Board of Directors Meeting - March 5, 2008

Official Minutes



7:00 PM – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2008


Attendance:  Board Members:  Greg York, Chair, Art Davis, Riley Eaton, Mark Faherty, Boots Hall, Dan Jacobs, Bill Marlin, Virginia Ratcliff, Jim Thompson.  Non-voting Board Members:  Jim Garner, Brian Pawlowicz.  Executive Director:  John Ertter.  Individual Members:  Janet Auger and Tim Husson.


Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 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 February 6, 2008 meeting were unanimously approved.   


General Chair’s Remarks:  Greg York, General Chair, opened his remarks with praise for the recently concluded PVS 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championship meet.  In particular, he wished to thank Paris Jacobs, Meet Manager, as well as Machine’s parents and the meet officials for their efforts in the success of the meet. 


York also informed the Board that five applications had been received in response to the advertisement for the PVS Administrator Position.  Interviews with the applicants will be scheduled following Easter.


Athlete Representative:  Virginia Ratcliff, Athlete Representative, presented to the Board a proposed idea for the PVS website’s Athletes Page.  Following up on a suggestion made at a previous Board meeting that she interview Kate Ziegler, Ratcliff stated that she had requested and received permission from both Ziegler and her coach, Ray Benecki.  She also noted that she had spoken with Tim Husson, PVS Webmaster, about the creation of a link on the site, entitled “Ask Kate,” to which athletes and other interested persons could submit interview questions.  Ratcliff indicated that she would like to post the interview during Olympic Trials.


Update on PVS Membership Study:  Prior to the meeting, Jim Thompson, Strategic Chair, distributed to all Board members an Update on the PVS Membership Study.   PVS membership distributions were broken down by county in Maryland and Virginia and for the District of Columbia.  Census tract density maps were also provided with pools used by PVS teams indicated on the map to provide points of reference.  Charts indicating PVS membership distribution, by age and also by gender, for the years 2004 to 2007 were created with both including USA-S data for 2006.  For the most part, the PVS profile mirrors USA Swimming.


Of particular interest to Thompson was the overall attrition rate of PVS membership which averaged 34.66% during the years 2004 to 2007.  Attrition was measured not by a swimmer migrating from one team to another, but by a swimmer not registering with PVS in the following year.  Subsequent graphs illustrated attrition by age distribution, by age group, by gender, and by unidentified clubs.  Citing the large variability among the attrition rates by clubs, Thompson requested and received permission from the Board to disclose a particular club’s statistics if so asked.


An analysis of incoming swimmers was presented in which swimmers were identified as either “New” or “Renew.”  “New” swimmers were those who have not been registered with USA Swimming in the preceding 12 years or are new to swimming.  “Renew” swimmers were those who were registered with USA Swimming at some point in the preceding 12 years.  It was noted that about 20% of swimmers joining a PVS club are returning swimmers who had left PVS for a time. 


Suggestions for further analyses included following a set of athletes from year to year, and perhaps tracking athletes who had participated in Zone meets.  Noting that USA-S performs exit surveys, Bill Marlin volunteered to provide Thompson with its contact.


Thompson indicated that his future plans included the preparation of a report for the House of Delegates, additional paths for continued analysis (i.e., geography, economic environment, meet analysis) and potentially a club level analysis of the data.  


Webmaster’s Report:  Tim Husson, PVS Webmaster, informed the Board that no written report had been prepared this month due to the overwhelming number of meets held in February.  Reporting on the recently concluded 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championship meet, he explained that real-time results were not available because Fairland’s network was secured; however, the pool had indicated that, in the future, with adequate advance notice, a wireless network could be established.  Husson also noted that 66 officials worked at least one session and that every session, including the 10 and Under session, was well staffed. 


In response to Bill Marlin’s question regarding the possibility of establishing a wireless network that would allow the downloading of times and splits to coaches’ PDA’s, Husson agreed to investigate the matter and prepare a proposal for the Board for review.  As to future initiatives, Husson informed the Board that there was a continuing problem with PVS mailings being blocked by spam filters (some controlled by the various ISP’s and others by the recipients establishing their own filters) Thus, he was investigating alternative means of communication.  In addition, he planned to complete work on the Parents’ page:  “Frequently Asked Questions.”


Administrative Division:  Prior to the meeting, Art Davis, Administrative Vice-Chair, provided all Board members with a summary of potential PVS By-law changes to be presented at the PVS House of Delegates meeting as a result of changes made at the 2007 USA-S Convention.  Three items were presented:  the composition of the Board of Review, financial reporting requirements and the composition and service period of the Nominating Committee.  There was no discussion on the potential changes.


Additionally, Davis provided an updated Registration Progress Comparison indicating PVS’s registration history as of February 29, 2008 for the past four years.


Finance Division / Treasurer’s Report:  Prior to the meeting, Bill Stephens, Treasurer, distributed to all members his report[On March 14, 2008, financial results for the period ending February 29, 2008 were provided to the Board and showed that PVS’ current assets on hand were $806,838.]


Executive Director’s Report:  Prior to the meeting, John Ertter, Executive Director, provided all Board members with his monthly “Report from Executive Director.”  While all items contained in the report were briefly reviewed, Ertter requested that the Board give careful consideration to the matter of the safeguard requirements of the USAS Crime Insurance Policy.  He reminded the Board that last Jim Garner had written a letter to the United States Swimming staff explaining why PVS would be declining the coverage due to its belief that alternate safeguards which it believed to be superior were in place.


The amount of coverage provided by the policy is capped at $100,000 with a $25,000 deductible.  In the event of a loss, were it to be demonstrated that the required safeguards were not in place, no coverage would be provided.  Ertter stressed his recommendation to the Board that it render its decision on good business practices – not couching its decision on its faith and trust on current position holders.  The Board endorsed York’s suggestion that the Audit Committee review the matter and make a recommendation to the Board.


Operations Division:  Ron Whalen was absent and submitted no report.


Senior Division:  Riley Eaton, Senior Chair, informed the Board that the upcoming PVS Senior Championship meet was nearly a carbon copy of last year’s meet in terms of number of athletes and number of splashes and that he anticipated that the requirement to limit out-of-LSC entries to 10% would be met.


Explaining that he did not have a solution to offer, Eaton wished to express his concern about the number of athletes assigned per lane during warm-ups at the recently completed PVS 14/Under Junior Olympic Championship.  In addition to reviewing warm-up assignments, Faherty suggested that qualifying times for the meet be reviewed and perhaps tightened as the addition of the PVS B/BB Championships now provided a tiered level of championship meets for the athletes.


Age Group Division:  Bill Marlin, Age Group Chair, informed the Board that no nominations had yet been received for the 2007-08 PVS Age Group Coach of the Year.  He next provided an update on the 2008 EZ LC Zones planning and stated that (1) negotiations were continuing with Fairfax County regarding the use of Pohick Bay for the Open Water events, (2) the joint bank account with VSI has been opened and (3) the meet’s logo is being developed. 


Marlin distributed to the Board handouts he had created comparing three years of historical data on the PVS 14/Under Junior Olympic Championship and explained that he had performed the analysis following comments made by coaches regarding both the size of the meet, as well as the number of entries in certain events.  The Comparison by Team handout demonstrated that the 2008 meet was smaller than that held in 2007 and only slightly larger than that held in 2006.  He attributed the perception of the increased size to be a result of the fact that Fairland had less warm-up / cool-down space, as well as less deck space, than GMU.


The second handout, Comparison of Heats/Entries, was color-coded to indicate which events/entries were larger or smaller in 2008 vs. 2007.  Marlin explained time standards are adjusted based on the desired size of the meet and that the goals are as follows:  9-10 heats in 50 yard events, 7-8 heats in 100 yard events, 5-6 heats in 200 yard events and 4-5 heats in 400 plus yard events.  Of the 16 time standards that were adjusted for 2008, 13 achieved the desired outcome, while 3 events remained larger than the desired goal.  He agreed that it would be prudent for the Competition Committee to review the qualifying times in light of the PVS B/BB Championship meet.


Coaches Representatives:  Noting that he was unable to attend last month’s Board meeting, Mark Faherty explained that the decision had been made at the January Competition Committee meeting to form an ad-hoc committee comprised of Manga Dalizu, Dan Jacobs, Mike Kraeuter and himself to review warm-up procedures at PVS meets.  Returning to discussion of the 2008 PVS Junior Olympics, Faherty also wished to note that several coaches questioned why a separate session continues to be held for 10 & Unders.


Both Faherty and Dan Jacobs echoed the previous Board members’ comments regarding the success of the Junior Olympics meet.  Citing Paris Jacobs’ pre-planning, they praised the staffing of the meet, both PVS officials and volunteers, as well as Fairland. Noting that prior to the meet many coaches had expressed concern of the choice of venue, both Coaches Representatives stated that several coaches had remarked that they would never complain about Fairland again.


In response to an observation that it was a burden on officials to commence the meet with relays, the Coaches Representatives agreed to review the matter with Competition.


Officials Representative:  Boots Hall, Officials Representative, informed the Board that more officials were needed for both the PVS Senior Championships and Sectionals meet.


Other Reports:  Brian Pawlowicz, Meet Manager for Sectionals, updated the Board on the upcoming Eastern Zone Sectional Meet and requested assistance in obtaining additional volunteers.  He requested and received permission for an appeal for assistance to be sent out via PVS Flash mail, as well as for a posting to be placed on the PVS website.


Old Business:  The Board reviewed the Board of Directors and Board of Review positions for which nominations were being sought.  It was agreed that this information would be distributed via PVS Flash mail as well as posted on the PVS website.  [PVS Flash mail and website posting occurred on March 12, 2008, with website posting revised on March 15, 2008 to announce the increased number of Board of Review members from seven to nine.] 


Citing last year’s amendment to the PVS By-laws which require a sufficient number of athlete members-at-large to the House of Delegates so as to constitute at least 20% of the voting membership, the General Chair requested the Administrative Assistant to send a PVS Flash mail requesting each club to submit one athlete’s name for consideration.


In preparation for the May Eastern Zone meeting, York recommended that PVS arrange for one or two suites on Friday night.  He also informed the Board that any who wished to have overnight accommodations should contact Linda Klopfenstein via telephone.


New Business:    Citing the difficulties in obtaining executed Referee’s Affidavits following the completion of PVS sanctioned, observed and approved meets, the Administrative Assistant raised the possibility of creating an on-line form to serve the purpose.  No action was taken on the suggestion.


A suggestion was made that PVS cease the practice of refunding $20 per meet to PVS host clubs for submitting the Officials Sign-in sheets for all sessions.  John Ertter, PVS Controller noted the success of the program and stated that it presented no burden for him.  No action was taken on the suggestion.


Next Board Meeting:  The Chair announced that its next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 9, 2008, 6:30 PM at McLean Community Center.


Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.


Respectfully submitted by,

Janet Auger

PVS Administrative Assistant