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New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association Board Of Directors Meeting Minutes

NYMCRA Race Directors and Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
                                   January 23, 2016    2:30-4:30 pm
Present: Kevin and Lisa Berl, Ed and Kim Greiner, Phil Millspaugh, Tim and Linda Henning, Blanche Towne, Chuck Bolesh, Cathy Giglio, Rodger Gocking, Scott Stenburg, Gene Newman, Todd Furstoss, Vicki Rawlins, Jeff Pederson, Cathy Lipski, Bruce Lee, Aims Coney, Jeff Hogue, Kerry Newell, Sheila Brady, Boll Bowman
Race Directors Meeting
Introductions: Phil opened the meeting with the introduction of Race Directors, Board of Directors, NYMCRA members and guests that were present.
Race Calendar: Ed Greiner reviewed the 2016 Race Schedule Calendar.  The schedule was confirmed and any date conflicts were resolved. A “skeleton” schedule will be made available in February.
Race and Point Series Promotion: A discussion was held to promote ideas to increase attendance at races in both the pro and amateur classes. In order to achieve this, distances may need to be adjusted to appeal to specific participants. Races could have less completive classes and add more “fun” classes. Websites and links need to be available and updated so race information is accessible to all potential participants. The promotion of the Points Series was also discussed.  It was suggested that the Pro Point Series would need to be reformatted in order for it to be successful.  Another suggestion was to eliminate the Points Series all together in favor of Annual NYMCRA Awards. These awards could be fun and creative to include variety of awards, such as Most Improved Paddler and Sportsmanship.
Newsletter: Phil discussed the NYMCRA Newsletter. He would like to include monthly E-Newsletters and larger Quarterly Newsletters.  The group reached out to members and non-members to provide articles, race updates and photos to enhance the Newsletters.
Training Clinics: Spring Training clinics were discussed. These clinics could be weekly, biweekly or weekends and be held at various locations in the state. Clinics could help increase participation, improve training quality and offer visibility to the sport.
2016 USCA Update and Nationals: Scott Stenberg provided information on the 2016 USCA Meeting. USCA is gaining momentum under the leadership of Peter Head and Priscilla Reinertsen. Quarterly Magazines will be published and the website has been redesigned. Scott will be the NYMCRA Delegate. Individual Grant Funding is available and there may be available funding to reinstate the Newcomb Race. Race insurance can still be purchased through USCA.
The 2016 Nationals will be held in Northfield, MA and the dates are August 11-14.  There is a video on the Nationals Website that shows the course. The location for the 2017 Nationals has been deferred, but it may be held in Iowa.  A discussion was held regarding having the 2018 Nationals in NY and possible locations to include the Syracuse area and Genesee Waterway.
Open Discussion: Topics discussed included “branding” of races so they are recognized for specific elements, having discounts for Military Veterans and sharing NYMCRA and race sponsor websites and logos.
The meeting adjourned approximately 4:30 pm.
Board of Directors Meeting:  This meeting followed the Race Directors Meeting
The Canoe and Kayak Point Series Races will be the same as last year except the Nineveh Nine will replace the Saranac Flat Water Challenge for canoe points.
In order to improve communication, Phil reminded the Board to reply to all when responding to email between Board Members.
The idea of sharing websites and logos between NYMCRA, USCA and race sponsors or interested parties was approved. Links and Logos can be sent to Phil and he will forward them to Dale Fox. Tim and Sue provided the NYMCRA logo to all Board Members via email.
Sue Knapik will continue to write the NYMCRA Newsletter. Board Members were encouraged to submit articles, photos and training tips. Phil will provide an outline of the 2016 Race Calendar which will be available in February.
Dale Fox will continue to update and host the NYMCRA Website. Ed stated that funds are available for the Website and $1000, over a two year period, has been given by Ogdensburg for that purpose. There are also funds available to allow NYMCRA to start on-line membership registrations through Pay Pal.
The Board approved reinstating the Newcomb Race through a USCA sponsorship. This would allow NYMCRA members to participate free of charge.
Due to the increased popularity of double bladed paddles being used with canoes and the use of SUPs, additional classes may be created for race participants at the race director’s discretion. The goal is to promote and encourage paddling.
The Board further discussed special awards that could be available at the 2016 Banquet. NYMCRA members are encouraged to share their ideas.
Point Champion Award changes were discussed. It was suggested that rather than a fleece jacket, the award could be a certificate that covers the registration fees for all Points Races in the following year. It was also suggested that a Race Director of a Points Race can count that race as their 5th race if they are unable to participate in that race.
It was confirmed that Scott Stenberg will be the NYMCRA delegate to USCA.
Initial discussions confirmed the need for a 2018 Nationals Committee in order to bring that event to New York.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:31pm.