Minutes of the District 17 Board Meeting, June 24, 2017, at  

Bally’s Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

(Subject to Board approval at the next District 17 board meeting

In Taos, New Mexico, October 24, 2017)


Present: Board members: Darwin Afdahl, Bonnie Bagley, Rod Bias, Robb Gordon, John Grossmann, JoAnne Lowe, Felicity Moore, Steve Nordberg, Jennifer O’Neill, Jerry Ranney, Becky Rogers and Rod Southworth             

Also attending a portion of the meeting: George Vasilevsky, Las Vegas Unit President and Gary Zeiger, Director In Charge (DIC) 

Absent: Jeanne Gray, Jim Horton and Art McHaffie


President’s Opening Remarks

Jerry Ranney called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. Jerry mentioned that Jeanne Gray, Jim Horton and Art McHaffie were in different parts of the world and unable to attend the meeting, but Jim would be available to join the meeting via Skype, if necessary. Jerry pointed out there was a John Van Ness appreciation luncheon during the Denver Regional during which the D17 Board gave John a Nambe` tray in recognition of his contributions to D17 and bridge. Jerry thanked Becky for the reception Friday night with the Las Vegas Unit Board. Jerry noted there were no Finance or Regional Tournament Committee meetings in Las Vegas because all their business was conducted before the tournament. Jerry reported that District 22 refused the proposal by District 17 that D22 pay D17 a minimum of $2,000.00 plus $100.00 a “lost” player. to compensate D17 for losses encountered for the Reno Regional scheduled during the Taos Regional. D22 offered to compensate D17 a maximum of $2,000.00.


Approval June 2017 Minutes

A motion was made to approve the June 2017 Tucson minutes. The motion was seconded and passed.


Secretary’s Report                                                                                                                           

Bonnie Bagley noted that notepads and free plays are available. She pointed out that only the current page of the Regional Table Count and Surplus/Loss report is in the folder – everyone should have the previous pages. John Grossmann noticed that in the previous 3 ½ years seventeen regionals have been down in table count with only four up. Steve Nordberg suggested the board look at reducing the regional to fewer days. Jerry noted that could be a consideration for the Las Vegas Regional.                                                                             


Treasurer’s Report

Jennifer O’Neill presented the treasurer’s report. She noted there was some overbooking of ad income in 2016, which reduced net income by $1,200.00 with the 2016 year-end balance being $117,364.11. Jennifer stated there is $80,000 in CDs and although budgeted income for regional is down, total assets as of June 10, 2017 are $125, 244-, up $7,480-  from December 31, 2016. A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the treasurer’s reports.


National Board

Bonnie Bagley stated the big news is that a new ACBL CEO has been hired, Bahar Gidwani, from Columbus, Ohio, currently living in New York City. Bahar has tremendous experience, credentials and education which will a plus for ACBL. The next BOD meeting will be at the Toronto NABC in July and there is a motion to dissolve Roswell, New Mexico, Unit 382. The 21 members will be reassigned to two adjacent units, Albuquerque Unit 374 and Carlsbad Unit 376. There will be an experimental Online NABC event, July 23 through July 26. It is an individual event played on Bridge Base Online with three robots.


Board of Governors

Robb Gordon reported that a BOG Forum has been established on Bridge Winners. Robb noted there was a lot of discussion of ACBL finances, which, although better than last year, that bar was low; there was also discussion of online bridge.


Western Conference

Bonnie Bagley noted there was a Western Conference Board meeting at the April San Diego Regional. John Grossmann attended as a proxy for Darwin Afdahl. John presented the Blue-Ribbon Committee report and the proposal from D17. These will be discussed under Old Business. Warren Cederborg, District 22, was elected WC President.


Executive Committee

Jerry Ranney reported the Executive Committee approved paying for the John Van Ness luncheon and also approved donating to the Alzheimer’s Association $1.00 per table played here at the Las Vegas Regional on June 21, The Longest Day, which was $456.00.


New Business

Las Vegas and Mesa Regionals

Jerry stated that the Las Vegas Unit Board voted not to hold a 2018 regional at Bally’s, this would be dependent upon getting out of the contract with Bally’s which has one more year (2018) on the contract. Jerry reported for Jim Horton that the San Marcos Hotel released the Mesa Unit from their 2018 contract since the players were very unhappy with the playing conditions. The Convention Center has increased their rental fee from $13,000- to $26,000-, which is unaffordable. Other locations have been investigated but none have proved to be adequate, therefore, the Mesa Unit can no longer hold the Roadrunner Senior Regional. Bonnie explained that all districts are granted four regionals and D17 has three ex quota regionals – the Arizona Senior Regional, the Las Vegas Regional, because table count is over 3,000 (but if the table count is below 3,000 three years in a row, that ex quota regional goes away) and the third because D17 membership is over 9,000. A discussion followed about possibilities of other locations for regionals. Tucson might be able to hold the Senior Regional in 2018 and Laughlin, Nevada was suggested as an attractive location. Becky Rogers and Robb Gordon will investigate. Becky mentioned that Ken Horwedel, a D17 director, who lives in Las Vegas is willing to help also.

George Vasilevsky, Las Vegas Unit President, joined the meeting and reiterated the Las Vegas Unit Board voted to not hold the Las Vegas Regional, but if Bally’s will negotiate with the Las Vegas Unit Board the decision could be revisited. Bally’s has not been willing to negotiate in the past. George related experiences with Bally’s indicating Bally’s lack of willingness to work with the Las Vegas Unit.


D17 Board Size

John Grossmann explained the rational of reducing the D17 Board size: declining regional tournament attendance (income shortfall), possibility of not holding as many regionals, cost saving (about $1,500.00 per board member) and business can still be done with a smaller board. John and his committee recommend reducing the current 14 D17 elected positions plus the District Director to 10 elected positions plus the District Director. Several options were presented and the pros and cons of all were discussed. Robb Gordon pointed out the new Bylaws allow for a reduction in the size of the board, but any reduction would take place the second January after the reduction was approved, which would be January 2019. Robb suggested that the seats being eliminated could be a one-year term, January 2018-January 2019 and then the position would be gone and the Bylaws adhered to. A motion was made to reduce the size of the D17 Board to 10 elected representatives plus one (the District Director). The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  A motion was made that the 10 elected D17 Board Members would represent the areas as follows:


            Mesa Unit 351                                                            - one representative

            Phoenix Unit 354                                                        - one representative

            Northern Arizona Unit 355 & Yuma Unit 358              - one representative

            Tucson Unit 356                                                         - one representative

             Denver Unit 361                                                         - one representative

            Las Vegas Unit 373                                                    - one representative



            Boulder Unit 359                                                        - two representatives

            Colorado Springs Unit 360                                         (Colorado/Wyoming)

            Northern Colorado Unit 363

            Colorado West Unit 364

            Pueblo Unit 367

            Cheyenne Unit 421

            Laramie Unit 422


            Albuquerque Unit 374                                                  - one representative

            Las Alamos Unit 381                                                  (Northern New Mexico)

            Santa Fe Unit 383


            El Paso Unit 159                                                         - one representative

            Carlsbad Unit 376                                                       (Southern New Mex/ El Paso)

            La Cruces Unit 380

            Alamogordo Unit 388



The motion was seconded and passed with one nay vote. Jerry Ranney appointed Robb Gordon, John Grossmann and Darwin Afdahl to formulate the number of years for the terms for the representatives up for reelection this year. This is to implement going to three-year terms and the reduced board size.


Old Business 

Western Conference

John Grossmann reported on the results of the work of the Blue-Ribbon Committee and the result of John’s presentation to the Western Conference Board at the meeting in April. (John’s report is attached.) Much discussion followed. John and Jim Horton, who also was on the committee recommended the D17 Board give the Western Conference notice that D17is withdrawing from the Western Conference. A motion was made that the District 17 Board provide immediate written notice to the Western Conference of D17’s intention to leave the WC at the earliest possible date. The motion was seconded.

After much discussion about the Western Conference, STaCs, the Contract Bridge Forum and D17’s current and future relationship, the question was called. John was commended for a job very well done.  


Gary Zeiger joined the meeting and stated that through Saturday morning the table count is 1,973, which is 219 down from 2016. He expects the final table count to be between 2,175 and 2,185 with no chance of reaching 2,200, but it is not as bad as he expected. There have been lots of problems but nothing worth reporting and no particular successes. He stressed that it is very important that if the locals want certain events in specific locations, they MUST notify the DIC well in advance. Jerry Ranney inquired how the Bracketed Teams were versus Knockouts. Gary said first Bracket Team game had 72 teams with 23 teams in the Knockout and the second Bracketed Teams had 67 teams with 7 teams in the Knockout. Gary stated a new knockout should never start that same say as a two-session bracketed team game, even the Palm Springs Regional with almost 4,000 tables does not schedule like that. Gary also noted that generally speaking it works to have Gold Rush Pairs with bracketed teams. Gary also stated the strats for Gold Rush Pairs should be 0-200/400/750.


Bridge Results

Jerry Ranney stated there was some misunderstanding about what Bridge Finesse/Fast Results provides. ACBL Live sends results to players. Bridge Finesse/Fast Results provides an online bulletin for $100.00 each tournament, which is emailed to all players and also includes a link to results. Felix explained she used Bridge Finesse/Fast Results for bulletins for the Albuquerque Regional and provided about 50 paper copies. Jerry said the Denver Regional used Bridge Results for results and had a paper bulletin. JoAnn noted the Phoenix Regional will just have an online bulletin with one paper copy available. It was agreed that each tournament make the decision about the Daily Bulletin.



Elections Darwin reported the following are up for reelection: Darwin Afdahl, Tucson; Rod Bias, Phoenix; Robb Gordon, Arizona at Large; Jeanne Gray, Colorado at Large; Art McHaffie, New Mexico at Large; Jerry Ranney, Denver and Becky Rogers, Las Vegas. Darwin noted the new Bylaws state that candidacy is by self-nomination and the Unit President and Election Secretary should be notified by October 10. Darwin feels it should be September 30 as had been. Robb Gordon and Darwin will present a Bylaw change for the Taos meeting. It was also noted that per the new Bylaws, 2018 D17 officers will be elected at the Taos meeting.


GNT Rod Southworth stated that to be consistent with ACBL two changes should be made in the 2017-2018 D17 GNT Conditions of Contest, which must be submitted to ACBL September 1. Rod made a motion that teams advancing to the National Finals must consist of at least two of the team members who participated in the D17 Finals. The motion was seconded and passed. Rod moved that the phrase in the REPLACEMENTS paragraph (page 7) item d) “must not appreciably strengthen the team” is redundant and should be removed. The motion was seconded. Rod explained that it is included in the previous paragraph (SUBSTITUTIONS).  Since these replacement rules are also required for Nationals, the inclusion places unnecessary restrictions on the winning teams being able to add players to compete at Nationals. The motion passed. Rod has suggested that there be pre-registration for the Championship Flight with the first session entry fees pre-paid. Robb Gordon questioned whether the Open Flight could be conducted online. A motion was made to require pre-registration for the Open Flight with the first session entry fees pre-paid. The motion was seconded and passed. Rod asked for input about the travel subsidy paid to the teams traveling to the D17 District Finals. He will start an email discussion and report the board at the Taos meeting. Rod’s report is attached.


NAP Jim Horton sent the 2017-2018 District 17 NAP Conditions of Contest for approval. Under General Information 2017 Philadelphia NABC needs to be changed to 2018 NABC Philadelphia. A motion was made to approve the 2017-2018 District 17 NAP Conditions of Contest as corrected. The motion was seconded and passed.                        


I/N/Education Rod Bias gave a very detailed report on School Bridge Programs, Annual Pro-Am Games,  Mentor Projects and I/N articles in the ScoreCard and posted on the D17 website.                                                                                                                                           


By-laws Robb stated he will have Darwin’s proposed Bylaw change ready for Taos and if anyone else has a change, please contact him, but remember notification must be sent 30 days prior to the meeting where the change is to be considered.


Charity/Goodwill Jerry Ranney reported for Jeanne Gray that she submitted the 2017 Goodwill Award nominees:

             Kay White, El Paso Unit 159                         by Steve Nordberg

             Guy Gundaker, Phoenix Unit 354                  by JoAnne Lowe

              Joy MacIlraith, Northern Arizona Unit 355   by Robb Gordon

              JoAnn Aiken, Tucson Unit 356                      by Darwin Afdahl

             Sally Ann Rhea, Boulder Unit 359                 by Jeanne Gray

             Daryl Dietrich, Colorado Springs Unit 360    by John Grossmann

             Margaret Devere, Denver Unit 361                by Jerry Ranney

             Margaret Brosnan, Albuquerque Unit 374     by Felicity Moore

             Mary Erickson, Albuquerque Unit 374           by Felicity Moore

             Jake Jacobson, Santa Fe Unit 383                  by Art McHaffie

             Clara Bunning, Cheyenne Unit 421                by Rod Southworth & Bonnie Bagley

             Dave Zwonitzer, Cheyenne Unit 421             by Rod Southworth & Bonnie Bagley


A motion was made to ratify the 2017 D17 Goodwill Ambassadors. The motion was made, seconded and passed. The report is attached.



Regional Tournaments Felix distributed copies of the proposed 2018 Albuquerque Regional schedule. She noted that there are only a few changes since the Albuquerque Regional has been very successful for many years, so the Albuquerque Unit Board decided to stick with was has worked. The changes are: a two session Bracketed Teams at 1:00 & 7:00 p.m. was added to Thursday and the BAM on Thursday was moved to Saturday, eliminating the compact Knockout. Per Gary Zeiger’s suggestion, a two session Gold Rush Pairs will be added on Thursday at 1:00 & 7:00 pm. and the strats for the Gold Rush Pairs will be changed to 0-2//400/750. A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the 2018 Albuquerque Regional schedule.



Finance Jerry Ranney reported for Art McHaffie that the Finance Committee approved the 2018 Albuquerque Regional budget which shows a surplus of $8,337.00. A motion was made to accept the Albuquerque Regional budget. The motion was seconded and passed. A motion was made, seconded and passed to offer Albuquerque the D17 RTP. The Finance Committee reviewed the 2017 Tucson Regional Statement, which showed a surplus of $19,581.30. Jerry Ranney mentioned that Jennifer O’Neill and the Finance Committee will be developing a new form for regional budgets to be used for all D17 regionals.



Tournament Coordination JoAnne noted the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 D17 Tournament Schedules are in the folders. Becky asked if Bally’s offered a date, other than the scheduled February 28- March 4 date, for the 2018 Las Vegas Regional, what is available. JoAnne stated that April 2-8 and June 18-24 and the two open D17 priority weeks. JoAnne may a plea that to the D17 Board that they ask their unit tournament coordinators to submit their sanction for 2019 and 2020 tournaments.



Tournament Supplies Jerry Ranney reported for Jeanne Gray that more bidding boxes have been updated, new inserts have been replaced in all the red bidding boxes.



Contract Review The contract for the 2019 Albuquerque Regional with the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid Hotel was submitted to the Contract Review Committee and suggested changed have been made. Jerry stated that currently the Contract Review Committee is a committee of one and Art McHaffie would appreciate another person on the committee.



Web Site Rod Southworth would like submissions which he can post on the web site.



Grants Steve Nordberg has received one grant from the Cheyenne Unit 421 for $500.00 for more Bridgemates. Due to their successful EasyBridge classes and successful follow up, the games are increasing in size and more Bridgemates are needed. Jerry Ranney noted he had a grant request to turn in and John Grossmann said the Northern Colorado, Colorado West and Pueblo units are likely to submit a grant request.

The grant requests will be addressed at the Taos Regional. The grant request program has a budget of $3,000.00.


ScoreCard, Unit Affiliations no reports


Completed Tournament Reports

Darwin reported the table count of the Tucson Regional was 1,515 and, as noted above, a surplus of $19,581.30 was realized, in large part because food was allowed to be brought into the hotel. The hotel has been sold and Steve Reynolds is looking for a new venue.

The Mesa Regional had 1,624 tables, down 197 tables and realized a surplus of $3,967.13.

JoAnne Lowe stated the April 28-30 NLM Regional held in conjunction with a sectional had 250 tables, 20 tables more than the 2016 October 21-23 Phoenix NLM Regional. Phoenix is going to hold a NLM Regional in April next year.

Jerry Ranney reported the Denver Regional had 1,722 tables, down 198 tables from 2016 and while the finances are not complete, it looks like there will be a surplus of $4,000.00-$5,000.00.

Jerry Ranney thanked Becky and the Las Vegas Unit for securing a two-bedroom suite where the board meeting was held. Jerry thanked Becky for her gracious hospitality providing drinks and snacks.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.


The next meeting will be 8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Taos, New Mexico at the


Taos Regional.


Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie L. Bagley




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