Dear Kanawha Recreation Association Members,

The fall air is crisp and electric and so is the mood at KRA as the new Board slate begins its tenure and the new pool construction commences. I know I am ready to roll as your new 2017-2018 Board President. My wife Kate, three children, and I have been members at KRA for eight years. We live in University Heights and, like many of you, spend a lot of time at the pool and on the courts at KRA. I’m a principal at Gardner Construction and served on the KRA Board as Facilities Rep and Vice President over the past two years.


Thank you to everyone who came out to our Annual Meeting last week on Tuesday night. There is great energy amongst the membership as we dive into the largest capital construction project in recent memory: the construction of the new eight-lane pool. At the Annual Meeting, we voted to name it the Tom Hoy Competition Pool.  Mr. Hoy started as a lifeguard in 1980, became Assistant Manager in 1981 and took over our Manager position in 2002. We’re so fortunate he’s brought his expertise, heart and humor to KRA for 38 years.  He also was recently profiled in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. If you have not been up to the pool for a selfie through the construction fencing with Tom, put this on your fall bucket list.


The new pool was a long time in the making and my humble predecessor, 2016-2017 Board President Karl Kratzer, came onto the Board with the sole mission of building the new pool. He succeeded, along with Mike Locher, our Facilities chair and Vice President, in making the pool a reality. Total construction budget for the new pool came in at $1.3 million.  The membership authorized borrowing capacity up to a total of $1.175 million, though we plan to borrow less using the significant cash reserves built up over the years.  Karl and Mike's combined engineering, construction and bid management expertise made them a truly priceless asset for our club and we are grateful. This is a long-term gift in the first order.

None of this happens without money and our Treasurer, David Kennedy, is a very talented financial leader. His expertise led us through the process with confidence that we were making the right choices for our membership. His negotiating skills led us to very favorable terms that we would not have otherwise. This man can crunch some numbers. Thank you, David.


Please also join me in extending a big thank you to four more board members whose three-year terms of service wrapped up this fall.  Chuck Pollard, our Immediate Past President, is largely responsible for reinvigorating the Board, which is a legacy that will last for decades to come. He was also instrumental in researching the new pool and always brings great perspective and a grin to our meetings.  Betsy Reid, our outgoing Social Chair, almost single-handedly raised the bar for our social events. We toast to her many successful parties at KRA and look forward to her simply enjoying being an attendee next summer.  Robin Reifsnider handled the many details of our ever-growing tennis program.  She kept the program going without missing a beat through a major tennis staff change, and we can thank her for the high volume of tennis activity that goes on at Kanawha from early March through late November.  Amy Ford kept our championship diving program on top of the JRAC and coordinated the transition from handwritten forms and score sheets to computerized scoring.  Appreciation also goes to Kindra Kirkeby for helping Amy during the 2017 season.


We also welcome several new people to the board.  While I have listed all board members names and roles below, I want to acknowledge those new to our board this year.  Welcome to Kelly Conway as our Treasurer Elect, Laurie and Damian Barnes as our new Tennis Reps, and Kathy Gregory as our new Dive Rep. Thank you all for your service to Kanawha.


My final message for you is to encourage family and friends to join Kanawha now. We are shifting from the waiting list approach that we’ve used in the past to a rolling membership so that families can start using the club (tennis, pavilion etc.) as soon as they join. As a thank you to our members, we are trying something for the next few months.  If you refer a new family to our membership between now and March 2018, we will deduct $100 from your dues as long as that new family lists you as their referring member. Caveats: the new member must have your name on their initial application that they submit, and this applies to applications received after Oct. 27, 2017.

We are looking forward to welcoming the many new families we hope will choose KRA.   The summer of ‘18 will be our best yet.  If you have questions, you can always reach me at


Best regards,

Travis Gardner

Board President, Kanawha Recreation Association



President                                 Travis Gardner

Vice President /Facilities         Mike Locher

Secretary                                Bridget Reichert

Treasurer                                David Kennedy

Treasurer-Elect                       Kelly Conway

Immediate Past President        Karl Kratzer

Swim Rep                                Tracy Collier

Swim Rep                                Laura Walton

Dive Rep                                  Kathy Gregory

Tennis Reps                            Laurie and Damian Barnes

Communications                      Jennifer Pounders

Socials                                    Amy Hughes



Manager                                    Tom Hoy

Asst. Manager                                    Martha Hodges

Asst. Manager                                    Chip Carter

Bookkeeper                             Deborah Proffitt