By Jerry Ranney, District 17 President

Western Conference Update

At the Taos District 17 meeting, the board voted to move to a 100% digital magazine this spring. D17 continues to make plans to transition to this new digital publication and replace the expensive Western Conference Forum magazine currently mailed to our members. We know that the Western Conference is working on a proposal to try to save the current Forum, perhaps in a digital format, but as yet we have not received any specific proposal. In addition to the digital option eliminating printing and postage costs, electronic delivery can include many extras such as enhanced navigation, easy enlarging of text, keyword searches, article printing, social media connections, video, hot links, sound, and animation.  Stay tuned for updates on this important topic. If you have thoughts to share or would be interested in being part of the team that will put together this new newsletter, please contact John Grossmann at

District 17 Board Members and Officers for 2018

To provide a smoother transition into the new year, the new D17 By-Laws call for the election of officers for the new year to be held at the last board meeting in the previous year, The election of officers for 2018 was held at the Taos board meeting, with the following results: President, John Grossmann; Vice President, Art McHaffie; Secretary, Felix Moore; Treasurer, Jennifer O’Neill; Election Secretary, Jerry Ranney.  In addition, John Grossmann was elected as D17 Western Conference representative, replacing Darwin Afdahl, who is leaving the board.

I want to thank Bonnie Bagley for her many years service as the District 17 Secretary. This is a very large, thankless task that Bonnie has handled extremely well for many years. I want to thank Felix for taking on this major responsibility.

I also want to thank departing board members Darwin Afdahl, Rod Bias, Robb Gordon, and Jeanie Gray. Steve Reynolds will be replacing Darwin Afdahl as the Tucson Unit representative.  Marali Nair will be replacing Rod Bias as the Phoenix 2 representative. Bill Curtis of Colorado Springs will be replacing Jeanne Gray as a Colorado at Large representative. Bill Phillip of Sedona was elected to replace Robb Gordon as the Arizona at Large representative. Robb had to resign due to his new position as ACBL National Recorder.

Small Unit Grants Program

District 17 has a program to provide units that have not hosted a regional in the last three years to apply for a grant to use in membership-building programs. At the Taos meeting, the Board approved seven grants for 2018 for a total of $4,000 (versus a budget of $3,000). Units receiving grants for 2018 are El Paso, Texas; Boulder, Colorado; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Northern Colorado; Laramie, Wyoming/Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Western Colorado.

Taos Regional Results

The Taos Regional had 1085 tables and awarded a total of 7373 masterpoints won by 559 players. Top point winners from District 17 included Leon Lowe (Fountain Valley, Arizona), third with 91.6 MP; Joe Harris (Albuquerque), sixth with 79.0 MP; David Caprera and Anne Brenner (Denver) , tied for ninth with 63.4 MP.

Attendance at the Taos Regional was down 350 tables from the previous Taos Regional, in 2015. Part of the drop was due to the 63 tables for the District 17 North American Pairs finals that were held in Taos but are not counted as part of the regional table count. Also, an unknown number of tables were lost due to the unfortunate scheduling of a regional in Reno the same week as the Taos tournament. I estimate that after adjusting for the above two items, attendance was down about 15%, which continues the trend we have seen for D17 regional tournaments in the last couple of years. The D17 board is continuing to look for ways to reverse the trend.

Future D17 Regionals

District 17 is encountering problems finding affordable sites for future regionals, as a result of which the district may have slots available in coming years for Units that are interested in hosting a regional tournament.

The Navajo Trail Regional will be held at the Pyramid Marriott Hotel in Albuquerque from January 15-21, 2018.  However, Mesa will not be able to host the the senior regional that it has run for many years - the Unit could not find an affordable venue in the Phoenix East Valley area. Fortunately, the Tucson Unit has been able to make arrangements, on very short notice, to host the Senior Regional at the Tucson Expo Center from February 26 - March 4, 2018. So thanks go to the Tucson unit for putting this replacement together. I hope to see lots of our readers at both of these upcoming District17 regional tournaments.

Feedback and Member Input

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please e-mail me at or call me at 303-697-9468 or contact your district 17 representative.

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