Board of Directors Meeting - December 12, 2007

Official Minutes



7:00 PM – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2007


Attendance:  Board Members:  Greg York, Chair, Art Davis, Riley Eaton, Mark Faherty, Boots Hall, Bill Marlin, Virginia Ratcliff, Bill Stephens, Jim Thompson, Ron Whalen.  Non-voting Board Members:  Jim Garner, Karl Hellmann, Linda Klopfenstein.  Executive Director:  John Ertter.  Individual Members:  Janet Auger, John Hirschmann, Tim Husson and Jim Van Erden.


Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:02 pm by Greg York, General Chair.


Agenda:  John Ertter, Executive Director, provided the Board with a proposed Agenda that was adopted.


Approval of Minutes:  The minutes of the November 14, 2007 meeting were unanimously approved. 


Athlete Representatives’ Reports:  Greg York reported that Virginia Ratcliff, Athlete Representative, attended all three sessions of the recently completed Tom Dolan Invitational Meet and conducted a survey of the athletes’ pool preferences.  Pending her arrival, the Board moved to the next item on the Agenda.


Presentation on Website Redesign:  Tim Husson, Webmaster, provided the Board with a handout, PVS Website Status, which summarized completed items, items in progress, as well as future plans.  (His monthly report had been previously distributed to all Board members via email.)  Of particular interest was the creation of a Meet Director’s Page since PVS does not have an up-to-date Meet Director’s manual.  Husson stated that he envisioned the page to have a checklist of steps (i.e., sanction approval, preparation of meet announcement, submission of pre-meet files, during and post meet responsibilities, etc).  He requested assistance in the development of the information.


Several requests for improvement to the site were made, including:


Noting the introduction of the “PVS Webmaster’s Blog,” Husson explained that its use could be expanded to communicate additional PVS information and expressed his willingness to do so.  Finally, in response to York’s question, Husson informed the Board that, by next month, he planned to have the search engine completed as well as prototypes of the Parents’ and Athletes’ pages.


Athlete Representatives’ Reports (continued):   Virginia Ratcliff joined the meeting prior to this time.  She reminded the Board of York’s previous month’s request to the Athlete Representatives to survey their members regarding their preferred competition sites.  Ratcliff provided the Board with a chart of the results of her survey of approximately 218 PVS athletes.  The GMU facility received 28% of the over 200 votes cast.  Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex received 14% of the votes.  Freedom Center and UMD tied for third favorite at 11% of balloting and Oak Marr rounded out the top five with 7% of the votes.  In addition to the chart, following the meeting, Ratcliff prepared a narrative summarizing her survey results.


Noting that GMU appeared to be the clear choice of the athletes, the Board believed it important that they be made aware of its unsuccessful attempts to rent the facility.


Praising Ratcliff’s efforts, several Board members requested that Husson post the survey results on the soon-to-be created Athletes Page on the website.


Unable to attend the evening’s meeting, Cassidy Wolfe submitted the following information regarding the results of her polling to the Administrative Assistant.  Locations, by preference and number of votes, were:  George Mason University (7), PGS&LC (5), University of Maryland (5), Wakefield (3), Oak Marr (3), Providence (1), Lee District (1), Germantown (1), and Fairlands (1).  Athletes were asked if they preferred to have championship meets/ important meets at facilities, such as GMU, and 100% responded, “Yes.”


Others asked if the athletes (and the PVS community in general) were aware of why PVS was using other pools this year for its major meets.  It was suggested that it was important that his information be communicated to our families so that they know at least in general terms why these decisions had been made.  It was agreed that the PVS newsletter and PVS website would be good mediums to do this.


Presentation on Strategic Planning Initiative:  Prior to the meeting, Jim Thompson, Strategic Planning Chair, distributed to all Board members an Update on the PVS Membership Study.   During the meeting, Thompson briefly reviewed the slides describing his methodology and results for determining the PVS membership demographics.  In his Status Update Addendum, Thompson highlighted PVS’s market penetration and explored the advantages of geocoding each athlete’s residence street address.  (Geocoding uses USA census data to more precisely track addresses to the correct political jurisdiction whereas USPS data tracks only to zip codes that in many cases cross political boundaries.) 


Following the presentation, several items were discussed including:


A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to authorize Thompson to expend up to $500 to obtain data to allow geocoding individual addresses.  [Following the meeting, Thompson prepared a list of the demographic questions he planned to explore.]


Appeals for 2007 National Championships Travel Assistance Reimbursement:  Ertter informed the Board that he had received an appeal from one club on behalf of its athletes who had competed in the 2007 National Championships.  The original request had been denied because the application, as originally submitted, did demonstrate that the athlete had satisfied the requirements to receive reimbursement.  A revised application has since been submitted which, if confirmed upon review, entitles the athlete’s club to receive reimbursement for their participation in the meet.   Ertter’s recommendation to the Board was that it agree to consider the appeal.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved that the appeal be considered and payment be approved, pending verification of the application. 


In an attempt to ensure that Travel Assistance reimbursement requests are submitted in a timely and complete manner, Riley Eaton requested that the Administrative Assistant send a Flash mail specifying the submission deadline for the 2007 USA SCY National Championships.  A review of the Travel Assistance Application and Instructions was also recommended to be undertaken by the Travel Assistance Coordinator, Linda Klopfenstein.  With the advent of SWIMS, the method for documenting that athletes have satisfied the participation requirements should be updated.   


Update on Criteria for Home Schooled Athletes to be Considered for PVS Scholar Athlete Awards:  Riley Eaton recommended to the Board that home-schooled athletes wishing to be considered for future PVS Scholar-Athlete Awards be encouraged to apply and that an ad-hoc committee of three, appointed by the General Chair, be formed to evaluate their applications.  It was agreed that it would be desirable for the members of this committee to have experience in education so they could properly evaluate the equivalency of the academic work.  It was also noted that at the USA-S level, this matter was also being addressed for purposes of national level recognition.  It was agreed that Eaton should continue to stay in contact with them so any policies developed could be considered for possible adoption by PVS.  A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved adopting Eaton’s recommendation.


Pool Rentals for 2008-2009 SC Season:  The Board was presented with a handout prepared by Ertter listing the 2008-09 SC PVS sponsored meets, their 07-08 locations and recommended 08-09 locations.  Ertter explained that he wished to receive input from the Board regarding its venue preferences prior to his contacting facilities to inquire about rental availability.  He also noted that he had met with Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) the day before the meeting and had learned that if PVS were to relinquish any of its previously rented slots, there would be substantial risk of losing them in future years.  An additional item of note arising in the meeting was that FCPA might be willing to rent Oak Marr the last weekend in March 2009; however, the rental would require that PVS rent the entire facility.  Before opening up to a general discussion, Ertter wished to emphasize that rentals at George Mason University do not appear to be an option because, while GMU has indicated a willingness to entertain rental requests, it will not make a commitment to do so early enough in the year to accommodate PVS’s scheduling needs creating the risk if PVS were not to be able to go to GMU it would have no alternatives available..


Highlights of the discussion that followed included:


Following the discussion, the Board requested that Ertter initiate discussions with the various venues, with only the November Open proposed as four sites.


Proposed equipment purchases:  York opened the matter by proposing that PVS purchase 100 additional stop watches and starting block speakers.  He explained that a plethora of emails had been circulated among the Board in response to Brian Pawlowicz’s post meet write-up on the Tom Dolan Invitational and Art Davis’ recommendations.  The correspondence primarily pertained to the perception that some swimmers had poor starts due to difficulties hearing the starter when the CTS Championship starting system was used without under the block speakers.  The starting system is designed to be used with under the block speakers.  Additionally, their external speakers are designed such that they cannot always be interchanged with various starting systems.  GMU declined to make their under block speakers available for the meet.


Whalen, Operations Chair, addressed the matter of the stop watches by explaining that adequate inventory is maintained to run four pools.  Watches are purchased in bulk of approximately 50 to 100 and that PVS loses anywhere from six to sixteen watches at every meet.  The Board saw no need to take action on the matter as it was satisfied with Operations explanation.


Turning to the matter of the starting block speakers, Whalen explained that he believed that the difficulties encountered at the Dolan meet with the Championship starters could be rectified by returning them to the manufacturer and having the volume controls upgraded at a cost of $140 each.  He also stated the importance of matching speakers with starters to ensure compatibility.  In regards to the difficulties networking Vista computers, Husson volunteered to contact Hy-tek in an effort to overcome the incompatibility.


Art Davis asked that the record formally reflect his opinion that many swimmers competing in the Tom Dolan Invitational Meet did not get fair starts because of the equipment as set up at the meet.  The Board requested that the Director of Operations review the equipment issues that occurred at the meet to identify actions that PVS can take to reduce the probability of these same problems with PVS equipment. The Board concurred with the Operations Chair recommendations to purchase 4 Colorado Championship remote speakers, to have Colorado modify the PVS owned Championship Starters to have the Beep volume set at a fixed noise level and research/resolve the problems with running Meet Manager in a networked configuration on Microsoft VISTA machines.


Other Reports: 

Finance / Accounting:  Financial results for the period ending November 30, 2007 had been provided to the Board prior to the meeting.  These were done on an accrual accounting basis per the Board’s motion at its November meeting.  PVS’s current assets on hand as of November 30, 2007 was $868,565. 


Age Group Division:  Marlin informed the Board that an invitation to schedule a meeting had been issued to VSI to finalize each LSC’s role for the 2008 EZ LC meet.  This would include confirming the sharing of financial responsibility for the meet – discussions which had been suspended when GMU was no longer available on the required dates.  He also noted that he was initiating contact with the three entities needed to confirm that no military training action will be scheduled on Pohick Bay during the EZ Open Water event.


Senior Division:  Eaton informed the Board that he had received several requests from out-of-LSC clubs requesting invitations to the 2008 PVS Senior Championship meet.  He also noted that NOVA indicated it would not be attending the 2008 Senior SC meet, but still wished to attend the 2008 PVS Senior Long Course Championship meet.  Eaton emphasized that he would be cognizant of Competition’s request that no out-of-LSC participation be limited to no more than ten percent.


Other Matters:  York informed the Board that the General Chair of VSI had contacted him regarding future scheduling of Swimposiums.  The planned every three year hosting rotation, starting in the fall of 2008, would be VSI, MD, and PVS.  PVS hosted a Swimposium in October 2007 and USA-S is now only providing support to a LSC  sponsored Swimposium once every three years.


Next Board Meeting:  The Chair announced that its next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 9th, 6:30 PM at McLean Community Center.


Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 pm.


Respectfully submitted by,

Janet Auger

PVS Administrative Assistant