Who is Tom?

Lianas founder Tom Donlan has worn a lot of different hats over the years, and walked at least a mile in several different pairs of shoes, running occasionally along the way.

A former Fighting Illini with a Masters in Business and former multi-national business executive with extensive experience in solving real-world issues facing organizations of all sizes, Tom is a seasoned swim & tennis club Board member.

As a player, a licensed soccer coach and referee, and parent of multiple competitive soccer players and swimmers, Tom has held just about every volunteer position there is for a soccer or swim team.

While Tom has ridden a zip line, he has yet to swing from an actual lianas vine. Still, through personal experience and extensive research, he knows the issues faced by swim & tennis clubs and soccer clubs.

About Lianas

Offering you timely, secure, integrated support to help you build your community

So, what does Lianas do?

Today, Lianas offers easy to use, robust web solutions for club and team management for neighborhood Swim & Tennis Clubs and Soccer organizations based on extensive experience and research into what works.

With more than 4,000 users, a commitment to customer service, and an eye for practical, easy-to-use solutions to common issues, we’re different than our competitors.

If you are familiar with a contemporary Word Processing programs, you have all the skills you need to easily set up an affordable, effective, integrated Lianas platform website that will be the communication hub of your organization.

Who uses Lianas?

Our customers include neighborhood swim & tennis clubs, soccer teams, and soccer clubs of a variety of sizes,  from around the country. Here are a few of them:

Langley Swim and Tennis Club logo Georgetown Recreation Club logo Woodcroft Club logo
North Atlanta Soccer Association logo Roxboro Valley Association logo Gwinnett Soccer Association logo

“We created Lianas to fill a gap in the market. We had unmet needs for our swim & tennis club. We wanted an easy to use, integrated web solution with good functionality for regular people who want to spend their time making programs better and having fun rather than devoting countless hours to unrewarding tasks. And, because we know how to pinch a penny, we wanted that solution to be a good value. So, we created something we like to use, and we hope you will too.”—Tom Donlan

What’s with the name?

From time to time, people ask us about the Lianas name, and yes, there’s a story behind it. Remember Tarzan? Remember those sturdy, trustworthy vines that help him get where he needs to be just in time, that keep him secure, that hold everything together and tie it all up neatly in a sweet package?

Well those vines are called lianas. We think they provide a good metaphor for what our solutions offer you:

  • Timely,
  • Secure,
  •  Integrated support when you need it.

After all, it’s a technology jungle out there. Let us support you.

Hey…if we’re Lianas, does that make you Tarzan? Or Jane?

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The Lianas Story

I started a working on a website solution for my club in 2006. We were having a Board meeting on the President’s porch and as a group were expressing frustration with how difficult it was to get anything done and effect needed change at the club:

  • Decisions required a mailed ballot, or a physical meeting and vote.
  • Newsletters and announcements were physically mailed, a thankless task.
  • The email database was hard to manage and nearly impossible tokeep track of the versions between managers.
  • Members complained of getting too many unwanted emails, nd not being able to find important information once it was needed.
  • Unauthorized use of the email list was a regular occurrence including a few uncomfortable messages.

Thinking it would be a simple project, I spoke to my programmer who infamously told me “no problem, we can do it in a couple of months max” and volunteered to put together a website for the club.

Our vision began with a simple cut and paste site until I spoke with the various managers within the club. The wish list of useful features started growing:

  • The tennis manager wanted an on-line reservation system people could use from home or work.
  • The swim team manager wanted a way to eliminate the sign up boards at the club and handle swimmer opt in/out and meet volunteers on-line (including email reminders to forgetful parents).
  • The social manager wanted an on-line RSVP system to better plan parties.
  • The President wanted a way to survey the club, conduct votes on-line, control costs, and reduce the tedium that caused volunteer burnout.
  • Everybody wanted to eliminate the excessive and nonrelevant communication as well as control and manage the club email distribution list.

I did some market research and saw that there were no products out there that provided the solutions we needed, that there are hundreds of clubs just like ours, and that I might be able to spread the costs of development over many other clubs like mine.

It took two years of design and development work before we rolled out our first working site, and we are still making changes and improvements from ongoing input from my original club and others who’ve joined the Lianas Community from around the country. The reaction has been fantastic which is very satisfying.

The next question might be: “How did I end up developing a soccer team website?”

Well, I was talking with some of the parents from my daughter’s team about travel arrangements for an out of town tournament, and we were expressing frustration with the process when I got the bright idea...

--Tom Donlan, Founder

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