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December Letter from the CEO

December 06, 2012

Dear Rowing Community,

This weekend marked the 2012 USRowing Annual Meeting, Convention and Board of Directors’ meeting held in Oklahoma City, Okla. The event was inspirational in many ways.

Several hundred coaches and leaders from our sport got a first-hand look at the enormous possibilities that exist when a community, corporate leadership, rowers and USRowing work together. Our eight-year partnership has resulted in two state-of-the-art boathouses, a modern finish-line tower, permanent river lighting and plans for a whitewater center and two additional boathouses in the coming 18 months. With nearly $100 million in private and public investment toward this project, Oklahoma City’s commitment to rowing is unrivaled.

During convention, USRowing launched new components to our education program, featuring advanced coaching education and the Business of Rowing panel discussions. Top coaches from around the United States and the world gave presentations, opened discussions and provided real-time, on-the-water coach modeling for participants. These sessions follow our vision of providing practical, relevant and affordable rowing knowledge to the membership.

Also during this weekend, the USRowing Board of Directors met and discussed the future of USRowing and our vision for a unified rowing community. This coming year will bring a fresh direction for the association where communication and information resources for the community will be a focus.

A new Basic Membership category will bring the entire community together as USRowing and leverage this strength to form new corporate partnerships and to revive media attention to rowing. We will launch this new category at zero cost, with the intent of building value for the individual rower in our association. A more detailed explanation of the Basic Member category and how it works for you will be distributed in the coming weeks.

Convention also allowed us to celebrate our successes and those from our community who contribute to rowing. The 2012 award recipients recognized at convention and at the Golden Oars Awards Dinner on November 14 in New York City were:

  • USRowing Medal Recipient, Stan Pocock
  • Jack Kelly Award, Mike Knopp
  • Jack Franklin Award, Kate Godwin
  • Anita DeFrantz Award, RowLA
  • Isabel Bohn Adaptive Rowing Award, Rob Jones and Oksana Masters
  • 2012 USRowing Female Athlete of the Year, Oksana Masters
  • 2012 USRowing Male Athlete of the Year, Glenn Ochal
  • John J Carlin Service Award, Dick Bell
  • Julian Wolf Award, Lloyd McDonald
  • Joan Zandbergen “Mama Z” Award, Elaine Rodin
  • Clayton W. Chapman Award, Tim Royalty
  • Ernestine Bayer Award, 2012 U.S. Women’s Eight
  • Man of the Year Award, Rob Jones
  • Club of the Year, Community Rowing, Inc.

Congratulations to all of our recipients this year, and thank you for what you bring to our sport.

We have an exciting year ahead for USRowing, and I look forward to greater dialog with our community as the association moves ahead.

Happy New Year,

Glenn Merry, USRowing CEO

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