US Squash Policies:
US SQUASH Board Statement of Ethics Principles and Conflict of Interest Policy
Those who serve US Squash, whether as volunteers or paid professionals, are held to the highest standards of conduct. As guardians of squash ideals they assume an obligation to subordinate individual interests to the interests of US Squash. What may be considered acceptable conduct in some businesses may be inappropriate in service to our sport.
Those who serve US Squash must avoid any institutional loss or embarrassment and behave in such a way that the organization’s trust and public confidence are enhanced. It is important to avoid any real conflict of interest as well as the appearance of a conflict of interest.
While no set of guidelines can guarantee acceptable behavior, the principles which guide behavior in this area are (i) disclosure, (ii) physical absence and (iii) nonparticipation in the decision making process where personal or family gain is a possibility and a commitment to honor the confidentiality of organizational information. All conduct is founded on the individual’s own sense of integrity. Any individual accepting the honor of service to US Squash must also accept the burdens of public disclosure and public scrutiny. In our complex society, the intermixture of volunteer work, business interests, governmental activity, and family relationships, inevitability create potentially conflicting interests. What is required is ready disclosure of conflicting interests whenever they arise, as well as physical absence from and strict nonparticipation in any evaluation or decision making process relating to matters in which the individual has a real or apparent conflict of interest.
US SQUASH Board of Directors and Association Mutual Expectations
You were selected to be a member of the Board of Directors of US Squash because of your commitment to our national community of squash enthusiasts and to this organization. As a Board member, we ask a number of things from you in order to build an effective partnership with you as we work together to achieve our MISSION: “ to enhance people’s health and well being by increasing participation in squash, to enrich the experiences of our members of all ages, and to build awareness of the sport, valuing excellence, professionalism and fiscal responsibility”. We recognize, though, that there is no such thing as an expectation without a corresponding responsibility. What this means is that, in order for our Board to be truly effective, there are some things that we have a responsibility to provide – some things that you can and should expect from us. If we each live up to our commitment, there’s simply no telling what we can accomplish together!
US Squash Association Board members:
-Are passionate about the game of squash and our Association – our Mission and how we work to achieve it, and share this passion by taking an active role in advocating for
US Squash in all of their involvements with the game.
-Have a heartfelt strong desire to make a difference to the game of squash.
-Develop and demonstrate a clear understanding about who we are and what we do, and demonstrate this by actively participating in discussion and debate at Board meetings.
-Understand the goals of US Squash, and how we are going about meeting them.
-Attend in person whenever possible, and when this is not possible participate via telephone conference both of the Board meetings each year.
-Get involved in at least one volunteer opportunity relating to the game of squash beyond the Board.
-Actively engage in building relationships with other Board members beyond theBoardroom.
-Are proud of your involvement with this organization and this community, and demonstrate this by attending US Squash events throughout the year.
-Demonstrate your commitment by financially supporting US Squash to the fullest extent possible.
The Association will:
-Ensure that our Mission is at the heart of everything we do by providing regular updates on the work we do to and its relationship to our organizational priorities.
-Provide you with continuous education about our programs and initiatives through a comprehensive orientation program and a regular educational component at Board meetings.
-Create opportunities for you to fully explore and understand the issues facing our sport by scheduling outside presentations during Board meetings.
-Ensure that Board meetings are engaging and provide opportunities for thoughtful discussion on current and emerging issues.
-Understand your passions in an effort to identify the best volunteer opportunity for you by asking you about your interests and offering you experiences that match them.
-Provide you with unparalleled avenues for developing a rich network of relationships with people from all sectors of the game.
-Welcome and celebrate your involvement in growing squash.
Criteria, Responsibilities, and Commitments of Board Members
Our Board is representative of our membership and consists of leaders in the game of squash from throughout the country. Included on our Board are top ranking players, coaches, local association and national tournament organizers each of whom are passionate for the game and bring to the Board tremendous diversity in their skills and capacities.
In acknowledging the work of our volunteer leaders, the Board recently articulated attributes in our Board members to help focus the nominating process. Key to the process is the need to balance the skill of potential Board members with the organization’s needs.
Fundamental characteristics (or attributes) desired in individual Board members:
-Commitment to the mission and goals of US Squash.
-Willingness to give time and talent.
-Willingness to make a personally significant financial contribution.
-Willingness to ask others to make financial contributions.
Collectively, the individual skills of Board members are a reflection of US Squash, its goals and work process.
To that end it is a desired to build a Board that will be recognized and respected for its:
-Rich diversity and its member’s broad non-profit experience.
-Networks and linkages which can help advance the Association’s key initiatives and fund raising goals.
-Demonstrated executive leadership and respected public stature.
-Experience in working with complex issues and organizations.
-Capacity to listen and embrace change.
Responsibilities of the US Squash Board:
-To represent the members of the US Squash.
-To set the mission for the organization for implementation by CEO.
-To ensure programs and priorities are strategic, effective and mission driven.
-To work with the CEO to secure and develop the resources needed to accomplish objectives.
-To ensure the organization is fiscally sound and conducts its business professionally. To be committed to Board development and effective governance.
-To work with and support the CEO as hired by the Board.
US SQUASH Board Statement of Governing Style and Expected Conduct
The US Squash Board of Directors, hereafter referred to as the Board, will approach it’s task with a style which emphasizes outward vision rather than an internal preoccupation, encouragement of diversity in viewpoints, strategic leadership more than administrative detail, clear distinction of Board and Staff roles, future rather than past or present, and will strive to be proactive rather than reactive in its endeavors.
In this spirit the Board has a governing style that will:
1 Focus chiefly on intended long term impacts on the world of squash (ends/policy), not on the administrative or programmatic means of attaining those effects.
2 Direct, control, and inspire U. S. Squash through the careful establishment of the broadest organizational values and policies.
3 Enforce upon itself whatever discipline is needed to govern with excellence. Discipline will apply to matters as policy making principles and self-policing of any tendency to stray from governance adopted in Board policies.
4 Be accountable for competent, conscientious and effective accomplishment of it’s obligations as a governing body for squash. It will allow no officer, individual, or committee to usurp this role or hinder this commitment.
5 Review on a regular basis the Board’s process and performance.
6 Be an initiator of policy, not merely a reactor to staff initiatives. The Board, not the staff, will be responsible for the Board’s performance.
7 Work closely with the CEO to help define and prioritize the vision, mission, ends and goals of the membership of the Association.
8 Develop and maintain consistent rules, regulations and policies to ensure fair and safe competition and to accomplish the ends of its members.
9 Facilitate the development of programs that will support the member’s attainment of their goals and contribute to the process of squash as a whole. These programs will be administered by the staff within the constraints of fiscal responsibility.
Further, the Association Board expects of itself and its members ethical and business-like conduct. This commitment includes proper use of authority, appropriate decorum, and discretion in group and individual behavior when acting as Board members.
1. Board members must represent, without any conflict, loyalty to the interest of the Association and our membership. This accountability supersedes any conflicting
loyalty such as that to advocacy or interest groups and membership on other boards or staff.
2. Board members must avoid any conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility. Specifically should a Board member be considered for employment, she/he must temporarily withdraw from Board deliberations, voting and access to applicable Board information.
3. Board members may not attempt to exercise individual authority over the USSRA except as explicitly set forth in the bylaws and any duly adopted Board policies:
a. Board member interaction with the Chief Executive Officer or with the staff will recognize the lack of authority in any individual Board member or group of Board members except as noted above.
b. Board members’ interaction with the public, press or other entities must recognize the same limitation and the similar inability of any Board member other than the Chair to speak for the Board. In instances where it is appropriate for them to speak as individuals regarding the affairs of the Association individual Board members must identify that it is their personal opinion they are providing. While it is important for Board member’s to be as accessible as possible to the membership as listeners, as well as key communicators of the Association’s message as it evolves, specific Board deliberations should be treated with discretion.
c. Board members should make no judgments or evaluations of the Chief Executive Officer or staff performance except as that performance is assessed against explicit Board policies by the official review process.
US Squash Policy Statement of Roles and Responsibilities of the Association’s Volunteer Leadership – Board Chair and the Association’s Professional Staff – CEO and Staff
Chief Volunteer (Board Chair) — Provides Board leadership in expediting the goals of the organization
-Serves as member of the Board and fulfills the expectations of Board members.
-Presides at all Board and membership meetings.
-In circumstances not expressly provided for in the By-laws, appoints Board committees in concert with CEO.
-In circumstances not expressly provided for in the By-laws, is ex-officio member of all
-Board committees and provides guidance to those committees when necessary.
-Is wholly focused on the mission of organization. Acts as spokesperson for the Board.
-Serves as advocate and role model for volunteers of the organization.
-Is senior partner with CEO in seeking fulfillment of the Association’s mission.
-In concert with CEO, sets agenda for Board meetings and facilitates the work of the board in completing agenda.
-Maintains regular communication with CEO to keep informed of organizational activities and emerging activities.
-Communicates with CEO on behalf of Board.
-Leads evaluation of the performance of CEO annually.
-Is an integral participant in the organization’s strategic planning process.
-Ensures that designated roles are adhered to.
CEO – Serves as chief operations executive for the organization responsible for achieving the desired end results as established by the Board.
-Leads the process of translating/implementing the Board’s established mission and goals into long-term strategic and annual operating plan.
-In concert with Board chair, prepares agenda for Board meetings. Attends all Board meetings and committee meetings.
-Communicates regularly and provides needed information to assist the Board in fulfilling its decision-making and monitoring roles.
-Initiates and directs the development of policies for Board approval.
-Develops budget in conjunction with finance committee.
-Empowered to establish operating procedures and decides all matters of administrative and supervisory detail in connection with operation and maintenance of organization.
-Recruits, hires and manages association staff to perform the duties required for the operating functions of the organization.
-Serves as the Association’s primary spokesperson and represents the organization as it’s CEO in all dealings with other organizations, individuals and general public.
US Squash Chief Executive Officer Compensation Policy
In 2004, the Executive Committee of the United States Squash Racquets Association (US Squash) adopted a plan to upgrade the position of Executive Director to that of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as part of a broader overall plan to modernize the governance and general operation of our Association as we naturally evolved from our previous “grass roots” management structure and in accordance with broad trends occurring with many other national sports governing bodies.
The creation of the new CEO position was done to accomplish two things: 1) to be able to attract a seasoned general management executive to lead the Association on a path of expansion and growth and 2) to empower that individual to professionalize the Association’s operations by building and managing a professional “in house” staff as opposed to having a cadre of volunteer Board and other non-professional volunteers engaged in what were fundamentally operating functions of the Association. In its essence the plan required the Board to focus on (i) the selection, review, and ongoing oversight of the CEO, (ii) strategy, (iii) fund raising, and, (iv) financial reporting and controls, with the CEO being given full general management leadership responsibility for the Association. Concurrently, the title of President, a volunteer position, was changed to Board Chair, and in 2007, after an extensive governance and bylaw review process, the Board of Directors was reduced to 10 people from 36 and the other “operating titles” previously given to volunteer Board members (Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) were eliminated. The Board was now formally charged with oversight of the CEO, providing strategic guidance, fundraising, and the oversight of the financial reporting and related financial controls of the Association.
During the initial search for a CEO in 2003, the board retained a search professional who researched salaries at comparable not-for-profits including National Sports Governing Bodies and other sport management organizations in order to establish a compensation package that the Association (i) could afford, (ii) would attract the best possible talent, and (iii) was in line with the compensation packages at other comparable organizations the Association would seek to emulate.
At that time the Board was provided with data from Mercer Human Resources Consulting showing total annual compensation for National Governing Body Executive Director/CEO positions as well comparable Sports Industry Organizations which was used as the basis for the initial salary and bonus structure. A copy of the memo from Mercer is included in Addendum A which also includes a series of memos covering executive compensation since the creation of the new position of CEO as well as copies of all CEO employment agreements since the position was created. These employment agreements have each been for two (2) year time periods.
Subsequently, the Board formed a Compensation Committee comprised of the Board Chair, the Chair of the Finance Committee, and two other Board members. The Compensation Committee has considered annual surveys of compensation levels of comparable executives to ensure the US Squash CEO’s compensation is consistent with the market. For example results from a 2007-2008 ARC Comp Report based on an analysis of over 3, 000 US based association chief staff executives in public/special interest cause associations with $2 million in annual gross revenue (in the case of US Squash, this would include district associations and endowment revenue) shows that the US Squash CEO’s compensation, once adjusted for the cost of living in the New York area, falls within the average range.
Since the hiring of our first CEO, the Board has conducted formal written performance reviews of the CEO at a minimum annually. Each Board member is asked to provide a written evaluation based upon pre-agreed criteria in order to determine these reviews. Each review also includes a review of the executive’s compensation which considered the parameters set forth above. In addition, the Board Chair periodically reviews the CEO’s travel and entertainment reimbursement practices and amounts to insure they are in accordance with customary and reasonable best practices.
It is the desire of the US Squash Board to attract and retain a dedicated, seasoned general management executive of the highest caliber available to the post of CEO who will be responsible for managing all areas of the Association’s operations.
It is a primary function of the Board of Directors to undertake a formal written annual performance review of the CEO at fiscal year-end which evaluates the CEO’s leadership and job performance in all key areas. It is a key responsibility of each Board member to thoughtfully and diligently participate in the annual performance review process.
The Finance, Audit and Compensation Committee has the responsibility to determine whether or not it will recommend to the entire Board, for its review and consideration, an annual discretionary compensation bonus based on the results of the performance review. The Compensation sub-committee shall consist of the Board Chair, the Chair of the Finance, Audit and Compensation Committee and two other Board members.
In considering whether or not a bonus is warranted, the Finance, Audit and Compensation Committee and Board as a whole will consider whether the Association has met the financial expectations set forth in the annual budget and other pre-agreed upon performance criteria such as membership growth, effective program implementation, improvement, and oversight, known as Key Tactical Indicators.
The anticipated range of the CEO’s discretionary bonus is to be between 5% and 25% of base compensation in years with overall satisfactory job performance and better.
In addition when considering base salary levels and bonus compensation for the CEO, the Compensation Committee and Board will take in to consideration time relevant surveys of compensation levels of comparable executives to ensure the US Squash CEO’s compensation is consistent and competitive with the market.
The Compensation sub-committee will review no less than annually the travel and entertainment documentation practices and amounts to insure that they are within customary and reasonable best practices.
The Chair of the Finance, Audit and Compensation Committee and Board Chair shall together maintain a confidential ongoing standing file to be made available to all Board members upon request containing chronologically all CEO performance reviews and the comparable organization salary and bonus compensation data utilized in making all compensation decisions as well as the results of the periodic reviews of the travel and entertainment reimbursements to the CEO. This standing file will also include copies of all employment agreements and ancillary documents relevant to the CEO’s employment relationship with the Association.
Periodic Board Level Review of Banking Activity
a) The individuals designated as the Board Chair and Finance Chair for the Association shall share responsibility for undertaking periodic sample basis reviews of the banking activity of the Association.
b) The Board Chair and Finance Chair shall be provided with “read or view only” on‐line access to all of the Association’s operating and cash management bank and investment accounts that will include information regarding all deposits, payment authorizations and transfers, and the front and back copy of all cancelled checks, to enable the conduct of such periodic sample basis reviews.
c) At least quarterly the Board Chair and/or Finance Chair shall undertake the review of the bank and investment account statements seeking to determine on a best efforts sample basis that:
a. Deposits are from expected sources (and in the case of those from unexpected sources, determine they are appropriate);
b. Payments are made only by an authorized employee of U.S. Squash in accordance with U.S. Squash policy;
c. Bank transfers are made only to known U.S. Squash bank accounts and recorded on the same date;
d. Wire transfers are duly authorized in accordance with U.S. Squash procedures,
e. In the case of checks:
i. There are no unusual or second endorsements, such as endorsements by employees when the payee is not the employee;
ii. There are no alterations to the check payee or amount such as erasures or possible use of white‐out; and
iii. Checks are made payable to expected vendors (and, in the case of checks made payable to any unexpected vendors, determine they are appropriate).
d) The Board and Finance Chair shall ensure that management is reviewing: (i) the monthly bank reconciliations and investigating any unusual reconciling items; and, (ii) any journal entries to the cash accounts on a timely basis.
II. CEO Cash Disbursement Authorization Policies and Procedures
All salary, bonus and expense reimbursement payments to be made by the Association directly to the CEO shall only be made upon specific written authorization by the Board Chair with disclosure to the full Board. The Board Chair shall periodically (no less than annually) conduct a “sample review” of the expense reimbursement voucher documentation provided by the CEO to the Association in conjunction with expense reimbursements. The CEO may sign checks and/or authorize banking system payments directly to themselves only upon such written authorization by the Board Chair. In the case of payments to be made via the Association’s payroll service to the CEO, the Board Chair will provide written authorizations to the applicable payroll service provider to effectuate all such payments.
The Finance Committee shall review these policies and procedures at least annually to insure that they are up to date and comply with best practices.