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Frederick V Schoch set to step down from the Head Of The Charles Regatta, international Executive Director search to commence

By HOCR Board Of Directors
Posted on October 30, 2023
Frederick V Schoch set to step down from the Head Of The Charles Regatta, international Executive Director search to commence

Boston (10/30/23) – Fred’s 33 years of leadership of the Head Of The Charles has built a legacy of growth, innovation, and stewardship. He started as the Regatta’s first employee. During Fred’s tenure the HOCR evolved from a small, local one-day event to a three-day world recognized regatta that welcomes nearly 12,000 athletes from 30 countries and nearly all the US states. The 400,000+ spectators who attend every year create an estimated economic impact in Massachusetts of over $88 million. Fred will remain Executive Director until a successor is named. The HOCR board of directors will soon launch an international search, supported by the sports and entertainment executive search firm TurnkeyZRG.

“Fred created an incredible destination regatta over the course of his tenure. He built our success through his advocacy and connections with sponsors, competitors and coaches, staff, and volunteers. He has been a true trailblazer in the commercial development of rowing. We are fortunate for Fred’s decades of dedication to the success of the Regatta,” said Tim Fulham, Chair of the Head Of The Charles’ board of directors. “We are also grateful for Fred’s commitment to a successful transition. He leaves the Regatta in excellent shape. We are excited to build on our strong foundation as we think about the future of our world-class regatta and our leadership role in our rowing and local communities.”

Since 1965, the Head Of The Charles has become the world’s largest rowing regatta and the preeminent regatta on the US Rowing calendar. It is the third largest outdoor event in Boston, alongside the 4th of July and Boston Marathon. It is a pan-national, international, and a “must do” event for rowers. Its success relies on ongoing collaboration with a large network of sponsors, athletes, coaches, volunteers, and vendors. The Head also works in close coordination with the cities of Boston and Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Regatta is a leader in the rowing community for the promotion of diversity and inclusion though a broad suite of initiatives.

Reflecting on today’s announcement, Fred commented, “It has been my privilege to have led such an incredible organization. Working together as a team of staff and volunteers, I am proud that we have had a transformational effect on our sport and on our local communities. Perhaps most importantly, we have set a new standard for regattas and have had a lot of fun along the way. I am eager to see what the future holds for the Regatta as the team continues to build on our strong foundation and thinks of new ways to innovate and grow.”

Under Fred’s leadership, HOCR has enjoyed remarkable achievements and milestones including becoming:

  • The world’s largest rowing regatta. Nearly 12,000 rowers come to race over a 3-day weekend in October ranging from 11- to 90+ years old and come from over 800 colleges, universities, high schools, and clubs. Participants include:
    • United States National rowing team members
    • 50+ current global Olympians including members of Team USA
    • 75+ Elite World Championship current athletes including members of Team USA
    • 3,500+ global Masters’ athletes
    • 4,000+ global Youth competitors
  • A pioneer in inclusion.
    • The first Head race to include and integrate events for para-athletes and athletes with intellectual disabilities
    • The only major sporting event of its size that has achieved full gender equality (50-50 male-female) furthered by a commitment to create a welcoming home for athletes and spectators of all gender IDs
    • Giving back through a DEI grant foundation, the Head Of The Charles x Gold Cup Grant Fund that supports rowing programs in under-resourced communities
    • Partnering with Community Rowing (Boston) to promote the sport in Boston and Cambridge public schools
  • One of the largest volunteer-driven sporting events in the world. The Regatta is powered by more than 2,500 dedicated volunteers who come from all over the world to make the Regatta run year after year
  • Lasting commitment to sustainability. Partnering with the Department of Conservation and Recreation as well as environmental organizations like the Charles River Watershed Association, the HOCR has taken the lead in river and riverbank renewal, contributing over $2 million to riverbank remediation. The Regatta is one of the first major Boston outdoor events to commit to zero waste
  • A tradition of giving back. Through its 25-year-long philanthropy program, HOCR has
    contributed over $3 million to local community groups including the West End House Boys &
    Girls Club and the Cambridge Community Foundation
  • Building out year-round competition. Creating and hosting the largest indoor rowing event in
    the US with more than 2,500 competitors at the end of January each year

“As we think about our next Executive Director, we are seeking a leader who will join us in our commitment to running a world-class regatta and at the same time help us think proactively about the areas where we can continue to pioneer, grow, and improve,” continued Fulham. “This is a special organization with an exciting future ahead. We plan to conduct a global search to find the best leader to take us forward.”

The search team will be led by Brack Baker, current member of the Board and former race director. The search committee includes Blair Crawford, former chair of the board and current COO of the Head Of The Charles and board members Barbara A. Jones, Alexander Packard, and Beth Carrillo Thomas.

As Fred transitions away from the regatta, he plans to enjoy more time stacking logs for his wood stove in NH with his five grandchildren, continue to compete with Team Attager, provide color commentary at the Eastern Sprint and IRA regattas, do some guest coaching with his friends in the rowing community and engage in sponsorship and event marketing consulting on the side.

All potential candidates should visit www.turnkeyzrg.com to apply. Turnkey points of contact for the search are:

Steve Tosches – stevetosches@turnkeyzrg.com
Rick Alessandri – rickalessandri@turnkeyzrg.com

More Coverage:

Boston Globe: Fred Schoch’s time with thriving Head of the Charles Regatta to end with retirement in 2024

Rowing News: Schoch set to step down from the Head Of The Charles Regatta

Row2k: Fred Schoch to Cross Finish of 33-Year Run at The Head Of The Charles

By HOCR Board Of Directors
Posted on October 30, 2023