Thursday, February 19, 2009

USA Track & Field announces its new Board of Directors...

Here's the complete release from USA Track & Field announcing 14 of the 15 members of its newly appointed Board of Directors.

President Stephanie Hightower was elected by the constituency in Reno back in December, as were athlete members Deena Kastor, Philip Dunn, and Federal Way's Aretha Thurmond. Bob Hersh is on the board by virtue of being on the IAAF Council.

The demographics of the board reflect the diversity of the sport: seven of the 14 members currently named are African-American and five are women; of those with world-class athletic backgrounds in the sport, the sprints/hurdles, jumps, middle distances, long distances, race walks and throws are represented. Nearly all are established businesspeople.

INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field on Wednesday announced its newly constituted Board of Directors. Among what will be 15 members of the board are respected business executives, National Track & Field Hall of Famers, attorneys, officials, coaches and Olympic athletes.

The new board includes National Track & Field Hall of Famer and sports consultant
Willie Banks; National Track & Field Hall of Famer and the first acting President of USATF's predecessor organization, The Athletics Congress (TAC), Dr. Evie Dennis; former world-class athlete and business executive Steve Holman; USATF official and youth track and field activist Kim Haines; businesswoman and former USATF women's long-distance running chair Elizabeth Phillips; international sports executive and former business professor Steve Miller; NASCAR executive and entertainment executive Max Siegel; longtime USATF official and practicing CPA Kenneth Taylor; and retired health-care industry executive Jack Wickens.

Athlete members include a trio of three-time Olympians: four-time USA 50km race walk champion and 1999 Pan Am Games bronze medalist Philip Dunn; 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist and two-time World Cross Country silver medalist Deena Kastor; and four-time national discus champion and 2003 Pan Am Games gold medalist Aretha Hill Thurmond.

Board members already specified by USATF bylaws are President Stephanie Hightower and IAAF Council Member Robert Hersh. USATF's "5E" member organizations, including the NCAA, NAIA and National Federation of State High School Associations, will name their collective board member by early March, which will bring the board size to 15 members.

"It is an honor to serve on the Board of Directors as USATF President," Hightower
said. "This is an accomplished group in the personal, professional and athletic realms. They will bring their high standards of excellence to their work with USA Track & Field, to the benefit of everyone who loves the sport."

"I am extremely optimistic about working with the new board," USATF CEO Doug Logan said. "All are strong, independent-minded individuals who see the big picture. With their collective capacity to put the best interests of the sport first, we have
a bright future."

The demographics of the board reflect the diversity of the sport: seven of the 14 members currently named are African-American and five are women; of those with world-class athletic backgrounds in the sport, the sprints/hurdles, jumps, middle distances, long distances, race walks and throws are represented. Nearly all are established businesspeople.

In sweeping bylaw changes overwhelmingly approved by USATF membership at its Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada, on December 13, the Board was reduced in size from 31 members to 15. The USATF President, IAAF Council Member, 5E representative and three athlete representatives are selected directly by their constituencies. The six seats nominated by USATF's High Performance, Long Distance Running, General Competition, Youth, Coaches and Officials divisions, as well as three independent seats, were vetted and ultimately selected by USATF's Nominating and Governance Panel.

Each USATF Division nominated three candidates for each seat, with the Panel choosing the board member from among the nominated candidates. The Independent board members were selected by the Panel from nominations gathered nationwide. The board will meet for the first time on March 7 in Orlando and will elect its own officers.

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