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August Membership Update

Aug. 09, 2013, 9:29 a.m. (ET)
August 9, 2013

To the USA Team Handball Community:

This has been a busy time for USA Team Handball since many of us were in Reno for Nationals. I will try to cover all the major areas in this update.

Board Election

As you know, there are five open board seats on the Board of Directors. The Nomination & Governance Committee has been meeting regularly to work toward finding the right mix of board members and to ensure that we are complying with the bylaws.

Two of the board seats will be filled through the vote of the general membership. If you were a member as of June 12, 2013, you can vote. I encourage all of you to please take the time to cast a ballot.

How will this work? There are three candidates for the two General Membership Director seats. We will utilize the weighted voting system to elect the two board members. That means that the ballot will contain the names of the three candidates and voters must rank all three candidates for their ballot to be valid. Voters will place a "1" next to their first preference, a "2" next to their second preference, and a "3" next to their third preference. A "1" vote will be worth 3 points and a "3" vote will be worth one point. The USOC Audit Division will count the votes and report the results.

The two candidates with the highest point totals will be the new board members.

The ballot form will be posted on the website on Monday, August 12, 2013 and the voting will be open until September 6, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. A registered member of USATH may vote once and only once. You must have been a member as of June 12, 2013 to vote. Ballots must be submitted by email to usocauditelections@usoc.org. If you do not have email access for any reason, please contact me and we will make alternate arrangements.

A separate, detailed announcement will be posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 with voting instructions and information about the candidates. The ballot form will also be posted on August 12, 2013.

Residency Program

The High Performance team of Technical Director Mariusz Wartalowicz, Dave Gascon, Coach Javier Garcia-Cuesta, Coach Christian Latulippe, and myself, have engaged in strategic planning toward the implementation of a long term residency program for the national teams for many months. Thanks primarily to the efforts of Dave Gascon and Javier Garcia-Cuesta, we have reached an agreement in principle with Auburn University to be the home of both the Men's and Women's National Team Residency Programs. This is a critical step in the process of bringing our national teams back to a level of competitiveness in the Pan Amreican region. The only way our teams can improve is to have a place to practice full time in one location, with regular opportunities t o compete as a group. While we understand that it is a long shot for our teams to qualify for the Olympics in Rio, with an established residency program it is a realistic goal to not only qualify for, but to be competitive in, the 2020 Olympic Games. Our partnership with Auburn is a major development for USA Team Handball.

Nationals

Historically, the federation hasn't announced the location for Open Nationals more than a few months prior to the competition. I understand that Reno was a difficult location for some people this year. Given the severe financial constraints under which we are operating, a venue that waives many of the expenses associated with the event is extremely valuable to us and saves our members money because we don't have to drastically increase entry fees. Reno offers a beautiful hotel, a great venue at no cost to us, and complimentary use of sport court flooring, among many other positive attributes. The people in Reno were fantastic in 2013 and they are committed to being great hosts. I am very pleased to confirm that Open nationals will be in Reno again in 2014, from May 16-18.

For planning purposes, please note that Nationals will be on the EAST COAST in 2015 and 2016. An official announcements ill be released with specific details.

Revenue Generation

Unfortunately, our financial situation remains extremely tenuous. Anything that you can do to help will make a difference. Whether it is having your family members sign up as members of USA Team Handball, having family or friends donate through the website, or finding leads for potential scholarships, everything helps. The people in the handball community are a family and we all want handball to grow and thrive here in the United States.

If your club is not a 501(c)(3) organization and you have potential donors or sponsors, the donation can be made to USA Team Handball and earmarked specifically for your club. USATH will honor any specific donation as long as the donor clearly states the intended recipient of the donation. USATH will retain 20% of the donation to apply toward administrative expenses, and will forward the rest of the donation directly to the intended club. This allows the donor or sponsor to receive the tax benefit from their donation while the funds benefit the specific club or organization.

Insurance

USA Team Handball has switched insurance brokers as of June 15, 2013. Our new insurance broker is ESIX (www.esixglobal.com), a group that specializes in sports and entertainment insurance and works with many other national governing bodies. I strongly believe that we will be better served as a result of this change. If your club or organization needs a certificate of insurance, please contact me directly.

As always, please feel free to contact me. My office number is 719-866-2203, my mobile number is 607-220-3464 and my email address is mvh@usateamhandball.org.

Sincerely,
Matt Van Houten
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