An open letter to Valleycrest members

Dear Members,

For those whom I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, please let me introduce myself; my name is Laura Derry. For the last 2 years I have been proudly serving as President of the Valleycrest Aquatic Association (VAA). For the benefit of both our new and returning members, I would like to explain how VAA functions, as well as our relationship with the city and their partners.

Established in late 2013 as a non-profit organization, VAA works in partnership with the Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro to provide an aquatics program at Valleycrest Pool since its inauguration at the beginning of the 2014 swimming season. The pool’s facilities, daily maintenance, lifeguards, front desk, and snack bar are currently managed under a 2 year contract awarded by the city to a private company named SODEM.

VAA is managed by a Board of Directors and an Aquatics Supervisor. There are 6 Board of Director positions: President (Laura Derry since 2013), Vice-President (vacant since 2014), Director of Finance (Lorne Robertson since 2013), Director of Administration (Rick Barsalou since 2013), Director of Events (welcoming Peter Chan as of July, 2015), and our Registrar (vacant since 2014). The position of Aquatics Supervisor has been held by Angela Santamaria since 2013. The Board of Directors are volunteers from the community and do not receive any financial compensation. The Aquatics Supervisor is a salaried employee of VAA, as is our staff of coaches/instructors.

The VAA President and Aquatics Supervisor interact with the city on a regular basis, typically year round, as well as daily during the summer with various employees from SODEM. The Board works with the Northshore Aquatic Association (NAA) and its member pools to organize competitive aquatic sports such as swimming, waterpolo, synchronized swimming and diving. The Board determines what programming we can offer, prices for memberships and lessons, as well as hiring and managing payroll for our current staff of 14 coaches/instructors. The Board and Aquatics Supervisor also prepare all of the schedules; hold special activity days for children; run special BBQs; register members and the public for lessons; organize swim meets and events; track memberships and finances; communicate with our membership through our website, email, and social media channels; and take care of countless other tasks to make each summer memorable for your children.

Having had the pleasure over the last 4 years to serve as a volunteer for Valleycrest (including 2 years at the previous Valleycrest Swim Club), I will be relinquishing my position as President this coming October. It has been quite challenging at times, but especially rewarding over the last 2 years with the opening of the new pool and working side by side with my fellow Board members, coaching staff, as well as representatives from the Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro.

We will soon announce our Annual General Meeting, with a date sometime in October. During this meeting members will elect individuals to fill the various positions on our Board of Directors. The services and programming that your children receive cannot happen without a group of dedicated volunteers. Without a Board of Directors, the Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro will be required to re-evaluate the future of services offered at Valleycrest Pool.

I encourage you to attend our Annual General Meeting and ask you to consider what roles you might be able to fill on our Board.

We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give
– Anonymous


Laura Derry
President, Valleycrest Aquatic Association
July, 2015