A Message from the President/Chair
Following Your Passion
What a summer it has been for USA Track & Field, our athletes and for me personally. After months of back-to-back and sometimes overlapping championship meets ranging from youth to elite to masters, more USATF board and committee meetings, and Diamond League competition, we have just days of relative quiet before the IAAF World Championships begin in Daegu, South Korea, on August 27.
As many of you know, this month I am starting the next phase of my professional career as CEO and president of the Columbus Urban League, in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Shortly after my hiring was announced, I had the opportunity to mix, mingle and share inspiration with other activists at the National Urban League Annual Conference in Boston at the end of July. I returned from the conference so energized to have the opportunity to be in an environment where people shared their passion, ideas and commitment for a cause we all believe in.
At USATF, we all share a commitment to our cause. Although my business card is changing, my commitment to USATF as your President and Chairman is stronger than ever. After months in which the organization was in a state of structural limbo as we conducted an executive search, I for one have pushed the reset button and am reinvigorated by the opportunities before us.
Our 2010 Annual Report went online last month (http://www.usatf.org/About/Annual-Report.aspx) and shows that 2010 was a very solid year for us, financially and competitively. Last year, USATF recorded a net income of $517,878, putting us in the black and augmenting our reserve fund. The bright spots included a $400,000 increase in our merchandise sales. The 2010 Annual Report also featured examples of how we are using our financial and human resources to support our athletes as they prepare for the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games. And although the terms are confidential, it is relevant to point out that, as the Associated Press reported, our 2010 finances also include the costs of litigation and settlement of the lawsuit with our previous CEO. We have all put that behind us and are moving ahead.
I have rarely been so optimistic about the potential for true success and progress for USATF. Our organization currently has senior-staff level openings in our events and marketing departments, which means we have an opportunity to simultaneously impact two of the areas most critical to growing and reinventing the sport. In addition, the Board of Directors is engaged with USATF staff and volunteer leadership to analyze our collective strengths and weaknesses, and to make sure we have the right people in the right places to make the most of this opportunity.
In the new three-committee structure we now have on the board level, our newly implemented management, strategic positioning and operations committees have streamlined our work as USATF’s fiduciary, and the National Office staff continues its tireless work to administer and create the programs that will bring a brighter future to fruition. We are all working on new programs, structures and ways of engaging stakeholders that will have long-term, far-reaching effects on our future. These effects will probably be most felt 12 months from now and onward. We have collectively begun a journey to alter the basics of how we engage our partners, both existing and new; how we define our role and goals in the sport; and how we plan to get there. The remainder of 2011 will no doubt be a time of fundamental change and progress, and I am excited to be part of it.
In the meantime, we’ve got a World Championships to get ready for! It’s been a great summer of track and field action, and our athletes seem to be peaking at the right time. What a great feeling it is when the people who are supporting our athletes are as passionate as the athletes themselves.
The time is finally here to turn that passion into true change.
Yours in Track & Field,