USA Shooting Board of Directors Meeting Report

The USA Shooting (USAS) Board of Directors held their semi-annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 3, 2015.  

BOARD MEETING ATTENDANCE.  Nine directors attended the meeting.  The U. S. Army Accessions Support Brigade, which includes the U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit, appointed their Chief of Staff, Mr. Robert Wray, to represent the Army as its “official liaison.”  Three newly elected Board members, Colonel Dennis Behrens, USAF, Ret., Shotgun athlete representative Amber English and Rifle athlete representative Joe Hein were seated as new members.  Five directors chose not to attend in what was announced as a boycott over ongoing complaints.  

PENDING GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS.  Corporate counsel Tom James provided an update on all pending grievances, the declaratory judgment filing and the USOC Section 10 complaint.  The appointed Hearing Panel has ordered the parties to Mediation, which will take place October 20-21.

USAS ATHLETE SUPPORT HAS CONTINUED UNABATED.  During discussion of the  formal complaints, it was reported  that USAS leadership and staff have nevertheless carried out the USOC-USAS High Performance Plan including all scheduled athlete training programs, all planned USA Shooting Team participation in ISSF Championships, all budgeted junior development programs, all scheduled competitions and on-going fund raising operations.  There have been no reductions of athlete or program support. As a result, USA athletes won 20 Rio Olympic participation quotas (2nd only to China) and USAS national championships attracted record participation.  The Board was informed that in spite of unexpected legal costs, excellent results by USAS direct mail fund raising, USAS competitions and USAS merchandise sales would result in a substantial excess of revenues over expenses by the end of the year. 

OFFICER ELECTIONS.  The Board elected USAS officers for the next two-year term.  Dr. James Lally was reelected President.  Lones Wigger was elected as the Vice President.  E. C. ‘Cris’ Stone was reelected as the Treasurer and Gary Anderson was elected as the Secretary.  These four officers plus Shooting Athletes Advisory Council Representative Mary Weeks form the USAS Executive Committee.

CODE OF CONDUCT COMPLAINT.  A code of conduct complaint against the USAS CEO Robert Mitchell was filed by USAMU Commander LTC Bret Tecklenburg.  USAS commissioned an independent investigator recommended by the USOC to investigate.  The investigator’s 26-page report to the Board, found no merit to any of the allegations in the complaint.  The Board dismissed the action while noting that the investigation cost USAS nearly $40,000. 

USOC REPORT.  Rick Adams, the USOC’s Chief of Paralympic Sport & NGB Organizational Development, attended the Board meeting and reported on recent Olympic Committee activities. 

USAS MEMBER SURVEY.  Ms. Kae Rader of Rader Consulting, a firm with extensive experience in conducting management surveys for NGBs, gave a detailed report on the “USAS Stakeholder Survey” that her firm conducted in late 2014.  1,044 surveys were sent to representative samples of junior athletes, senior athletes, USAS team members, coaches, parents, volunteers and members.  Ms. Rader reported an excellent 40% response rate and a conclusion that overall stakeholder commitment and satisfaction with USAS programs is high. 

2016 USAS BUDGET.  After reviewing 2015 year-to-date financials, the Board reviewed and approved the 2016 USAS Operating Budget.  The new budget is balanced and provides for $5.7 million in revenue and $5.6 million in expenses. 

RIO 2016 ATHLETE INCENTIVES.  The Board authorized staff to develop a proposal providing financial rewards for athletes who win medals in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games that will be similar to the reward program USAS funded for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

USAS ATHLETE ENDOWMENT.  Newly elected director Col. Dennis Behrens, USAF (Ret.), reported on the activities of the Bunker Club, a group he heads, that has now raised $1.5 million for the USAS Athlete Endowment.  Col. Behrens reported that the Fund awarded its first athlete grants to 27 developing athletes in 2015.

ISSF REPORT.  ISSF Vice President Gary Anderson reported on 2015 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) activities.  2015 World Cups had the highest participation ever with 2,115 athletes from 115 nations making 6,295 starts.  Anderson reported that a major challenge facing the ISSF will be how to bring Shooting in line with the International Olympic Committee’s “Agenda 2020” that will require changes to achieve “gender equality” in Olympic events and Olympic participation quotas.

STAFF REPORTS.  The managers of ten different USAS staff departments gave reports on their work to carry out USAS programs.  Much of the 2015 staff focus has been on 2016 Olympic and Paralympic qualifying just as much of the 2016 staff focus will be on achieving success in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The next USAS Board meeting will take place in Colorado Springs on March 12, 2016.