USA Swimming To Elect Six At-Large Directors On September 29th

On September 29th the USA Swimming House of Delegates will elect six At-large Directors, at least two of whom will be “semi-independent” (individuals with a demonstrable connection to the sport, but who have not previously been members of the House of Delegates).

Additionally, on September 28th the Athletes Committee will elect three Athlete Directors.

Last year, USA Swimming implemented some big changes to their governance structure which included a shift in the entire focus of the Board of Directors. The board effectively took on a high-level guidance role while losing a bit of control over the day-to-day decision making.

There are a total of fifteen (15) nominees for the At-large Director positions. Check them out below, along with their cover letters and short ‘video statements’. You can also read about each nominee here.

Chris Brearton

From the moment I watched Steve Lundquist win the breaststroke gold at the 1984 Olympic Games, I was hooked. It was that moment when I fell in love with swimming.

I was fortunate to be able to capitalize on that passion: first, as an age group swimmer and, ultimately, as a college swimmer at the University of Georgia.

After hanging up my swimsuit, I was able to fuel my passion as a media and sports attorney. For over 20 years, I advised sports organizations in their media rights, sponsorship and event hosting matters. Most notably, I advised the International Olympic Committee on their global media strategy, host city analysis and US relations for over 15 years.

Earlier this year, I left the practice of law to help run a movie studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), as their Chief Operating Officer. While working at MGM has presented a new and exciting challenge, I greatly miss the world of amateur sports and swimming.

I can now think of no better way to continue my passion than to join USA Swimming. I want to help ensure that we have ubiquitous water safety and education, strong youth participation, and more than our fair share of swimmers competing at the highest levels of international competition.

Quite simply, having the chance to join the Board of USA Swimming would be a dream come true and my chance to give back to the sport that has meant so much to me for so long.

Ellen Colket

Who would have thought Tarzan started my journey into this sport when I was only three years old? More specifically, the actor Johnny Weissmuller, a five-time Olympic freestyle gold medalist. After running into him on a family vacation at the pool, my love for the sport ignited like an overeager girl scout’s first campfire. From being a swimmer to officiating to coaching to currently serving as Vice Chair of Finance and Treasurer for PVS Swimming, I never could have imagined how enriching and rewarding this adventure has been.

In addition to putting my time into swimming, I have also cultivated an extensive business resume that I am excited to incorporate into USA swimming. My experience includes personally consulting the likes of multinational corporations such as Chevron, Skanska, ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, and Bechtel. The unique learning opportunities from being involved with officers facing the most challenging situations in their businesses and boardrooms have allowed for me to develop a fine-tuned understanding of how to contribute to these corporations and enable them to stay ahead of the curve. My strength in addressing these challenges is my commitment to the success of all parties involved, by embodying the values of dignity, care, and respect to ensure a beneficial outcome for all.

As I sit here typing this, I can still feel the same flame I felt when I was three years old. I am grateful for the opportunities this sport has given to me and excited for the future of USA Swimming.

Carolyn Conrad

I’m Carolyn Conrad, and I’m a partner at an entertainment law firm with offices in Beverly Hills and New York City. I have spent over a decade representing actors, writers, directors, hosts, playwrights and musicians, and I have had the great fortune to represent nominees and winners of every major award in the industry. I also work with charity organizations on both coasts, including Opening Act (providing free after-school theatre programs to NYC’s most under-served public high schools), Human Rights Watch and the Bowery Mission.

I grew up in Spring, Texas and swam for The Woodlands Swim Team. I continued to swim in college at both USC and UCLA, and was an NCAA All-American.

I believe that swimming, and my coaches and teammates along the way, truly changed the course of my life. Because of swimming, I was able to attend a college that would have otherwise been unaffordable to me. Because of swimming, I was able to travel, both domestically and internationally. Because of swimming, I learned focus, dedication and perseverance. Because of swimming, I learned how to be a teammate and how to be a captain.

Swimming has made me who I am today. The opportunity to serve on the USA Swimming Board of Directors, and give back to the sport and its athletes, would be an honor.

Dr. Cecil Gordon

It is an honor to be considered for a position on the USA Swimming Board of Directors. As a Life Member of USA Swimming, I have served on four National Committees, including International Relations, Rules and Regulations, Diversity and Inclusion and Safe Sport. As Chair of both Diversity and Inclusion and Safe Sport, I am especially proud of our accomplishments. The Safe Sport Committee guided USA Swimming through a period of needed change at a critical change for the organization. That change continues to shape USA Swimming, even today. Recently I joined the USA Swimming Foundation Board in 2016.

I’ve been an active official for twenty years and was selected as Starter for both the 2015 World Championships in Russia and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Additionally, I’ve been a part of the last three Olympic Trials in Omaha.

Outside of swimming I’ve served on numerous boards in my community, including charter schools, medical, philanthropic and the Episcopal Church Vestry. Currently, I am a member of the Christiana Care Health Services Trustee Board and previously was Vice President of the Delaware Board of Medical Practice. Professionally, I have maintained a private medical practice in Delaware since 1984.

All of these experiences I will rely on if elected to the Board of Directors. It is essential that our organization continues to grow and impact the communities we serve. It is equally important that we embrace diversity at all levels and invite everyone to be a part of our vision and mission. I look forward to that challenge and humbly request your support.

Jacquelyn Poland Hoagland

My name is Jacquelyn Poland Hoagland.  I was a swimmer. I am a swimmer. I will always be a swimmer.  I am a wife and mother of five.  I am a swim parent. I have been a swim coach. I was an ocean lifeguard.  I am an attorney. I am a member of the local Board of Education and I serve as the board’s chair of the policy committee. I am also a member of the negotiation and finance committee for the board. I am a past vice president of the local PTO.  I am a member of the charity organization the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association and have been a trustee of the non-profit Colts Neck Fair.

I was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in Kearny, N.J., until age 12 and then Sea Girt, N.J.  I have resided in Colts Neck, N.J., for 24+ years.  I graduated from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., in 1985 and was a member of the Furman swim team all four years.  I graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J., in 1988 and passed the New Jersey bar that year.  I was law clerk to the Hon. John E. Keefe, J.A.D. in 1988-89 and have been employed at Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst and Doukas LLP my entire career since.  I was a partner at the firm from 1995 through 2003 and have been of counsel since having my fourth child.

I am deeply honored to be considered for this position.

Amy Hoppenrath

Amy’s expertise is in strategic planning, marketing and communication.  Practicing servant leadership, she believes in building a shared vision through collaboration. It is extremely important to her that the volunteer spirit at USA Swimming remains through the governance evolution and that our membership continues to have a voice. 

Views on strategic focus of the new board:

Safe Sport: Going from good to great means looking at how USA Swimming can strengthen support to survivors, athletes, coaches, clubs and LSCs during crisis situations and beyond.

Growing our 10 & under base:  USA Swimming needs to shift the tides and its thinking. While the Flex Membership program is a good start, the focus needs to be on additional strategies to garner and retain our younger athletes. 

Communication: A good program is only as good as the communication around it.  Every new initiative (and maybe some of the older ones), needs to have an internal and external communications plan.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:

  • Married:  John – 36 years
  • Children: Two – Blaine & Michael
  • Education:  University of Kansas/BSJ
  • Profession:  Director of Strategic Marketing for large regional accounting firm

USA SWIMMING BACKGROUND:

Governance:

  • CZ Non-Coach Director (2014 – present)
  • Missouri Valley Admin Vice-Chair (2014 – present)
  • USAS Audit Committee (2016 – present)
  • National Officials Committee – Communications Chair (2012 – 2014)
  • Woman in Officiating Task Force Chair (2010 – 2011)

Officiating:

  • Olympic Trials (2012 & 2016)
  • Pro Series Referee/Minneapolis (2015)
  • Grand Prix Meet Referee/Missouri (2011) & Austin (2013)
  • Junior National Meet Referee (2013)
  • FINA list #18 & #20 Pan Pac Referee (2014)

Will Indest

Will Indest recently retired from his position as a General Partner with Draper Triangle Ventures, a prominent venture capital firm, and is now focusing on volunteer activities within swimming.

Over the course of his career as an engineer, business executive, and board member and Chair, Will has held leadership positions including worldwide division general manager with ABB, and chairman of the board, committee leadership roles and directorships on more than 15 boards of directors, including not-for-profit and for-profit companies. Will has also completed formal training in business strategy, finance, and board operations, including his master’s degree and specialized strategy training, including the executive program at Wharton.

At Draper Triangle Ventures, Will was responsible for choosing investments and serving on company boards to achieve investment success. Prior, Will held several positions at TechColumbus Investments Inc., including CEO, where he also gained board and management experience, reporting to and serving on several boards of directors.

Prior, Will served in a variety of management, sales, marketing and engineering positions at ABB and the State of Ohio.

Will currently serves as a national official with USA-S and USA ParaSwimming, and officiates and runs meets for NCAA, high school and summer league programs, contributing more than 500 volunteer hours per year for the last several years.

A native of New Orleans, Will earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master’s degree in management (focusing on strategy and finance) from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Will lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and two children, swimmers all.

Albert ‘AB’ Krall

I am excited about the opportunity to serve the swimming community and help build on the excellent environment that USA Swimming has created to reach young athletes everywhere.

I believe I can contribute meaningfully to the board of USA Swimming. I spent a 35-year career at Accenture and Deloitte Consulting helping clients to achieve their goals, simultaneously focusing on the career aspirations of motivated professionals to guide them to successful work and a balanced lifestyle.

At my alma mater, the University of Maryland, I have spent the past seven years on the Board of Advisors for the Smith School of Business, including terms as board vice chair and chair. I am also an adjunct professor teaching an MBA consulting class. I served seven years as a board trustee and strategy lead for a K-12 private school as we navigated challenging growth issues.

In the swimming world, I am entering my second elected term as the board president of the Naval Academy Aquatic Club (NAAC) in our hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. By adhering to a strategic quad plan developed by the board and head coach, our team is producing nationally ranked and well-rounded swimmers. As a former competitive swimmer, swim coach and father to a daughter excelling at NAAC, I recognize the importance of serving our sport.

My wife, Kristen, and I have three high-school aged children and are active community volunteers, leading charitable events and focusing our philanthropy on education, healthcare, sport and the environment.

Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr.

I have a great passion for the sport of Swimming and have been in and around swimming for more than 47 years. As a 10-year-old, I started out as a club swimmer and later was a High School and College All-American swimmer and an All-American water polo player. I continued swimming as part of the sport of Pentathlon on the Olympic training squad (1980 Moscow boycott cycle) and competed in the Masters Nationals.

Even though I have been independent of the USA Swimming NGB proper, I am very knowledgeable of the sport of swimming, the work of NGBs and the internal operations of the USOC. Through my service as Chair of the NGB Council, as an officer of the USOC, as the President of the 1993 US Olympic Festival, and as Chair and Executive Director of the Pentathlon NGB, I have a deep understanding of NGBs, the USOC and the Olympic movement.

I also have a variety of national and international level experiences across the sectors of academia, government, marketing, business, sports and non-profits, including serving on the staff of President Bush (the Father).

When I was asked to apply as a Semi-independent Director I got excited about the possibility of giving back to my sport. Every great opportunity I have had in my life from working as a senior staffer to the President of the United States to traveling the world as an athlete/administrator, all directly tie back to swimming.

I appreciate your consideration of my candidacy.

Derek Paul

My name is Derek Paul. I started swimming when I was six years old and swam almost every week thereafter until I was 22. The sport of swimming has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember and remains to be today.

I believe I can offer this organization a unique perspective and expertise as a board member. I practiced law for four years after finishing my swimming career and formal education at the University of Tennessee. While doing so, I remained connected to the sport both locally and nationally by volunteering with Tennessee Aquatics and USA Swimming. Recently I have re-entered the swimming world full time by working with my alma mater and Tennessee Aquatics.

When I stepped back from the wet side of the sport in 2012 I asked my age group coach what I could do to stay involved. Luckily, he suggested I volunteer my time to USA Swimming. It’s been my pleasure to serve this organization for the past six years. I have been honored and humbled to be able to interact with so many dedicated individuals whose passion for the sport of swimming is unrivaled. I would be honored if you would vote for me to serve on this board of directors for another term.

Jeanette Skow

I began my lifelong connection to swimming as a young age-grouper in NY and NJ metro area leagues which included competing at numerous state, regional, and national championships. My swimming career culminated at Princeton University, where I competed all four years and was a letter winner. I was also a four-year member of Air Force ROTC. Upon graduating from Princeton in 1998, I proudly served our country as an Air Force officer for 20 years stateside, overseas, and in combat zones in what was a very exciting, challenging, and rewarding career first as an intelligence officer and later as an attorney in the JAG Corps.

Swimming has been such a big part of my life and I am thrilled to still be connected to the sport through my daughter. It has been a pure highlight of my life watching her thrive in age-group competition the last three years and grow to truly love the sport. Becoming a swimming parent has given me a whole new perspective and a renewed passion to be more involved.

As a recent military retiree and reflecting on how to spend my time, I keep coming back to volunteer service as a significant option. I cannot think of a more appropriate way to spend my time than giving back to the sport that gave me so much. I am eager to contribute my time, skills, and passion to USA Swimming.

I reside with my husband and our daughter in Las Cruces, NM.

Susan Teeter

Susan Teeter recently retired after 33 seasons as head coach of the Princeton women’s swim program in 2017, and after 40 years in coaching. She currently volunteer coaches at Rider University for the men’s and women’s teams. Teeter racked up over 219 dual meet victories, and guided Princeton to 17 Ivy League titles. Teeter serves as the Ex-Officio President of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA). She is the President of S. S. Teeter Associates, a Leadership and High Performance Consulting company. Teeter is the Co-founder of the Summit in Women’s Swimming. She is a level 5 USA Swimming coach.

Teeter was honored with the prestigious CSCAA “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2011 and the National Collegiate and Scholastic Trophy in 2017. She earned the ASCA Award of Excellence six times. In 1988, she received the Master Coach Award from the CSCAA for her contributions to collegiate swimming. In 2015, she was awarded the USAS Most Outstanding Woman.

Teeter was a member of the 1996 + 2000 Olympic Swimming staff in Atlanta and Sydney.

Teeter is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She lives in Cranbury, New Jersey.

Teeter would like to help USA Swimming address recent issues around safe sport, create a better meet structure using a college dual meet model to enhance participation, shorten meet time frames and improve spectator involvement. She would also like to address women in coaching and enhance benefits to club coaches for healthcare and retirement.

Jay Thomas

USA Swimming has experienced an unprecedented period of prosperity. To keep the future of our sport secure, we must first ensure the absolute security and protection of our most valued resource, our athletes.  We must support programs that strengthen our clubs – they are the lifeblood of our organization. Going forward we need to build on our successes in a careful, measured manner which leverages our strengths to solidifies a sound future.  I would be honored to serve you on the Board of Directors.

Personal

Age: 57   

College: Clemson University – ’82 – B.S. Administrative Management

Military Service: Commander, United States Naval Reserve, Retired – 2002 – 20 years of service.

Two Children: Barbara – UNC-’10, Morgan – USC-Upstate -‘12

Professional – Commercial Airline Pilot – 23 years; Area Developer – Orangetheory Fitness – 5 years

LSC Service

Official – 1997-Present

Officials Committee Chair – 2003-2007

LSC Board of Directors, 2005-2009

Records Chair, NTV Chair, LSC Webmaster

National Service

USA Swimming Board of Directors – 2000-2014

Times and Recognition Committee – 2006 – 2009

Rules and Regulations Committee – 2008 – present, Chairman 2015-present

Official’s Committee – 2015-Present

Women in Officiating Task Force

International Service

FINA Official – 2008-2016

UANA – Union Americana de Natacion – Technical Swimming Committee Secretary – 2011-Present

Major Projects

Transgender Task Force – 2018

Task Force Chair – USA Swimming Safe Sport Review (Vieth Report) – 2014

On-Line Meet Entry System – testing team

SWIMS – LSC Records Portal – development and testing team

Tom Ugast

I am the Chief Executive Officer of Nation’s Capital Swim Club in the metro Washington, D.C., area. We have approximately 50 coaches and 1,850 athletes in our competitive USA Swimming program. We have another 350 swimmers in our developmental program along with one swim school.

I applied to be considered as a candidate because I feel I can help with our new Board structure to think strategically about our long-term success.

I currently serve as the General Chair of Potomac Valley Swimming with 12,500 athletes, 561 coaches and 667 officials. My goal on the Board is to listen to all members of our NGB including athletes, coaches, officials and parents to achieve our goals as an organization.

The most important goal is that we give every athlete the opportunity to reach his or her potential. We also need to make sure they are in a safe environment, so Safe Sport will be paramount to meeting our goals. I will also make sure I represent the concerns of coaches and officials to our staff. We cannot do what we do without your commitment and support and I will listen.

The new Board will be tasked with counseling our staff to carry out the mission of our NGB. I believe we have a great staff of employees and I want to make sure we are giving them the resources to meet our goals. Thanks for your time and I am happy to meet with you in Jacksonville.

Robert Vincent

Bob’s first experience as a Director was with the Alexandria Rotary Club Board where he learned, and still practices, the concept of “service above self.” He has served for over 10 years on the Board of the Professional Services Council, the Voice of the Government Services Industry. He is in his 15th year on the Board of Directors of Florida Citrus Sports (Selection Committee) scouting football for the Citrus and Camping World Bowl games.

He has been involved at all levels of swimming including President of a parent-owned club, LSC Treasurer, Zone Officials Chair, and currently serves as Finance Vice Chair of USA Swimming. Bob also served on the task force that helped to create the new Board Governing Policies Manual.

Bob earned an Education degree at the University of South Carolina and a master’s Degree in General Administration from the Business School at the University of Maryland, University College. After teaching for three years he opened a Domino’s Pizza franchise that ranked in the top 2% of sales, worldwide. In 1987 he sold the franchise and began working for VW International, Inc., a healthcare facilities company. Bob now owns that company and continues to serve as President and CEO.

He believes that all USA Swimming goals (“Ends”) should be athlete focused, coach driven, staff executed, and volunteer supported. Our Board should have the right resources in place, along with a monitoring and accountability plan, to ensure success at all levels throughout the organization.

Bob is married to Erin and they have two daughters, Mandy and Taylor, both former college swimmers. He is an active supporter of the USA Swimming Foundation.

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DrSwimPhil

Dr. Gordon should be a unanimous decision for one of the spots.

Coach

Same with Jay Thomas.

Buckeye Dad

It’s nice to see they changed the governance and bringing in the semi-independent directors Too much “5 ring fever “. Same people move from Committee to committee Same group that officiates all national meets

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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