The Board of Directors of USA Racquetball announced the appointment of Mike L. Wedel to the position of executive director, effective November 1, 2018.
The Board of Directors formed an Executive Director Search Committee in early August and partnered with an experienced talent acquisition professional to serve as a consultant and lead the process toward finding a new executive director. The committee consisted of four Board members as well as Steve Czarnecki, a former USA Racquetball executive director.
The position was posted on numerous websites and generated 60+ applications. The top applicants participated in an email survey and were phone screened. From there, finalists met in person with the committee for live interviews. This week, the full Board voted unanimously to offer the position to Mr. Wedel.
Scott Fish, a Board member who served on the Search Committee, is enthusiastic about this selection and racquetball's direction. "Like many in the close-knit racquetball community, we are looking for a catalyst, a leader who will help grow the sport, engage with the next generation of players, and support local and national initiatives. When we evaluated the many applicants, it became clear that knowledge of our sport, our community, and our culture was vitally important. I'm excited for Mike to weave his considerable business growth experience into our sport."
Mike Wedel hails from Louisburg, Kansas, where he serves as past president and current vice president of the Kansas Racquetball Association. He was elected to the USA Racquetball Board of Directors in May 2015 and currently serves as vice president. Wedel holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Baker University, and his prior business experience includes printing, manufacturing, sports management, general management, and, most recently, Director of Acquisitions for Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City and Topeka, Kansas. Wedel contributes additionally on two 501c3 Boards in his community. He is an A level racquetball player and an experienced tournament director.
USA Racquetball Board President Dan Whitley commented, "Mike Wedel brings skills to USA Racquetball that include strategic planning, marketing, project management, budget planning/P&L management, team building, and staff development. In the time we have worked together on the USA Racquetball Board of Directors, I have observed and appreciated his professionalism, integrity, and work ethic. His down-to-earth style makes him highly approachable. Mike listens to others and values their input and feedback."
Commenting on his new position, Wedel said, "I thank the Search Committee for their dedication and the thorough job they did over the past two months. I am honored to be selected for this incredible opportunity. I fully understand the challenges and opportunities our great sport has before it, and I look forward to working with each of the key racquetball groups to bring a unified approach to growth. Racquetball players are a passionate bunch, and USA Racquetball will explore new ways to build upon that passion. We need everyone working side by side on grassroots approaches to growing the sport."
Wedel attended the US OPEN Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in October to connect in his new role with USA Racquetball members and leaders in the sport.
About USA Racquetball: USA Racquetball, founded in 1969, is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport. The organization annually conducts six national championships and sanctions hundreds of tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. The organization also organizes the Adult and Junior National Racquetball Teams, oversees the Official Rules of Racquetball, administers National Player Rankings, manages a college scholarship program, and supports the introduction of new players to the sport.