USPA Board Chooses Albert Berchtold to Succeed Longtime Executive Director Ed Scott

USPA Board Chooses Albert Berchtold to Succeed Longtime Executive Director Ed Scott

After an eight-month search process, the USPA Board of Directors selected Albert Berchtold, D-27832, as USPA’s next executive director. He will officially take the job on January 1, 2021. Berchtold is currently a marketing manager at Performance Designs, a parachute manufacturer in DeLand, Florida, where he has worked for 14 years.

With more than 5,500 jumps, Berchtold is an active skydiver and international competitor who is a member of the current U.S. Canopy Piloting Team that is headed to the next world championships. Until just last year, he was also managing director of the Florida Canopy Piloting Association, a position he held for 12 years.

Berchtold holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and information systems and will soon complete a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in executive studies.

“I’m happy to be joining the team at USPA Headquarters later this year,” said Berchtold. “I look forward to working with an amazing staff, board and 40,000-member-strong organization to carry USPA’s mission into a spectacular future.”

USPA President Chuck Akers said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Albert as USPA’s new executive director. His vast sport, industry and business experience combined with his vision and passion for USPA and our skydiving family made him the perfect choice to take the helm. Albert will serve our membership well, and I look forward to serving with him.”

Berchtold will become USPA’s 10th executive director since the position was first created in 1960. He succeeds Ed Scott, who is retiring from the position he has held for 13 years. When USPA named Scott executive director in December 2007, he had already been with USPA for 11 years, serving as the association’s director of government relations. He was deeply involved in pushing back against real threats to the sport and helping secure great wins for skydiving and the association. Scott guided the association through the Great Recession of 2008, which hit just as USPA had begun growing again after a years-long membership decline following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Scott met that challenge and many others along the way. Today, USPA membership is at a record high of 41,271, and skydiving is thriving with none of the constraints proposed by a variety of regulators over the past few years.

Scott says, “If you’re a skydiver, there is no better job than to work for the U.S. Parachute Association. It’s the ultimate way of giving back to a sport that has enhanced and shaped your life. You come to work each day knowing that 41,000-plus skydivers are counting on you to support and defend their chosen sport. I first came to work for USPA in September 1996. For me, the dream job turned into a dream career.”