It is an honor to be your new District Director. I am very appreciative of the support I received from you, the members of District 17. I will endeavor to represent you as ably as my predecessor, Jerry Fleming, and my mentor and good friend, Bob Wingeard, who preceded Jerry.

It was my privilege to attend the ACBL Board of Directors meeting at the Orlando NABC. A District Director elect is invited to attend as an observer. The ACBL Board of Directors meet the week before each National, a jam packed five days of meetings and more meetings, where much is accomplished. I will be allowed, and expected, to contribute at the next meeting, in Louisville in March.

Craig Robinson, from District 4 - Central New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey - was elected 2011 ACBL president. The ACBL president usually visits regionals outside of his district. Craig is taking a different path, he plans to visit 100 clubs in 100 days. This will be quite a feat. Information will be sent to clubs on how to request a visit.

Bill Cook, from District 10 - the Mid-South - was elected ACBL treasurer and Larry Cohen of Florida was named the 2011 Honorary Member of the Year, an award given to a person who is widely known to the membership of the ACBL and who has freely given of his time and ability, without thought of reward, in the interest and for the welfare of the League as a whole. Larry was honored at the Goodwill Reception.

There are two other new board members. Merlin Vilhauer, District 20 - Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada (not including Las Vegas), and Hawaii - replacing Jeffrey Taylor, who served two terms (six years) and Margot Hennings, District 6 - Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Margot is replacing Nadine Wood, who served six terms (18 years), and is legendary for her contributions as a valued board member.

The bad news for tournaments is a 4% increase in tournament director session fees effective April 1, 2011. The good news is that there are no other increases - dues and sanction fees remain the same.

Another item of interest is slow play. A motion was passed reiterating that slow play, especially habitual slow play, is a violation of law and subject to penalty. The motion states there is a strong expectation that directors will penalize slow play. An appeal of an action taken by a TD with regard to time may be taken to the Director in Charge of the tournament, but no further.

The board passed two motions that had been previously been hot issues which required intense study: (1) Regionals and sectionals at sea will be monitored and controlled by the ACBL. (2) The Technology Committee reported that our own Kitty Cooper will be spearheading the redesign of the ACBL homepage, specifically aiming for easier navigation and a fresh look. Another item of great interest is the replacement of ACBL Score, which is moving quickly, and will be completed well before the end of 2011.

Future NABCs were announced for Spring 2015, New Orleans, Summer 2015, Chicago, Summer 2016, Washington, D.C., and Fall 2018, San Francisco.

The complete board minutes may be found on the ACBL web site. I am in the process of building a web site which will post the minutes and other pertinent information. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your cares and concerns at (719) 593-0205 or

I hope your holidays were filled with blessings and good cheer. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year with lots of luck (combined with skill) at the bridge table. Happy Bridging!

[Bonnie has asked us to solicit the membership of D17 for a more alliterative and catchy name for this column. Please send submissions to her or to us. Eds.]

I hope your holidays were filled with blessings and good cheer. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year with lots of luck (combined with skill) at the bridge table. Happy Bridging!

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