The USA Swimming Nominating Committee has unveiled a list of 9 candidates to fill 4 spots on the USA Swimming Board of Directors. Those 9 were chosen from among 21 applicants who originally applied for the role.
- 21 completed applications were submitted for the 4 seats to be elected.
- All nine members of the Nominating Committee individually reviewed each application. The initial screening process included both a scoring matrix and conference calls to discuss each applicant. The Committee selected 15 applicants to advance to the interview process.
- Each of these 15 applicants were interviewed by two Committee members. Responses and impressions from each initial interview were shared with the full Committee. Upon further review, 13 candidates were invited to participate in a second interview with other Committee members.
- The Committee then completed at least one reference check and verified background checks for each of the nominees advanced to the ballot.
- The 9 nominees will be voted on by the House of Delegates that will be held from September 10th-15th in St. Louis, Missouri, and 4 will be selected.
The Nominating Committee
- Ron Van Pool, Chair
- Tim Bauer
- John Bradley
- Andrew Gemmell
- Cecil Gordon
- Liz Kershaw
- Kurt Von Moltke
- Shannon Vreeland
- Mary Wallack
Seats to be Filled
The 4 at-large seats that are available previously belonged to the 4 Zone Directors. Under new USA Swimming governance rules, Zone Directors no longer automatically receive spots on the Board of Directors. The 4 directors whose seats are being vacated are:
- John Bradley
- John Roy
- Mary Turner
- Dale Ammon
Additionally, for the Board of Directors to fall in line with the new governance rules, at least 1 of the 4 seats must be filled by a coach, and at least 1 of the 4 seats must be filled by a resident of the Central Zone. The same individual can meet these two requirements.
There are 2 nominees in the group of 9 who meet the Central Zone requirement: Bill Schalz and Rebecca Binder. There are 3 candidates in the group of 9 who meet the coach requirement: Jennifer Gibson (head age group coach, Swim Ft. Lauderdale), Kathleen Prindle (head coach, Performance Aquatics), and Bill Schalz (owner, Academy Bullets Swim Club). Schalz, residing in Illinois, would fill both the coach and the Central Zone requirement simultaneously.
Of the 9 candidates, 6 are women. This aligns with USA Swimming’s recent efforts to realign gender balance within its leadership ranks, which includes recent hires of female executives to fill roles previously filled by men.
2 of the candidates, Jennifer Gibson and Kathleen Brindle, have served on the Board of the American Swimming Coaches’ Association. One candidate, Kim Brackin, is a former NCAA coach at the University of Texas and has national team coaching experience (though, USA Swimming’s rules don’t technically allow her to fill the coaching requirement). Nationally and internationally, Brackin has the most name recognition of the 9 nominees.
Brief Bios, summarized by SwimSwam Full bios, courtesy USA Swimming, are below. In alphabetical order:
- Julie Bachmann is the Executive Director of the Gulf Swimming LSC, which includes Houston and surrounding areas. Her daughter, Olivia, is a swimmer, and she is engaged to swim coach Eddie Adams, who is the father of 2-time US Olympian Cammile Adams. She also has a pet pig with its own Instagram account. Bachmann also has significant outside-of-swimming experience after spending 14 years with ConAgra Foods and 25 years managing a cow-calf farm operation. She launched her own USA Swimming team in 2014, which she coached and owned for 2 years before turning over to local rec team.
- Rebecca Binder became involved in swimming via her son. She is an active official certified in all LSC positions and holds national certifications. In the last few years, Binder has become heavily involved in the SafeSport program, including as the Safe Sport Chair for the Minnesota LSC. She has hosted webinar sessions on MAAPP for the LSC with attendance from neighboring LSCs and presented to the Minnesota House of Delegates. Her platform statements include providing policies that work for the whole membership, not just the elite athlete. Outside of swimming, she is an analyst for a financial services firm.
- Kim Brackin currently runs a 1:1 technique coaching business called Brackin Elite Swim Training. She been a part of seven Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals, and seven NCAA Championship Teams at Auburn before taking over as the head coach at the University off Texas. She also coached on the 2011 USA Duel in the Pool, 2003 USA World University Games and 2002 USA National Junior team staffs. Her primary platform statement involves working to “identify leadership opportunities for girls and women” and “advocating for a culture of mentorship throughout the sport.”
- Julie Chen has been an active official within USA Swimming for 10 years and from 2016 through 2018 served as the Finance Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Swimming LSC in the greater New York City area. Chen has worked on Wall Street as an equity research analyst, and today is employed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She also taught Accounting and Mathematics at Manhattan College and Pace University. Of her goals for the board, Chen says: “Ethics, Integrity and transparency are important, and I believe are key to USA Swimming’s success as a governing organization. I look forward to your support.”
- Kenneth Chung is the executive vice president of commercial insurance at the Chubb Group: a large Swiss-based insurance company that is a component of the S&P 500 Index. With a number of past and pending lawsuits against USA Swimming related to its handling of abusive coaches, the organization’s insurance policies have been under a spotlight over the last decade. Chung’s primary connection to swimming is a volunteer where he has worked as a meet referee in both New England and North Texas. He also serves as the Diversity & Inclusion Chair for the North Texas LSC.
- Jennifer Gibson has 36 years of experience as an age group coach in USA Swimming. She is also the parent of a swimmer, has served as a USA Swimming National Team Manager on 7 international trips, has worked multiple USA Swimming Camp Staffs and served on multiple USA Swimming National Committees. She’s been an LSC Board member of 3 different LSCs, and has also worked as a high school and summer league coach. In terms of breadth of swimming governance experience, Gibson’s resume is one of the two deepest of the 9 candidates. Her campaign has a slogan: “Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care,” which she says speaks to her belief that’ we must all do our part to insure that USA Swimming continues to strive for ALL members while providing for our top athletes to remain #1 in the world.’
- Kathleen Prindle is the only nominee that rivals Gibson’s depth of swimming governance experience. She currently serves on the Florida Gold Coast LSC Board of Directors (Finance Chair, D&I Chair), USA Swimming’s Senior Development National Committee, the ASCA Board of Directors (Vice President), and the Florida State High School Athletic Association Advisory Board (past Chair). She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Prindle is an ASCA Level 5 coach who once worked with 6-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg. Together, they produced 8 Olympians and a World Record holder. At her current club, PAQ, she coaches a group of postgrads that includes 2016 Kenyan Olympian Talisa Lanoe, Norwegian National Champion Runar Borgen, Trinidadian international Josiah Morales, and JOrdanian Record holder Lydiah Musleh. Prindle also spent 10 years working int he fashion industry as Director of International Sales for the Liz Claiborne brand.
- Bill Schalz is the head coach of the Academy Bullets Swim Team, which he founded with his wife in 1994. In the last decade, the club has expanded into a huge multi-site program that has qualified swimmers to the World Championships, Olympic Trials, European Championships, and many other events. 2 Bullets swimmers represented Lithuania at the 2004 Olympic Games. Schalz the Club Development, Olympic International Organizing and International Relations Committees and chaired the Governance Task Force that created the template for our current Board of Directors.
Education: Bucknell University. Political Science/Economics (1990)
Current position: Executive Director, Gulf Swimming
Experience: 30 years of sales, marketing, customer service, volunteerism, hospitality
14 years with Fortune 500 company (ConAgra Foods). Managed sales representatives, budget, and was responsible for annual growth (6%) in $100 million market. Built and maintained customer relationships and worked on strategic solutions for customer growth and retention.
Opened and operated my own restaurant. Remodeled historic building and created an amazing place for my community. Proud this establishment is still operating today under new ownership.
Managed a cow-calf farm operation for 25 years. Continue to be amazed how much we have to learn from animals about relationships and getting along!
Started my own USA Swim Team in 2014 in rural underserved area in Iowa. USA swim coach and team owner for 2 years- turned over business to local recreation swim team when they became willing.
Currently the executive director of Gulf Swimming- leading an amazing group of coaches, officials, parents, and athletes. My North Star: fostering a culture where caring and leadership creates unlimited opportunities for Gulf athletes…in and out of the pool.
SWIM MOM. Daughter swims for Ambush Swimming, Lufkin, TX.
Other: Played basketball for Bucknell University. Worked for the Baltimore Orioles in marketing department upon graduation from college.
Family: Olivia Bachman (daughter), Eddie Adams (fiancé), 3 dogs (Carson, Rosie, Cricket), Scarlet Macaw (Stella), Cat (Austin), Pig (Doug), 30 cows- they all have names.
Doug The Pig’s Instagram: apignameddoug
Rebecca became involved in swimming when her son joined their local club team. She found sitting in the stands at meets was not for her. Now she is an active official certified at all LSC positions and holds national certifications in admin, CJ, starter and stroke & turn. She also participates on the Minnesota LSC Board as Safe Sport Chair. During the past two years, she has spent time traveling to clubs across the state to provide educational sessions on Safe Sport for kids, parents and coaches. She has hosted webinar sessions on MAAPP for the LSC with attendance from neighboring LSCs and presented to the Minnesota House of Delegates.
Rebecca is committed to serving the swimming community by evaluating and analyzing policies and practices while maintaining a fiduciary mindset in governing. She wants to ensure that we look at the whole of our membership – not just the elite swimmers but also new and developing swimmers, coaches and officials over a multiple year horizon. They are our future for growth and sustainability. The opportunity to serve on the USA Swimming Board is another way in which she will contribute her analytic skills and knowledge to the sport.
In “real” life she is an analyst for a financial services firm in the investments area. When not on a pool deck, she enjoys spending time with her family, their two Norwegian Elkhounds, fostering dogs for a rescue organization and searching local shops for fun and unique fabrics to use with vintage sewing patterns.
I am honored to be considered as a board member for USA Swimming. I started my swimmer career late and it wasn’t close to the careers of athletes I have coached! I certainly didn’t participate for the accolades but instead because I loved the sport. My 23-year collegiate coaching career was inspired by my numerous mentors who allowed me the opportunity to succeed, fail and thereby, learn. Because of these mentors, and the athletes I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, I’ve been a part of seven Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals, and seven NCAA Championship Teams. I coached on the 2011 USA Duel in the Pool, 2003 USA World University Games and 2002 USA National Junior team staffs. I was voted by my peers 2002 NCAA Co-Head Coach of the Year, Big Twelve Coach of the Year twice and SEC Coach of the Year.
In 2012, I started Brackin Elite Swim Training, a 1:1 technique coaching business. My mission is to offer swimmers mentorship and technical analysis in conjunction with their daily training. As a new business owner, I’ve risen to the daily challenges. I have also taken on leadership roles outside of swimming as President of the Lee Elementary PTA and as a mentor to at risk kids in Florida’s Take Stock in Children Program.
I am particularly passionate about identifying leadership opportunities for girls and women and will advocate for a culture of mentorship throughout the sport. I know from experience the wisdom and enthusiasm our membership has; lets work together to turn that into an unstoppable energy.
It is an honor to be considered for a position on the USA Swimming Board of Directors.
Julie Chen was born to a diplomatic family and raised in East and Southeast Asia. Julie received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from California State University Dominguez Hills, Master of Science in Mathematics from Claremont Graduate University and Master of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University.
Ms. Chen is an active official for 10 years and became involved in swimming governance as the Finance Vice Chair of Metropolitan Swimming from May 2016 to May 2018.
Ms. Chen started her professional career working on federal government projects before transitioning to Wall Street as an equity research analyst. Today, Julie is employed by the Port Authority of NY & NJ after an eight-year sabbatical. During her sabbatical, Julie taught Accounting and Mathematics as an adjunct professor.
Julie has served as an officer and board member at various not-for-profit organizations. Her experience includes Finance Advisory team member for Pleasantville Free Union School District, Treasurer of Cub Scout Pack 15, board member of Oak Lane Child Care Center and Assistant Treasurer of our church, UUFNW.
Ethics, Integrity and transparency are important, and I believe are key to USA Swimming’s success as a governing organization. I look forward to your support.
Overview: Kenneth Y Chung is an executive of a large publicly traded company and a passionate supporter of swimming who has served on non-profit boards.
Kenneth is currently an Executive Vice President, Commercial Insurance, Chubb Group. Kenneth has over 38 years in performing various underwriting, risk management and leadership roles, successfully managed sizable portfolios with responsibility for profit & loss, coached and developed staff. Kenneth has lived in Asia, Europe and many cities in the US, gained a diverse experience in working with people of different background.
Kenneth served on the Friends of Wellesley College Athletics National Committee to provide invaluable support for student athletes. He has also served as Board member, Treasurer and later Board Chair, for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP), a national, nonprofit organization, with the core strategic approach of developing people, informing society and empowering communities. Kenneth collaborated with other Board members to provide strategic guidance and strengthened LEAP to position for future growth.
Kenneth became engaged in swimming as a volunteer 13 years ago. Kenneth is a Meet referee who has worked in New England and North Texas. Kenneth has worked on National decks and frequently runs BB& under meets to help support developing swimmers. Kenneth also serves as the D&I chair for North Texas LSC.
Kenneth graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and has a Master Degree in Business Administration from Boston University. Kenneth has also attended Executive Leadership course in London Business School. He is also a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU).
It would be an honor to serve on the USA Swimming Board. My hope would be that by utilizing the diverse experiences that I have been blessed with, I could contribute to the future growth and success of this proven institution with the utmost transparency and trust.
The motto “Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care” speaks to my belief that we must all do our part to insure that USA Swimming continues to strive for ALL members while providing for our top athletes to remain #1 in the world.
As an active USA Swimming Coach since 1983, I have had the good fortune of coaching in multiple LSC’s around the country while working with top programs. This has allowed me the privilege to learn and grow as a coach under a variety of situations. I started coaching in Fort Wayne, Indiana right out of college (Ball State University), and continued there for the first 18 years of my coaching career. From there, I have had the rewarding experiences of coaching in Charlotte, NC; Phoenix, AZ and for the last eight years in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
My USA Swimming experiences include:
- Age Group Coach (36 years)
- Parent of Swimmer
- High School/Summer League Coach
- LSC Board Member-3 LSCs-Age Group Chair, Safe Sport, Camps
- USA Swimming Camps Staff
- Clinic Speaker
- USA -S National Team Manager -7 International trips
- ASCA Board
- USA-S National Committees
I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with convention attendees in September.
Kathleen Prindle currently serves on the Florida Gold Coast LSC Board of Directors (Finance Chair, D&I Chair), USA Swimming’s Senior Development National Committee, the ASCA Board of Directors (Vice President), and the Florida State High School Athletic Association Advisory Board (past Chair). Prindle is an inducted member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
With a decade of corporate experience in NYC’s fashion industry, Prindle held multiple senior executive roles. As Director of International Sales for a Fortune 500 retailer, her contributions in strategic planning led to the execution of new US import strategies for overseas manufacturing partners, and the creation of an International Logistics business. Her innovative approach to business development led to re-branding international clothing lines and expansion into emerging markets.
Today, Prindle focuses on sport development. After leading a 2010 nationwide study to explore the evolving needs of USA clubs/coaches, she founded a club team focused on 13+older athlete development. Since 1989, Prindle has promoted aquatics across the Eastern Seaboard by launching 9 Learn-to-Swim programs, 2 USA-Swimming club teams, 2 US Masters teams, and Recreational programming. Coaching accomplishments include: 3X USA Olympic Trials Coach (‘08, ‘12, ’16), 2X Olympic Coach (private), 2X FINA World Championships Coach, 17 seasons as Varsity Head Coach, National Qualifiers from more than 18 countries, and nearly 30 years on-deck.
Prindle fiercely advocates for athlete safety, clean sport, and professionalizing the role of swim coaches. She and her husband of 19 years, Chris, reside near the beach in Boca Raton, Florida.
BILL SCHALZ *,**
My name is Bill Schalz and I am a candidate for the USA Swimming Board of Directors. This year, I am attending my 24TH convention, including four years as Coach Director of the Central Zone. I have also served on the Club Development, Olympic International Organizing and International Relations Committees and chaired the Governance Task Force that created the template for our current Board of Directors.
My wife Robin and I founded the Academy Bullets Swim Club and our swim school. We started the Bullets from scratch and have grown to over 600 swimmers. Bullet swimmers range from novice to representing USA in international competition. Because I have coached at the local and International levels, I understand that our developmental swimmers have different needs than our Olympians. And because my team has sites in eight Illinois cities, I understand the importance of giving my staff the tools and latitude to do their jobs. Likewise, it is important that the USA Swimming Board listen to our coaches at every level, our volunteers, athletes, as well as our Headquarters Staff to ensure that we are giving them the tools and latitude to be successful.
Finally, I am committed that we are all compliant with MAAPP. While cumbersome at times, we must do endure challenges to see that our athletes are not preyed upon. Our NGB will continue to lead and work with the USOC to keep athletes safe.