It’s been just over a month since newly elected FIS President Johan Eliasch took over the reins. In that short time, he has already led two FIS Council meetings, appointed a new Secretary General and named the formation of nine new working groups and committees. FIS sat down with the new President to talk about his first month.
Q. What are your immediate impressions after your first month with FIS?
A. Within the team there is a clear passion and desire to grow FIS and all its disciplines. My impression is that everyone is ready to roll up their sleeves and get down to business. Some decisions will be easy and quick. Others will take time and resources. Our athletes and fans rely on us to deliver for them. We need to put energy and commitment into making a steep change in the performance of FIS whilst doing so in an open and transparent environment.
Q. In just a month, you have already held two Council meetings.
A. Yes, we have had many decisions to make and a lot of business to take care of in this first month.
Q. What are some of the key decisions to come out of those Council meetings?
A. Without a doubt, the most important action we have taken thus far is agreeing to hold an Extraordinary Congress on 22nd September. This will allow us to deliver on my manifesto commitments for governance proposals and generally updating our Statutes. Additionally, the formation of the new Working Groups and Committees will allow FIS to start important work in several key areas immediately.
Q. The Council also appointed Michel Vion the new Secretary General.
A. I have known Michel for many years, and we have always worked well together. He brings a deep knowledge about FIS and its structures after serving as the French Federation President and FIS Council member for a long time. As an ex-racer and race team director he brings massive sports knowledge, which is crucial in the role. When he was proposed to the Council, they also had the same opinion as me - that he was the right man for the job.
Q. What does the rest of the summer have in store?
A. Now that the Extraordinary Congress is approved, the full focus will be on preparing for that very important day. The decisions that the General Assembly takes on 22nd September will lay the ground work for the future of FIS, so it is critical that we are well-prepared.
Q. As you just mentioned, the Council agreed to the formation of several new working groups and committees, can you tell us more about those?
A. To get FIS to the next level we must tap into all of our resources. The good news is within the FIS Family, there are many knowledgeable professionals with deep roots in our sports who can help us achieve our goals. We have strategically put people on working groups and committees with specific expertise that will benefit FIS. We have also worked to create groups and committees that will help increase the transparency and good governance of FIS. For example, the FIS Strategic Planning Working Group will recommend a four-year Horizon Plan and annually review and update it to ensure FIS is working to its fullest potential.
“The creation of these committees and working groups is critical for FIS to be a leader in international sports,” said FIS President Johan Eliasch. “Within the groups, there is a good mix of Council expertise and external individuals that will bring fresh insight into the various areas. The formation of these groups will also ensure that FIS follows the best practices for good governance and acts in a transparent manner.”
- FIS Strategic Planning Group The FIS Strategic Planning Group is responsible for developing and then recommending a four-year Horizon Plan and an annual rolling Strategic agenda. The annual rolling strategic agenda will need to be set in the context of an ambitious four-year plan of goals and objectives. The rolling agenda will be updated as targets are achieved and further initiatives are introduced. This provides the Council with the ability, over time, to refine and improve the development of existing and new activities. These plans would be shared widely with member nations.
- ESG Committee: Environmental, Sustainability and Governance The Committee is responsible for recommendations to Council on each relevant issue. It will undertake an initial review of existing policies and make recommendations for additional policies.
- Nominations and Remuneration Committee The Committee will make recommendations on senior nominations and related remuneration; and will be responsible for oversight of HR related matters on behalf of the Council.
- Audit Committee The Audit Committee will review FIS annual financial statements and make recommendations to the Council. This committee will be responsible for ensuring that all suitable controls of operational and financial matters are established and monitored.
- China Working Group The China Working Group will aid in the promotion of recreational and athletic Snowsport in China, a working group was created.
- Nordic Future Vision Working Group The mandate of the Nordic Future Vision Working Group is to review and recommend aspirational plans to grow participation and competition.
- Freestyle, Snowboard and Freeski Future Vision Working Group The mandate of the Freestyle, Snowboard and Freeski Working Group is to review and recommend aspirational plans to grow participation and competition.
- Alpine Future Vision Working Group The mandate of the Alpine Vision Working Group is to review and recommend aspirational plans to grow participation and competition.
- Advisory Group FIS has an opportunity to gather together some of the best minds in sports marketing and sponsorships to help formulate new and ambitious plans designed to significantly enhance the financial platform of our sports. This will not be a formal committee of the Council, nor a voting or policy forming group.