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Restructuring Announcement From the CWA Board

Wednesday, April 22, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Dear Members and Stakeholders,


After much deliberation, we, the CWA Board of Directors, have decided to restructure the organization. Our industry has experienced explosive, unprecedented growth over the last few years. We have concluded that the CWA must also grow to better serve our community of members and stakeholders specifically and the indoor climbing industry generally. The on-going coronavirus pandemic has only highlighted this conclusion more. As a result, we are making the following major changes.


First, we are restructuring the organization’s leadership. The Board of Directors will take on a greater role in the direction and culture of the CWA, including the reinstatement of the Board’s Executive Committee. We are also removing, effective immediately, the position of President/CEO and replacing it with the position of Executive Director (ED). With an Executive Director steering and guiding the staff and the Board having greater engagement and involvement, we are instituting a more traditional non-profit governance model for the CWA.


While we search for a permanent Executive Director, Garnet Moore, the CWA’s Director of Operations, will act as interim ED. Many of you will have already spoken or heard from Garnet as he has bravely and skillfully spearheaded and steered the staff’s ongoing efforts in response to COVID-19. Garnet will serve in this role for the foreseeable future as we will not begin our search for a permanent ED until after the coronavirus pandemic has sufficiently abated.


After finding its permanent ED, the Board will work with the new ED to review and revise, if necessary, the CWA’s long-term strategic goals and plans to better serve you, our members and stakeholders, and our industry as a whole. In the meantime, we are working closely with Garnet and the staff to develop programs and provide resources for all of us in this time of shared crisis and upheaval. Like us, CWA members and stakeholders should turn to Garnet and the staff for all their current needs and inquiries.


Second, we are establishing the new position of Policy Director, which will report directly to the Board and will focus directly on the industry’s ever-growing needs for regulatory work and standards development. Our industry’s recent growth will bring greater scrutiny and responsibility to all of us; the Board is taking this step to dedicate attention and resources appropriately. As with the ED position, we do not believe it wise to make a permanent hire for the position at this time. We will conduct that search in parallel, or immediately following, our retention of a permanent ED.


In the meantime, we are currently in discussions with Bill Zimmermann, our outgoing President/CEO, for him to remain as a consultant to fulfill some of the duties of the future Policy Director. We think this would be an excellent fit for Bill—a homecoming of sorts. Regulatory work and standards development were Bill’s first passions in our industry. As the industry and CWA grew explosively in the last few years, Bill spent less of his time devoted to either of these needs. We will let you know whether Bill and the CWA decide to continue working together; or whether he takes this opportunity to chart a new course for himself.


In either case, we are very thankful for everything Bill has done for and on behalf of the indoor climbing industry over his many years of service with the CWA, including establishing the CWA Summit and fostering the growth of our certification programs. Bill’s work and stewardship provided the CWA with a solid foundation to support our industry during this difficult time.


Thank you for your ongoing support of the CWA—its present and its future. Without your support, the CWA would not have the resources to promote the growth, health, independence, and professionalism of the indoor climbing industry. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with you—our incredible community.


The Climbing Wall Association Board of Directors


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