USRowing Names Patrick McNerney New CEO
By Allison Mueller • August 14, 2017
PRINCETON, N.J. – USRowing announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Patrick McNerney as the new CEO. Most recently, McNerney served as President of PKM & Associates (now Upside Advisors LLC), a specialty consulting firm to sports organizations with a focus on digital media strategies to increase revenue and profitability. McNerney will assume leadership of the organization on September 1st and will be in place for the World Rowing Championships next month in Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
“It is an incredible honor to be named the new CEO of USRowing,” said Patrick McNerney. “Rowers are some of the most committed, disciplined athletes in the world and I’m going to bring that spirit to the job, working every day with the organization to make sure that we achieve success on the water in Tokyo in 2020, provide value for all our members and grow the sport.”
McNerney is both an accomplished sports marketing and management executive with over 25 years of national and international experience as well as a long-time member of the rowing community. A former competitive rower himself, McNerney has also been active as a coach, manager and referee, beginning his professional career as the national team manager and director for USRowing.
“Building a winning high performance culture starts with the right leadership at the top of the organization,” said Rob Milam, Chair of the High Performance Committee. “Not only are we confident that Patrick brings that leadership, he also has an intimate knowledge of high performance sport, especially rowing, and he has a proven track record of empowering people and organizations to help them achieve their best.”
McNerney was chosen after a thorough search process, led by a search committee in conjunction with Korn Ferry Global Sports, an executive search firm. The nine-member CEO Search Committee was chaired by USRowing Director Sheila Tolle and was composed of Board members and distinguished members of the rowing community. The search began at the beginning of April, culminating with the appointment of McNerney this week.
“Patrick brings with him the best of both worlds – an insider, who understands the close-knit U.S. rowing community, and an experienced innovative corporate leader who has had an extensive and successful career working at the highest levels of sports marketing and entertainment,” said USRowing Board Chair Marcia Hooper. “We are looking forward to working with Patrick and welcoming him back to USRowing. This will be an exciting new era.”
Over the course of his career, McNerney has worked in high-level executive positions for IMG, Mirum and Lightmaker Sports, working with major sports properties including the ATP World Tour, LPGA, Manchester United, The R&A and many others. In his latest venture, McNerney used his entrepreneurial background to devise and implement the business strategy for the successful launch and continued progression of the Ivy League’s Digital Network.
“I think it is terrific to have someone with Patrick’s experience and knowledge in both business and rowing as CEO. His experience leading major organizations through successful transformations will make him a valuable addition to the USRowing family,” said Jamie Koven, co-Chair of the National Rowing Foundation.
Patrick participated in competitive rowing at Winter Park High School, University of Central Florida and Vesper Boat Club. In addition, he served as the freshman/novice coach for both men and women at University of Central Florida and club coach at Vesper.
“Given Patrick’s experience working with the national teams, I am confident that he will work to provide support and resources the athletes need to train and compete at the highest levels,” said Meghan O’Leary, Olympic rower and athlete rep on the USRowing Board of Directors. “The Senior and Para National Team‘s focus right now needs to be entirely on preparing for the World Championships and that is only possible with having the right leadership behind us.”
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 83,000 individual members and 1,350 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners.