(ATR) Neven Ilic is modernizing PanAm Sports, the continental association for the 41 member NOCs of the Americas.
Elected in April as the first new permanent president in nearly 40 years. Ilic is number 14 in the 2018 edition of the Around the Rings Golden 25.
Published since 1997, the Golden 25 is an annual review of people, events and issues expected to influence the Olympic Movement in the year ahead.
Ilic, 55, was the winner of the election at the PanAm Sports general assembly over two other candidates 20 years more senior than he. His immediate predecessor, Julio Maglione, is now 82 and served as interim president following the 2015 death of Mario Vazquez Rana, who was 82 and had led the association since 1975.
Formerly known by the acronym PASO, Ilic has changed that to PanAm Sports and adopted a logo to replace one that was more than 50 years old.
He has opened a Miami office to smooth travel and administration, easier to reach for many PanAm Sports members than the Mexico City headquarters.
Ilic has directed his early efforts at assuring that Lima remains on track to host the 2019 Pan American Games, the premier activity of the organization, the biggest multi-sport event in the Americas.
Willing to travel as needed, along with new secretary general Ivar Sisniega, Ilic is building relationships with the NOCs of the far-flung membership.
A construction company executive in Santiago, Chile, Ilic got into sport administration via tennis, then became president of the Chile Olympic Committee.
In September he became a member of the IOC, the first time PanAm Sports president has held a seat since Vazquez Rana resigned in 2012.
Ilic is one member to watch for a move to the IOC Executive Board – or even the presidency.
2017 ranking - #19
Reported by Ed Hula.