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Rosen makes way for USABS’s new CEO

LAKE PLACID — John Rosen was sipping coffee while watching the sunrise, soaking in retirement with his wife, Nancy Rosen, at a campground in Oregon. It was July 2019, and the furthest thing from Rosen’s mind was the sliding sports of bobsled and skeleton.

That is until he got a call that quiet morning from USA Bobsled/Skeleton Board of Directors Chairman Robert Bergbauer, who was reaching out to ask Rosen if he would consider serving as interim chief executive officer for the organization.

Nancy Rosen told him he had to do it. She knew he couldn’t say no, and she was right. Not only did he agree to take the interim role, but he also refused compensation. 

“Our entire USABS organization owes John a tremendous debt of gratitude that we can honestly never repay,” Bergbauer said. “John’s incredible dedication and focus were truly awe inspiring, especially considering that he stepped into the interim CEO role during retirement with very little notice or time to prepare. I also want to acknowledge and thank John’s wife, Nancy, who patiently supported John every step of the way.”

Rosen’s involvement with USABS began during the 2007-2008 season, when he joined the newly constituted board of directors. He was elected to chairman on July 1, 2009, and served through June 30, 2015. Rosen’s involvement in bobsled and skeleton didn’t end there.

He is an internationally licensed jury official and was selected by the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to train their non-jury volunteer officials to properly manage the bobsled and skeleton competitions for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Rosen was named the chair of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation ParaSport Committee. In this role, he has been integral in the expansion of Para Bobsled and Skeleton. In February 2016, the USABS board announced Rosen as the chair emeritus, and he has remained heavily involved and interested in the organization’s continued growth.

Rosen’s retirement officially began again Monday as newly hired CEO Aron McGuire took the reins. 

“I would like to personally thank John for all that he has done for the federation during this transition,” McGuire said. “His passion, leadership and knowledge of the sports have allowed the athletes to continue to focus on their goals of representing Team USA.”

USABS Director of Finance Lisa Carlock also serves as the board secretary, and has known Rosen since 2007. She said he is “the most selfless person I have ever encountered.”

“He did not hesitate when asked to step in and help, and he went from zero to 60 in no time,” Carlock said. “He fully invested himself in learning our organization, our people, our needs and helped not just tie us over between permanent CEOs, but actually made progress in the interim. He is incredibly tactful and dutiful. He could not have been more invested in this organization and in us if he tried. We owe him beyond big time.”

Rosen will continue to work closely with McGuire, the board, and the staff that has grown to rely on him as a mentor.

“I came to appreciate his mentorship, leadership and the support he provided me and the organization,” said USABS Director of Partner & Sponsor Development Michelle Knous. “He gave his whole heart. I felt his passion and eagerness to help every single morning when I would wake up to his pre-dawn email replies. My hope is that this is not the last we will see of him. John is gold in my book.”

John and Nancy Rosen will be back in their RV this summer, but likely not without a stop in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the USABS National Team Camp and annual meeting in June. Rosen’s dedication, heart, passion and expertise helped reignite a flame for USABS, and he officially passed the torch to McGuire on Monday.

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