USA Rugby Chairman Priorities/first 100 days – Tony Ridnell 5

  1. CEO/Chair Relationship – Meet with USAR CEO Dan Payne.  Align 100%. Establish tone for our relationship.
  2. Announcement to USA Rugby community. Settle the dissention and lack of transparency and understanding regarding ‘The Board’ and USAR. Provide leadership both domestically and to the global community. Destroy the “we/they” culture that currently exists and grows by the day.
  3. Culture:  Immediately begin to establish culture of the organization to include; transparency, accountability, generative tone and 100% integrity at all times. There is no wrong answer. There is no ‘fear’.
  4. Ensure Code of Conduct is understood and rigidly adhered to throughout the organization. Ensure 100% alignment w/ CEO. There will no fraternization tolerated between USAR employees, coaches, players, etc..  Enough said. Referee abuse?
  5. Internal Relationships – Calls to Board/Congress/Staff and other key stakeholders who may feel disenfranchised through this transition.
  6. Finance/Brand:  Reach out to American financial stakeholders, and other personal contacts (including several Fortune 500 Chief Executives I know personally), other global rugby sponsors and personally find out the disconnect between USA Rugby and the rest of the world.  Find out what is expected from these financial hitters to create a world class brand, and then create it.
  7. Meet w/ RIM.  Thorough internal audit. Seek outside assistance thru various senior level financial and sports management contacts.  This includes everything from ownership interest, mission, performance (financial) and a review of each employee.  Note, USAR CEO does not have operational control of RIM.   Upon completion of audit, announce to the American Rugby community the status of RIM, USAR financing, etc… to create ultimate confidence in the membership.
  8. Women’s Rugby – Gather stakeholders of Women’s Rugby.  Assess the issues, complaints.  Create actions accordingly
  9. Youth/HS – I need to learn more.  Take action to meet key stakeholders in this key silo.
  10. College: Gather men/women stakeholders.  Listen.  Gain alignment on scheduling, championships.  Specifically:  Endowments, how can we assist in the creation of rugby endowments?  Women:  Are we satisfied with our Title IX Varsity initiative? Drive it.
  11. Philanthropy:  Arrange meetings with all significant benefactors.  Discuss their issues/concerns. Create Actions accordingly
  12. RWC 2027:  Immediately announce USAR intent to host RWC 2027 as Gus Pichot of Argentina has already done. Let the world know our intent.
  13. World Rugby Relationships:  Contact CEO’s and Chairmen of the major rugby playing competitions/nations and assess their thoughts on USA. Open ended conversation.  Listen.
  14. USA Leadership Team:  Gather at HQ with entire leadership team to include USAR CEO, RIM Chair, RIM CEO, Will Chang, other key stakeholders of my choice or whom are recommended. This would include the sports entertainment community, the rugby sports management business, key players from RBEA, several engaged congress members for 3 days.   Create a mission, vision, culture document to publish to the American rugby community.  Will support Strat 2020 but go beyond. There is one press pass (:-))
  15. Operational – Assuming we have RWC 2027 to host (but regardless of that) what do we need to work back in all the silos/hills to die on to make that happen and succeed on the field at RWC 2027.   Academies, camps, pro, elite, rep, College, HS, AA’s , boys girls men and women.
  16. Full Time Jobs – Create initiative to increase the number of full time employed rugby to a level we determine.
  17. Pathways – Ensure CEO is working to create framework of organization and vertical paths for players, referee’s, coaches and clubs to navigate clearly.
  18. Integration of Professional Rugby:   Gain alignment of key stakeholders and establish vision, particularly regarding Overseas entities.
  19. Rugby Business Executive’s Association:  Immediately engage George Henderson for support from RBEA for operational assistance (i.e. Legal work/inside counsel? Executive Asst for Dan Payne?).
    Ensure that DP and George know that I as Chair support his efforts at RBEA 100% and there will be 100% transparency with this group.
  20. CEO/Chair Q & A:  Create opening for CEO/Chair Q & A online (CEO has done one of these.  Build on it)
  21. Report back to the Rugby Community.

Note, this list is not all-inclusive and there is significant work to be done. (Written in 20 minutes).  Allow me permission to start.

Other articles/video’s I have published on these topics:



  1. Pingback: Video & Message to USA Rugby Congress & all Members of the American Rugby Community: « Tony Ridnell

  2. Pingback: Grow the game? Let’s also Retain the Game. Rugby for Life! « Tony Ridnell

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