December 3, 2003 -- Atlanta, GA
After an error by Yours Truly, who didn't place Mike Beck on the ballot for the Chair position, the U.S. Wildwater Committee has
nullified the votes for the Chair position only, and is soliciting USACK members to cast votes once again.
To make sure everyone has plenty of time to vote, we have extended the deadline to Tuesday, December 30th. Instructions for
emailing your vote for either Mike Beck or John Pinyerd as Wildwater Committee Chair appear at the bottom of this article.
The winner will be announced just after the New Year, once we have had time to verify the USACK numbers and tally the final vote.
Please read the instructions carefully and follow them, or your vote will not be counted--without exception.
We do not have the resources to follow up with individual voters or count dimpled and hanging chads. Even if your vote was counted
successfully last time, you must vote again.
Any current USACK member is eligible to cast a vote for the final nominees in the last contested position.
The U.S. Wildwater Committee thanks Ed Gordon for standing for the West Coast Athlete Rep election. He recently contacted
the Committee to withdraw his name from the ballot with excellent form. We look forward to your continued excellent involvement, Ed.
The following are elections that have completed. The outgoing Wildwater Committee offers congratulations to the 2004-2005
|Events & Programs
|Newsletter & Rankings
|East Coast Athlete Rep
|West Coast Athlete Rep
The election will be conducted via email to reduce the costs incurred. Please
email your choice of candidates to email@example.com, along with your USACK number. Emails sent to other addresses,
or that do not contain your current USACK number, will be treated as spoiled votes and discarded.
Emails must be received at this address by 6pm on Tuesday, December 30th.
Following this date the votes will be compiled, and USACK numbers submitted to the USACK office to check the membership status of
each voter. All current USACK members are eligible to vote in these elections, whether you have indicated a preference for
wildwater on your USACK membership or not.
The following are candidate statements which voters may use to guide their decisions.
I love Wildwater (WW) and want to help the sport. I am not
on the current WW board but agreed to be nominated at the
request of several folks. I want your vote for Chairman and
will work hard for you, the team, and the development of the
sport. I believe that I have the desire, skills and experience
to make a difference.
I've been active in sports my whole life. As a paddler, I've
raced Slalom and WW for a total of two decades. I know the
thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and how to help folks
along in various stages of their paddling career. I raced
slalom in the mid 80's and also had top ten level finishes
in C-2 and C-1 at the '92 Slalom Olympic Team Trials. But
Wildwater is my true love and I have been blessed:
- 8 time US Team Member with many top 20 finishes in international
- Bronze Medal in International Competition (1988 C-2 Team
- Finished 11th overall in C-1 in the 91 World Cup Series
with a top 5 finish on the Ocoee.
- Won WW Nationals and Team Trials 5 times each and have dozens
of medal finishes in National Competition.
- 2nd at this years Team Trials/Nationals and 14th overall
in C-1 at the World Cups.
Note: I was just grateful to be able to compete and look forward
to the day when the team is too strong for me to be able to
earn a berth.
In my professional career, I am the Regional Sales Manager
for Dart Transit, one of the nation's largest trucking companies.
I know firsthand the art of world-class communication, selling,
developing, and implementing strategic plans. A nice perk
of the job is that I am frequently in Charlotte, NC (home
of USACK and Vice Chair Ben Sandiford) as well as in Western
NC (home of 2 other board members). Living in Atlanta also
gives me the opportunity to work on website development and
communications with Martin Bay.
In my personal life, I have also been blessed by being married
for 25 years (Lynn is a teacher and personal trainer). We
have 3 grown children (one has graduated from the University
of GA, one is a Junior at GA Tech, and our youngest is a Junior
in High School).
A couple thoughts on a couple issues:
Communication - Without a doubt, our communication needed
to be improved. That's why as a WW athlete I requested and
got a meeting between the board members who were at Kernville
and the athletes. I also worked very hard to put together
an email list so that we could communicate better and have
sent out any information that I thought would be helpful.
It is pretty obvious that I communicate openly and believe
in publishing agendas, keeping all meetings open, and sending
out meeting notes. Please note that I'm disappointed that
some folks may have used the email list that I worked so hard
to put together as a vehicle to take shots. I am excited about
the opportunities we have with in using our website to communicate
a plethora of information as well as improving our links to
USACK and others.
Working with USACK and Others - I spent a weekend away from
home (along with 5 other devoted WW types) attending the USACK
board meeting on my own dime and took the time to type my
notes, solicit input from others, and gain approval from Dave
Mason (the USACK Board member who represents our sport), and
then distribute them. It was great to see old friends at the
USACK meeting, to get a feel for what is going on, and to
try and insure continuity by working with the incoming/outgoing
WW board members. I was also excited about an opportunity
that grew out of the meeting .... a USACK Sprint Team Member
will donate training boats for Atlanta, if I can find a place
to house them...and I am exploring opportunities with a local
high school rowing club.
Growth and Development - Growth without a doubt is a huge
challenge. I would encourage all of us to recruit our friends,
neighbors, and other paddlers to the sport..... and please,
attend the races and training camps. I am extremely encouraged
by the number of new Juniors that are paddling WW as this
is our future. There are lots of races in the Southeast THAT
ARE ON CLASS II whitewater including one race that was specifically
aimed at Juniors. PLEASE ATTEND THEM AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS.
Obviously, I intend to insure that we publish information
on any local WW Races/Training Camps that we can.
It also makes sense also to have races like Nationals on class
2-3 whitewater and near a large population center to help
insure as many participants as possible. This year it probably
DID make sense to focus on racing in Kernville because of
the World Cup Races.
Nuff said.... We have the opportunity to help a really cool
sport. I'd like to be the WW Chairman and will take all the
help I can get. I'm looking forward to working with you and
for our sport.
I am expressing an interest in running for the position of
Chair Person. If anyone else agrees that I am able to do some
good for the US Wildwater organization please know that I
will accept your nomination and will work hard to bring about
positive changes. To make things legal here is my USACK Number
I am currently in Germany training with some of the best paddlers
and I have seen how the Germans organize things. I know that
there is a lot that can be done to improve Wildwater in the
US and that we can learn a lot from the Europeans but because
of the size of the US we will have to be that much more organized.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel; there are systems out
there that are working we just need to put them to work here.
The two major changes that need to be done right away are
communication and support of athletes and events.
Knowledge is power and with communication our athletes will
have knowledge. Simple changes in existing structure can make
huge differences. If our website is kept up to date with information
for the athletes as well as the general public our sport can
grow. A regular e-mail newsletter to members informing them
on new issues, events and ideas can increase participation.
Event organizers would benefit from these changes as well
because they would be able to gain support from our members
and the public.
I believe that we could increase our exposure by supporting
the local races and creating Wildwater classes in existing
races and by helping creating new venues for competition to
bring our sport to the public.
With the help and energy from other members I believe that
things can turn around in the US for the best. We should look
to the exceptional job that Kern River Valley did organizing
the World Cups events and realize the potential we have to
develop world-class athletes and events.
I see the Chair and the committee as the driving force behind
the changes for Wildwater. But they can only be successful
with the help from the members. These are the people that
the committee should be serving. I believe the more people
who are ACTIVE in the committee of Wildwater the further this
energy of change will go. This would be one of my goals; to
get more people involved in the activities of the committee
and make the committee agenda and goals public knowledge.
I feel that every member should know what the goals are that
the committee is working on and if they don’t agree with what
is going on they should have a say. In the past when there
was communication going on and members knew what was happening
things ran smooth. This is important so that when there are
elections and new people take office there is continuity,
things don’t get lost and the energy doesn’t die down and
have to be jump-started again every few years.
My main goal is to get a Wildwater Community of paddlers,
race organizers, volunteers, family members and friends working
and playing together, to grow the sport and make it accessible
to all who would like to paddle. Presently I see activity
from those who have raced in the past few years, it is the
same paddlers not a strong community. How can we change this?
One way to attract more people to the sport is to hold races
on less intimidating rivers. Wildwater races do not need to
be held on Class IV and V rivers where only a handful of athletes
feel confident enough to paddle. Races can and are held in
Europe on Class I and II flat-water rivers where anyone can
race. The aggressive “hairraces” will always be there for
those athletes who want to test their skills, but they are
not the races that will help develop a Wildwater community
and therefore not be the races that the committee spends all
or most of their resources and energy promoting. Holding races
on Class II & III Rivers makes them marketable to more people,
racers and spectators.
Another way to help create this community is to further develop
the US Team. By this I believe we should give the team members
the respect and the responsibility they have earned by being
the best paddlers in the US. The committee should work on
giving the team athletes the chance to be our ambassadors
of the sport. They should be attending Tradeshow, public engagements
and promote the sport. It should be known that the team athletes
are racing at certain events and publicize it to get the publics
attention. Team athletes should be working on attracting new
paddlers to the sport. Currently our team is not really a
team, it is a group of individuals who attend races and that
is all, we need to support the team more.
Youth development must be a major focus, if we can get more
youth paddling then their parents and other family members
will come into the sport as well. There are already great
youth groups out there that we should be working with to develop
a strong base of young paddlers to help carry our sport further.
For instance the Boys and girls clubs of America, Boy Scouts,
Girl Scouts and the YMCA, these groups are always looking
for new opportunities to offer to their members and we should
be able to work together.
COMMUNICATIONS MUST BE FREE-FLOWING! My goal is to reach as
many people as possible. To get the event schedules set by
the end of the year for the next season so people can plan
on where and what events they can travel to. This is done
in Europe; the race schedule is published by Dec/Jan. So that
everyone can plan his or her season in advanced.
The website should be utilized more for example to: · Publish
· Publish race results
· Make General information Known
· Training tips
· Track training Progress compared with other athletes and
analyzed by a trainer ·
Team Info/ what races and promotional events will team members
· Bios on the athletes
· Database of Volunteers, Coaches and Athletes list by their
area so that if there are people who are interested in our
sport they can find someone to help them start paddling Wildwater.
This is just a start. The list goes on and on. There is a
lot that can be done and results will come quickly where in
other areas where changes won’t be seen immediately as a foundation
must be laid and it will take time to achieve. I believe it
can be done we just need to stay focused and keep this energy
going. If not me than by someone else, let’s just get it going.
If you feel the same way, I would appreciate your vote. If
you do vote for me change will happen!
If you really want to call here is our number in Germany:
Michael Beavers is the outgoing News Ediitor for the Wildwater Committee
living in Atlanta, Georgia. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.