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Meeting Minutes

USATF Board of Directors
Des Moines, Iowa
June 26 - 27, 2010

ATTENDANCE
Stephanie Hightower, Jack Wickens, Ken Taylor, Philip Dunn, Dr. Evie Dennis, Elizabeth Phillips, Deena Kastor, Aretha Thurmond, Jeff Darman, Kim Haines, Willie Banks, Steve Miller, Steve Holman, Bob Hersh, Larry James (non-voting Council), Darlene Hickman (non-voting Secretary)

Office Staff:  Doug Logan, Mike McNees, Norm Wain, Jill Geer, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Gina Miller, Terry Crawford, Shayna Sangster

Guests: Vince Peters, Jon Drummond, Dexter McCloud, Lionel Leach

Quorum was present.  Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at 8:00pm (CDT).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

MOTION(Darman): Approve the May 26 minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Chairman/President’s Report
 
Stephanie Hightower recently visited Washington DC for the announcement of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.  Allyson Felix was appointed a member of the council.
 
In Washington, Hightower spoke with members of the AAU.  She received insight into the program and would like to find ways to gain a better working relationship with the organization.
 
The NACAC Under 23 Championships will take place in Mirmar, Florida July 9 – 11, 2010.  The Women’s Conference will take place during the same time period.  All Board members are invited to attend.

MOTION(Phillips): Move into Executive Session.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

USA Track & Field Staff and guests exited the room for Executive Session at 8:18pm and returned at 8:57pm.

Lamont Jones recently stepped down as the General Counsel at USA Track & Field. Doug Logan announced Norm Wain as the new General Counsel.  Norm Wain spent the last 10 years as the VP of Corporate Legal Affairs at Finishline.
 
In Executive Session the Board reviewed and discussed the term sheet for the revised contract of the CEO.

MOTION(Phillips): Approve revised CEO contract.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Treasurers/Finance Report
Ken Taylor reviewed the 2010 financial results through April 30, 2010 and the 2010 budget update distributed prior to the meeting.   Overall, the 2010 results are aligned with budget expectations.  The cancellation of the Tyson Invitational as part of the indoor VCS is the most notable budget variance to date.  All activities occurring after April 30, 2010 have not been fully booked, but Gina Miller believes these activities were completed in line with budget expectations.  A request was made to revise future year-to-date financial results to indicate the expected tri-annual expense and revenue result.
 
Miller presented the 2010 budget revision along with a Board resolution.  The budget revision made an adjustment to the allocation of sponsorship funds throughout the contract term.  The requested change was to budget the revenue on a cash basis rather than the straight-line basis originally used.

MOTION(Wickens): Amend the 2010 USA Track & Field budget with the Chief Financial Officer’s suggested changes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Board Counsel Report

Larry James, Board Counsel, distributed his report via email prior to the meeting.  Some discussion items included: doing an internal audit, protecting the USATF trademark, and implementation of a volunteer policy and handbook.  James met with Logan to discuss the roles of the Board and staff counsel.
 
All Board members need to complete the Code of Ethics Report.

Audit Committee Report

Prior to the meeting, Gina Miller and Kim Haines distributed the 2009 audited financial statements and related management discussion and analysis.  The Audit Committee met in Indianapolis in May to review the audit report.  Miller presented the Board with the financial statements with an “unqualified” (clean) opinion.

CEO’s Report

Doug Logan distributed his report in a written format prior to the meeting.  A point of discussion was the change in duties of the Board and National Office counsel.  Logan and James met in the weeks prior to discuss the remuneration of the Board Counsel.  They came to an agreement and asked that the Board adopt the proposed arrangement.

MOTION(Phillips): Approve the resolution to make changes in the fiscal remuneration of the Board Legal Counsel.

Concerns were voiced over the distinction of duties between the Board and National Office legal counsel.  Logan mentioned the duties have been defined and would distribute the information at Sunday’s meeting.

MOTION (Banks): Table the approval of the recommended changes in the fiscal remuneration of the Board Legal Counsel until the defined duties are provided.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Logan met with the sports chairs to discuss the draft of the 2012 Trials Schedule.  He is working to get consensus before he brings the draft to the Competitions Committee.  The Competitions Committee will then make a recommendation to the Board.  Steve Miller mentioned that it is important to review the contracts with the broadcasters and the local organizing committee (LOC) to ensure they agree with the shortened schedule. Logan stated that he has been meeting with the LOC and keeping them involved in the process.
 
Deena Kastor asked whether Logan has been working with disabled athletes.  Logan responded by noting that he has been working with the USOC to accommodate portions of the Paralympic Trials in the USATF Olympic trials.

New Business

Aretha Thurmond voiced elite athlete concerns with the national office.  Concerns included feeling that there is no sense of urgency regarding Project 30 and PPF funding.  She also voiced concerns over the current insurance coverage policy and inadequate housing for high performance meets.  A major issue mentioned in these concerns was a lack of communication.
 
Logan responded by apologizing for the athletes delay in receiving the Project 30 and PPF funding.  He noted that once the Project 30 program is completely established, things will run smoother.  Logan also promised that the national office will do a better job of communicating.  Hightower noted that she has spoken with Logan and Benita Fitzgerald Mosley to see how these issues can get resolved.

Challenge Grants

Challenge grants were awarded for Youth, Masters and Race Walking.  There were no applications for the disabled athletics grant.  Upon approval of the recommendations, contracts will be drawn up between USATF and the awardees.

MOTION(Banks): Adopt Grant recommendations.
All in favor.  Motion passed.

Hightower suggested a conference call with the Operations and Competitions Committee to find a plan for the excess grants monies.

MOTION: (Miller) Adjourn meeting.
All in favor.  Motion passed.

Sunday, July 27, 2010
 
Hightower opened meeting at 7:39am
 
CEO Report (continued)

Mike McNees distributed the updated Strategic plan prior to the meeting.  The document included a status update for each of the action items.  Hightower suggested that each committee break down their areas of concentration and keep track of the progress.

MOTION (Banks): Reopen the motion to recommended changes in the fiscal remuneration of the Board Legal Counsel.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Logan provided each of the Board members with the duties of the Board and National Office counsel.  He also provided them with the job description of the staff counsel.

MOTION (Banks): Approve the resolution to make changes in the fiscal remuneration of the Board Legal Counsel.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Youth Committee Report

Lionel Leach presented the Board with a written report focused on the Youth Division’s webcasting plan.  The committee partnered with PlayOn Sports to offer a pay per view package ($4.95) for each of the youth championship events.  The Committee also hopes the additional viewership will attract new sponsors.  DVD’s will be available at the conclusion of each meet.  Hightower requested that a communication strategy be put together to distribute this information.
 
The Youth Committee is currently working on an online system to enter athletes into the Junior Olympic meet. This will cut down on the amount of paperwork submitted, help with age verification and increase membership.
 
Leach also updated the Board on conversations with the AAU.  Both organizations have agreed to not schedule conflicting meets.  The AAU has also been talking about hosting a national indoor meet.  The Youth Committee is interested in doing a similar event and would like to make sure they can stay competitive without hosting conflicting competitions.
 
Lastly, Leach updated the group on the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships bid.  Greensboro, North Carolina became very interested in the event after hosting the 2009 Junior Olympic Championships.  They submitted a letter of intent to the IAAF and have become one of three finalists.

AAC Report

John Drummond, Chair of the Athletes Advisory Committee (AAC), spoke on behalf of the athletes voicing frustrations with the national office staff.  Their concerns included a lack of transparency, athletes not being involved in on-going decision making processes, information not being shared in a timely fashion and a lack of urgency from the staff.  Concerns were also expressed over funds that were earmarked for allocation by the AAC.
 
Some suggestions from the AAC included hiring an athlete’s representative in the national office, adding a certification and appeals panel for the Coaches Registration and awarding the AAC the funds that were allocated to the committee by the Eugene local organizing committee.
 
Logan responded by noting that athletes are included in the decision making process, but clarification needs to be made on the point at which they need to be involved.  A plan must also be put in place to ensure that those who are involved disseminate the information to other members of the AAC.
 
Darman suggested that an ombudsman would not be the right direction, but instead a cultural shift.  Everyone at the national office should be thinking about how their decisions impact the athletes.  In this way, every staff members is an ombudsman.
 
Hightower suggested that Logan and Drummond meet to prepare a better communication plan for the athletes.

Disabled Athletes Report

Jack Wickens presented on behalf of the Disabled Athletes Committee.  The presentation consisted of a video overview of disabled athletics.

MOTION (Wickens): Board embraces a vision of inclusion and commissions a work group to pursue a business plan to determine how and when to incorporate the disabled into the USATF program.

The Disabled Group has had a committee, but there hasn’t been anyone on staff designated to work directly with this group.  Bob Hersh suggested appointing a group to explore the feasibility of increasing USATF’s activities and involvement in athletics for disabled athletes, including elements of organizational integration.
 
Concerns were voiced over adding another constituency group when there is still a lot of work to be done with the current constituency groups.  This could require multiple staff members for oversight.
 
Jack Wickens withdrew his motion.

MOTION (Darman): Board instructs staff to evaluate current USATF activities for the disabled.  USATF Board reiterates its strong support for increased events for the disabled in its sanctioned events.

Motion withdrawn.

MOTION (Hersh): Appoint a group to explore the feasibility of increasing USATF’s activities and involvement in athletics for the disabled including elements of organizational integration.
All in Favor.  Motion passed.

New/Old Business
 
Philip Dunn asked the Board to revisit the Race Walk Challenge Grants.  Dunn reviewed the applications and believed one race walk application was broader in scope than the others. He argued that a missing component in race walking is education and this particular application addressed that issue.

MOTION (Dunn): Reconsider the motion to award racewalking challenge grant.
Majority Approved. Motion passed.

MOTION (Hersh): Take the racewalk applications back to the Competitions Committee for further discussion.
All in Favor.  Motion passed.

MOTION (Hightower): Move into Executive Session.
All in Favor.  Motion passed.

 

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