Following our interviews with some of USACA presidential candidates, Shakeel Yusuf of Washington reached out to us and shared his values and vision as he seeks to become the treasurer of United States of America Cricket Association.
Submitted by Shakeel Yusuf
Fellow USACA members, my name is Shakeel Yusuf and I am running for the position of Treasurer of USACA. I am honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to compete for this position. Presented below are my background, qualifications, accomplishments, values and vision.
I was born in Fiji a small island nation in the South Pacific in 1962. My ancestors were brought to the islands from the Indian subcontinent by the British Empire to work as indentured laborers on sugar cane plantations. While my ancestral roots are in the subcontinent I am proud to be a fourth generation Fijian. I grew up playing rugby; soccer and tennis competitively, having been a ranked junior tennis player in Fiji in the 70s. My exposure to cricket first came when I went abroad to Australia to finish my high school and university education. I developed a passion for the game and played it competitively albeit at a later age in my life. That passion has translated in my efforts to promote cricket in the United States. I have lived and worked in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area of the United States, since 1985. I am married and the proud parent of two daughters and a son. I was a traveling soccer coach and referee for 10 years with the Southwestern Youth Association
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Queensland and a Masters in Financial Management from Benjamin Franklin University (now part of George Washington University). I have worked as an Auditor for Price Waterhouse, Chief Accountant for the National Association of Social Workers (not-for-profit), and have been in local government for 15 plus years. Currently I am the Comptroller of Fairfax County Public Schools – the 10th largest school district in the US with an annual budget of $2.5 billion. As a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, I am well versed in the accounting, management and reporting of public funds. Finally I have been the longest serving member of the Washington Cricket League’s Executive Committee; having served two terms as Treasurer – 1998 to 2004 and 2007 to present.
In 1996, I along with a few individuals formed Fairfax Cricket Club which is now a premier club in Fairfax County. This club was started from the ground up and is one of the few clubs in Washington Cricket League that has obtained and maintained its own field at Lake Fairfax Park. It was the first field in the area to have an artificial turf pitch installed in 2003. A number of players associated with my club have represented USACA.
With the WCL I was instrumental in:
1. Registering WCL as a corporate entity with a 501(c) (3) status
2. Implementing a fully structured accounting system.
3. Introducing proper IRS reporting for payment to individuals
4. Expanding e-commerce and online bill payment functions
5. Assisting in the development of a robust umpiring certification program
6. Managing a league budget of $120,000.
As your Treasurer I am bound first of all to ensure that the financial affairs of USACA are performed with the utmost integrity, transparency and accountability. My colleagues describe me as apolitical and someone who strives to build consensus and buy in. I work well with individuals from different points of view and will exert my influence to do what is right to the best of my ability. I believe that open dialogue and honesty are the best ways to approach problems.
1. Emphasize that USACA adopt a robust strategic plan with input and engagement from all levels
2. Seek input, engage and collaborate with all league Treasurers to identify funding opportunities and ways to promote the financial strength of leagues and the national body.
3. Promote the development of infrastructure at the local level and identify ways that USACA can engage public/private partnership to develop facilities
In closing, I would urge you to vote for me as you will find in me, an advocate for a new kind of leadership to help promote change and strengthen USACA.