The United States Sailing Association, Inc. (US Sailing), a membership organization, is the national governing body for sailing (NGB) and provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Paramount to its role as an NGB is its responsibility for the support and training of the US Olympic Sailing Team. Additionally, it provides training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country. US Sailing is located on the campus of Roger Williams University, which affords staff the opportunity to take advantage of the many resources and benefits available on a college campus. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
The US Sailing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to and works with the Board President and Board of Directors and works closely with the directors, staff, and volunteers to ensure the implementation of the strategic plan and advancement of the fundraising competencies for the organization. The CEO has primary responsibility to manage US Sailing’s multi-faceted business lines.
The CEO will be responsible for coordinating the various departments within the Association to work in a collaborative manner and to identify and communicate the priorities of the organization. The candidate must develop a strong connection with the sailing community including supporting the relationship with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee. This position will be an executive who can fully execute US Sailing’s strategic plan, while working closely with and supporting the Head of Olympic Sailing in his/her role to generate success in High Performance/Olympic sailing, one of the three key pillars of the Association’s Strategic Plan.
As the organization’s leader, the CEO will work with the 14-member Board to develop US Sailing’s goals and budget, grow membership, improve fundraising initiatives, manage a multitude of programming and ultimately, be an inspiring and strategic leader to help grow the sport of sailing in the United States. At US Sailing, employee performance expectations are high, position responsibilities diverse, and rewards satisfying. US Sailing provides a creative team environment that allows talented employees to work with respected, long-standing, and visionary sailing leaders committed to exceptional performance and membership service.
The CEO shall have experience in leadership of an organization and demonstrate expertise in:
- motivating and leading a results-centric organization.
- working with an engaged Board of Directors.
- managing a professional staff of 50+ people; inspiring leadership of staff, volunteers, facilities/venues, coaches/athletes, Board and donors.
- coordinating efforts with a large and engaged group of volunteers organized into multiple committees that support all aspects of US Sailing.
- Work in concert with the Head of Olympic Sailing and engage the other professionals in the organization to support these endeavors.
- Provide leadership and manage the relationship between US Sailing and its members:
- overseeing and improving communications with 40,000 members, comprised of elite and developmental athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers.
- develop and communicate a “Value Add” proposition to grow the membership base of US Sailing on an annual basis and improve the renewal rate of existing members.
- Liaise with a 14-member Board of Directors.
- Inspire the staff to execute all facets of a dynamic development program from logistics to sponsorship acquisition, fundraising, and stewardship.
- Lead the organization in its DEI initiatives
- Provide leadership and coordination with volunteer committees and promote a strong relationship between professional staff and volunteers.
- Manage US Sailing’s professional staff by:
- leading, supporting, and delegating to a highly functional team of senior executives, made up of the Chief of Olympic Sailing, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Development Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Technology Officer,
- creating and sustaining a high level of morale throughout the professional staff.
- developing supervisory accountability for remote staff to ensure program quality, athlete safety and well-being, community and partner relations, and the organization’s community reputation.
Strategy and Planning
- Oversee and support the Chief of Olympic Sailing in the implementation of Project Pinnacle, the strategic plan for success at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles
- Review and refine a vision around the current US Sailing Strategic Plan to ultimately strengthen the organization for the future and proactively modernize the business, member interaction, and athlete practices. The current plan focuses on three distinct priorities
- Olympic and High-Performance Success
- Member Experience and Value
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Produce a performance plan with an annual operating budget designed to ensure funding and meet business planning cycle requirements of the USOPC. Control the operating costs of the organization in line with annual budget and fundraising estimates; ensure that up-to-date financial reports are maintained on a monthly/quarterly basis.
- Meet key performance indicators (KPI’s), as defined by the strategic plan and Board, and monitor all aspects of the organization’s performance, and conduct monthly and quarterly reviews with staff and the Board of Directors.
- Earn and maintain the trust and respect of all constituencies, comprised of members, partners, donors, volunteers, and the Board.
- Manage and facilitate the relationship between US Sailing and the US Sailing Foundation (USSF); work closely with the CDO and Chairman of USSF to coordinate all fundraising programs to support the business of US Sailing.
- Serve as the primary representative for US Sailing to Affiliated Organizations such as, World Sailing, domestic sailing & boating associations, USCG.
- Support the relationship with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
- Coordinate and support Board of Directors in all Governance issues by
- implementing the Strategic Plan and other policies as directed by the Board,
- creating an emergency management plan.
- Have executive leadership level knowledge, business/financial acumen, and demonstrable proven capabilities and/or ability to lead transformative entrepreneurial revenue generation, sponsorships, budgeting, accounting, marketing, membership development, event organization and management.
- Highest level of business knowledge. Must understand and recognize potential business opportunities; public and private partnerships; and organizational goals.
- Keen sense of how to get the right people in the most appropriate position, how to motivate a team and a proven balance of delegating and motivating.
- Commit to an executive workload, time schedule, travel requirements, and willingness to work extra hours including weekends, when necessary.
- Possess well-developed public speaking and presentation skills and strong written and electronic communications skills.
- Prior experience in an executive-level role.
- Bachelor’s degree; substantial experience and/or coursework in business management a plus.
- Advanced degree or certification preferred, particularly MBA, MS Organizational Management, Certified Association Executive.
- Previous Olympic/NGB leadership experience is a plus. Keen understanding of high performance and Olympic success.
- Proven success in motivating, leading and collaborating with other highly experienced professionals on senior leadership team
- Experience working with a Board of Directors.
- Working understanding of 501(c)(3) not-for-profit federal and state compliance and regulations preferred.
- Ability to manage regulatory and compliance initiatives required by the USOPC and Safe Sport.
- Sailing background is a plus, but not required.
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US Sailing values diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.
This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, training, and apprenticeship.