Encouraging More Adults to Swim
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Jeanne Ensign - Candidate for Director from Northwest Zone
Jeanne Ensign

Candidate Information

Name: Jeanne Ensign

LMSC: Pacific Northwest

Nominated for: Director from Northwest Zone

Nominated by: Sandi Rousseau

Letters of Reference from: Clark Pace and Sandi Rousseau

Summary Statement

The swimming community has been a big part of my life for a number of years. Early on I figured out that if I volunteer time in an administrative and visionary capacity, which I love to do, the benefits I receive in exchange are huge. If I can contribute to more opportunities for swimmers and enhance their lives by providing more pool time, a coached workout or a first class meet, I get something back that is very rewarding and difficult to define. I get to swim. I can always find a buddy for an early morning lake swim. I make new friends. I consider it time well spent.

Sometimes it’s hard to see results locally, but the work we do at the national level is vital to the health of our entire masters swimming community. The BOD provides vision and planning, and monitors the progress and effectiveness of our organization. As a lifelong resident of my zone and an active member of USMS for 20 years, I believe that I will make a positive contribution as director from the Northwest Zone.

Response to Questions

Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?

This is a very exciting time for USMS. The members of this newly reorganized BOD have the opportunity to help shape USMS going forward, taking what has been an organizational vision led most recently by the Governance Task Force and the current EC and putting the plan into action. I want to be a part of it.

I bring good communication, leadership and organizational skills developed in my professional life, along with my USMS experience, including four years on the Executive Committee. I can marshal the troops to get something done, know how to delegate responsibilities, can identify and think well about issues, and can take care of work in a timely fashion. I have been active in my zone, and in both a large and a small LMSC. I understand our ultimate goal – to provide for individual swimmers. I have the intellect and the skills necessary to be a good board member and, last but not least, the desire to do so. 

What do you consider to be the major issues facing USMS now and in the future. As a person holding an elected position within USMS, how would you address these issues?

Our organization has experienced phenomenal growth since inception, yet we have always kept our membership (ourselves) foremost in our mission, goals and objectives.  USMS has gained respect from others for the professional manner in which we provide for and service our membership, and we strive to create fitness opportunities for all swimmers, all ages no matter their swimming goals.

Keeping that in mind, there is no issue more important than communication.  How do we relay information to individuals and make it understandable in a way that is meaningful to them?  We need to continue to work with the “package” of information that an individual member receives: the quantity; the format – in print, on the website, email; and the content – from that produced by the EC, BOD and other groups (minutes), to the website, to the more artistic and creative materials from the magazine, to mailings received from USMS sponsors, and more.      

Our website is a major communications tool, and demands on it are likely to continue to increase. We need to continually define our communications strategy and the dissemination of information, and to financially support communications within the organization and with our current and potential members.

We must continue to focus on and provide resources to individuals, teams and clubs, which is where the action is. How can we help provide pool time, coaching and clinics?  We must continue with creative pilot programs to discover how best we can offer support for swimmers at the local level. Part of every pilot program must be a follow-up analysis to determine the benefits derived (or not). 

And last, while doing what it is we do, we must provide a framework within which our national staff and volunteers (including the BOD) can accomplish the most with the least amount of effort.  We have a history of working our staff and volunteers pretty hard. Historically, we have been defining some positions as we go along. Goals and expectations of each position and group need to be clearly and simply defined, as has recently been done with the BOD and the individual members. It is the responsibility of the BOD to provide oversight to this process.   

Please list USMS committees on which you have served. Include the dates you were on the committees and the names of the committee chairs under whom you served:

  • Executive Committee, Treasurer 1997 – 2001, Nancy Ridout, President
  • Endowment Fund Board of Governors, 1997 – 2001, Doug Church
  • Finance Committee, 1994 – 1997, Dave Zander (94-95), Chair (96-97)
  • Internal Audit Committee, 1993 – 1995, Chair
  • Registration Committee, 1992 – 1993, Joanne Leilich

Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.

USMS member since 1985, delegate to convention since 1992, active at the Zone, LMSC (currently PNA chair), and team level, organizing committee member and treasurer for two national championship pool meets, devoted swimmer.
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