USQ Update

USQ Update

Office of the Executive Director 2019-20 Season Recap

Recap of strategic planning initiatives accomplished by the Office of the ED for the 2019-20 season.

USQ is doing a multipart recap series for the 2019-20 season, focusing on strategic plan goals, additional highlights, and what’s coming next for the 2020-21 season. We are currently in year two of the latest strategic plan focused on retention, recruitment, and reach. This is part one.


The office of the executive director consists of several teams - finance, risk management, volunteers, strategic planning, US National team, technology, youth, and development (fundraising) - along with other projects such as human resources and organization partnerships. New, emerging, and/or expanding programs are also initially overseen by this office. The office of the executive director also works directly with USQ’s board of directors. You can view USQ’s organizational chart here.

Board of Directors:

  • Badal Chandra
  • Jeni Craswell
  • Amanda Dallas
  • Nathan Digmann
  • Nghiem Doan
  • Hank Dugie
  • Alicia Radford

Employees:

  • Mary Kimball, executive director (ED)
  • Megan Anderson, strategic planning manager 

Volunteers:

  • Logan Anbinder, executive assistant to the executive director
  • Katrina Bynum, volunteer coordinator
  • Brandi Cannon, diversity & equity coordinator
  • Demetrius Collins, risk management coordinator
  • Amanda Dallas, national team coordinator
  • Rachel Duckett, youth development coordinator
  • Joseph Galtelli, volunteer coordinator
  • Michael Goldman, web development coordinator
  • Nicole Hammer, youth development coordinator
  • Alex Krall, web development coordinator
  • Kristin Ladia, development coordinator
  • Rebecca Martin, risk management coordinator
  • Michael Parada, national team head coach
  • Kevin Raber, web development coordinator
  • Scott Rein, Midwest youth regional coordinator
  • Jeremy Schleicher, volunteer coordinator & youth development coordinator
  • Som Singh, research coordinator

Office of the ED Updates

Outlined below are the specific goals from the strategic plan each team under the office of the executive director is currently working on and the progress that has been made in the 2019-20 season. 

Risk Management

The risk management team primarily focuses on safety in gameplay. They are advised by Shawn Zink, USQ’s medical staff coordinator who has led the on-site medical team at USQ Cup since 2014. The team helps develop and promote risk management and safety initiatives for the league.

Overall  Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Increase safety of all participants in quidditch. Updated medical forms that were used at all USQ hosted events in the 2019-20 season. 
Retention Increase safety of all participants in quidditch. Began compiling injury data from past seasons in preparation for further analysis.
Retention Increase safety of all participants in quidditch. Added three new safety resources to the USQ website, including a safety tips article and courses from NFHS on ACL injury prevention and heat illness prevention.
Retention Increase safety of all participants in quidditch. Implemented SafeSport certification for all employees as well as volunteers overseeing youth programs on-site at events.

Volunteers

The volunteers team oversees the recruitment, onboarding, and training process for new year-round and project based volunteers. They also organize engagement programs to help build a positive and collaborative USQ staff culture. This season was the biggest recruitment year for the league in five years. 24 new volunteers accepted year round positions with the league, and an additional six came on as project based volunteers.

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Recruitment Expand the base of volunteers and officials. Added project based volunteers to the list of volunteer opportunities, allowing individuals to help USQ with tasks as availability allows. Also created several new year-round volunteer positions including development coordinator and youth regional coordinator.
Reach Improve quantity and quality of communication to members and other internal stakeholders. Posted a meet the departments article in September 2019 to allow members to familiarize themselves with USQ staff and volunteers. Also started a monthly article series highlighting new year-round volunteers.

Strategic Planning

The strategic planning team oversees all of USQ’s strategic plan initiatives and tracks the progress of those goals. New initiatives that are related to the long-term success of the league that engage a variety of stakeholders are also overseen by this team. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Expand competitive opportunities for all members. Organized monthly meetings with existing quidditch conferences beginning in January 2020. The goal is to provide a support system for these local governing bodies and encourage the development of more conferences. USQ released a statement in May 2020 outlining our support of conference formation and basic guidelines for conferences to follow in order to be recognized by the league. 
Reach Improve quantity and quality of communication and feedback opportunities provided to members and other internal stakeholders. Added the diversity & equity committee to the office of the ED. This committee will work to add new initiatives, connection and feedback opportunities, with the goal of increasing visibility and conversation around our diverse quidditch community.

US National Team

The US National Team (USNT) represents USQ at international competitions. Establishing  a standing team model in 2018, the USNT is composed of community members from all over the country. 

 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Expand competitive opportunities for all members. Continued with the USNT development academy during the 2019-20 season, with in person training held the week of the IQA 2019 Pan-American Games. This program was planned to continue in conjunction with the IQA 2020 World Cup, which has been postponed. 

 

Technology

USQ has two active web projects, our primary domain (usquidditch.org) and the USQ Cup website (usquidditchcup.com). Both websites are home to a wide variety of league information and resources for the quidditch community. The technology team focuses on content development, as well as both front end and back end web development. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Develop resources and guidance materials for members. Conducted a website audit in year 1 to determine updates to various resource web pages. Other updates include addition of new web pages, and changes to the referee and snitch runner certification databases. In the spring, the USQ website underwent a major update to its code base.
Retention Develop resources and guidance materials for members. Added additional resources to all member pages of the website. 

Youth

This team oversees all initiatives relating to youth quidditch. From workshops to resources, this team develops new resources and opportunities to engage the youth demographic. Creating familiarity with our sport at a young age can help our sport continue to flourish. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Recruitment Foster organized and sustainable youth play throughout the season. Started a new initiative aimed at introducing quidditch to physical education curriculums around the country. The curriculum is currently in development and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020. 
Recruitment Foster organized and sustainable youth play throughout the season. Added new resources for hosting a youth workshop to the USQ website.
Recruitment Expand the base of volunteers and officials. Introduced youth regional coordinators as a new year-round volunteer position. They will focus on the development and oversight of youth teams in their region. 
Recruitment Foster organized and sustainable youth play throughout the season. Hosted a youth workshop at all regional championships this season.

Development (Fundraising)

USQ’s development team aims to broaden the league's funding resources for programs. The board of directors is also involved with this team. As a 501c3 nonprofit, there are a variety of opportunities available for the organization.

The board set a fundraising goal of $10,000 for this season. To date, USQ has raised more than $40,000 through individual donations, matching gifts, board giving, and grants. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Recruitment Broaden fundraising efforts to support growth and expansion of the league. Established a development team for the Office of the ED, and a development coordinator was onboarded to assist with initiatives.
Recruitment Broaden fundraising efforts to support growth and expansion of the league. Staff applied for several grants to support youth development initiatives. 
Recruitment Broaden fundraising efforts to support growth and expansion of the league. USQ participated in GiveBIG to raise funds for youth development initiatives. 
Recruitment Broaden fundraising efforts to support growth and expansion of the league. The organization shifted to a new online donation platform called GiveLively.
Recruitment Broaden fundraising efforts to support growth and expansion of the league. The board and employees led the #savequidditch campaign to raise funds for the organization. 

Additional Office of the ED Updates

Finance

Financial oversight and management is a joint project between the office of the ED and the board of directors. The ED handles most of the management of day to day finances. The board treasurer handles account reconciliation and prepares financial statements. Together, the ED and the board treasurer prepare the Form 990, which is an IRS form that provides financial information about a nonprofit organization.

USQ’s Form 990 for the 2018-19 season will be available later this summer. Previous Form 990s can be viewed here on our website.

This season, the finance team updated USQ’s financial policies and procedures. For example, they standardized the format of financial statements that the board reviews at the board’s monthly meetings. The finance team also adjusted the account reconciliation process to make it easier to prepare those statements.

Human Resources

Last summer, former Executive Director, Sarah Woolsey, announced that she would be leaving her position with USQ to pursue other opportunities. Woolsey had been involved with the sport since 2010, became an employee in 2013 and, later, executive director in 2016. In November, the board of directors announced that Mary Kimball had been hired as the organization’s next executive director. Kimball has been with USQ since 2015.

Under an initiative from the new ED, in November USQ underwent an organizational restructuring at the employee level, and opened up hiring for the newly created director of events & partnerships role, which replaced the former events director position. In February of this year, Laura Porth was announced as the new director of events & partnerships. 

What’s Coming Next

USQ is beginning the process of identifying year 3 strategic plan goals. Some initial goals that have been identified are highlighted below.

  • Finance
  • Risk Management
    • Continue analysis of injury data by partnering with medical student(s) for research.
    • Expand safety resources for members.
  • Volunteers
    • Conduct focus groups on USQ’s volunteer program.
    • Continue to build out activities and programs that enhance the volunteer experience.
    • Create a more targeted recruitment and onboarding period for open positions with USQ at the start of a new season.
  • Strategic Planning
    • Collaborate with the Quidditch Alumni Association on a project.
    • Continue to support quidditch conferences and explore further opportunities for collaboration.
    • Grow the diversity & equity committee and implement several new initiatives or opportunities for feedback and connection in this area.
  • US National Team
    • Compete at the 2021 IQA World Cup.
  • Technology
    • Complete another round of website updates, including another major back end upgrade.
    • Conduct another audit of the website to ensure resources and information are up to date.
  • Youth
    • Launch the PE curriculum program and work to have schools adopt new quidditch focused lesson plans into their existing curriculum.
    • Explore ways to provide additional youth opportunities for communities.
    • Brainstorm opportunities to provide additional training and resources for existing and new quidditch youth teams.
  • Fundraising
    • Research and apply for more grants to support USQ programs.
    • Build out efforts for year round fundraising campaigns.
    • Create more opportunities to connect with donors throughout the year.

 Questions?

Any questions about this article can be directed to strategicplanning@usquidditch.org