2001 USMS National Elections
Sandi Rousseau
Candidate for President

Why are you interested in being USMS President and why do you believe you would be a good candidate for this position.

I want to be President of USMS because I would like to continue to serve USMS in a strong leadership role. I believe that I am qualified to lead USMS, capable of surrounding myself with enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers, and confident enough to seek out the opinions of others when I do not know the answers. I possess demonstrated leadership skills in my work at the national, LMSC, and local levels. I have an ability to delegate responsibilities and yet continue to keep abreast of the progress of plans and tasks, and can build consensus when decision making is necessary. I am able to motivate USMS members to assume volunteer positions, and I possess communication skills that facilitate group interactions and allow for all viewpoints to be presented.

I believe my style of "hands on" leadership fits well within this organization, and I believe that I can develop and lead a cohesive Executive Committee and Board of Directors. I am organized, efficient, detail oriented, tactful, and responsive. I have recently retired from my full time profession and now work part time with flexible scheduling, so I have the time to dedicate to being President of USMS. Masters swimming has provided me with over 20 years of wonderful camaraderie and fitness, and I would like to continue to give something back to the organization.

What do you consider to be the major issues facing USMS in the next four (4) years. As the USMS President, how would you address these issues.

USMS faces many issues in these next few years. Some of the key issues that I see are as follows:

  1. Volunteerism and Paid Positions: I believe USMS is a volunteer driven organization and should strive to remain that way. While I think payment for certain tasks and projects is warranted, this area needs to be critically considered in relation to the future implications for the organization and the impact that significant changes will have on our current volunteer base. I support having appropriately formed search committees for paid positions.
  2. Treasury Excess / Endowment Fund: Our treasury has a substantial balance for the size of this organization. While we need to keep enough monies to fund our insurance reserve and general operating reserve, we need to assess whether continued build up of yet more funds is warranted without specific purposes. I support no increase in dues, perhaps a decrease in national dues from the LMSCs, and detailed budgeting from all USMS bodies that have budgets. Funding some special projects may well be feasible with thoughtful proposals that will be good utilization of the excess funds. Currently, there is no definite plan for the Endowment Fund, and I would like to see us specify these funds for a worthy project(s). I would also like to see USMS pursue a Planned Giving program (willing of monies at death) with marketing of this program to our members.
  3. Membership Growth: I support continued and steady membership growth, but we need to put more emphasis on membership retention. Continuing to look at ideas to gain information regarding why members do not renew will be important particularly in gaining insight into any avenues of dissatisfaction with USMS and services that no longer seem attractive to members or are not considered a worthwhile value. Marketing USMS and the value that a Masters program can bring to local pools, park districts, and community organizations through education of the local Masters swimmers should become a higher priority. We should also consider marketing the benefits of Masters swimming to health organizations.
  4. Recognition of the Non-Competitive Swimmers: I believe we need to provide more services to the rank and file fitness swimmers who choose not to enter competitions. Providing more fitness events and expanding on the types of events offered would be attractive to some. Promotion of more special interest articles, comeback stories, and personal accomplishments might also be ideas to consider.
  5. Coaches: To promote Masters swimming we need more Masters coaches. The continuation and expansion of clinics for potential Masters coaches, increasing the visibility of MACA, continued education to other coaching organizations regarding Masters coaches, and providing assistance/information to clubs or local teams who may not have a coach could all be beneficial.
  6. LMSC/Club Assistance: I believe that there is more USMS could do to assist clubs, local teams, and workout groups in organizing at the local level. Providing bylaws, job descriptions, coaching agreements, etc., could be beneficial for the growth of start up groups of swimmers. A challenge will be to determine how to seek out these groups to offer assistance and support. I would also like to propose that USMS consider a fund with specific guidelines for usage to encourage small LMSCs with very limited funds to send representatives to convention.
  7. Recognition of Volunteers: One can never recognize volunteers enough! This is particularly important for USMS which is volunteer driven. USMS has established numerous avenues to recognize our volunteers, but we can improve on that more and should do so. We should look for ways to acknowledge local volunteers in the national spotlight and recognize the volunteers that work on our national committees. Utilizing our web site for volunteer recognition is one idea that could be considered.
  8. Communication: USMS has made great strides in improving member communication via the web, SWIM magazine, Streamlines, mailings to LMSCs, and through our National office staff. However, we can always improve on these avenues of communication and should continue to evaluate if we are utilizing our assets to the greatest degree possible. Our web site has proven to be one of our strongest communication links to our members at the local level and the world. We need to continue to explore even more innovative ways for utilizing this valuable resource.
  9. Relationships with Other Organizations: Continuing our quest for enhanced liaisons with other fitness organizations such as YMCAs, Park and Recreation Districts, Community Centers, and swimming related organizations such as the International Swimming Hall of Fame, FINA, etc. are important to the continued health of this organization. Strengthening our liaisons with USA Swimming and USA officials and other certifying organizations for officials is also important.
  10. Sponsors: Evaluating the area of USMS sponsorships for maximum benefits for our members and the organization's visibility and monetary benefit will continue to be important. Considering different or additional mechanisms for encouraging our members to support sponsors could also benefit members as well as attract potential sponsors to the organization.

USMS has a wealth of knowledge, ideas, and skills residing within our members. I have spent a great deal of time during the past year educating myself regarding aspects of the organization with which I have not had much exposure in the past. I believe I am prepared to lead USMS as President. My goal will be to leverage this information to define what is important for the future of Masters Swimming, and lead USMS in that direction. With the assistance of our volunteers, we can continue to improve on the successful start that we have had in the 20th century.

Please list USMS committees that you have served on.

  1. Championship: Chairman 1993-Present, Committee Member 1985-1993
  2. Safety Education Committee: 2000-Present
  3. Marketing Committee: Ex-officio member (Interactions regarding Sponsorships) 1998-Present
  4. Ad Hoc Computer Registration/Top Ten Committee: 1995-1996
  5. Sports Medicine and Research Committee: 1986-1992
  6. International Committee: 1990-1991 (Chair: Manuel Sanguily)
  7. Convention Committee: 1988 -1989

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

I have had leadership roles in organizations unrelated to swimming, e.g. President of a time share Condominium Association and numerous roles as chair and committee member within my profession and employment organization. I have participated in several communication seminars, and these have helped fine tune my skills in working cooperatively and collaboratively with people.

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