by George Rossano
(6 June 2013) Ron Pfenning announced today he has begun a grass roots effort to run for U.S. Figure Skating President in 2014.
Pfenning previously ran for this office in 2005. He missed being the nominating committee candidate that year by one vote, and ran against Ron Hershberger in a contested election at the 2005 Governing Council. His announcement comes on the heels of the election last month of Pat St. Peter to a fifth term as U.S. Figure Skating president.
In his announcement he writes:
I am writing today to announce I am seeking the office of President of U.S. Figure Skating. I have a unique perspective that can not be matched by any other candidate.
1. Over the past 30 years I have served in many positions for our Association; Iíve been Eastern Vice President, and chaired numerous standing committees of U.S. Figure Skating.
2. I am a former ISU World and Olympic Judge and Referee in Figure Skating and Ice Dancing; and I was elected to serve on the Figure Skating Technical Committee of the International Skating Union.
3. At present Iím retired, living on Maui, and I feel I can help U.S. Figure Skating get back to its position of leadership in the ever-changing world of figure skating.
It is my forward thinking, problem solving abilities that led me to the highest levels within the ISU and I hope I can bring those skills to the governance of U.S. Figure Skating. Here are a few ideas ...
Governing Council meetings should be live-streamed on the internet, so that ALL member clubs can watch, learn and participate in our governance.
Delegates who cannot afford to attend in person should be allowed to vote on all issues, using confidential and secure personal device Apps, instead of assigning their proxies to an already powerful executive committee.
Technologies similar to Skype, GoToMeeting, and Facetime can be used to get live participation from the "stay at home" delegate/member.
The result of such an approach will encourage greater participation and control by our members, include the perspective of more athletes--those who cannot afford the financial or time commitment to attend in person, and include the disenfranchised smaller member clubs that have similar financial or time restrictions.
I believe similar, cost saving technologies can be used through out the organization, and pledge to hold at least 2 of the Executive Committee meetings using GoToMeeting during my first term, saving the organization thousands of travel dollars.
At this time Pfenning is looking to develop grass roots support for office, writing:
If you agree that USFS can be a better, stronger organization by looking forward instead of dwelling on the past, please help support my candidacy by a visit to my self-created web page: www.ronforus.com and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-Ron-Run/499834056751501.
The road to U.S. Figure Skating president runs through the nominating committee which selects a candidates for each Association office. The slate of the nominating committee is announced a few months before the annual Governing Council. If no one contests the nominees of the committee, the candidates are elected by acclamation at the Governing Council meeting.
We have the interesting possibility here, that should he fail to receive the nod of the nominating committee, Pfenning could again challenge the committee's nominee, and if he is selected by the nominating committee he could find himself challenged by another candidate. Pfenning was president of the short lived and ill fated World Skating Federation. His involvement with the WSF colored the election in 2005 and may likely do so again.
Copyright 2013 by George S. Rossano