Name: Leo Letendre
LMSC: New England
Nominated for: Vice President of National Operations
Swimming has given me much more than I have been able to give back. I met my wife through Masters swimming and my two daughters have benefited from all of the good associated with this fine sport. Over the years, I have been able to learn more about myself and the sport as I have had the opportunity to serve in various capacities in both USMS and USA-Swimming. As USMS changes the structure of its leadership team by adding a full-time Executive Director, I would like to be able to provide the organization the benefit of the experience it has allowed me to obtain to help define how this new structure functions. If USMS allows me to serve them as a Vice President, I will be honored to do so.
Response to Questions
Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?
With the hiring of an executive director, we are at a significant if not critical point in our history. We need to welcome the new director and assist him/her in learning what is essential to keep the essential parts of our organization while redesigning those that must function differently with the institution of the ED position. As vice president of National Operations I have overseen the functioning of a number of our major policy making committees which are vital to the success of USMS. I have also served in numerous positions in USMS which has provided me with the experience to help in the our transition. Specifically, I have been a member and chairman of the Rules committee, and a member of the Legislation committee. Additionally, I have worked with each of the USMS registrars for many years as the author and maintainer of the software they use. This position has also allowed me to work with the National Office in areas related to registration. Given this background, I believe that I would be a good candidate for the office of VP of National Operations.
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?
There are several issues that must be address over the next several years. These include adjusting to the new organizational structure with an Executive Director handling day-to-day operations.. While it is important it is probably the least challenging issue facing us if we assemble the right group of people as we initially set the group’s expectations.
USMS must continue to modernize its systems. We must continue to expand our presence on the Web and actually accelerate the pace of offering members services through it. These services must include membership as well as administrative services such as meet management. As an organization of largely volunteers, we must provide the tools to help these volunteers become more efficient as well as provide better data for the all members. This pursuit may be restrained by budget issues so judicial use of volunteers may be required to fulfill parts of this need.
The organization must continue to attract new and young members who will not only maintain their membership and participation, but who will step forward to become the leaders we will need in the future. We must provide the membership with the information about how we govern ourselves to convince them of the need to participate and then to mentor them as they progress to positions of leadership. Now that we own the entire content of the official magazine, we have a vehicle with which we can occasionally inform our members about this admittedly mundane but important issue.
We must look at ways to improve the quality of our local programs in order to attract and retain members. The improvements needed range from increasing the number of masters coaches, the programs available to non-competitive members to the quality of our meets. For example, there appears to be a need to educate meet directors in order to raise the expectation level for the conduct of all levels of competition.
Lastly, we need to use our financial resources wisely. The addition of the ED position does not come without a financial price even while we expect that the position will allow us to seek additional sources of revenue. We need to watch our expenses and seek new revenue as needed from sources that are consistent with our mission.
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:
Rules Committee 1984-present; Chair 1998-present; June Krauser, Tom Boak; Ad Hoc Computerization Committee 1992-1993, Chair; Zone Committee, 1996-1997; Stephanie Walsh; Legislation Committee, 1998 – present, ex officio; Elin Zander, Rob Copeland; Ad Hoc Professional Management Committee, 1998-1999; Hugh Moore; Officials Committee, 2002-present, David Diehl
Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.
Vice President of National Operations, 2005-present; Author and maintainer of the USMS Registration Program, ca. 1995 – present; Meet Director, USMS Postal Hour Swim, 1994; Postal 10K Championship (ca. 1992-93); USMS Database Taskforce, 2001-2002; USMS representative to Our Kids Initiative, 2004-2005; Ozark LMSC Chairman, 1991-2003; Ozark LMSC Top Ten Recorder, 1982 – 2000; Ozark LMSC Officials Chairman, 1992 - 2002; St. Louis Masters Swim Team president, 1992-1998; USA-Swimming Rules Committee, ex-officio, 2004 – present; USA-Swimming Official, 1989-present, Administrative Referee, National Championship Certified; President, Parkway Swim Team (USA-Swimming) 1997-2000