Another Digital Annual General Meeting for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association

by Joe McLean

For the third year in a row because of COVID 19, the Ottawa Valley Golf Association held their 2022 Annual General Meeting via the Zoom teleconferencing platform.

With over 60 participants and twenty OVGA Member Clubs logging in to the meeting, a quorum was established to conduct business for the 42nd consecutive year since the Ottawa Valley Golf Association was established in 1981.

OVGA President Gerry Bower opened the meeting by asking for a moment of silence for David Ferries, a long-time OVGA Board Member from the Royal Ottawa who passed away this winter after a lengthy illness.

He then thanked the OVGA Member Clubs for their patience and their participation; the Board of Directors for their work in 2021 and also their OVGA Sponsors including Golf-O-Max, Humber College and the Nepean Optimist Club for their support. Gerry also thanked Golf Canada, Golf Ontario and Golf Quebec for their ongoing guidance. 

Gerry is finishing a four-year term as President of the OVGA and is staying on the Board to provide assistance when asked. “I’ve enjoyed my time on the Board”, said Mr. Bower.

The common greeting message from Jean Stone-Seguin representing Golf Canada, Jean-Pierre Beaulieu from Golf Quebec and Mike Kelly from Golf Ontario was “Grow The Game”. Each organization has initiatives that will assist in that message. Check out their websites to view all of their initiatives.

The minutes of the 2021 virtual AGM were adopted as submitted and then various OVGA Board Members then gave their presentations. 

John Ackehurst gave the OVGA financial picture from 2021 and the projection for 2022. The 2021 season saw a surplus in revenues and the OVGA is on a sound footing going forward.

Gord Lawson talked about the number of 2021 course ratings that were accomplished and he is looking forward to many more course ratings this year with three new raters on board.

Blake Wimperis thanked Lyle Alexander for his years of officiating as Lyle has stepped away from officiating this year. Blake has 29 officials to handle OVGA Tournaments this year, most of whom are National or Provincial rated.

Tournament Director Dru Lafave talked about a very successful 2021 season in spite of COVID-19 protocols and he thanked the Member Clubs that hosted OVGA Tournaments. He also highlighted the 100th Anniversary of the OVGA Women’s City & District this year and touched on the new handicap ranges for OVGA Women this year. (A / 0-12, B/12.1 -24 & C/24.1-36)

As the Co-Chair of the OVGA Hall of Fame Committee, Dru also talked about the successful launch of the Hall of Fame in 2021 with 10 players and 4 builders being inducted. He also touched on the Committees nominees this year with five players and two builders to be announced in the next month.

Alex Pugh talked about the intersectionals returning to normalcy this year with caddies being allowed and meetings allowed on the morning of the competitions depending on Host Club’s Covid rules.

Jim Davidson shared the playing schedule for OVGA Juniors in 2022 and also announced the OVGA Junior Development Team and Team OVGA for 2022. You can see the names of all the included juniors here.

Jim Davidson indicated that junior participation in 2021 was stable but junior play for girls remains low. New initiatives for 2022 include a new team event for the Junior City & District as well as an introduction program for kids age 6-12.

OVGA Communications Director Sherry Thomson provided details about advertising initiatives past and ongoing with Flagstick.com. She also talked about the monthly OVGA Newsletter and asked golfers and Clubs to sign up on the OVGA Website (ovga.org)

The 2022 OVGA Board of Directors nominees were then voted on and announced. 

Members of the OVGA Board of Directors for 2022 are President – Dru Lafave (Kanata); Vice President – (Position Vacant); Immediate Past-President  – Gerry Bower (Greensmere); Secretary/Treasurer – John Ackehurst (Eagle Creek); Communications & Marketing – Sherry Thomson (Kanata); Course Rating & Handicap – Gord Lawson (Kanata); Rules – Blake Wimperis (Mississippi); Tournament Director – (Position Vacant); Men’s Tournaments – Jim Crawford (GreyHawk); Women’s Tournaments – Sherry Rodenkirch (Greensmere); Intersectionals – Alex Pugh (Hylands); Player Development – Jim Davidson (Public Player) and Directors at Large – Bob Bissonnette (Rivermead), Neill Colbert (Hylands), Paul Trottier (Hautes Plaines), Susan Veale (Calabogie).

The OVGA Board of Directors currently has two Directors positions available and they are seeking volunteers to assist them in their deliberations. If you are interested in working with the OVGA on a voluntary basis, please contact them at admin@ovga.org.

Flagstick wishes the OVGA, its member clubs and tournament participants all the best in 2022. 

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