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Masters Track & Field
Chair Report - July 2008 - Gary Snyder

"Building the base, growing the future."


Announcement

I have appointed Don Kane as the Northwest Region Coordinator. Our thanks to Rose Schlewitz who did a terrific job. Don Kane began competing in track as a sprinter at Seattle’s Roosevelt HS. He continued his track career as a sprinter for the University of Washington track team. Majoring in Accounting, Don continued his studies graduating with honors from the University of Washington. Focusing on his career in finance Don advanced from management trainee to CFO and VPF of companies in Portland, Oregon. Retired, Don started up and serves as Chairman of the Columbia Community Bank in Hillsboro, OR.

Around 1980 Don took up running for fitness competing in local distance races. The Volcano Classic, a small masters track and field meet in St. Helens OR, drew him back onto the track. As a masters sprinter Don continues to compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m and the 800m. He is a member of the Portland Masters Track Club and serves on the board as club treasurer and co editor of the club newsletter.

Restructure

This is a real hot button. Following is next months Nation Masters News article:

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has directed USATF to reduce the size and make up of the Board of Directors (BOD) by years end or face significant penalties including reduced or eliminated financial support and even take over by USOC! How will this affect Masters Track and Field (MTF) is a concern.

MTF receives funding for its programs from individual membership fees through the USATF National Organization and its unlikely a reduction in USOC financial support would affect MTF. The downsizing of the BOD from 31 members to approximately 15 could potentially affect MTF as it is likely all existing sports chairs will not be BOD members.

So what does it mean to be a BOD member? I’ve been one for 18 months and my experience is mixed. Its great to be at the table but participation is very time consuming as in addition to a scheduled monthly Sunday night conference call there is an in person meeting in June and October which requires sacrificing a weekend. Although losing a direct vote and in person input on the BOD sounds threatening its likely the reduced BOD will not be discussing the future of MTF.

So what do we do? First we need to understand the issues that might threaten us. Second we need to develop a plan to protect our interests through out the restructure period and finally a long term plan for MTF which would address participation within the restructured USATF. The possibility of a more independent MTF should not be dismissed nor should it be the goal.

Restructure will require significant changes to USATF by-laws which can only be changed via approval by the membership at our annual meeting which this year is in Reno, Nevada. These changes are being drafted by the Law and Legislation Committee as you read this and will be reviewed by all Sports Committees prior to the annual meeting. Becky Sisley is the MTF Law and Legislation representative and will be our direct link for the latest information.

In order to have a plan I have appointed a special committee comprised of several of our experienced members to address the post restructure future of MTF. They will meet via conference call and if necessary in person and submit a report to the MTF Executive Committee.

I do not support independence from USATF but I do support decreased control of MTF activities. I believe a more ‘do-it-ourselves’ relationship with the National Office would be to our benefit.

I know it’s long but it states my position and immediate plans. The special committee is comprised of Becky Sisley, Rex Harvey, Phil Byrne, Jerry Wojcik and I.

First Annual Masters Track and Field Clinic
Monday August 11th

As you know I cancelled the clinic due to a late start on my part and as a result there was insufficient interest.

BOD Conference Call July 17th

The BOD will meet via conference call to discuss the CEO search. I’ll update if necessary.

Calendar Item

Conference call with the Executive Committee on July 22nd at 9:00 PM Eastern time. Please send agenda items.

North, Central American and the Caribbean WMA Regional Championships
August 28 – 31, 2008

This event has not been well advertised please do what you can in your Region to get on outdoor schedules. If you are going let please let me know.

USA Outdoor Championships
Spokane August 6 – 10

The MTF Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday August 6th at 7:00 PM. Please plan accordingly. This is our only in person meeting prior to the Annual Meeting and therefore is the start point for planning. Please begin gathering agenda items to ensure a smooth and productive Annual Meeting. If you are not a member of the Executive Committee or won’t be in Spokane send me your issues.

See you in Spokane on the track!

Gary

(To contact the Chair via email, click here.)

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