USA Rugby Board Meeting Review: October 2018

New members Julie Lau and Jim Brown group for first meeting with the leadership group.

  • Leadership group met for fourth quarter meeting in conjunction with representation at HSBC USA Women's Sevens in Colorado. 
  • New members Julie Lau and Jim Brown attended for their first gathering; discussion topics included RWC7s, the USAR Partners Board and continued governance review. 
  • Transitional member, Paul Santinelli, nominated for Vice-Chair of board. 

LAFAYETTE, CO - USA Rugby's Board of Directors have concluded their fourth quarter meeting at National headquarters in Colorado. Board Chair Barbara O'Brien and Interim CEO Ross Young led the meeting.

O'Brien began with the introduction of newest directors on the board, Julie Lau and Jim Brown. Lau is a managing director with KPMG and Brown is a principal with JBC International. "It was good to meet the rest of the board and really engage in the work today." explained Lau. "I am still learning about the organization, but already see places I can dig in and contribute to support USA Rugby's membership and mission."
Interim CEO Ross Young presented a brief update from the operations of the national office, national teams and development programs; highlighting key items around advancements on data collection and analytics to better understand and support the game in the Unites States. Chief Financial Officer Eric Gleason followed with review of financials around USA Rugby and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco.

Also in attendance and presenting her final report to the board was RWC7's General Manager Rosie Spaulding. Her report included the detail of feedback surveys from teams and attendees, financials, ticketing and commercial successes. Spaulding's work to finalize and codify the processes and event learnings in to a usable document provides USA Rugby with a strong economic impact report to help prove the commercial viability of the game domestically.

Visiting the meeting as a guest was the chair of the new USA Rugby Partners board, Jon Bobbett. Jon discussed the restructure of Rugby International Marketing in to the new USA Rugby Partners. The organization has undergone recent change to better fit the needs of the national governing body's commercial interested, focused on direct integration in to the national office and board of directors. Commercial Director Mark Griffin was also in attendance to update the board on current and potential commercial partners.

The afternoon topics of the meeting centered around updates on the strategic planning process and a review of the governance structures of USA Rugby. CFO Eric Gleason updated the board on its working group focused on reviewing all levels of governance, bylaws and committees. The board asked for additional participants to be added to the working group to ensure all demographic voices would be represented.

Finally, the board aligned each current member with existing seats and terms, nominating Paul Santinelli as the Vice-Chair of the board; pending ratification from USA Rugby Congress.

Ross Young was hopeful after the meeting: "Barbara and the board are really focused on the basics at this point. They are holding myself and the national organization accountable and helping us to set a strong vision for our work. We're leaving this meeting with plenty of notes and action items, not least formalizing our operations plans and deliverables through to the end of 2019."

For more information about the USA Rugby Board of Directors or to view complete minutes of previous meetings, visit the Board of Directors page on USARugby.org.