Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Curling Into the Black

Today’s news release on the recent Canadian Curling Association “National Curling Congress” and AGM weekend (photo above) reminds us all that curling politics continue in this early summer.

It also reminds us that not too long ago, Canadian media hounds were draped all over such gatherings, buzzing and speculating over the troubles that seemed to flow endlessly out of Gloucester.

No more. The hounds are fast asleep and today’s news is all good, thus keeping the curling journos in hibernation. And what’s wrong with that, eh?

CCA is now fully in the black, have paid off the entire unfunded deficit, and has started its first-ever financial reserve. This year also featured the largest surplus in CCA history.

The number that was formerly marked in red would appear to be $556,468, by the way, not $1.4 million. In fact, 1.4 M happens to be the amount of the new surplus.

As such, new employment positions might even be in the offing as the CCA analyzes current operations. There are a number of aspects that are desperately needed, especially considering the departure of two longtime employees in 2007.

With this kind of news, it’s clear to see a revitalized spirit of cooperation and outlook for Canadian curling making its way around the boardroom table.

“We are extremely pleased to have had such a banner year,” said CCA CEO Greg Stremlaw, who assumed his role last October. “While our athlete performances at the world level were outstanding, it was the financial performance of the organization that I’m extremely proud of as well.

“This is a significant financial turnaround for the CCA but everyone realizes there is still a great deal of work to be done to totally stabilize the association for the future. I’m committed to running the CCA as a business and the entire organization is forging ahead with renewed fiscal responsibility.”

Which brings us to elections. Fran Todd, a former prez of the Ontario Curling Association and longtime Senior champion (Canada and world, with skips Anne Dunn and Jill Greenwood) is the new Chair of the Board of Governors, and the Peace region’s Graham Prouse is the new Vice Chair.

Todd beat out New Brunswick’s Beth Sullivan in the all-female run to the top job.

You may have noticed some new lingo in the above. True enough, new governance motions and policies were approved which sees the former CCA Board of Directors now changed to CCA Board of Governors, and all (former) Directors are now referred to as Governors. As such, for the first time the CCA no longer has a President - but rather a Chair of the Board. Same with the veep.

Two brand new faces on the Board mirror the home provinces of the new Presi – er, Chair and Vice-Chair: Jim Campbell is an Ontarian and Laura Lochanski hails from Alberta.

Former CCA President Al Forsythe of Moncton retired from the board as did Georgina Anderson of Manitoba.

In another new twist, voting will now be permitted electronically.

CCA has also confirmed that the next two NCCs and AGMs (2009 and 2010) will be hosted in Ottawa.

Todd is pumped about the future. “I’m really looking forward to it,” she told us. “It’s going to be an exciting year.”

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