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USATF Opening Session gives message of growth and progress


HOUSTON -- USATF’s 2015 Annual Meeting, a four-day event beginning Thursday, Dec. 3 and concluding Sunday, Dec. 6, is officially underway at the Hyatt Regency Houston.


The Annual Meeting brings together committees, subcommittees and task forces from across the country for once-a-year, face-to-face meetings.


During Thursday evening’s Opening Session, USATF CEO Max Siegel and President Stephanie Hightower offered welcoming remarks to the constituents in attendance, focusing on messages of improvement and expansion of the sport and its support on every level.


President Hightower addressed the success of USATF on an international level, including top medal counts for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships, Pan American Games, Pan American Junior Championships, World Masters Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics Championships. Hightower also celebrated Curt Clausen, Michelle Carter and Bill Shelton’s first year of service to the USATF Board of Directors, and congratulated Anne Timmons Phillips, Maryanne Daniel, Bill Roe and David Katz on their IAAF elections.


Siegel gave a full update on the fulfillment of the 2015 Smart Goals and reflected on a year that saw USATF improve its financial strength and brand reach.


Siegel reported on the first year of USATF RunJumpThrow, noting that 93 USATF Clubs and Associations have become involved in RunJumpThrow and 49 of the 50 United States have hosted RunJumpThrow programs. USATF was recently asked to be on task force to reshape the Let’s Move curriculum after 2017.


Siegel introduced the 2016 Smart Goals to make USATF the undisputed top national governing body in Olympic sport. That will be measured by the following:

1) MEMBERSHIP - Increasing membership to 250,000 by 2020

2) ANNUAL REVENUE - Growing annual revenue to $50M by 2020

3) OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY - To identify ways to make existing operations more efficient resulting in operational cost reductions of 5%

4) BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP MODEL - To convert all partnerships to mutually beneficial and incentivized business relationships whereby we share risk, control commercial rights and share profits

5) POPULAR ENGAGEMENT - To enhance annual popular engagement through a 25 percent increase in social media followers, gate increase for events over comparable events from 2015, increasing TV ratings by 20 percent SMART GOALS

6) EVENT STRATEGY - To develop a comprehensive event strategy that includes, rather than segments off, youth, long distance running, masters and administrative events.

7) OPERATING RESERVES - To establish operating reserves of equal to our annual operating budget by 2020.

8) ENDOWMENT - Establishing a $50M endowment by 2024 with interest income to offset 50% of the administrative costs of National Office operations.

9) ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE - Top medal charts at World Championships and Olympic Games competitions


Other highlights of the 2015 State of the Sport include:

  • Net assets increase from $3.6 million to $20 million

  • $35.8 million budgeted for 2016, the highest in USATF history

  • Athlete Revenue Distribution Model overview, including nearly $1.8 million per year in additional cash funds, medal bonuses for World Outdoors and Olympic Games, and an increase in base pay for Tier 1 athletes

  • 76% of USATF revenue comes from sponsorships


Siegel’s State of the Sport report may be found here.


President’s Awards

President Stephanie Hightower presented three President’s Awards to the following dedicated individuals: Jackie Callender, Katherine Branch and Bill Clark.


Jackie Callender is a longtime member of the Associations Executive Committee, serves as the Southwest Regional Representative and received the Association Chair Award in 2014. Katherine Branch is an at-large member of the USATF Organizational Services Committee and the Accreditation and Petitions subcommittees, as well as membership chair of the North Carolina Association. Bill Clark was one of the original Vice Presidents of the New England Association and the founder of the Commonwealth Invitational and Commonwealth Athletic Club. Clark currently serves as director of the U.S. Meet Directors Association.


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