Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

USA Cycling CEO close to contract renewal

The chief executive officer of USA Cycling is close to signing a new two-year extension of her employment contract, the organization’s outgoing president Mike Plant confirmed this week. According to sources, the board of directors of USA Cycling voted to renew the contract of chief executive officer Lisa Voight in an executive session during the organization's October meeting. Plant reportedly proposed offering Voight a two-year deal, a recommendation later endorsed by a majority of the board. Voight confirmed that the board had approved the extension proposal, though the contract was

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

The chief executive officer of USA Cycling is close to signing a new two-year extension of her employment contract, the organization’s outgoing president Mike Plant confirmed this week.

According to sources, the board of directors of USA Cycling voted to renew the contract of chief executive officer Lisa Voight in an executive session during the organization’s October meeting. Plant reportedly proposed offering Voight a two-year deal, a recommendation later endorsed by a majority of the board.

Voight confirmed that the board had approved the extension proposal, though the contract was “still a work in progress,” when she spoke with VeloNews earlier this week.

“This is a positive thing,” she said.

News of the pending contract, however, was not received with enthusiasm in all quarters. Several members of the USA Cycling Development Foundation expressed concern that the issue of Voight’s contract was addressed until they were once again seated on the USA Cycling board in January. USACDF members reportedly asked for a conference call with USA Cycling board members in order to request reconsideration or a delay of the board’s action.

The call was later “canceled by mutual agreement,” and the Development Foundation instead agreed to participate in negotiations. According to the organization’s recent IRS 990 filings, Voight earns approximately $170,000 a year.

The USACDF had lost its three seats on the board after an appeals court upheld a lawsuit challenging a 1999 USA Cycling reorganization approved under “emergency” legislative provisions. As a result of the reversal, the court set aside most of the board’s major legislative actions from the previous two years, including the addition of Development Foundation members to the USA Cycling board. The USACDF regained those seats, however, when USA Cycling members voted to approve a legislative package that essentially mirrored the original 1999 reorganization.

“I appointed a task force to finalize the deal points,” Plant told VeloNews on November 19. “A group, including a foundation rep, is working with the CEO on the terms of her future employment as we speak.”

The Development Foundation has been instrumental in raising funds for USA Cycling programs and is involved in a less visible effort to establish performance standards for staff. Voight’s usual contract renewal was delayed in early 2001 pending a review of USA Cycling financial performance and membership levels. The organization’s financial problems hit a critical point late last year when budget shortfalls forced staff cuts equal to 20 percent of the positions at USA Cycling. The organization was facing a serious seven-figure budget shortfall, forcing the elimination of jobs and several elite-level athletic programs, including the women’s national team. The men’s junior/espoir and elite road programs were saved only by a direct infusion of cash from the development foundation. Similarly, the women’s program is slated to return in 2002 with support from both a corporate sponsor and the development foundation.

Many of the most serious financial troubles stemmed from a failure to replace several large sponsors – EDS, Visa and GT bicycles among others. The most recent Executive Director’s report shows that there has been improvement in USA Cycling’s financial picture – predicting a positive cash flow for calendar 2001 – but much is the result of drastic cost-cutting rather than an improvement in the organization’s income stream.

Meanwhile, USA Cycling has suffered a steady decline in membership, dropping more than 25-percent in the past three years. Recent figures show that the decline continues with overall USA Cycling membership falling to 39,828 from 44,690 a year ago. USCF membership has dropped from 29,808 in November of 2000 to 27,883 over the course of a year. During that same period, NORBA membership dropped from 25,095 to just 18,321. In that same period there had been a near doubling of one-license sales, suggesting that many riders are simply opting to compete less frequently and are, therefore, less willing to commit to a full year’s license.

Plant and Voight said the ongoing negotiation was nearing completion though no specific target date was given. Voight said she would release details of the agreement when it was signed.