PRINCETON, N.J. – USRowing announced today that Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Merry will retire from the organization effective April 15, 2017. Merry joined USRowing in 1994 and was named CEO in 2005.
"I am truly fortunate to have found a home in the sport that I have loved since I stepped into my first rowing shell, more than thirty years ago," said Merry. "I never imagined how that moment would completely reshape my life or define my destiny. It’s been an incredible experience."
Merry’s plans include the launch of a new enterprise, JaClarre Inc., in late 2017. The company’s focus will be youth learning development with sports integration.
"The real reward has been working with the best people in our community including our athletes, coaches, volunteers, referees, and the USRowing staff to grow the sport for future generations. I would like to thank the Board of USRowing for having entrusted me to lead that effort for the past twelve years. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve USRowing and the rowing community."
Merry has served USRowing in a variety of roles since 1994, ascending to the CEO position in 2005. During his tenure, the sport of rowing across the U.S. has seen significant growth and change. Individual membership is at an all-time high, with over 50 percent growth rate for championship members in the past three years and USRowing events delivering record subscriptions in 2015 and 2016.
He was responsible for the 2006 launch of the Task Force on Access, Affordability and Diversity which evolved into the America Rows and Freedom Rows programs, created to provide access for all to row. The United States Olympic Committee recognized USRowing’s leadership in this area with back-to-back USOC Diversity and Inclusion Choice Awards in 2015 and 2016.
Merry was instrumental in forging relationships with the major constituents essential to the success of USRowing and growth of the sport. In 2002, he and Hart Perry ignited the partnership between USRowing and the National Rowing Foundation, increasing funding for national team athletes from an initial grant of $180,000 in 2003 to $1.45m in 2016.
He led partnerships with Oklahoma City, resulting in the redevelopment of the city’s RiverFront District, and an OIympic designation for the city as well as the creation of the Oklahoma City Training Center. In Sarasota Fla., Merry assisted in securing bids for the 2017 FISA World Rowing Championships and the 2018 FISA Masters Regatta, bringing international competition back to American soil for the first time in over two decades.
Under his guidance, the U.S. national team has recorded strong growth and success at the junior, under 23, para-rowing and senior levels.
"The growth within our organization under Glenn’s leadership has been significant and we are grateful for his passion and dedication," said USRowing Board of Directors Interim President Meghan O’Leary. "During the past twelve years, Glenn built USRowing into one of the most respected sports-governing bodies in the USA.
"All of us – athletes, coaches, referees, members, and fans – owe Glenn sincere and heartfelt gratitude for leading our governing body and building it into the great organization that it is today. He has served all of us very well. On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you Glenn."
USRowing’s current Board of Directors will meet soon to develop a succession plan, establish interim solutions and initiate a thorough search process for the CEO position.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 93,000 individual members and 1,350 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners.
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