Board Of Direction

Don Decker: Board of Direction

When Chuck and Becky Stiggins stepped away from the organization, the role and engagement level of the board of directors changed out of necessity. Ultimately, this increased engagement is going to be a huge part of the light that shows the way forward in the pivotal months and years to come.

It has already proven to be critical, as demonstrated by the selection of the CSCCa Executive Team and the decision to move the CSCCa National Office to Austin, Texas.

“I’ve sat on the board now for several years, and every major decision was always made through the board. That part has been constant,” says Don Decker, President of the CSCCa Board of Directors and strength and conditioning coach for the past 20 years. “But, as far as hiring the executive staff and moving the national office, those two things had been set in stone for 21 years. So, the engagement and role from the board took on new meaning. Those two projects have really evolved the board positions now into a much more active role.”

Decker says that Dr. Stiggins’ vision, guidance, singular focus and determination were a force for progress within the organization. Now that the Board of Directors has taken on a more direct role in each of those facets, they have the opportunity to make a positive impact during a period of obvious change within the organization.

“We have to define our direction, and it only makes sense to have all hands on deck,” says Decker. “It’s important to over-communicate and make sure we’re moving in the right direction. In the past, we would meet a few times throughout the year. Now we meet at least once a month and sometimes more.”

Because of the pandemic and its effect on in-person activities, the board has learned to take advantage of technology tools like Zoom to hold virtual face-to-face meetings.

“It certainly facilitates that opportunity, because when you’re talking about 11 board members in 11 different places, it’s not always easy to make that work,” says Decker. “It’s much easier to rally all those people together. So there’s been a shift in our communication strategy that makes it possible, but it’s also important for any future board members to understand and recognize the time commitment that’ll come with the position.”

A growing commitment of a board member’s time is just one of the natural extensions of involvement board members will have going forward with the organization and its membership, and rightly so. There are numerous opportunities the board must explore and decide for themselves which of them best serve the interests of the association and those it serves.

“When we look at the foundation and the platform that we stand on, from the boards in the past and from their commitment, as well as the work that Chuck and Becky have put in, we’re currently standing on the shoulders of phenomenal leadership,” Decker says. “It’s just a different time in the organization and there are a lot of new components right now and things we’re looking at to continue to enhance our organization and really meet the needs of our members. We want to continue to produce the same type of excellence as we have in the past.”

Chuck and Becky Stiggins always sought to make the life of the strength coach better in as many ways as possible. Were you to pull the curtains back on the way they conducted those activities and look at how the board of directors is now conducting them, certainly, you’d find differences in approach. That is a matter of necessity. But the ultimate goal — to produce and continue to build a phenomenal organization that works on behalf of the strength coach — remains the same. Certainly, different hands now guide the course of the CSCCa, but the excellence and high standards the members have come to expect from the association remains front and center.

“The board recognizes that there’s a shift being made. There’s obviously a void that we thought would happen when Chuck and Becky stepped away,” Decker says. “Now we’re trying to figure out every way we can to make sure that we don’t take a step back. And whatever commitment that takes from us as board members, whatever commitment that takes from the executive team or the team that’s in the national office, it’s an opportunity to say to all, that there is no job too big, no job too small. Let’s roll our sleeves up and let’s make sure that we honor our past leadership by making sure that we keep this thing moving forward.”

The board of directors and the executive team of the CSCCa want the CSCCa membership to know that they appreciate the ideas and conversations they regularly hold. The brainstorming and concepts that come from those conversations are incredibly valuable.

If there’s one thing the CSCCa’s leadership wants the CSCCa membership to understand about the transition of leadership and direction of the organization, it’s this: We’re listening.

“For something to change and have those changes implemented, it’s not some huge, bureaucratic process that takes forever to implement,” says Decker. “I want everyone to know that we really, really value and take seriously these elected positions. We know that we’re representing, you, the membership. And we’re elected out of the membership. And, it’s important for the CSCCa membership to know that the executive team and the board of directors are not just listening. We are actively pursuing, as quickly as humanly possible, all things that will benefit them in the very near future.”