A Letter From Michael Wall, President and Chair of USA Team Handball
Dear USA Team Handball community:
We are sorry to announce that Barry Siff, who has served as Chief Executive Officer of USA Team Handball since April 2019, recently informed the Board of Directors that he has decided to leave the organization for personal reasons. Barry’s last day will be July 18, 2020. We are sharing with you below the letter that Barry delivered to our membership community.
We want to thank Barry for his guidance and leadership and laud him for his accomplishments during his tenure as CEO. We will miss Barry’s zeal, positivity, and unrelenting efforts to promote our sport and wish him much happiness in the future.
The Board of Directors has commenced the search for Barry’s successor and, to this end, has appointed a search committee consisting of three Board members: David Thompson (an Athlete Director), Patrick Jalabert (a General Membership Director), and Tracy Deforge (an independent Director). This committee is mandated to recommend CEO candidates to the Board who have the experience, integrity and strength of character to lead our organization and to continue to enhance the momentum that has been building for our sport during the past few years. We intend to appoint the new CEO as expeditiously as possible and will update you as we progress. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this process, please contact me at email@example.com.
President and Chair
A Letter From Barry Siff, Chief Executive Officer of USA Team Handball
Dear USA Team Handball community:
I have had the honor and privilege of being USA Team Handball’s (USATH) CEO since April 15, 2019, but I want to let you know that I am stepping down effective July 18, 2020.
I realized in recent months that you only have a finite amount of energy - especially at my age - and I had begun viewing my position as a “job,” rather than a play of passion and loving each and every day. That has contributed greatly to this very difficult decision.
My reason for taking on this opportunity was simple. I believe handball to be an amazing sport, one perfectly suited for American athletes and audiences, and a sport with the added benefit of an extremely low “barrier to entry” - i.e., easy to learn, easy to play, low cost, etc. I also saw an organization which was relatively stagnant in its development. Not much had changed over the past couple of decades in terms of membership, growth, and international competitiveness (no outright qualification for the Olympics in nearly 30 years).
Thus, I came in with the support of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the International Handball Federation (IHF), with an eye toward “change,” doing things a bit differently, and doing this with an “outsider’s view,” but one who has been immersed - successfully - in sport leadership for almost 20 years, following a very successful business career. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I believe I am leaving an organization stronger than it was 15 months ago, and ready to go to the next level.
A few of the key pieces of the foundation include:
- An organization that is fully compliant with requirements from the USOPC and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which has resulted in new respect and credibility for our organization.
- Financial solvency.
- Significantly improved communications within our community, as well as externally. Our recent Zoom calls with nearly all of our clubs produced incredible insights for us to address moving forward.
- A partnership in Europe whereby several of our athletes have been placed in highly competitive clubs for development purposes.
- Virtual referee and coaching classes, which were put together by the IHF specifically for USATH. These will hopefully be rolled out very shortly.
- Five Regional Ambassadors, who are ready to focus on youth and collegiate development as a team and strategically.
- The creation of a Youth Advisory Council, which I am very excited about and will be anxious to hear about their contributions going forward. Like the Ambassadors, these individuals are all truly amazing, with new ideas and great spirit.
These are but a few of the positive steps toward building a strong National Governing Body (NGB), and I can only hope that new leadership will use this foundation to continue building this great sport in America. I want to thank and applaud all of our members - athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers - those who give your heart and soul to this great sport, and who are simply looking to share with others - with America - the greatness of handball. And, finally, a huge thanks to Melissa & Emily. They work with an unparalleled commitment and professionalism and, working as a team, they helped bring a fresh, inspiring perspective to everything we worked on.
Wishing USATH continued development and growth in the coming years, with tremendous excitement and opportunities as we all look forward to LA 2028.
Chief Executive Officer