Encouraging More Adults to Swim

USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher

U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier Leads USMS

USMS | May 8, 2014

Rob was hired in June 2008 to transition U.S. Masters Swimming from an all-volunteer, virtually run organization to one with a professional staff and a national headquarters. He serves as an ex-officio member of the USMS Board of Directors, which, along with the USMS House of Delegates, adopted a strategic plan to encourage more adults to swim.

In early 2009, Rob established the National Office in Sarasota, Fla., and began assembling a team of professionals to assist him in carrying out the goals of the strategic plan. This started with a major rebranding and the development of a social media presence for USMS. Rob has overseen vast improvements to existing member benefits and the introduction of new member services. These include USMS’s flagship publication, SWIMMER magazine, coming in-house; the redesign of usms.org; the creation of the Masters coach certification program; the hosting of the 2012 Summer Nationals in the Olympic Trials venue; the establishment of theSwimming Saves Lives Foundation, USMS’s charitable arm; and the development of an in-house, online club and member registration system.

Since Rob’s hiring in 2008, membership has increased from 44,000 to 60,000 members. The number of registered programs has increased by 40 percent. The annual operating budget has tripled, allowing USMS to invest in more programs and services that encourage adults to swim. The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, established in 2012, has provided more than $70,000 in grants to programs that are providing adult learn-to-swim opportunities in communities across the country. Rob is spearheading a national public relations campaign to have the month of April recognized as Adult Learn-to-Swim Month.

In addition to leading the National Office, Rob is active in developing industry relationships with organizations such as USA SwimmingUSA TriathlonAmerican Swimming Coaches AssociationCollege Swimming Coaches Association of AmericaInternational Swimming Hall of FameSwim Across America, and YMCA of the USA. Rob is on the National Swimming Pool Foundation Board of Directors,Sarasota Y Board of Directors, and is a member of the Association of Chief Executives of Sport.

Prior to joining USMS, Rob was the chief marketing officer for World Racing Groupand prior to that, senior director of marketing for International Speedway Corporation. Rob was a four-year varsity swimmer at Georgia Southern University, where he earned a bachelor’s of business administration in marketing and master of science degree in sports management.

Rob, who didn’t start swimming regularly until his sophomore year in high school, competed in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials. Now he considers his swimming “consistently inconsistent” and, like many Masters swimmers, tries to juggle swimming with a busy career and family demands. He always travels with a suit and goggles, hoping to swim at least a few times a month for fitness. He and his wife Allison reside in Sarasota, Fla., with their twin boys.

USMS Wave Seperator

About U.S. Masters Swimming

U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website, usms.org; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. More than 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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