2016 Members' Assembly

Below you will find a summary of sessions, including some accompanying materials, from the 2016 USA Curling Members’ Assembly (Tempe, Ariz.). Presentations were designed to prompt questions and discussion. 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.
Members’ Meeting 
Rich Lepping, Chairman, U.S. Curling Association Board of Directors 
Gordon Maclean, Secretary, U.S. Curling Association 
Rick Patzke, CEO, 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, including answers to the question “what does the USCA do for clubs?”  Staff reports on areas such as Operations, Communications, Competitions, High Performance Program, and Member Development were presented to attendees.
Building Dedicated Ice in the Desert
Wayne Fleming, Coyotes Curling Club 

Have you ever wondered what it would take to convert an old tennis ball warehouse into a dedicated curling facility? How about building an ice rink in a city with an average annual temperature of over 70 degrees Fahrenheit? Members of the Coyotes Curling Club guided participants through the ups and downs of this process. 
Building the Sport for the Future: Youth Curling 
Kate Garfinkel, San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club 
Eric Kowal, Coyotes Curling Club 
Kim Nawyn, USA Curling 
Jim Shlimovitz, Portage Curling Club 

Investing in youth curling is an important component of building the sport for the future - on the club, regional, and national levels. Representatives from dedicated ice and arena clubs discussed examples of successful youth programming, as well as challenges they face. A brief update on USA Curling’s current and future youth initiatives was also presented. 

Capitalizing on the 2018 Olympic Winter Games 
Kim Nawyn, USA Curling
Regan Birr, Four Seasons Curling Club

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are just over a year away. This session discussed effective recruiting techniques used around the country and how clubs can start preparing to capitalize on the “Olympic bump” now. 

Curling Strategy with Team USA 
Derek Brown, USA Curling 

Derek Brown, USA Curling High Performance Director, led this interactive session on curling strategy by presenting scenarios used when training Team USA athletes. Alternative responses to each scenario were discussed, including factors curlers could consider when thinking about strategy for club as compared to elite level play.
Does Successful Club Management Require Change? 
Karen Spaleta, Fairbanks Curling Club 
Carl Thompson, Coyotes Curling Club 
Barb Vandenberg, Milwaukee Curling Club 

Has your club recently evaluated its committee structure? Do you have written descriptions for board positions? Have you considered hiring staff to handle certain historically volunteer activities? Panel members discussed ways in which their clubs are making changes to more effectively manage their curling organizations.
Featured Speaker 
Jack Lengyel, Athletics Director, U.S. Naval Academy (Retired) 

Mr. Lengyel has had a long and distinguished career in collegiate athletics. His greatest task and achievement as a coach was rebuilding the football program and community at Marshall University after a tragic airline crash involving 75 people, including the Varsity football team, administrators and staff, and boosters. Mr. Lengyel was head football coach at Marshall from 1971 to 1974. Warner Brothers produced the movie “We Are Marshall,” starring Matthew McConaughey as Coach Jack Lengyel. Mr. Lengyel spoke about team building during this session.
Ice King Demonstration/Ask the Ice Makers
Al Moon, Ice King 
Kevin Madsen, Glacial Ridge Curling Club 
Shawn Tait, Coyotes Curling Club 

During this session, Ice King demonstrated the new Monarch on the ice. In addition, ice technicians with experience making curling ice in both multi-use arenas and dedicated curling facilities were available to answer questions and/or discuss challenges with obtaining the best ice possible.

Ice Making Technology
Ice King has a world class reputation for ice scraping equipment, high quality blade sharpening, and curling rink equipment. This session provided  information about the latest technology, including the new Monarch with Acumen technology.
Is There a Place for College Curling in Your Club? 
Gordon Maclean, Copper Country Curling Club 
Nancy Myers, Aksarben Curling Club 

During the 2015-16 season, teams from 34 colleges and universities earned merit points toward participation in the USA Curling College National Championship through 70 eligible events. In addition to highlighting how college curlers can earn merit points, presenters discussed how clubs with dedicated ice and those who play on arena ice have incorporated successful college curling programs into their offerings.
Securing Club Sponsorships 
Darrell Ell, World Curling Federation 

Is your club taking full advantage of sponsorship opportunities in your community? With 13 years of experience as a manager for the Lethbridge Curling Club in Alberta (a 10 sheet facility), WCF Competitions and Development Officer, Darrell Ell, led a discussion on how curling clubs can more effectively target and show value to potential sponsors.
Using Video to Promote Your Club 
Matt Gamboa, Hollywood Curling Club 

Video can be an effective and inexpensive way to promote your curling club to members of the public. During this session, ways in which video can be used to make an impact on a club’s website and social media without a large financial investment were discussed.
Volunteerism: Recruiting, Retention, Recognition 
Regan Birr, Four Seasons Curling Club 
Darrell Ell, World Curling Federation 
Darryl Horsman, Coyotes Curling Club 

Volunteers are needed at all levels of curling in the United States. This session addressed practices that have worked well with recruiting, retaining, and recognizing volunteers at the club level. 

Additional Information: