July 24th 2015 Edition

    What happened this week:

    ü  The 2015 USA Curling Arena Nationals concluded in Cedar Rapids, with the champions being the Sarah Walsh team from San Francisco Bay Area CC, and the Jeffrey Knott team from Dallas-Fort Worth CC. Chairman Rich Lepping and I participated in the opening ceremonies. The fledgling Cedar Rapids Curling Club (formed in 2013) and Cedar Rapids CVB were the primary partners locally, and did a great job in hosting the third running of this championship.  There was substantial media coverage, some of which you can find at KWWL.NBCKGAN CBS2, and KCRG ABC.

    ü  The site selection panel for the 2016 USA Curling Arena Nationals finalized its review of bids and has selected the Ice Line Arena of West Chester, Penn., as the host, pending a final agreement. Progress has also been made on identifying a 2017 host site from among the 2016 bidders.

    ü  Call held with Curling Canada and Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition to discuss contract and competition items related to the 2016 Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas. Of note is that over 4,300 all-session tickets have already been sold (65% of capacity) which is 800 more than were sold in all for the 2014 event, where attendance topped 50,000.

    ü  We have negotiated a position for a USCA official to be part of the four-person lead officiating crew at the 2016 Continental Cup, and will put forth a nominee based upon recommendations I have asked for from the USCA Officiating Committee.

    ü  The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures Committee met by teleconference twice in the past two weeks, with progress made on recommended Trials timing (November 2017), number of teams, and how teams will qualify.  This committee is also discussing selection for the Mixed Doubles.  More details to come as the discussions continue.  Committee members include Derek Brown, Doug Pottinger, Cassie Potter, Phill Drobnick, Ann Swisshelm, Leland Rich and me.

    ü  Final FY16 budget proposal and recommendations submitted to the USCA Budget Advisory Group. Plans are to submit the budget recommendation and related information to the Board of Directors by the end of next week.

    ü  Chairman Rich Lepping and I had a call with GNCC President Chris Banino to address apparent confusion among at least some members of that region regarding USCA membership regulations.  Chris, Rich and I are working on follow-up communications to ensure that it is clear to all that paying only regional dues and not USCA dues is not an option, and that clubs must report ALL individual members to their regions and the USCA. 

    ü  A three-year renewal was signed with Quad Graphics for production and mailing of the U.S. Curling News in magazine and digital format. (As the agreement is not tied to a specific financial amount, should we decide to cease production for any reason, the USCA is not financially at risk.)

    ü  Updated position descriptions and job postings are being finalized for Development Associate and Administrative Assistant, with the goal of starting to publicize the call for applications by Monday at the latest.

    ü  The U.S. Paralympic Division has announced its resource allocation for the USA Curling Paralympic Program for 2015-16, amounting to $90,000 for the high performance programs and services, $20,000 for direct athlete support, and five spots for Elite Athlete Health Insurance. This is virtually identical to the amount of support given for FY15.

    ü  The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Challenge Grant report for Q2 was submitted on deadline. We are still short of reaching the $25,000 goal to receive the matching funds from the USOC, and will be working hard to achieve this in Q3.

    ü  Two changes I negotiated for in the USOC Digital Media Agreement amendment to include a mobile application were accepted – to count all mobile users on a unique monthly basis, same as web site users (previous language called for counting them only once, when they downloaded the application), and to preserve our ownership of the user data. The amendment has now been signed. Launching of the mobile application is targeted for August.

    ü  We are working on a partnership with The Pin People to become the official pin supplier for USA Curling.

    ü  Kim Nawyn submitted the grant award proposals for the 2015 Darwin Curtis Fund to The Chicago Community Trust based upon her advisory group’s suggestions following review of all applications.

    ü  Had a call with 7 Troughs Distilling Co. to continue working through partnership arrangements for the Burned Stone vodka project.

    What’s up next week:

    Ø  USCA ice technicians David Staveteig and Shawn Olesen will conduct a site visit Monday-Tuesday at the 2016 USA Curling Nationalsvenue in Jacksonville, Fla. Tickets are available now, and the host hotel block at the Doubletree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront is also now open for reservations.

    Ø  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. last day as Development Associate with the USCA is Friday, July 31. We will miss her very much, but wish her all the best with the new job she will be starting soon that allows her to cut commuting time and expenses and spend more time with her family. Thank you for the five years you have devoted to USA Curling, Christy!

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Aug. 2-8):

    Ø  U.S. Paralympics Q4 resource allocation report is due Aug. 3. This is a change in practice from previous years, when Q4 was simply included as part of the year-end report due on Sept. 1.


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