After a distinguished decade-long tenure as manager of the Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association, Terry Wood will relinquish that position, effective Aug. 31.
Wood has been an SMCBA stalwart since 2001, when he first became a member of the SMCBA board of directors, and as association manager since 2006, he led the organization through a merger process that resulted in the Aug. 1, 2007 merge with the Sarasota-Manatee Women’s Bowling Association and the Sarasota-Manatee Youth Bowling Association.
His resignation stems from a full-load work schedule in connection with his current position as assistant manager at AMF Gulf Gate Lanes — a job that will limit his ability to dedicate sufficient time to association meetings, functions and tournaments.
“AMF has asked me to step aside and not have the responsibility of two jobs, and that was a request set forth on hiring me back to management, and I completely agreed and accepted that request,” Wood said. “After weeks of pondering my situation, I felt it was time for me to resign as association manager, although I will remain on the board as a director.”
At the association’s annual meeting on Aug. 16, Bruce Combs was appointed to replace Wood as manager. Combs was association secretary, and later executive director, from 1988 to 2000, and he will again take the reins on Sept. 1.
“I believe the association made significant progress in recent years,” Wood said. “We are now supposed to run the association as a business, and I believe the association will continue on a positive path in the future.
“I feel that (the SMCBA) is looking out for the member bowlers, and we have continued to consider things we can do for the bowlers, such as more awards for average bowlers and not-so-average bowlers, because we feel they all deserve something to show for their membership.”
Wood also looks back on some of the most-memorable happenings during his service as SMCBA manager.
“One of the highlights has to be the running and organizing our areas first Florida State Jamboree,” Wood said. “We handled projects associated with breast cancer and raised more than $2,000 for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure organization. The entire weekend was packed with events, the various statewide associations and delegates had a good time working together.
“There have been some growing pains and hiccups along the way, but we have achieved great success. We have repeatedly proved ourselves with successful events such as the State Open Senior Tournament, the Florida WBA Championships two Pepsi Youth Tournaments, and hopefully, a successful bid for the 2017 Florida State Bowling Association’s Open Tournament.”
Over the years, Wood has been a consistent high-average on-the-lanes performer, with numerous yearbook averages in the 190s, but he is more proud of his years of service to the association, from the time of the American Bowling Congress to the merged United States Bowling Congress.
“One of the main purposes of the association merger was to protect the youth bowlers and to provide them with unified support from the men and the women,” Wood said. “But I do believe that USBC has done many things wrong. One of them was taking away many awards, in essence telling the local associations that they are on their own with the awards.
“We have a great (association) board and hard-working committee members and volunteers, and I believe we take of our youth bowlers the best we can, but USBC deserves a failing grade, in my opinion.”
So what does the future hold for Terry Wood in his post-association manager years?
“I plan on just focusing on bowling with my friends and my work as assistant manager at AMF Gulf Gate,” he said. “I’m still in the bowling business and plan on being around for a while.
“The board can still use me as an adviser, and if Bruce (Combs) needs my help with association business, I’ll be happy to help and to promote and bowl tournaments.”
Although he has had support of all board members, Wood had special mention for two now-deceased association presidents. “I’ll always appreciate that Ron Kessler first appointed me as a director, and that Everett Hayden appointed me office manager, subject to later approval by the board.”
“As a local association, we should be proud of what we’ve achieved over the past few years, and I have confidence that there will be many more memories to come, but just not with me in the driver’s seat.”
The SMCBA and the local bowling community is fortunate to have such a dedicated long-time servant as Terry Wood.
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