Minutes of the District 17 Board Meeting, May 28, 2016, at the
Denver Renaissance Hotel in Denver, Colorado

Present: Board members: Darwin Afdahl, Bonnie Bagley, Robb Gordon, Jeanne Gray, Jim Horton,
JoAnne Lowe, Art McHaffie, Steve Nordberg, Jerry Ranney, Becky Rogers, Rod Southworth,
John Van Ness and Ed Yosses
Also attending a portion of the meeting: Marion Robertson, Western Conference President
Gary Zeiger, Director In Charge (DIC)
Absent: Rod Bias, Felicity Moore

President’s Opening Remarks
Jerry Ranney called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. and welcomed Marion Robertson, the Western Conference President, who came to talk to the D17 Board Members about the Western Conference and answer questions about plans for the future. Jerry noted that Rod Bias is unable to attend due to health issues and Felicity Moore had previous travel plans.
Western Conference President Marion Robertson addressed the board giving a brief history and structure of the Western Conference.  She discussed the financial challenges the Western Conference is facing. After much discussion a motion was made that D17 accept an increase of fifty cents per regional table Western Conference Sanction fee sanction fee starting January 1, 2017 providing the Western Conference submits a transition plan to electronic distribution. The motion was seconded. A motion to table the motion was made a seconded.  The motion to table passed. Jerry instructed the committee of Robb Gordon, Darwin Afdahl, Bonnie Bagley and John Van Ness to investigate all aspects of staying in the Western Conference. Jerry thanked Marion for coming to the Denver Regional to meet with the D17 Board.

Election Report
Darwin Afdahl reported that Frank Fine from Albuquerque resigned from the D17 Board due to business obligations. Since there was not enough time for a notice to be put in the ScoreCard, notification was put in the Albuquerque unit newsletter, the Unit 374 web site and copies were distributed to all the clubs. Darwin received approval from the D17 Executive Council to accept Albuquerque’s methods of advertising the position contrary to the By Laws.

Seating of New Board Member
A motion was made and seconded to seat Felicity Moore as the District 17 Representative from Albuquerque. The motion passed.

Approval January 2016 Minutes
A motion was made and seconded to approve the January 23 Albuquerque minutes. A motion was made to reword the minutes to say that Jerry said the Colorado West Unit and Vail, CO has also submitted a request to have a regional in 2017. The motion was withdrawn by the motion maker. The motion to approve the minutes passed with one nay vote.

Secretary’s Report
Bonnie noted that a card expressing condolences to Jeanne Gray on the death of her husband was sent on behalf of the D17 Board. Free play coupons are available for anyone who needs more.

Treasurer’s Report
Ed Yosses stated he is still learning the Quick Books for the treasurer’s report but everything was accomplished with Jerry Ranney’s help. He said there are no red flags. The Albuquerque and Mesa Regional balanced each other, the Grass Roots Fund income was $1,300 more than budgeted. As of May 10 D17 total assets were $119,587. Jerry Ranney noted the tax return was filed on time, even though it was returned for more information. A motion was made and seconded to accept the Treasurer’s reports. The motion passed.

Current Regional
Jerry Ranney sadly reported the table count as of Saturday is down 167 tables, and will probably end up being down about 200 tables, about 10%. There does not seem to be an explanation, but team games are down and Pairs Games are up. One possibility is the Las Vegas Regional which starts a week after the Denver Regional ends, another possibility is residual effects from the 2015 Denver NABC.

National Board
Bonnie waived her report of the Reno BOD Meeting to give Marion Robertson ample time … a written report is in the May ScoreCard; please contact her with questions. The next BOD meeting starts July 18 at the Washington DC Summer NABC.

Board of Governors
Robb Gordon explained that the major discussions were about finances. There are BOG members who feel management has been less then forthcoming with details about League finances, which is an ongoing source of tension. The BOD passed a motion 14-9 with one abstention and one absent that ACBL Tournaments Directors shall hear and rule on all appeals at NABCs. There were motions for the BOD to reconsider, but those failed with the general consensus being, let’s give this a try. The next BOG meeting is at the Washington DC NABC Sunday July 24.

Western Conference
Darwin Afdahl noted all was said during Marion’s presentation.

Executive Committee
Jerry stated several things came to the Executive Committee (EC) since the Albuquerque meeting; one was the expedited Albuquerque election discussed above. Another was a request from Las Vegas Board to approve Matt Koltnow as the Las Vegas Regional DIC. Matt is not on the approved DIC list, but the EC provisionally approved Matt’s appointment upon his addition to the list. The Las Vegas Board also asked for the addition of a Thurs/Fri and a Fri/Sat Knockout, which the EC did not approve based on input from Gary Zeiger and Matt Koltnow and the reluctance of ACBL to add events to a published schedule. After many phone calls and emails, a compromise of the addition of a Thurs/Fri Knockout was reached, which was approved by the EC. The EC Committee also gave the final approval to the Colorado Springs Schedule, which required input from Gary dependent on events in Albuquerque.

Committee Report

Elections Report given above.

Grand National Teams (GNT) Rod Southworth reported $5,500 is available to distribute to the teams playing the GNT Finals. Rod stated the GNT Qualifying Games and the GNT Fund Raisers were down fourteen percent. Rod said he would be contacting a club in Peoria which had no GNT games. JoAnne stated that club had closed. Robb Gordon commend Rod for the job he has done. Rod will have the 2016-2017 D17 GNT Conditions of Contest for the Phoenix meeting. Rod has a list of club owners who hold GNT Qualifying games on the D17 website.

North American Pairs (NAP) Jim Horton stated the 2016-2017 D17 NAP Conditions of Contest (attached) are in the folders. A motion was made and seconded to approve the Conditions of Contest.  The motion passed. Jim noted an ad for the NAPS will be in the July ScoreCard, as well as an article.

I/N In Rod Bias’ absence, Jerry noted that the Boulder Unit had a Learn To Play Bridge in A Day?  session using the D17 site license. There were sixty people who attended.

By Laws Robb Gordon said the By Laws will be covered under New Business.

Goodwill /Charity Jeanne Gray presented the list of 2016 D17 Goodwill Ambassador Nominees:
Kitty Larson, Mesa Unit 351 nominated by Jim Horton
Kim Corbin, Phoenix Unit 354 nominated by JoAnne Lowe
Mimi Esser, Northern Arizona Unit 355 nominated by Robb Gordon
Ron Schick, Northern Arizona Unit 355 nominated by Robb Gordon
Steve Reynolds, Tucson Unit 356 nominated by Darwin Afdahl
Wendy Turk, Colorado Springs Unit 360 nominated by Jeanne Gray
Shirley Heinsohn, Denver Unit 361 nominated by Jerry Ranney
John Wolf, Northern Colorado Unit 363 nominated by Bonnie Bagley
Helen Bledsoe, Colorado West Unit 364 nominated by John Van Ness
Bill Kass, Albuquerque Unit 374 nominated by Frank Fine
James Ewert, Santa Fe Unit 383 nominated by Art McHaffie
A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the 2016 D17 Goodwill Ambassador Nominees.  A bio of each nominee is attached.

Regional Tournaments Becky Rogers reported three regional tournament schedules were submitted for approval – Albuquerque, Tucson and Mesa. Becky noted that an effort is being made to have uniform strats at all D17 Regionals. They would be: Stratified Events (NOT opposite Gold Rush): 0-750/3000/3000+, Open Pairs (opposite Gold Rush):0-1500/3000/3000+, Gold Rush: 0-100/300/750, no player with over 750 MPs, Swiss Teams - A/X/Y 0-3000/5000/5000+ with Bracketed Flight B 0-3000 no player may over 3000 MPs. Minor schedule changes were suggested to the Albuquerque and Mesa chairs/District Reps, changes would be at their discretion. The Tucson schedule, with the strat changes and minor schedule changes was approved, but upon Gary’s later recommendation, Becky will check with the Tucson Chair. A motion was made upon the suggestion of the Regional Tournament Committee that Mid-chart conventions are allowed in Flight A Swiss on Sunday and in top bracket of KO events provided ALL TEAMS in the Flight/Bracket average more than 3000 MPs. The motion was seconded and passed. A motion was made to add Eric Bell and Matt Koltnow to the DIC recommended list. The motion was seconded and passed.

Finance Art McHaffie said the Finance Committee reviewed the Tucson and Mesa budgets. Tucson projects a $8,100 surplus and Mesa’s projection is a $4,800 loss. Mesa requested they be allowed to raise the entry fee from $12 to $13. The Finance Committee was not in favor of one tournament raising the entry fee, but agreed to raise the entry fee for all D17 Regionals, with the unit keeping $3 of the per table increase and D17 keeping $1. Art noted the Executive Committee considered an alternate proposal – that entry fees be raised from $12 to $13, the units retain $1 of the $4 per table increase, D17 retain $3, the Western Conference sanction fee of $2.25 be removed from the D17 RTP (D17 would then be responsible for the WC sanction fee) and the net increase to the tournament would be $3.25 After very much discussion concerning budgets, entry fees, the unit/district split and the Western Conference sanction fee, D17 considering subsidizing tournament losses and charging extra for a Sunday lunch. A motion was made to increase the D17 Regional sanction fee from $12 to $13, the increase of $4 per table be split with $1 going to the unit and $3 going to D17. The responsibility of the Western Conference sanction be the responsibility of D17, not the unit. Effective January 1, 2017. The motion was seconded. After more discussion, the motion passed.  Jerry Ranney reported the audit of the D17 2015 finances is currently being done by Carolyn Newcomb.  The Albuquerque budget was handed out at the meeting, with Becky Rogers noting 2017 budget is intentionally the same as the 2016 budget. Art reviewed the Albuquerque budget at the meeting and suggested a motion be made to approve the Albuquerque, Tucson and Mesa budgets as amended to include the new entry fee and breakdowns. A motion was so made, seconded and passed. A motion  was made to offer Albuquerque, Tucson and Mesa the D17 RTP. The motion was seconded and passed.

Tournament Coordination JoAnne Lowe noted that the 2017 and 2018 tournament schedules are in the folders and was update May 10. There was a question why the 2017 March Denver Sectional moved from their priority week of the second weekend to the last weekend. Jerry Ranney explained that the 2016 Denver March Sectional was hit hard financially by being concurrent with the Reno NABC. The 2017 March Sectional as scheduled would fall during the Kansas City NABC. Because the Jefferson County Fairgrounds is available the last weekend of March and there are no conflicts, the tournament was changed. Art noted there is no seventh regional scheduled for 2018. Much discussion followed about several possibilities and alternatives.

Tournament Supplies Jerry Ranney stated the replacements for pass cards and full sets to update the bid boxes have been put in the bid boxes which needed them. He will drive the bid boxes to Las Vegas and the Policy Manual allows for a monetary reimbursement for gas.

ScoreCard Covered above

Unit Affiliations No Report

Contract Review John Van Ness reviewed the contract for the Tucson Regional and stated it is as good as it gets.

Web Site Jerry commended Rod Southworth for the super job he is doing. Rod stated he added a featured player link and interviewed Geoff Hampson and is looking for more players to feature.

Gary Zeiger, DIC, joined the meeting to report on the tournament. Gary said that through yesterday the table count was 1233, down 166 tables. He stated attendance is interesting in that the knockouts are getting slaughtered and included in the knockouts would be the Board a Match, everything else has been pretty much steady. There has been a long time gradual decrease in knockout table counts in all tournaments – Nationals, Regionals and Sectionals. Gary’s projected table count is between 1925 and 1950. Gary has long felt that tournament attendance is inversely related to the economy … when the economy is bad, more people seem to play bridge, when it is good, less. Robb Gordon asked Gary his opinion about replacing Knockouts with Bracketed Swiss as D16 is doing. Gary said the negative of a Bracketed Swiss is a team may not drop out, so he recommends the top bracket being a normal Swiss with the “round robin” brackets underneath. Rod Southworth asked Gary about more 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. schedules. Gary stated that if you have the equivalent of a 9 a.m., 1 & 7 pm schedule, the 1 pm session is always largest with the 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. sessions being reasonably equivalent. With 10 a.m., 3 and 7:30 p.m. schedules, over time, the pattern is the evening events decrease in table count. He also stated only larger tournaments can support five sessions – 9 & 10 a.m., 1, 3, and 7 p.m.

Grants Steve Nordberg reported four grant requests have been received - $500 for advertising a mentor Program to attract new players from Yuma Unit 358, $1,000 for seed money for two EasyBridge? classes, another LBIAD? Class and a “Bridge in the 21st Century” course from Northern Colorado Unit 363, $700 to support the annual “Bridge Fair” to attract new members from Santa Fe Unit 383 and $428.44 for the loss sustained because the 2015 Taos Regional started the day after the Cheyenne Sectional by the Cheyenne Unit 421. Steve has reviewed and approved all the grant requests. A motion was made and seconded to approve the grants from Unit 358, Unit 363, Unit 383 and Unit 421. The motion passed.  Steve also reported letters of appreciation for previous grants were received by Richard Pagano, Carlsbad Unit 376 Club Manager and Clara Bunting, Cheyenne Unit 421 President.
Old Business

By Laws Revision Robb Gordon reported that despite many eyes reviewing the By Law revisions, there are still mistakes – Section 5.3 on page four, the numbers for weighted unit votes are incorrect Unit X should be .2 and .13; Unit Y should be .2 and .4 and Unit X should be .03 and .04 and page 6, Section 6.1 The President and Vice-President must have been a Board member for less than one year at the time his or her term begins. – the word less should be more; Section 1.2, page one, Section 401(C) (7), should be 501(C) (7). Page four, Section 5.3, Term of office. No director may serve more than 12 consecutive full years, upon approval of the By Laws. Page six, Section 5.12, a consensus was reached that removal of a board member for cause requires a two-thirds voted of board members present at the meeting. Page four, Section 5.3, the consensus is - No Board member shall be employed by the ACBL nor receive more than $5000 per calendar year for any contract or assignment from ACBL. Page seven, Section 7.2 – consensus is to add Decisions and other actions of the Executive Committee shall be promptly reported to the fill Board. Becky Rogers will correct formatting errors and send to the board. A discussion followed as to whether these By Laws were for unincorporated districts. A motion was made to ratify the proposed By Laws as amended and subject to revision. The motion was seconded. A discussion followed as to indemnification for D17 Board Members. The motion passed with one nay vote. Robb Gordon Received a round of applause for the herculean job he has revising the By Laws.

New Business
Proposal From Dan Williams For Board Pre-duplication Jerry Ranney said he received a proposed contract from Dan Williams late Thursday evening, substantially increasing his fees. Jerry did some quick calculations which determined that the $1,977 paid to Dan for the 2015 Denver Regional would be $3,000 with the increases. Jerry has referred the matter to Jim Horton to look at all options.

Las Vegas Becky Rogers distributed letter from Bob LaFleur, Las Vegas Unit 373 President. The letter expressed his concern of the appointment of Liz Hamilton and Tom Shulman as tournament chairs for the 2019 Las Vegas NABC, which the D17 Board approved at the Albuquerque January 2016 meeting. Becky said the Las Unit Board has requested input to any decision made by the D17 Board concerning the Las Vegas Unit. Becky reported the status of negotiations with Ballys. After much discussion, it was decided Jerry Ranney and Becky will respond to Bob LaFleur’s letter and the Las Vegas Unit’s issues.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:09 p.m.

The next meeting will be 8:00 a.m. Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona at the
Desert Empire Regional.

Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie L. Bagley


2016 Albuquerque Minutes



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