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Meeting Minutes

USATF Board of Directors
Conrad Hotel - Indianapolis, IN
October 9, 2010

ATTENDANCE
Attendance: Stephanie Hightower, Jack Wickens, Dr. Evie Dennis, Jeff Darman, Aretha Thurmond, Philip Dunn, Elizabeth Phillips, Ken Taylor, Kim Haines, Willie Banks, Steve Holman, Bob Hersh, Max Siegel, Deena Kastor (via phone), Larry James (non-voting Counsel), Darlene Hickman (non-voting Secretary)
 
USATF Staff: Mike McNees, Norm Wain, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Gina Miller, Jill Geer, Shayna Sangster, Sherry Quack, McKenze Rogers, Ashley Huxman, Kristina Hervey
 
Guest: Christina Corl, Virginia Brophy Achman
 
Quorum was present. Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at 12:15pm (EST).
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
 
MOTION (Phillips): Approve the September 30th minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.
 
CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT’S REPORT
 
Hightower traveled to Buffalo for the Associations Workshop at the end of August and met with the sports chairs to discuss the idea of a volunteer handbook.  The volunteers fully supported the idea and Bill Roe offered to help guide the process. Once a guideline has been drafted it will be brought to Norman Wain for review.
 
In November, Hightower and McNees accompanied by Max Siegel, Jack Wickens and Dr. Evie Dennis will travel to Colorado Springs and meet with USOC CEO, Scott Blackmun. The meeting will be focused on governance issues and the recent changes in USATF leadership.
 
The 2010 Hall of Fame inductees have been selected. They will be contacted within the next week and announced within the next two weeks.
 
INTERIM CEO/STAFF REPORT
 
The staff has been working on three major event agreements, including the Houston Marathon Trials, the 2011 Outdoor Championships and the 2012 Track & Field Trials.  The Houston contract should be concluded within the next few days. The other contracts are well underway and should be completed within the next few months.
 
Any suggestions for the 2010 Annual Meeting should be sent to Mike McNees as soon as possible. Each Board member received a copy of the Annual Meeting Schedule and was asked to plan their travel at their earliest convenience.
 
The High Performance Department is in the process of applying to host the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships in Mirmar, Florida.  Bob Hersh will be intimately involved in the process to provide an IAAF perspective.
 
The USATF marketing team will meet with BMW during the week of the NYC marathon.  The following week some athletes will travel to the BMW test facility to meet with the staff and test drive some of BMW’s top cars.
 
The Organizational Services Committee has advanced a remedial action plan related to the Metropolitan association.  Andy Martin traveled to New York to review the association’s records, finances and fact find. McNees agreed to put together an executive summary on the matter prior to the Annual Meeting.
 
Jill Geer and Benita Fitzgerald Mosley presented the second phase of an athlete communication plan. The plan focused on how to best send the athletes the information they need and ensure that they read it. Mechelle Lewis was designated to work with Geer as the AAC liaison. The plan consists of:

  • Bi-weekly conference calls with the High Performance Department staff, Jill Geer and AAC leaders (as designated by AAC);
  • Keeping athletes better informed through regular, scheduled communication;
  • Distribution of all athlete announcements to Authorized Agents and Registered Coaches; and
  • Bi-weekly calls between Jill Geer and AAC communications liaison Mechelle Lewis.

McNees gave a brief description of the website update. A company has been selected to work on the aesthetics of the website.  The project should be completed within the next three months.
 
A relay summit will take place in Orlando, FL this week to discuss the programs that were in place and how things can be improved. Athletes, coaches, agents, volunteers and USATF staff members were present.
 
Mosley presented a shortened version of the High Performance Plan that was submitted to the USOC in August. The plan set out the previous year’s accomplishments and the goals moving forward. The High Performance Department is focused on being athlete-centered, coach driven and science based.
The Competition Committee met to discuss the Excellence Challenge Grant for Racewalking. After further review, the grant was awarded to Coach A.C Jaime, Youth Co-Chair of the South Texas Association.
 
Norm Wain provided the Board with a summary of the current grievance process along with a list of frequently asked questions and answers.  These materials were created to enhance members understanding of the process and increase transparency.  Wain will continue to provide a quarterly update to the Board on the status of pending grievances.
 
Athlete Advisory Committee/Olympic Trials Funding Issue
 
The Athletes Advisory Committee (AAC) submitted a complaint to the Board regarding funding allocated to the committee in the 2008 Olympic Trials Contract. McNees submitted an executive summary that laid out how the money was spent and showed a similar agreement was not made in the 2012 contract.
 
Wickens proposed reiterating a new level of commitment from the Board and staff to a better athlete relationship and a stronger athlete voice.
 
MOTION (Darman): The board acknowledges the AAC’s complaint and concern over allocations of revenue generated by the 2008 Olympic Trials contract. The monies in question have already been spent, with roughly 75 percent going to athlete programs, consistent with overall USATF budgeting.
 
The board also recognizes that there has been a lack of constructive communication since the 2008 Olympic Trials between USATF and athletes regarding how monies are allocated to athlete support and development programs.
 
The board and staff are firm in their commitment to reverse this recent trend and will ensure athlete input on key matters of athlete expenditures.
 
As a display of the good faith of the board, USATF resolves to allocate $100,000 per year, for three years (totaling $300,000), dedicated to athlete-generated funding proposals. Those proposals must be delivered by the AAC to the board in accordance with best practices and will be allocated on an annual basis.
All Approved. Motion Passed.
 
 
 
ACTIVE ISSUES STATUS REPORT
 
Business Development Committee
 
Wickens and Siegel will meet with a third party firm to evaluate if they can assess USATF’s assets for future sponsorships.
 
Finance Committee
 
Gina Miller and Ken Taylor distributed final financial results through August 31, 2010 prior to the meeting. Taylor noted that as of October 31, 2010 the organization is on track to be within the budget for the year.
 
MOTION (Taylor): Adopt the August 31, 2010 financial results as information report.
All Approved. Motion Passed.
 
OLD/NEW BUSINESS
 
The request was made from the Masters Long Distance Committee to form a task force to advance and study the issue of doping in Masters.  McNees will present a report to Hightower within the next ten days.
 
Law & Legislation Election letters will be distributed to each of the individuals responsible for making recommendations to the Board. Those who are nominated will be asked to give oral presentations at the Board of Directors meeting in Virginia Beach.
 
EXECUTIVE SESSION
 
MOTION (Banks): Move into executive session.
All Approved. Motion Passed.
 
Meeting moved into Executive Session at 4:19pm (EST).
 
 
 
SUMMARY OF MOTIONS
MOTION (Phillips): Approve the September 30th minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.
 
MOTION (Darman): The board acknowledges the AAC’s complaint and concern over allocations of revenue generated by the 2008 Olympic Trials contract. The monies in question have already been spent, with roughly 75 percent going to athlete programs, consistent with overall USATF budgeting.
 
The board also recognizes that there has been a lack of constructive communication since the 2008 Olympic Trials between USATF and athletes regarding how monies are allocated to athlete support and development programs.
 
The board and staff are firm in their commitment to reverse this recent trend and will ensure athlete input on key matters of athlete expenditures.
 
As a display of the good faith of the board, USATF resolves to allocate $100,000 per year, for three years (totaling $300,000), dedicated to athlete-generated funding proposals. Those proposals must be delivered by the AAC to the board in accordance with best practices and will be allocated on an annual basis.
All Approved. Motion Passed.
 
MOTION (Taylor): Adopt the August 31, 2010 financial results as information report.
All Approved. Motion Passed.
 
MOTION (Banks): Move into executive session.
All Approved. Motion Passed.

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