USAPM Nominating Committee Announces At-Large USAPM Board Candidates For Upcoming General Election

by USA Modern Pentathlon

Nominations of the Nominating Committee of USA Pentathlon Multisport to At-Large Seats of USA Pentathlon Multisport Board of Directors


USA Pentathlon Multisport (“USAPM”) is the National Governing Body for the sport of Modern Pentathlon.  On November 24, 2021, USAPM’s Board of Directors provided notice to the membership of USAPM that a BOD election would be held from January 25-29, 2022.  Pursuant to the USAPM bylaws, the Nominating Committee (“Committee”) has completed its work for this election and provides this report to the members.


The Nominating Committee used the USAPM Bylaw language exclusively to guide its process and deliberations.  This report is structured around that Bylaw language in an effort to provide complete transparency for the membership on how the deliberations occurred and how the conclusions were reached.  Please read this report in its entirety.  Bylaw language is italicized, narrative language is in bold typeface.


Section 9.15. Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall have the responsibilities as follows:

a. The Nominating Committee shall be selected by a process determined by the Board of Directors.

b. The members of the Nominating Committee shall serve for terms of four (4) years or less. An individual shall not serve on the Nominating Committee for more than two (2) consecutive terms.

c. The Committee shall be comprised of only one (1) independent member of the Board of Directors. Members of the Nominating Committee, other than the independent director, shall be precluded from serving as a Board director or in any other USA Pentathlon MultiSport capacity, whether governance or on staff, for a period of one (1) year after their service on the Nominating Committee ends.

The current Nominating Committee is comprised of four individuals.  Will Brady (athlete representative), Jan Soderstrom, Steve Skubic, and Barry Matchett (independent Board member). 

d. The Nominating Committee shall:

1. identify and evaluate prospective candidates for the Board;

The Committee identified and contacted or received contact from ten individuals.  Of those ten, the Committee received six formal letters of inquiry and resumes.  The Committee narrowed that list and interviewed the top five individuals during the month of January.  The criteria the Committee used in our evaluation is detailed below in section (e) 1-7.   

2. nominate individuals to serve on the Board as provided in these Bylaws;

The Committee is nominating Tom Shepard, Blair Driggs, and Melanie Henning for election to the Board. 

3. recommend, as requested by the Board, individuals to serve on various committees and task forces;

The Committee has not been asked by the Board to nominate individuals to serve on various committees and task forces however, based on feedback received during the interview process the Committee is strongly recommending the Board create the following: an international relations committee and ask Emily deRiel (2000 Olympic Silver Medalist) to serve on that committee; a member relations committee and ask Avery Niemann to serve on that committee; and a leadership succession planning committee.  

4. consult with the Ethics Committee with respect to vetting all nominations for potential conflict of interest or other problematic background issues;

No conflicts or problematic background issues were found for any candidate.

5. perform such other duties as assigned by the Board.

e. In considering a candidate for nomination to the Board, the Nominating Committee takes into consideration:

1. the candidate’s contribution to the effective functioning of the USA Pentathlon MultiSport;

Please see #3 for the combined evaluation of this and criteria #3.

2. any potential or impending change in the candidate's principal area of responsibility with his or her company or in his or her employment;

No concerns exist for any nominee on this criteria.

3. whether the candidate continues to bring relevant experience to the Board;

All candidates identified professional or life experiences that would be additive to the Board.  The Committee found the final three nominees have exceptional experience.  The Committee placed management or Board experience in the Olympic movement at a premium. 

Tom Shepard is currently the President of the Board of USAPM.  His involvement in the Olympic movement is deep.  Not only has he been involved with a primary Olympic sponsor for decades in his professional life, he is the Chairman of the Commercial Awareness and Revenue Working Group of the USOPC.  That group, which includes 55 Olympic sports, is focused on how to increase revenue for athlete support outside of the traditional USOPC funding structure.  Mr. Shepard impressed upon the Committee his commitment to increasing athlete support, to increase sponsorship of USAPM, and to continue to receive clean audits from independent auditors and the USOPC.

Blair Driggs has been involved in USAPM for almost 50 years as an athlete, AAC representative, USOC Board member, UIPM Athlete Association officer, international judge, and USAPM board member.  His professional experience as an attorney provides USAPM a very significant benefit as he brings a deep understanding of the many compliance issues the organization needs to meet.  Mr. Driggs impressed upon the Committee his focus on keeping the sport in the Olympics in a way that benefits, not breaks, the sport.  His focus is on how to improve all aspects of the athlete’s experience in the sport, with a heavy emphasis on additional funding. 

Melanie Henning has been involved in USAPM for many years in several capacities.  Professionally she holds a PHd in psychology with deep experience in athlete performance.  She has run her own business for many years and through that work has become experienced in USADA, WADA and Safe Sport regulations and compliance. Her focus for Board work is quickly expanding the efforts already underway to acquire sponsorships for athletes and USAPM.  Her professional ties to companies with whom she has a relationship are the targets of sponsorship support for the 2024 cycle.

4. whether the candidate has the ability to attend meetings and fully participate in the activities of the Board;

All candidates expressed a willingness to attend meetings and fully participate in the activities of the Board however the Committee has some concern about the ability of an international applicant who would be many time zones outside of the US. 

5. the candidate’s reputation for personal integrity and commitment to ethical conduct;

All nominees reputations for personal integrity and commitment to ethical conduct is excellent.  The Nominating Committee was struck by how every candidate noted the importance of ethical conduct in their personal lives and as one of their motivations for their desire for service on the Board. 

6. the NGB’s need for a diverse Board; and

The Committee found the gender diversity of the candidate pool to be satisfactory.  It is the Committee’s observation that Modern Pentathlon has traditionally seen a fairly homogenous membership and board, especially in terms of ethnicity.  The Committee urges the Board to continue to emphasize the importance of recruiting and developing athletes with diverse backgrounds.  It is the Committee’s observation that the United States is a highly diverse country and a highly diverse athlete pool will broaden the appeal of the sport.  We believe that a strong emphasis on recruitment of diverse candidates for the 2024 Board of Directors election would be beneficial to USAPM.

7. whether the candidate has developed any relationships with another organization or a business interest related to the sport, or other circumstances have arisen, that might make it inappropriate for the director to serve or to continue serving on the Board.

The Committee did not find that any candidate had or has any relationships that might make it inappropriate for the director to serve or to continue serving on the Board.  The candidates all exhibit a very high level of integrity.


In conclusion, the Committee found all applicants to the Board to be extraordinary people.  The work of the Committee was very difficult but we believe these nominees are what USAPM needs now.  We strongly encourage all members, but especially the applicants not named in this recommendation, to actively engage in continued support of the sport, of USAPM and of the individual athletes who will represent the United States at the Senior, Junior, Youth and Masters level in 2022 and beyond. 


January 21, 2022