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Governance, Growth, Officiating Major Topics At USA Hockey Annual Congress

By USA Hockey, 06/15/22, 10:00AM MDT

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Board Approves Change To Governance Structure

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey’s Annual Congress concluded Saturday (June 11) in Denver with its Board of Directors approving a new governance structure.

“It was great to have our Annual Congress back in person for the first time in three years and the positive energy was evident during our time together,” said Mike Trimboli, president of USA Hockey. “We’ve been working on revising our governance structure for the past two years. Hats off to all those who have contributed to what is ultimately a common-sense approach that complies with the additional requirements from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and positions us well as we continue to move USA Hockey forward in the years ahead.”

The approved governance structure, which will fully take effect at USA Hockey’s Winter Meeting in January 2023, includes a 24-person Board of Directors and an 85-person Congress. Previously, USA Hockey had a 91-person Board of Directors with no Congress.

“The success of our organization has been the wide input that has come through our District and Affiliate personnel at the grassroots level and we’ve preserved that through this new governance structure,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re also excited about adding additional athletes to our Board to utilize their expertise as we strive to provide the best possible experience for all involved in our sport as well as attract new families to our game.”

PHOTO GALLERY

TOWN HALL

The USA Hockey Annual Congress featured a two-hour Town Hall on Thursday (June 9), with wide-ranging discussion including on diversity, equity and inclusion; youth hockey development; membership; history of the organization, officiating and the organization’s strategic plan. 

“As we continue to focus on making our sport more welcoming to a broader population through our efforts in DEI and beyond, it’s terrific to hear the on-going dialogue and action taking place within our Affiliates across the country,” said Trimboli. “Creating a more welcoming environment is essential to our overall growth efforts.” 

OFFICIALS – TREATMENT, RECRUITMENT, RETENTION

Trimboli also noted that officiating is a continued priority for the organization. 

“The issues around officiating today – including how officials are treated, recruitment and retention, and the overall infrastructure of our officiating program – are critically important to the future of our game. The Officiating Task Force has done some very good work to date and it’s important that we all work together to ensure we have the number of officials we need as our game continues to grow.” 

SAFETY

With safety of the game always at the top of USA Hockey’s priority list, Kelleher highlighted the significant work of those involved around safety of the game. 

"We’re fortunate to have an engaged and accomplished Safety and Protective Equipment Committee, led by Dr. Mike Stuart, our chief medical and safety officer from the Mayo Clinic.” said Kelleher, “That committee is focused primarily on on-ice player safety and they do terrific work." 

“Relative to our off-ice safety, the SafeSport Coordinators in our Affiliates have been critical to helping our sport meet the required standards and they also deserve a tremendous amount of credit.” 

OVERALL STATE OF THE GAME

Kelleher noted in his remarks to the Board that the number of players, coaches and officials involved with USA Hockey has rebounded quickly after being down some 20 percent a year ago due to the pandemic. 

“It’s great to see our participation back to 95% of what it was prior to the pandemic,” said Kelleher. "We had record numbers at 8U this season. Those players are the future of our game, so we’re very encouraged and that’s a credit to our grassroots volunteers, our staff and also our NHL partners, among others.” 

NATIONAL ELECTIONS

At Saturday's (June 11) Board of Directors meeting, the Board:

  • Elected Dwayne Dillinger (Gillette, Wyo.) as vice president and chair of the international council.
  • Elected Tom Regan (Avon, Conn.) as secretary.
  • Re-elected Donna Kaufman (Tacoma, Wash.) as vice president and chair of the junior council.
  • Elected Kris Knauss (Anchorage, Alaska) as director representative to the executive committee.
  • Elected Steve Oleheiser (Grand Rapids, Minn.) to a sixth-month term replacing Dwayne Dillinger as director representative to the executive committee.
  • Elected Shelley Looney (Maryland Heights, Mo.), Dave Margeneau (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Bob Gillen (Minot, N.D.) as directors at-large.
  • Affirmed the following as athlete directors: re-elected Jenny Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.), Jim Slater (Lapeer, Mich.) and Craig Brady (Rochester, N.H.) and elected Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.), Bobby Butler (Marlborough, Mass.), and Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.). Also affirmed Taylor Lipsett (McKinney, Texas) as athlete director representative to the executive committee.
  • Affirmed Mike MacMillan (Buffalo, Minn.) as chair of the coaches section; Mike McCullough (Baltic, Conn.) as chair of the registrars section; and Don Gould (Whitehouse Station, N.J.) as chair of the girls'/women's section. 
  • Elected Bill Hall (Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.), Larry Helwig (Eureka, Mo.), Mike Mullhall (Matthews, N.C.), Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Bruce Urban (Queen Creek, Ariz.) as director emeritus.

NOTES: USA Hockey’s Annual Congress includes the top volunteers from across the country, as well as the organization’s staff, who participate in a multi-day gathering to discuss the varying issues around the sport and put in place initiatives to help ensure USA Hockey remains a world-class national governing body … During Saturday’s Board of Directors meeting, Mike Trimboli presented President’s Awards to volunteers Bill Hall (Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.), Tom Regan, (Avon, Conn.) and Sarah Fraser (Chesire, Conn.) and to staff members Katie Holmgren and Kevin Margarucci … Bill Hall (Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.), who retired after more than 30 years as a volunteer on the USA Hockey Board of Directors, including since 2004 as secretary, was honored with a standing ovation for his service at the Saturday’s Board meeting … The USA Hockey Annual Congress included the annual President’s Awards Dinner on Friday (June 10) and details on the award recipients can be found hereDr. Alan Ashare (Brighton, Mass.) was presented with his 35-year Service Award as part of the festivities and was greeted with a standing ovation from the capacity crowd … Nearly 70 people from the NHL, its member clubs and the NHLPA, attended USA Hockey’s Annual Congress and engaged in wide-ranging discussions on growth, particularly at the entry level of the game.

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