June 2018

Minutes for the Meeting of June 14, 2018

Board Members:

Ngassam Ngnoumen (Co-President), Dan Lacugna (Co-Treasurer), Kerry Steele-Rubin (Co-President Elect), Lorraine Kennedy (Secretary), Sylvia Ortega (Ex Officio), John Wang (Officials Co-Coordinator), Candace Twiss (Pet-WRAT Coordinator), Jackie Austin (Officials Co-Coordinator Elect), Scott VanKuilenburg (Coach), Ellen Johnston (Head Coach), Whitney Lenoce (SR Rep Elect), Lori Blessey (Meet Coordinator Elect), Charles Shapiro (Co-Treasurer Elect), Sari Berkowitz (AG Rep), Amy Leahy (AG Rep Elect), Huong Belpedio (Meet Coordinator), Eileen Nolan (SR Rep Elect), Adrienne Williams (Escrow Manager), Leslie Kickham (AG Rep Elect). Dina Carlson, Rebecca Press, Dan Slippen, Showky Kacdawy, Adam Bonoff and Andy McNab also attended.

A quorum was achieved, and the meeting was called to order.


Ngassam Ngnoumen called the meeting to order. Members present reviewed the minutes from May 3rd meeting. Dan Slippen motioned to approve the minutes as stated. Kerrie Steele-Rubin seconded the motion.

RESOLVED that the minutes from the May 3rd, 2018 meeting, as presented to the Committee, were approved.

  • Election of new Parents Club Board Members for period 2018-2019 Presented by Ngassam Ngnoumen
    • Nominees are:
      • Co-President – Kerrie Steele-Rubin (Two Year Term)
      • Co-Treasurer – Charles Shapiro (Two Year Term)
      • Ex Officio – Martha Corneck (One Year Term)
      • Meet Coordinator – Lori Blessey (Two Year Term)
      • Senior Parent Reps – Eileen Nolan and Whitney Lenoce (One Year Term)
      • Age Group Parent Reps – Amy Leahy and Leslie Kickham (One Year Term)
      • 8 & Under Parent Reps – Tina and Peter Lynch (One Year Term)
      • Athlete Reps – Michelle Kennedy and John McNab (One Year Term)
      • Officials Coordinator – Jackie Austin (Two Year Term)

Lorraine Kennedy motioned to approve the nominee slate as presented. Dan Lacugna seconded the motion. All voted in favor and motion was carried.

RESOLVED that the slate of nominees as presented to the Committee, were approved.

  • Coaches Annual and Monthly Report presented by Ellen Johnston
    • State of the Team:
      • We currently have 246 swimmers – which is a team record – and a strong coaching staff.
      • Results – over the past SC season there were Connecticut Records; Team Records; and countless Best Swims
      • Banquet – was well attended with over 300 people and a good time had by all
      • Town Wide Meet & Technique Sessions – the Town meet will occur in August and the team will see more technique work
      • Special Olympics – the team would like some volunteers to assist Special Olympics swimmers with their practices.
      • Sponsors / Branding – a new project that the team will work on in the upcoming year.
      • Master’s Program – The Master’s program is growing and has been a good partner with the WRAT team.
      • WRAT members recognized by YMCA – for the past 4 of 5 years, a WRAT parent has also been a Recognized Volunteer of the Year by the YMCA and we appreciate all the parents do for the team and YMCA.
  • 2018-2019 Short Course: Bids are being submitted now for the upcoming season.
    • Freestyle Frenzy – Bid for November 10-11, 2018 is being submitted
    • 8U Meet – Bid for October 7th or October 14th is being submitted
    • YMCA State Championship (13 and Over) – We have requested and been awarded this Championship meet which should net the team between $13-14K to take place January 18-19, 2019. This will be in lieu of the Pentathlon.
    • American Swim Coaches Clinic – Scheduled for September 4-8, 2018 and WRATs will be sending 2-3 coaches to Anaheim, CA for this clinic. This will enable our coaching staff to learn new techniques and methods to enhance and further develop our swimmers.
    • Try Outs – Scheduled for August 22-23
    • Town Swim Meet – Scheduled for Wednesday, August 1st after Age Group Championships. This will be the third year we will be offering this to the public. Each year the attendance has increased, and we expect the same this year.
  • Treasurers Year-End and Monthly Report presented by Kerrie Steele-Rubin
    • The Parents Club is projected to finish Fiscal Year 2018 with a small surplus of approximately $5k and FY 2019 budgeting is underway. We are well positioned to continue the support of our team.
      • Accounts are reconciled through May 31, 2018 with additional June entries included in the financial reports to reflect Spring Senior Invitational meet activity. There is one visiting team payment outstanding for that meet. 9U meet activity is not yet reflected.
      • Overall, there were lower expenses than expected across the board with higher PET WRAT income that offset budget to actual differences such as YMCA contribution increase vs. budget, lower meet income vs. budget, lower fundraising income vs. budget and increased NATS apparel costs vs. budget. Zone apparel parent reimbursement for $744 is still pending.
      • There were some extraordinary expenses in FY 18 such as investing in starting platforms ($40,373) which was approved in FY17 and an additional contribution to the Y NATS team ($5,000) which was requested and approved at a prior Board meeting. Funds to cover these expenses were taken from the surplus in the Operating Account rather than taken from the Money Market account. This allows the savings to remain intact.
  • USA Swimming Escrow Account Manager Report presented by Adrienne Williams
    • There are 204 active family accounts with 246 youth and college swimmers.
    • 88 accounts are overdrawn for a total of $5,685.50. The largest overdrawn account is $210. Many of the outstanding balances are due to compromised credit cards and Adrienne has been following up with families to obtain new credentials to process open balances. Most of these open balances will be cleared by July 1st.
    • 28 meets have been billed (23 Short Course and 5 Long Course). Escrow account balance is $5,017.91.
    • The lower fee at the start of the Short Course season has worked as well as well as the “pay as you go” concept.
  • PET-WRAT Report presented by Candace Twiss
    • 38 families have not earned all their PET WRAT points at this time. 16 Senior (5 graduating Seniors), 16 Age Group and 6 8&U swimmers. Many attempts have been made to assist these families in obtaining their points. Candace will reach out to them again before the end of the Long Course season to provide them with opportunities before the financial penalty will be imposed.
    • Feedback from a new parent at the meeting was that new swim parents are often not initially aware of expectations for PET WRAT points and volunteering – although this is in the registration packet. Suggestions made include Parent Reps reminding new swim parents about volunteering and PET WRAT points when they join the team and having a bulletin or box on the observation deck to share information/FAQs.
  • Meet Manager Year-End Report presented by Huong Belpedio
    • This year we had smaller meets than in prior years and participation of parents that were new to meet management. Recommendations from the meet coordinator for the upcoming years include – meet coordinator should plan to be at the meets and meet managers should review and use the updated Meet Manager Guide checklist. Additionally, a meet manager training session will be done in the fall to train all meet managers.
  • Officials Year-End Report presented by John Wang
    • We currently have 25 trained officials (3 Administrative Officials, 3 Meet Referees, 2 Deck Referees, 9 Starters and 5 Stroke & Turn) and 2 Stroke & Turn trainees. There are 3 volunteers that began the process but have not completed their preliminary testing to become trainees. We have one of the largest rosters in the State of Connecticut. The goal for the upcoming year is to further expand our roster and to get our current officials to move up the rank so we have a steady flow of officials at various levels.
  • Parents Reps Reports presented by Sari Berkowitz (AG Rep)
    • Social events were well attended by swimmers. General feedback from members was that an effort should be made to add a Fall event to the schedule to create more team spirit earlier in the year and to help new swimmers be introduced to their group.
    • Parent Reps (all groups) should reach out to new swimmers (both to the sport and to the team) to answer any questions and welcome them to the team. Adrienne Williams will send Parent Reps names of new swimmers added to the team as they register.
  • Co-Presidents Report presented by Ngassam Ngnoumen
    • Potential Fundraising Approach
      • Dina Carlson presented an idea that a silent auction be added to the parent social or presented as an individual event as a fundraiser. Items would be donated by members or solicited from local businesses. Auction items could also be experience activities as well as merchandise. Dina will follow-up with more details.
      • Dan Slippen echoed a growing parent sentiment to have a line of more sophisticated WRAT parent apparel that can be worn by and off the poolside by parents. This would be a great way to showcase our WRAT brand.
  • Addition of Banquet Chair Role
  • Due to the growing size of the team (300+ reservations in 2018) and the detailed logistics of the annual Recognition Night banquet, Ngassam Ngnoumen proposed that a Banquet Chairperson role be added the Board of Directors. Dan Lacugna motioned to add the role of Banquet Chairperson to the Board. Sylvia Ortega seconded the motion. All voted in favor and motion was carried.

RESOLVED that the position of Banquet Chairperson be added to the Board of Directors, was approved.

  • Memorial Day Parade Update
    • There was very low participation in the Memorial Day Parade this year. The Board is soliciting ideas on ways to increase participation.
  • Annual Report
    • The WRAT team had a strong year, both fiscally and swimmer performance, and we have fulfilled the primary objectives of the team – 1) raise funds that are used for the benefit of the program and it’s participants, 2) manage and assist with meets, 3) organize social events and 4) give back and help others in our extended community.
    • Our volunteer base is growing and defines the competitive advantage of our team. Our coaches are focused on elevating swimmer development and performance. Our brand is known for being inclusive and engaged in the community as well as providing well-run meets and premier coaching to our swimmers. Through the continued partnership and participation of our members, we move into the upcoming year well poised for success.

Ngassam Ngnoumen moved to adjourn the meeting and Adam Bonoff seconded. All voted in favor. The next meeting is slated for July 12th, 2018.


Respectfully submitted
Lorraine Kennedy
Water Rats Parents’ Club