July 22, 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • I have established a Rules Committee to review and take necessary action as determined on the USCA Rules of Play, and Rules of Competition. Committee members are Sam Williams, Derek Brown, Herb Kupchik, Craig Brown, Mark Swandby and Jenny Biadasz (staff liaison, non-voting member).
    • Derek’s World Team Qualification Process Advisory Group met by teleconference to review how the 2016 season went, and to discuss potential changes/improvements to the system for the 2017 season. The group will meet again soon after reviewing the initial discussion notes.
    • In light of changes in how the IRS views and assesses independent contractor vs. employee agreements, I’m having the USCA independent contractor agreement template we use reviewed by the attorney who originally drafted it three years ago.
    • The USCA Executive Committee met to discuss several items in advance of the upcoming Board of Directors meeting, including the FY17 Budget proposal and the Diversity & Inclusion policy recommendations that were tabled for further review at the April Board meeting.
    • The FY17 budget proposal and FY16 year-end projections have been distributed to the Board of Directors in advance of next Thursday’s meeting.
    • press release announcing Omaha as the host site for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials was publicized.
    • Club officers are encouraged to send in updated officer information for inclusion in the 2016-17 USA Curling Media Guide & Directory. The form also includes a spot for your club’s bonspiel schedule, which we’ll post on the USA Curling website and in the upcoming editions of the U.S. Curling News magazine. Ideally, forms should be sent in by Aug. 12. For your convenience, you can either download a Word form or utilize the electronic form. Both are located here.
    • I had another call with Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson to continue discussing ideas and projects of mutual interest.
    • The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Mixed Doubles Selection Procedures have been approved by the USOC and will be published as soon as the required signatures are collected.
    • The 2nd quarter report for the USOC Challenge Grant was filed, and the results should trigger the $25,000 matching grant from the USOC. The current report shows eligible* funds raised of $48,498 (since Jan. 1), against expenses of $2,585, for a net return of $46,944, and a cost per dollar raised of approximately 5 cents. The bulk of the donations are related to the 2016 Continental Cup of Curling. (*To be considered eligible funds raised to meet the Challenge Grant guidelines, the funds must be “new and/or upgraded cash philanthropic gifts.”)
    • Planning conversations continue with Warren Hansen, who is being hired as a Business Development Consultant for the USCA, with half of this expense being provided through a grant from the World Curling Federation. Warren’s primary objectives are to help develop and market the USCA’s premiere championship events and made-for-TV events such as Curling Night in America, and also develop other revenue-generating events for the USCA.
    • Nineteen people participating in the USCA Level II ice technician course held in conjunction with the Tri-City Curling Club in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. USCA Head Ice Technician David Staveteig and Assistant Shawn Olesen were in the USCA office on Monday to inspect the USCA championship stones and plan for the coming season.
    • The 28th Annual Midwest Junior Summer Curling Camp took place at the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Staff members Kim Nawyn and Christy Hering visited the camp at different times throughout the week.
    • The College Curling Committee had a phone conference focused on evaluating regional divisions and the process for earning points toward participation in the National Championship.
    • The USCA application to The Chicago Community Trust was submitted for the 2016-17 grant cycle.
    • Operational reports were completed and filed in the meeting Dropbox for the upcoming Board of Directors meeting.
    • The Pre-Trials process for selecting the 2017 wheelchair national team and subsequently the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team has been announced. The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Team Selection Procedures are in final review by the U.S. Paralympic Division before being circulated for the required signatures, after which they will be posted on the USCA web site and distributed through other communication channels.
    • Conversations are advancing with a sponsor prospect interested in the USA Curling Paralympic program.
    • Event Services Manager Jenny Biadasz and I met with Wausau Curling Club representatives in Wausau to discuss future event bids and a long-term national and international event hosting strategy.
    • The site selection panel for the 2018 U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Championships met to review and discuss the six bids received. It is anticipated that a final decision will be reached within the next  few weeks.
    • 2017 host sites are still needed for the Mixed Doubles Qualifying Event, the U18 National Championships, and the Mixed Championships. Jenny and others are diligently working to find sites, but please help promote this to your region and clubs. Note that the Mixed Doubles event can be held in a 3-sheet club.
    • Regional playdown information should be submitted ASAP to be included in the 2016-17 Media Guide/Directory as well as on the web site.

    What’s up next week:                      

    • Chairman Rich Lepping, MCA President Kathy Busch and I will be meeting with Chaska Curling Club leaders on Tuesday in Chaska, Minn.
    • USCA Board of Directors meeting (teleconference/webinar), Thursday.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (July 31 – Aug. 6, 2016):

    • USCA Town Hall teleconference with updates from July 28 Board of Directors meeting, 7 p.m. CDT, Aug. 2.

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