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State Leaders Summit in Colorado Springs, Colo. provides forum for volunteer leaders to improve the



A total of 82 state leaders from 33 states met at the Sheraton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., August 19-21 for the 2005 State Leader's Summit.

USA Wrestling hosted this annual event, which provides state leaders with the opportunity to learn how to improve their state associations. This was one of the largest and most active State Leaders Summit.in the history of the organization.

The 2005 State Leader's Summit officially kicked off with a welcome address by USA Wrestling President Stan Dziedzic

"I want to thank you all for your efforts," said Dziedzic to the state leaders. "You are the cornerstone of our organization. You provide opportunities to tens of thousands of wrestlers all across the country."

Dziedzic explained why the wrestling was so special to him, and why the sport had such meaning for so many people.

"Every day, I remember what wrestling meant to me and how it had a purpose in my life," he said. "Wrestling allowed me to learn how my environment influenced me. I learned to judge people by their character. I think this is a universal trait among wrestlers."

Through speakers and in-depth discussions, the state leaders will now be better armed with the tools to institute change and meet long-term goals.

An informational session on insurance and liability by USA Wrestling insurance broker Chuck Delich of Acordia followed. The event continued with a testimonial from Washington Membership Director Sherry Bullard about online registration. Bullard described the ease with which athletes and coaches can sign up to be members of USA Wrestling through the Washington State Association website. Bullard also emphasized point that online registration saves membership processors time and saves money for the state association.

USA Wrestling Director of Communications Gary Abbott presented information on Beach wrestling, the newest international style. Abbott explained the history and rules of Beach wrestling, highlighted the benefits of the new style, and discussed the recent ASICS East Coast Beach Wrestling Nationals in Long Beach, N.Y. Abbott called the state leaders to action, challenging them to host at least one Beach wrestling event during the 2005-2006 year.

State leaders were impressed with the next program, called QBQ! "The Question Behind the Question" presented by author and founder John G. Miller. His father Jimmy Miller, wrestled and coached at Cornell and served as a Pan American Games coach for the USA in 1967. John Miller, who also officiated in addition to wrestling and coaching, conducted a 90-minute interactive seminar focusing on leadership and personal accountability. While listening to Miller break down QBQ! using anecdotes, the attendees were instructed to complete a worksheet delineating key principles. State leaders received complimentary copies of Miller's book.

The focus next turned to current topics facing state associations. Bill Grant, the state chairperson from Florida, explained the importance of due process. Manager of State Services Ted DeRousse stressed the significance of transparency and that state associations should openly provide information to their members about how they operate. The state association website was noted as the most convenient way to dispense this information. DeRousse also spoke to the state leaders about the bidding process, urging them to bid out large expenses such as uniform/clothing orders and transportation services to several different companies.This allows state associations to determine the best product or service provider and justify decisions to their members.

The afternoon session ended with a group discussion on a variety of issues - separation at National Championships, uniformity in card prices, event schedule, and movement in weight classes.

The Summit continued on Saturday with a presentation by Joe Miller of All American Wrestling Supply. Miller described the products his company offers and displayed sample singlets, jackets, and t-shirts among other items. A handful of state leaders praised Miller's customer service and the way he conducts business.

National Coaches Education Program Manager Ted Witulski presented an informational and highlight video of the 2005 World Team Trials in Ames, Iowa. The video included a special part devoted to "why wrestling" and featured various elite wrestlers talking about what the sport means to them. Witulski explained his interest in video production and his willingness to create coaching and highlight videos for state leaders. He concluded by stating his goal of reaching over 20,000 certified coaches in the upcoming year for USA Wrestling.

After a lunch break, the attendees were given a complete briefing on the Beat the Streets programs by Director of State Services Mark Scott. He also conducted a session in which state leaders were asked about the current challenges they face, the strengths of their programs, and their goals for the 2005-2006 year.

California State Chairperson Duane Morgan provided insights into strategies for growing state membership. Morgan explained that his state's No. 1 priority is to offer a quality program. He detailed several 2004-2005 projects devised to increase membership as well as identified the potential to recruit members at YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and through Pop Warner Football in 2005-2006.

California Mat Officials Director John Branch continued with advice on how to grow the membership of mat and pairing officials. Branch suggested payment of officials or at the very least covering the officials' expenses to work an event. He also explained that mentorship by experienced officials provides an opportunity for new officials to better learn how to conduct themselves.

The final speaker of the Summit was Lee Roy Smith of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Smith reported on the National Wrestling Legends Fund, which is a project intended to raise money for both the Hall of Fame and USA Wrestling. The Legends Fund donation process is multi-tiered and designed to offer donors the opportunity to receive special rewards upon achieving specific donation levels. The Legends Fund is set to be open for donations this fall.

The weekend also featured a number of social activities, including a trip to see a Triple A minor league baseball game between the Colorado Springs SkySox and the Tucson Sidewinders. A number of the state leaders also went to the wrestling facility at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to see the 2005 Men's Freestyle World Team and the 2005 Women's World Team participate in training sessions.

ATTENDEES AT THE 2005 STATE LEADERS SUMMIT
Jeff Anderson (MT)
Mo Babi (CO)
Pat Babi (CO)
Dave Black (WI)
Kevin Black (WI)
Liz Black (WI)
Mary Black (WI)
John Branch (CA)
Troy Brewer (MO)
Chuck Bullard (WA)
Sherry Bullard (WA)
Mark Cammisa (CT)
Nancy Cammisa (CT)
John Carlson (AZ)
Addie Carmen (NC)
Lorenzo Carmen (NC)
Abby Chamberlain (WY)
Dare Chamberlain (WY)
Jim Considine (IL)
Rusty Davidson (NM)
Steve Davis (TX)
Tony Derringer (AR)
Jeff Dowden (IN)
Michael Dowden (IN)
Sharon Dowden (IN)
Trina Dowden (IN)
Rick Dozier (FL)
Ed Duncan (NC)
Stan Dziedzic (GA - USAW President)
Cherie Elvin (KS)
Chuck Elvin (KS - Jr division)
Craig Ewing (MO)
Roger Ferguson (AR)
Jo Ann Felix (AZ)
Shawn Fields (GA)
Frank Gercak (KY)
David Gonzales (AZ)
Ed Gould (NY)
Marcia Gould (NY)
Bill Grant (FL)
Tim Gressley (AZ)
Terri Griffin (WV)
Dennis Gurecki (AZ)
Kathy Hinderliter (KS)
Randy Hinderliter (KS)
Larry Holloway (GA)
Mike Irwin (IL)
Kathy Juby (KS)
Mike Juby (KS)
Tom Knupp (OH)
John Lawton (FL)
Anna Lewis (SC)
Jamie Lewis (SC)
Rex Metcalfe (OR)
Duane Morgan (CA)
Van Plocus (PA)
Archie Randall (OK)
Kathy Randall (OK)
Jim Ravannack (LA)
Mark Reiland (IA)
Alice Riggs (OH)
Dave Riggs (OH)
John Robinson (HI)
Louis Rosbottom (IN)
Sharon Rosbottom (IN)
Rich Santoli (NJ)
Scott Shannon (OR)
Patty Sherrill (NC)
Phillip Sherrill (NC)
Keith Smith (KY)
Lee Roy Smith (OK - Hall of Fame)
Lennie Stanfield (OK)
Nanette Stanfield (OK)
Rance Stein (OK)
Frank Taylor (WY)
Kenneth Taylor (MD)
Veronica Taylor (WY)
Rob Wiggs (SC)
Ann Wood (VA)
Bob Wood (VA)
Steven Yantz (MD)
Ned Zollinger (ID)
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