Present on Zoom: Keith Clemens (President), Liz Rankin (Secretary), Julian Mohr (Treasurer), David Bridges, Mark Heather, Rob Wilkins, Visvajit de Alwis, Wayne Johnson, Hafeez Fazal, Hamilton Williams
Keith began the meeting by stating that what Atlanta has done is pretty amazing. The pros in town and SESRA’s role has led to a great number of programs, as well as what pros have done with kids in community…
Motion made by Keith for Visvajit to join the board. Motion was seconded, all ayes, approved. Keith thanked him for joining and told Visvajit he would discuss his role with him.
Julian gave treasurer’s report. Keith asked him to highlight how much comes in as dues and as national budget.
Julian said he would forward the report after the meeting.
175 USSquash members paid a portion to us in 2019. 244 members in 2020. $2000 donation by Margaret Bailey Foundation. Total income of $15,000, $43,000 in cash. Discussed expenses: held some events, paid for professional services, such as accounting expenses, which led to $12,419 going out. Leaves $31,000, $21,353 remaining (holding some as pass through for PDC event).
175 members $5,285 -2019
244 members $7,367 ($30.20 each). – 2020
Wayne asked if there is a way to figure out how much of player contribution is from Atlanta players. Julian said he didn’t know but can ask. Keith feels contribution outside of metro Atlanta is de minimis and Julian agreed.
Rob asked for a breakdown of junior versus adult numbers. Julian said he does not have that breakdown. Keith said he will contact national and get the breakdown of all of those numbers so we can determine where the numbers are coming from in all departments. Hamilton said to call Bill Buckingham and Keith said he will call tomorrow.
Rob said a lot of members are coming in from New York and other areas and that they are still registered in other districts so worth exploring to see if we’re getting the money. Julian and Keith said they will get those numbers.
Julian said our expenses pretty much match our dues so hard to give a lot of money away.
Keith wanted Rob to have opportunity to showcase Concourse and update us.
Rob: At Concourse, with Covid, they’ve gone from a booming to a slow program. Rebuilding junior programs. Lost and looking to hire another pro. Restrictions and safety procedures in place make it hard to welcome players back in. Masks are also a constraint. Keith asks what is corporate’s position? Rob said squash is a novelty at Concourse and that there is not much focus on it and his time is now split with tennis as he is director of both sports. Corporate concerned with budget and feels squash is expensive to run. Keith says he appreciates all that Rob is doing. Optimistic that things will turn. Asks what we can do? Rob asks for holistic development of squash on the courts. Asks SESRA to support getting players back on courts wherever. (Emails, etc.)
Ham asked what arrangements they’ve made for players? Example is pods where they only play with each other – expands people that can play and level of comfort. Rob sayid they have tried to implement this but once they closed their doors combined with having an older membership, many of the older members have furloughed and are not active. The numbers aren’t there as many people are staying home. Keith says to stay positive.
Keith wanted to discuss USSquash’s and Kevin Klipstein’s request to give back money. Talked to most people – some said zero, no one said give it all back. Most said we should give some back but don’t feel that USSquash has done that much for us. Keith then called on each member individually to give their point of view.
David Bridges said that he feels there’s a chicken and egg relationship. Asked what are they going to use the money for?
Keith replied that Kevin said it’s a tough time for them. And they talk a lot about the Arlen Spector center. It won’t necessarily be a benefit for us. Just general use. Question is do we want to honor the request from the president or do we feel that home rule is the general policy and we want to spend the money locally.
David said he is supportive of doing something but that we have a lot of local things going on and we should look around Georgia and see what we can do here. Concourse and Windy Hill are hurting and have low support right now.
Rob pointed out that USSquash gets a $79 fee/player already. Questioned is if increase of members due to promotion, will we have a shortfall in 2022. Concourse has lost a lot of juniors. We are a small pot. Only 244 members in total, while Pennsylvania has 2000 juniors, California has 2000 juniors and Ohio has 1000 juniors.
Julian responded “well said.” He said we have a much smaller pool and thinks we will need the money to regrow squash and that we will have a lot of opportunities over the next several years. Also, a bit of a moot point as we can probably only give them a token amount anyway.
Hamilton agreed we don’t have much to give. We try to spend money but even when people ask we can only give a small amount. We are miniscule compared to all of the other districts out there. Feels for the pros. We can improve communication, give out masks, something to encourage people to come back and play.
Mark said he is still getting the lay of the land. Agreed with everything he has heard and with giving nothing or a token amount.
Hafeez responded that he thinks everyone agrees we shouldn’t give everything back. From a political standpoint, asks will giving a token amount keep us in good graces? Thinks Keith should say we are going to work on growing it from Atlanta. Decision is should we do something just to do it? Prefer to support programs than give money as opposed to at the top where it won’t make a difference.
Liz stated that she does not feel that USSquash has done very much for the juniors in the South. She noted that part of it is a function of where we have all chosen to live and that squash just isn’t as big down here, but iterated that it has been an uphill battle for the last ten years trying to get high level tournaments down here. That we only got a regional last year and have never gotten a gold tournament. Notes that pros like Rob and Ahmed can attest to this. She said that she was one of the people who originally said to give them nothing, but feels that Hafeez made a good point and that we should probably give a token amount to stay in the game.
Wayne said he feels everyone’s pain but believes we have to give something back.
Keith noted that as everyone talked, except for Wayne, everyone centered on feeling like we shouldn’t give zero and we don’t want to stiff arm the national body but that we have things going on here and we want to covet and keep the money for our own use and good reasons. We have a lot going on down here and we want to keep it for our own use.
Hafeez asked for amount requested. Went back to political side and said do we need to give a portion just to say SESRA did within our ability of what we have which is a small portion. If we don’t give anything it could come back to bite us.
Hamilton noted he gave $1,000 to USSquash and that should go in the letter.
David said that he thinks if we do it, it won’t make getting things harder. Maybe do a percentage, like 10%. Do a membership drive. As Covid diminishes, we might want to do some events to get people back to squash.
Rob voted for zero for two reasons. If we do zero, we lose nothing. We have always fought and lost the battles with the juniors.
Hafeez said to go with some number. Gets us a seat at the table. $250-$500. Pad it with Hamilton’s contribution.
Vis said he understands what Rob said but go with token.
Liz said to give $250-$500 as others suggested.
Wayne said to give some number.
Mark noted that USSquash has been supportive of A+. Made a donation. Promised more events and to do more.
Keith made a motion to give them $500. Ham seconded. Said Kevin has been nice about it but would probably be offended if it was zero.
Motion passed. Meeting concluded.