August 7th 2015 Edition

    What happened this week:

    ü  FY16 budget proposal and supporting documents sent to the USCA Board of Directors.

    ü  Chairman Rich Lepping and HR Committee Chairman Chris Sjue were at the office for meetings with me. Chris also conducted exit interviews with Christy Hering and Sandy Robinson.

    ü  Minnesota Curling Association President Kathy Busch visited the office and I followed up later with information on USCA dues and member benefits.

    ü  Tom Doherty attended the Financial Best Practices seminar at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs July 29-30.

    ü  Job postings for the positions of Administrative Assistant and Development Associate* (supporting growth and development) were publicized starting  July 24. Applications have been steadily received and interviews are expected to begin next week. (*See below for update.)

    ü  USCA ice technicians David Staveteig and Shawn Olesen conducted a site visit July 27-28 at Veterans Memorial Arena, venue for the 2016 USA Curling Nationals in Jacksonville, Fla. All looks well.

    ü  Weekly call with the Hawaii Charity Event organizers was held on Monday, with further progress made on scheduling a separate employee event for American Savings Bank (ASB, primary partner with USA Curling) and also local school groups. ASB has sold out all 20 of the team slots available for the two-session Oct. 1 charity event, which raises $25,000 for USA Curling and upwards of $100,000 for ASB’s local charity of choice.

    ü  Working on a potential fundraising event in Denver with the Denver Curling Club and local business leaders.

    ü  Terry is still trying to get updated club and regional officer information from across the country (particularly from North Dakota), so any help you can provide with this effort would be greatly appreciated.

    ü  As you probably saw or heard already, Beijing was selected by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and Lausanne was selected to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

    ü  2015-16 Performance Partnership Agreement with the USOC was finalized and fully executed. Still in process is finalizing the same with the U.S. Paralympics Division.

    ü  Q4 report for the 2014-15 U.S. Paralympic resource allocation was filed Aug. 3.

    ü  I had meetings in New York Thursday with NBC and USOC executives to discuss program development and marketing support for the 2016 Curling Night in America series. All conversations were very positive. NBC committed to continuing the series in 2017 as well, and is considering increasing the investment it makes beyond that contributed in 2015 ($445,000 value for airtime and announcer support). The USOC is considering renewing and increasing its marketing support ($75,000 contributed in 2015). We also have other potential sponsors in the mix.

    ü  2018 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures Committee met again today to continue development discussions. Much progress was made on the men’s and women’s team selection procedures, and attention was then focused on Mixed Doubles.

    ü  USCA Nominating/Governance Committee met by teleconference July 29 and again this past week.

    ü  More discussions held with Directors as part of my ongoing effort to gather input on all things USCA in achieving the vision and mission of this organization.

    ü  Discussions and an in-person meeting held with Paralympic program staff to discuss 2015-16 program priorities and funding.

    ü  July 31 was the deadline for eligible nations to register for the America’s Challenge (WCF event to determine the second team from the Americas to qualify for the 2016 men’s and women’s World Championships). We registered USA as soon as notifications were sent in the spring, and are awaiting confirmation from the WCF on whether or not any other teams registered by the deadline.

    ü  Further conversations with Dow on partnership development. Dow is currently assessing the solutions they can provide for projects identified. Our next call is tentatively scheduled for the second week of August. Director Hawley MacLean had dinner with WCF President Kate Caithness earlier this week, and the WCF ice techs have similar challenges with water treatment, etc., so we are exploring ways to involve the WCF in the partnership as well.

    What’s up next week:

    Ø  USCA Open High Performance Camp, Aug. 14-16, Four Seasons Curling Club, Blaine, Minn.

    Ø  Official U.S. Olympic Training Site dedication ceremony and press conference at Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn., Aug. 15.

    Ø  Jenny Biadasz anticipates launching the new USCA event registration system (Blue Sombrero, through Dick’s Sporting Goods) this week, beginning with the 2016 Youth Olympic Games Trials registration.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Aug. 16 - 22):

    Ø  USCA Operations Group monthly call, Aug. 19.

    Ø  U.S. Curling News (digital only edition) is scheduled to be published about Aug. 19.

    Ø  USCA Board of Directors meeting (by webinar and teleconference), Aug. 20.

    Ø  Jenny begins Portage County Leadership Program training. Both Terry Kolesar Davis and Kim Nawyn have previously completed this program.

    *As you know from previous communications, Christy Hering resigned from her position as Development Associate effective July 31 to take a new job closer to her home (approximately 35 miles away). After three days at her new job, she contacted me to ask if we would consider hiring her back.

    According to Christy, she realized that she had never wanted to leave USA Curling; missed the collegial environment and work she was doing; and while a shorter commute was important in her earlier decision to move on, job satisfaction clearly outranks this for her now, and is supported by her family. I discussed the situation with all staff here, and there was overwhelming support for re-hiring Christy. She returns on Monday, and we are pleased to have her back. 

    As for those who applied for the position in the meantime, Kim and I are looking at the most promising candidates to see if any might be a fit for the Administrative Assistant position, or the new position that I am creating (tentatively called Deputy Officer), to be opened for applications as soon as it is finalized.

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