Reflections from the AAU President

I sit here after almost two years as the President of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, Inc. (AAU), I reflect on where the AAU was and how far it has come. As we continue to move forward, the AAU along with its officers have implemented some changes that have made it the leader in the industry.

The AAU has implemented background screenings for all adult members and we developed an event hosting information packet which includes a Youth Protection Handbook.

We received numerous calls from parents asking various questions so I have asked the National staff to build a "Parent Page," which will aid in educating parents on who the AAU is, what we are all about and how the AAU works.

We started a Leadership Conference which will take place every off-year of the National Convention so we may continue to conduct the business of the AAU. During this Leadership Conference meetings are held among the Board of Directors and Sport Committees. Attendees have the opportunity to also attend educational sessions held by directors from the AAU National Staff.

We have worked hard to provide insurance for our AAU District Officers.

We are now also sending out a bulletin style email to help cut down on the numerous single-send event emails our customers are receiving daily. The bulletin is released at the end of every week and is chock full of event information and important news from the AAU.

A new membership application was put in place by the officers and facilitated by our Membership and IT departments. We now explain our membership programs in the very first steps of the application process. The application will more clearly explain the differences between extended benefit memberships versus the regular memberships to help our customers better understand the benefits of each.

We have taken a close look at the medal and shipping costs and made an adjustment. The IT department and MTM are working on developing an electronic medal order program. Our medals have changed for the 2014 year. AAU Medals will now have no date, but come with an exclusive dated AAU lanyard. AAU medal lanyards will change from year to year.

After receiving numerous calls on concussions, we decided the issue needed to be addressed, so a concussion policy was developed with the help of our Compliance Department and legal counsel.
I, along with the Boys' Basketball Committee, have moved some of the Boys' Basketball Nationals to Louisville, Kentucky this year! We are excited to work with Louisville and have high hopes that this will be a remarkable transition for our basketball program.

We continue to work on other projects to ensure that we are and will remain at the top of the youth sports' world. The AAU and the National Officers will not wave a white flag at our competing organizations.

I believe that in life, you are known for three things: the problems you create, the problems you do nothing about and the problems you solve. What I strive to do each and every day is do the right thing, for the right reasons, for the right people, to get the right results. As long as you do the right thing, you don't have to worry because it's honest.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the AAU Governors for their hard work and for the information received from the Governors' meeting. I support the Governors' information for the Board of Directors and all of their efforts and plan to hold a Board of Directors meeting in August.
I would like to thank everyone for your time.

Have a great AAU Summer!

Henry Forrest,
President & CEO

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