This is the week after the National Hockey Festival in Phoenix, and I have freshly returned from Phoenix. There was plenty on tap last week. Not only were seemingly a billion matches played by what seemed to be teams from every community in the USA and elsewhere; there was also the Annual General Meeting and the third USA Field Hockey Board of Directors meeting for 2010 all held concurrent with the tournament. Congratulations to the Festival Pool Winners; there were many outstanding teams and we will be honoring the winners on http://www.usafieldhockey.com/.
Phoenix was awash in field hockey. The volunteers were terrific; the Phoenix Sports Commission and Reach 11 (the venue) employees were all on top of their game; the umpires (all 120 of them) were led by Jeanne O’Brien, and were consistent in game rule enforcement and buoyant throughout; and Karen Collins, USA Field Hockey’s director over it all created a smoothly operating machine to hit every detail of the event. KC’s job is so voluminous; so laden with detail; and she is so resilient. The only tripping point over the entire tournament was weather. Weather is something even KC cannot control. But, nonetheless of the ongoing weather issues placed before her (in this case, it was frost..of all places in Phoenix…and the ground-keepers would not allow play on frosted fields as it damages the grass turf), KC and her greased machine had contingencies at every turn and the tournament flowed just flawlessly. Good on KC; good on her loyal band of volunteers; good on Karen Marley and her group of interns from Denver and the Phoenix area; and good on the coaches. The coaches are the backbone of competition, and without coaches we would not have competitions such as Festival. And, finally, thanks to everyone else, especially the parents. Parents foot the bill and are not only financially engaged but personally engaged every step of the way. If you are an athlete, you owe much to mom and dad; and conversely, mom and dad get much satisfaction for your participation as an athlete. The support of the athletes has never been greater, we know this because our Housing Bureau, JBS, report that the 2010 Festival saw more hotel rooms booked than ever before. It is the support of friends and family that enable athletes to have this wonderful opportunity to experience ‘Festival’.
During the USAFH Board meeting, annual elections were conducted for seats in which incumbent terms had expired. Many incumbents were eligible for re-election. Re-elected members included Board Chair Jim Johnson. Jim is a Ph.D. engineer from Houston who has contributed much to the progress within the sport over the past several years. Jim must be given credit for the provision of good and transparent governance in the organization and for bringing a calm confidence into the operation of the Board. Jim is a great believer in logical progression, and bases discussions upon objective arguments. Billie Ahluwalia was also re-elected. Billie is the CFO for a major corporation in Southern California and serves as chair of the USAFH Finance and Audit Committee as well as being a Board member. For me, Billie has been top-shelf as he worked with USAFH Finance Director Janet Paden on a monthly basis to review financials, and also conduct intricate review of the upcoming budget for 2011. Board member Heather Lewis was also re-elected. Heather is just the best. She served as interim executive director for USAFH prior to my arrival and during a difficult patch for the organization. She brought stability to USAFH in a rather quick fashion. She also designed much of the new USAFH Strategic Plan.
Retiring Board members include Betti Tiner. Betti is from Houston, TX and Vail, CO. She is a wonderful grammarian, and for years has provided her edit skills for all USAFH collateral material and also provides weekly edits to this report. Betti has also served as a principal on all of our fundraising efforts. Also leaving is Lisa Wilkins. Lisa is the First Vice President, Fiduciary Executive for Sun Trust Delaware Trust Company, serves on the USAFH Finance and Audit Committee, and is a liaison to the USAFH Nominations Committee for the Board. Lisa is a stickler for detail, and a great believer in transparency as I am.
The new Board appointees are a stellar group. Laura Lee is from Delaware and has an elaborate array of skills, but the skill that carried the day was grant writing. From her Board resume submittal:
And, finally, Anthony (Tony) Gulotta was selected. Tony is a CPA from New Jersey, and operates as the CFO of a US subsidiary of a foreign conglomerate. As in Laura’s resume, Tony’s credentials are impressive. His selling point was from the perspective of his financial expertise. From his Board resume submittal:
This group along with the remaining USA Field Hockey Board members (Jennifer Averill, Kate Kinear, Pat Cota, Martha Jordan, Pam Stuper, Carla Tagliente, and Rene Zelkin) form the exclusive group of fiduciaries of the organization. Good on them as they will devote a huge amount of time providing policy direction and constant overview, and I am grateful for their efforts.
od NCAA Final Four are still resonating. Rachel Dawson, a member of the USA Field National Women’s Team, is also a solid writer. Take a look at her work describing the essence of this year’s Final Four through this link:
By the way, it was interesting to note the following day of the tournament an article within the New York Times identified the University of Maryland as the winner of this year’s NCAA Final Four. The only problem was that there was no mention of what sport they won. Of course, we made a call to the NY Times sports department and thus far no correction has been made. So, I am not holding my breath.
This is an abbreviated report this week but there is promise for much information to flow in next week’s. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (and, Black Friday). Now, onto December.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! ‘If you’re a turkey or a sweet potato, congratulations on making it through the weekend alive.’
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey