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Important Updates from the Board

Dear SynchroStars Families,

I hope everyone has managed to enjoy some downtime in July, and that you all are staying safe and well.

I am writing to share some important updates from the Board.

Last September, in anticipation of planning for leadership succession, we began communicating via emails and announcements information about how to become a board member. Several parents contacted us following those communications expressing an interest in serving on the board. Throughout this year, we have met with those parents, along with some parents we identified through their other volunteer efforts for the club as having the dedication and skill sets that matched the organization’s needs.

We are excited to share with you all that as a result of these meetings and extensive strategic planning, the Board has determined to expand by adding two new roles: Director of Compliance, and Director of Development. (We are able to do this under our current Bylaws, Section 3.04.)*

Having a larger board will help us better serve the Club by distributing the work more evenly, and by adding the knowledge, skills, and resources of additional members. Adding these positions also provides an opportunity for a smooth transition from leadership by the original board members to the emerging leadership of parents of younger swimmers. This is important, as the daughters of both our President (David Falconer) and Vice President (Paige Hassall) are rising seniors, and this will be their last year competing with the team.

In order to affect a seamless succession of leadership, our proposed board composition for 2020-21 is as follows:

  • David Falconer will remain this year as President.
  • Paige Hassall will be stepping aside as Vice President and staying on as a non-voting Advisor.
  • As our new Head Coach, Coach Jessica will assume a voting role on the board.
  • Coach Irenewill remain as a non-voting Advisor, in addition to her new role as Talent Development Coach.
  • Current Secretary Bernadette Levaro will move into the Vice President position.
  • Shelly Li will join the board as ournew Secretary.
  • Pei Pierce will stay on as Treasurer.
  • Jing Lai will fill the new role of Director of Compliance.
  • Violet Xiao will serve in the new position of Director of Development.

The board has been busy throughout the summer planning for the coming season and the longer-range future. This past weekend, we held our second annual Board Retreat (virtually this time). We met for a total of nearly twelve hours spread across three days, revisiting our Mission and Vision Statements, reviewing the Club’s finances, discussing plans and strategies for coping with Covid-19, and beginning work on new Development and Fundraising and Diversity Initiatives.

In spite of extraordinary circumstances, we believe our team has much to look forward to this year and beyond, and we are excited to start the new season. (You will be receiving updates over the coming days and weeks from our coaches regarding how and when training will resume.)

In part because of current social distancing measures, and in part because we have learned over the past three years that waiting to hold elections and our annual membership meeting until after tryouts presents obstacles to gaining traction administratively, we have determined:

  • to hold our elections electronically at this time, and
  • to hold our annual meeting as a Virtual Town Hall and Member Social on Saturday, August 29th, at 10am.

Details about the meeting will be coming in the next couple of weeks, but it will be held via Zoom, and it will be an opportunity for parents, coaches, and board members to gather and share information and plans, answer questions for the coming year, and even have a little fun! Please save the date! :)

As many of you will recall, we held our elections electronically via Survey Monkey in 2018. We will follow the same procedure this year. Attached you will find a document describing the board positions and (re-)introducing you to our Slate of Officers.

  • Please take the time to read over this document and reach out to us by replying to this email, or writing to houstonsynchrostars@gmail.com, with any questions or concerns.
  • The link to the Survey Monkey ballot where you will cast your vote will be sent out tomorrow, and voting will be open through Friday, August 7th.
    • Families are entitled to one vote per swimmer.
    • The ballot will be sent to the first email address in your Swimtopia account.

As always, we welcome and depend on your input and participation in the operations of our club, so do not hesitate to reach out with any and all questions, concerns, and suggestions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and the attachment.

Warm regards,

Paige Hassall

Vice President

*Section 3.04 Composition, Number and Qualifications: The Board of Directors shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and the Head Coach. The number of directors shall be not less than three (3) nor more than (9) and shall be an odd number, as the Board of Directors shall from time to time determine. To be qualified to hold a board position, an individual should be a member of the Organization for at least 2 years, unless no other eligible candidate is available. Other determining factors can include but are not limited to experience with other teams, judging qualifications, teaching qualifications, participation in USSA Conventions.

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