendation 5: Terminate the National Relay Program
Logan felt the Task Force presented a wise recommendation, and the program has
Elizabeth Phillips asked if there was a need for Board approval prior to the
termination of the program. Discussion ensued regarding what matters need
Board approval. Max Siegel commented on the importance of empowering the
CEO to run the day-to-day business in accordance with clear strategic
Recommendation 6: Establish a comprehensive 2012 team preparation program
Extensive discussion took place on the establishment of a comprehensive
preparation program. Kastor expressed the need to provide an incentive
program for the athletes. Jack Wickens expressed his support of the goal,
but did not feel the program was designed properly.
Brief discussion took place regarding the Task Force’s recommendation to have
past Olympic athletes mentor current athletes. There was also discussion
on USATF’s current athlete Alumni Association and the move to make serving as a
mentor a requirement for membership in the Alumni Association. Logan
discussed his proposed plan to provide a part-time USATF executive to serve as a
professional coordinator for the Alumni Association.
Recommendation 7: Target technical events for medal growth and develop
those events—Logan discussed the Task Force’s recommendation for a
nationwide network of High Performance Training Centers. Logan also
discussed the proposed plan for USATF to develop two High Performance Training
Centers in the United States. Wickens mentioned much could be learned from
the success of the Distance Centers.
Logan discussed the Task Force’s recommendation for a more professional USATF
Coaching Education system. Currently, USATF does not have a true coaching
certification program. Minimum coaching standards should be established.
USATF would only give its approval to those coaches who have conducted
themselves professionally and ethically.
Recommendation 8: Create a well-defined Professional Athlete designation
Logan discussed the Task Force’s recommendation that USATF create a well-defined
Professional Athlete designation. Logan discussed the proposed plan to
create a two tiered Professional Athlete designation by establishing the
· Rookie Contract. The
Rookie Contract would be signed by all newly declared professional and/or
post-collegiate athletes. The contract would provide the athlete with the
professional athlete designation and would list the necessary duties the athlete
would need to fulfill.
· Statement of Conditions.
The athletes would be required to sign a more stringent Statement of Condition
prior to acceptance to an international team and would be required to fulfill
Recommendation 9: Establish a more stringent anti-doping reinstatement
Logan agreed with the Task Force’s recommendation to establish a more stringent
anti-doping reinstatement system. Logan discussed the need to also
establish a mechanism for certain individuals, who are truthful and dedicated to
fighting doping, to return to the sport.
Recommendation 10: Promote and foster a self-sustaining professional
athlete’s union—Logan agreed the creation of a professional union would make for
a more professional sport – but, did not feel it appropriate for USATF to pay
the salary of a union leader.
Hill distributed the Athlete Compensation Proposal prepared by USATF’s Athletes
APPROVAL OF COMMITTEE APPOINTMENT(S)
The establishment of the standing committees and the recommendation of how they
would operate will be reviewed/discussed at the next meeting.
2009 BOARD CALENDAR
The 2009 board calendar will be established soon and sent under separate cover.
The meeting adjourned at 2:15 pm (Eastern)