Election FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The election process is fairly new to US Sailing and we welcome suggestions and questions, which can be emailed to electionquestions@ussailing.org. Some questions and answers are below. We will continue to update this page.

What was the basis for selecting the nominees for the Board?

US Sailing Bylaw 303 outlines the following requirements for members of the Board.

  • Board members shall be selected without regard to race color, religion, national origin or sex.
  • Voting members of the Board shall not all be the same gender.
  • Voting members of the Board shall collectively have extensive experience or ability in club sailing, community sailing (non-club), sail training/education, youth sailing, sailboat racing, race administration, cruising, offshore sailing and sailing industry experience, and the Board shall include three or more Sailor Athletes.
  • All Board members shall have the highest personal and professional integrity, shall have demonstrated governance ability and judgment, and shall be most effective in conjunction with other members of the Board and in collectively serving the long-term interests of US Sailing.

What were some of the other considerations when selecting the candidates?

The Nominating Committee sought geographic representation from the East Coast, Midwest, South and West Coast as well as a mix of sailing types. The Nominating Committee also considers the need to develop candidates for nomination as President. Although past service on the Board is not required for nomination as President, it is obviously valuable experience. Business experience, understanding financial matters and being able to raise funds are also valued traits.

Willingness to serve is an important consideration as Board members must pay their own way to US Sailing meetings and other functions in which they choose to participate. In addition, the candidates must choose between serving on the Board and representing their own sailing interests to US Sailing, as the Bylaws require that Board members give up any US Sailing committee chairmanships.

How does the Nominating Committee decide how many candidates to nominate?

The bylaws require that at least one candidate is nominated for each open board seat. The Nominating committee may nominate more than one person per opening. US Sailing members can also make nominations at the National Conference.

What is the basis for the nomination of the President?

The Bylaws leave the criteria and process to the Nominating Committee. Some of the considerations are listed below.

  1. Culture, including the ability to get things accomplished through working with others within a complex organization.
  2. Have demonstrated management and leadership skills, including those needed to lead the Board of Directors and to supervise the Executive Director.
  3. Have strong presentation and communication skills and ability to act as a spokesperson for US Sailing.
  4. Have demonstrated highest personal and professional integrity and inspire confidence in others.
  5. Have personal sailing experience.
  6. Be willing to serve. The President is not compensated for this demanding position and must be able to meet the financial demands and give the needed time and energy.

Why are written ballots available upon request in addition to electronic voting?

US Sailing is incorporated in the state of New York which requires that written ballots be available. Also, not everyone uses electronic communication.

Is campaigning permitted by the candidates?

The rules for campaigning are outlined in the US Sailing Regulations as follows:

6.05 BOARD NOMINEE CAMPAIGNING
Campaigning for election to the Board or for the Office of President of US Sailing is limited as follows:
A. US Sailing will distribute the Candidate Profile included in a mailing from US Sailing;
B. Candidates shall not undertake any form of wholesale campaigning including commercial mass mailing, phone or e-mail campaigns or campaign advertising;
C. Candidates may make themselves available for individual inquiries and engage in private conversations regarding the candidate’s intentions and plans for US Sailing;
D. A candidate may accept a request to speak to a group, to make a submission to a printed publication (or website) or for an interview by an organization or the media Candidates shall notify the media contact at US Sailing of all such request;
F. Individuals or groups may express support for one or more candidates in class or club newsletters, or similar printed and web publications – there should be no fee incurred by the individual or group;
G. Complaints about campaigning should be made to the Governance Committee Chair who may forward them to the Review Board, if necessary.

When will the elected Board members be announced?

The election results will be announced at the National Conference in October and posted on the US Sailing website.

Will this election process be held every year?

An election will be held every year. Three Board members will be elected each year. Board members will serve for a three-year term in rotation.

Will a new President be nominated every year?

Not necessarily. The President is elected by the Board of Directors for a one-year term. He or she is eligible to run for up to two additional one-year terms for three years in total.

I might be interested in running for the Board. How can I find out more?

Contact any member of the Nominating Committee, or come to the National Conference, and sit in on the Board meetings. Read the minutes of past meetings available on the US Sailing website. Review the Bylaws and Regulations that the Board uses to set policy. Specific questions can be sent to the President, the Chair of the Nominating Committee or to any current Board member.

If you have additional questions, send an email to the Nominating Committee at electionsquestions@ussailing.org.