Jamaica Gleaner / Christopher Samuda, chairman of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), said his newly elected body is transforming the association to ensure it is complicit with ‘universal standards of corporate governance’ and responsive to the evolving needs of its constituent members.
“Central to this transformation is the corporate matrix of the organisation and we felt it imperative that a chief executive officer (CEO) should be installed to lead this transformation,” Samuda advised of the JOA’s vision and decision to employ Ryan Foster in the newly created CEO portfolio.
He noted: “The chief executive officer would be supported by a cadre of professionals who would have portfolio responsibility for the critical areas of development of not only the JOA, but of course, the sporting fraternity as a whole.”
The JOA’s move has been widely supported in the sporting fraternity, with Sports Minister Olivia Grange, ISSA President Dr Walton Small, and Karlene Bisnott, president, Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA), among those offering congratulations.Small said: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome the appointment of Mr Ryan Foster as the chief executive officer of the Jamaica Olympic Association. He is a well respected, business-savvy, and an effective corporate leader with a high degree of veracity and a proven track record for being a transformational leader.
“On behalf of ISSA, we welcome this valiant move by the Board of the JOA, a move we believe will garner immediate benefit to the JOA and the wider sporting member associations.”
Bisnott said: “The Jamaica Independent Schools Association congratulates Mr Ryan Foster on his recent appointment as the CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association. Mr Foster has been an ardent supporter and sponsor of activities hosted by JISA for the past decade and … we wish for him every success in this new endeavour.”
The JOA is the parent body for all local sporting organisations and an affiliate of the global sports authority, the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Samuda noted that it needed to structure itself to instill confidence in its members by creating “… a model association in respect of which regional and international associations would seek to emulate”.
Samuda pointed to the critical question of financing the JOA and its programmes to be able to develop other sporting associations as valid reason for a CEO to firmly establish a business model.
“With the advent of more members in the Jamaica Olympic Association, clearly, one has to ensure that you have the revenue streams to support and satisfy the needs of the organisations which you represent.
“We were not looking for an administrator. We were looking for a corporate business executive with sport administration competences and expertise, and who has the network in order to bring the business to the JOA, as well as to the associations which we represent.
“So we’re looking forward to Mr Foster to not only bring that vision to the organisation and to expand it, but to infuse that vision in a very pragmatic way into the administration of our members because at the end of the day, they, too, have to be independently viable in order to be successful,” the JOA chairman revealed.