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Meeting Minutes

USATF Board of Directors
Conference Call
November, 17, 2010


Attendance: Stephanie Hightower, Jack Wickens, Dr. Evie Dennis, Elizabeth Phillips, Ken Taylor, Willie Banks, Jeff Darman, Philip Dunn, Bob Hersh, Deena Kastor, Kim Haines, Steve Holman, Max Siegel, Larry James (non-voting Counsel), Darlene Hickman (non-voting Secretary)

USATF Staff: Mike McNees, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Norm Wain, Gina Miller, Jill Geer, Shayna Sangster

Quorum was present. Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at 4:00pm (EST).


MOTION (Phillips): Approve the October 9, 2010 minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

MOTION (Taylor): Approve the October 25, 2010 minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.


Hightower traveled to New York for the NYC Marathon and met with New York Road Runners (NYRR) CEO, Mary Wittenberg. They discussed the USATF Board collaborating with the NYRR Board of Directors for future events.  Hightower also met with Platinum Rye, an entertainment group that wants to assist USATF in looking for sponsorship opportunities. Lastly, Hightower met with Peter Diamond from NBC to ensure everything is on track with USATF TV programming, particularly for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Later in the week Hightower, along with McNees, Wickens, Siegel and Dennis will travel to Colorado Springs to meet with USOC CEO, Scott Blackmun. They will discuss some governance concerns proposed by the USOC.

Jeff Darman reported on the ongoing CEO search. Chip Novick from Bialla has spoken with approximately 50 people to get their perspective on what characteristics are essential in a new CEO.  Novick will give a report to the Personnel Committee at the Annual Meeting.  Currently the search is on schedule and interview of the top candidates will take place in early January.

Board self evaluations are due by end of business today.


McNees traveled to New York for the marathon and met with Mary Wittenberg from NYRR.  He voiced concerns over the lack of branding at the marathon, considering that it is the USATF Championships.  He also met with Peter Diamond and the representatives from the Houston Marathon to discuss the Olympic Trials broadcast.

McNees met with Lisa Baird from the USOC who has done a large amount of research on sponsorship development for National Governing Bodies (NGB).  The USOC is currently restructuring the way they deal with NGB sponsorships and has asked for USATF’s input on how they can help develop sponsorship opportunities.

Currently the marketing and events departments are working on building a valid Visa Championship schedule for 2011.  A report will come later this week with preliminary information.

The 2011 Outdoor Championship contract will be executed within the next week.



While in Virginia Beach, the Business Development Committee will be focused on TV strategies, the Request for Proposal process, and the website overhaul.  Wickens also mentioned that there have been a number of conversations on engaging a third party expert in sponsorships, while starting a search process to hire a high powered sales person.


Mosley distributed a resolution prior to the meeting asking the Board to approve the staff recommendations for the Big Three (2012 Olympic Games, 2011 World Championships, 2011 Pan American Games).  The Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Committees developed the pool before it went to a ten person selection committee.  The Competitions Committee approved the list before it was brought to the Board.

MOTION (Hightower): Approve the proposed resolution.
All in favor. Motion Passed.


The Budget and Finance Committees approved the 2011 draft budget and brought it to the Board for review and comments.  The Board will have the opportunity to ask questions and make changes before it is brought to the Board for approval in Virginia Beach.


Banks is waiting on a report from the staff in regards to the Metropolitan Association.  Once he receives the details on the audit of the association’s books he will report back to the Board.


Hersh reported that everything is on course for the elections and notices have gone out to the selected committees. Hightower asked Wain to prepare a report on the amendments to the bylaws that include term extensions for Board members.


The Annual Meeting preparation is well underway.  The planning committee has focused on a green initiative and has encouraged all of the registrants to do the same.  The “Coffee with the Board” meetings have been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 from 3:00 – 4:50pm and Saturday, Dec. 4 from 2:00 – 3:50pm.  Further logistical information will be sent to the Board early next week.

MOTION (Hightower): Move into executive session to discuss the current litigation.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

The meeting moved into executive session at 5:11pm (EST).

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