I listed to this interview after seeing this tweet by Rob Butcher:
In the interview Kuhlman discusses the potential for growth of USMS now that the organization has a headquarters and paid staff. She states: "they now have the ability to grow in a way that they didn't before."
So let's look at the actual numbers. In the plot below I've put the number of USMS registered members by year. I've marked with an arrow the year that the national office was created. That's when the hiring of the staff started increasing to the total of 11 that they have right now (and an ambitious plan to hire nine more). Although the 2013 numbers are not yet available, I don't believe they are going to change the trend at all.
Kuhlman also states: "We have to be very careful, since we have a small staff and are volunteer based, that we don't over extend ourselves."
I don't think the issue is with over extending anything or anybody, I think the issue is with priorities. It seems that there's this huge priority for Club and Coach Development to take trips everywhere and do lots of trainings, but not much to show for it. And I refer to the membership numbers as evidence. There is no change in the growth rate since the national office was formed. And based on the Executive Director's predictions, he's not expecting any change in the next five years.
The questions the board should be asking is where is the promised bang for the buck? Membership dues have increased significantly for the last 5 years and will continue to do so, to fund the salaries of the national office. Shouldn't there be some upward trend in membership numbers to reflect these high expenditures?
On the bright side, it looks like the Finance Committee is planning on attempting to do a cost/benefit analysis of Club and Coach Services, according to their October 24, 2013 minutes. I wish them the best in trying to get the information they need to accomplish this task.