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March 16, 2009

Recent Board Meeting Recap

This blog is created by both, board chair, Bill Corbin and CEO, Denise Parker.

The Board is beginning to put its team and plans in place for 2009 and, in keeping with our desire for transparency; we wanted to give you a brief update. For background to this meeting you should review the minutes from the October meeting that are now posted. The Board met on February 27th and 28th in Chula Vista, California at the Olympic Training Center and welcomed two new members, athlete representatives Jennifer Nichols and Erika Anschutz. High priority for the meeting was to review the 2008 financials, approve the 2009 budget and set in place the CEO and team for the organization.

The Board unanimously elected Denise Parker to the CEO position. This was effective 3/2/09 to allow Ms Parker to function throughout the meeting as a Board member and time to prepare her resignation from the Board. For more details, please read the press release.

The Board intended to name both a High Performance Manager and Coach Development Manager at this meeting as key positions to work with Denise. The strategy was to provide a strong mix of skill sets by adding the energy and fresh perspective of someone from outside archery for the HPM role. The preferred candidate accepted the position but later changed her mind because of her unwillingness to travel. Denise is currently evaluating the other candidates and re-opening search for a High Performance Manager.

The second personnel issue was the matter of a Coach Development Manager. Because the organization does not have the funding in 2009 for a staff position, Parker recommended that the organization hire a CDM on contract. Sheri Rhodes has been playing this role in the interim as the leader of the Transition Task Force and, following a review of all candidates, Parker recommended that Ms Rhodes transition to a more formal role as CDM. This transition will begin as a part time consulting role but because Sheri is a Board member through the end of the 2009, the Board established an Ethics Committee to monitor the relationship and maintain compliance with our By-laws. Sheri will not be a full time employee while a Board member and will not be able to vote in areas that may present a conflict of interest related to the contract.

A large part of the past Board meeting discussion revolved around Parker's strategic vision for the future of the organization.  She presented a Strategic Outline to the Board and the corresponding 2009 budget to support the plan.  Both were accepted and approved by the Board.  To view this outline click here. For the 2009 approved budget click here. Denise will provide an update to the membership very soon and elaborate her views on the future of the organization.

After insuring enough funding to re-establish the sport and hiring the right team to lead it, membership satisfaction is the critical focus for the Board.  The Board recognized the elimination of the magazine represented one of the more tangible items members receive for their membership. The Board put together the task force of Brian Sheffler, Lloyd Brown, Jennifer Nichols and Darrell Pace to work on ways to increase member satisfaction and evaluate potential additional member benefits.

Unfortunately, the Board had to review a report by the Board of Justice regarding violations of the Code of Conduct that took place during the 2008 Youth World Championships in Antalya, Turkey. The Board voted not to enforce sanctions on the athletes because the Board felt procedures for the complaint process were not communicated or followed precisely enough to support the disciplinary action being requested. Significant infractions occurred that would have merited punishment had the process been followed. As the final arbiter of fairness, the Board simply could not support a flawed process.

However, the Board discussed in great detail the need to completely revamp the Code of Conduct and disciplinary process to include codifying specific penalties so all athletes will know the sanctions for misconduct. It is the Board's intent to have a Code of Conduct that is unambiguous and generates the type of behavior that reflects our core values. The task force of Erika Anschutz, Derek Davis, Randel (Pee Wee) Turner and Belinda Foxworth will lead our efforts to establish a new Code of Conduct. Following the proper implementation and communication of a new Code of Conduct, the Board is prepared to ensure compliance even if it means having to suspend high profile athletes.

With the hiring of both Denise Parker and Chris McCartney, the organization has been left with two open Board seats, one At-Large seat and one Grassroots-JOAD seat.  The Board notified the Nominating Committee to begin the process of obtaining a slate of candidates for election.  However, the Board determined the current process outlined in the by-laws is unrealistic since we do not have the necessary distinctions and records in the database to comply with the bylaws.  Allowing members to vote in only one category and having to declare a single category was not representative of the membership.  USAA's membership is filled with individuals who coach, judge, compete as an athlete, run a JOAD club, assist in Collegiate archery etc, all at the same time.

The chairman took the time from the meeting to discuss this issue with the USOC and advised them the Board would create a task force to work with the USOC to determine a fair voting process that was more in line with our specific membership needs. The members of the Board assigned to the Bylaws Task Force are Jane Johnson, Sheri Rhodes, Lloyd Brown and Eric Parthen (USOC).

As you can see, the Board is spending its time on strategic issues and implementing the necessary changes for improved governance. Our commitment to transparency allows the members to be part of the process and the identifying of the Task Forces permits you to share any recommendations with the key Board members addressing those issues. The Board has scheduled a follow up conference call to be held in June and will have strong representation at the Annual Meeting during the Nationals.

Best Regards,

Bill and Denise

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