Guy Morse will become the Senior Director of External Affairs of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, and Tom Grilk will move from B.A.A. President to Executive Director of the B.A.A. Boston marathon. “This is not so much about Grilk becoming Executive Director, but more about keeping Guy Morse involved and using his skills to focus on the tasks that he enjoys and keeping some continuity within the organization.” noted Tom Grilk. Morse and Grilk will assume their positions on January 1, 2011.
The Boston Marathon has been under the thoughtful eyes of Guy Morse, as Executive Director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon since 1985. The race was in a woeful place at that time, with a debt of $300,000, the venerable marathon was teetering on the precipice. The race was trying to move from the 19th century and an amateur bastion into the wild world of professional sports. Guy Morse’s job, and an exhausting one at that, was to champion those moves into modernity while protecting the traditions of the B.A.A. Morse has done that with a skill that has won him the respect of the running community.
task. Guy Morse has performed that role with a sense of humor and an
elegance that is emblematic of how an Executive Director should comport
himself or herself.
The good thing is that Guy’s health is
robust and he will be able to help focus the marathon for years to come
in his new role as Senior Director of External Affairs. “I have been
thinking about this for several years now, especially since I recovered
from cancer…that tends to encourage a reassessment of one’s life..”
commented Guy Morse.
In speaking to Guy Morse this morning, Guy assured me that his
health was excellent: ” The job of Executive Director has evolved, and
it is much more complex than it was when I started in 1986. This is
really an expansion of our team, and it allows me to spend more time in
the external operations, such as community affairs, sponsorship and
charity programs. I will still be in the management team, and our team will not miss a beat!” noted a very upbeat Guy Morse.
S. Grilk, the present President of the B.A.A., will be the new
Executive Director. Grilk is the perfect choice to assume the position
that Guy Morse held from 1985 to 2010. Grilk is the friendly and
thoughtful face who introduces all of the stars of Boston, past and
present, at the Mayor‘s Breakfast, the most important media event at the B.A.A. Boston marathon.
a telephone conversation this morning, Tom Grilk, a lawyer by training,
was quite exacting about the importance of Guy Morse in the B.A.A.
hierarchy and the significance of these moves;
“This process started when George Martin, the long time B.A.A. finance director, and a veteran of the second world war,
decided to retire. Guy made it known that he would like to cut back, so
we came up with this decision after much discussion. We want Guy to
focus on the projects he likes and keep his experience as part of the
B.A.A. Many times, senior executives retire and that is it. Their
experience and leadership are lost.” noted Grilk.
” My job will
be in management and to work with the B.A.A. board, which is very
engaged about the marathon. They create the strategy, always looking
forward. My job will be working with Guy and Dave (McGillivray) as they
work on the Marathon, and also seeing that the B.A.A. continues to
develop programs for children’s fitness and continues to spread the
message of health and fitness. Not everybody who watches the marathon
will run a marathon the next year. We want them to walk around the
block. We are about promoting health & fitness in our community.”
added Tom Grilk.
Why is this event so significant? Because, as
our sport continues to evolve, a second generation of modern executives
needs to be cultivated. London choose Hugh Brasher to take over much of the day to day for David Bedford.
In Boston, Guy Morse will focus on the projects that elevate the B.A.A.
Boston marathon while Tom Grilk focuses on the day to day management of
the event, many of those tasks which bog down an executive director.
This expansion of the team at B.A.A. Boston is their unique approach to
evolving a succession plan.
Each major marathon is a unique,
living entity. It is comforting to see the B.A.A. Boston marathon
continue to evolve. It is also important to take a moment and understand
that the evolution of the Boston marathon since 1985 has been
championed by Guy Morse and his team. That appreciation will take some
reflection. Watch for future updates.
Expands Executive Leadership
Grilk to become Executive Director;
Morse will become organization’s first
Director of External Affairs.
BOSTON – The
Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that Guy L. Morse, III
will become the Senior Director of External Affairs. He has served as the
organization’s Executive Director (since 2000) and Boston Marathon Race
Thomas S. Grilk has been named by the B.A.A.’s Board of
Governors to succeed Morse as Executive Director. Grilk has been
President of the B.A.A. Board of Governors since 2003 and will resign that
position to accept his new position at the B.A.A.
The expansion in leadership enables the B.A.A. to retain
Morse’s experience and relationships while transferring the
responsibility of the Association’s daily management to Grilk.
The new titles and positions for Morse and Grilk will be
effective January 1, 2011. The B.A.A. will select a new president this
month to succeed Grilk.
“This represents the perfect time for me to transition
into a new role for the B.A.A.,” said Morse. “After having rebounded
from health-related issues a couple of years ago, I realize my enthusiasm and
belief in the B.A.A.’s mission is as strong as ever. I’m looking forward to
creating even stronger community, industry and institutional relationships for
the Association where they are needed for the purpose of furthering the
B.A.A.’s positive impact and expanded reach. Serving the B.A.A. and its event
participants during the last 27 years has been an honor and a privilege, and I
look forward to continuing in my new capacity.”
Morse was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and suffered
complications as part of the treatment, but he has recovered to lead a full and
Among Morse’s accomplishments for the B.A.A. are:
- obtaining major, long-term,
unprecedented corporate sponsorship agreements, including from John
Hancock Financial Services and adidas;
- providing the B.A.A. and Boston
Marathon financial security and positioning both the Association and event
- the institution of prize money
for the Boston Marathon;
- directing the historic Centennial
Boston Marathon in 1996, which was a milestone in the sporting world and
included the world’s largest field to date;
- developing the B.A.A.’s
year-round schedule of events and programming, such as the B.A.A. Half Marathon, youth initiatives, and clinics;
- bringing Boston into the formation of the World
Marathon Majors, along with London,
Berlin, Chicago and New York;
- playing host to the 2008 U.S.
Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon
- leading the B.A.A.’s charitable
efforts, including having exceeded $100 million in total funds raised
through 2010 through the B.A.A.’s Official Charity Program at the Boston
In 1985, Morse’s first full year with the B.A.A., the
organization had a deficit of $300,000 and the marathon had 5595 entrants. By
comparison, Morse’s current B.A.A. has an operating budget of approximately $9
million for 2011, the 2010 Boston Marathon included 26,790 entrants, the 2010
B.A.A. Half Marathon reached its field size limit in two hours, the 2011 Boston
Marathon filled its qualifying field in eight hours, the B.A.A. brand has never
been stronger, and the Boston Marathon has never been more popular or
experienced greater demand than it has in recent years.
The B.A.A. was established in 1887, and the inaugural B.A.A. Road
Race (later to be called the Boston Marathon) was held on April 19, 1897 and
had 15 entrants.
Morse, 59, who was recently appointed to the Association of
International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) Board of Directors, becomes
the B.A.A.’s first Senior Director of External Affairs. The new position
reflects the Association’s commitment to its international, national and local
constituencies, including the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon course
and the cooperative departments and agencies from the Commonwealth
which assist in the organization of the B.A.A.’s main event. Morse will
preserve, renew and grow important long term relationships, both
institutionally and strategically, talents which have characterized his term as
Race Director and Executive Director.
In 2010, Boston Marathon weekend generated more than $122
million for the local economy, according to the Greater Boston Convention and
Visitors Bureau. The Boston Marathon is the area’s largest mass participatory
sporting event and is unrivaled in terms of its uniqueness and prestige.
Grilk, 63, has been a member of the B.A.A. since 1987, and
he has served as B.A.A. President since 2003. Grilk has been a longtime
“The B.A.A. is a vibrant, engaged and committed
organization which is active in the community and strives to make lives
healthier and better through running, charitable and philanthropic
endeavors,” said Grilk. “We take very seriously our responsibility to
uphold the Boston Marathon as a source of local pride, while also remembering
that we are involved with a recreational activity which should be fun and
entertaining for participants and spectators alike. I look forward to the
B.A.A.’s growth and to creating additional opportunities open to anyone who
might wish to participate in a B.A.A. road race, event or program.”
In assuming the leadership position for the B.A.A., Grilk
will be responsible for everything from daily operations to the implementation
of strategic plans. He has a deep institutional knowledge of both the
B.A.A. and Boston Marathon, having served in many volunteer capacities and
committees during the last three decades. Besides providing his legal expertise
pro bono to the B.A.A. on matters
ranging from contracts to trademark, he serves frequently as master of
ceremonies for many B.A.A. events and is recognizable as the “Voice of the
Boston Marathon,” announcing from the finish line each Patriots’ Day since
Among Grilk’s first actions when he becomes executive
director in the new year will be collaborating to conclude the review —
together with Morse and the B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave
McGillivray — of the B.A.A.’s qualifying standards and entry procedure for the
Boston Marathon. McGillivray remains in the position of Race Director, a title
he has held since the 2001 Boston Marathon. McGillivray joined the B.A.A. as
the Boston Marathon’s start coordinator following the 1987 Boston Marathon.
During Grilk’s tenure as B.A.A. President, the
organization has sought to foster the development of American athletes and
placing an emphasis on youth athletics has been a hallmark of this period.
Since 2003, nearly all top U.S.
marathoners have run the Boston Marathon, have sometimes challenged for
victory, and have added to the race’s appeal.
Also during this period, the B.A.A. 5K, which launched in
2009, has provided an opportunity for many local runners to participate in
another event on marathon weekend while the B.A.A. Invitational and Scholastic
Miles (also on race weekend) have placed the spotlight on selected runners from
the race communities.
In addition during that time, the B.A.A. Board of Governors
has championed two other significant US efforts in recent years
– the B.A.A. playing host to the 2007 USA Women’s Marathon
Championship and the 2008 US Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon.
All of these enterprises exemplify a common theme for the
B.A.A. with Grilk as President: advancing the Association through the creation
of innovative events while expanding and strengthening the B.A.A.’s name
and brand with particular attention to American development.
The 115th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual
marathon and one of the world’s most prestigious road races, will be held on
Monday, April 18, 2011.
Guy L. Morse, III bio from B.A.A. web site:
Thomas S. Grilk bio from B.A.A. web site:
About the B.A.A.
Established in 1887, the Boston
Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing
athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially
running. Each year the Association manages a comprehensive schedule of
youth-running events, distance running training programs, and large-scale races
in the city of Boston. Most noteworthy
is the Boston Marathon, the world’s most prestigious and
oldest continually run marathon. Since the inaugural race in 1897, the Boston Marathon
has been the pinnacle for distance running worldwide, a position which was
reinforced in 1986 with the help of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial.
In 2006, the Boston Marathon joined the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon, the Berlin
Marathon, the Virgin London Marathon, and the ING
New York City Marathon to form the World Marathon