ACTA Board Meeting Minutes for March 8, 2010

April 5, 2010 | By

Meeting came to order at 7:30pm

Board Members in attendance: Alex Robertson, Matt Seiler, Mike Boito,
Trevor Chan, Christine Penry, Umang Varma, Tom Smith, James Henretta,
Richard Gold, Jacquie Lawrence
Non-Board Member Attendees: Robert Randolph


The March 13th Social and Doubles Tournament

Matt Seiler briefed board members on the status of the social, set for
March 13th. Seiler explained that to date, only 10 people had signed
up to attend the social. Ideally, 60 people were anticipated to

The board discussed possible causes of the lack of registrants for the
social. Those included: price, notification and prominence of the
notification on the website.

A lengthy discussion ensued, where the board agreed to cut the price
for the social in half.

Noting that the original $20.00 per person charge may be too steep a
price, the board agreed to cut the cost per person to $10.00.  The
individuals who paid the original $20 price tag will be reimbursed

Seiler said he would send an email reminding members on the listserve
to sign-up for the social.  Notification of the social was buried in
previous ACTA mass e-mails; that message should reiterate that former
board members may go free.

After fielding inquiries as to whether members could bring their
children to the event, the board agreed that the email should include
a message that kids are welcome. The cost for children would be a
lesser fee but a price was not determined at the meeting.

That being said however, Richard Gold intended to discuss liability
issues in having children at the social with the director of the
Arlington Y.

Eric Legg, of Arlington County Recreation Department, will lead two
“Quick Start” courts, kids can participate in his program.

In terms of reaching beyond the ACTA listserve, board members
suggested contacting Eric to find out if he knows of any tennis
players interested in going to the social. Alex and Richard  offered to
reach out to people they met at a community tennis conference last

Tom suggested that each board member bring one person.

Jacquie suggested making the event notice for the social more
prominent on the ACTA website.

Moving on the the doubles tournament at the end of May, Seiler briefed
the board on the status of enlisting sponsors

He asked members for suggestions as to reaching out to businesses and
potential sponsors of the event. Seiler explained that cold calling
doesn’t work, noting that he had reached out to businesses that
endorsed the event in the past.

He discussed reaching out to Arlington County foundations focused on
the community and other organizations that could put us in contact
with local businesses predisposed to sponsoring community-based

Matt circulated a spread sheet listing the prizes that different tiers
of sponsorship levels will receive. (Will try to post on the website.)

On a positive note, Legg Mason – the entity that organizes the annual
tennis tournament in the DC region – has committed to donating tickets
to the semifinals of the Legg Mason tournament again this year. They
would like to bring a booth to the Bluemont Courts to man during the
doubles tournament.

Their booth will promote the tournament in the summer. Alex was
excited they wanted to man a booth at the ACTA tourney.

Seiler asked whether we should offer the opporutinty to man a booth to
the other sponsors of the event. The board discussed the matter, to
which their was no final determination.

And on a player note: people will not be allowed to play in multiple
brackets – a change from last year’s tournament.

Trevor reported that since the website opened for registration,
approximately $1,500 has come in from people registering for 2010.

He had to cut checks in the amount of $1056.00 for the tennis screens
at Wakefiled and $650.00 to the Arlington Y for the social.

Richard led the discussion on adding three members to serve on the board.

Motion to name Umang as the Ladder Chair
The board unanimously agreed via voice vote to name Umang Varma, who
has played in the ACTA for four years, as the person in charge of
organizing the singles ladder. Tom noticed that last year, as many at
110 people were active on the ladder.

Motion to name James Henretta as Facilities Coordinator
The board unanimously approved via voice vote to name Henretta as the
liaison with the county recreations department. Henretta explained he
wants to work with the county to find out how much we are spending,
whether it is equitable, etc. He said that our membership should be
able to tell us something is wrong and the county should be able to
take care of it.

On the third board position, Richard explained that he wanted to name
Mike Boito as “Chairman of the Board,” – a position that needed to be
created by a “tweak” in the bylaws.

Noting that without staggered terms on the board, ACTA runs the risk
of losing continuity each year when board position terms expire – as
has happened many times in the past (according to Mike.) Boito
explained that this happened to him several years ago, when he was
first elected to be president of ACTA, and it was “very disorienting.”
Having a “chairman of the board,” for at least several months into a
new term,  will ensure that if, all members on the sitting board
decide not to remain active participants on the ACTA board, that there
will be someone in a position of authority who has experience managing

Motion to name Mike Boito as Chairman of the Board
The board approved the motion unanimously.
Boito has served as a member of the board in numerous capacities, most
recently as Doubles Coordinator, he has experience and understands how
the board operates. In his new position, Boito will have a vote on the

Richard’s current plan is to end his term as ACTA president in the end of
June. He has served in that capacity since October 2008.

As of 5pm on Monday, Jacquie reported that 66 individuals had
registered for ACTA. The registrants are “dribbling in” she said,
noting that the process is going extremely well due in large part to
the new Top Dog database software system.

A Non Resident working at the Pentagon asked if his business card would be acceptable, given that the Pentagon has a Washington, DC postal address.  The Board agreed the business card was acceptable.

Tom addressed one peripheral problem of transitioning the old ACTA
database to the new league management software operated by Top Dog.

Individuals who registered on ACTA last year must recreate their
account on the software or else the system will not recognize them.
So, Tom is working on a spreadsheet with the information of all the
members included in the old database, to give to Mike at Top Dog, who
will then sync the information up.

Tom led the discussion on the status of the doubles league, as the
start date draws closer. He  created a mock calendar for a 20 team
league: 6 A teams, 7 B teams and 7 C teams.
This spring, the doubles teams will play at four Arlington County
tennis court locations: Bluemont, Kenmore, Quincy, Wakefield. (Check
the website for more information on the actual courts.)

*Doubles league play will not be scheduled for Tower’s Park – Tom
discovered, using his yardstick, that the doubles allies are not up to
regulation. They are too narrow.*

One of his goals was to keep the different levels in the same
location. But, if any new teams are formed before league play starts,
he may need to revise the schedule.

He passed around a list of all the captains/co-captains and emphasized
if there are any new teams he needs to know ASAP.

He will address all of the items at the Captain’s Meeting set for
March 15th at Quincy Library.

Tom explained that captain’s, even veteran captains, need to attend
the meeting on the 15th so they can learn how to submit scores, select
teams and use the Top Dog database. He intends to send out an email
encouraging them to be there.

Then he broached the topic of ratings. With the use of Top Dog’s
league management software, it is possible for ACTA to generate its
own ratings – separate from those assigned by the USTA. (This
conversation also continued following Alex’s outreach debrief but
notes from that portion of the discussion are included at this
juncture for organizational purposes.)

Now that ACTA has Top Dog, we can track players’ progress to see if
they should move up to the next level.

Sometimes we need more diligence in keeping on the ratings system;
Mike Boito remains the go-to guy on that front, as he provided a
“ratings review” in the past.

According to Richard, the new rule in ACTA is: if you played college
tennis, you are in the A-league.

Tom advocated for ACTA having our own rating system. Tom is looking
ahead to next season.

This year – we are going to go by USTA ratings and then move from
there. The board was enthusiastic about having ACTA ratings, and not
being subject to those of the USTA.

Alex led the conversation on advertising in the community that ACTA
registration is open for business.

He shared copies of a poster created to get out the word, asking that
board members post the catchy fliers in businesses, apartment
buildings and tennis courts around the city.

Posters have been posted at Bluemont and Quincy Courts, according to Alex.

Alex hit 10 apartments in Clarendon area, some coffee shops, health
food stores, and covering all of the courts, sports stores, etc.

He suggested making a pitch to business owners, apartment managers
similar to the following: “I’m with Arlington County Tennis
Association: we’re a non-profit organization, and run tennis leagues,
we’re 600-strong and want to make this available to your
residents/customers/members – where is your community board?”

Umang offered to post a notice on the Craigslist activities section.

The meeting ended at 8:58pm. See everyone on Saturday!