From the CEO: Life is a Team Sport


This story appears in the May/June edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

There’s nothing like a deadline to get you focused. USA Lacrosse Magazine editor Matt DaSilva knows I need one and always gives me plenty of runway to submit my thoughts for this column. You wouldn’t think the opportunity to write a few words about whatever’s on my mind would create such angst for me, but it always does. Writing succinctly and cohesively doesn’t come as easily to me as it once did.

Putting fingers to keys for this column was particularly difficult because it comes soon after the announcement that I will step down as CEO of USA Lacrosse this year. It’s been a great run, but it’s time. I’m ready for a change, the organization is well-positioned to achieve greater levels of accomplishment under new leadership and I look forward to watching the next stages of evolution and growth unfold.

Life is a team sport, every achievement the result of collective effort. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by many passionate, selfless people who have served throughout the organization’s volunteer leadership structure. And my fellow staff members, past and present, have always been the heart and soul of USA Lacrosse. Their dedication and cumulative contribution to mission success has been consistent and extraordinary.

When I was hired as executive director of the former Lacrosse Foundation back in 1984, I didn’t realize that I had found my purpose. Only recently did I gain the perspective to reach that conclusion. Sometimes you just get so caught up in something that your only focus is the next issue, the next challenge. And then you realize 37 years have passed. An old story, for sure, but new for me.

I’m incredibly proud of what USA Lacrosse has accomplished, none of which would have been possible without widespread support from members, donors and sponsors, and the engagement of so many stakeholders. It’s been a distinct privilege to serve the sport over these many years, and I give thanks each day for the countless opportunities and experiences I’ve had since board members Jim Grieves and Mickey Webster took a chance on a 24-year-old Tar Heel many years ago.

Mickey died in 2012, but Nancy — his wife of 52 years — reached out to share her belief that Mickey would be proud of what the organization has accomplished. And a recent letter from Jim, who turns 89 in June, expressed similar sentiments. There can be no greater sense of fulfillment for me.

My purpose has come full circle.

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