Big shoes to fill as leadership changes at NASC

As an executive director for the past 14 years, I can tell you time flies because you are the one always accountable and usually dealing with a mountain of changes and challenges. Soon, we will have a change in leadership with our lead association – the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC).

Don Schumacher will be relinquishing his role as Executive Director of NASC after holding this position for the past 23 years. He has been the only director of the organization since it formed in 1992 with a mere 15 members – there are now nearly 800. This organization is the leader to our sports commission, and others across the country, as we work together to promote and host events in the amateur sports market.

Sports tourism has grown leaps and bounds under Don's leadership. More than $7 billion in economic impact is generated each year through more than 53 million athletes who participate in youth sporting events nationwide. Staggering numbers when you think about it, but if you have kids in sports – numbers that make sense.

During Don's time as director, the NASC has brought all sports-focused cities together with their annual symposium. This event allows cities to meet with peers as well as leaders of the various sports organizations, referred to as National Governing Bodies (NGBs), from across the U.S. and Canada.

This promotes the ability for cities interested in finding new events to identify potential future events as well as giving the NGBs several options to find a host for their events. In our business, these types of gatherings are critical and produce numerous leads and long-lasting relationships.


The Rochester Amateur Sports Commissions was one of the first to join the NASC, and we value our membership and the symposium. I am not sure if we were one of the original 15, as it was before my time at the RASC, but know we were formed in 1992 also.

My first year as executive director took me to the symposium in Chattanooga, Tenn., and quickly exposed me to the membership, the nature of our business and the educational opportunities one would not find anywhere else. Today, we still send the members of our staff to "learn the ropes" of our industry. There is no better place to do this than the NASC Symposium.

I feel fortunate to have spent a term on the NASC Board of Directors and worked closely with Don and his staff. While deep in knowledge and experience, Don always made you feel welcome and important. He will be leaving some big shoes to fill. Don not only understood the industry like no other, but knew the history and that all cities matter.

As I start my 14th year here as executive director, I will miss Don and admire how he led the way through a huge industry boom the past 23 years. From one executive director to another – that's a pretty impressive accomplishment. I wish Don all the best from his friends in Rochester.

Upcoming Events:

Oct. 15-16: MYSA Fall State Soccer

Oct. 19-23:US Figure Skating Upper Great Lakes Regional

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