USMS Award Recipients
Recipients of The Ted Haartz U.S. Masters Swimming Staff Appreciation Award

The award is named in honor of Ted Haartz, a leader in U.S. Masters Swimming since 1970. Ted helped establish the foundation for U.S. Masters Swimming’s evolution into a professionally operated organization. During Haartz’s tenure as President, U.S. Masters Swimming became the only self-governed Masters organization in the world.

This award recognizes one individual each year who demonstrates excellence in assisting and supporting the U.S. Masters Swimming staff in the national office with its professional duties of servicing, promoting, and building the membership. This award celebrates the organization’s volunteer roots, as well as its future, specifically by recognizing efforts that support and assist the staff in its responsibilities.

2014 Jeanne Ensign Written and presented by Susan Kuhlman at the 2014 Annual Meeting: Each year, the Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award is given to a special volunteer, chosen by the staff. The Award is named in honor of Ted Haartz, who’s been a leader in U.S. Masters Swimming since 1970. Ted helped establish the foundation for USMS’s evolution into a professionally operated organization and he was the inaugural recipient of this award in 2009. The Staff Award recognizes one individual who demonstrates excellence in assisting and supporting the national office staff with its professional duties of servicing, promoting, and building the membership; and carrying out the vision and strategic plan set forth by our volunteer leadership. Speaking of the strategic plan, this is a topic at every annual meeting, and I want to share a little history with you. Recently we came across the 1999 Strategic Plan. This is 10 years prior to forming the national office. Items in that plan included: • Increase our outreach to potential new members • Increase retention of current members • Increase USMS exposure through the media and sponsorships • Implement adequate staffing at the national level • Increase the number of USMS coaches and provide education and training for them • Promote the USMS Endowment Fund (now the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation). Sound familiar? This year’s Staff Award recipient was on that Board of Directors in 1999 and played a vital role in moving USMS forward; setting the groundwork for the successes we’re celebrating today. She’s best known for her financial leadership skills. You have seen her in action during this convention. At the local level she's served as a zone treasurer, LMSC president, vice president, treasurer, and registrar. At the national level, she's served as a member of the USMS Board of Directors, treasurer, member of the Audit Committee, and chair of the Finance Committee. She’s been instrumental in the creation and implementation of the checks and balances contained within the Financial Operating Guidelines and Finance and Audit Committee responsibilities. Her expertise as a CPA has resulted in a clearer understanding of the federal nonprofit tax returns. But not only at the national level—USMS’s 52 LMSCs each have to file tax returns as well, and her advice on issues that crop up during that process has been invaluable in helping the staff understand and be able to assist the LMSC volunteer leaders with their tasks. This year’s recipient has a knack for making complex financial issues understandable. She has served, supported, and influenced many with her vision and skills, and her efforts contribute greatly to getting the business of the organization done. When she starts a sentence with: “Let’s think about this for a minute,” you realize how fortunate we are to have her on the USMS team. It is my privilege to present the Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award to Jeanne Ensign.
2013 Jeffrey H. Roddin Written and presented by Laura Hamel at the 2013 Annual Meeting. One of the best things about working for USMS is the opportunity to work with a passionate group of people who love swimming as much as we do. But each year, the staff has the difficult task of choosing only one volunteer to receive the Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award, so named for an individual who helped establish the foundation for U.S. Masters Swimming’s evolution into a professionally operated organization. Although we're not a lazy bunch, we've often thrown up our hands during deliberations and said, "Let's just give it to everyone on our list, you know, to multiple individuals in the same year." The task of choosing is made more difficult by the fact that each staff member has a completely different area of responsibility, working with different volunteers, so it's hard to find one whose work overlaps into multiple areas. The person we selected this year is a longtime volunteer. He’s served at the local, LMSC, and national levels. His approach to any project is organized, thoughtful, deliberate, and detailed. Very detailed. As an LMSC registrar who’s more technologically proficient than the average bear, he’s a formidable beta tester for programs and services designed for registrars. Sometimes the minutiae he breaks things down into is greeted with an eyeroll, or, I'm not gonna lie, even a swear word. However, after the eyerolling and maybe a little whining, whatever feedback he has is quickly incorporated, because he’s usually dead on. Whatever project he’s working on is better for his input. He’s also keenly aware of deadlines and the inner workings of the organization. There are days when I get the eerie feeling that he’s installed some sort of spyware or a VPN tunnel on my laptop, because he emails me at the exact moment when I’m thinking about some detail of a project that needs attention. Psychic powers aside, this individual understands with the same deep conviction of the hypervigilant perfectionists who inhabit the National Office, that our products and services, our national events and publications, are promises to our members, promises that need to be delivered upon with excellence and consistency, and worthy of our national brand. He’s a gifted mediator, who wields both carrot and stick with equal precision. He’s honest and straightforward when communicating with members, volunteers, and staff. He has the ability to quickly assess a situation and formulate an appropriate response. And when the excretory material hits the turbine, and everyone else is frustrated, he uses his deliciously wicked sense of humor to distract us. This individual spends many, many hours making sure that various moving parts are oiled and in good working order, that everyone is meeting deadlines, planning, promoting, and executing critical functions. Sometimes, I wonder if this hard working volunteer, who also has a young family, actually logs in any hours at his day job, which is a scary thought, since a lot is riding on that. Contrary to what we’ve always heard, apparently it really does take a rocket scientist to figure all this out. So it is my honor to stand up here, represent the staff, and give a big stick to a guy who really knows how to use one, along with carrots, whine, and cheese, Mr. Jeffrey Roddin.
2012 Ed Tsuzuki Written and presented by Anna Lea Matysek at the 2012 Annual Meeting. The U.S. Masters Swimming Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award is named in honor of Ted Haartz, a leader in U.S. Masters Swimming since 1970. Ted helped establish the foundation for U.S. Masters Swimming’s evolution into a professionally operated organization. During Ted’s tenure as President, U.S. Masters Swimming became the only self-governed Masters organization in the world. This award, established in 2009, recognizes one individual each year who demonstrates excellence in assisting and supporting the U.S. Masters Swimming staff in the national office with its professional duties of servicing, promoting, and building the membership. This award celebrates the organization’s volunteer roots, as well as its future, specifically by recognizing efforts that support and assist the staff in its responsibilities. In addition to Ted, the past recipients of this award have been George Simon and Ralph Davis. Both George and Ralph continue to provide assistance and advice to the USMS staff on an almost-daily basis. This year’s recipient has also gone above and beyond in providing guidance to various national staff members. Over the past two years he has assisted Tracy Grilli with all of the pre-convention communications, including the Delegate Welcome Letter and the new Delegate Survival Guide. He also created an educational and entertaining New Delegate Orientation presentation that is shown during the first House of Delegates meeting. He also assisted Tracy with the workshop schedule, serving as the liaison to the LMSC Development Committee. Our recipient has worked with me to distribute grants to selected LMSCs that allow them to fund a delegate to the convention. He also assisted me with communications and mentoring for a couple of LMSCs whose officers needed assistance with issues within their LMSCs. Our recipient has been a tremendous help to the USMS webmaster, too. His work on the Records and Tabulation Committee was instrumental in the transition from an offline Top 10 process to the current integration of the event results database and the Top 10 database. As the leader of the End-to-End Event Management task force, he did a great job of integrating both staff and volunteer input in the development of the online event sanction database and tools. He is reasonable to work with and digs in to understand the burdens on both the volunteers and the staff while seeking out the best solution for USMS. This year’s recipient manages to stay involved and up-to-date while maintaining a grueling international travel schedule for his real job. If you ever wonder where he is today, look no further than his Facebook page for photos of the pool he just swam in and the exotic meal that he just ate! I am honored to present the 2012 U.S. Masters Swimming Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award to Ed Tsuzuki.
2011 Ralph Davis Under Ralph Davis, USMS has created an Audit Committee and Investment Committee. The Audit Committee meets annually face to face and has selected new auditors that specialize in non-profit accounting. An annual audit is now provided for USMS to ensure the organization is safeguarded and financially transparent. The Investment Committee likewise selected investment managers, meets annually and is responsible for implementing the USMS Investment policy. During this time Ralph oversaw the selection, purchase and installation of new accounting software. To the staff, Ralph has been a valuable resource, sounding board, and mentor. When it came time to bring production of SWIMMER magazine in house, Ralph was there to help staff review the responsibilities, contract and financial saving to USMS of more than $100,000 a year. When the employment management services provider changed, Ralph was instrumental as well in ensuring the organization and employees were protected. What you may not know, is that Ralph is a heart transplant recipient. He’s competed in the Transplant Games taking home his share of ribbons. Ralph has had a change of heart, but his commitment to USMS is unwavering.
2010 George Simon George has been the USMS Registration Committee chair since 2005. During the summer of 2007 he was very involved with the development and testing of the on line registration system. He led the weekly calls with the software developers where discussions of problems and enhancements occurred and he continues to be an active participant. George developed the On Line Tutorials which assist the LMSC registrars with instructions on how to use the program, create reports, and fix errors. He continues to monitor and correct billing and invoice problems that sometimes occur when a member makes a mistake while registering. George's assistance and support has been tremendously valuable to the USMS staff and the success of the USMS on line registration program.
2009 F.H. Ted Haartz Ted helped establish the foundation for U.S. Masters Swimming’s evolution into a professionally operated organization. During Haartz’s tenure as President, U.S. Masters Swimming became the only self-governed Masters organization in the world. This award is named after Ted to forever acknowledge his contributions.
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