Jim Elias spent the last eleven years working at USA Track & Field. His roles have been CFO, Chief Operating officer, and recently, Managing Director of Business Affairs.
Eleven years ago, USA Track & Field was in a world of hurt. Some had made the argument, at the time, that the easier route might have been bankruptcy. Former CEO Craig Masback’s responded by hiring Jim Elias to help bring USA Track & Field into the real business world.
What did Elias do? He had the governing body of the sport act as a real business: Business reports, budgets, negotiations, Elias did all of that and more. In being the heavy, Elias took more than his share of complaints. Changing years of poor management is not a simple process: it is evolution. Evolution, as I am want to say, is a terribly painful process, and in the evolution of USATF into a more modern sports business, Jim was an easy focal point. In truth, the changes were much more complicated than that, and Elias was the point guy on some difficult changes. It is not a job that most of us would have wanted.
I negotiated deals with Mr. Elias, and I worked with him on many projects. We had our differences, but we always understood that this was business. I also spent time with him on a casual basis, even watching a basketball game with Jim’s mother-the archtyple professional basketball fan!
Jim Elias, a trained CPA, and a very competent runner, has left USA Track & Field a much better place financially, than he found it. We wish him and his young family best wishes in his next challenge….
Elias to step down from USATF
INDIANAPOLIS – After 11 years of service, USATF Managing Director of Business Affairs Jim Elias has announced his resignation. He will continue with the organization through the end of the year.
A CPA by training, Elias came to USATF in 1998 as Chief Financial Officer during the organization’s bleakest financial era, which included a record deficit. Under his stewardship, USATF built a surplus and established financial policies and controls that steadied its ledger sheet.
Elias has served USATF in numerous capacities, including as CFO, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Business Affairs. He has led USATF’s financial management and human resources teams, provided oversight of events and broadcasting, negotiated contracts and been a key advisor to the CEO.
“Jim’s contributions to USATF have been innumerable and significant,” USATF CEO Doug Logan said. “More than any one person, he was responsible for bringing fiscal integrity and solvency to the organization during a difficult time. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
“I am very proud of my time at USATF,” Elias said. “I have been part of a high-performing team that has brought our balance sheet from the verge of insolvency to our current position of strength. I am most proud of my work developing people and am certain of USATF’s continued success and growth based on the talents and efforts of those people.”
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