ECTC Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes

Date: April 18, 2017      Time: 6pm     Location: Casa Guletz, 1517 Sonoma Ave, Albany 

Attendees: (another three hour meeting!) attended by Bob Guletz , Jan Wilkins, Terry Cort, Ellen deNeef, Dawn Nakashima and RJ Bruno. (Not Present: Margo Takemiya on vacation; Bob Nowacki) 


1.     President’s report (Bob)

a.   Bob thanked the Board for attacking so many initiatives with high energy.
b.   Three major discussions tonight: Clarifying and cleaning up the PayPal process, setting a membership brainstorming session, and furthering our relationship with the Winslow Academy (see below)
c.   Involve more members: Bob urged officers and committee chairs to add members to their working groups to ease workloads and to involve more members in running the club (future leaders).
d.   Locating ECTC archives: Marty Jewett provided files and photos from the 1970s. We’re still looking for more. ACTION: Bob will contact past presidents and post a newsletter request.

2.     Treasurer’s report (Jan)

a.   Financial report: Dues increase for 2017 has helped the cash flow a bit. It was noted that current dues are about the same as in the 1970s. Also noted that our fiscal year is November-October – unusual but it works due to our annual membership renewal being on a calendar year basis.

3.     Secretary’s report (Margo): (on vacation; Bob will do notes again)

a.   February 7 minutes approved.

4.     Liaison Director’s report (Terry):

a.   City of El Cerrito: (Terry and Bob continue to meet regularly with Director Chris Jones)
       i.     Arlington Courts: cedars closest to courts will be relocated by the City in the fall (dormant period); new bathroom locking system installed but needs ‘fine tuning’; signs will be cleaned up and updated, including court numbers; ACTION: Terry and Bob will research appropriate benches to replace dangerous benches with protruding legs. We’ll look at sharing cost, using ECTIA fund balance, and send a proposal to the City. Possibly add a fourth bench and increase from 6 ft. to 8 ft. length.
       ii.     Cerrito Vista: City has semi-used wind screens that they will install on the south fence to cut the glare from car headlights and sun reflections off windshields; westerly bench is loose – City will reinstall it.
       iii.     Castro: Next courts to be resurfaced, in late August.
       iv.     ECTIA fund balance was $22,000 before using $16,800 for new Cerrito Vista lights. Board is evaluating how best to utilize the remaining $5,000.
       v.     Reservations: Chris is fine-tuning the City’s reservation policy so non-City-co-sponsored groups can’t take advantage of the City’s permit system.
       vi.     Pickleball: Considering the increasing popularity of this sport, the Board agreed to work with the City to permanently paint Pickleball lines at one location (Castro)

b.   ECHS: ECTC (Terry) continues to attempt to meet with ECHS administrators to facilitate a negotiated restroom access agreement between City and ECHS. So far, they have ignored our requests to meet. The City and District will be meeting on various issues in May. ACTION: Terry and Bob will propose to meet with ECHS beforehand, to ‘educate’ them on ECHS’s long history of cooperation with the ECTC and City for joint use of facilities.

5.     USTA/Teams/Youth Director’s report (Ellen):

a.   ECTC USTA teams:
       i.     Regarding our attempt to ‘win back’ players and captains (eg San Pablo Berkeley), defer discussion to membership meeting.
       ii.     Would like to have a male counterpart to Geeta’s willingness to serve as “Womens’ Teams Coordinator”, finding and mentoring captains, and helping fill team rosters. ACTION: Ellen and Terry will ask John Booker or Joel Maron to do so for the men’s side.
b.   USTA liaison report: Haven’t had a meeting yet with Cherryl/USTA regarding HITS and more.
c.   Youth programs report: Winslow’s two winter kid classes had participants but struggled with rain-outs. ECTC’s $25 subsidy to member’s kids was not requested. Working with him regarding plans for summer youth camps.
d.   USTA asked if we wished to participate in a new ‘Family Tournament’ pairing parents and kids. We declined citing lack of such a membership base. Will reconsider next year.

6.     Communications Director’s report (Dawn):

a.   Website:   Updates are promptly made by Dawn upon request
b.   Newsletter: Articles are due 1 week after Board meeting for publication 2 weeks after each meeting. ACTION: Board members are expected to provide brief content for each newsletter.
c.   Directory/Handbook (Dawn and RJ): Kudos to all for a great looking, streamlined 2017 edition. In 2018, the Membership Chair (RJ) will be responsible for revising and updating the content of the Handbook/Directory, giving the final content to Dawn for publishing. We’ll keep the target dates of membership renewal cutoff (Feb 15) and print/mail (Mar 1, 2018), and will continue to only include names of paid members as of Feb 15 as an incentive for early renewal. 
d.   Distribution: Dawn is researching changing from MadMimi to do-it-ourselves to avoid the $10/month charge. ACTION: Dawn and RJ evaluate options and report back
e.   Inquiries: We clarified the distribution list for website responses via From now on, only the President (Bob) will get the inquiries, and will forward them to the appropriate ECTC officer. This will eliminate the current confusion as to who is responding to a wide variety of inquiries and improve accountability.

7.     Membership Director’s report (RJ):

a.   A Brainstorming session will be held on May 2 at Bob’s house to discuss why people join – or don’t join – ECTC. We’ll include by invitation a small group of Board members, team captains and general members who could provide valuable insight as we attempt to increase membership and provide additional activities in 2017.
b.   Low membership: RJ reported that we currently have only 88 members, and there has been a decline in recent years (thus the need for the brainstorming meeting).
c.   Payment: RJ reported on the PayPal and by-check processes and issues (graphically and with a written process!). ACTION: PayPal account will be changed so only RJ and Jan will receive PayPal payment confirmations.
d.   RJ is developing a revised membership form which will provide additional information to guide ECTC in creating new activities.
e.   PayPal has offered mobile card readers for free to use in processing membership renewals. ACTION: RJ and Dawn will evaluate and decide.
f.    Auto-renewal option or mailing renewal invoices - feasible or desirable? (like magazine subscriptions) (Ellen’s idea tabled to next meeting)

8.     Winslow Academy (Ellen, Terry)

a.   Alexander considering after-school weekly drop-in for kids (who must join ECTC). Would require ECTC volunteers. Still in planning phase.
b.   Terry is taking reservations for two free clinics by Alexander with 8 each (April 28 and May XX)
c.   Board favors creating an adult for-fee clinics for members. Parameters must be developed and details worked out with Alexander. ACTION: continue discussions with Alexander.
d.   Co-promotion opportunities with Winslow (table)
e.   Create a ‘professional services’ page on our website or not? (Table)
f.    Wilson/Winslow/Plaza Tennis are moving forward with a racquet-demo clinic in June.


9.     Club Events (Jan Wilkins, chair):

a.   New Year’s Red-Eye Jan 1)
b.   Drop-In (May 21) The first of two added drop-in events for 2017.
       i.     ACTION: Terry will send out announcement via Newsletter and eBlast; members only; 9-noon instead of Hackers; coffee and bagels)
c.   Summer Round Robin (July 23)
d.   Drop-In (Aug 20; members only)
e.   Fall Mixed Doubles (Sep 17)
f.    Thursday evenings Drop-In Continue to do well
ACTION: Which events are members only will be decided at the membership meeting


10.  Strategies for increasing membership: Discuss at May 2 brainstorming meeting
11.  Website: Add a Meet-up (‘player find a player’) feature? ACTION: Dawn to report on feasibility
12.  Website: Add a password-controlled Directory? ACTION: Dawn/RJ to report on feasibility + details
13.  Archives – Bob will continue to solicit photos and documents. Marty Jewett provided some; Bob will askher if she would be our ECTC Historian
14.  T-shirts: Order more? Dawn’s article – results? Also consider visor with logo. (Table)
15.  Bylaw revisions from 2001: ACTION: Bob’s to-do list to review and advise regarding updates
16.  ECTC/name/phone stickers for racquets (like an address label): ACTION: RJ will do labels with name/phone
17.  “Join the Club” flierACTION: Bob waterproofing brochure rack @ Arlington; add one at Plaza Sports
18.  Booth at Solano Stroll Sep 10: Much Board enthusiasm. ACTION: Bob to submit booth application and fee; details TBD.
19.  How might we support ECHS tennis program (teams and PE) to gain favor with School District? (table for discussion with ECHS regarding bathroom access)
20.  Should we have a Facebook page? (Table)


21.  El Cerrito Centennial Celebration - participate? (a) Parade Sep 16 (Sat.); (b) Booth at the park; (c) Item for Time Capsule. Decided not to participate due to our current activity load (and MXD tournament is the following day)


NEXT MEETING: July 18, 2017



ECTC Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes

Date: Feb 7, 2017      Time: 6pm     Location: Casa Guletz, 1517 Sonoma Ave, Albany 

Attendees: Three hour (!) meeting attended by Bob Guletz (President), Jan Wilkins (Treasurer), Terry Cort, Ellen deNeef, Dawn Nakashima, RJ Bruno and Barb Guletz. (Not Present: Margo Takemiya on vacation; Bob Nowacki) 


1.     President’s report (Bob)

a.   Recognize departing Board members. Terry Cort was given a $100 gift certificate to Rivoli for her three years serving as President (fortunately, she is staying on as an active Board member). Three departing Board members were given $50 Plaza Tennis gift certificates – Bob Nowacki (web master and photographer), Debra Aurora (secretary) and Barb Guletz (membership chair).  Thanks to all for your service.
b.   Board makeup. We fine-tuned roles of 2017 Board members, directors and committee chairs. Bob indicated his desire for each position’s roles and responsibilities to be clearly identified; no “floaters”. Board participation should be “two year terms, indefinitely extendable by mutual consent” so that new members have an idea of their minimum commitment. (Jan Wilkins has been on the Board an admirable 21 years!). Board consists of three elected positions and four Board members for specific areas, all supported by a Committee and Liaison structure. The goal of the committee structure is to bring more members into active roles, and to lessen the load on Board members. Refer to the revised Role sheet for organization and assignments attached.
c.   Bylaws revision. 2001 revised Constitution and Bylaws were discovered. We’ll revise them again before mid-2017. ACTION: Bob will take the first pass at revisions and seek input from Board members.
d.   2017 activity calendar. Bob compiled a full-year calendar, inserting activity, newsletter, and Board meeting dates. Refer to activities list attached as Note 1.
e.   Find missing archives. The file box Bob inherited only includes partial info from 2001. It is thought that Marty Jewett may have archives and agree to be “ECTC Archivist”. ACTION: Bob will call Marty.

2.     Treasurer’s report (Jan)

a.   Financial report. Dues were raised by $5 for 2017 to $35/40/15, but this doesn’t add much to the treasury due to small number of renewals to date ($375). May consider raising again in 2018. Bob revealed that 2001 dues were $30/35/15; not much increase in 15 years!
b.   Insurance. Jan automatically pays premium every September; initially a requirement of ECHS for using their courts.

3.     Secretary’s report (Margo on vacation; Bob agreed to do minutes)

a.   Approval of minutes. October 18, 2016 Board and General Membership/election Jan 1, 2017
b.   Other communications. none

4.     ‘Liaison’ Director’s report (Terry):

a.   City of El Cerrito. Terry and Bob have held numerous meetings with Rec Dir Chris Jones. Many items are continuing (see Note 3 following these minutes). Terry reported that closest Arlington trees will be moved by City. ACTION: Terry and Bob continue to meet with Chris.
b.   EC High School. Terry and Bob attempting to meet with new principal to facilitate a long-simmering negotiation between City and ECHS regarding restroom access, reservations, etc. ACTION: Set up meeting.

5.     ‘Teams (USTA, BALL) and Youth Programs’ Director’s report (Ellen):

a.   ECTC’s USTA teams report. ACTION: Ellen will check re. membership compliance. Also, we want more teams. Problem is getting new captains. ACTION: Work on recruiting new captains in 2017.    ACTION: Ellen’s article in next newsletter will include USTA team seasons for 2017 to allow for advance team-building.
b.   USTA liaison report. Ellen and Bob have been trying to secure a meeting with a non-responsive Cherryl De Silva (USTA rep for youth tennis in the East Bay) regarding HITS program and other issues. We will NOT be providing a HITS program in 2017, for the second year. ACTION: Ellen will keep trying to schedule a meeting.
c.   Youth programs report. Alexander Winslow Academy is now an active partner with ECTC. We agreed to subsidize class cost for ECTC member’s kids for two Friday afternoon clinics this spring. For the current session, he has 5 kids, some rainout days, and no subsidies requested. As part of the partnership, Alexander will offer two 8-person adult clinics this spring, March 24 and May TBD.


6.     ‘Communications’ Director’s report (Dawn):

a.   Website. Board members should submit any recommended website changes to Dawn with email cc to all Board members.
Listing of teaching pros on website? Board agreed that we would list pros, upon their request to ECTC, only if they are ECTC members AND have met all the City’s requirements for teaching pros using the courts. ACTION: Dawn will create a page or section and include Alexander (only one so far).
b.   Newsletter. Agreed on target dates for Board and Committee chairs to give brief, word-format documents to Dawn within one week after Board meetings, with Dawn to finalize and send e-Newsletter one week thereafter. We are ALL responsible for giving Dawn content for our areas of responsibilities. Includes President’s report, event stories, team results, etc. ACTION: Submit articles to Dawn by February 14.
c.   Directory. We are implementing membership renewal cut-off date to be included in 2017 directory as Feb 15, with printing and mailing March 1. Board voted that ONLY paid members will be listed in 2017 Directory. ACTION: a final e-blast reminder will be sent by Dawn on Feb 8 to 2016 roster names. ACTION: Dawn will get Board help for final Directory edits plus assembly/mailing.
On-line directory? Regarding placing the directory membership information on line, we agreed it’s a good idea if it is password protected and members can opt out if they wish. ACTION: Dawn and RJ will investigate options and report back before the next meeting so we can decide at the April 18 meeting.
d.   e-Blasts. These will be used for single-purpose info (events, dues) and NOT to take the place of quarterly newsletters. ACTION: Dawn is looking at alternative delivery method for free rather than MadMimi service.  


7.     ‘Membership’ Director’s report (Barb / RJ). A surprisingly low number of 2017 renewals since Jan 1 (only 75).   Often team members lag the initial renewal period. There are 158 names on the directory from 2015-16. Dawn will send out an e-blast tomorrow urging renewal asap.  Barb reported the joint ECTC/City permit process worked better this year. Always a few who pay the wrong amount.
       RJ wants to modify the application forms to include optional age (by range, tied to USTA team categories), play level, and whether USTA member – to assist in recruiting for new teams. ACTION: RJ will propose revised application form for Board approval.
       Ellen asks if there’s a way to allow automatic membership renewals. May be complicated. ACTION: Dawn will investigate and report back Apr 18.



8.     Club Events (Jan Wilkins, chair):

a.   New Year’s Red-Eye. Had over 30 players and good / cold weather
b.   Summer Round Robin / Picnic
c.   Fall Mixed Doubles
d.   Thursday evening drop-in. Typically get 6-8 players using two courts
e.   Add 2 new drop-ins May and August? Board agreed to add two Red-eye-type drop-in events, tentatively May 21 and Aug 20. Board voted ‘members only’. ACTION: Promote these new events.
NOTE: At our April 18 meeting, we will discuss which of these many events will be Members Only (to strengthen our membership benefits at the risk of not allowing potential members to try us out.)



9.     Buy a battery-powered leaf blower? (approx. $150 including extra battery). No. We have an electric blower at Arlington.
10.  Website: Add a Meet-up (‘player find a player’) feature? Yes, if feasible and password protected. ACTION: Dawn research how to do it and report back at Apr 18 meeting for decision.
11.  Website: Add a password-controlled Directory? See item 6c above. Also, RJ refers us to GLTF (SF Chapter/East Bay Division) club website that has lots of features we could adopt.
12.  Photo collection: what do we do with them, including archives? ACTION: Table to April 18
13.  T-shirts: Order more? Dawn has 6 left. She self-funded the initial purchase. Board wants to discuss getting more, same design, new color(s), but requiring pre-payment this time. Dawn should appoint a T-shirt czar to her committee.  ACTION: Dawn prepare article in next newsletter asking for orders and go from there. Discuss results at April 18 Board meeting.


14.  Idea: Create ECTC logo’d name/phone stickers to apply to racquets. Board likes the idea. ACTION: Bob will create some for distribution at events, teams, etc.
15.  New “Join the Club” flier. ACTION: Bob made fliers and is re-installing brochure rack @ Arlington; will provide fliers to Plaza Tennis and City’s Rec Center.
16.  Promotion of Winslow private clinics by ECTC? Board says yes; part of our symbiotic relationship. ACTION: Bob to inform Alexander.
17.  Do we want to grow the club membership? YES. ACTION: Apr 18 further discussion on strategies to do so.
18.  Booth at Solano Stroll? RJ proposed this and it was well received, subject to cost. Date is Sep 10; earliest application Apr 16. ACTION: RJ, Bob and others will research and make proposal to whole Board.
19.  How might we support ECHS tennis program (teams and PE classes) to gain favor with District? Some of this was done in 2016 but we could do more. ACTION: Table to April 18.
20.  Winslow clinics for ECTC members? Board showed a lot of interest in having Winslow Academy provide group adult clinics for members this year. ACTION: Liaison Ellen will discuss options with Alexander.
21.  Should we have a Facebook page? ACTION: Table to Apr 18


22.  El Cerrito Centennial Celebration - participate?
         (a) Parade Sep 16 (Sat.)
         (b) Booth at the park
         (c) Item for Time Capsule.
Decided not to participate due to our current activity load (and MXD tournament is the following day) 


Minutes by Bob Guletz