November 9, 2017 – After a shootout that involved 11 executive recruitment firms, USA Archery in Colorado Springs has selected SearchWide to help find its new chief executive officer. Last month, past CEO Denise Parker accepted a position at the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Archery’s former board chair and current marketing director Rod Menzer was named interim CEO. Mark Gnatovic, senior vice president at SearchWide, is leading the assignment.
“We are very pleased with the performance of USA Archery over the past half dozen years, including excellence at the Olympic and Paralympic levels,” said Jennifer Rottenberg, board member and leader of the group’s search committee. “Our goal for this process is to identify and secure the best person to lead the organization to even greater heights both domestically and internationally. Our next CEO has an exciting task in front of him or her.”
The board recently worked with staff to develop a four year strategic plan which the new CEO will be responsible for executing, said USA Archery. The plan emphasizes competitive excellence, membership outreach and continued growth, improving the quality of its coaches and judges, marketing and promotions, event optimization and organizational health.
“The board expects the CEO to lead a staff focused on maximizing our elite athletes’ ability to achieve international excellence, continuing to grow participation in archery to as broad a population as possible, and supporting the needs of our growing membership base by providing relevant programs and optimal event experiences,” Ms. Rottenberg said.
The organization is seeking a strong leader with a preference for current executive-level experience in the sport/outdoor/recreation industry, said SearchWide. Candidates should have a strong business skill-set within marketing/communications or sales or executive level experience that includes fiscal responsibility.
USA Archery wants a strategic thinker with a proven track record for effective management and the ability to lead growth, said the search firm. Candidates should also understand the complexities of public and private sector partnerships. The CEO must be an excellent communicator who can identify, focus on and deliver solutions to key issues, be transparent and proactive in regard to all USA Archery efforts from grassroots efforts to the elite-level athlete.
The archery group’s mission is to enable United States athletes to achieve and sustain competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, world championships and international competitions and to promote and grow the sport of archery in the U.S.
SearchWide is a full service executive search firm focused on the travel, tourism & convention, hotel & lodging industries and sports & entertainment sectors. It specializes in C-level, director and management level searches for Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies.
Mr. Gnatovic leads searches for the convention, tradeshow and experiential marketing and event industries, as well as convention centers, stadiums, arenas and performing arts facilities. He recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media and detailed the search for USA Archery.
Mark, what type of leader is USA Archery seeking? What background and skill-sets does the organization want?
USA Archery seeks a leader with a passion for the sport, ability to develop and communicate a clear vision for the future and a focus on the best outcomes for archery. Current executive level experience in the sports industry with a strong business skill that has led marketing/communications, sales or executive level experience with fiscal responsibility is key. It will also be important to understand the complexities of public and private sector partnerships. The person should be an excellent communicator who can identify, focus on and deliver solutions to key issues, be transparent and out in front of all USA Archery efforts including the grassroots efforts to the elite-level athlete.
“This position offers an opportunity to collaborate with many and to strategically evolve the sport of archery that will not only impact Olympian hopefuls, but your daughter, or son or neighbors kids that are recreation athletes at the grassroots level.”
Why is this an appealing role for potential candidates?
This position will directly affect the sport and participation of archery at all levels. This position offers an opportunity to collaborate with many and to strategically evolve the sport of archery that will not only impact Olympian hopefuls, but your daughter, or son or neighbors kids that are recreation athletes at the grassroots level. Generations of archers will be affected by the work and passion of this position and the passion of the entire team at USA Archery.
What is the timeframe on the search? How many candidates will be screened and presented?
We have conducted an assessment that lasted about two weeks and held several one-on-one conversations with each of the board members and others that the search committee wanted us to talk with in order to ask questions and learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and their expectations regarding an ideal candidate. We are now actively engaged in our recruiting efforts and this takes time. We are speaking to those who are not necessarily looking at job boards but are curious about this as a career move. We will likely be interviewing a short list with the search committee by middle to late January but that target will remain fluid until we build a list for the search committee to consider.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media