USA Volleyball, like many other national governing bodies, is feeling the financial crunch brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the organization that oversees volleyball in America made extensive staff cuts on Thursday that included the retirements of secretary general Kerry Klostermann and director of sport development John Kessel.
A combination of 19 either retired or were laid off, including longtime senior manager of communications director Bill Kauffman, and another 11 were furloughed.
In an email to region commissioners, USA president and CEO Jamie Davis wrote, “As discussed, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our business significantly and as a result, USA Volleyball had to make some very difficult personnel decisions. Today we implemented various measures including layoffs, furloughs, work-hour reductions and retirements across several parts of the organization. The management team all took salary reductions and I will continue to take a 25% reduction in my compensation.
“This is not a decision that we took lightly but given the economic realities resulting from the cancellations of our major summer events and our membership slowdown, such moves were necessary to ensure the ongoing viability of USAV as an organization. I want to stress that for those employees impacted, it was not their fault or a result of their performance but rather based on an assessment of the current need for the roles and the workload at this time. Our colleagues have become our friends and extended family, and this is an incredibly sad day for all of us.”
Among the hits that USA Volleyball has endured is the cancelations of its youth national events, and, of course, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.
Included among the layoffs were three coordinators in the high performance indoor national programs and three others besides Kessel in coaching education.
Kessel was the director of USA Volleyball and World ParaVolleyball Sport Development. On the Facebook page Volleyball Coaches and Trainers, the featured image was changed to an homage to Kessel. Click here to read the comments praising Kessel and his reaction as well.
Kessel was the recipient of the 2019 Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, USA Volleyball’s top honor bestowed on an individual for lifetime achievements.
Klostermann was with USA Volleyball for more than 30 years, first having performed as the national team program director for the team center in San Diego, then became a senior director at the national office, executive director of USAV, and is currently serving as secretary general. Read his bio here.
The hard-working Kauffman, with whom we in the media dealt extensively, posted on Instagram: