Minutes for June 13, 2023 Leadership Team Meeting

June 13, 2023 Leadership Team Committee Meeting  held at the Aiken County Library

Members Present:  Lisa Barrett-Johnson, Joyce Noland, George Carr, Faith Loeb, Linda Blake, Jean Villa, Brian Eberhard, Lori King, John McCowan, Marian Garcia, Steven Donnelly, Jay Wilson, Leslie McCowan, Dean Cheatham, Christine Thompson, Jody Madden, Kiss Gunther, and Cheryl Breidenbach.   Joyce Noland opened the meeting at 5:30. 

1.  Introduction of New Teaching Pro.  Joyce thanked Faith for finding this new meeting place. She then introduced the new teaching pro, Lisa Barrett-Johnson.  Lisa thanked Aiken Pickleball participants for the generous support she has received.  She is excited to begin this new adventure. 

 2.  Introduction of New Player Representative.  Kiss Gunther is a new player rep for the outdoor courts at Odell Weeks.

3.  Feedback from and Introduction of Player Representatives-

Lori King, the player rep for 3.0, stated there was some confusion on OW Sign Up Genius this week.  Courts were available for reservation and Open play at the same time.  John will check in to this. 

Stephen Donnelly the rep for outdoor play.  He stated that we might want to request more benches to be placed inside the perimeter of the outdoor OW courts.  The board will mention this to the city.  George wanted to know if the mud by the gates had been fixed. Straw has been thrown down but it can still be muddy after heavy rains. 

Leslie McCowan the 3.5H rep.  Nothing to report.

Jody Madden, 3.0 rep.  She stated that reserving courts on Thursday morning was slow and players were locked out for approximately 20 minutes.  Brian and John will try to remedy it.  They don’t know exactly why this happens.  John thinks perhaps lots of other organizations use Sign Up Genius and the server is overwhelmed.  This problem has only happened 2 or 3 times since inception. 

Christina Thompson, 3.0 rep.  Nothing to report.

Jay Wilson, 3.5 L rep.  He stated that the minutes from last month were not posted.  George says they were posted but just not stated on the main page.

Marian Garcia, 4.0 rep.  She stated that some players wanted the OW outdoor pickleball courts available during the tennis tourney that was held last weekend.  It was stated that the tennis players are distracted with the noise created by playing pickleball.   George also added  that it is a madhouse with people watching the tennis matches, let alone adding 40 additional pickleball players milling around. The Indoor courts or Eustis Park courts can be used during these tennis tournaments.  It was suggested that perhaps the courts can be unlocked in the evenings when tennis play is finished.  It was asked if it may be possible for Mo to unlock the courts.   

John Mc Cowan, 3.0H rep./Sign Up Genius/Weekly Calendar.  Nothing to report

Brian Eberhard, Gregg Park rep/Sign Up Genius/Weekly Calendar.  GP will be closed June 19, 21, 27, 29 due to summer camps.  Wednesday/Friday evenings and Saturday mornings are still open.  Three new nets have been purchased.  He asked if we want to retape courts 2 and 5 prior to the Summer Smash.  The clear answer was yes.  He’ll ensure this is completed.  Joyce stated that people are complaining about spectators coming too close to courts 1 and 4 during tournament play.  It was mentioned that these areas could be taped off.  And then George suggested setting up chairs prior to the tourney on the other side closest to 3 and 6.  This could lure spectators to go to the far side of the gym.  Faith stated that the equipment bags were lacking “fix it” tags.  Brian will put more in the bags. 

Cheryl Breidenbach-4.0 Rep and Secretary.  Nothing to report.

Lisa Barrett-Johnson.  Nothing to report at this time.

Jean Villa-Social Director/Bulletin Boards.  Everyone thinks she does a wonderful job. 

Kiss Gunther.  She thanked Marian for inviting her.  She has started an outdoor group for open play.  The Team Reach App is what is being used for communication to players interested in this.  George has put a note on the website including how to use this app  when Kiss gives him the information.  Kiss will be an outdoor rep.

Linda Blake- New Players Practice Rep.   July 8 has been scheduled for the Newcomer practice for participants from the last clinic.

Dean Cheatham-New Treasurer.  Everyone welcomed Dean and appreciates him volunteering.

4.  Palmetto Doubles Tournament-Jay.  As of the date of the meeting, 77 people have signed up.  When participants sign up for the tourney they are actually paying for two events.  Next year we might look into charging one fee for participating in one event and then $10 for additional events.  Jay wanted to know if we are interested in doing a paddle raffle and Silent Auction at the tourney.  The response was that it will definitely happen but don’t need to worry about that until the tourney gets closer.  Tickets will be sold only at the Palmetto and not at the Summer Smash due to confusion it may cause to the supporters.  Some might think they are raffling these items during the Summer Smash.   Lisa said that during Augusta tourneys someone walks around in the audience selling raffle tickets.  This would be a good way to get more individuals to buy tickets.  It was suggested that a 50/50 raffle might be a good idea and generate enthusiasm.   We still need volunteers for the Palmetto Tournament. 

5.  Sponsors.  Jody Madden was asked to talk about Sponsorships for the tourney.  She discussed possible companies  which she has contacted.  Jody highly recommended setting up a Gofundme site.  Joyce thinks we will get more participants for the Palmetto and we will be ok for funds without using GoFundMe. Most members do not want to solicit funds using this method.

Jody has packets for anyone that may be interested in taking them and giving them to possible supporters.    July 4/5 is the T-shirt deadline so if companies want sponsorships listed on the back of t-shirts, keep this date in mind.  It is approaching fast.  Donors of  $125 or more can have their business advertised on the back of the t-shirt. 

6. Gregg Park Round Robin.  Joyce reported that there are currently 89 participants.  All divisions are full except the 3.5 Mixed.  There is a good group of volunteers.  The snack location will be noted in an email and participants will be told about the snack room while registering prior to play.

7.  Calendar Schedule Update-John/Brian.   An unfortunate event occurred last month when players had reserved a court and a pro came to give lessons on that same court at the same time.  Players were asked  to go elsewhere and were upset.    This misunderstanding should  not happen again.  The Issue was resolved with an apology.

8.  Drills with LBJ-.   George reported that all six slots are taken up for the Drills with LBJ  scheduled to start Wednesday, June 28th at Gregg Park.  Lisa is also assisting Mo with the new players clinic at OW this Saturday, June 17th.  She will also be conducting her own New Players Clinic at Gregg Park on Saturday, July 8th.   

9.  Update on 501c3-Faith.  The process should take between 3-8 weeks for approval.  We are in week 4.  Application was submitted May 18.  There was extended discussion of this timeframe.  Faith will be following up 3 times a week with Debra Folk to retrieve documents from OW.  

10.  Financial Report-.   Faith reported that we received funds through Stripe directly  into our checking account from t-shirt sales, registration to the Summer Smash and Palmetto tournament.  If we get a strong turn out for the Palmetto,   API should be able to cover all of our upcoming expenses for the tournament and new business expenses as a result for the 2023 incorporating of Aiken Pickleball .  We may need more medals which Mo is bringing back from China. He personally brings them back, saving Aiken Pickleball much money rather than having them shipped from China.   Jay suggested that more details on budget will be helpful.  Dean assured him that this would occur.

11.  Closing Comments

Marian said that many people have stated that we need an outdoor tournament.  A simple Round Robin would be ideal.  We need to talk with the city to reserve courts for this.  Lisa stated that it would be nice having a second date set in case the tourney gets rained out on the first day.  All agreed.  Update:   Leadership Team has proposed Saturday, October 21st, for the RR and are waiting for the City's approval.

Lisa Barrett-Johnson is planning on doing outdoor junior tournaments. 

Joyce stated that the Mid-Atlantic tourney that N. Augusta was trying to secure is being moved to Maryland.  This is unfortunate for our local area. 

Kiss questioned future league possibilities.  We are looking for a league director.  Kiss volunteered for this.   Flex leagues are also a possibility.  In Flex leagues participants would set up their own times for playing.  It was noted that there are  pros and cons with using the flex league method or regulator set date/time for playing games.  Kiss will look into.

12.  Next meeting-  Monday, July 10, 5:30 pm at Gregg Park Civic Center