Presidents remarks to the Annual General Meeting
Simcoe Curling Club, June 10,2014
Members of the Simcoe Curling Club – it’s been an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure to serve as your president for the past year.
I want to extend a thank you to all the board members that volunteered countless hours of their time to ensure this club runs smoothly. I truly enjoyed working with all of you and am thankful that I had a chance to work with a board that is forward thinking, progressive, open to new ideas, and always keeping what’s best for the Simcoe curling club first and foremost at all times
Congratulations to the newly elected directors Dave Walker and George Anger, re-elected director Karen Cassleton-Bower, newly appointed director Kathy Caskenette, and re-appointed director David McBride, you are joining an experienced, dedicated board, united in their goal of making this the best curling club it can possibly be.
Special thanks to retiring multi term board member and a past president Ian Macaulay. Ian, your thoughtful insights and attention to detail ensured whatever the issue, a consensus and path forward would be found. Thank you Ian!
I want to thank our employees and contractors who keep our curling club operational on a daily basis. Kevin Mclaren, Linda Ball, Lisa Lewis, and Dave Fess. Your professionalism and dedication to this club and its members is outstanding.
A special thank you and recognition is reserved for our club secretary/treasurer Amy Eberlee, whose efforts here at the club go well beyond her paid duties. As president, I’m aware more than most, the full scope of Amy’s contributions to this club and they are immense, thank you Amy.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to all the members who unselfishly donate their time whenever the call for help goes out. If I had to guess it would say that over the course of a year 30% or more of our membership volunteers in some form or another around the club amounting to countless thousands of man hours. Tremendous and thank you!
We are doing a lot of things right around here! Our club is successful and prospering – this does not happen by accident.
As a board, we are constantly searching for new and improved ways of enhancing our member experiences and at the same time reaching out to the community in a bid to attract new members.
On the business side – some highlights
Membership fees have not risen in 6 years – although we all know that can’t last forever so don’t be surprised if next year you see a small increase.
We have renewed our lease agreement with the fair board for 5 years with an additional 5 year option so we are set for 10 years.
We have improved board continuity and direction by reaching agreement with the section executives that their appointments to the board will be for 3 year terms and will be cycled in to ensure that in any given year no more than 4 board members will be replaced.
While our total membership revenue has been relatively constant over the last few years, turnover within our membership has been substantial. Attracting and retaining new members, has been, and will continue to be the key to the continued and future success and growth of this club.
Our Cornerstone tool for attracting new members is our Learn To Curl program. This is one of the finest LTC programs anywhere. It’s a curriculum based program derived from the CCA curling for beginner’s model. This program, coupled with our Adult Instructional League and Newbie bonspiel provides an unparalleled instructional program for the new curler.
These programs need to continue and must be given the attention and resources that any other regular league and bonspiel in our club has.
Key to delivering those instructional programs is our team of 25 OCA Certified coaches who run the program throughout the year. I know of no other curling club that has that many coaches. We need to work to ensure we keep our coaches engaged and interested in working with our instructional programs. Finding additional ways of utilizing this coaching resource to benefit our existing members should be pursued.
There is a continuing void in our club demographics in the 20-30 age group. A renewed strategy should be developed that reaches out to this group to entice them into our club. At a recent OCA meeting I attended there was discussion about mixed doubles becoming an Olympic sport for the next winter Olympic Games. It was proposed that this is the perfect curling game to promote to this age group. You can play a game in 1.5 hours, its non-stop activity for both players’, a great competitive alternative for guys coming out of the hockey years. Perhaps an “intermediate” membership category would help entice younger budget conscious people to our club.
I put these out there as examples of how we constantly need to be thinking outside the box regarding attracting and keeping our members and enhancing the experience they get at our club.
We all know we have a great product to offer, we just need to make sure the rest of our community gets the message!
One of the highlights from my year as president started before the curling season even began. The GOTR concert last summer and the curling clubs involvement as an after-hours party venue. What started out as a “ are you interested in doing something invite from live nation” turned into an 8 week roller coaster planning marathon for Amy, Ric, Mike, Alex and myself. We met some fantastic folks along the way and I don’t think any of us regretted our involvement as we and our dozens of scc volunteers ended up raising $8700.00 in profit that the board has earmarked into a GOTR legacy fund, disbursement criteria still to be finalized but that money is there thanks to the hard work of our members.
Our first ever sponsor/advertiser appreciation night was held in January and was extremely well received, attended, and appreciated by all the sponsors and advertises in attendance. Thank you to Patti and Michelle for organizing. Our sponsors were blown away by the fact that we actually giving something back to them for free!
These are just another couple of examples of very successful events that could just as easily gone by the wayside if were not for a dedicated group of board members with a vision. We continue to raise the bar at this club and I expect in future years it will rise even higher as we all work to make the Simcoe Curling the best small town curling club in Canada!!!
Simcoe Curling Club, 2013/14