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National Office Blog: Kris Ekeren, USA Fencing Interim Executive Director

11/18/2013, 7:30pm CST
By Kris Ekeren

November 18

The National Office is starting a new blog which will feature updates from staff members. In this edition, Interim Executive Director Kris Ekeren looks at recent changes within USA Fencing and the potential for great things in the future ... 

As you can imagine, the past few months at USA Fencing have been busy.  We’ve started a new membership year, hosted two successful NACs, cheered for our athletes and, yes, survived some significant changes and transition in the National Office.

Throughout all of the challenges, it has become obvious to me that all of us – athletes, Board of Directors, coaches, members, National Office staff, volunteers and parents – are passionate about  USA Fencing.  While we may disagree about the path forward, there is no doubt that the mission of our organization binds us together.  

With the recent changes in the organization, the Board of Directors, National Office and other volunteer leaders have taken the opportunity to reexamine USA Fencing’s strategic direction.   With the assistance of Daugherty Business Solutions, USA Fencing has a clear strategic roadmap which can be found by clicking here.

I know many of you will take the time to read and analyze the document.  For those who want the short version, here it is: USA Fencing has a very bright future, but we also need to address some existing challenges.  At the September Board retreat, the Board of Directors and staff committed to making much needed changes in the way we work together.

Some of you are saying that it sounds great, but we’ve heard it before, so what’s different this time?  First, with a lot of hard work and discipline, the financial outlook for USA Fencing is much brighter at the end of our 2012-13 membership year with a reduction in our net asset deficiency of $883,000. The organization should come close to eliminating the remainder of our debt by the end of the 2013-14 membership year.

 In addition, the National Office is working on operational efficiency.  Some upcoming changes include a newly created staff position to help with alumni relations and fundraising; a vacant member services position will be filled with an individual focusing on club development; and a newly created Tournament Improvement Project Team will make recommendations on the future structure for tournaments.

Can USA Fencing become a more effective organization that reaches new heights of success? Absolutely, and I’m looking forward to working with you to ensure that USA Fencing reaches its full potential.


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Tag(s): News