Stevens Point native, UWSP alum inducted into U.S. Curling Association Hall of Fame
Three highly esteemed members of the curling community who have been active in growing the sport for decades are the latest inductees into the United States Curling Association (USCA) Hall of Fame.
Stevens Point native and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) alum David Garber of Mosinee, Andy Anderson of Chicago and Russ Lemcke of Falmouth, Mass., will enter the USCA Hall of Fame in the builder category – joining an elite group of curlers who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to curling in the United States and worldwide.
A graduate of P.J. Jacobs High School, Garber was the USCA’s first executive director and served in the role (later as chief operating officer) from 1985 to 2006. Garber started as a quarter-time independent contractor, with a USCA budget of $110,000.
Upon retirement, he was a full-time employee with seven full-time staff and a budget of about $1.3 million. Garber was responsible for establishing the USCA office in Stevens Point; developing a professional staff from scratch; and maintaining a professional headquarters operation that passed every annual financial audit by the U.S. Olympic Committee, CPA, and the periodic audit by U.S. government non-profit auditors over a 21-year period.
A major role of Garber’s was to (successfully) ensure an effective and productive relationship between athletes, staff and the USCA Board of Directors.
“There are many attributes that I could write about David,” said Peggy Hatch, past president of the USCA Board of Directors, in a letter of support for Garber’s nomination. “But, thinking about his long tenure at the USCA, I believe he was the glue that kept us together.
“With volunteer leadership coming and going year after year – each with a different strength and style – David was the constant,” she said. “With grace, patience, and good humor he adjusted and guided president after president and board after board as we worked together to move the USCA forward. No easy task!”
Garber was involved in ensuring that the USCA became a U.S. Olympic Committee member and that the USCA became a respected USOC member and maximized USOC funding opportunities, while complying with USOC regulations and the terms of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.
He was the editor of the United States Curling News from 1991 to 2002, hiring his successor, and is listed on the current masthead as Editor Emeritus. He also writes a popular column titled “Tales from Sheet Nine.”
“What a privilege it has been to work with the great people of the curling community in Stevens Point, the state of Wisconsin, nationwide and worldwide,” said Gaber. “To not only curl but make a career in curling for 50 years has been a gift. My dad taught me to curl at age 12 in 1961. Curling at the Stevens Point Curling Club was a terrific family and friend activity. I’ve curled in my local club, made ice, started a high school curling program, helped run bonspiels and assisted with local club projects. Eventually, I represented my club at the state level.
“I never dreamed I would have the opportunities that came my way with the USCA,” he said. “I am a lucky person indeed. I enjoyed every aspect of my years with the U.S. Curling Association. It is good to enjoy one’s work during a career in which curling was healthy and growing, and after I retired, to watch U.S. curlers’ continued success and growth on and off the ice.
“Election to the USCA Hall of Fame is a great honor,” said Garber. “I am very grateful for the talented, effective people I worked with over the years, including staff, athletes and volunteers. Thank you all.”