May 27, 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • Chairman Rich Lepping and I attended the GNCC Annual Membership Meeting May 13-15 in Tarrytown, N.Y. The purpose of being there was to continue to foster more communication and collaboration between the GNCC membership and USCA, and to listen, learn and seek to better understand what the main needs and issues facing the GNCC membership are.
    • The San Francisco Bay Area CC team of Sarah Walsh, Kimberly Chapin, BriAnna Weldon and Pamela Montbach repeated as champions in the women’s half of the USA Curling Arena National Championships May 15 in West Chester, Penn., beating the Darcy Ellarby rink from Dakota Curling Club in the final. On the men’s side, Pittsburgh’s team of Mark Robinson, Nicholas Visnich, Alexander Visnich and Steve Buffington won the gold, overcoming Jonathan Penney’s Cincinnati rink in a closely-fought final.
    • Vice Chairman Courtney Schmidt and I represented the USCA at the Arena National Championships, which were co-hosted by the Jersey Pinelands Curling Club, Ice Line Arena, and the Chester County CVB .
    • Terry Davis has finished up probably the largest U.S. Curling News ever, which runs 50 pages (including 32 to be printed in the magazine, and 18 bonus digital-only pages). The last issue of the 2015-16 season will go to press sometime next week and should arrive in mailboxes starting June 6.
    • The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials site selection panel is moving toward a final decision on a host site, with final questions being asked of the top three finalists. Once a selection is made, terms of agreement will need to be finalized with the chosen site, after which a public announcement can be made.
    • Terry has created an interactive Sway site highlighting all of the 2015-16 season national champions.
    • In USA Curling’s continuing effort to show value in organizational membership, we have been exploring a number of member benefit programs over the past few months. We recently connected with a company called Experticity to offer our members exclusive discounts on a variety of brands, most of which are focused on being active. Starting with an initial launch this week, members who sign up for this benefit will be able access discounts that typically range from 20%-75% off MSRP. The first wave of discounts will include brands such as Carhart, Merrell, Nike Vision, Ogio, Otterbox, Purina Pro Plan, Traeger Grills, Wolverine, Mountain Khakis, Power Bar, Red Paddle Co, Tenkara Rod, and more. By the end of the summer, members will have access to special deals at 230+ companies.
    • Two new ice technician training courses are on the calendar: Level II, July 9-10, Tri City Curling Club, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Level I, July 30, Itasca Curling Club, Grand Rapids, Minn. The Level I Ice Tech course is partially sponsored by Dakota Curling Supplies. The sponsorship allows for a reduction in course fee for USA Curling members.
    • USA Curling is preparing a printed calendar for distribution to clubs at the start of the 2016-17 curling season. Clubs have been asked to submit photos to be considered for the calendar. Image files or links should be emailed to Christy Hering, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by the end of May 2016 to ensure consideration.
    • The Darwin Curtis Fund Grant Program is currently accepting applications.  More information about the program can be found on the USA Curling website, Completed applications are due by 5pm CDT on June 10, 2016.
    • Olympic Day is celebrated annually on June 23rd. Olympic Day events can be associated with a pre-existing event or distinguished as a standalone celebration. (Events do not have to be scheduled on June 23rd.) Clubs are encouraged to borrow Curling in the Gym equipment for off-ice events, which have the potential to be effective tools for recruiting youth curlers. Contact the USA Curling National office at  with questions.
    • The USA Curling partnership with RallyMe has officially begun, providing an online fundraising platform for clubs, teams and individuals seeking to raise money for their own sports-related causes.
    • The Four Seasons Curling Club/Fogerty Arena has been selected as the host site for the 2017 USA Curling Mixed Doubles National Championship. Hosts are still being sought for the Mixed Doubles Challenge Round, the new U-18 National Championships, and the East and West Junior Challenge Rounds.
    • The 2016-17 USA Curling championship event playdown registration dateshave also been announced.
    • The first draft of the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team Selection Procedures is being submitted to the U.S. Paralympic Division this week. The 2016-17 USCA Paralympic High Performance Plan is also being submitted this week.
    • FY17 budget work is progressing. Our goal is to get the first outlook and a summary of highlights and strategies to the Budget Advisory Group by June 3. The group meets June 10-11 in Madison, Wis.
    • The 2016-17 High Performance Program (HPP) Athlete Combine was held May 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Blaine, Minn. I attended in the role of supporting as well as evaluating and overseeing the process. Letters to athletes being invited into the HPP were issued a few days later, and a press release naming those who will be in the program is expected to be distributed later today.
    • On Tuesday and Wednesday I met with longtime USCA sponsor Dan Field (AtomOS), WCF President Kate Caithness, WCF Secretary General Colin Grahamslaw, and WCF Directors Laura Lochanski and Andy Anderson in Chicago. The WCF leaders were meeting with Dan and some of his business partners regarding the WCF’s web site and other IT services.
    • The World Curling Federation “Sweeping Summit” continues through today in Ottawa, Canada.
    • The Arena Championships Committee met by teleconference to debrief on this year’s event and plan for the next one.

    What’s up next week:

    • Meetings with NBC and WCF partners, New York, Tuesday-Wednesday.
    • Final decision on 2017 Winter World University Games participation due to BTI, Wednesday.
    • ACES monthly teleconference, Wednesday.
    • Meeting with Curling Canada CEO, Toronto, Wednesday-Thursday.
    • The second annual Business of Curling Symposium will take place June 4-5, 2016, at the Milwaukee Curling Club. Facilitators will guide participants in an interactive series of discussions, idea sharing, and success stories.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (June 5 - 11, 2016):

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