See the 10 USA Swimming Employees Who Accepted Voluntary Separation Packages

USA Swimming has confirmed the names of the 10 employees who accepted Voluntary Separation Packages (VSPs) as part of USA Swimming’s efforts to reduce costs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

USA Swimming emphasized that all of the organization’s employees were offered the same terms to their packages, with the actual amounts varying based on years of service, and that 10 out of the organization’s 91 employees accepted the offer. This is an addition to Mitch Dalton, the former National Junior Team Director, who took a position at the University of TexasUSA Swimming says some of those positions will be filled when more details about the financial future are known, and that some may not.

USA Swimming Employees Who Took Voluntary Separation Packages:

  • Cathy Durance – Director of Member Services
  • Tom Avischious – Senior Director, Team Services
  • Joel Stauffer – Web Producer (website, footage requests)
  • Mark Hesse – Performance Development Manager
  • Mike Meadows – Senior Software Engineer
  • Nicole Wilson – Senior Manager of Development
  • Randy Julian – Central Zone Program Development Manager
  • Scott Colby – Performance Development Manager
  • Sydney Pinello – Education & Programs Coordinator
  • Jean Skjerly – Purchasing Coordinator

The longest-tenured of those leaving is Cathy Durance, who has been at the USA Swimming National office for a whopping 38 years in various capacities. Tom Avischious, who has been with USA Swimming for almost 25 years, also accepted a package. Prior to his time with USA Swimming, Avischious was the head age group coach at the famed Carmel Swim Club in Indiana. He was also the highest-ranking employee to receive a package.

Joel Stauffer, whose rolls included web producer and video production assistant, had been with USA Swimming since May of 2004 – over 16 years – after graduating from Nebraska with a degree in Journalism in 2002.

Mark Hesse will be among the most visible names on the list for much of the swimming community. He has been with USA Swimming as an employee since 2011, and before that served for more than 7 years as a member of several committees.

While most of those who accepted packages span back to the pre-Tim-Hinchey-as-CEO-era, a handful are relatively new hires. For example, Mike Meadows had only been with the organization for just over a year.

4 of the 10 come from the same group, the Sport Development Team, which is led by Joel Shinofield. That group supports the growth of the sport at all levels and includes the recognition programs, National Select Camps, Team Services, education programs, data analytics, and Membership Services.

USA Swimming says that some of these positions will ultimately need to be filled again, while others may not, depending on the needs of the organization when the sport normalizes again.

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Guerra
5 months ago

Are there others that will be leaving (involuntary separation)? I wonder if these individuals were targeted in advanced and told their position was being cut and then given the choice of “voluntarily” separating?

coach
Reply to  Guerra
5 months ago

Not sure about the involuntary part, but we are losing some of the key employees who care about and understand club swimming.

Mark Hesse
Reply to  Guerra
5 months ago

Purely a personal choice for me. No targeting of employees that I am aware of. It is exactly what it is called a “voluntary separation”. I am appreciate USA Swimming for the opportunity I had to serve our athletes, coaches and clubs. I look forward to exploring new ways to contribute to advancing the sport of swimming. Not sure why folks don’t use their own names when posting on this site.

10U DAD
Reply to  Mark Hesse
5 months ago

Mr. Hesse, thank you very much for your many years of service at USA Swimming. Nobody in the swimming community wants all the job losses that have happened from the club level to the national leadership level. You will probably think my comment matters less because I didn’t use my real name, but if I did it would be meaningless. Except for 2 great swim kids – one of which is a phenom, I’m a general public nobody. People are using fictional names to better identify what their swimming experiences or station in life they represent. So if there’s a story about UCLA swimming in SwimSwam and there’s a longtime commentator known as “UCLA Swim Alum”, then I’m more likely… Read more »

Mark Hesse
Reply to  10U DAD
5 months ago

10U dad thanks for explaining your reasoning. I can accept what you’re saying. I’m not upset with anybody just curious. I also am not trusting enough to believe that “UCLA Swim Alum” or “IU Swimmer” are actually who they claim to be. Best wishes to your kiddos on their return to the pool.

Jim Whitehead
Reply to  Mark Hesse
5 months ago

Love this guy 👆. See you on deck somewhere Hesse 👍

GowdyRaines
Reply to  Mark Hesse
5 months ago

CLASS. ACT.

Dad of Swammers
5 months ago

There will be a huge hole in Member Services with the departure of Cathy Durance, coupled with the sudden passing of Gina Mensay recently. Two great resources who will be sorely missed. Thanks to both for their huge contributions to the swimming community.

oldcoach
5 months ago

My issue with USA Swimming is its a cess pool. I once had a candid conversation with someone there about an open position, I was told point blank, don’t apply, “We don’t post jobs without knowing EXACTLY who we want to hire.” Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Brian M
Reply to  oldcoach
5 months ago

Hate to tell you, but this is pretty much commonplace in every organization in the United States. You can definitely throw USAS under the bus for a litany of reasons, but I don’t think this is one of them. This sounds like sour grapes to me.

Oldcoach
Reply to  Brian M
5 months ago

Not sour grapes at all, just first hand experience. This particular conversation took place at a pro swim series just as the switch over to the new regime took place.

Jim Nickell
Reply to  oldcoach
5 months ago

These folks were NOT rubbish – put your name on BS posts!

coach
Reply to  Jim Nickell
5 months ago

I agree with Jim. I’m not sure any of the staff members leaving ever had hiring authority.

oldcoach
Reply to  coach
5 months ago

The day USA Swimming stops with its retaliation against those that decent against their message, I will happily use my full name. Rubbish in the fact that most of those on this list got a job due to political connections.

Greg
Reply to  oldcoach
5 months ago

and kept it due to their performance and expertise.

It’s not what you know but rather who you know. Then what you know keeps you employed.

No different then the philosophy behind an internship.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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