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Board of Directors Update Sept 2020

Sept. 09, 2020, 10:30 a.m. (ET)


Using the August 24, 2020, meeting as a (very) recent example, we thought you’d like to read about the process of what goes on before and at a USAR Board of Directors meeting.

Note: The full roster of the Board of Directors appears on the USAR website – About/Leadership/Board of Directors & Officers.

The Board of Directors meet every month, generally the last Monday, via video conference for about 2 hours as well as in person twice a year at USAR National Singles and at the US OPEN, which are full 8-hour days. The week prior to each Board meeting, the agenda and pre-read documents (including the Executive Director’s report and committee reports) are forwarded to Board members. Review of these documents ahead of time allows for informed discussion and saves time during the meeting itself.

So here we go…welcome to a Board of Directors meeting!

USAR Board of Directors Meeting -- August 24, 2020 (Via Zoom)

President’s Call to Order: 5:33 pm MT

Secretary’s Roll Call: 13 Board members, including the three athlete representatives, were in attendance.

Meeting minutes from the July 27, 2020, call were approved by the Board.

Committee Reports

Awards Committee – Stewart Solomon

A motion was made and seconded to accept the Annual Award nomination criteria document as sent to the Board for the August Board meeting. The motion passed, and the document will be posted to the USAR website.

US Team Committee – Charlie Pratt

A motion was made and seconded to approve the roster recommended by the US Team Committee for the 2020-2021 National US Junior Team. The motion passed, and the newly approved team roster was announced via email and social media (see article in the September 2020 newsletter issue).

Legislative Committee – Cheryl Kirk

At the June Board of Directors meeting, the Board requested the Legislative Committee review the USAR Bylaws as well as the Board Election Procedures documents. In response to the Board’s direction, the Legislative Committee spent a significant amount of time with both documents and presented for approval numerous revisions to the USAR Bylaws and Board Selection Procedures, which included the request by the Board as well as general housekeeping. The updates were as follows:

1. Amended non-discrimination verbiage

2. Miscellaneous verbiage and terminology updates

3. Revised descriptions of Election and Membership Committees

  • Membership: Updates old description to more accurately reflect the modern role of the Membership Committee.
  • Election: Amends description to add the role of the task force attached to the Election Committee in bringing Board Appointed candidates for the Board’s consideration in each election cycle.

4. Governing Bodies/Board of Directors: adjust appointed position language; correct athlete rep description.

5. Board of Directors position categories: Selection and Terms

  • The section defines the four Board position categories (At Large Elected; Board Appointed; Executive Appointed; Athlete Representatives). Terms of service are listed, including a proposed change for Executive Appointed Board members to three 2-year terms vs. the prior two 2-year terms in order to produce consistency in all Board positions.

6. Re-name Board of Directors Election Procedures, May 2020, to Board of Directors Selection Procedures (At Large Elected, Board Appointed, Executive Appointed, and Athlete Representatives), August 2020

  • Rename and rework election procedures document to reflect both elected and appointed selection processes; verbiage to agree with the Bylaws.
  • As three Board members cycle off in each of the next three election years, two At Large Elected Board seats will come available. This provides for the newly formed task force to search out and bring a recommendation to the Board for one Board-appointed individual who possesses skills, knowledge, and experience to meet the evolving needs of the Board. Revised At Large election procedures provide for up to three candidates for each available seat vs. the prior two candidates per available seat.
  • The long-standing but little-used petition process was eliminated from the At-Large election procedures in favor of the Task Force process described in the paragraph just above.

7. Administrative: Reordered Bylaws Articles for more logical flow.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the proposed USAR Bylaws revisions and Board of Directors Selection Procedures presented by the Legislative Committee at the 8/24/20 Board meeting. The motion passed, and updated documents will reside on the USAR website: About/Bylaws and About/Leadership/Selection Procedures.

Next Steps:

  • Post revised documents to USAR website and forward to Staff and Board of Directors
  • Communicate revisions to USAR members

Finance Committee – Steve Czarnecki

Steve shared the balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the organization through July 2020. Due to COVID-19 and the associated disruption of tournaments, the organization continues to have challenges related to membership and sanction fee revenue. The postponement of the 25th US OPEN also presents significant revenue and cash flow challenges. Cash projections through 2021 and beyond continue to be evaluated to help inform decisions regarding resource utilization over this period and short and long-term strategic planning.

Executive Director Update – Mike Wedel

Mike presented an interim Giving Games recap and briefed the Board on topics including the new website format; social media and email marketing; National Championships planning; Real Racquetball Show; Serving Up the News monthly newsletter; R2 Sports updates; and various concept projects designed to inspire and motivate players to participate in both outdoor and indoor racquetball safely as local and state regulations permit.

Full Board Discussion

Dan Whitley engaged the Board in dialogue geared toward further solidifying a plan for the next 18 months to 2 years, i.e. formalizing initiatives and decisions that must be undertaken to sustain USA Racquetball and the sport in these present challenging times. In the next six weeks, the plan will be completed with particular urgency applied to goals and action plans surrounding three of USAR’s core offerings: event sanctioning, memberships, and national championships. 

Next meeting – September 28, 2020

Adjourned 7:36 pm MT

After each monthly meeting, Board members resume activities with their assigned committees and work on action items identified during the meeting.

Questions welcome! Please send to Board Vice President Stewart Solomon and/or Board Secretary Cheryl Kirk:

We hope you have found this account of the most recent Board meeting interesting and illuminating!