USA Swimming has announced the process by which it will fill two vacant seats on Board of Directors in September 2020.
Nominees will be limited and USA Swimming will place a minimum of two but not more than three nominees on the ballots for each position.
The Board will elect one At-Large member and one athlete representative who will be directly elected by athletes. USA Swimming has confirmed to us that each of the two positions up for election is currently occupied by a Board member that is eligible for re-election, should they choose to run. Davis Tarwater, athlete representative, and Tom Ugast, Vice Chair of Fiscal Oversight, must decide whether to pursue fresh terms or step down.
The USA Swimming Board of Directors contains 15 members including the immediate past Board Chair, three athlete representatives, the Chair of the National Team Steering Committee, as well as ten voting board members, at least two of whom must be coaches. The President and CEO of USA Swimming (Tim Hinchey) also occupies a non-voting role on the Board.
Another nuance of Board composition put in place in 2019 is that USA Swimming no longer reserves 4 of its 10 at-large seats for Zone Directors.
The 2018 election of the three athlete representatives also dictated the duration of the terms each individual would serve, with the most-voted getting a 4-year term, the second-highest getting a 3-year term, and the third-highest getting a 2-year term. Per this arrangement, Coughlin will stay on for two more years and DiRado one more year, meaning Tarwater could be replaced by the new oncoming athlete representative fall 2020.
Similarly, Nation’s Capital CEO Tom Ugast must also decide whether to run again or resign from the Board this September. Ugast was elected to the Board in September of 2018 to serve a 2-year term and has served as the Vice Chair of the Fiscal Oversight.
Members of the 2020 Nominating Committee is chaired by Mary Wallack and will also include 2016 Olympic gold medalist Maya DiRado, Tim Bauer, Dr. Cecil Gordon, Liz Kershaw, Kurt von Moltke, Kathleen Klein Prindle, Stephen Schmuhl, and Shannon Vreeland.
The USA Swimming Board of Directors includes the following individuals; keep in mind that Tarwater and Ugast’s terms are expiring, though they may run for re-election this year:
- Robert Vincent — Board Chair; Chair, National Team Steering Committee
- Chris Brearton *
- Jeanette Skow *
- Natalie Coughlin Hall (athlete rep)
- Maya DiRado (athlete rep)
- Davis Tarwater (athlete rep)**
- Tom Ugast **
- Dr. Cecil Gordon
- Jay Thomas
- Jim Sheehan
- Bruce Gemmell
- Kathleen Prindle
- Bill Schalz
- Kenneth Chung
- Jennifer Gibson
- Tim Hinchey — President & CEO of USA Swimming; Non-voting member
- Lucinda McRoberts — General Counsel & Vice President of Business Affairs; Non-voting member
* – Semi-independent members.
** – Terms expired but can run for re-election.
Correction: Teri McKeever, who took over a seat on the Board of Directors when Jim Wood died, was originally listed. Bruce Gemmell, however, has taken her seat and is the chair of the National Team Steering Committee.
In 2019, Kathleen Prindle, Bill Schalz, Kenneth Chung, and Jennifer Gibson were all voted onto the Board. Prindle and Schalz, receiving the most votes out of all who ran, were elected to 4-year terms whereas Chung and Gibson were elected to 3-year terms. Prindle, Schalz, Chung, and Gibson were among 8 total who ran for seats on the BOD in 2019. Those who ran but were not elected to the Board in 2019 include Julie Bachman, Rebecca Binder, Kim Brackin, and Julie Chen.
In 2019, Prindle, Schalz, Chung, and Gibson replaced Zone Directors John Bradley (Central Zone, Coach), John Roy (Southern Zone, Coach), Mary Turner (Eastern Zone, Non-Coach), and Dale Ammon (Western Zone, Non-Coach).
Per USA Swimming’s website, potential nominees should have the following experience:
DESIRED EXPERIENCE & COMPETENCIES
Per Board policy, at its January 2020 meeting, the Board affirmed as its charge to the Nominating Committee the following criteria to emphasize in its screening of potential nominees.
A candidate will have skills and attributes including:
- Past demonstration of commitment to USA-S, or a “demonstrable connection to the sport.”
- Governance experience, e.g. knowledge and skills in policy-making, legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
- High-level (board or management) experience in setting standards for/overseeing a multi-million-dollar corporation.
- Financial literacy.
- Demonstrated ability to participate productively in group processes.
- Professional relationships/associations that may be beneficial to USA-S.
- Commitment to support and adhere to the Board’s governing documents (Bylaws, Governing Policies, etc.).
- Ensuring diversity within the Board’s composition (gender, ethnic, age, geography, etc.).
- Each Board member is required to make an annual personal financial contribution to the USA Swimming Foundation. The demonstration of support, rather than the amount of the contribution, is of principal importance.
- For incumbent or past Board members seeking re-nomination, fulfillment of individual Board members’ responsibilities.
The nomination process and timeline will proceed at the following pace, per USA Swimming.
NOMINATIONS PROCESS / TIMELINE
The Nominating Committee is seeking candidates who are highly qualified to serve on the governing board of a high profile and highly successful $40 million (annual budget) nonprofit.
The key dates of the selection process in 2020 are:
- May 15, 2020: Deadline for Candidate Applications. (NOTE: Prior to applying, an applicant must be a member of USA Swimming in good standing, which includes the satisfactory completion of a USA Swimming background check: https://www.usaswimming.org/background-checks and completion of USA Swimming Athlete Protection Training, among other requirements). Please note that the Nominating Committee will not consider applications without these credentials.
- Late May – mid June: Based on candidate applications and membership status, those candidates the Nominating Committee wishes to advance for further consideration will be invited to participate in an initial video-conference interview with a minimum of two Nominating Committee members.
- June/July: Based on initial interviews, those candidates the Nominating Committee wishes to advance for further consideration will be invited to a second interview with at least two other Nominating Committee members. Candidates will be invited to ask questions pertaining to the Governing Policies and structure of the Board and organization.
- July/early August: The Nominating Committee will consider the merit and qualifications of all candidates who have fulfilled the screening process set forth above. Consistent with satisfying the composition requirements and drawing from the pool of vetted candidates, the Nominating Committee will recommend at least two, but not more than three, nominees for each seat open for election (the “Proposed Nominees”).
- Mid-August: Proposed Nominees will be invited to submit a biography/nominee statement (not to exceed 250 words), a photograph, and a short video introduction which will be distributed with a list of fellow nominees to the House of Delegates or athlete electorate, as applicable, no later than August 27, 2020.
- September 19-25, 2020: Electronic voting held to elect the “athlete representative.”
- September 23, 2020: USA Swimming Board of Directors meeting. Proposed Nominees are welcome to observe the last regular meeting of the 2019-20 Board of Directors.
- September 24-25, 2020: The Nominating Committee will host a “Meet the Candidates” Forum during the United States Aquatics Convention in Jacksonville, Florida at a time to be determined, giving each proposed nominee a few minutes to introduce themselves to attending Delegates.
- September 26, 2020: The USA Swimming House of Delegates elects new Board members at its Annual Meeting. New Board members will be seated at the Board meeting immediately following the House of Delegates meeting.