Courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Committee Communications Division
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Dartmouth's Nina Kemppel has been named as one of five finalists for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) board of directors during its meeting in Redwood City, Calif. on Dec. 16. The five finalists have been recommended to the full board by its Nominating and Governance Committee (NGC), following an application phase, a thorough vetting process and individual interviews.
"I'd like to thank Jair Lynch and the entire NGC for leading this important initiative," said Larry Probst, chairman of the USOC. "The candidates being put forward for consideration are world class leaders, each with unique experiences and perspectives to bring to our organization, and I look forward to reviewing the nominations with the full board.
Four of the new directors will fill seats created by the board's implementation of the recommendations of the Paul Tagliabue-led independent advisory committee. The four seats are designated to be filled by two independent directors, one representative of the National Governing Body Council (NGBC) and one representative of the Athletes' Advisory Council (AAC).
The fifth new director will fill a vacant position and is also designated as an independent seat. As part of its charge, the NGC was directed to ensure that at least one of the new directors had Paralympic sport leadership or experience.
"I'm grateful to the diverse and distinguished group of people that put their name forward for these important positions," said Jair Lynch, chairman of the NGC. "We have the luxury of considering this country's best and brightest and nominating five incredibly accomplished individuals to serve on the USOC board of directors. I'm especially pleased that three of the nominees have direct experience and passion for Paralympic sport and expanded opportunities for disabled athletes. I believe the USOC will be well-served by the nominees' leadership, and I look forward to discussing their qualifications with the full board."
The nominees for consideration by the board are:
Robbie Bach (independent): Robbie Bach spent 22 years with Microsoft, recently retiring from his position as the president of the company's entertainment and devices division. Mr. Bach is an expert on digital media issues, with specific expertise on creating compelling entertainment experiences across music, gaming, video and mobile communications. In addition, Mr. Bach is a past chair and current member of the National Board of Governors for the Boys and Girls Club of America, a member of the Multi-Sport Organizations Council (MSOC).
James M. Benson (independent): James Benson is the past CEO of John Hancock, a former Olympic sponsor. Mr. Benson is currently CEO of Benson Botsford, LLC, a private investment firm; the founder and chairman of World T.E.A.M. Sports, an organization dedicated to providing opportunities through sport for people with disabilities; and a member of the board of directors of the Achilles International, a non-profit track club for disabled athletes. The Committee believes that Mr. Benson's passion for and experience supporting disabled athletes will provide a perspective on Paralympic sport needed on the USOC Board, and that his leadership skills will energize and support the Movement.
Nina Kemppel (AAC): A current vice-chair of the AAC, Nina Kemppel is a four-time Olympian in cross-country skiing. She is the chair of the AAC Athlete Support Division, recently chaired the USOC Working Group for Safe Training Environments and currently serves on the AAC Paralympic Task Force. Ms. Kemppel has been actively engaged for many years with various USOC constituent groups within the Olympic Movement. She holds degrees from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (MBA) and Dartmouth College (BA), and is a principal at the Coraggio Group, a consulting firm focused on business strategy, organizational change and guiding businesses in developing new revenue streams.
Susanne Lyons (independent): Most recently Visa USA's chief marketing officer, Susanne Lyons is a retired senior executive with extensive global experience. Ms. Lyons has more than 25 years of expertise in marketing, business strategy, human resources and revenue generation. She has served on public, private, advisory and not-for-profit boards, and has past experience with the Olympic Movement as a key executive of a significant global Olympic sponsor.
Dave Ogrean (NGBC): Dave Ogrean is the executive director of USA Hockey and has extensive experience in sports administration, fundraising, marketing and media. He has been associated with the Olympic movement for more than 30 years and is intimately familiar with both NGB and USOC operations, having served on the staff and as a volunteer of both. Further, through USA Hockey, Mr. Ogrean oversees the operations of the US sled hockey program for the Paralympic Games, and as such has direct experience running a Paralympic sport program.