USCA TRANSITION TO NEW GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE
The annual members meeting of the USCA was held on April 12, 2014. The main purpose of the meeting was to install an improved governance of the USCA through a new set of by-laws. The members, being the state and regional associations of the USCA, voted on and passed the by-laws by a wide margin of 86% to 14%.
Following the members meeting the USCA Board of Directors elected a new slate of officers. The officers elected were Dave Carlson - President, Rich Lepping - Vice President, Sam Williams - Vice President, Sean Silver - Treasurer and Gordon Maclean - Secretary. These newly elected officers will be members of the transition team acting under the name of the transition steering group.
The steering group will guide the USCA from the current governance to the new governance structure. This will include a reduction in the size of the Board from its current 29 members to 23. The sub-groups of the steering group, to assist the interim CEO, will review the existing operational committees as to their purpose and function going forward and define their roles and responsibilities in the context of the new by-laws. This is towards the end of being ready for the planned Members' Assembly at which the initial steps to populate the operational committees will be taken. Also, in collaboration with the staff, a Members' Assembly is being planned.
The reduction of the Board from its current 29 to 23 is accomplished by the three larger regions having their number of directors reduced from three to two. There are also three regions which will have their number of directors reduced from two to one. There will also be one less athlete AAC elected director. A complete description of allocation of member elected directors may be found in the new by-laws at Section 7.6. The new by-laws are available on the USCA website.
The Members' Assembly is tentatively scheduled for mid-October, 2014. Final site selection is pending. The Members' Assembly will conduct the business of the members. In addition, the intent is to offer seminars, educational opportunities and a chance to network with other USCA members. Furthermore, there will be reports provided to the members from the interim CEO, the staff and the Board.
The transition steering group consists of the newly elected officers as identified above. In addition, Jim Pleasants, Past President, will be a member of the steering group. There will also be three athlete representatives from the AAC and the interim CEO as members of the group. At the Board of Directors Meeting in April, 2014, the Board voted to appoint Rick Patzke as the interim CEO.
One of the responsibilities of the steering group is to gather initial information for an intended CEO search. This information will include job description and qualifications, salary range, as well as addressing the issues of whether the search will include hiring an outside search firm and the timeline for the search. The final decision on the CEO search details will be made by the new Board at its initial Board meeting.
Another task of the steering group includes commencing the cataloging of existing policies of the USCA and identifying those policies in need of possible revision in light of the new governance structure, as well as having preliminary discussions on areas in which policy needs to be developed under the new governmental structure. The steering group will also review the reports and work of the sub-groups and reconcile conflicts as they may arise as between the sub-groups concerning specific operational committee's goals and tasks. In addition, the steering group will advise on the location and details of the Members' Assembly.
The three sub-groups of the steering group will address the matters of identifying and defining operational committees as needed. These sub-groups are divided along the operational group areas as set forth in the new by-laws. These areas are Organizational Development, Grassroots Championships, and Member Development. These sub-groups will have Co-Chairs, one of which will be a staff member who will have responsibilities in the general area. The other Co-Chairs will respectively be the newly elected Vice-Presidents of Operations and Marketing and Championships and former Past President, Chris Sjue, with assistance from current Secretary, Gordon Maclean.
A vigorous timeline has been set for the transition planning. The states and regions are requested to identify their member elected directors to the new Board by July 1, 2014. A mid-August, 2014 date is set for the initial/organizational meeting of the new Board. The standing committees will be elected at the next Board meeting. Their work is to commence immediately with the expectation that preliminary reports will be made to the new Board at its next meeting. The next meeting of the Board is scheduled to coincide with the Members' Assembly in mid-October, 2014.
To populate the board level standing committees, the current Nominating Committee of the USCA is charged with the responsibility of presenting a slate of candidates to the Board. The Nominating Committee is obligated, pursuant to the new by-laws, to solicit from the members names and qualifications of nominees for open positions. See, Section 9A.15(f). It is anticipated that this will be done within a time frame such that the Nominating Committee may vet potential nominees and provide a report/slate of nominees to the new Board at least 30 days prior to the tentatively scheduled Board meeting in mid-August, 2014.
The goal of the USCA, as encouraged by the USOC, is for the USCA to become the number one member supported national curling organization in the world. The new governance structure has set a solid foundation upon which to build for the success of achieving this number one status. Success will rely upon the talent, passion and purposeful focus of all constituencies associated with USCA.