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Meeting Minutes

USATF Board of Directors
Conference Call
February 26-27, 2011


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

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

Quorum was present. Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at 10:40am (MDT).

MOTION (Thurmond): Approve the January 19, 2011 minutes.
All in favor. Motion Passed.


Hightower traveled to the Birmingham Grand Prix Indoor Competition and met with Brendon Foster. They discussed some competitive opportunities for USATF athletes, including the Great Edinburgh Cross Country competition and the Great City Games. The events would be fully funded by Nova International, so there would be no budget impact. Last year USATF sent a men’s team to the cross country competition and Hightower’s suggestion is to add a senior women’s team along with both male and female junior teams. The Competitions Committee approved the proposal.

MOTION (Hightower): Field teams for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country event and the Great City Games.
All in favor. Motion Passed.


Ken Taylor and Gina Miller distributed the 2010 Preliminary Financial Results to the Board. Hightower posed a question from the youth committee regarding the revenue from the youth webcast. Miller explained that the webcast came to a negative gross profit, so there was no money to reallocate to the youth committee. Hightower asked Taylor to communicate this to the youth committee.

MOTION (Taylor): Accept the 2010 Preliminary Financial Results as information subject to audit.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

Hightower brought up a concern regarding committee budgets. If a committee brings in revenues above and beyond what was budgeted does it go back to the committee or to the general fund? Hightower asked that Taylor review this issue with the budget and finance committee.


McNees distributed a written report prior to the meeting highlighting the Track & Field Athletic Association (TFAA), Athlete Tier System, High Performance Training Centers, Domestic and International Competitive Opportunities, Sport Performance Workshops, Uniform Regulations and departmental updates.

Banks asked about a report on the Alumni Committee. McNees received a report from Susan Hazzard and will forward the report to Banks.

MOTION (Banks): Suspend Mr. Webb from USATF until this individual has complied with the decision of the NABR Panel to pay USATF $760 on behalf of Ms. Gildersleeve.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that South Bay Track Club be suspended until Mr. Webb has complied with the NABR decision.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

The Business Development Committee met prior to the Board meeting. The committee discussed the continuation of the Millrose Games and how the event should move forward. There was also discussion on future competitive opportunities to add to the Visa Championship Series.

Haines distributed a resolution to amend the Audit Committee charter prior to the meeting. The amendment included the following provision:

3.21 Evaluate the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. At each annual in-person meeting with the outside auditors discuss organizational risks with the outside auditors, General Counsel, CEO, COO and CFO. Such discussion shall be fully documented in meeting minutes. Commission a review and written report for identified risks, if any. Such review may be performed internally by the financial and/or legal management team(s), or as an additional service performed by the outside auditors. Such determination will be made based on the topic and required expertise, and shall take into consideration any conflict of interest and appropriate segregation of duties as necessary.

MOTION (Phillips): Add the said provision to the Audit Committee Charter.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

The Board formed a task force to address anti-doping issues facing the organization. The committee will include Aretha Thurmond, Bob Hersh and Willie Banks as the Chair. Jon Drummond will appoint an athlete and Norm Wain will serve as the national office liaison. Thurmond pushed for the task force to complete the review within the next month. The group will review the Zero Tolerance policy and bring a recommendation back to the Board.

The Board discussed the eligibility of Lashawn Merritt at the Outdoor Championships. Merritt is automatically eligible for the 2011 World Championships, but the current policy states all athletes that compete at the World Championships have to first compete at the USA Outdoor Championships. The Competitions Committee is expecting Merritt to petition to run at the USA Outdoor Championships and wanted the Board to be aware of the issue.

The Competitions Committee brought a recommendation to the Ethics Committee to review a portion of the USATF Ethics Policy that limits how much individuals can get paid to provide services or expertise to the organization. The Competitions Committee recommended that this policy be reviewed to allow a waiver in certain circumstances.


Hightower distributed a Board Committee Structure document to allow Board members to reevaluate which committees would best fit their strengths. The objective is to keep the group engaged and actively involved.

As a stipulation in the PPA Agreement, the USOC asked the Board to consider conducting a formal Board of Directors training. The group hopes to plan a 2-day strategy session in late summer or early fall that will include the Board training. The USOC also requested that the organization arrange for an independent person/organization to audit USATF’s governing documents. The amendment to the audit charter takes this into account.

5C Issue
After the restructuring of the Board the 5C group reduced to one seat on the Board. The group agreed to have Darman serve on the Board for the first two years and Becky Oakes for the second two years. Many people have requested that Darman stay on the Board to keep the continuity of the group.

Hightower distributed a resolution to support Darman’s continuation as a member of the Board. The Board felt Darmans involvement in the CEO search process and the litigation needed to be finished through December 2012.

MOTION (Hightower): Support the resolution to keep Jeff Darman on the Board as the 5C representative through December 2012.

Holman suggested the last paragraph be amended to read, “We, as a Board, ask for your support of maintaining the continuity of the restructured USATF Board through December, 2012.”

Motion (Holman): Friendly Amendment
All in favor. Motion Passed.

IAAF Appointments

The Board voted on the IAAF Committee Appointment nominees. The Board focused on the fact that this is a nomination to be appointed, not a vote to appointment. The selected individuals included:

Women’s Committee – Anne Timmons
Technical Committee – David Katz
Cross Country Committee – Glenn Latimer
Masters Committee - Rex Harvey
Race Walk Committee - Bob Bowman

Motion (Banks): Submit the names of Bob Hersh for the IAAF Council and the IAAF Vice President and Dr. Evie Dennis as the USATF Delegate to the IAAF Council.
All in favor. Motion Passed.

The meeting moved into executive session at 2:13pm (MDT).

The meeting resumed at 8:07am (MDT) on Sunday, February 27, 2011.


Track & Field Athlete Association

Wickens distributed a document giving background information and the stated goals of the TFAA. McNees and Khadevis Robinson met to discuss the initiatives of the group. The issue of having an ombudsman at the national office was a major initiative of the TFAA and is something the Board agreed to discuss in further detail. A suggestion was also made that the leaders of the TFAA should talk to individuals at NASCAR to see where the two organizations are similar and to learn from the type of programs NASCAR provides for its drivers.

Hightower asked that McNees, Wickens and Banks lay out a plan for the direction of the group, including short and long term action steps. This may include a trip to NASCAR with the TFAA.

Annual Meeting

A committee was formed to brainstorm ways to enhance the format and substance of the USATF Annual Meeting. Ideas included:

  • Adding and inspirational or keynote speaker to the Opening Session.
  • Doing away with the Awards Breakfast.
  • Revamping the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Dinner.
  • Adding a luncheon to replace Awards Breakfast. Several concepts for the luncheon were presented and will be further studied.
  • Finding ways to get elements of Annual Meeting such as JO/HOF sponsored.
  • Adding educational seminars and workshops.
  • Holding a VIP/Legends reception.
  • Holding a road race or a “street mile” event.

Disabled Athletes

In prior meetings the Board agreed in principle to support the goal of the disabled athlete advocates of full inclusion into USATF. The Board also recognized that there is a lot of detail that goes into the maneuver, so the group is slowly moving into tangible action steps.

The Foundation has agreed to help the disabled athletes by assisting with fundraising activities. There will also be a recommendation on the use of the Challenge Grant monies soon.

Hightower will have a call with the USOC to discuss adding the Paralympic trials in Eugene in 2012.

Citizenship Rule

The current IAAF citizenship rule states that when an athlete attains new citizenship:

  • If they have ever represented another country, they are not eligible to represent the new country for three years from the date of citizenship
  • If they have never represented another country, they cannot represent their new country for two years (new as of April 1, 2010 in response to countries that play games with citizenship to “recruit” talented athletes)

The current USATF rule states that an athlete is eligible to compete in the USA Championships if he/she is eligible to represent the USA in international competition.

The Board discussed a revision of the USATF rule to allow current American citizens to compete at USA Championship events even if they are ineligible to represent the US in international competition. The group agreed that L&L should be notified of this issue and that athlete input is needed before moving forward.

Logo Rule

McNees gave a brief update on the domestic and international logo policies. The IAAF specifies logo size, location and number of markings on competition uniforms. The same policy is in place for all USATF championship meets, but has not been aggressively enforced. The policy will be enforced at the 2011 Indoor Championships in Albuquerque and will continue being enforced at all USATF Championships moving forward. McNees will form a working group to bring a recommendation to the Board on how to address the policy at future events.

The meeting adjourned at 9:33am (MDT)

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