June 14, 2017—The new College Squash Association (CSA) announced the election of its Board of Directors leadership. Previously self-governed by two separate women’s and men’s committees made up exclusively of varsity coaches, the elections were the next step in a year-long process initiated by the formation of a CSA Governance Task Force established in spring 2016. The task force served to identify the issues facing college squash, gather the requirements necessary to govern the varsity competition more effectively and make recommendations for changes.
The process, led by women’s president Wendy Lawrence and men’s president Martin Heath culminated in the previously announced February decisions by both the women’s and men’s associations to formally dissolve and re-form as one new association. These actions, the result of deep engagement by the coaches over several months, received broad–based support by both boards. They officially took effect on May 16 when the membership of the new association elected its Board of Directors.
The Board of ten Directors includes five independent directors, four coaches and a US Squash representative who serves in an ex-officio, non-voting capacity. Elected as independent directors were John Nimick for Class 1, Jeanne Blasberg and Jeffrey Laikind for Class 2 and Zerline Goodman and Eric Fast for Class 3. The classes were established to stagger the terms of the directors who serve a maximum of two three-year terms.
The Coaches Advisory Committee, one of five standing committees of the new organization, also elected their Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs, all four of whom will serve as directors for the organization. Elected were Wendy Lawrence (George Washington University) and Jamie King (Hamilton College) as Women’s Subcommittee Chair and Vice-Chair respectively, and Tomas Fortson (Bowdoin College) and Sean Wilkinson (Princeton University) as Men’s Subcommittee Chair and Vice-Chair. The coaches collectively represent all eight of the suggested measures including Division 1 program, Division 3 program, Men’s team, Women’s team, A/B ranked team, C/D ranked team, a male coach, and a female coach.
Subsequent to a brief introductory phone call the week prior, on June 5 the Board of Directors held its first in-person meeting in Westport, CT and during the meeting discussed and re-affirmed the stated mission of the new CSA which is to foster national intercollegiate varsity squash competition in service to elevating the values of sportsmanship, integrity and fair-play for all student-athletes, coaches, and their affiliated institutions, encouraging academic excellence and increasing the opportunities to play college squash.
The Board also elected its leadership with Eric Fast elected to serve as the founding Chairman of the new association. Jeffrey Laikind will chair the Finance and Audit Committee, and Co-Chair with John Nimick on the Sport Development Committee, Zerline Goodman for the Rules and Regulations Committee and Jeanne Blasberg for the Nominating and Governance Committee.
The Board also made plans to meet regularly throughout the summer to begin to build the committees, document operating procedures and charters for the committees, engage the varsity coaches and other constituent groups, review historical policies and guidelines governing the sport, and evaluate the future human resource needs of the organization.