USA Table Tennis (USATT), the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, has announced the hiring of Gordon Kaye as its new chief executive officer. In this role, Kaye will be responsible for increasing USATT’s brand awareness and growing its more than 9,000-person membership.
Often thought of as a recreational past-time, research from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association indicates that there may be more than 17 million people in the U.S. who play table tennis (often referred to as Ping-Pong). The USATT has as its mission a goal to engage with recreational and tournament players alike, uniting the sport and providing opportunities to enhance the USA’s presence and competitiveness on the world stage.
“This is a pivotal time for USATT. We are excited to invest in an executive of Gordon’s caliber and experience. His expertise will help us as we examine and address the challenges and opportunities we face as an organization,” said Michael Babuin, USATT Board Chairman. “Gordon’s proven track record of success as an agent of strategic and successful evolution will help USATT better serve its members and bring increased exposure to the sport.”
A USATT member since 2009 and table tennis aficionado, Kaye brings more than 20 years of diverse sports management experience to the organization. Most recently, Kaye was the Executive Director/General Manager of Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment (RAVE). The entities for which Kaye was responsible, the BMO Harris Bank Center, American Hockey League (AHL) Rockford IceHogs, Davis Park and the Coronado Theater, all saw record attendance and sales growth and increased visibility under his leadership. Earlier this year Kaye was honored with the 2013-2014 James C. Hendy Memorial Award which is given annually to an outstanding AHL executive.
“I’ve personally experienced the greatness of the sport, the environment and the culture. There are very few times in life where you get the opportunity to marry your professional background with your passion,” said Kaye. “I am honored to be chosen to lead this new era of USA Table Tennis and to have the opportunity to grow the organization and the sport.”
Kaye holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from Hamilton College, a master’s degree in sport management/physical education from Indiana University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
About USA Table Tennis: USATT is the national governing body for table tennis in the United States. Created in 1933 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., its staff serves the 9,000-plus members and approximately 300 clubs affiliated with USATT. It oversees a wide variety of membership services, the national teams, rules of the game and numerous online instructional and historical articles. USATT is governed and run by the nine-member board of directors, committees and professional staff. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the world governing body for table tennis, as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).