USA Gymnastics has unanimously selected Kerry J. Perry as the new president and CEO of the organization, effective December 1, 2017. Perry comes into the role after serving as the president and owner of KP Sports and the vice president of business development at Learfield Communications, Inc.
Release via USA Gymnastics
The USA Gymnastics Board of Directors announced today the unanimous decision to appoint Kerry J. Perry as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Perry assumes this role Dec. 1, 2017, and will be based at the USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis.
Perry was formerly vice president of business development at Learfield Communications, Inc., and president and owner of KP Sports, which was acquired by Learfield. In her various leadership roles, Perry has led many high-performing teams and organizations to great success, most recently in the collegiate sports field.
“We are fortunate to have someone as capable and energetic as Kerry step into this leadership role,” said Paul Parilla, chairman of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors.
Her passion for the sport, commitment to athlete safety, and track record of motivating teams to succeed will help guide our vision for the future.
As CEO of USA Gymnastics, Perry will be responsible for the strategic direction of the organization involving the day-to-day operations of the business to include safety initiatives, athlete and competitive programs, membership, staffing, marketing, event operations, communications and revenue generation. She will also serve as a representative of USA Gymnastics to the United States Olympic Committee, the International Gymnastics Federation and all other affiliated organizations.
“I am thrilled to join USA Gymnastics and I look forward to creating a culture of empowerment that encourages our athletes, our members, our families and our staff to have a strong voice as we move this incredible organization to heightened levels of achievement,” said Perry.
As a lifelong fan of the sport, I will be relentless in our pursuit of athlete safety, collaborative with our board, constituents and corporate partners, and supportive of our members, parents, and staff on our journey to making USA Gymnastics the pinnacle of success.
In April 2017, the Board approved the formation, composition, and purpose of an ad hoc Search Committee tasked with guiding the process of finding a new president and CEO of the organization. Following an exhaustive and thorough national search for qualified candidates, the Board accepted the committee’s recommendation to ask Perry to lead the organization into the future.
Commitment to Athlete Safety
In recent months, USA Gymnastics has taken several steps to increase its ability to protect athletes and create an environment of support for members and their families. Recently, the organization hired Toby Stark, who previously directed a child advocacy program, to serve as the director of safe sport. In this role, Stark leads a department focused on athlete protection. Additionally, USA Gymnastics hired Mark Busby to provide support as legal counsel, following a prestigious career handling child abuse and sex crime cases with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. By bringing these professionals to USA Gymnastics, the organization is furthering its commitment to protecting athletes.
In late June, the Board adopted the new USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy – replacing the previous Participant Welfare Policy – that includes key updates to USA Gymnastics safe sport policies and procedures, including mandatory reporting, defining six types of misconduct, setting standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction, and establishing accountability. Effective immediately, the policy outlines the scope of the organization’s commitment to promoting a safe environment, requirements and expectations placed on members, and incorporates the authority and jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Additionally, the organization is developing the implementation plan for the recommendations made by a former federal prosecutor who carefully examined the organization’s policies and procedures for handling sexual misconduct. Both of these are part of the organization’s blueprint for continually strengthening its policies and procedures to better protect athletes.