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Curling’s Volunteer of the Year!

The Canadian Curling Association is please to announce the 2010 National Curling Club Volunteer, Mr. Brian Recksiedler of Morris, Manitoba. Here is the successful nomination paper filed by the club:

photo by Michael Burns

Brian Recksiedler is a quiet leader.  He is a roll-up-your-sleeve-and-do-the-job kind of President who has the respect of the curling club members and volunteers and the community of Morris, not because he demands it but because he earns it.  He is a leader who doesn’t think of himself as a leader.  Rather, if asked, he would describe himself as “just a guy” helping do a job that’s important to him.

During the past year, while serving as Club President, Brian served a key role in the Morris Curling Club’s two major events.

As President, Brian seems to be tireless in his efforts to keep the club of about a hundred members alive.  From helping with ice installation to taking his turn as a volunteer bartender, Brian can always be found doing more than his share of the work.

He has encouraged Ice Technician Allan Gitzel to continue to learn his trade and has worked with him as an on-ice volunteer when necessary.  Brian was part of the original decision to bring in Greg Ewasko as the club’s ice consultant and continues to encourage a relationship with Ewasko to ensure the best quality of ice.  Together they have made the Morris ice conditions among the best for club play in the province of Manitoba.

As a Co-Chair of the DEKALB SuperSpiel, Brian has also been the leader of both the facilities and entries committees.  His efforts have helped establish the bonspiel as a major late-season event for Manitoba teams as well as an important event for teams from across Canada and internationally. As entries chair for the DEKALB SuperSpiel, Brian has been in regular contact with the Manitoba teams and others from outside the province in working with the draw committee to ensure the first draw requests of teams are accommodated to the greatest possible extent.

As President of the Morris Curling Club, Brian was involved in the discussions with the Canadian Curling Association to bring the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship to the community.  Recognizing the community might lack the kind of experience required of the chair of the event, he initiated the discussions to recruit former resident Resby Coutts as an event co-chair.

Brian then served on the event executive committee, again as the facilities chair.

Under his guidance the committee created a national caliber curling arena within the Morris Curling Club.  He initiated the decision to cover the aging wooden divider boards with “puck-board” as both an aesthetic and practical improvement and he led the volunteer work parties required to accomplish the installation.  Again, for the event itself, he worked with Head Ice Technician Allan Gitzel in assembling an ice crew of local volunteers and ice techs from neighbouring clubs.  Brian recognized this latter aspect as important for two reasons.  It established liaisons with the other ice techs as a back-up resource at the same time it helped foster positive community relations with those neighbouring clubs.

Brian also saw the need for a renewal of the carpet throughout the Morris Curling Club in time for the Canadian Mixed.  His executive made the $39,000 decision, recognizing the Mixed event budget did not project a surplus of this amount but recognizing also that the carpet in the club had deteriorated beyond what was acceptable with the club about to host a national championship.

After accepting the best tender on the job, as best business practice would dictate, Brian negotiated a supplier sponsorship of the Canadian Mixed and DEKALB SuperSpiel to reduce the required investment in carpet.  He further negotiated an interest-free payment schedule which will allow the club to match the payment with cash flow from winter club activities but also from summer fundraising activities at Manitoba Stampede and Morris Golf Club.

He also worked with the club’s grant committee to solicit provincial grant money for the required investment and was successful in obtaining an offsetting grant for nearly one-third of the carpet investment.

Brian Recksiedler’s contribution to the Morris Curling Club has been significant in these areas:

Financial: sponsorship, payment negotiation and grand applications – the financial impact of a needed $40,000 investment in carpet has been softened by a negotiated sponsorship, a structured payment schedule, and a successful grant application to a provincial funding body.

Club curling: Brian has been instrumental in encouraging Head Ice Technician Allan Gitzel to improve his skills and to develop a relationship with Ice Consultant Greg Ewasko.  Resulting exceptional quality club-ice has made club curling fun again for the leagues and club-level players in Morris.  This is seen as a necessary starting point for increasing participation in the club.

Major Events:  Brian recognizes the importance of the club’s major events, the annual DEKALB SuperSpiel and this year’s Canadian Mixed Championship, in terms of the awareness they create for the club and the interest they create among the club’s curlers and volunteers.  He provided both leadership and tireless volunteer energy to ensure the success of these two events.

Inspirational:  Brian’s effort to keep the Morris Curling Club a vibrant part of this small rural community is a continuing inspiration to others in the local curling community.  Although currently in a down-turn in active membership, he is “the one guy” who inspires the other active volunteers to extra effort on behalf of the club, not by words and speeches but by rolling up his sleeves and doing the job, whatever job needs doing.

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