Tom ShephardOpen letter to the USAP Membership 

Dear Membership of USAP:

It is an honor to be addressing the USA Pentathlon community. In October I was selected to serve as Chairman/President of USAP by the Board of Directors. Since that time I have been working with the Board and leadership of both USAP and the USOC to understand the challenges we face and prioritize the opportunities that lie ahead.

First and foremost, we are focused on supporting our athletes and developing a robust pipeline of athletes for the future. We are committed to being great on and off the field of play. Although informed by the past, we will be a forward thinking and transparent organization. We have spent a great deal of time with the USOC staff to understand their vision for USAP and how can we improve as an organization, as well as working with our staff and our Board to set the objectives and strategies for the short and midterm. (I have attached those objectives and strategies for your information.) These objectives were developed during the Fairplex Board meeting and are dynamic. We intend to stay focused and transparent throughout the process.

At my initial meeting with the USOC they requested that we immediately act on a number of items to improve our efficiency as an NGB. I strongly support many of their requested actions. Those items included a new permanent office in Colorado Springs, now in place, an updated and approved audit (our 4-year audit is completed and approved), updated bylaws (completed), athlete elections (in progress and conducted transparently), settlement of disputed USOC invoices (completed), a revised High Performance Plan (submitted for 2017-18), and most importantly reconfiguring our Board and staff to maximize our talents and become a more efficient organization. We added Scott Christie to the team as our Deputy Director to support and manage the day to day organizational duties and to free up our CEO Rob Stull to provide vision and direction, work on raising money and to continue to position the organization domestically and internationally. Scott did a great job for us, but has chosen a different direction for he and his family and we will miss him. We are however on the right track with our model and I am extremely pleased to announce that we have recently hired Kevin Montford for the DeputyDirector position moving forward. Kevin is a former US Navy “athlete of the year” and successful business owner in Colorado Springs, Kevin joins us with a strong Pentathlon athletic background. We have all our coaches reporting to this position and are looking to supplement our coaching staff with additional support. To that end, we have focused on the running discipline this year by adding the very talented Dan Browne to the coaching staff. In addition, and very importantly, we have moved the extremely knowledgeable Dr. Genadijus Sokolovas to a new position, that of identifying young talent and recruiting them to the sport. Nothing could be more important for our future. We have also added a talented fencing coach in Omar El Geziry. They are being supporting by an incredible group of coaching advisors. As you can see we are building out a great team to support our athletes.

On the event side, we had a very successful World Cup at The Fairplex Park in February 2017. I am delighted to inform you that The Fairplex Park will be hosting the 2018 World Cup as well; as they continue to build on the knowledge and experience they gained from hosting the inaugural event this year. We have also just completed a competent Nationals Championships that we can continue build out to be stronger over the next few years.

Raising additional funds to support our programs overall is a vital initiative for USAP. We have created a new “Rally Me” page so that we can raise money from interested Olympic and Pentathlon supporters, while also reinvigorating the USAP Foundation. I will provide updates on both activities as they become fully operational in the near future.

This is not a complete list by any means, with event plans and fundraising ideas, we have much more to do, but as you can see the Team behind the Team has been very busy.

All of this is being done to become a healthier and a more sustainable organization that enables our athletes be the best that they want to be. I very much look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the next year. You can expect more frequent communications in the form of monthly calls and newsletters beginning next month.

 

Until then, Best,

Tom Shepard 

Chairman, USA Pentathlon