Three curlers set to be inducted into Hall of Fame

By Terry L. Davis | Oct. 09, 2018, 10:04 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 9, 2018

Three curlers inducted into United States Curling Association Hall of Fame

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Three highly esteemed members of the curling community who have been active in growing the sport for decades are the latest inductees into the United States Curling Association Hall of Fame. Andy Anderson (Chicago), David Garber (Mosinee, Wis.) and Russ Lemcke (Falmouth, Mass.) will enter the USCA Hall of Fame in the builder category – joining an elite group of curlers who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to curling in the United States and worldwide. 

Andy Anderson

Anderson, a Chicago native, has played a key role in the leadership of the USCA as president, treasurer and Board of Directors member. Anderson’s leadership within the Illinois Curling Association and Chicago Curling Club also has been felt over the past three decades as he served as president, treasurer and board member to both. His leadership expanded in the last decade to the World Curling Federation where he served as a USCA representative for eight years and as the federation’s first Director of Finance, where, according to WCF President Kate Caithness, “he achieved financial stability for the federation with a strong safety net.” In addition, Anderson most recently served as a director on the WCF Board. 

“When I joined the Chicago Curling Club (CCC) in 1972, I had no idea that it would provide me with the opportunity to see a lot of the world as a representative of curling in addition to enjoying curling in bonspiels in Canada and Europe and, especially, in Scotland as a member of the USCA Scotland Tour Team in 2001. As a CCC member, I got involved with club activities and leadership which led me to a position on the Illinois Curling Association board, then the U.S. Curling Association Board, then as a rep to the World Curling Federation, and then to a position on the WCF Board, a position that I will retire from this September,” Anderson said.

“To be advised that all of this had a role in my nomination and election to the USCA Hall of Fame came as a surprise and I am grateful for those who had a role in this. You don’t take on all of these jobs with the expectation of such recognition, but because you want to give to the game and expand the many friendships that come from the efforts.

“Curling has provided me the opportunity to participate in two Olympic Winter Games as a statistician and two more as a WCF Board member, which made me part of the ‘Olympic Family.’ But, the most memorable result of being a curler, which I hope to continue to be, is the large number of close friends that I have today as the result of curling with them or against them. The Hall of Fame Selection, although not expected, is the ‘frosting on the cake,’” Anderson said. 

David Garber

Garber, a Stevens Point, Wis., native, and graduate of P.J. Jacobs High School and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was the USCA’s first executive director and served in the role (later as chief operating officer) from 1985-2006. Garber started as a quarter-time independent contractor, with a USCA budget of $110,000. Upon retirement, he was a full-time employee with seven full-time staff and a budget of about $1.3 million. Garber was responsible for establishing the USCA office in Stevens Point; developing a professional staff from scratch; and maintaining a professional headquarters operation that passed every annual financial audit by the U.S. Olympic Committee, CPA, and the periodic audit by U.S. government non-profit auditors over a 21-year period. A major role of David’s was to (successfully) ensure an effective and productive relationship between athletes, staff and the USCA Board of Directors. 

“There are many attributes that I could write about David. But, thinking about his long tenure at the USCA, I believe he was the glue that kept us together,” said Peggy Hatch, past president of the USCA Board of Directors, in a letter of support for Garber’s nomination. “With volunteer leadership coming and going year after year – each with a different strength and style – David was the constant. With grace, patience, and good humor he adjusted and guided president after president and board after board as we worked together to move the USCA forward. No easy task!”

David was involved in ensuring that the USCA became a U.S. Olympic Committee member and that the USCA became a respected USOC member and maximized USOC funding opportunities, while complying with USOC regulations and the terms of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. David was the editor of the United States Curling News from 1991-2002, hiring his successor, and is listed on the current masthead as Editor Emeritus. He also writes a popular column titled “Tales from Sheet Nine.”

“What a privilege it has been to work with the great people of the curling community in Stevens Point, the state of Wisconsin, nationwide and worldwide. To not only curl but make a career in curling for 50 years has been a gift. My dad taught me to curl at age 12 in 1961. Curling at the Stevens Point Curling Club was a terrific family and friend activity. I’ve curled in my local club, made ice, started a high school curling program, helped run bonspiels and assisted with local club projects. Eventually, I represented my club at the state level,” Garber said. 

“I never dreamed I would have the opportunities that came my way with the USCA. I am a lucky person indeed. I enjoyed every aspect of my years with the U.S. Curling Association. It is good to enjoy one’s work during a career in which curling was healthy and growing, and after I retired, to watch U.S. curlers’ continued success and growth on and off the ice.

“Election to the USCA Hall of Fame is a great honor. I am very grateful for the talented, effective people I worked with over the years, including staff, athletes and volunteers. Thank you all,” Garber said. 

Russ Lemcke

Lemcke, who started curling at age 6 in Saskatchewan, has been a driving force in growing the sport of curling on the East Coast, most recently in the development of arena-based curling clubs. His efforts have led to the creation of more than 13 current and future clubs. Lemcke built a traveling curling kit of 32 stones, brooms and other equipment to take to prospective arena clubs in hopes of sparking interest during the visits. His efforts have led to clubs popping up along the coast from Rhode Island to Maine and stops in between. His commitment to the growth of the sport is one of the key reasons why it continues to grow. His active role with the Northeast Ice Skating Managers Association has led to additional opportunities to share the love of curling to new audiences. 

Lemcke has been a leader not just in the Grand National Curling Club of America but the United States Curling Association (USCA) as a member of several committees throughout the years. He was honored in 2011 with the Collie Campbell Award for leadership in growing the sport – an annual award presented by the GNCC region and Curling Ontario  to a person who exemplifies commitment to the sport. He also was a member of the 2012 Scotland Tour and is the founding member of the USCA’s Granite Society. 

“I’m quite honored. I feel like I’m humbled because I never thought I had done enough to earn this. I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this illustrious group who have done so much either as a builder or a curler – or both. It is very meaningful to me,” Lemcke said.

Lemcke’s professional work managing companies in many parts of the world helped him create valuable relationships, many of which have led to new curling club locations. In his later years Lemcke worked on retainer with a private equity firm to spot opportunities and invest in the companies – another skill that carried over into his curling volunteer work. 

“When a person’s life goes on, people want to find a way to give things back and make life better than the way they found it. That’s what motivates me – the desire in some small way to make this a kinder, gentler nation. If my curling work will offer something good for this country, I will feel accomplished. My whole business life has been spent growing things. I have had the chance – with a lot of other people – to grow the sport and touch a bunch of lives. To be recognized for doing that is a very moving experience. I would like my induction into the Hall of Fame to be used as encouragement for others who are working so hard to grow the sport,” Lemcke said. 

The United States Curling Association Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to the sport of curling in three categories: as a builder, as a curler or a builder/curler. The Hall of Fame is housed at the USCA national office in Stevens Point, Wis. Nominations are accepted throughout the calendar year with an annual submission deadline of June 1. Guidelines and more information can be found at www.teamusa.org/usa-curling/about-us/inside-usa-curling/hall-of-fame.

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).