December Board Meeting

Feb. 05, 2013, 8:35 a.m. (ET)

One Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909

December 3, 2012

MINUTES:  USA Team Handball Board Meeting held on December 3, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time


Jeff Utz, President & Chair (JU)

David Thompson, Vice President (DT)

Tomuke Ebuwei (TE)

Heins Kart Pederson (HKP)

Tom Zelenovic (TZ)

David Palmer (DP)

David Gascon (DG)

Mariusz Wartalowicz (MW)

Matt Van Houten (MVH)

Jeff Utz called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m., welcomed the participants and took roll call.

There was a discussion regarding the minutes from board meetings that have taken place since the May, 2012 meeting.  The minutes from those meetings are not posted on the website but there have been meetings since May.  MVH will check with Francesca regarding the status of those minutes.

MVH will follow up regarding the corporate status of USATH in Utah to make sure that the appropriate roster of individuals is registered with the Secretary of State.  

There were no committee reports given.

General Manager Report:

MVH provided an update on the status of the AAC representatives for the upcoming quad.  There was a notice sent to all eligible (having competed in Pan Am Games within past 10 years) athletes regarding the USOC AAC.  Tomuke Ebuwei will serve as the AAC rep and David Thompson will be the alternate for the upcoming 4 year term.  The bylaws provide for an internal NGB AAC but this has never been implemented. The USATH AAC will be composed of 5 individuals – DT and TE, plus Mark Ortega (2011 Pan Am Team), as well as two athletes who have competed in Nationals.

MVH noted that he has met twice with a Colorado Springs attorney, Steve Smith, a partner at the firm of Bryan Cave, regarding the bylaws and our governance system.  Attorney Smith represents many NGBs and has reviewed bylaws for other federations with the focus on compliance with best practices and meeting the requirements of the Ted Stevens Act.  Smith will be presenting a set of recommendations for improving the bylaws, to be provided to MVH by the end of December.

There was a discussion regarding the composition of the board and the need to identify the term expirations for each.  The composition was determined to be as follows:

Jeff Utz, President Independent 12/31/2013

David Thompson, VP Athlete 12/31/2016

Tomuke Ebuwei Athlete 12/31/2016

David Palmer Independent 12/31/2016

Tom Zelenovic Independent 12/31/2016

Heins Kart Pederson Independent 12/31/2012

Dan Kotler Independent 12/31/2012

Marilyn Gauthier At Large 12/31/2012

Ralf Uhding At Large 12/31/2012

The bylaws call for the Nominating and Governance Committee to select the Independent board members and the membership to elect the At Large members.  Attorney Steve Smith will address how to bring the NGB into compliance with regard to the Nominating and Governance Committee and filling the board seats that will be vacant at the end of 2012.  

The next board meeting was set for January 7, 2013.  

Jeff Utz provided a quick update regarding David Palmer’s professional circumstances.  DP has left his position at Procter and Gamble as of October 31, 2012 and will be taking some time off before re-entering the work force in the sports marketing arena.  This opens up the option to pursue sponsorship or donation opportunities with P&G.  

Marketing/Fundraising Discussion:

JU stated that we need to have a document similar to the High Performance Plan relating to our plans to develop handball at the grassroots level.

MVH noted that the NGB has made significant progress toward becoming compliant with the requirements set out in the USOC audit report from June, 2011, but we have much more to do to be in good standing with the USOC going forward.  This is a priority in that our financial situation must be in order before we can expect to receive donations or sponsorships of any significance.  He has met with Debra Yoshimura, the director of the USOC audit division to update her on our progress as well as discuss how we can implement a bookkeeping and financial system that meets with GAAP. 

Dave Gascon provided a detailed explanation regarding our current financial status.  The 2011 990 form should be ready to file any day now.  The board has reviewed it and it is ready to be signed and filed.  It will be sent to MVH as well so that it can be posted on our website.  Starner Bates, from Salt Lake City, has offered to perform the 2011 and 2012 independent audits for $8,000.00 and MVH has indicated that he will investigate with Colorado Springs firms whether we can find a more competitive deal.  

Chair update:

JU stated that there were a couple of details he would like to address with the board:  whether the title General Manager was appropriate for our organization; and the official location of the NGB headquarters.  He noted that most other NGBs use the term CEO and that the term General Manager was probably out-dated or not relevant to an organization such as USATH.  MVH added that the term Secretary General was important in terms of the international arena and proposed that the board consider the term CEO/Secretary General.  DP confirmed that Secretary General was an important title within the international sports arena.  JU moved that the bylaws be amended to substitute the term CEO/Secretary General for the term General Manager.  Tom Zelenovic seconded the motion.  There was no further discussion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.  

JU also noted that we need to update the information filed with the Utah Department of State with regard to the board and trustees of USATH.  

Technical Director Update:

MW gave a report regarding the recent competition in Mexico City (IHF Trophy Cup for both men’s and women’s junior teams).  He noted that there are several upcoming competitions:  Senior WNT NOR.CA which is the qualifier for the Pan American Championships in June.  The Senior MNT is scheduled to compete in the NOR.CA competition in Greenland in October.  There was discussion about the tentative proposal that the US would host the women’s junior Pan Am qualifier in September – whether we had the resources and could do an adequate job hosting the event.  We need to inform PATH in early 2013 one way or the other.  The junior MNT qualified to participate in the Jr Pan Am Championships in Argentina but the competition is not in the budget and the only way to make it happen is if the athletes self-fund their expenses.  

College nationals is in the final planning stages and it appears that Chapel Hill will host both men’s and women’s competitions.  It’s looking like there will be a higher number of teams, possibly 16 men's and 8 women's teams.

Open nationals will be held in Reno from May 17-19 and an announcement will be made very soon.

We are looking at 2014 now with the goal being to announce much earlier than in past years.

The leagues seem to be improving:  NEL has 18 teams now; SWTHL looks to have 8 men’s and 4 women’s teams and there will likely be a West league 

Membership numbers currently 250-300. Last year we had 538 approximately.   Growth goals are extremely important.  How do we build out membership?


There was a short discussion about the membership goals, especially as it relates to the bonus structure of CEO contract.  Due to time constraints, the topic will be addressed in a separate meeting. 

Jeff will speak individually with board members regarding fundraising goals. 

MVH closed by stating that final preparations are in progress for the visit by IHF President Dr. Moustafa.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after 12:00 p.m.