EUGENIO A. CANO

Secretary, 2018-present

Incumbent Candidate
 

Eugenio A. Cano is a retired diplomat, active volunteer in local philanthropic organizations and primary caretaker of three school-age children.  He is a fencer, parent of fencers and an armorer for foil and epee.

 

Eugenio founded The Global Bearings LLC, where he advised the Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico on investments from Asia (2010 to 2012). Prior to private practice, Eugenio held the post of minister counselor at the Permanent Mission of Nicaragua to the United Nations (2002 to 2007) and acted as minister counselor at the Embassy Nicaragua in Taiwan (1998 to 2002). In Taiwan, Eugenio spearheaded efforts to promote private investment in Nicaragua.

 

Eugenio earned a Master’s in Public Policy in 1997 from the Gerald H. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia College, Columbia University in the City of New York.

  1. Why are you applying for a leadership position in the Gold Coast Fencing Division?

    1. Seven years ago, I enrolled my two oldest children in a fencing class after trying several other sports. Although the learning curve was steep, they stuck with the sport, and I have supported them ever since. From the beginning, I recognized the character-building opportunities that the sport offers, and our family has gained invaluable lessons in perseverance, hard work, grit, focus and sportsmanship. I intend to continue contributing to the sport by supporting its growth in our Division.

    2. With my children, I have traveled widely in Florida, throughout the United States and internationally for fencing tournaments. As a division officer, we interface with coaches who train athletes to compete at various levels. During this time, I have become heavily involved in the wonderful community of fencers. My travels allowed me to witness the disparity in fencing quality and resources among divisions. I believe that a strong, trustworthy, and well-functioning board of directors can further channel resources to our Division from the USA Fencing Association and appropriately apply them to their best use for the development of our athletes.

    3. I often interact with USA Fencing staff in meetings at national events and convey to them our local issues. These open channels of communications foster better relations between our Division and the USA Fencing Association, and help marshal resources to our Division.

  2. What do you envision as the top-3 priorities for Gold Coast Fencing Division, why, and how would you implement those priorities?

    1. The Division should work with USA Fencing Association to help develop the business side of club ownership. Prospective club owners know how to coach, but encounter barriers to entry and growth such as incorporation and other requirements. Club owners face the same difficulties of small business owners such as, client acquisition and retention, cash-flow management, and business expansion. But unlike normal brick-and-mortar businesses, club owners are personal coaches for young athletes in stressful situations. While training takes months-to-years to yield results, short-term poor performances generally discourage clients. I believe that by working with the USA Fencing Association, we can help our Division coaches improve retention of athletes and their development while ensuring that the clubs are run as successful businesses.

    2. Clubs in our Division, like most around the United States, have suffered from team practice stoppage due to mandated venue closures, national event cancelations, and uncertainty of future large tournaments. Poor economic prospects reduce fencing clientele. As a consequence, many gyms and clubs face prospects of bankruptcy or unwinding.  The Division should be the repository of resources for local clubs to face COVID-19. Our Division should encourage USA Fencing to conduct small business training during COVID-19 uncertainty and share best practices with Division’s club owners and coaches.

    3. The Division should be a catalyst for sports development. Coach training should extend beyond Safe Sports online course. While coaches must balance paying-parents’ demands for attention and results on the sidelines of fencing strips, at times adults berate young athletes, causing grave harm to competitors and the sport in general. The Division should advocate bringing resources to coaches to improve coaching during tense situations.

  3. What involvement have you had in Gold Coast Florida Fencing Division and/or what involvement have you had in any other organizations that might be relevant to this role?

    1. I helped found a club in my city's community center. The experience allowed me to learn the challenges that club owners face in starting up and managing a club as a business.

    2. I found that I could best support my children in their practice and tournaments by learning to fix their equipment.  I have trained as an armorer for foil and epee in courses at national events.  I often spend my leisure time rewiring foils and fixing body cords. 

    3. Two years ago, I wanted to become more involved in the Division's management and was elected Secretary of the Division’s Board of Directors. Since then, I have participated in division officer meetings at national USA Fencing events, and have brought that knowledge and contacts to the Division through my work with the Board of Directors.

    4. As Secretary, I drafted and negotiated the current Division by-laws, adopted in 2019, oversaw the adoption of the Division's Operating Manual, and created and managed the Division's website.

  4. Please provide a description of your previous board experience. Please detail the achievements of that board and your direct role in those achievements. If you intend to apply for the role of treasurer, please provide a description of your experience preparing or supervising books and records of an entity, related to the sport of fencing or otherwise.

    1. I have volunteered in the Public Policy Committee of the United Way of Miami-Dade since 2013 and concentrated my efforts on economic stability. After working in multilateral economic development at the United Nations and its various bodies, I sought ways to apply my expertise of economic development in my community. 

    2. I was president of the Columbia Club of South Florida for four years. During that time, I guided governance efforts by reformulating the organization's by-laws to develop the board and manage succession. I also used my knowledge and contacts at the Columbia University Office of Alumni Affairs to ensure that our Club pioneered membership outreach software and social media tools before a national rollout.

    3. During my tenure as Vice-President (2002-05) and President (2006) of the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University while living in New York City, I led efforts to establish the Latino Scholarship Fund that raised $10,000 in 2005, $20,000 in 2006 and $30,000 in 2007.

    4. Other relevant experience in board negotiations and consensus building:

      1. Chief negotiator of UN General Assembly Resolutions; 

      2. Principal contact to 2003-05 elected membership of Nicaragua to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);

      3. Principal contact during the 2003-05 elected membership of Nicaragua to the Executive Board of UNICEF.   

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