(by Donna Pearson, November 2, 2015)
USWCA 2015 Fall Meeting
Traveling to beautiful Grand Forks, North Dakota, the USWCA met September 17 - 20, for the 2015 Fall Meeting. Wait…..that almost sounds like the beginning of a report rather that the recollection of a fantastic meeting with great women, determined to support curling in their clubs and to strengthen the national organization.
Cool breezes mixed with warm sunshine to elevate the experience for those attending the meeting. Excellent for outside walkabouts, the superb weather provided many opportunities for the USWCA women to enjoy different venues throughout the city.
Great Food, Sights, & Shopping:
The President's Dinner at the UND Alumni Center highlighted local cuisine (Red River Valley potatoes and Walley from our northern neighbor, 1.5 hours away) while the closing dinner included great food and scenery at the King's Walk Golf Course.
Most USWCA members traveling by air remarked upon the stunning beauty of the northern plains. The amazement did not escape those who arrived by car, who took opportunities for sightseeing along the way. The Red River Valley Region, as geologically paved by the Lake Agassi glacier in the North Dakota Minnesota area, is flat farmland dedicated to growing crops: sugar beets, corn, soy beans, potatoes, sun flowers, etc. The patterns these crops create on the relatively treeless landscape create unforgettable images of agricultural and natural beauty. Although Grand Forks is small relative to other great cities across the nation, the USWCA women took advantage of various "finds" while shopping. From clothing to crafts, pottery and other art, let it not be said that shopping opportunities were passed up!
Club Representatives, Committee members, and Executive Officers from Alaska and California to Maine down to the heartland of Tennessee and the Carolinas met for 4 days to "take care of business" and consider how best to further the organization's mission. With years of energy, effort, and expertise, this fall's meeting centered upon two tasks: (1) finalizing the restructuring process of the organization and (2) identifying and/or assessing each Committee's goals and objectives as outlined in their strategic plans. Committee reports highlighted 3 main points of discussion within each committee and identified achievements or challenges to be addressed. Concise and clear, reports were shared with the Board of Directors who often posed questions for further understanding.
As President, I wish to thank all the USWCA women who were able to make it to Grand Forks for the Fall meeting. The road can be quite lengthy and air travel quite cumbersome. If nothing else, I hope that you experienced what we term, "North Dakota nice!" North Dakotans are well known for their hospitality and I must say that such kindness is also at the heart of the USWCA. Thank you for your graciousness and participation. With your continued dedication, I look forward to the final transition of our organizational restructure as we endeavor to reflect the USWCA legacy and embrace the future of curling.