Minutes: Minutes of 10/11/11 meeting were accepted.
President – Drew Maldonado
Mr. Maldonado began the meeting by welcoming new and returning board members to the first meeting with the new SJBB board. He shared his expectations for the upcoming year and listed dates of all upcoming meetings which will be held at the Rec Center at 7:30 PM: 12/13, 1/17, 2/15, 3/13, 4/17, 5/15, and 6/12.
He welcomed the new members joining the board: Lisa Washburn, Chuck McCall, Matt Hayford, Mary Beth Cahill, Tim Shannon, Chad Comiteau, Todd Engmann and Alex Queripel. He also welcomed back board members who were transitioning to new roles.
Mr. Maldonado was pleased to announce that SJBB received positive feedback from the surveys distributed at the end of the 2011 spring season. More specific findings from the survey will be presented at a later date. The overall purpose was to collect constructive information that would help SJBB identify positives/negatives of its program in an effort to always strive for excellence. The Executive Board will closely examine the data and will make any recommendations accordingly.
Vice President - Neil Greenstein
Mr. Greenstein is stepping into a new role as Vice President of SJBB.
His goals for the year include re-establishing a Parent Action Committee, maintaining success with the Sportsmanship Award, continuing fundraising efforts, working on special projects, and encouraging more volunteering among parents.
New fundraising ideas were discussed such as a golf outing in the spring. The success of past events such as the Father’s Day picnic, Patriot’s Night and pictures were also noted. Possibly changing the format of Pizza Fest was addressed and will be evaluated at a later date.
It was suggested that a list of projects and capital improvements be created in order to evaluate the amount of money that needs to be raised for each area.
Financial Report - Brian Kaufman
Mr. Kaufman shared that the current balance is $62,182.76. He is currently working with the auditors to close out last year’s expenses.
Mr. Kaufman explained that over $300,000 was brought in last year from registrations and sponsorships, and more money was spent last year then in previous years. There will be a budget discussion at the next meeting. Auditors are in the process of recommending policies and procedures that will be implemented.
Mr. Coburn, Mr. Maldanado and Mr. Kaufman will be meeting with Bollinger to discuss insurance coverage for the officers and directors of the board.
Softball – Calabrese
Mr. Calabrese reported that softball was very successful this fall with excellent participation. For the first time, there was an 8 U team which made it all the way to the championship game. The Fall Program is expanding as rapidly as spring and summer. Mr. Calabrese said that he took the feedback from the survey very seriously and is using that information to work on creating specific winter clinics. The clinics have been hugely beneficial in helping players improve their skills for the spring season. Rachel Gordon has shown an interest in running a program for grades 1 to 4. There will also be a clinic run again by Frozen Ropes for grades 5 to 8.
Mr. Calabrese is working on the concept of getting softball merchandise made available either through Thompsons or other sporting good options. The subject of promoting SJBB items for the holidays was discussed through using either on-line options or local stores like Thompsons.
Additionally, Mr. Coburn mentioned the possibility of selling both baseball and softball products in the Summit Boosters’ fundraising activities. The Summit Boosters’ Board seems very open and interested in working with SJBB in the future. Money raised by the Boosters goes to both Middle School and High School teams.
Marketing – Douglas
Mr. Douglas is in the process of sending out an email to all sponsors from the last five years thanking them for their past support and asking them to be sponsors again for the upcoming season. In addition, he is in the process of creating a thank you advertisement that will appear in local newspapers and on-line sources like the Patch.
There was a discussion on the cost of sponsorship and whether or not to raise the cost. There was a motion that was then seconded “to raise the cost of sponsorship to $395.” The motion was voted on and APPROVED! The new price is $395 and there will still be a $50 multi-team discount.
The idea of increasing sponsorship to summer and travel teams was discussed and many board members were in favor of exploring that option. This topic is to be discussed further at another meeting.
An open-ended discussion produced several additional ways that sponsors could be involved: sponsoring an event like Pizza Fest or the End of the Year Picnic, restaurant night with a discount to SJBB members, rotating wheel of business names on the SJBB website and the possibility of removable banners/signs on homerun fences. All of these suggestions will be discussed in detail at a later date.
Operations – Floegel
Mr. Floegel restated that the end-of-year survey was successful and the data is currently being examined and will be presented to the Executive Board. The data and any recommendations are being evaluated and will be discussed at a future date.
Mr. Trone shared that there was much success and good participation in clinics for the fall in the younger grades with over 55 children participating. There was small attendance in clinics for the older grades (6th, 7th, 8th) most likely because many older kids played in fall ball.
Mr. Floegel and Mr. Trone are evaluating which clinics to offer in the winter and spring. Mr. Leiter offered his assistance in teaching or helping with some of the clinics.
Personnel – Miller
Mr. Miller shared that all League Directors are in place for the spring. There will be a meeting with the directors and coaches before the season begins to discuss league rules and any changes from the previous year.
Mr. Miller said that there were only two fall teams this year in the Warren League: one for 14 U and one for 9 U. A new approach was taken where the coaches organized their own teams rather than SJBB having an open registration for all grade levels. This approach may need to be revisited for next year.
Mr. Miller provided a general overview of the new bat rules provided by the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Leagues. This new rule recommends that players only use a bat with a BPF certification of 1.15. These new rules directly affect the spring and summer travel teams who will be playing against other towns who may be complying with the new bat regulations. The Executive Board is currently talking to surrounding towns to gather information on how they are phasing in the new bat recommendations.
There was a discussion on how to introduce the new bat rules for the SJBB recreation league and whether or not to implement these rules immediately or to phase in over a period of time. SJBB bat inventory needs to be evaluated to see if current bats meet the requirements.
All parents who are buying new bats for their child/children this holiday season are urged to buy a bat that complies with the current Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth League recommendations.
There will be an educational update sent to all parents shortly outlining the new rules and how it will affect their children.
Fields - Coburn
Mr. Coburn announced that all fields would be closed and winterized over the next couple of weeks. Pitching machines will be shut down and bases will be placed into storage.
Wilson Field was recently redone and there are a series of tarps in place. During the recent storm, there was some damage done to the netting at Wilson’s batting cage that will be repaired.
Mr. Coburn recommended that a 10-year service contract for the lights at Jefferson be renewed for the maintenance of all lighting and replacement of bulbs.
There was some discussion concerning scheduling of the fields during the spring. Mr. Coburn will consult with Mark Ozoroski to make sure that there will be no field conflicts this season.
In order to determine money needed for capital improvements, Mr. Coburn was asked for a wish list of projects he would like to have taken care of for this year and he mentioned several possibilities: new batting cages, new bull pen at Long Field, canopies for softball, and grass infields.
Safety - Mary Beth Cahill brought up the need to look at safety for our players. She suggested creating a committee to evaluate equipment that could be used to protect players such as heart guards and properly fitted baseball helmets. This concern will be addressed again at a future meeting.
Registration – Ms. McDonald will open registration for the spring season on December 1st.
Promoting Volunteerism – There was a broad discussion on how to encourage volunteerism and how to foster a strong sense of community among baseball families. The core issue revolves around using the registration form as a tool to ask for more volunteers. If a member cannot volunteer, then it was recommended that they donate money in lieu of their time. Some board members felt that SJBB should ask for money and some members felt that they should not. The money amount and volunteer hours were also up for debate.
As SJBB’s program grows, volunteers are essential for events like Pizza Fest, Father’s Day picnic, Picture Day, etc. In addition, coaches need volunteers to help with raking the field, painting the lines, pitch count and other areas to be determined.
There was also a discussion about having an option for families to give an additional contribution, if desired, which would go towards SJBB’s capital improvements.
After further discussion on the topic, a proposal was submitted for a vote by Neil Greenstein and was seconded:
Add two boxes to registration form. The first box is to solicit an additional donation for capital projects. The second box is a volunteer commitment to either help child’s coach directly or to volunteer for the league in a capacity to be identified later. Board voted on proposal and APPROVED!
The Executive Board will discuss volunteerism/money donations with neighboring towns to assess their policies. Then, they will look further into this issue and make additional recommendations once more information has been gathered.
Meeting Adjourned At: 10:07
Minutes Compiled By: Alexandra Queripel, SJBB Secretary