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Posted: December 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Hightower and Strategic Plan Stars of Opening Session

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2009 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting began Thursday morning with the event's Opening Session at the Downtown Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. USATF Chairman and President, Stephanie Hightower welcomed approximately 1,000 volunteers, officials, coaches, athletes and administrators who chart the future of the sport.

Hightower began by introducing the USATF Board of Directors who, over the last 11 months, have worked on developing a comprehensive strategic plan. The plan lays out the organization's mission, vision and strategies through the next Olympiad. "This plan will help us envision a hope for the future and develop a plan for how best to achieve it," Hightower said in introducing the plan. "This action plan will engage every constituency group in a meaningful and constructive way."

Hightower went on to say, "during our meetings, we have been focused on continuing the work this body started in 2008 when this membership passed governance reform that primarily dealt with establishing changes that would bring clarity to business related decision making within the organization, to decrease potential liability for volunteers and the national office, and to establish clear lines of accountability that would nurture and ensure the implementation of best practices. However, our biggest accomplishment this year has been the development of a new strategic plan."

New Strategic Plan
USATF Chief Operating Officer Mike McNees presented the full plan to USATF membership, as follows:

USA Track & Field Mission Statement: USA Track & Field drives competitive excellence and popular engagement in our sport

Vision (What we will look like if we are successful):

*We fully support our athletes with resources and programs

*All our constituencies work together to support our sport's success

*Our business model showcases our sport in innovative and lucrative ways

*The public and the media respect and are drawn to our sport

*Our athletes consistently outperform the competition

*We have the resources to achieve our mission

Strategies (How will we get there?):

*Build transparent and accountable organizational model that values all constituencies

1. Management models new paradigm of ethical, transparent, accountable behavior
2.Describe the new organizational model
3. Communicate with membership
4. Favorable recommendation
1. Law & Legislation Committee
2. Associations
3. Volunteer Advisory Committee
5. Two-thirds Vote Membership in December

*Develop a Track & Field brand that resonates with consumers
            1. Expand media presence by strategically targeting select platforms
            2. Improve and expand our products
            3. Determine, develop and disseminate our message to targeted customers
            4. Establish sport in popular culture

*Develop an aggressive business model that creates and exploits monetizable assets.
            1. Inventory current assets
            2. Develop list of non-traditional opportunities (media, sponsorship, lifestyle)
            3. Retain skills or resources to find these things
            4. Develop event presentation plan that maximizes commercial value
            5. Start development of working model for organization/athlete relationship

*Develop a culture and systems that maximize competitive excellence and a superior professional experience
            1. Include all relevant constituencies in developing a High Performance Plan
            2. Create approaches for identifying and supporting future athletic talent
            3. Establish preferred standards and systems for event operations
            4. Clearly define and communicate athlete services as high mutual benefit
            5. Institutionalize procedures and education to assume a drug-free sport

Hightower announces President's Awards

As part of her remarks, Hightower announced this year's President's Awards winners Thursday morning at the opening session of the 2009 USATF Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The winners are:

Tim Baker: Potomac Valley Association; Men's Track & Field and Law & Legislation Committees

Fred Finke: Florida Association; Elite Athlete High Performance Chair

Joanna Hayes: Olympic gold medalist; Athletes Advisory Committee; Athlete Mentor

Irene Herman: Pacific Association; Official

Glenn Latimer: Illinois Association; Men's Long Distance Running Chair and Coach

Lionel Leach: New Jersey Association; Youth Chairman

Dexter McCloud: Georgia Association; Athletes Advisory Committee

Ginger Mulanax: Ozark Association

Janet Smith: Oklahoma Association; Masters Athlete

Anne Timmons - Montana Association

For more information on USA Track & Field and the 2009 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, visit:

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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