February 2009

Minutes from Board Meeting on February 5, 2009

Bonnie Strittmatter, Jay Chu, Ron Wimer, Mary Cooperman, Jeremy Howard, Chris Gannon, Ellen Johnston, Jill Nadel, Adrienne Williams, David Blansfield, Andrea Boissevain, Chuck Katter, Steph Belleveau.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the previous meeting on January 8, 2009, were unanimously approved.

USA Swimming

Chris is having a few issues reconciling checks. Jeremy is currently updating the database, which should help. The Board discussed two scholarship students and finalized arrangements to accommodate them on the team, which may include utilization of the Ann Atkinson Fund, specifically established for this purpose.


Steph reported that 42 families must complete their zero-points timing. Although the number is down from last month, it is still high. There are several opportunities left in the short course season (i.e. regionals) and Steph has put all meets up on the website. The Board discussed how to enforce this requirement and ultimately decided that Steph would meet with Jeremy and Ellen to determine the number of timing slots still available and then send out a “snail mail” letter reminding families of their obligation and assigning them accordingly.

Coaches’ Report

8/Under Coach: Kelsey Slater is now on deck full time and Jeremy will be having a couple “Meet and Greets” for parents to get to know her on Feb. 14 and Feb. 21. Kelsey will also be working with some of the AG swimmers.

Direct Athletics: Jeremy has found that Direct Athletics is complex and ineffective. Often, for example, he does not get the files from the host team in time to list it on Direct Athletics. It’s also hard to “split” meets on DA if the whole team doesn’t attend. He proposes going back to paper meet sign ups for the LC season, which will be on a bulletin board in the pool lobby.

Championship Meets: Coaches will be discussing event selection with all swimmers during practice and an email blast with session times, event order, hotel reservations etc., will be sent out soon.

Communication: Jeremy is going to improve communication and hopes that parents will soon be able to get information on any topic in at least two ways. These include:

1. The website which will be the primary way everyone can quickly find out what’s going on. The new design will be ready by the start of the LC season and will contain links to schedules, rosters, meet information, news, etc. It will be updated DAILY!!

2. Blast emails will be sent out as needed from Kelsey, Jeremy or Ellen’s personal email accounts. The WRAT account will be eliminated. Emails will be kept to a minimum and will focus on time-sensitive material such as meet changes or special events.

3. Newsletters: The Water Rat Report will be published once a month and will be geared toward parents. Jeremy will include a column on coaching philosophy and it may also have timely articles from USA Swimming or updates on volunteering. Ellen will continue to publish the Sr. News as needed.

4. Jeremy use the red bulletin board near the pool for swimmer information such as meet results, nutritional information or special events notices.

Treasurer’s Report

Year-to-date, net income is $13,642 unfavorable to budget, primarily due to timing on the recording of Pentathlon revenues, which will be reflected next month. Favorable variance in PET-WRAT fees are offset by non-budgeted expenses for the website upgrade and we anticipate this variance to continue for the full year.

Co-Presidents’ Report

Pancake Breakfast: The pancake breakfast could not be held in January this year. Ellen suggested we have it on Saturday, March 28 as a kickoff to Y Nats. There was a suggestion that we have a bake sale at the same time to raise additional funds.

Nominating: the Board approved The Nominating Committee. Adrienne Williams will be the chair. Other committee members are: Kathy Santarella, Terri Nardozzi, Jeremy Howard and Elizabeth Galle.

Website: The designer is currently working with Ron on page content and menu items and will have a mock-up within a week. Ron hopes to have the site up and running by Long Course. The final estimate was approximately $8,000.

AG Social: Jill and Adrienne are planning an Age Group social in early April. They are trying to arrange a bowling party. David may work with them and schedule an 8/under party the same weekend.

Communication: The board discussed some communication issues that have arisen over the past several weeks. Jeremy responded with new procedures, which he outlined at this meeting and the board discussed how we could improve communication and also get parents more involved. There were several ideas to rework the Parents Club jobs such as creating a new Meet Coordinator position, a Concessions Coordinator and a Fundraising Chair. The Board decided to hold a separate meeting in the next two weeks to discuss concrete ideas in more detail and changes can be put in place before the nominating committee begins it’s work.

Long Course Meet Bids: The Board decided Ellen should put in a bid for a LC qualifier. (We need the extra revenue!)

Recognition Night: The Board discussed the cost and agreed that we should try and break even this year (especially since we have the Anniversary Dinner the following night) and we will most likely charge $20/parent and $10/child.

60th Anniversary Dinner: Bob and Bill have agreed to attend and Save The Date cards have been purchased. The Board is still debating the venue. The Cobbs Mill Inn has proven disappointing and expensive! Ron will investigate the Red Barn and Tiburon. Chuck was concerned that this event would be quite expensive with very little payoff. All agreed that our best bet might be having the party at the Westport Women’s Club with a caterer. We can afford to spend $30/head. Ron would follow up with a caterer he’s used in the past and gets some quotes.

P&E Meeting: Will be held Feb. 23. Jill has found several parents willing to attend and be part of our focus group.

The next Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 12. It will be a special mid-month meeting to discuss the Board’s structure.

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Cooperman