WBCA board seats new directors at annual summer meeting

Association to explore change in how board members are selected

ATLANTA (August 2, 2022) — The WBCA Board of Directors seated five new directors on its roster during its annual summer meeting — its first in person since 2019 — held July 28 at the Renaissance Gateway Hotel at Atlanta Airport.

Joining the board as new directors this year are:

  • Cheytoria Penny, associate director of campus life finance at Emory University, who replaces Lacey Lewis as association treasurer.
  • Dave Slifer, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Central Missouri, who replaces Jason Martens as NCAA Division II Director At Large.
  • Gene Hill, head women’s basketball coach at Georgia State University, who replaces Kenny Brooks as Director At Large.
  • Kelly Black-Holmes, news and sports litigation vice president and associate general counsel at Warner Bros. Discovery; who replaces Nels Hawkinson as Public Sector Director.
  • Be Stoney, associate professor of physical and multicultural education at Kansas State University, who replaces Martha Putallaz as Faculty Athletic Representative.

“We are deeply grateful to Lacey Lewis, Jason Martens, Kenny Brooks, Nels Hawkinson and Martha Putallaz for their years of service to the WBCA and their commitment to the coaching profession and the sport of women’s and girls’ basketball,” said WBCA President Cori Close, head women’s basketball coach at UCLA. “Each of them will be missed.

“Likewise, we are pleased to welcome Cheytoria, Dave, Gene, Kelly and Be to the board. Each will bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to our discussions. I look forward to working with them as we strive to strengthen the association, our profession and grow the sport.”

The board received and discussed a staff presentation on representative vs. functional board of directors models for nonprofit associations. Representative boards are those in which directors are elected by various constituent groups. Functional boards are those in which directors are identified, recruited and selected by the board itself. The current WBCA board is a hybrid of the two models.

The WBCA Nominating Committee in March first raised the question of whether the current board model in which the majority of directors is elected by the membership still serves the best interests of the association. The rapidly evolving landscape of college athletics and the uncertainty about who will ultimately become the key decisionmakers in this space may require the board in the future to think more strategically, act more deliberately, and rely more heavily on individual board members to engage one on one with leaders at the national and conference levels. This approach may be necessary to advance the WBCA’s agenda and better ensure its position as an influencer in the decision-making process so that the association can continue to promote and protect the women’s basketball coaching profession and the sport itself.

The board authorized the Nominating Committee and staff to move forward with developing a formal proposal for transitioning the board from its current hybrid format to a functional model. Any change in how board members are selected will require approval of the active membership through a bylaw amendment. Provided the board approves the proposal at its virtual meeting in December, such an amendment will be presented to active members for vote in a special business session during the 2023 WBCA Convention in Dallas.

During its seven-hour meeting, the board also:

  • Reviewed and approved a $2.2 million operating budget for the 2022-23 association year. The budget includes slight increases in membership dues and convention registration fees to mitigate the effects of inflation.
  • Discussed the schedule for the 2023 WBCA Convention in Dallas and received an update on the hotel situation for the 2024 convention in Cleveland.
  • Was briefed on the possibility the NCAA will expand the NCAA College Basketball Academy to include girls’ basketball.
  • Heard a presentation by Laura Barnard, founder of BREAKTHRU Brands, and recently retired Harvard University head women’s basketball coach Kathy Delaney Smith on the potential for an affinity partnership between the WBCA and BREAKTHRU Brands to provide personal branding training to member coaches.
  • Received reports on the following:

— The WBCA’s corporate partnership program.
— The ongoing “Our Fair Shot” gender equity initiative and the “Coaches+” partnership with NABC and TeamWorks Media.
— The “Canada Basketball Globl Jam” at which VCU’s women’s basketball program represented the United States. VCU head coach Beth O’Boyle, who serves on the WBCA board, shared with her fellow board members her team’s experience at the event held in early July in Toronto.
— The NABC-WBCA joint amicus brief to be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina admission policies.

The WBCA Board of Directors is the principle governing authority of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The board, composed of 24 voting directors and five nonvoting directors, interprets and enforces the association’s bylaws and provides strategy planning for and oversight of the association’s executive director, staff, finances, programs and initiatives. The board meets three times annually.

About the WBCA
For 40 years, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association has been the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. Founded in 1981, the WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit WBCA.org for more details about the association.

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