USA Cycling has announced that former CEO Lisa Voight, now the organization’s senior advisor for Olympic and international relations, has submitted her resignation.
Voight’s decision comes less than a day after the board of USA Cycling granted Gerard Bisceglia, the organization’s current CEO, the authority to “renegotiate the terms” of a reported two-year $200,000 contract.
Late last year, Voight announced plans to leave her post as CEO effective in May, the expected due date of her twin daughters born this spring. Speaking from her home on Wednesday, Voight told VeloNews that, with her new family status, she doesn’t feel she can focus on the duties required by the position with USA Cycling.
“I’m focused on taking care of my two daughters now, and I really can’t be working full time,” Voight said.
Voight had led cycling’s governing body since former USCF CEO Jerry Lace left in 1993. She was offered a two-year extension of her contract by members of the USA Cycling board of trustees last October. That decision, however, led to something of an internal controversy as members of the USA Cycling Development Foundation board objected, largely because the offer was made before representatives of the organization returned to the USA Cycling board in January.
Though a new offer was later made, Voight opted to resign as CEO and accepted her new $100,000 per-year position.That salary expense has been an issue, particularly in August when Bisceglia eliminated three top management positions at USA Cycling after “an evaluation of our budget, our revenues and operating expenses.”
Bisceglia declined to reveal details of Voight’s renegotiation, but told VeloNews on Wednesday that the move has resulted in a “significant savings” to USA Cycling.
Voight will still serve as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors.
No, no to BMX marriage
It’s been a season of change at USA Cycling, but one change that won’t be taking place any time soon is the organization’s tentative plan to shed its BMX component, the National Bicycle League.
In a closed-door session, the organization’s board of directors on Tuesday rejected a proposed takeover of the NBL by its largest competitor, the American Bicycle Association.
“The Board reviewed the merits of the proposal at its fall Board meeting on Tuesday and decided to respectfully decline the offer and not proceed with the sale,” USA Cycling noted in a release.
What was not mentioned, however, is that the idea of a sale originated in Colorado Springs unbeknownst to the NBL staff in Ohio. A quick and very negative response from NBL members prompted the board to reconsider the move.
“We had a tremendous response from the track operators and riders who opposed this sale,” said Nigel Blair-Johns, one the NBL’s representatives to the USA Cycling board.
Blair-Johns said the proposed sale might have been indicative of the “inherent culture clash” between BMX and the other elements of the sport represented by USA Cycling. The Ohio-based sanctioning body had originally joined USA Cycling in 1998, but maintained an “escape clause” in its affiliation agreement for two years.
“Obviously, there are a few trust issues to be resolved,” Blair-Johns said. “But the board has also opened the door to reviewing the current model and I expect we will see some changes now that the idea of a sale has been put aside for now.”
It seemed like a good idea
The board also reviewed and approved an effort by Bisceglia to end the governing body’s reliance on its current “regional rep” program and pursue an aggressive effort to woo back several state and regional organizations that broke away from USA Cycling in recent years.
The USCF currently uses five regional representatives, each responsible for coordinating licensing, scheduling and member services for a ten-state region. The system was established in 1999 and replaced the USCF’s earlier reliance on its old “district reps” who fulfilled those same responsibilities for significantly smaller areas. It was that decision that then spawned breakaway associations in several parts of the country, including California, Oregon and Colorado.
“It may have seemed like a good idea at the time,” Bisceglia said Tuesday, “but it hasn’t worked out.”
Bisceglia instead proposed a system in which state or regional associations oversee cycling in their respective districts and coordinate their efforts with USA Cycling. State associations would receive an automatic $10 share of licenses sold within their regions and USA Cycling would oversee permitting, insurance and coordinate a national ranking system.
Bisceglia suggested that between improved services, insurance and a “real time ranking system that doesn’t make people wait three months to see their results,” the organization may succeed in bringing back several of the splinter groups, now operating under the umbrella of the Federation of Independent Associations for Cycling (FIAC). Bisceglia is scheduled to meet with one of the largest breakaway groups, the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association, on Monday.
NCNCA club representatives are also scheduled to vote on a re-affiliation proposal that same day.
The old college try
The USA Cycling board also gave tentative approval to a proposal offered by the National Collegiate Cycling Association to gain full affiliate status, making that organization the effective equal to the USCF, NORBA, USPRO and the NBL.
Board president Jim Ochowicz was directed to appoint a committee, which is responsible for drafting business and governance plans that will be presented to the board at its next meeting in February.