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Clubs Matter: February 2019 Newsletter​
We are halfway through February which means we are getting close to wrapping up the 2018-19 skating season! In this issue, we want to ensure your board is on board with limiting conflicts of interest, growing your club and programs with NARCE and Club Education seminars, celebrating Valentine’s Day with the love of skating and encouraging members to speak up on SafeSport with the Your Voice campaign.
Getting Your Board on Board - Conflicts of Interest
5 Tips for Conflict of Interest:
  1. Conflicts are normal. A majority of board members will have both personal and work affiliations that might conflict with serving on a board, but most of them are not problematic and should be examined and addressed before deterring someone from participating.
  2. Make sure your club has a conflict of interest (COI) policy. This is a proactive step that will ensure board members are making decisions for the club and board instead of for themselves. You can find a conflict of interest example on page 12 of our sample bylaws found here.
  3. Your COI should be unique to your club. All organizations are different, so be sure to cater your COI to your club’s needs and situation.
  4. Diversity is key to preventing conflicts of interest among your board. Having board members from various backgrounds will help avoid conflicts.
  5. If a board member does have conflicts, be sure to disclose them annually with a disclosure form which the board can discuss to determine if the person is suitable for the position.
For more information on conflicts of interest or board governance in general, visit BoardSource here.
Helpful Resources - NARCE and Club Education Seminar
North American Rink Conference and Expo (NARCE): 2019 Skating Director Program
May 21- 24 – Buffalo, New York
Open to skating directors, rink managers, club board members and coaches, the Skating Director Program, presented by U.S. Figure Skating and Learn to Skate USA, offers proven marketing, business development, organizational leadership and customer growth and retention strategies that will help you take your skating program to the next level. The Skating Director Program has been expanded to the full three-and-a-half days in order to offer attendees a toolkit that allows for effective leadership, business and programming strategies for increased growth, retention and success. Hear from top industry professionals on advancements in programming, technology and data-driven marketing that will inspire, motivate and provide attendees the tools to create a successful and financially viable skating program.
Learn to Skate USA Certified Program Administrator
This certification, a designation provided by Learn to Skate USA, recognizes professionals in the industry who have committed to increasing their knowledge of program administration and retain a track record of program success. Individuals must complete the three courses below, pass course exams and submit required program documents in order to achieve this designation.
  • Skating Director Program – U.S. Figure Skating
  • Programming, Marketing & Promotions – U.S. Ice Rink Association
  • Human Resources or Risk Management – U.S. Ice Rink Association
Intensive Workshops
Intensive workshops will give attendees an opportunity to take a more in depth look and choose specific topics relevant to their program and facility. Workshops will be offered for the following topics:
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing
  • Bridge Programs
  • Business Basics and Profit
  • Staffing: Interview to Team Player
Educational sessions include:
  • Learn to Skate USA: programming from the grassroots up
  • U.S. Figure Skating: How it works and what we offer to assist our programs and clubs
  • The how, what, when, where and why of programming
  • Increasing retention through specialty and bridge programs
  • Building a strategic, business and financial plan
  • Building your off-ice training program
  • Ask a manager – answers from across the country
  • Individual program consultations
  • Program and fee structure comparison
  • Networking and roundtable discussions
*Participants will earn PSA credits
For more information contact Susi Wehrli McLaughlin, Senior Director, Membership: swehrli@usfigureskating.org

Join us for a Club Education Seminar at the 2019 Governing Council in Colorado Springs!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019: 2-8:30 p.m.

Whether your club has been around for years or just formed, our clubs are the foundation of our sport and the essential link to the success of your members. At this Club Education Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we will discuss the ”best practices” of running a successful and financially viable figure skating club. The seminar is open to all current and prospective board members, skating directors, coaches and rink management staff – everyone that serves in a leadership position. For questions regarding this seminar, contact Susi Wehrli-McLaughlin at swehrli@usfigureskating.org. Register here!
Engagement - Love of Skating
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we surveyed U.S. Figure Skating and Learn to Skate USA members about why they love skating!

“I love that it’s giving me new challenges to work towards.” - Jim Cork, Georgia

“The movement, skill, as well as the inspiration I see in my daughter’s eyes when she dreams of being a professional someday.” - Jamie Amundgaard, Minnesota

“I love challenging myself and getting better at skating, while as an effect I am getting stronger!” - Lillian McFadden, North Carolina

“Teaching new skaters and seeing them fall in love with the ice.” - Denise Hughes, Ohio

“I love the feeling of gliding across the ice and the wind hitting my face as I spin! When skating, I love the feeling of thinking about nothing else other than skating as it takes me to a place nothing else can do!” - Colleen Higgins, Ohio

“I love the magical feeling of gliding across the ice. I love skating with my two daughters and watching them skate. I love when they master a new skill, perform well in a show or skate great a competition. Skating captures your heart.” -Faye Senne, Iowa

“I love being a LTS instructor and getting to help kiddos grow their passion for figure skating regardless of their individual goals, strengths, and weaknesses! Each kid has their own talent while on the ice and I love working with them to help them highlight their talents and help them to enjoy each minute on the ice!” - Sydnee Nethery, Idaho

“My favorite sound is when you are alone on the ice and you can hear your edges cutting into the ice. It’s music that makes my heart sing!” - Marcia Little, Tennessee

Share your stories and pictures with us by sending them to memberservices@usfigureskating.org!
SafeSport Program - Your Voice

Giving Voice to Minor Athletes

Over the years, U.S. Figure Skating and many other NGBs have educated parents and adults in the areas of athlete safety. But in August 2017, the nation learned from the USA Gymnastics survivors that many young athletes were not being heard.

With athlete members as young as age three, our challenge was to directly empower minor athletes in a way that wasn’t scary or dark to ensure the rink remains a healthy and friendly place. Using our Olympic medalists and Team USA athletes as Athlete Ambassadors, the “Your Voice” campaign was born.

All athletes, regardless of your age or skill level, have the same power: Your Voice
  • Goal: Empower and encourage minor athletes to speak up if they see or suspect something is wrong. They don’t need to solve the problem, but they do need to tell someone.
  • Message: Keep it simple. Believable. Never scripted. Must be in athletes’ own words.
  • Tone: Not dark or scary. Inviting, #together.* “The cool kids are doing it.”
    *#together was U.S Figure Skating’s 2018 Olympic campaign
  • Tagline: “Say something. To a parent. To a friend. To a trusted adult.”
In an effort to reach our youngest athletes and get the conversation started, each member of Team USA, the AAC and synchro’s DREAM team were sent a “Your Voice” T-shirt and two youth-sized T-shirts with the agreement that they would select two young skaters in their home rinks to join them as “Your Voice” Athlete Ambassadors. They also received brief educational material to share with family and friends.

In coordination with the “Your Voice” shirts showing up in local rinks across the country, clubs received messaging and a campaign roadmap to understand their role. In late November, “Your Voice” stickers, posters and easy-to-digest SafeSport educational materials were included in National Skating Month kits, received by more than 300 clubs.

All clubs have access to the new video PSAs for in-arena or presentation use. Two examples are below: More Athlete Ambassadors joined the campaign at the 2019 GEICO U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January. In the spring, focus will shift to uniting member clubs.

The early results have been positive, with more people talking about athlete safety to and with young athletes.

Within weeks of launching the “Your Voice” campaign in August, U.S. Figure Skating received two reports from young athletes that allowed an unknown situation to be addressed. By listening to the young people, the true eyes and ears on the ice, the situation was resolved before it became a problem.

More information:
Barb Reichert |Senior Director, External Relations
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