Courtesy: United States Olympic Committee
SAN FRANCISCO – The United States Olympic Committee board of directors approved three new members during its most recent meeting in San Francisco. Joining the board effective Jan. 1, 2019, in place of outgoing members are Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling; Brad Snyder, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant and seven-time medalist in Para swimming; and Beth Brooke-Marciniak, global vice chair of public policy for EY (formerly Ernst & Young).
“It’s my privilege to welcome three new board members who bring a unique background and set of capabilities that will help advance the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community in a positive, meaningful way,” said USOC Chair Susanne Lyons. “The USOC is at a pivotal point, and now more than ever, we have a unique responsibility to ensure that athletes are protected, supported and empowered in equal measure. I look forward to working with Rich, Brad and Beth as we continue our critically important work to confront the challenges facing our organization so that we can emerge as a stronger, better community for the athletes we serve.”
The new directors were recommended to the board by its Nominating and Governance Committee, and fill the seats of outgoing board members Jim Benson, Nina Kemppel and Dave Ogrean, who completed their elected terms Dec. 31, 2018.
“Dave, Nina and Jim have dedicated their skill sets and expertise to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements and we’re incredibly thankful for their years of service on our board,” said Lyons. “I am confident they will continue to advocate for athletes and promote the positive attributes of sport.”
The 16-member board is comprised of three representatives from both the Athletes’ Advisory Council and National Governing Bodies Council, and six independent members. The CEO and all American members of the International Olympic Committee are ex officio members of the board.
The three vacant seats were designated to be filled by one independent director, and one representative from both the NGBC and AAC. Per USOC policy, each elected member was subject to a strict background check and screened for any conflicts of interest that could potentially interfere with acting in the best interest of Team USA athletes, the organization and its stakeholders. The new board member designations are as follows:
Rich Bender (NGBC): Bender began his term as executive director of USA Wrestling in 2001 and has served the organization in various executive roles for more than 30 years. Under his direction, USA Wrestling’s membership reached an all-time high in 2018, bolstered by a flourishing women’s program and record-setting success of international teams at all age levels. His leadership was instrumental in preserving wrestling’s spot on the program for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the addition of women’s wrestling to the Olympic program in 2004. He previously chaired the NGBC for six years (2010-2016) and has served in several board positions for the U.S. Olympic Endowment, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, U.S. Wrestling Foundation and National Wrestling Coaches Association, among others. He is also currently a member of the influential Technical Commission of United World Wrestling, helping shape the integrity, evolution and sustainability of the sport worldwide.
Beth Brooke-Marciniak (independent): Brooke-Marciniak oversees public policy for EY’s operations in more than 150 countries. She has held various roles at EY over her 38-year career. In addition, she served two years in government in the U.S. Department of the Treasury in which she was responsible for all tax policy matters related to insurance and managed care, and deeply involved in healthcare and superfund legislative reform efforts. A devoted global advocate for diversity and inclusion, including women’s advancement, and LGBT+ inclusion and mentoring, she is also actively engaged in numerous civic and business organizations, chairing the board of directors of Vital Voices and serving on The Conference Board, as well as the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute, the Women’s Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum, and the advisory board of Out Leadership. Additionally, she has served on the U.S. delegation to the 53rd and 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, been named 11 times to Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list, received the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt award and is an inductee in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Beth also helped create the EY Women Athletes Business Network.
Brad Snyder (AAC): A two-time Paralympian (2012, 2016) and five-time Paralympic gold medalist for Team USA, Snyder was named a member of the Paralympic Advisory Committee in 2018. A retired U.S. naval officer, he served two deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, during which time he sustained an injury due to an improvised explosive device that left him permanently blinded in September 2011. Since transitioning to a career in Para swimming, he has also served as a trusted advisor and advocate for diversity and inclusion and enhancing accessibility standards in the workplace. Additionally, he is currently a part-time instructor in ethics and leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy and serves on the advisory board for the Navy Special Operations Foundation.