AZDBA 2019 Festival Committee Kick-Off – Oct 27, 2018

Date / Time:

October 27, 2018, 1:15PM


McFate Brewing Company, 1312 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 – Brewing Room 1pm-3pm


Desiree Simmons, Michelle Laye, Rick Gay, Rickie Gay, Ben Choi, Sharon Sebastian, Laura Rasmussen, Eric Tang, Rick Elias, Ash Lagazo

Scheduled Absence:

Gary Cumberland, Ronnie Sebastian, Jordie


Set Expectations 

  • One meeting a month in Oct, Nov, Dec, and Jan
  • Two meetings in Feb
  • Weekly meetings in Mar

Review Roles

  • Introductions and roles
  • Desiree Simmons – Operations Director / will run meetings
  • Eric Tang – Finish Line officiating
  • Ash Lagazo – out-of-state teams / creative / medals
  • Michele Laye – Corporate / Adaptive teams
  • Rick Gay – Vendors
  • Rickie Gay – Dragon Lair / Kidz
  • Rick Elias – Race day / water
  • Ben Choi – Website
  • Betty Flores / Jordie – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Review last year Survey and Notes

2019 Budget

  • Total profit from 2018 was $17k
  • We have $70k budget allocated/approved this year from Board
  • If we get all the Corporate teams signed on like we are anticipating, we will turn a profit even with this burn rate
  • Creative always the biggest expenditure: medals – this is impt for Corp teams to get
  • Big expenditures on Facilities – need shade (tents) and need bathroom facilities
  • We did a great job cutting costs; our revenue numbers look real good; we want to continue this trend
  • Last payment of $10k for 6 new festival boats was made; Boats have arrived in Sossaman storage facility

Public Relations Director


  • When do we present check to AZDBA – can do it at 2019 Festival
  • Any discussion about changing charities?  Des suggested Tempe PD – they do a lot for us and it would show goodwill in community


  • Start Farm gave us $5k in 2016 – we are not counting on it again this year
  • We can name a race after the sponsor – e.g. “Toyota Cup Challenge” if they pay sponsorship fee.
  • There may be a conflict of interest if sponsor also has their own corporate team in that same race – we want to avoid that perception.  Possible solutino is to have them sponsor a race where their corp team is not involved.
  • The sponsorship packet needs to be updated – its old, from 2017.  Ben will find Word doc and make updates


  • Can we ask Sharon to ask Ronnie to take helm again this year?


  • Creative is always the biggest budget expenditure area: medals; this is important for teams, esp Corporate
  • Ash will do medals again this year, will reach out to the new vendor who tried to contact us
  • Julie did trophies last year – got the info from Jeff; will probably do it again this year
  • We will have all the same divisions again; new Womens/Open

Media and Publicity

  • Russ wanted more budget for advertising
  • Instead of printing more paper programs, lets spend more in the area of digital/electronic

Website / Social Media

  • New 2019 Hotel information has gone up – we have 7 choices now over the 4 from last year
  • Will be updating Sponsorship packet as its way old (from 2017)
  • Do we want to send Festival clothing/merchandise on website – Des waiting to hear back from Excel to activate link (we will make the money)

Team Party

  • TBD – plan next year

Operations Director


  • Have Rick reach out to same vendors as last year to see if they are coming back


  • Permits already locked in with City of Tempe (Alicia has given us “lifetime” dibbs on that weekend)
  • Insurance will be handled later – practices can’t be held until this is done; this will be taken care of in end of December / Start of January



  • Need to tap Queena for parking?
  • Use same contract/contacts for buses
  • Any input on bus situation for Sat AM?  This is most important for Corp teams – make sure they got in on time.
  • Site maps be be reviewed later


  • Auntie Dianne will take care of this

Team Hotel Accommodations

  • Baymont Suites may not be ready in time
  • Have 7 hotels this year; AC Hotels is new, right across the lake
  • Marriott – working with Sales Exec on West Cost
    • they are giving all AZDBA members deal on their rooms in case we need them for WC festivals
    • they are wanting to sponsor all DB paddlers across all of US
    • All regions have DB festivals, and they want to be our supplier of choice for all accomodation needs
    • For our festival we have Marriot @Tempe Transportation for March

Race Director


  • New jot form has been released; thank you for group for testing it out
  • Reduced registration rate for Open Division / Women’s Division – dropped $100; only got 3 races last year; some complained weren’t getting enough for their money/fees
  • Waiving youth, HS, Juniors, and Adaptive fees
  • Should we rename Adaptive after Rodger E. Kels Memorial Race?  Yes
  • Should we add extra 2000m to Guts ‘n Glory existing 1700m format? no, not practical schedule wise
  • Is Blind Start going to be a part of our festival this year?  they haven’t responded, so NO as of right now
  • Out-of-State update?  None
  • In-State update?  None
  • Out of State Practices scheduled for Friday 3/29 – that is the plan
  • Corporate?  Michele is in touch with 8-12 new teams; reaching out for first time entry to gauge interest
  • Some Corp teams weren’t feeling the love
    • Felt some other corp teams had advantage with CF paddles (some teams went ahead and bought them; some other rented from Kwok)
    • Can we make a new rule for all teams to use same CF or use AZDBA wooden paddles?
    • Corp is supposed to be a fun division; they can’t enter the mixed division
    • e.g. Ok for 1 or 2 paddlers to use their CF paddles?
    • Policing equipment is too difficult – Eric:
      • everyone should be able to use whatever they want
      • everyone should be able to buy whatever they want
      • AZDBA should not be policing this; the only thing we should be providing is the boats (to insure fairness)

On the Water

  • N/A

One the Land

  • N/A

Start/Finish Line

  • Timing Tent
    • Looking into Eagle Eye Timing SW – $1500; USDBF uses this; next best alternative to Lynx ($25k)
    • But would need new laptop for this
    • LB / SF was asking for Keith’s SW, but since it wasn’t ready, they wrote their own in a week;  Its good; includes finish line photo finish feature
    • Eric was inquiring of their software – we offered $1500 but they don’t want to support it
    • Keith’s SW – no go; has been in development for years; no ETA for completion
    • Go/No decision with RACEIT by December as we are paying for it
      • had more problems with it this year than last year
      • John was not available to consult with as he was steering
      • Dr. Joel (Chief Race Official) was upset about key people not being available for something as important to festival as timing tent/officiating; will be instituting a NO EXCEPTION rule for timing tent people


  • N/A

Boat Equipment

  • 6 new boats have arrived from China – at storage now; older 3 boats need to be sold/disposed of – to CO/Deena
  • Now have 20 Festival boats –
  • Will still run a 6 x 6 boat format – 6 racing and 6 loading/marshalling
  • Will have boat checklist for Fri 3/29 when we unload/launch

Next Meeting

Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Boulders at Broadway, 530 W. Broadway Road, Tempe AZ 85282

Meeting adjourned at 3:06 PM.

Submitted by: Ben Choi