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EVP Message

August 11, 2007

2007 Eastern Regional Tournament Recap

I am writing to recap some key messages from the Eastern Regional Tournament, Meeting, and Banquet that were all conducted last weekend and to provide my perspective on the work that we all have in front of us.

Thank you to John Paulovich and the Twin Lakes Water Ski Club for hosting the Eastern Regional Tournament this year. Thank you to Roger Hammel, Chief Judge, and all of the officials who worked very hard to make the tournament a success. Thank you to all of the volunteers who provided valuable assistance. And, thank you to the competitors and their family members who attended. Without all of the above groups, there would be no tournament. I appreciate every one of you.

At the Regional Meeting, Pat Byrne (that’s me) was elected EVP for the coming year. I am the successor to Doug Robbins, who served in this position for the past 4 years. We all appreciate the work that Doug has done during his tenure. Thanks Doug! Doug will now serve as a National Director representing the Eastern Region on the AWSA Board of Directors and on the USA Water Ski Board of Directors. Doug is the successor to Roger Hammel in this dual role. Roger has served the Region at the National level for the past 13 years and has done an incredible job for us during this entire time. Roger, thank you very much. There really are not words to express our appreciation to you for your years of service to the Region and the Sport.

Jon Thacher and Ed Nichols are the other National Directors who will represent the Eastern Region during the coming year on the AWSA Board.

The Eastern Region is healthy financially. We have some money available and need to find effective ways to spend some money, if necessary, to grow the sport at every level – new young skiers, new adult skiers, attracting skiers back to the sport who have left for one reason or another, and etc. Please talk about this with other skiers and give me your best thinking on this subject – growing the sport at every level.

Pending submission of a formal bid proposal, the Eastern Regional Tournament will be held at Dave’s Pond in Edinboro, Pennsylvania in 2008. The bid will be finalized in the next 30 to 60 days and will be reviewed for approval at the Winter Meeting in January.

Junior Development is very active at many local venues around the Eastern Region. The number of Junior Skiers at the Regional Tournament this year increased from recent years. This is an area that needs continued attention from all of us.

The AWSA Board of Directors Meeting will be held this weekend at the Nationals in Bakersfield California. I’ll provide an update following the meeting.

The following Regional Awards were presented at the Regional Tournament and Banquet last weekend:

  • The Al Tyll Award is presented to the Female Skier with the highest Trick score at the Eastern Regional Tournament. The 2007 winner is Alex Lauretano.
  • The Al Tyll Award is presented to the Male Skier with the highest Trick score at the Eastern Regional Tournament. The 2007 winner is Kevin Jack.
  • The Tommy Kelly, Jr. Memorial Award is presented to the best overall Female Skier in the Eastern Regional Tournament. The 2007 winner is Alex Lauretano.
  • The Tommy Kelly, Jr. Memorial Award is presented to the best overall Male Skier in the Eastern Regional Tournament. The 2007 winner is Paul Bellucci.
  • The Ken Mead Memorial Award is presented to the Men’s 3 or above skier who exemplifies Ken’s values and love for water skiing. The 2007 recipient is Mike Adams.
  • The Tiny Richards Memorial Award is presented to the Judge who displays the most skill, knowledge, and dedication to the sport of water skiing. The 2007 recipient is Dave Robbins.
  • The James G. Sylvester Memorial Trophy is presented to the individual demonstrating the highest degree of sportsmanship and integrity in the sport of water skiing. The 2007 recipient is Jennifer Frederick-Kelly.

Congratulations to the Winners and Recipients of all of these prestigious Regional Awards.

I want to leave you with the following key messages as I begin my work as the EVP of the Eastern Region.

  • We all need to focus on Participation and Involvement and this will be a message that I will deliver frequently during my tenure as EVP. Participate in local, Regional, and National events – tournaments, clinics, meetings. Get involved. If you are already involved, step up and take on more. For the long-term health and prosperity of our Region and our Sport, we all need to take on a bigger role in growing the sport.
  • Get involved in local, Regional, and National Junior Development activities. The youth are the future of our sport and we need to support them and encourage them to take up and stay with the sport.
  • We desperately need more Officials – Judges, Drivers, Scorers, Technical Controllers, Safety Directors, Announcers, and Coaches. If you are already certified as an official, work on upgrading to the next level. If you are not yet certified or working on your certification, please start doing so immediately.
  • We also desperately need new Members of USA Water Ski. Initiatives are under way at USA Water Ski Headquarters to address this issue, but we need each and every member of our organization to focus on membership. Invite friends who do not ski yet to join you on the water. Encourage other water skiers to join USA Water Ski, especially recreational water skiers that you know.
  • It is important that you know that I need your help in my role as EVP. I need to hear from you on topics that are important to you and topics that are important to the water skiing community. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. I will try very hard to be a good listener. I will respond to you on a timely basis. I promise you that I will work very hard to manage the Regional organization and to represent each of you at the National level. I am excited and honored to be your EVP. I won’t let you down.

Please contact me at any time that you need something from me or when you have input for me. I value your contributions to the Region and I value your opinion. I need you to help me be successful in the role of EVP for the Eastern Region.

Thank you.

Pat Byrne
EVP, East Region

15 Crystal Drive
East Granby, CT 06026
860-205-4182 cell

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