February 1, 2021 – Prodigy Search has been enlisted to find a chief executive officer for the United States Sailing Association, the national governing body for sailing, based in Bristol, RI. The U.S. Sailing CEO reports to the board president and board of directors and works closely with the directors, staff and volunteers to ensure the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and advancement of the fundraising competencies, said the Freehold, NJ-based search firm. The CEO has primary responsibility to manage U.S. Sailing’s multi-faceted business lines.
The CEO is charged with leading overseeing the U.S. Olympic team program. He or she will be responsible for leading the organization and its community of sailors, inspired by the Olympics on a “Journey Toward Excellence,” said the search firm. “In preparation for the 2028 Olympics, the CEO will be tasked with bringing this spirit to focus on the key priorities between 2021-2024,” the firm said.
The leader must develop strong relationships and work closely with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and manage existing relationships in the sailing community. This position will go to an executive who can fully execute US Sailing’s strategic plan, of which sustained high performance/Olympic success is one of the three key pillars and one of the critical skills for the role.
Growing the Sport
As the organization’s leader, the CEO will work with the 14-member board to develop U.S. Sailing’s goals and budget, support membership and fundraising initiatives, manage a multitude of programming and ultimately, be an inspiring and strategic leader to grow the sport of sailing in the U.S.
“At U.S. Sailing, employee performance expectations are high, position responsibilities diverse and rewards satisfying,” said the search firm. “U.S. Sailing provides a creative team environment that allows talented employees to work with respected, longstanding and visionary sailing leaders committed to exceptional performance and membership service.”
The CEO must have experience in leadership of an organization and demonstrate expertise in: motivating and leading a results-centric organization; leading a highly competitive performance program; working with an engaged board of directors; managing a professional staff of 50-plus people as well as inspiring leadership of staff, volunteers, facilities/venues, coaches/athletes, board, donors and Olympic persons.
Responsibilities for the role will revolve around leadership, strategy and planning, and relationships. Among other duties, the new CEO will be expected to lead the implementation of Project Pinnacle, the strategic plan for success at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Candidates should have executive leadership level knowledge, business/financial acumen, and demonstrable proven capabilities and/or ability to lead transformative entrepreneurial revenue generation, sponsorships, budgeting, accounting, marketing, membership development, event organization and management, said Prodigy Search. The highest level of business knowledge is required; prospects must understand and recognize potential business opportunities, public and private partnerships, and organizational goals.
Prior experience in an executive-level role is required. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree. Substantial experience and/or coursework in business management is a plus. An advanced degree or certification is preferred, particularly an MBA, master’s degree in organizational management, certified association executive. In addition, previous Olympic/NGB (national governing body) leadership experience is a plus. Prospects should have a keen understanding of high performance and Olympic success. It is also critical to have a commitment to knowing and owning working understanding of the Olympics, in collaboration with the board to execute the plan for Olympic success.
Experience working with a board of directors is essential. A working understanding of 501(C)(3) not-for-profit federal and state compliance and regulation is preferred. Individuals should also have the ability to manage regulatory and compliance initiatives required by the USOPC and its partner organizations. A sailing background is a plus, but not required.
The United States Sailing Association provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the U.S. Founded in 1897, US Sailing is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization. Paramount to its role as an NGB is its responsibility for the support and training of the U.S. Olympic sailing team. Additionally, it offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country.
Prodigy Search, which has been involved with the sports and entertainment business for 60 years, is one of the sector’s boutiques. The firm has placed hundreds of candidates into a variety of functions and roles. It represents all disciplines, including senior management, sales, marketing, operations and administration.
Prodigy Search Assists United States Association of Blind Athletes in Selecting New Board
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) has announced its new board of directors, which includes seven new appointees. Prodigy Search helped to lead the search process for the board member positions. The at-large board directors are chair Mark Ackermann; vice chair Dr. Skye Arthur-Banning; treasurer Gary Remensnyder; secretary Amy Wasson and David Cohen. Two independent directors, who are both new to the USABA board, are Eve Wright Taylor and Brian Eaton.
Prodigy’s client roster reads like a Who’s Who of the sports world. It includes: the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, PGA Tour, Boston Bruins, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Dolphins, City Football Group, Miami Heat, Churchill Downs, Nitro Circus, AEG, Los Angeles Kings, UFC, Roc Nation, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers and the United States Olympic Committee.
An industry veteran with nearly 40 years experience in wide array of disciplines within the sports and entertainment business, Scott Carmichael founded Prodigy Search in 2007. Prior to founding the firm, he served as head of the National Hockey League’s club marketing department for nearly ten years.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media