2019 Board of Directors Call for Nominations

2019 Board of Directors Call for Nominations

By USA Swimming  | Saturday, March 30, 2019

The USA Swimming Board of Directors and Nominating Committee invite qualified candidates to apply for nomination for election to the Board of Directors.

Please review the  2019 Board of Directors Volunteer Application Instructions prior to applying.

Call for Nominations Introduction

In September 2019, the USA Swimming House of Delegates will elect four(4) individuals to be At-Large members of the USA Swimming Board of Directors.   The Nominating Committee will select and place on the ballot a minimum of 8, and not more than 12, vetted nominees.

Interested candidates are encouraged to thoroughly review the information below, and the application form, to verify their understanding of the nominating criteria and to ensure their willingness to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of Board membership.

Those interested in serving on USA Swimming’s Board of Directors beginning in September 2019 must submit a completed application no later than Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  Late applications will not be considered by the Nominating Committee.


Organization Mission & Overview

As a National Governing Body (NGB), USA Swimming (USA-S) is responsible for training, competition and development of swimming in the United States.  Formed in 1978 under the provisions of the Amateur Sports Act, and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA-S is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

USA Swimming has a $40 million annual operating budget, 90 professional staff headquartered in Colorado Springs, and over 400,000 members – including coaches, volunteers and athletes from the age-group level to the Olympic Team. 

USA Swimming’s long-term focus is on building achievement in three primary areas:

  • Competitive Success:  Sustaining the competitive success which has resulted in the U.S. having long held the rank as the #1 swimming nation, with leading achievements in international competition including the Olympic Games.
  • Member Resources:  Providing our members (athletes, coaches, clubs and LSCs) with resources for sustainable success.
  • Public Engagement: Growing public interest and participation in swimming.


Governance Focus

The restructuring that went into effect with the 2018 election transitioned the Board from its 35-member, constituency-based composition and operational focus to a smaller Board focused on strategic, longer-term issues.  Responsible for setting standards for the organization and ensuring effective organizational performance, the Board acts on behalf of USA-S’ membership, the USOC and the American public. 

The Board has developed and adopted a Governing Policies Manual, setting forth performance expectations for its own work, and that of the CEO and staff members. 

USA Swimming’s current Bylaws and Governing Policies may be viewed here.

Board Composition

The Board now has 15 voting members, including:

  • Immediate Past Board Chair
  • National Team Steering Committee Chair
  • Three athlete members
  • *Ten At-Large members elected by the House of Delegates, including:
  • At least two coaches
  • At least two semi-independent directors (Individuals who have not been members of the House of Delegates at the national level, but who at present or in the past, have/had an obvious connection to swimming).
  • At least one residing in each of USA Swimming’s four geographic zones.
  • The President/CEO and Secretary/General Counsel are ex-officio, non-voting members

The Board elects its own officers (Board Chair, Vice Chair and Vice Chair-Fiscal Oversight).

2019 Election Requirements: Based on the composition requirements of the Board and the four seats being vacated by current Board members whose terms are expiring, at least one coach member and at least one resident of the Central Zone must be elected in 2019.   These two requirements may be met by the same individual. 


Desired Experience & Competencies

Per Board policy, at its February 2019 meeting, the Board affirmed as its charge to the Nominating Committee the following criteria to emphasize in its screening of potential nominees, including those for the required coach and Central Zone candidates:

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.


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 2019 are:

  • May 15, 2019:  Deadline for Candidate Applications. (NOTE: Prior to applying, an applicant must satisfactorily complete a USA Swimming background check: https://sftest.usaswimming.org/background-checks).  Please note that the Nominating Committee will not consider late applications.
  • Late May – mid June:   Upon verification of each applicant's background checks, each member of the Nominating Committee will review all applications submitted.  The committee will then confer to discuss each applicant’s qualifications.  Based on this initial screening process, those candidates that the Nominating Committee considers qualified for further consideration will be invited to participate in an initial interview with at least two Nominating Committee members. Applicants that will not be interviewed will be promptly notified.

  • June/July: Based on initial phone 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. It will address the Board composition requirements of seats to be filled in the current nominations/elections cycle (see Bylaws Article 504.2 re: athletes, coaches, zone geography, semi-independent status, etc.). 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.
  • Early 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 all nominees to the HOD no later than August 15, 2019.
  • September 11, 2019: USA Swimming Board of Directors meeting.Candidates are welcome to observe the last regular meeting of the 2018-19 Board of Directors.
  • September 12-13, 2019: The Nominating Committee will host a “Meet the Candidates” Forum during the United States Aquatics Convention in St. Louis, Missouri at a time to be determined, giving each proposed nominee a few minutes to introduce themselves to attending Delegates.
  • September 14, 2019: 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.

Role of the Board of Directors

The Board has specific responsibilities to its membership, the USOC and the American public. 

The Board:

  1. Serves as an outward-looking, future-oriented strategic governing body.
  2. Ensures the fiscal sustainability of the organization.
  3. Provides oversight of the organization, including:

    a. Ensuring that Committees established by the Board are functioning in keeping with their stated objectives.

    b. Ensuring compliance with legal requirements, Bylaws and governance policies.

    c. Reviewing and updating policies.

    d. Establishing strategic performance expectations and providing clear and formal feedback to the CEO.

  4. Creating a connection between USA Swimming, its membership, the USOC and the public through:

    a. Needs Assessment: identifying needs and trends related to the organization's activities and scope of influence, and

    b. Advocacy: act as representatives of USA Swimming to the swimming community and the public.


Board Meetings/Time Commitment

Board Orientation:   All newly elected Board members must commit to attending an orientation meeting to be held on Thursday/Friday, October 3-4, 2019 at USA Swimming’s Headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Board Meetings
:  The Board of Directors has five meetings per year, with the requirement that all Board members will attend at least four of the five.

  • September – Two meetings (Wednesday and Saturday) during the week of the United States Aquatics Convention.
  • November – In conjunction with the Golden Goggles Awards the weekend prior to Thanksgiving
  • One weekend meeting in late-January/early February (anticipated to be held in Colorado Springs)
  • One weekend meeting in late-April/early-May (anticipated to be held in Colorado Springs)

In addition, there may be occasional Board teleconferences throughout the year.

Board Committees
:  Each Board member is expected to serve on at least one Board Committee.   Those Committees are:

  • The Nominating Committee fulfills the nominations process, as stipulated in the Bylaws and Governing Policies.
  • The Investment Committee oversees the performance of USA-S’ investment portfolio.
  • The Audit Committee selects and acts as liaison between the Board and the outside auditor and assists the Board in monitoring financial activities and performance throughout the year.
  • The Governance Committee is responsible for Board orientation and training, reviewing or proposing Bylaws or policy revisions and implications for Board consideration, and making other recommendations to strengthen the Board’s governance capabilities.
  • The Executive Compensation Committee helps the Board make informed decisions regarding executive compensation and benefits.


Expectations of Individual Board Members

The Board expects ethical, professional and lawful conduct by its members, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Board members.  Board members are expected to, upon appointment or election to the Board and annually, sign a Letter of Commitment indicating that they have reviewed and commit to abide by USA-S’ Bylaws and Governing Policies, as may be amended from time to time.

Prospective applicants for Board nominations should review these documents, and be committed to meeting the expectations outlined therein, including but not limited to:

 1. Conflict of Interest: Avoid any conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility and abide by the USA Swimming Statement of Principles on Ethical Behavior and Conflict of Interest.

2. Abide by Board Decisions: Support and accurately represent positions and decisions duly agreed upon by the Board.

3. “One-Voice” Leadership: Not attempt to exercise individual authority over the organization or any staff members. Recognize that the CEO is accountable to the Board and not to individual Board members.

4. Confidentiality: Maintain confidentiality on issues of a sensitive nature.

5. Attendance: Attend Board meetings on a regular and punctual basis.

6. Preparation: Review agenda materials in advance of Board and committee meetings and participate productively in discussions.

7. Stewardship: Be alert to the concerns of the membership, the USOC, and the American public that can be addressed through USA-S’ mission.

8. Responsiveness: Be attentive to Board communications and respond promptly to staff and Board member requests for feedback.

9. Membership: Maintain USA Swimming membership in good standing.

10. Contributions to USA Swimming Foundation: Each Board member is expected and 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.

2019 Nominating Committee

The 2019 Nominating Committee members are:

Tim Bauer – Senior Development Committee Coach Appointee   Tim is the Director of Competitive Swimming at Katy Aquatics.  During Tim’s 30-year coaching career, 24 at The Woodlands Swim Team, he has been named 2006 Head Coach of the USA National Select Camp and served on the Texas Swimming Association Board from 2011-2013 and the USA Swimming Board from 2011-2018.   He holds an ASCA Level 5 certification – the highest – for both senior and age groups.  Tim swam for the University of Western Illinois and competed in the 1984 Olympic Trials and has since developed numerous Olympian and Olympic Trial qualifiers, Senior National Finalists and Junior National Champions. 

John Bradley - USA Swimming Board of Directors Representative     Currently the Zone Coach Director for USA-S’ Central Zone, Bradley is the Director of Sports Development for Minnesota Swimming, Inc.  A coach since 1992, John has coached at the Madison West YMCA, Madison Aquatic Club, Elmbrook Swim Club, Waukesha Express Swim Team and the Rochester (MN) Swim Club. John has a wide range of experience coaching swimmers from Novice to Olympic Trials qualifiers, and has been recognized in both Wisconsin and Minnesota as “Age Group Coach of the Year”

Andrew Gemmell – Athlete Representative   A nine-year National Team member, Andrew competed in four World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games.   USA-S leadership involvement has included serving on the International Relations and Open Water Development Committees, and as the athlete representative to US Aquatic Sports.  Andrew earned a masters degree in applied economics from Georgetown, and is a data scientist developing artificial intelligence solutions at KPMG. 

Dr. Cecil Gordon  -  USA Swimming Board of Directors Representative   An OB/GYN physician in Wilmington Delaware and a Life Member of USA Swimming, Dr. Gordon has served on the International Relations and the Rules and Regulations Committees, and as past chair of the Diversity and Inclusion and the Safe Sport Committees.  He is now on the USA-S Board and the Board Chair of the USA Swimming Foundation. On the FINA List as both a Starter and a Referee, Cecil has worked on deck at the last three Olympic Trials Meets and at the 2015 World Championships (Kazan, Russia) and 2016 Olympic Games (Rio).  

Liz Kershaw – Age Group Committee Coach Appointee    Currently the Head Coach of Hurricane Aquatics in Miami, Florida, Liz has been active in USA Swimming since joining as an athlete in the early 1980’s.   Since becoming a coach in 1996, Liz has earned two masters degrees (in Athletic Administration and in Sports Physiology), and has coached and volunteered extensively at the LSC level.   At the national level, Liz served two terms on the USA-S Governance Committee (from 2013-18) and in 2018 was selected by the Age Group Committee to be its appointee on the Nominating Committee.

Ron Van Pool (Chair) – USA Swimming Foundation Board Representative     Ron has served as president of USA Swimming (2002-2006), on the Board of the USOC, as a delegate to the FINA General and Technical Congresses (2004-2009), a founding director of the USA Swimming Foundation, on the United States Sports Insurance Company Board (2002-2015), and as chair of USA-S’ 2002 Governance Review Task Force, the International Relations Committee and the 2017 CEO Search Committee.   Ron officiated at the Sydney and Atlanta Olympic Games. A Seattle resident with an MBA from Cal-Berkeley, Ron retired from a successful career as National Sales Manager and in international business development for Weyerhaeuser Company.  

Kurt von Moltke – Semi-Independent    A corporate lawyer with Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, Kurt is co-chair of the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice group.  He has more than 30 years of experience in that specialty, as well as private equity transactions, corporate debt restructurings and workouts, corporate finance and securities transactions, and more.    Often recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in the areas of Corporate Governance Law and Securities/Capital Markets Law, Kurt currently serves on the USA-S Nominating Committee and the National Board of Review.  He was a member of the Northwestern University Men’s Varsity Swimming and Diving team from 1978-1982.

Shannon Vreeland – Athlete Representative     A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Shannon swam for the Kansas City Blazers, then at the University of Georgia from 2010-2014, in the 2012 Olympics, the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2014 Pan Pacific Games.  Currently finishing up her degree at Vanderbilt Law, Shannon will be working in Environmental Law at Alston and Bird after clerking on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Kansas City.   She is also a member of the USA Swimming National Board of Review.

Mary Wallack – Semi-Independent    A financial advisor since 1994, Mary is currently a Financial Consultant with Brown/Miller Wealth Management of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Washington DC.   For the past 18 years, Mary has been a member of U.S.  Masters Swimming (Potomac Valley LMSC).  In addition to many civic and cultural involvements, Mary was a founder and officer (2004-2006) of All Star Aquatics in Bethesda, MD, served in multiple officer roles, including president, of the Country Club Swimming and Diving Association, and served as Chair (2005-2011) of the Swim and Dive Committee at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.


Application Process

To submit your application for consideration to be nominated to the USA Swimming Board of Directors, complete the Board of Directors Volunteer Application, and submit it no later than Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

For additional information contact:

USA Swimming Nominating Committee
c/o Lucinda McRoberts, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel
Email:     lmcroberts@usaswimming.org
Phone: (719) 866-3591



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