Interested in more details from the 2014 inaugural Members’ Assembly? Below you will find a summary of sessions, including some accompanying materials. Presentations were designed to prompt questions, discussion, and experience sharing. We encourage you to attend future USA Curling Members’ Assemblies to learn from the experience of and share your knowledge with curlers from across the nation. Such collaborations are important to the growth of the sport on the club level.

Member Business/Updates from USCA staff and board

David Carlson, Chair, U.S. Curling Association Board of Directors; Rick Patzke, Interim CEO, USA Curling and additional USA Curling staff members

This session was designed to bring Members up-to-date on the business of the U.S. Curling Association. In addition to discussion of the transition to the governance structure adopted by the new by-laws, reports on areas such as Member Development, Communications, and Competitions were presented to the Members.

Interested in learning more about USCA Member Clubs or the benefits of membership? Check out the USA Curling Growth & Development Survey Report or the USCA Benefits of Membership document.

Building a Dedicated Ice Curling Facility

Mary Fanette, Norfolk Curling ClubPam Finch, Denver Curling Club; Craig Fischer, Fort Wayne Curling Club; Darin Romine, Denver Curling Club

Representatives from the Denver, Fort Wayne, and Norfolk Curling Clubs spoke about their recent experiences building dedicated curling facilities. They addressed the process, challenges, and lessons learned. Differences between building a new facility and converting an existing structure were highlighted.

Corporate Events 

Avi Belinsky, Granite Curling Club; Karen Bronson, Denver Curling Club; Sandra McMakin, Potomac Curling Club

A recent USA Curling survey showed that clubs frequently listed corporate events among their greatest sources of revenue. During this session, club members discussed how corporate event programs have been effective income streams in dedicated ice and arena clubs.

Developing a Fundraising Campaign in Your Club

Michelle Schleibaum, Director of Philanthropy, USA Curling

Michelle shared tips for growing club fundraising outreach: who to target, how to reach out, and ways to follow up with contributors. She also facilitated a discussion focused on fundraising strategies that have worked for curling clubs across the country. 

Developing an Instructional Program within Your Club

Sandra McMakin, Potomac Curling Club/Formerly, Pittsburgh Curling Club; Dave Jensen, Capital Curling Club; Jon Mielke, Capital Curling Club      

Top instructors/coaches with experience in dedicated ice and arena clubs discussed developing an instructional program within the curling club. The session touched upon instruction for beginners to experienced curlers, training new skips, and developing a coaching program. 

Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Organizations

Jason Thompson, U.S. Olympic Committee, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

This interactive workshop addressed culture, diversity, and inclusion in sport. In addition to discussion of benefits diversity could bring to curling, it helped give participants a glimpse of how personal biases could impact or limit club/organizational growth.

Ice Making and Arena Curling Clubs

Kevin Madsen, Willmar Curling Club

Kevin Madsen (27 years of experience in ice arena operations/management, ice technician for USCA National Championships) answered questions about ice making (arena or dedicated ice), improving the arena club relationship with management, and arena clubs in general.

Making Curling Fun!

Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth & Development, USA Curling

People curl for many reasons: competition, exercise, love of the sport. However, before new curlers can love the sport, it has to be fun. During this interactive session, attendees were encouraged to discuss practices from their clubs and come up with new “fun” ideas to incorporate into interclub bonspiels, practice, or in-house events.

  • Check out the upcoming Winter 2014 edition of the U.S. Curling News for ideas shared during this session

Post-Sochi: What are Your Club’s Plans?

Regan Birr, Four Seasons Curling Club; Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth & Development, USA Curling

Open houses and learn to curl classes dotted the map last February and March following the Olympic Winter Games.  Following a series of examples from member clubs, participants were encouraged to discuss how their clubs were attempting to continue riding the wave of enthusiasm about the sport and convert some of those who try the sport into members.          

Use of Dynamic Warm-Ups

Anna Castellano, LMT, USA Curling Massage Therapist

Athlete self care and maintenance are issues that athletes struggle with to keep the body healthy and strong throughout the duration of a season. During this session, Anna addressed the importance of pre- and post-game routines to athletes' health and longevity within the sport, with an emphasis on using dynamic warm-ups.  

For more information in this area, check out the Individual and Team Development Tools on the Sport Education Section of the USA Curling Website.

Using Social Media to Increase Sport Awareness

Matt Culbertson, Denver Curling Club; Jamie Blanchard, United States Olympic Committee; Matt Gamboa, Hollywood Curling Club; Brandon Penny, United States Olympic Committee; Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications, USA Curling (panel moderator)

Using social media is more than just Tweeting details about your latest curling score. Social media can be used strategically to get the word out about your club or event. The panel discussed how to effectively incorporate social media into your club communications platform.

 Volunteers: Recruiting, Retention, Recognition

Mary Fanette, Norfolk Curling Club; Regan Birr, Four Seasons Curling Club

Volunteers are needed at all levels of curling in the United States. This session addressed practices that have worked well in recruiting, retaining, and recognizing volunteers at the club level, as well as alternatives to using volunteer assistance. As with all sessions, audience participation was encouraged.

Additional Information: