August 21 2015 Edition

    What happened this week:

    ü  This is the last chance for regions and clubs to send updated information to Terry for inclusion in the 2015-16 USCA Directory & Media Guide.

    ü  Had a conversation with WCF Development Officer Darrell Ell about the Olympic Celebration Tour supported by the WCF and a grant from Global Sports Development. The first tour of this season in the U.S. will be in Milwaukee, Nov. 6-8. There is an opportunity to have two more sites in the U.S., so any clubs interested in more information should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. immediately. Darrell also often adds an element of his Business of Curling symposiums to these Tour stops, which can be very beneficial to the host clubs.

    ü  We finished interviews for the Administrative Assistant position, and have an accepted offer from our top candidate, who will start on Sept. 3.

    ü  I participated in and spoke at the U.S. Olympic Training Site designation ceremony at Fogerty Arena/Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn., on Aug. 15. John Benton and Regan Birr did a terrific job organizing the event, which was held in conjunction with the USCA Open High Performance Camp. Dignitaries speaking including U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Tom Emmer, Minnesota State Senator Alice Johnson, Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan, and NHL St. Louis Blues captain and Blaine native David Backes. USCA Director Nick Wellen and Communications Director Terry Davis also represented us there. Check out this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for a great feature on what this new training site means to curlers in this country.

    ü  Submitted proposed benchmarks to the U.S. Paralympic Division for our 2015-16 Performance Partnership Agreement. These include medaling at the 2016 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.

    ü  Paralympic program Outreach & Development Director Marc DePerno and I finalized a revised Department of Veterans Affairs grant application, which appears headed for approval for $20,000 to support a multi-day Paralympic curling camp and clinic in Denver.

    ü  Reached out to the Pittsburgh Curling Club to see if any leaders or members there are interested in meeting with me while I am in Pittsburgh next week for a USOC conference.

    ü  Chairman Rich Lepping and I had a phone call with GNCC President Chris Banino to continue discussions on membership communications, and also to hear more from Chris on how the USCA can best serve and support its members in the GNCC.

    ü  Had a good conversation with a sponsor prospect, coordinated by John Benton, and am putting together presentation materials to deliver to the prospect by the end of today.

    ü  The USCA Operations Group met by teleconference on Wednesday. Due to some scheduling conflicts, we will be holding future meetings on the third Tuesday of every month.

    ü  On Tuesday I participated in the Competitions Committee call led by co-chairs Sam Williams and Jenny Biadasz.

    ü  Provided input to the Governance/Nominating Committee on their review of the USCA bylaws , particularly in relation to the language pertaining to members and membership in the USCA.

    ü  Jenny Biadasz had her first sessions of the Portage County Leadership Program this Thursday-Friday. 

    ü  Thanks to Leland Rich, Christy Hering, Jenny, Secretary Gordon Maclean and others for facilitating the Board of Directors webinar and teleconference on Thursday. There seemed to be few, if any, technological issues this time around.

    ü  The USCA Board of Directors met by webinar and teleconference on Thursday, and approved the  FY16 budget as presented. Following the budget approval, I confirmed with Bemidji CC that we will be purchasing their six sets of stones. These will be used for special events (such as fundraising events), and could also potentially be used at Arena National Championships where quality matched stones are not available, and also potentially for loan/rent to clubs or other venues needing stones on a short-term basis that does not conflict with our needs. 

    ü  I submitted preliminary business and construction plans for Bowling Green CC to the WCF for advance consideration in their club development loan program. Initial feedback has been received and returned to the club. At its meeting this week, the USCA Board of Directors approved supporting the formal application and issuance of the WCF loan on the condition that all requirements are met to the satisfaction of the USCA Chairman, CEO and the Chairman of the USCA Audit/Finance Committee.

    ü  Stone shipments for Charlotte, Chaska, and Milwaukee should  be ready to ship from Scotland by the middle of next week. These are sets purchased through the WCF deferred payment program.

    ü  I spoke with a  USOC Human Resources representative to draw on their expertise for crafting the Deputy Manager position description and related details.

    ü  USOC development of a mobile application for USA Curling continues, with training expected in later October and a public launch date targeted for mid-November.

    ü  Kim Nawyn attended the USOC American Development Model Conference in Delaware this week. Following this conference we anticipate finalizing the USCA Athlete/Curler Development Plan.

    ü  Secretary Gordon Maclean will soon be sending an email to all USCA member club presidents regarding the Members’ Assembly delegate’s deadlines. This will include information about the upcoming USCA Members’ Assembly.

    ü  Spoke with two potential venues for staging the 2016 Curling Night in America series on NBCSN.

    ü  Marketing materials were finalized for the 2016 Curling Night in America series, and presented to the USOC (for presentation to its sponsors) and also Korbel California Champagnes, among others. NBCSN has now committed to hosting the series for at least the next three years. The tentative schedule for 2016 includes an earlier Friday night time slot (starting at 10 p.m. ET or earlier) and earlier start of the series (second week of January). Note: The reality of this series continuing still hinges on WCF and other sponsor support, which we are working feverishly to confirm within the next few weeks.

    ü  The WCF has confirmed that there will not be any challenges to USA’s berths in any of the 2016 World Championships.

    ü  Registration is now open for the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games playdowns for curling.

    ü  The latest in discussions with Dow on a partnership center on using value-in-kind it provides to the USOC through its international sponsorship. Since this is out of our control, I have now engaged the USOC Chief Marketing Officer and Dow’s Director of Olympic Development to speak with each other about it.

    Ø  Terry Davis finalized the next (digital-only) edition of the U.S. Curling News, and it is now available for downloading

    Ø  Terry and I have had weekly calls with the organizers of the third annual Hawaii Charity Curling Classic, set for Oct. 1 in Honolulu. In addition to the $25,000 donation we receive from this event, the organizers are now also picking up travel and lodging expenses for all USCA staff and ice technicians supporting this event, which is about an additional $5,000 in value.

    ü  Winners of the 2016 USA Curling Men’s and Women’s Nationals will now have the opportunity to compete in the Champions Cup, a new event added to the Grand Slam series, which will be held April 26 – May 1 in Alberta. This event has a $100,000 prize purse, and will feature 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams. 

    Ø  The partnership with 7 Troughs Distillery highlighted at the May Board meeting is progressing well, with the focus being to earn revenue on sales of the “Burned Stone” vodka brand at the 2016 Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas. Other related items (such as branded traveling pouches for the vodka) may also be produced both as a service and to generate additional revenue. 

    Ø  Dick’s Sporting Goods, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is rolling out an athlete employment program similar to the Olympic Job Opportunity Program previously supported by The Home Depot. This information has been circulated to athletes both in and outside of the High Performance Program, as it is not limited solely to National Team athletes. 

    Ø  Thirty-six people participated in the Open HP Camp Aug. 14-16 at the newly-minted Olympic Training Site in Blaine, Minn. Several coaches from the HP staff and athletes within the program assisted with the camp and training sessions. Some very positive feedback has been received.

    What’s up next week:

    Ø  Arena Championships Committee teleconference, Monday, Aug. 24.

    Ø  Rules Committee teleconference, Tuesday, Aug. 25.

    Ø  USOC Diversity Champions quarterly meeting (teleconference), Tuesday, Aug. 25.

    Ø  USOC SportsLink and NGB Best Practices seminar, Aug. 25-27, Pittsburgh.

    Ø  NGB Council meeting, Aug. 27, Pittsburgh.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Aug. 30 - Sept. 5)

    Ø  WCF Congress, Sept. 2-6, Belgrade, Serbia

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