Name: Chris McGiffin
LMSC: New Jersey
Nominated for: Vice President of Member Services
Response to Questions
Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?
I am a strong believer in the mission of USMS as an organization, and in the value and benefits of the services it provides to its membership. My interest in the position of VP of Members Services extends from my philosophy about organized adult aquatic fitness and how it can impact the lives of those who seek an experience that enables health and wellness, personal growth, and the enduring quality of fun and friendship that can result.
I believe that I possess the skills, experience and leadership qualities to effectively serve as the VP of Member Services. My background in swimming is broad. I swam for a local YMCA and high school (Summit, NJ) during my youth and continued swimming competitively throughout my collegiate career (Hamilton College). In each case, I served as a team captain. Following a successful college career (3-time NCAA Div. III National Qualifier 200, 500, 1650 Free), I moved on to head coaching opportunities with local summer club (New Providence, NJ) and high school teams (Westfield, NJ - 1992 State Champions, 4 All-Americans). After several successful years as a coach, I entered the corporate world as an IT professional, and currently serve as a Project Manager with Verizon Wireless.
My current position at Verizon Wireless as an application team project manager involves continuous focus on improving the customer experience. Projects for new products and services are a very frequent occurrence, and in my current role, I help to analyze our applications to determine the best solution option to fit the business needs. I am routinely involved with the entire project life cycle - from the initial meetings to define requirements and estimate the system impact, to managing the technical design, development and testing, to planning a seamless, defect-free implementation. As the leader in the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless continues to make the customer experience the highest priority, and it gives me great pleasure to know that my daily contributions directly benefit the over 80 million customers we serve.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue my service with USMS in the position of VP of Member Services, so that I can help work to improve and maintain the high quality services we offer our current and future members.
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?
My perspective on the issues facing USMS now and in the future relates to internal and external forces and events. Of primary concern, in my view, is the recruitment and retention of USMS members. I share the perception that our rate of growth and retention in membership has been fairly static. My feeling is that we are on the verge of achieving more dynamic growth, but we need to do a better job of creating the compelling reasons to become (external) and remain (internal) a member of USMS for life. The appeal of USMS must address the needs of all segments of the adult swimming population. It may be influenced by how we develop our brand and marketing, but it is the execution at the local levels, LMSCs and Clubs, that will determine our future success.
Another, more immediate concern, is the impact of swimming technology in the form of high-priced tech swimsuits currently influencing competition. While a suit alone may not make the difference, the cost and availability to all is a concern that I share. Certainly, it is a thrill to achieve or witness best times, but there is a sense that the technology that few can afford is beginning to erode the equity that appeared to exist not too long ago among competitors.
My views on these and other issues are based on keeping the enjoyment factor as high as possible within our sport. Winning or losing in the water aside, I feel the opportunity to face these challenges and grow our membership is reason enough to keep the interests of our current and future members/customers as our highest priority.
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:
USMS Legislation Committee member (under Rob Copeland and Sean Fitzgerald): 2005 - present
USMS Marketing Committee member (under Tom Boyd): 2006-2007
USMS Marketing Committee Chair: 2008 - present
Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.
USMS Member since 1995: Berkeley Aquatic Masters, Berkeley Heights, NJ
- National Top Ten finisher
- LMSC Record holder
- Planner for Annual Holiday Party
NJ LMSC Chair: 2004 - present
- Facilitated LMSC bylaw updates
- Implemented LMSC Membership Promotion Campaign
- Developed an LMSC Membership Recognition Awards Program
- Helped to create an Annual LMSC Awards Banquet
- Led efforts to Sanction the first LMSC Open Water event
Club Development Workshop: Mentor program (Dallas, TX) attendee/graduate