The Board of Directors of the International Inline Skating Association (IISA) agreed that the group has accomplished its original mission and will subsequently right-size the Association in 2005 in response to that accomplishment. The not-for-profit trade association, whose members include Rollerblade®, K2, Salomon, Bauer Nike, Roller Derby, Roces, Verducci, Hyper Wheels, and Concept Sports, provided a central foundation for the industry segment during both phenomenal growth and difficult challenges in its 13 year history.
The restructure will result in the departure of Kalinda Mathis, who served as Executive Director seven of her eleven years with the IISA. Ms. Mathis will join the SGMA International as Director of Marketing and will serve on its leadership team, led by incoming CEO Tom Cove that will transition and renew the organization in 2005.
“The IISA, through the leadership of Kalinda Mathis, has done an amazing job supporting and strengthening an entire industry throughout the past decade,” commented Jeremy Stonier, President of the IISA. “The instructor programs, government lobbying, and public relations activity of the association accelerated the worldwide acceptance of the sport and contributed to its incredible rise in popularity and that is something we can all be very proud of.”
Robert O. Naegele Jr., IISA President Emeritus remarked, “The IISA was a “circle-the-wagon” response from all of us who love the sport. From the grassroots leadership of skaters like David Cooper to the dedication and expertise of IISA Legal Counsel Kent Correll together as athletes, novices, professional racers, extreme skaters, hockey players, race promoters and manufacturers, we developed a great team to protect and promote our passion”.
Established in 1991, the IISA was the by-product of a consumer membership organization begun by Rollerblade with an agenda promoting safety, education and access for inline skaters and the emerging sport. In the early years, the group represented all aspects of the quickly growing community of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, athletes and enthusiasts. As participation grew 30 percent annually and skaters began skating in different environments, several sport-specific functions of the IISA developed into independent organizations such as the National Inline Hockey Association (which later was folded into USA Hockey Inline), USA Inline Racing and later, the Aggressive Skaters Association.