Jack Herrick, Chairman of the Board of the Professional Squash Association for the last 14 years, has announced his retirement from the Board of the PSA. “I must say I never planned nor anticipated staying with the PSA for 14 years, but now the time for retirement feels right.”
Having served as Chairman of the Board of the World Professional Squash Association in its last five years of existence, Herrick was a principal architect of the amalgamation of the WPSA and International Squash Players Association into the PSA on January 1, 1993. When that deal was completed, Herrick was not on the initial Board of the PSA. However, the newly formed PSA had a rough start and lost more than 75% of its money in the first 21 months of operation. In mid-1994 the PSA requested that Herrick come back. After considering the challenge, he agreed and was elected Chairman of the Board in Barcelona that September.
A businessman and attorney from Cleveland, OH, Herrick’s first order of business in leading the Board was to shore up the finances so that the PSA could operate without the threat of insolvency. That task took up the better part of the next few years, but eventually the PSA’s financial position became solid enough to allow it to devote time, energy and resources to expand its circuit. Today, the PSA is worth more than seven times what it was when Herrick was elected to his post.
But what gives Herrick even greater satisfaction is the unprecedented growth of the PSA and its circuit. “What our player-members look at first and foremost is the amount of prize money on the world circuit. From its inception in 1993 and for the next 10 years, worldwide prize money was relatively flat, ranging from $1,230,000 to $1,660,000 with no particular pattern. But with the stabilization and then steady increase in its finances, the PSA was able to invest in its future and its level of prize money began to climb. In 2007, the PSA did $3,135,000 in prize money, up 28% over 2006 and 110% over 2003, impressive results for any business organization. Strong double digit growth has occurred now for each of the last four years. Our bookings for 2008 suggest that this strong growth pattern will continue. As an ancillary item, the number of tournaments on the PSA calendar has more than doubled to an all-time high, and we have more PSA members than ever. Momentum is definitely on the side of the PSA.”
Robert Edwards, a former Board member of the PSA, reflected on Herrick’s presence. “He brought something to the Boardroom not normally seen—experience as a businessman and attorney in addition to experience as a squash administrator, and no conflicts of interest, no baggage. Rarely does one have the good fortune to meet a man with the qualities of Jack Herrick.”
As Board Chairman, Herrick served every Chief Executive of the PSA, namely Roger Eady, John Nimick and Gawain Briars. “Each had his own business style, each was totally committed to the PSA and each was innovative and effective in advancing the significance of the PSA on the world stage of sport,” stated Herrick. “To coin a phrase, each would have jumped in front of a truck to protect the PSA from harm, and each left the PSA with much more world sport presence than when he found it. Finally, each was very adept in safeguarding the interests of our member-players, while at the same time balancing the interests of our promoters, including many of the National Federations of the World Squash Federation. We must always keep in mind it is the promoters, their sponsors and our PSA partners who are providing serious financial wherewithal to take the game to a higher level.”
Just 24 hours after announcing his retirement, the PSA honored Herrick with a Life Membership in the PSA to mark his distinguished service as a Board member. “Being new to the boardroom in 2002, I found Jack’s guidance and knowledge of the governance of our Association an invaluable learning experience,” said Alex Gough, current PSA President. “PSA has been extremely fortunate to have had his input for an incredible length of time, and his leadership has seen us through some rocky times. Jack is retiring with the satisfaction of leaving the Tour in a very healthy state. It is up to the rest of us on the board to continue on with his hard work.”