Ron Pfenning is running for USFSA President at the May Governing Council meeting. In this statement he discusses his reasons for running.
Two year ago USFSA moved to revise the process whereby members could run for office without going through the Nominating Committee. The would be the first time a member has campaigned for major office since that change. In his statement, Pfenning calls out three areas he considers of key importance.
"The next president of US Figure Skating together with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors face many difficult challenges, including: a) pressure from the USOC to downsize our governance structure, b) meeting the needs of all our athletes, from learn-to-skate participants to our elite skaters, and c) securing financial funding to pay for our programs. I know I can collectively mold an intelligent consensus, based on the views of all concerned, to resolve each of these issues. My administration would be team oriented and inclusive in approach."
His call for consensus building and openness is echoed at the end where he closes by saying "My down-to-earth approach, willingness to have all parties heard, with a working team approach, can be the positive image our Association requires."
Pfenning role in the WSF, and how it might affect his ability to serve as USFSA president, will no doubt be a subject of considerable discussion between now and the meeting. Following the dismissal of its anti-trust lawsuit against the ISU, the WSF recently announced it was disbanding. Pfenning now admits working within the ISU in now the only game in town by writing, "We must work within the ISU environment to clean up figure skating; not only in its judging ranks but also in its administration." He further addresses this issue, writing "Although I certainly have taken actions that caused the ISU concern and discomfort, I continue to be the most respected American official within the ISU family. Some donít necessarily agree with my previous actions, but they know I follow the rules, speak the truth and am a credible voice."
What had already looked to be a lively meeting in May, will now prove more so, with the election of the president likely to be a referendum on the future direction of the USFSA.
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Copyright 2005 by George S. Rossano