December 2008

Minutes from Board Meeting on December 3, 2008

Bonnie Strittmatter, Chuck Katter, Ronald Wimer, Mary Cooperman, Jeanne Bowles, Jeremy Howard, Barbara Wiederecht, Chris Gannon.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the previous meeting on Nov. 6, 2008, were unanimously approved.

USA Swimming

Two families (Loftus and Grinalds) still need to pay their fees. Barbara will follow up with emails/calls to both families. Chris is up to date on all else.

Coaches’ Report

A new Assistant Head Coach, Albert Palatiello, was hired and will be working with the 8/unders up through the Adv. Group (approx. 20 hours per week/6 nights per week.) He is a graduate of SCSU and was a varsity swimmer there.

Ellen is at Short Course Nationals with Chris and Andrew. The team can follow them via website in “real time.”

8/under Meet v. Greenwich went very smoothly. Westport will host the second half of the meet tomorrow (Dec. 4).

Some parents have complained about the lack of practice during the Tanksgiving Day Weekend and were concerned that vacation schedules haven’t been posted in a timely manner. Jeremy will get the Christmas schedule out ASAP. In addition, to keep the website easier to navigate, Jeremy will create PDFs with simplified directions/start times/event schedules for each meet. This will be much easier to read than the entire meet entry which is what is currently on the website.

Treasurer’s Report

Jay was unable to attend the meeting but Ron and Chuck reported that we were $5,000 ahead of budget mostly due to the collection of non-compliance fees. On the other hand there were PET-WRAT fees that had been budgeted (based on an estimated larger team) that were NOT collected, so we were approx. $2,000 below budget on that item.

Overall, our balance sheet is where we expected with about $140,000 in cash (up from last year) and $12,000 in coupon inventory (which is a little lower than last year.)

Co-Presidents’ Report

The Board unanimously agreed to award Holly Mesavage an additional 10 wrat points for single-handedly distributing the citrus boxes due to the mix up in delivery times.

Parent Social: A huge success! Many parents attended and everyone agreed that having the social on a Sunday night worked very well.

PET-WRAT: Steph could not attend the meeting but Ron reported that our new zero-points timing requirement was working well with many families (46%) already fulfilling their obligations. We will, however, need to discuss at a future meeting how to deal with those parents that have not signed up. It was also stressed that meet managers, meet referees and Jeremy all work together to make sure the number of jobs and volunteer slots are correct. Parents will be very unhappy if they sign up to volunteer and then aren’t needed. Likewise, it may be difficult to find volunteers at the last minute if we find we should have added MORE volunteer slots!

Website: The Y site is being phased in this month. The designer will then turn his attention to our site (which will incorporate the Y’s design elements) and hopefully it will be completed by the end of January. Ron is hoping it will look like Stanford University’s (

Mahackeno: The Directors met in November 2008 to discuss the building construction, fundraising etc. They all agreed that it was not financially advantageous to shrink the building. We will also need to leave the current building when the contract stipulates and there is no chance of extension.

The Y will begin a capital campaign in 2009 and the board needs to discuss how the Wrats will aid in this fundraising. The Y has hired a new CEO and will likely also employ fundraising professionals to do a feasibility study as to how to best raise the necessary money. As a team we need to show our commitment. It is hoped that most if not all families would be willing to commit $500/year for 5 years.

Other ideas included bringing Bob and Bill back to focus on specific donors, especially Wrat alums. Ron will approach them about coming back for the May 1 Recognition Night and possibly combining that with a 60th anniversary celebration the following evening. The board also thought it was important that the kids help out, possibly with another swim-a- thon, and all agreed to continue the Mahackeno website but as a vehicle for fundraising.

Additional issues: The Board agreed to give Maura Marden a pass on all volunteer points due to her health issues. Finally, the board recognized the need to discuss the coaches travel budgets and financing in greater detail but agreed to do so at a future meeting.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2009.

Respectfully Submitted
Mary Cooperman