Bon's Mots, November 2012
By Bonnie Bagley, District Director
Have you wondered what a “District Director” is, and what a District Director does? The ACBL is divided into 25 regional districts in the US, Canada, and Mexico, each of which elects a member to serve on the national Board of Directors (BoD). These 25 districts consist of 308 units and 164,826 ACBL members. The unit board members of each district elect a national representative from their district, their District Director. The league’s districts range from very large to quite small - in both membership and geography. The most populous is D9 (Florida), which has 18,583 members; the least populous is D23 (Los Angeles), which has 3,396 members. District 17 is among the largest geographically, as well as in membership, ranking third with 8,935 members. Our district contains 23 units; the largest is Unit 354, Phoenix, Arizona, with 1,682 members; the smallest is Unit 377, Clovis, New Mexico, with 18 members.
The ACBL BoD is the league’s legislative body, with responsibility for establishing regulations for tournaments, including play, as well as the overall budget and administration of the league. Quite an undertaking! A District Director has to represent the needs of his/her district, as well as considering the overall perspective of the league. We each have our special interests, be it Education, Charity, International Bridge, Grassroots Events, or Computer Bridge; what might be best for one’s district might not be best for all of ACBL, which can lead to interesting discussions to determine the “greater good.” The ACBL BoD is as diverse as its districts - there are 15 men and ten women, married, single, and divorced. The BoD contains three Grand Life Masters, three Platinum Life Masters, nine Diamond Life Masters, and ten members with 2500- 5000 masterpoints. There are six past ACBL Presidents currently on the board.
One member has been on the board since 1979, but the average is twelve years; three of us (me for one) are in our first term; a term is three years. One third of the BoD is up for reelection each year. This year there is one retiring member and two in contested elections; the other five are unopposed. The BoD elects from its incumbent members a president to serve a one year term, which is followed by a one year term as Chairman of the Board. There are three annual board meetings, each held the week before an NABC. The ACBL CEO, League Counsel, Board of Governors Chair, and top management personnel also attend these meetings, except if an executive session is necessary. We start with a full board meeting, hearing reports from the CEO and League Counsel. Elections, if necessary, are first on the agenda (the president for the following year is elected at the Fall meeting, as are Education and Charity Foundation Trustees). After a lunch break, we separate into committee meetings, where current motions are discussed. Motions are submitted in advance, accepted, sent to the BoD, and assigned to appropriate committees, which then make recommendations to the board. After 2 1/2 days of these committee meetings, the full board reconvenes, hears committee findings and recommendations, and votes on motions except for those that are deferred to later meetings. Many of our recent votes have been 13-12. Once a motion is passed, ACBL must implement the decision and notify all involved: clubs, districts, units, directors, etc.
You can view the minutes of these meetings at www.bonniebagleyd17.com
One of the most rewarding aspects of the “job” is recognizing deserving members of one’s district. This is best done by appointments to the Aileen Osofsky ACBL Goodwill Committee and/or the ACBL Charity Committee. My nominations for 2013 are all from Arizona, in conjunction with the 2013 Fall Phoenix NABC. Goodwill Committee appointments are: Barry Abrahams, Tucson Unit 356, Rod Bias and JoAnne Lowe, Phoenix Unit 354, and Darryl Helton, Northern Arizona Unit 355. Charity Committee appointments are Linnea Tow, Mesa Unit 351 and Jim Donahue, Yuma Unit 358. It is my honor to recognize the devotion and selfless hard work exhibited by all of these individuals; this is a small thank you for all they have done.The popular Phoenix Regional, the last 2012 D17 regional of the year, just concluded; the popular Pro-Am Game was bigger and better then ever . Next year brings the usual contingent of regionals: Albuquerque in January, Mesa in April, Denver in May, Las Vegas in June, Colorado Springs in August, an additional bonus in September, thanks to the United States Bridge Federation giving a regional sanction to Taos, New Mexico and, last but not least, Tucson in October. Don’t forget, there is one more special event in D17 this year - the Great Western Holiday STAC, December 3-9.
Best wishes to you and yours as we celebrate Thanksgiving by remembering all the bountiful blessing we have received. Happy Thanksgiving!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at bonnie@bonniebagleyD17.com
Previous page: Bon's Mots, September 2012 Next page: Bon's Mots, January 2013