Q&A With ACA Board Nominees

Who are the Candidates

- Rachel Scott
- Peter Ismert
- Chris Case
- Kathy Judson
- Susan Adamkovics

Additionally, more information on each
candidate can be found on the
ACA Board Nominee Page

Tomorrow, Dec 14 the ACA will host their Annual Meeting in Golden. Agenda and documents for the meeting are on the previous link but one of the big business items up is election of new Board Nominees. To help you and your proxy/delegate have a good informed vote we asked all the candidates 2 questions

  • What are the current strengths of the ACA?
  • What would you like to see improved at the ACA?

Candidate #1 Peter Ismert

What are the current strengths of the ACA?

A non-profit organization is only as successful as the willingness of its members to contribute to its success. The diversity of ACA's clubs and their passion for bike racing is one of its greatest strengths. This has led to a big push in the last few years by ACA members, the board, and the staff for organizational improvements, program sustainability, and operational transparency. Also, many ACA members have contributed their own time to help with the success of activities and programs. ACA will need to draw upon the strength of its members to help act on new ideas and programs that will entice bike racers to join and become active members.

What would you like to see improved at the ACA?

In light of ACA becoming a local association of USAC, ACA will need to develop a strategic plan to move forward under this new agreement. The plan would identify ACAs broad goals, program needs, and could address other specific issues (i.e. BAR/BAT, categories, race promotion, insurance, etc.) After that, a diversified fundraising plan will be needed to help us increase our income to meet future operational and program goals. Improvements in finding new funding sources have been made, but much more needs to be done now that ACA will be a local association of USAC. This will help prevent the stalling out of our programs, benefits, and activities that are tailored to our members needs.

Candidate #2 Rachel Scott

What are the current strengths of the ACA?
- Financially sound, self-governing nonprofit that has run races for the past 13 years.

- Paid staff with plenty of experience. They are invested and committed in the ACA, believe in its efforts, and carrying out its mission.

-Quick turn-around for race results (some same day), upgrades or responses to upgrade questions, and communiqués.

- Large enough organization to have resources to make things happen across Colorado, but small enough to be responsive individually.

- Location is superb. Colorado’s resources for cyclists and bicycle racers are immense. From the talent on a national/international level to media and organizations specific to promoting cycling to the cycling industry for-profit sector with headquarters located in Colorado-it’s hard to touch. People move here for cycling.

- $50,000 worth of race equipment, timing system and the website database management. ACA doesn’t have to start a Local Association (LA) from scratch.

- Excellent junior support and programming. 400 registered juniors and additional programming outside of racing. This is an excellent resource for all juniors, and not just for the gifted few with a future of becoming a professional racer.

- Low cost of membership dues in comparison to other membership-based organizations. Very transparent financials and membership information, a must for a nonprofit.

What would you like to see improved at the ACA? (not in order of importance)

- Create and promote membership value both tangible and intangible for sponsors, partners and most importantly members of the ACA. I am currently the Marketing and Outreach Director at a 100-year-old nonprofit with 7,000 members in Colorado.
I manage our membership services department and directly responsible for not only creating membership value, but keeping members happy and renewing, while driving new memberships. I’d like to use my skillset to assist the ACA and its staff in this goal.

- Diversification of fundraising efforts including government funding, individual donations, corporate gifts, and grants rather than 70% being attributed from membership dollars. The membership-based nonprofit I work for currently gets 20% of
its revenue from membership dues, and the dues to our organization or over $100. I’d like to use my experience in developing corporate sponsorship proposals, grant writing and individual donor program promotion to help the ACA thrive financially and diversify its revenue sources.

- Outreach efforts/cross promotion to other like-minded nonprofits and for-profit industries, such as Bicycle Colorado, B-Cycle, Ride the Rockies, Triple Bypass, Ride for
Reading, athletic facilities and more.

- Better senior races incentives for BAR/BAT. In the Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association (TBRA), if you won the Best-All-Around Rider, you raced the entire next season for free. If you won a state championship, you were invited back to race for free the following year for the state championship. I’d really like to see what additional member benefits we can work towards for senior racers, statistically the most invested racers in the ACA.

- Developing a more involved and active board who can help paid staffers accomplish goals rather than governance at a 10,000 ft view. After becoming an LA of USAC, ACA staff will be incredibly busy with the transition as well as continuing to deliver high quality races in the state of Colorado. I’d like to give back my time and use my skillset to accomplish specific goals that contribute and improve the bigger picture. I’m passionate about giving back and want to volunteer my time to an organization that I believe does good things in a sport that I’m invested in and comprises much of my lifestyle. This is by no way an insult to the current board. This is how I want to fit into the board that exists at the ACA. I get paid 40 hours per year to volunteer my time in my current position and enjoy the act of volunteering.

- More unification of cycling, not just road and cyclocross, and positioning the ACA as the focal point of competitive AND enthusiast cycling. Incorporate and unify the ACA messaging and outreach efforts to mountain biking, collegiate, high school leagues, track, junior, non-racing events, organized rides, and others.

- Easing the barrier for recreational cyclists, organized ride participants, and triathletes to competitive bicycle racing. Help convert bike riders into bike racers by hosting more
events and outreach tactics like the E-rock structure, booth participation at non-race events, cooperation with USA Pro Challenge, beginner/training races, mentoring, media efforts, and more. Part of this involves volunteer management and developing a cadre of dedicated volunteers to help make this a reality.

- Continue to improve upon the women’s mentoring program and increase women’s participation in racing events. Active participation in the ACA women’s summit in February, continuation of the mentoring programs, uniting and encouraging women racing leaders to offer support and educational clinics with low cost/no cost barrier, promoting no-drop rides, and identifying individual female leaders in the racing community to assist. Also, try to ease or find a solution for the Cat 3 and upgrading Cat 4 female racer. As soon as upgrading from a 4 to a 3, you are potentially racing with pro women in road and cyclocross, which is not ideal, and perhaps why many Cat 4 women leave the sport after upgrading or not upgrading at all.

- Helping transform the mindset from “I have to sign up for this organization to race my bike,” to “I want to be a member of this organization because I believe in what the ACA represents and supports, and it will benefit me and my racing goals.” I think moving forward on a number of these initiatives above will contribute to this mindset and attitude shift.

Candidate #3 Chris Case

What are the current strengths of the ACA?

The strengths of the ACA are many, but central to all of them is the tight-knit group of enthusiastic racers, and dedicated promoters, officials, staff, and volunteers that make it such a vibrant community. The fact that you can talk to staff members at races or email them about a results issue--and get an immediate response--is phenomenal.
Other strengths:

- The grassroots nature of the organization means that you are dealing with people--friendly, service-oriented, nimble, responsive, and community-driven people.

- Brand presence: The ACA is a known entity, and a well-respected one in the cycling community of Colorado.

- The quality of people in our racing community make it such a great place to participate. From the quality of our top level racers, to the enthusiasm of our mid-tier racers, to the numbers of juniors that love to race, the ACA has all of the manpower it needs to grow and thrive as a cycling community.

- The ACA is a financially sound, fiscally responsible nonprofit with a sustainable mission.

- The junior development program is exemplary. Their philosophy of providing for as many juniors as possible is something that everyone should be able to appreciate. Not all of the juniors will go on to be the next Danny Summerhill, but they will all have a greater appreciation and respect for cycling and cyclists in general, which we know is a great benefit.

What would you like to see improved at the ACA?

Though the ACA has its strengths, there is still room for improvement.

- With reintegration comes the opportunity to gain ever more exposure on the national cycling scene and, therefore, larger and diversified sources of revenue for the club. My prior experience in nonprofit marketing and development will allow me to help grow the fundraising and revenue streams, bringing the ACA in line with other nonprofits.

- Sponsorship and investment in the ACA (from those within and outside the cycling industry) will only come if we improve the return on that investment. That will happen as a result of greater membership value, greater exposure of sponsors through things like the sponsorship of BAR/BAT or Cross Cup, and so forth. Investment in the ACA will have a positive impact on the races, series, incentives to racing, junior development, and a host of other benefits at the local level, increasing the value of membership. That value will then have a positive impact on further investment. Again, having worked at a membership-based nonprofit, I will bring a new perspective to the challenge of growing investment and value hand in hand.

- The value of membership should be made more evident; both the tangible and intangible benefits of being a member of a nonprofit organization must become explicit.

- The ACA must educate its members that a nonprofit exists--and one becomes a member--because doing so supports the mission of the organization, which looks to expand and develop the sport of amateur bicycle racing in the Rocky Mountain region while ensuring quality experiences for all involved. It isn’t just an organization that issues licenses; it must be seen as an organization that benefits you, your passion for cycling, your community, and your state as a whole.

- Though the ACA has a strong membership, it will benefit from growing and diversifying that membership and improving upon its outreach efforts, knocking down barriers to turn recreational bikers into competitive cyclists and/or committed cycling advocates.

Candidate #4 Kathy Judson

The Strengths of the ACA:
We all are the American Cycling Association (ACA). Everyone has the opportunity to be part of making the ACA a better organization since it is a grassroots organization that strives to respond to the needs of its members through many avenues including races, clinics, camps and summits. If you’ve voiced a concern to someone on the board of the ACA, I am certain that the matter was dealt with in a timely manner. The ACA also makes sure that its programs are effective.

We have this level of quality because of the wonderful volunteers in all parts of the ACA from women's programs, to junior programs, to mid week race series- all of the volunteers make sure the races happen throughout the whole year.
The ACA also has committed promoters who make sure our favorite races happen each year, while also throwing in new venues or cranking up the challenge found on the courses. Throughout the many years I have raced, the promoters have tirelessly put on such incredible races. Truly without them, we would not have such a great calendar of races to choose from.

Junior Program – The juniors program is such a fantastic truly grassroots effort. Many parents and coaches dedicate hours and effort training young athletes that come into racing as total novices. The ACA makes it very affordable for the juniors so that the kids have positive, life changing experiences racing their bikes. We have junior riders graduating from our junior program who go on to race in Europe, later becoming pro racers. The ACA accommodates all levels in the juniors program and doesn't focus on only the elite junior rider. Our racers and promoters help our youth to see what a healthy, active life style looks like. The kids see the benefits of focusing on a passion in their lives, as well as seeing how being on a team can support you as a whole person, not just as a racer.
This year we have had a record number of junior racers in both Road and Cyclocross. The Junior Road and Cyclocross camps were also a hit. If we did not have a quality program for the kids, we would not have this kind of turn out at our events. I am going to be part of helping to make sure that our ACA Junior Program is stellar by taking part in the Youth/Junior Racer Summit next week.

Women’s Racing –The women's mentoring program is great. It allows women to come into the sport and get some on the bike coaching and riding skills. When I began racing, we had one women's category, but now we have several very competitive groups to race in. Even though we don't have the numbers the men do, we are very dedicated and competitive. I think this is a wonderful concept I look forward to helping to improve women’s racing in Colorado.

Men’s Racing - The men's categories are example of how the ACA listens and responds to its members. The ACA has worked with the promoters and groups to decide fair and equitable categories so more men can feel that they have a safe and fun racing experience. The men also have the ability to change categories, enabling them to respond to changes in their lives that impact their racing

Racing Officials - The ACA officials and people behind the scenes do their best to get results posted quickly. If you’ve been to a race in another state, chances are that you had to wait much longer for your results. The ACA took that issue on a while ago and has made great gains in improving the accuracy of the results, and had them public much quicker than in the past. The new timing chips that have been adopted are one means of addressing that important topic. Even now the ACA is working on improving the timing chip and result process.

The improvements and Areas to Maintain:

Expand The Types of Cycling Supported and Encouraged by the ACA -

I believe that it would be wise to look at ways to develop the ACA in a way that would encourage the inclusion of other means enjoyment of cycling. This could include triathlons, mountain biking, BMX, charity and group rides. This could also include encouraging race venues in the western and southern segments of Colorado. It would also be valuable to create more cycling outreach to help other who are new to cycling. This could include arranging clinics to help those who are new to racing learn skills that are useful to specialized types of racing such as time trials, cyclocross, road racing, BMX racing, and the various disciplines in mountain biking. It would also be useful to host bike maintenance clinics. I’d also like to see an expansion of the mentoring programs that have recently been organized by members of the ACA.

Develop a Larger Support and Funding Base - These types of improvements would help develop a larger support base and may make it possible to find more sources of funding beyond entry and membership fees. This outreach would also help the ACA become known in new areas. The ACA could also develop a more comprehensive calendar that should serve the promoters and athletes alike. A Rocky Mountain cycling calendar could be made public on sites such as 303 Cycling.

Supporting Promoters and Race Officials - I’d also like to be a part of helping the ACA transition carefully and thoughtfully as we join in with UCI. This includes supporting the wonderful promoters, judges and officials that are a key component to the successful quality racing that ACA members have enjoyed for years. It is important to me to help make this upcoming transition year one in which the ACA retains its personality while incorporating the benefits of joining with UCI.
All of this takes a ton of time and each area could have improvements. It all takes time, money, and coordinated effort. We are so fortunate that we can contribute and make a difference within a great sport - Bicycle racing in Colorado. Thank you for taking time to consider my nomination to the ACA Board of Directors.

A little about Kathy
Hello. I am Kathy Judson and I am running for a seat on the ACA Board of Directors. You might have seen me around at races and playing Vanna at the road awards party. I race in the SW 35+,45+, 55+ category. I am also a coach for the IC3 Juniors and am the head coach for the Green Mountain Composite high school mountain biking team. I’ve been a racer for most of my life. My racing has taken me all over the globe including Russia, Europe, and Costa Rica. I believe that it is important to be part of making things you care about happen. That is why I am a coach and why I want to become a member on the ACA Board of Directors.

Candidate #5 Susan Adamkovics

What are the current strengths of the ACA?

- Created a financially healthy organization.

- Strong presence in the local racing community.

- Always striving to make improvements.

- A group a quality individuals who are approachable and care about doing an
excellent job.

- Developed a phenomenal juniors program.

What would you like to see improved at the ACA?

- More support for less competitive races for individuals who wants to race, but in a
less intense environment

- The future as being a part of the USAC. It will be imperative to find other
sources of income besides membership dollars. While the quality of racing should
improve, the battle will be the financial impact the merger creates for the ACA.
I do not want to see them gradually fade away, because they have spent so many
years making it a quality association.

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