TTOC execs blank Lewis’ presidency bid

Trinidad and Tobago, Mar 30, 2013: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) secretary general, Brian Lewis, says he does not have the support of his fellow TTOC executive members nor their endorsement for his candidacy to be elected the next TTOC president.

Lewis, however, said he is not dismayed or downhearted and respects his colleagues’ right to their views and opinions.

“I must be honest; I would have loved to have had the endorsement and support of my colleagues on the TTOC executive. Douglas (Camacho) and Larry (Romany) both had united support when they ran for president. I threw my full weight of support behind them both (but) it is what it is. I now face and accept the challenge of trying to convince the individual member NSOs (National Sporting Organizations) to vote for me without the endorsement and support of my colleagues,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the TTOC executive committee recently conducted a comprehensive strategic review process that included the national sport organizations affiliated to the TTOC, and did a survey identifying their needs, wants, concerns and issues.

The executive committee then developed a strategic plan that proposed a way forward for the TTOC for the period 2013-2017. Lewis agreed and supports the strategic plan but differed with his colleagues on one major point.

He did not agree that the next president should be selected only on the basis of that person’s ability to bring money into the TTOC. The other executive members however agreed to go out and look for an individual who had the respect, knowledge, credibility, experience and ear of corporate TT, the business community and high net worth individuals.

“I have a different perspective which is that we can address the perceived financial and economic threats and weaknesses with a focused marketing, brand positioning and fund-raising strategy. We have not adequately evaluated why successive TTOC presidents were not able to secure a sustainable philanthropic, corporate and individual donor income streams. I have a vision, insight and clear ideas about how the TTOC can solve the problem and grow its revenue stream and what are the perceptions the TTOC need to change or reinforce to reach its goals.

“It’s not a lack of money, we have to be creative and innovative do a few things differently. The idea of Olympism is alive and relevant. We just need to re position the TTOC brand as modern, flexible and dynamic. As such, with a strategic focus I believe the full and financial potential of the TTOC brand can be attained and maintained,” he added. Lewis noted through that he is not running an opposing slate as he believes it is unethical to do so.

“I contributed to the development of the strategic plan 2013-2017. I fully and unconditionally endorse Annette Knott for the position of secretary general.

I am not running a slate in opposition to my colleagues save and except in respect of the post of president nor have I given any person or group any permission to align me with any opposing slate,” he declared. Lewis says the fact that the TTOC executive do not support or endorse his candidacy doesn’t mean that his bid to be elected the next TTOC president is doomed.

“I admit it’s a tall order for me but it’s a democracy (and) all I ask the national sport organizations is to give me a fair hearing before they decide who to vote for. They heard Larry (Romany) during the strategic review presentation on Thursday, 14 March 2013 at NAPA.”

The outgoing TTOC secretary general said he is prepared to sacrifice his Olympic career and long years of dedicated service by choosing to run for the presidency rather than seek re-election as the secretary general.

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