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Athlete Advisory Council

Candidates


Barrett Brandon
Fort Worth, TX – ACC

My name is Barrett Brandon and I would like to submit my name for one of the 2 vacant AAC slots. I am seeking re-election for the AAC; this past year I served as the Chair of the AAC. I have been a professional triathlete for the last 6 years and have been on the 2004 U/23 World Championship Team and the 2004, 2006, 2008 World University Games Triathlon Teams. I also have two degrees from the University of Nebraska: B.S. in Economics from the University of Nebraska and a M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Strategic Management.

In terms of my triathlon resume, I have participated in a wide range of distances (from sprint to 70.3) and raced in many countries. As a predominately ITU-focused professional, I have been able to travel and see many different sides of the sport, and how programs and athletes are successful outside the USA. I have raced extensively in Asia, lived and raced in France on the French Grand Prix circuit, and also participated in the British Triathlon Series. I love the sport of triathlon and have had some incredible opportunities that have given me unique perspective on the sport. I have a broad knowledge and interest in ALL distances of triathlon, and want the make the sport better for all elites, not just those in one genre of racing.

I believe that I can be a great ambassador for all USAT elites and effectively communicate with the Board of Directors. I have an active interest in the betterment of USAT triathlon and its elites. I believe that there are many different ways that we can make our federation better, and my experiences and education make me an excellent candidate for this job. I am excited by the idea of being a liaison between elites and the BOD as we implement best practices for our sport.

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Zachary Britton
Washington, D.C. – ACC
The Athletes’ Advisory Council is a perfect opportunity for me to give back to USA Triathlon (USAT), combining both my knowledge of the sport and legal thinking. I am an elite triathlete. I am a law student at the Georgetown University Law Center. It would be an honor to be elected to the USAT Athletes’ Advisory Council. 
USAT could improve in three ways. First, USAT could provide smaller stipends to more athletes. Second, USAT could pick development athletes from a wider variety of sports. Lastly, USAT could better mimic federations with proven track records.

Providing small stipends earlier on will give USAT a greater talent base. More athletes could take the leap from amateur to professional. Additionally, small stipends to juniors will increase the talent pool. More Under-23 athletes could enter the fray and experience international competition.
Second, picking development athletes from a wider variety of sports could improve talent levels. For example, someone who is just off the Olympic mark for cross country skiing—but who swam as a kid—might make a phenomenal triathlete. And he might not seriously consider triathlon unless placed in a development program. Similarly, many sports, besides swimming and running, provide the fitness necessary to excel in triathlon. Siri Lindley, for example, was a collegiate lacrosse player.

Lastly, adapting techniques of other federations will strengthen USAT. New Zealand and Australia, for example, have less than one-tenth the population of the United States. Yet they are consistently producing Olympic medalists and world champions. Their federations are doing something right. Figuring out what that is will benefit USAT. It might be as simple as increasing the visibility of triathlon in the United States. Alternatively, it could be as complex as getting the federal government to subsidize training programs.


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Athlete Director Position

Candidate



Steve Sexton
Pilot Hill, CA –Athlete Director Position


For the past 18 months, it has been my honor to represent elite athletes on the USAT Board of Directors. A PROTA member, I am a PhD candidate in applied economics at UC Berkeley. I have raced triathlon professionally since 2006 and am a member of USAT's Project 2012 squad. I began triathlon at UC Berkeley, where I served two years as treasurer and one year as president of Cal Triathlon.

During my tenure on the USAT board, I have fought to improve opportunities for elite athletes by promoting fairness on the field of play and enhancing the financial viability of elite athlete careers. I was instrumental in stopping efforts to reduce elite athlete representation on the USAT board; in securing funding for a domestic elite draft-legal series and a domestic ITU World Championship Series event; in stopping a proposal for additional drug testing that would have been ineffective and cost $400,000 or more per year; and in reducing the elite license membership fee to $39 from $100. I have advocated judicious use of USAT funds based on results-oriented budgeting and careful cost-benefit analysis. I succeeded in reducing ancillary spending across several budget line items in 2010—a first according to long-time board members. The savings were used to bolster elite athlete support. I have also fought to have the user fee for ITU WCS events eliminated.
With a unanimous vote of support from my fellow board members in January, I became the first athlete representative to serve as USAT Treasurer. Last year, I was also selected to participate on the search committee for the new CEO.

Triathlon continues to grow and the landscape for elite racing is changing quickly with new series, new formats, and new scoring and prize money breakdowns. It is therefore important that elite athletes have effective representation to the USAT board, which greatly shapes the way we experience our sport. My ability to analyze programs and effectively argue on behalf of elite athletes makes me a strong addition to the capable team of athlete representatives on the USAT Board. It has been very rewarding to work with fellow athlete representatives Dave Kuendig and Victor Plata in protecting the interests of elite athletes and in ensuring for all USAT members that their federation functions at the highest level to promote the multisport lifestyle. It would be an honor to continue to represent you for the next two years.

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