Name: Mark Gill
Nominated for: Vice President of Member Services
I am running for reelection for the Vice President of Member Services position. I have been involved in masters swimming since 1992. During that time, I have worked as a meet director of local meets plus the 2003 short course national championship meet. I have started several events including the Arizona Open Water Series, a 5-race series on Tempe Town Lake in Arizona, the Louisville Invitational and the Cardinal Invitational. I believe that USMS has many great things to offer. By being more involved, I hope to be able to help grow our membership and support ideas that will lead to a healthy future for our organization. I hope to be able to work with the different groups within our membership to see that all views are fairly represented.
Response to Questions
Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?
I think USMS is a great organization and I have enjoyed volunteering in the past in a variety of roles. As the Vice President of Member Services, I believe I could bring my past experiences to bear on a number of issues and help support the goals of masters swimming. USMS is facing an interesting time that has the potential to dramatically shape its future and I would like to do my part to help support the growth and health of our organization.
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?
I think there are a number of exciting issues and opportunities facing USMS.
Our membership growth has been rather flat for the last few years. Other similar organizations such as USA Triathlon have had explosive growth. What are some of the issues that are limiting our growth? I believe a greater emphasis on open water swimming within USMS will help us attract new members. I also believe that we need to continue to strengthen our relationships with other groups. As an example, the YMCA owns a large number of pools. Many do not have masters programs or don’t have programs that are associated with USMS. Are there things that we could offer that would make being a part of USMS more attractive?
It has been long recognized that our strongest growth has come from teams with great coaches. How can we help recruit more coaches into USMS? Are there ways that we can help clubs find and retain good coaches? Are there things that USMS can do to better support our current coaches?
I feel the USMS is searching for its identity. We know from surveys that many of our members are not interested in competitive swimming. Yet much of our activity centers on the competitive side of the sport. What types of offerings will be most attractive to our non-competitive members and potential members?
If elected Vice President of Member Services, I would have the opportunity to work with other volunteers within USMS to address these issues. I see this position as a chance to bring in ideas of my own and mix them with ideas generated by a variety of committees. This position would give me the opportunity to champion ideas and policies that will help ensure growth and a healthy future for USMS.
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:
Championship Committee member – 2002 – 2005, Sandy Rousseau, Barry Fasbender; International Committee member – 2003 – 2005, Phil Whitten, Sandy Rousseau
Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.
Communication: Developed and maintained team website for 4 years. Maintain the TYR Masters Grand Prix website.
Club Development: Have coached masters for 9 years. Started and built a Masters workout group at the University of Louisville.
Competition: Meet director for a variety of masters meets in AZ. Started the Sun Devil Invitational meet. Director for the 2003 SC Nationals. Started the AZ Open Water Series - a 5 race event.. Created open water races that combine USA Triathlon, USMS and USA Swimming in one event.. Started and direct the Louisville Invitational, Cardinal Invitational and TYR Masters Grand Prix
Coaching: 20 years of coaching experience with age group, YMCA, USA Swimming, Masters and College. Member of ASCA. Invited as one of two coaches to work at the USA Swimming 2004 National Open Water Camp. Currently coach with Swim Louisville Masters and the University of Louisville.
Education: Started and organized the first two Mentor Coach and Swimmer Clinics in AZ. I have coordinated a swim clinic in Louisville.
Officiating: Officiated and announced at USMS Nationals. Announcer for the University of Louisville Swim Team (Go Cards). Announcer at the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships.
Awards & Records: Served as the records chair in AZ for 5 years. I have worked to create the USMS Club of the Year Award.
Please list any other information you would like included.
I can hold my breath underwater for almost 30 seconds.