2016-09 Meeting

National Capital Squash (NCS)
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, September 26, 2016

The following directors were present at the meeting, conducted by a telephone conference call:
Leslie Connolly
Aasim Husain
David Keating
Mercedes Young
Abir Ray
Jimmy Li

There were 6 directors present, a quorum.

The first item discussed was the proposal of a special test membership for the Mid-Atlantic region. This special membership would adjust dues for high school team members to $49 (about half price) to play in a local high school league and/or the National High School Championships. The fee would also include the referee exam. If a student then decided to play silver or higher tournaments, they could upgrade to a full membership for an additional $50. Districts would still receive 21% of the dues collected. After discussion, there were no objections to try this roll-out in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The next discussions reviewed recent executive committee actions, the first of which approved $2000 sponsorship for a $20K fall PSA tournament. Support for the tournament would help foster international competition and provide opportunity for elite NCS players to learn and compete. NCS’s sponsorship would also be noted with a “tin” sticker, mention in the program, and complimentary tickets would be provided to any NCS member who competed in any US Squash National Championship event in the last 12 months, which would help these elite players observe and learn from world-ranked players. The tournament would also provide a “high school” night in which any high school squash player in the area can watch. The committee’s hope is that this will inspire these players to reach higher levels of skill for national and international competition.

Leslie reported that the PSA women’s event is planned for Nov 28-Dec 3, and the men’s event is planned for the week of January 30. David suggested that perhaps the sponsorship should be split given there are two separate events. Leslie suggested the full $2000 for the women’s event. A discussion ensued about NCS budget allocations, sponsorship levels as a percentage of prize money, and promoting events that the larger portion of the membership can benefit from given disperse commute and skill levels.

Leslie suggested developing a proactive budget, deciding how much to allot to each type of activity based on the organization’s values and using a large portion of income each year for programming rather than keeping reserves.

David suggested, and it was approved, that NCS currently will contribute $1000 to the November women’s event with a further discussion for budget allocation and potential additional funding at a later time.

Leslie Connelly and David Keating will work on a proactive budget proposal.

A brief discussion of membership fees and gold tournament income was then held, noting that final projections by Steve were not yet complete for the upcoming year.

To foster national completion by elite NCS players NCS will pay the entry fee for the whole NCS Howe Cup (women’s national team championship) team in proportion to NCS members on a team with at least two members on any team. In addition, NCS would pay the entry fee for the National Skill Championships for the winners of the Fisher Cup divisions. The hope is to encourage NCS’s best players to compete in a national championship. A discussion to extend this offer to competitive Fisher Cup finalists was also held and approved.

Next, a discussion for officer and member director nominations was held. It was noted that Kenny Mendez can’t continue as an officer at this time and Frank Philips is on a sabbatical this year. The remaining officers and member directors agreed to continue to volunteer. Leslie recommended Rachel Capps and indicated she would inquire as to her interest in serving on the board. David suggested Steve Maebius as VP for Juniors.

An election was held via an online secret ballot, and the following nominees were unanimously approved by five members with one abstention for League VP.

President-Elect: Leslie Connolly
Secretary: Mercedes Young
Treasurer: Steve Weber
VP — IT: Rod Crider
VP – Juniors: Steve Maebius
VP – League: Abir Ray
VP — Membership: Steve Weber
VP – Women: AJ Copeland
VP — Tournaments: Jimmy Li

Member directors:
Brad Brigante
Aasim Husain
Andrew Mishkin
Schuyler Livingston
Tyler Stilwell

NCS program initiatives were then discussed. It was agreed to again run a self-scheduled NCS District Championship the second or third week of January with a more hardened start and end date this year.

A discussion about regional qualifiers for the National Skill Level Championship was also held, and David will see if the NCS District Championship could be considered as a qualifier. In addition, software tools are being requested from US Squash to help run the tournament with suggestions from Jimmy Li about sending and simplifying match reminders for this tournament.

All members also agreed to keep the NCS national high school team championship scholarship initiative and discussed a possible doubles national team event.

After discussion, all members also agreed to the draft agreement from US Squash to try different levels of membership as a trial. According to the agreement, NCS would keep its percentage of memberships dues, US Squash would pay attorney’s fees is a district wins a dispute, and it was noted that that US Squash views the initiative as a way to increase revenue. It was noted that NCS could charge for league and has pricing power for other options if problems with different membership levels developed.

The last item of discussion involved the request to sponsor the reported successful DC Open adult tournament. Members all agreed that NCS cannot sponsor an event that has already taken place, but noted that sponsorship of adult events is a good idea. Jimmy Li, Abir Ray and David Keating will discuss local adult tournaments and come back to the board with a plan, noting that it would be great if we could get a big amateur event (similar to a Hyder Cup) in this area that would attract players from across the United States.

The next NCS board Meeting was to be scheduled via an online poll.