August 19, 2016 Edition

    What happened in the previous two weeks:

    • Numerous advance documents required for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Committee audit are being submitted on deadline today. The USOC is auditing the 2014-15 and 2015-16 years, since it has not audited the USCA for a few years.
    • The Veterans Administrative has approved changes to the 2015-16 Adaptive Sports Grant previously awarded so that we can fully utilize the $20,000 awarded. The changes include the addition of a one-day outreach clinic tentatively set for Oct. 8 in Green Bay, Wis.; support for program participation expenses for several Veterans; and the purchase of more delivery sticks and technical equipment.
    • The U.S. Paralympic Division has issued a six-month extension to its 2015-16 resource allocation to the USCA, as part of the move toward a calendar year program cycle beginning Jan. 1, 2017. The extension includes an increase in direct athlete support as had been requested.
    • Updates to the USCA’s independent contractor agreement template are being completed by outside counsel, to keep these agreements in compliance with current IRS practices.
    • The four teams and coaches in the USCA Junior Development Program took part in an intensive pre-season camp at the U.S. Olympic Team Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., last week.
    • The first on-ice camp of the season for the USCA High Performance Program teams gets underway today at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Blaine, Minn. All of the National Team Nike apparel outfitting was completed this week and shipped to Blaine for distribution to the teams.
    • Brazil has registered its intent to challenge USA for both the men’s and women’s 2017 World Curling Championship berths as part of the Americas Zone Challenge system. Recommendations for meeting the challenge have been circulated to the USCA Executive Committee and Board of Directors for input. A final decision is being made by staff and will be communicated soon.
    • A special grant request has been submitted to the USOC for a competitive advantage project tied to the 2017 Women’s World Curling Championships.
    • The USCA Operations Group met by teleconference on Tuesday.
    • A small advisory group has been formed to continue planning for the inaugural U18 National Championships, which will be held in Milwaukee, Wis., March 8-12.
    • Revenue Development Group Chairman Hawley MacLean conducted a call this week including executives from USA Luge, USA Biathlon and the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation to discuss the idea of hiring a shared fundraising development staff person. USOC NGB Fundraising Manager Martha Johnson also participated.
    • Mike Dellemann, Warren Hansen and I are collaborating on development of a Corporate Team Building Curling Camp.
    • Several shipments of Nike apparel arrived at the office in the past week, as the 2016-17 National Team and world team items have arrived. The USCA receives upwards of $85,000 in Nike value-in-kind support (retail price value) each year of our sponsorship agreement, which currently extends through 2018.
    • Longtime USCA sponsor Dan Field was at the USCA office last week, checking up on IT and network items and discussing future needs and plans.
    • The Utah Oval Curling Club, located in Salt Lake City, was granted provisional membership in the USCA, with the stipulation that the club is accepted as a MOPAC member at the next regional meeting.
    • Chairman Rich Lepping and I had a call Aug. 11 with leaders of the Chaska (Minn.)  Curling Center as a follow-up to a meeting with them on July 26 regarding USCA and Minnesota State Curling Association membership.
    • The USCA Diversity & Inclusion Committee met by teleconference Aug. 11, with agenda items including proposed updates to the recently-approved Transgender Policy; discussion of the “stick delivery policy recommendations” as put back to the committee by the Board of Directors; new D&I initiatives for this year, and updates to the rolling D&I strategic plan that we are require to submit to the USOC each year.
    • The USCA Volunteer of the Year Selection Panel met to discuss and review all nominations. Clubs will be notified about the status of their nominations in the next few days. The Volunteer of the Year for 2016 will be featured in the Fall edition of the U.S. Curling News.
    • The USCA Arena Committee met by teleconference to discuss the recent site visit for the 2017 championship by Kevin Madsen (head ice maker for the event) and Paul Badgero (Level III official), as well as eligibility requirements and event format.  
    • The new USCA Dedicated Ice Transition Committee distributed a survey to all club presidents to gather information about clubs seeking to create a new dedicated ice facility. Any club thinking about building a new facility within the next 10 years or so, whether that be from the ground up or converting an existing structure, were asked to provide information for use in planning by the committee. The survey can be completed online.
    • Planning for the 3rd annual USCA Members’ Assembly is going strong. Online registration will open soon.
    • The USCA College Curling Committee has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming season, and is finalizing an email to update the college curling community. In addition, two members of the committee will present a seminar on developing college curling programs at the club level during the Members’ Assembly.
    • Thirty people have registered for the USCA Open High Performance Camp, set for Aug. 26-28 at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn.
    • More than 230 USCA members have taken advantage of the new USCA benefits program through ProMotive so far. With savings of up to 70% off retail pricing on over 75 major brands already, and two more waves to come with an additional 168 brands, anyone still looking to find $31 worth of value in their annual USCA dues really needs to look no further than this site. If you haven’t joined yet (it’s FREE for USCA members), just click here to access the site, and enter the following code: 4D34-66AB-DAED-F443.
    • Plans are being finalized for a media/publicity event Oct. 19 at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas to promote the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling. USCA ice technicians David Staveteig and Shawn Olesen are being contracted to make ice for this event, which will also involve athletes expected to compete in the next Cup.

    What’s up next week:                                                                             

    • The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio come to a close Sunday.
    • Revenue Development Group teleconference, Monday.
    • USOC Diversity Champions quarterly meeting, Tuesday.
    • High Performance Open Camp, Aug. 26-28, Blaine, Minn.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, 2016):

    • USOC audit, Aug 29 - Sept 2

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