INDIANAPOLIS, July 19, 2017 – USA Gymnastics has hired two key senior staff members as the organization continues its ongoing efforts to protect athletes. Toby Stark, a long-time leader in child advocacy, will serve as USA Gymnastics’ director of safe sport. In that role, Stark will lead a department focused on athlete protection. Mark Busby, who handled child abuse and sex crime cases while with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, will provide supporting in-house legal counsel.
“These two professionals will help us better protect athletes and continually enhance the systems and processes we have in place,” said Ron Galimore, chief operating officer for USA Gymnastics. “Bringing this expertise to USA Gymnastics is another important step because the well-being of athletes is a top priority.”
In her new role as director of safe sport, Stark will oversee, coordinate and communicate all aspects of USA Gymnastics safe sport policies, guidelines, educational programs, reporting and adjudication services, as well as report safe sport matters to the Board of Directors. Busby will handle all information provided to USA Gymnastics about potential abuse, direct any required investigations and coordinate cases with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, as needed.
“Rarely in our lives is there an opportunity to make such a lasting and positive impact on so many young lives, and I’m honored to join USA Gymnastics and lead the organization’s efforts in strengthening its child protection policies and procedures,” said Stark. “I’m very impressed with the leadership’s commitment to making child protection complementary to – and not in competition with – developing young athletes into some of the best gymnasts in the world.”
“I’ve dedicated the majority of my career to special victims issues, and this is a tremendous opportunity to once again serve as an advocate for child safety,” said Busby. “My experience in law enforcement has given me insight into this critical issue and the importance of handling information about possible abuse efficiently and effectively. USA Gymnastics continues to demonstrate its commitment to athlete safety, the core value of the safe sport initiative. I am excited about joining USA Gymnastics and the opportunity to contribute to the safe sport team.”
Stark supported Chaucie’s Place, a child advocacy organization focused on child sexual abuse and youth suicide prevention, for the last seven years. As its executive director, she managed and led the organization’s strategic transformation into a non-profit focused on prevention programs, including introducing new prevention programming and strengthening community partnerships. Most recently, Stark was a consultant assisting Chaucie’s Place with its leadership transition and working with other area non-profits. She is an authorized facilitator of “Stewards of Children®,” a national child sexual abuse prevention program for parents and adults who work with children; recognized as a leader in the state of Indiana regarding child sexual abuse prevention and child protection; and sits on the State Advisory Board of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana. Stark has spoken at the Criminal Justice Act State Conference to educate state officials who work in the criminal justice system on best practices in child sexual abuse prevention and child advocacy and created “Smart Steps: A Body Safety Program for Children©,” a prevention education program that teaches elementary school children that their bodies are their own and they can say no to unwanted contact.
Her community involvement includes 2016 Journey Fellowship; 2016 class of the FBI Citizen’s Academy; Hamilton County Leadership Academy graduate; and a guest speaker at the After School Network State Conference and the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. Stark earned a bachelor of arts from Indiana University and a masters from the University of Houston.
Busby served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Indiana’s Marion County for nearly 14 years. During that time, he litigated cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, homicide and major felonies, as well as white-collar crime. Busby’s experience with Marion County included supervising attorneys and support staff assigned to a major felony caseload, in addition to work in the Grand Jury division. For four years, Busby served as the executive director of the Marion County Child Advocacy Center. In this role, he supervised interviewers and attorneys responsible for the investigation and prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse, in addition to screening allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect for charges. During this period, Busby served on multiple multi-disciplinary teams dedicated to the investigation and prevention of abuse. The Child Advocacy Center is a multi-disciplinary task force designed for this purpose. After leaving the prosecutor’s office, Busby was a partner at two law firms before opening his own practice in 2016.
His current community involvement includes Board member of Public Advocates for Community Re-entry; at-large representative of the Federal Children’s Justice Act Committee; pro bono guardian ad litem for Kid’s Voice; and the Broad Ripple Kiwanis. Busby is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association; American Bar Association; and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. He earned a bachelor of arts (sociology) from the University of Alberta and his juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, visit usagym.org.