President's Column - December 2023

Jerry McDaniel, President

As you read this letter, we will be into December of 2023 and closing out my first year as President of the club and last column. This necessitates a look back on the year for me to see whether the club has back-tracked, stalled, or moved forward from some of my originally conceived concerns. A look back at my first column in January revealed some goals which included: a better means to communicate (preferably a single means), alternative/more user friendly timing systems to encourage more volunteers, bring a younger contingent into club leadership, encourage more volunteerism across the club, ensure the club reestablished a firm financial status, and stay open to new ideas from all members. I can say we have made substantive improvement in some areas and continue to struggle in a couple of others, but 2024 will bring about some changes that may facilitate improvements in some of the areas that we continue to struggle. First, the areas that we continue to struggle. Communication for all club activities continues to be a challenge. We use Facebook, RunSignUp, and a Google email account, predominately, for communication. I have to say they all have their pros and cons, but none work perfectly well so we will continue to work on this one. Volunteerism has historically been the bane of most race directors’ existence. Both Jennifer and I have maintained a steady drumbeat on this one as we are both race directors. Some light at the end of the tunnel I believe. At the November meeting, the Board voted to replicate in concept what the tri club has used effectively for years. Mandatory volunteer time to be eligible for participation in the grand prix. This will come into being in 2024 – guidance to be issued by the Grand Prix committee. In terms of bringing a younger contingent of Board members into the fold, recent elections show a reversal of this desire. We have made significant strides on timing this year, coming from timing zero non-Gulf Winds races for a period, to where we now can respond positively to such requests and provide timers and set up. This turnabout is due in large measure to the purchase by the club of a more user-friendly timing system and recruitment and training by Board and club members. The club’s financial status is solid. Concerns were registered and cost cutting measures were considered as the financial picture dipped a bit during the peak Covid time frame. The running community at large has returned to races, race directors have updated entry fees, sponsors are sought for the larger races, GWTC equipment is being rented out and merchandise is being sold – all of which contribute to a solid financial picture for the club as we enter 2024. Lastly, in terms of being open to new ideas, I believe Jennifer and I along with the Board have entertained a vast array of ideas for the betterment of the club, of which some were implemented if there were no impediments and some not. This year, we updated and strengthened the club’s financial and internal controls, established a good working partnership with REI, moved(moving) club merchandise to a climate controlled facility, voiced concern in person and writing to protest roads crossing greenways and trails, a Legacy page was added to the club website to memorialize deceased GWTC members; a GWTC Group Run page was added to Facebook. Numerous more nuanced changes to club business and activities were activated as well. Key players in the work above in running the core functions of the club include: Race Directors and Coordinators, Membership Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Lecture Coordinator, Social Coordinator, Newsletter Editor, Tri Club President, Past President, Equipment and Merchandise Managers, a Racing Team Coordinator, and a slate of Director’s at Large. The amount of work all these folks do is mind boggling! Jennifer and I are proud to have worked with this group this year and look forward to another year of productivity! My assessment is that the club has moved forward this year thanks to the efforts of this group of hard working and dedicated individuals! Thanks to all!

FROM THE PRESIDENT

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