June 2009

Minutes from the Club’s Annual Meeting on June 4, 2009


Barbara Wiederecht, Bonnie Strittmatter, Jay Chu, Ron Wimer, Mary Cooperman, Andy McNab, Chuck Katter, Jason Poliner, Rob DeLuca, Jeanne Bowles, Ellen Johnston, Kathy Santarella, Adrienne Williams, Rose DeLuca, Cyndy Moyer, Jeff Boley.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the May 7th meeting were approved.

Co-President’s Report

I begin my remarks by confirming that the Water Rat Parents Club remains a strong organization comprised of dedicated and competent volunteers. We are a non-profit organization with annual revenues and expenses in excess of $165,000. After hearing the report of our Treasurer, you will see that we are well managed and fiscally sound. The strength of our organization lies in our volunteer base. Our effectiveness over the past year has resulted from the willingness of our many volunteers to pool their collective knowledge, skills and abilities, and work together to achieve our common vision which is to become a world class competitive swim team. Our future success will depend on this as well. Our team embraces a philosophy that commits it to developing the highest level of competitive excellence for every swimmer, while simultaneously encouraging spirit, honesty, team pride, personal commitment and individual growth.

Over the past several years, this board has focused on four main themes: Education, Communication, Volunteerism and Strategic Initiatives. We are continually striving to improve in all of these areas, and our Planning and Evaluation Meeting held in accordance with the requirement of our by-laws focuses on these themes. We thank all of you who attended that meeting and participated in the work sessions on strategic initiatives.

Our single biggest initiative this year was the redesign and launch of the WRAT website. It is a state-of-the-art site; it’s very flexible and easy to sue. All coaches and several members of the Parents Club have the capability to use this site, which is now the primary means of communicating with swimmers and parents. Thanks to Ron Wimer, Bonnie Strittmatter and Mary Cooperman for championing this initiative.

We continued our emphasis on training and educating parents through coaches meetings during the year and will expand and formalize this activity in the upcoming swim season to include specific topics of WRAT procedures and volunteer requirements, swimming and adolescence, nutrition and training strategies. Additionally, we will soon begin and update of the WRAT Handbook.

Our online volunteer system continues to be successful. Eighty five percent of families have completed their volunteer requirements to date. In response to problems in providing a full complement of timers at several meets last year, we instituted a policy of mandatory timing at one meet for each family. That policy has proved successful, and will be continued in the upcoming season. Additionally we will adopt the recommendation of the P&E work group to assign timing positions for all meets at the beginning of the season to ensure coverage and facilitate planning for parents and meet managers. Thanks to Stephanie Belleveau for leading the volunteer program for us this year.

We have continued to pursue advanced levels of achievement in the USA Swimming Club Recognition Program. This is an accreditation program that allows us to assess our team in four categories: Business and Organization Success, Parent and Volunteer Development, Coach Development and Education and Athlete Development and Performance. We have completed the requirements for Level 1 Recognition and are well on our way to Level 2 Recognition. Additionally, we have been awarded a Bronze Medal in the USA Swimming National Club Excellence Program. Thanks to Bonnie Strittmatter for championing this initiative.

As always, it has been an active year for our organization. We’ve continued to make progress as an active parent support group, while helping our team adapt to the challenges of a changing coaching staff and a changing Y management team. We look forward to continued success in our upcoming swim season, we encourage all parents to become involved and help us provide our kids with a superlative competitive swimming experience, and we thank all of you who have been actively engaged this year.

Treasurer’s Report

Jay began by reviewing Y Nat expenses. For 12 swimmers, the cost was roughly $24,000 with team apparel (and the new tech suits) the highest cost. The PC subsidized an avg. of $1300 per swimmer (this varied according to the suits worn and airfare.) Most of the money comes from the SSI.

Jay then went over May’s expenses (which included SSI meet expenses, website design, recognition night, etc.). He reported that YTD net income is $11,980 versus a budget of $23,730, resulting in a negative variance of $11,749. This is largely because SSI revenue isn’t in yet or the net profit from the LC Invitational. Jay was particularly impressed, however with the recognition night expenses which were lower than he had anticipated. Overall he estimates that we will be about $4000 behind budget for the year. (Higher expenses v. budget included caps, the website and 60th Anniversary expenses.)

Finally, Jay reviewed our 2009-2010 budget and compared it with this year’s and last year’s. He is budgeting for 4 major meets and 2 smaller ones. He also thought pet-Wrat refunds might be less next year (since we don’t pay out on the zero-timing slots.) Overall, however, there will be less income next year (he assumed 200 swimmers and 8 Y Nat participants. He urged us to watch costs carefully as we go forward.

Barbara then thought that the officials radios should be replaced this year. The Board decided not to hold the budget up for these estimates (which she will get in the next few weeks) and that this item can be handled “out of budget.”

The Board accepted the budget as presented.

Election of Officers

The Board approved the proposed slate:

  • Co-President David Blansfield
  • Ex-Officio Chuck Katter
  • Treasurer Martha Corneck
  • Parent Rep—8/Under Andy McNab
  • Parent Rep—8/Under Sydney Hunter
  • Parent Rep—Age Group Sheila Stolarski
  • Parent Rep—Age Group Paul Podolsky
  • Parent Rep—Senior Team Lisa Krakoff
  • Parent Rep—Senior Team Sandra Morrison
  • PET-WRAT Coordinator Kathy Bell Santarella
  • Meet Chair Adrienne Williams
  • Fundraising Chair Jeanne Bowles

USA Swimming

Chris did not attend the meeting. She has invoiced the four families that were in deficit and Ellen will work with her to get the accounts up to date.


Steph was unable to attend. She had nothing new to report this month

Coaches’ Report

SSI: The first meet of the LC season went very well.

LC Invitational: Ellen needs to cut some teams. She has been able to make it work by heat limiting the 400 IM and 400 FR. Two teams will just have a 12/U entry and all 8/U will be cut. She will send the final informational email to all teams in the next couple days. Ellen has also arranged to have timing pads at both ends of the pool and has gotten an 8-lane harness. She is also up to speed on meet supplies, watches, etc. Adrienne is finalizing volunteer assignments. Revenues from this meet should be higher than anticipated.

Short Course Bids: Due very soon! Unfortunately we are hampered next year because we have only 1 committed referee. Ellen will put in for the Freestyle Frenzy and Pentathlon. She’ll then look for gaps in the schedule and bid for an additional meet—possibly a Q meet in February.

Cheshire Meet: Up in the air—Cheshire’s pool is closed for repair. Ellen thought the meet may be cancelled or we might just be able to swim one day. She anticipates getting the final word on this within the next week.

Meeting Wrap-up

Ron thanked the Board members who will not be continuing next year and presented each of them with a gift. He gave a special tribute to Bonnie Strittmatter.

Next Meeting: The next meeting is to be determined as board members needed to check their summer schedules.

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Cooperman