Name: Phil Dodson
Nominated for: BOD Member from Great Lakes Zone
I am interested in the Board position because of my passion for Masters swimming and my belief that I can make a difference. I have 34 years of business experience working with both small business entrepreneurs and non profit organizations, an interesting and unique combination. There are major, but achievable challenges facing USMS: transitioning to a paid professional staff, managing membership growth to increase value to core members and strengthening our financial position with an endowment fund initiative. I bring the experience and discipline to serve on our policy-making body to face these challenges.
Response to Questions
Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?
I am interested in the Board position because of my passion for Masters swimming and my belief that I can make a difference.
I have been a self employed CPA, providing financial and management services to small business entrepreneurs since 1991. I will bring an entrepreneurial spirit with a fresh and unique perspective to this Board position. I am also currently engaged with 8 different non profit organizations, providing services ranging from accounting and tax return services to Board advisor and permanent part time CFO management. I am professionally qualified with both, a strong financial management background and a general business operating experience to serve on our policy-making body.
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?
USMS continues to transition from an all volunteer managed organization to a professionally managed organization. It is important that the Board provide the support and vision to all levels of our organization and foster communication and interaction among them: Board, Delegates, Committees, Staff, Volunteers, LMSC's and Clubs.
As USMS continues to grow and strive for its membership goal of 100,000, it is important to remember the goal is not membership growth, rather increased value to the membership. We must not seek growth just for the sake of growth. We must ensure that the value to our core membership improves with our growth. This is especially true as the strategic plans calls for continued dues increases.
USMS is very strong financially. There is an opportunity and a goal to establish and grow a significant endowment fund. Such a Fund would be a major asset for the organization, providing financial support for membership programs and further secure its strong financial position. As a Board member I will bring my professional business experience to manage policies and encourage procedures to:
- Encourage Board focus on policies, global issues and strategic initiatives, discourage micro management.
- Support, but question, monitor but not interfere, and provide guidance to our professional staff and committees.
- Improve financial reporting to the Board and educate the Board on interpreting financial results and acting thereon.
- Instill a need for cost benefit justifications for major USMS programs.
- Seek development of metrics and follow up procedures for evaluating programs' successes.
- Encourage Board focus on membership value. Use an entrepreneurial approach to develop membership initiatives in: member only web content, group disability and life insurance programs, expanded affinity programs, alliances with other fitness / athletic organizations, club and coach development, joint LMSC program initiatives and open water events.
- Support development of initiatives to create a significant endowment fund.
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:
- Finance Committee, 2007-current under Jeff Moxie, Ralph Davis and Homer Lane
- Audit Committee, 2010-current under Jill Gellatly
Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.
- My first year on the Finance Committee (FC), I developed budget procedures that focused review on 95% of revenue and expense line items, significantly increasing the productivity of the FC at Convention and quality of its budget approval responsibility.
- I have been involved with the FC annual FOG review and revisions since 2007 culminating in the significant revision at 2009 Convention. This revision fully integrated FOG with the Strategic Plan to transition to a paid professional staff.
- I headed the FC task force to draft the Audit Committee Charter, which was presented and adopted by the Board in January 2010.
- I wrote and presented the Clubs and LMSC Accounting workshop at 2007 convention. The Club portion was updated in Spring 2009 and used by Mel Goldstein in his Club Handbook.
- In December 09 and January 10, I worked with management to create a functional expense line item accounting format and rationalize our 115 cost center format reducing them to 37. Implementation is on going and expected to be adopted into our accounting system 1/1/2011.
- I have been Finance Chair for five years and expect to be elected Treasurer effective May 1st. During this period I have improved accounting control procedures, prepared financial statements, tax returns and annual budgets.
- I have also guided the fiscal responsibility in ILMSA and reduced ILMSA dues so that total members' dues, including USMS, have only increased $2 in the last four years!
- In January 2010, I drafted and implemented an investment policy for ILMSA excess reserve funds.
Please list any other information you would like included.
I am 57 years old, married 30 years with three children, 25, 23 and 21. The two oldest are part time LAX coaches and my youngest in college studying to be a teacher. Besides my passion for swimming, as a 4 time cancer survivor I also enjoy living. I have adopted the Swim Across America cancer awareness and fund raising efforts in Chicago as a personal mission to battle this disease. I have organized the largest fund rasing team in Chicago, both by participation and dollars raised and personally been the #1 or #2 individual fund raiser in Chicago for the last 5 years.