January 16, 1999
The Meeting was sponsored by
Masterline, Bay Water Sports, and Franklin Federal Savings and Loan of Richmond, VA

    The meeting was called to order by the Executive Vice President, Steve Lohr, at 9:00 a.m. The following council members were present: Steve Lohr, Mark Dingman, Bill Harris, Barry Sangrey, Dean Rudy, Alan Frederick, Ralph Hall, Paul Allebach, Bob Morris, Jim Meis, Ed Nichols, Tonya Maurer, Bill Baker, David Allen, Norm Beaudoin, and Roger Hammel. Also attending were Marie Baker, Treasurer, Ann Lohr, and Sarah Allebach. Steve Lohr welcomed the council members to the meeting.

    Paul made a motion that the minutes from the summer meeting be approved, and the motion passed. . The treasurer's report was reviewed, and Steve asked for questions. Steve referred to the proposed budget for the coming year, which appeared in the report. Ralph Hall informed the group that the number of tournaments scheduled for the coming season might be less than last year by a substantial amount, although more sanction forms might still come in. If not, our expected income could be reduced. Steve stated that the region is in good financial shape now, as we have kept a tight rein on expenses.

    Steve asked council to look over the budget. Paul commented that he would like to see the Region earmark some money to be used for the purpose of increasing our membership base, thus benefiting the region in the long run. He suggested we try to pinpoint ideas and programs that will encourage clubs to get involved in tournament skiing. Steve is trying to get names and addresses of new members from AWSA. Jim Meis suggested that promoting more fun tournaments and advertising them to recreational skiers is the most effective way to attract new members. Steve reported that an effort is being made through the Waterways committee to develop private/public partnerships to make additional public waters available for water skiing. Bill Baker made a motion that $1000 be set aside for this purpose. Steve asked that council wait and vote on this item with the budget approval, and Bill withdrew his motion.

    Steve pointed out the amounts in the proposed budget designated for Athens 2004 and Quantum Leap, and discussion on these expenditures followed. Ed Nichols pointed out an apparent math error in the budget figures, which Steve said would be corrected. Paul Allebach made a motion to approve the financial report and budget, including the $1000 for membership, and Ralph Hall seconded the motion. Discussion followed, and the motion was approved by council.

As EVP, Steve is a member of the transition committee, and he gave a brief summary of the current organizational situation. The transition to the new USA-WS Board is to be made next week.

    Steve presented the Eastern Region's Policies and Procedures manual, which Roger Hammel authored, based on his background as EVP and his committee experience. This document will provide a record of items passed by council that need to be retained for future reference. It should be kept as simple as possible.
    The section on RECORDS has been taken out for further study before inclusion in the manual. Steve appointed Jim Meis and Roger Hammel to work with Jennifer Frederick in developing procedures and wording to cover the awarding and keeping of records. If anyone else is interested in working with this group, they should contact the seeding committee chairperson.
    The MEMBERSHIP section was reviewed. Discussion followed regarding a generally agreed upon desire to continue to support other sport disciplines whenever possible, particularly through use of the guidebook to list their tournaments. Bill Harris made a motion that wording be added to the manual as 1.3, stating that we encourage and support other sports disciplines of USA-WS, and we will cooperate with them to the fullest extent possible. It was seconded by Paul, and after discussion, the motion carried.
    Section 2.0 regarding MEETINGS was discussed, and was approved with no changes.
    Section 3.0 TOURNAMENTS - Council discussed the process for bidding for the Regional Tournament, and the different requirements of existing sites. Jim Meis reported that he has been successful in obtaining title sponsorship from MasterCraft for this year's Regionals. Regarding the number of officials to be paid, Jim suggested this be a set number. More discussion followed, and Steve suggested a number of 20 (27 if two lakes), with variations to be negotiated, paid for by the region, or the money spent on something else. Extra nights required for the Chief Driver, Technical Controller, or Chief Judge are to be specified. Bill Baker moved to approve the section with the above added, and Bill Harris seconded the motion. The motion was approved by council. 
    Section 4.0 - Council agreed to postpone action on the section covering APPROVAL OF RECORDS until it has been studied further.
    Section 5.0 - The group discussed current policies related to sanction fees and guidebook fees. Ralph Hall suggested that the manual include a statement regarding non-payment of fees. Namely, that anyone not paying a fee owed to the Region would not be granted a sanction the next year. Ralph made a motion to that effect, which was seconded and approved.
    Sections 6.0 and 7.0 were already approved January 11, 1997. Steve informed the group that those who had set new Eastern Region records would be given their certificates at the banquet that night.

1999 REGIONALS - Jim Meis presented Twin Lakes' proposal to run the '99 Regionals in three days instead of four. He brought with him a complete schedule showing how it would work. Council members discussed the pros and cons in detail.
    Steve announced that he had appointed Bill Baker as Chief Judge. Those expressing interested in being judges at Regionals were Roger Hammel, Joe Deltondo, Al Sanfanandre, Donna Laskey, John Buck, Ed Nichols and John Harris. Steve said he appointed Alan Frederick as Chief Driver for the Regionals, with John Thacher, Peter Bell, and Pat Regan (slalom only) submitting their names as drivers. The Chief Scorer for Regionals will be Jennifer Frederick, with assistance from Marie Baker, Mark Dingman and Ann Lohr. As yet, we have no Technical Controller. The Safety Director will be Sue Andrews. All officials were approved as presented.
    A motion was made by Bill Baker to go to a three day Regionals, with flexibility to go to four days only in an emergency. In particular, that would be if not enough officials can be found by June 1. In that case, the change to four days will be announced on the website, and the revised schedule posted. Bill Harris seconded the motion, and it carried.
    A motion was made, seconded, and approved by council, to appoint as judges for Regionals, the seven who submitted their names. After discussion, a motion was made, seconded, and approved by council to appoint Peter Bell and John Thacher as Regional drivers, leaving two spots open for appointment by Steve.  Pat Regan was approved as a volunteer single event driver. Council then considered the need for scorers with the use of two lakes, and concluded four would be needed. Ralph made a motion, seconded by Bill Harris, that we accept the three named above, in addition to the chief, and the motion carried. Dave Knight expressed interest in working with the Safety Director. Barry Sangrey and Bill Wenner agreed to accept the jobs as announcers.
    Jim Meis reported that he might be able to get a pro event to be run during the Regionals. It would probably be two rounds of tricks only. Funding for this event has yet to be worked out. He asked for council opinion, and concerns about time and availability of officials were discussed.
    Paul presented a Towboat Committee suggestion to use a weighted draw in choosing towboats for the Regionals. After some discussion, Steve pointed out that the wording of 3.1.2 in the Policies & Procedures manual covers this situation well for the Eastern Region.

    NATIONAL OFFICIALS - Bill Baker, Ed Nichols, and Donna Laskey (regular in tricks) have submitted their names for consideration. The Region should be sending two appointed judges and two assigned judges. Steve suggested that these names be accepted, with directors working to fill empty slots. Bill Baker made a motion that the above names be accepted, with the vacant spot to be filled by appointment. The motion was seconded, and it was approved.
    John Thacher and Lee Mershon submitted their names as drivers for the Nationals. Bill Baker made a motion that they be appointed, which was seconded, and approved. Lacking any names for scorers at the Nationals, Marie Baker's name was volunteered. She agreed to serve and council approved.

    REGIONAL BIDS - The year 2000 regional tournament will be held at Lake Holly. Twin Lakes offered to pass along sponsorship information to them. Due to the single lake, it will be a four-day regionals.

    TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE - Ralph Hall presented the calendar, and noted there are 40 tournaments on the books, whereas we had over 60 last year. A number of additions and changes were made from the floor which resulted in a substantial increase in the number of tournaments. A motion was made by Tonya, seconded by Mark Dingman, to approve the calendar. The motion was passed.

    AWSAEAST WEBSITE - Jim Meis gave an update on the very successful page, and he offered to post any water skiing related information that is sent to him.

    ATHENS 2004 - Steve detailed for the council the current status of water skiing's bid for acceptance in the Olympics. Headquarters is very concerned about the delay in the decision making. Money is needed so that we can send representatives to all IOC meetings, and continue talking to the people who will be making the decisions.

    BUDGET DISCUSSION - Steve verified that the budget called for expenditures which exceeded expected receipts. Discussion followed regarding the amount of spending proposed in the 1999 budget. Jim Meis voiced concern about deficit spending, and made a motion that we retain the line item for Athens 2004 and add $1000 to the budget for membership, but remove the $2000 expenditure for Quantum Leap, deferring it until next year. Mark Dingman seconded the motion and discussion followed. Roger explained that at the Kansas City Board meeting the following week, the East would be the only Region giving nothing at all to Quantum Leap, and that we really need to give something. Bill Baker concurred with Roger and Paul that since it is apparent the new building will be a reality, it is time for the region to join in support of the project. More discussion followed, and Jim Meis withdrew the motion. Bill Harris moved that we approve the budget with the math corrected, and the $1000 added for membership. Roger seconded the motion and it carried.
    Lunch was served at 12.30 p.m. Sponsors for the lunch were Masterline, Bay Water Sports, and Franklin Federal Savings and Loan.

    OLD BUSINESS - Roger asked how the towboat draw question was resolved, and discussion followed. Roger made a motion that if we find large differences in the number of tournaments pulled by the various boats, these differences can be taken into consideration in the assignment of events. Mark Dingman seconded the motion, and discussion followed. Steve suggested that good judgement be used in making the assignments proportional and fair in all respects. He also noted that handling of the details of the draw has been delegated to the Chief Driver and Chief Judge in the past. The motion carried.

    Alan Frederick pointed out that the performance results shown in the guidebook, do not include the most recent Nationals performances, and he would like to see this changed somehow.
    Council discussed ways in which follow-up can be done locally with new members joining AWSA. More discussion on membership followed, and the meeting was adjourned at 1:10.

AFTERNOON SESSION January 16, 1999

    The meeting was called to order at 1:45 p.m. Steve asked each of the council members to introduce themselves. He then introduced Mark Crone, Chairman of the AWSA Board, who was the guest speaker for the evening. Finally, Steve had each member of the audience state their name and where they were from. All sports divisions were represented by someone in attendance.

    Steve reported that the region is in strong financial condition, and that the 1998 Regional tournament was very successful. He thanked Ralph Hall for handling the tournament schedule, Jim Meis for handling the webpage, and Debbie Wagner for handling the guidebook. He detailed council's actions from the morning meeting.
    For the next part of the meeting, Steve designated people to lead various discussion groups, covering topics including safety, collegiate skiing, junior development, membership, rules, speed control, skier's ratings, and waterways education. Mark Crone was available for questions about headquarters and the Board. The discussion groups convened until 3:30 p.m.

    Executive & Finance, Paul Allebach - AWSA is doing well financially and membership is about the same. We need to develop ways of increasing membership. He reported that the Building Fund is moving forward and encouraged everyone to contribute. The National Ski League program has been quite successful and hopes are for many more fun tournaments this season.
    Junior Development, Debbie Lamb - For the coming year, the primary goals are to increase communications and to promote more clinics, three of which are scheduled with more in the planning stage. The numbers of juniors is increasing, and contact persons are needed from each state to work on the grassroots level. Two weeks are reserved at April Coble's ski school, and more funding would be helpful.
    Rules, Ralph Hall asked that skiers and officials acquaint themselves with the new IWSF rules. His written report is available, and he would like input on five issues. Important changes include the requirement for speed control and use of world rules at L & R tournaments. Also the request has again come up regarding the establishing of an open 34-mph division for both men and women.
    Technical Committee, Jim Meis - World rules have been changed regarding jumping.  Technical committee is recommending that AWSA adopt these for open jump at this time. The ramp distance out of the water would be lengthened for the 6 ' ramp height, but changes should be possible without modification of existing jumps. Changes effected by new IWSF rules and trial use of All buoy timing will be issue in the coming year.  Jim asked for input. More detailed information will be available on the East's website. Bob Corson added that at the World level, there has been a change in how a ¼ buoy is scored.
    International Activities, John Thacher and Bill Baker - Three teams will be picked this year. The team trials will be held at McCormick's site in Florida. In the future, the age 17 through 21 team will be selected each year.
    Safety, Susan Andrews - We have potential for holding three safety clinics, with sites in Delaware, Connecticut and New Jersey. She is looking for information on injuries sustained while using hard shell bindings.
    Membership, Ken Roach - Each tournament should have an ambassador to welcome new skiers and also new spectators. Follow-up on a local level for new AWSA members is being planned. Boat dealers are also being contacted for cooperation with boat buyers.
    Seeding, Jennifer Frederick - She reminded skiers that they must take responsibility for sending in their out-of-region scores. She also noted the new records which were set during the past season.
    International Water Ski Federation, Bob Corson - Word has been received that the Greek Olympic committee is sending a letter to the IOC, requesting that water skiing be included in the 2004 Olympics. Once the letter is received, they should schedule a meeting to approve it. Funds are needed to support the ongoing lobbying effort. Ski clubs are being asked for donations of $150. Steve reported to the membership that the council voted to contribute $2000 of the region's money to the Olympic cause.
    American Water Ski Educational Foundation, Rich Aiken - Rich detailed the need for a new building, the fund raising effort so far, and the need for continuing donations. We need to raise 1.7 million to fully complete all three phases of the project. Some discussion followed about the cost per square foot. Mark Crone gave his views on the situation, and noted that the Board has set aside funds earmarked towards operating costs in the future building. Mark encouraged everyone to contribute whatever they could.

    Gordon Gay suggested everyone talk to manufacturers about including AWSA information with their products, as a way of developing membership. He also stated that the sport needs heroes for our juniors to emulate, and that we need to have premier events on Saturday and Sunday to draw crowds. He would like to see the U.S. Open put back with the Nationals. Lewis Fields made a recommendation that the Directors to go to Board with the request that the U.S. Open be held in conjunction with U.S. Nationals, as it was in the past. Others also expressed support for this idea, and it was accepted as guidance by the directors.
    Lee Mershon reported that he has been unable to get information from headquarters. Calls are not taken, and messages are not returned. Mark Crone suggested that he report the problem to the executive director, and Steve Lohr offered to help correct the situation.
    Jim Meis gave the general membership an update on plans for the 1999 Regional tournament, in particular, the plan to go from four days to three, and the sponsorship of the entire tournament by MasterCraft.
    Sue Andrews gave several news items from Barefooting.
    Debbie Wagner said the deadline is NOW for information going into the guidebook.
    Steve announced the names of the officials who have been selected for the 1999 Regional tournament. On behalf of everyone present, he then thanked the sponsors who had taken care of expenses for this weekend's meetings. The sponsors were Masterline represented by Gordon Gay, Bay Water Sports represented by Lou Alcamo, and Franklin Federal Savings and Loan of Richmond, VA. Steve then asked for additional contributions to the "Quantum Leap" Building Campaign, to increase the region's contribution to $2,500. With generous donations from Ed Nichols, Roger Hammel, Jonathan Thacher, Jerry Stansberry and Lewis Fields, that goal was surpassed. Bill Baker made a motion that the meeting be adjourned at 5:25 p.m. Roger Hammel seconded the motion, and it was approved.