MINUTES OF THE DISTRICT 17 BOARD MEETING, OCTOBER 10, 2009 AT THE RUIDOSO CONVENTION CENTER, RUIDOSO, NM

(Subject To Board Approval at Next District 17 Board Meeting in Albuquerque, NM January 23, 2010)


President John Van Ness called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.

Present: Board members Bonnie Bagley, Evelyn Colson, Lesley Davis, Jerry Fleming, Diane Graese, Karin Griffin, Allen Johnson, Ralph Liguori, Gene McDougall, Carolyn Newcomb, Jerry Ranney, Marianne Spanier, Dale Sweetwood and John Van Ness.

Absent: Darryl Helton

Also attending a portion of the meeting were Kaye Kernodle, Tournament Chairman and Gary Zeiger.

President's Opening Remarks
John Van Ness welcomed the board members and thanked the Ruidoso unit members and especially Kaye Kernodle for a wonderful tournament. There is an addition to New Business - stratification of events by the average masterpoints of the players. .

Approval of 05/25/09 Minutes
A motion was made to approve the minutes of the May 25, 2009 meeting. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. .

Secretary's Report
Bonnie Bagley noted flyers advertising 2010 District 17 Regionals are available. There is an updated D-17 Board Member roster in the folders - Evelyn Colson's address has changed. New changes are the addition of Evelyn Colson's cell phone number 575-642-1922 and Gene McDougall's email address change ugenem@gmail.com. A roster with these changes will be emailed to the board members. .

Treasurer's Report
Carolyn Newcomb projected a net income for the year of $9,500. Carolyn presented the 2010 budget. A motion was made and seconded to approve the budget with the change of STaC income from $1,000 to $500 and the net income from $7,188 to $6,688. The motion passed unanimously. Carolyn presented the treasurer's report which shows a current balance of $143,003 and a projection of a $140,000 balance at year end. A motion was made seconded and passed unanimously to approve the treasurer's report. Carolyn noted Jerry Ranney did a review of the 2009 financials. Jerry Ranney stated he found everything to be in order. .

Current Regional (Ruidoso) Report
Kaye Kernodle, Tournament Chairman, joined the meeting. She thanked everyone for coming and expressed her appreciation. John Van Ness thanked Kaye and her volunteers for putting together a wonderful tournament. .

National Board Report
Jerry Fleming reported the directors' lawsuit against ACBL has been settled. The ramifications are not yet known and the question of paying for travel time remains.

Jerry stated the World Bridge Federation (WBF) Tournament will be in Philadelphia from October 1-16, which runs on top of the Tucson Regional which is October 4-10. This WBF Tournament is trans-national and an ACBL regional, awarding ACBL masterpoints, will be held concurrently.

National Board Members reelected include George Retek from District 1, who has been on the ACBL Board since 1979. Also reelected are Sharon Fairchild, D-5, Phillis Harlan, D-15, Don Mamula, D-19, Rand Pinsky, D-23 and Rich De Martino, next year's ACBL president, D-25. New board members are Bob Heller, D-7, who defeated incumbent Bruce Reeve, Suzi Subeck, D-13, replacing Harriette Buckman, who did not run for reelection and Claire Jones, D-18, replacing Richard Anderson, who also did not run for reelection. Bonnie Bagley, Colorado Springs and Frank Queen, Denver were reelected and George Hansas, Rocky Ford, Colorado was elected as D-17 Board of Governor's representatives. There were several units whose votes for the Board of Governor's election were not counted because a majority of the unit board members must vote for any votes to be counted; those units are El Paso, Yuma, Carlsbad, Clovis, Alamogordo and Laramie. 139 votes out of a possible 204 were cast.

The next ACBL Board Meeting will be in November at the Fall NABC in San Diego and there is still time for motions to be submitted. One subject that will be considered is increasing NAP flights to four to mirror the GNTs. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed that District 17 supports the addition of a fourth flight to the North American Pairs to mirror the flights of the GNTs. Another issue will be reducing the points awarded at club games for special games. A committee has been created to suggest changes in the relationship of ACBL with clubs, specifically dealing with player complaints about directors and club managers, payment of monies to ACBL and recognizing exceptional directors at clubs. In the past ACBL has bent over backwards to maintain a distance between ACBL and clubs, recognizing that many clubs are independent financial enterprises and ACBL cannot get into their business. However, it has been realized there is a need for ACBL to be more proactive where problems exist.

Jerry proudly announced his appointments to the ACBL Goodwill Committee: Kaye Kernodle of Ruidoso, Barbara Bunnell of Phoenix, Bill Michael of Colorado Springs and Robb Gordon of Sedona. His appointments to the ACBL Charity Committee are Chris and Judy McNaughton from Scottsdale. A last note, Jerry stated he attended an American Bridge Association tournament for the first time in August, found it to be a wonderful experience and urged anyone who has the opportunity to attend one of these tournaments not to hesitate to do so. .

Board of Governors Report
Bonnie Bagley reported the Board of Governors reviewed the actions of the Board of Directors and found nothing to be reconsidered. One Board of Governors member asked for a review of the Alert Procedures and was told this is in the process of being done. The next Board of Governor's meeting will be at the San Diego NABC in November. .

Western Conference Report
John Van Ness stated the annual meeting of the Western Conference will be in January at the Monterey Regional. The Western Conference continues to do quite well financially due to the revenue from the three Western Conference StaC games. The StaC income is now more than the sanction fees received from any one of the three districts in the Western Conference. The 2009 StaC table count is up 12% over 2008. The FORUM is the only district publication in ACBL mailed monthly to all members. The constant promotion of Western Conference tournaments results in table counts substantially above the ACBL average. .

Executive Committee Report
John noted the Executive Committee approved the 2010 Denver schedule upon recommendation of the Regional Tournament Committee. Jerry Newcomb, tournament chairman of the Denver Regional, wanted to have the flyers available here at Ruidoso. The Executive Committee also approved the 2010 GNT conditions of contest. .

New Business
John Van Ness asked Jerry Fleming to tell us some of his experiences as ACBL President going to tournaments. Jerry said that by the end of the year he will have attended 23 regionals plus the 3 NABCs and the WBF tournament in Brazil and a sectional here and there. He noted the gamut is run as far as facilities are concerned. He went to several Canadian regionals which are very tough, not a lot of pros attending but all the very fine Canadian players. Penticton is one of the most beautiful places in North America. The Lake Geneva, Wisconsin regional is held in a former Playboy Club. Gatlinburg, Tennessee the largest regional in ACBL was quite an experience. Gatlinburg is part of the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which host hospitality suites for all players. The Omaha Regional does not have a hospitality suite but offers a free lunch every day and also Bill Gates and Warren Buffett usually attend. The Naples, Florida Regional has an abundance of orange juice freely flowing and a free dinner for the players one night. Jerry also noted that one area where District 17 excels is in scheduling; the attendance at D-17 regionals reflects the attention to the schedule, due in large part to John Van Ness. .John Van Ness thanked Jerry for his observations and noted that District 17 is number two in regional attendance - District 7 which has the Gatlinburg Regional is number one. .

Charity Selection
Karin Griffin, Charity Chairman, presented a synopsis of each of the 19 charities applying for the ACBL charity money allotted to District 17. Five charities will be selected to receive $4,000 each. The charities selected are: Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, submitted by the Grand Junction Unit, La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter, submitted by the Mesa Unit, Self Help, Inc, submitted by the Los Alamos Unit, Wyoming Air National Guard Family Program, Children's Holiday Party and Breakfast with Santa, submitted by the Cheyenne Unit and Hospice of the Valley, submitted by the Phoenix Unit. .

2010 Board Meetings
John Van Ness suggested the 2010 board meetings be held in Albuquerque in January, Las Vegas in June and Tucson in October. There was no objection. .

Stratification by Average Masterpoints
Gary Zeiger joined the meeting and reported for Tom Whitesides, Director in Charge, that as of Friday night the table count was 985.5 compared to 1,132.5 in 2005, 147 tables, 13% down. Neither Gary nor Tom feel this is bad, the 2005 table count was fantastic, this years table count is good.

Gary reported the National Board has expanded the ability to stratify events by average masterpoints. The only glitch is in a strati-flighted event where, for example, B/C/D is up to 2,000 masterpoints, a player with over 2,000 masterpoints must play in A/X. Gary will start stratifying all events by average in all District 17 regionals beginning with Albuquerque in January. A motion was made that all District 17 Regionals stratify events by the average of masterpoints. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. .

BridgeMate Update
Gary Zeiger said there is no question electronic scoring is coming and will be used. The question is when will the technology be ready for 'primetime.' They are clearly club ready and small sectional ready. For the BridgeMates or Bridge Pads to be ready for primetime, they should be just as efficient as ACBL Score, a glitch should be able to be fixed in one minute. Currently glitches take ten minutes to fix. John Van Ness asked about saving director's costs by using electronic scoring. Gary said that will not happen for several years and there will be no staffing changes in the foreseeable future. John Van Ness stated the current district policy is not to get financially involved. Jerry Fleming noted that if a unit wished to use them, they may do so. Gary requests that the Director in Charge be notified in advance. .

Completed Tournament Reports
Denver Carolyn Newcomb stated Denver had another successful tournament with 2,073.5 tables and a surplus of $9,994.

Las Vegas Diane Graese reported the table count of 3,488.5 was slightly down and a surplus of $4,393 was realized, due in part to Tom Shulman not taking the tournament manager's fee.

Phoenix Lesley Davis noted Phoenix had a wonderful tournament - the Pro-Am game was very successful, the table count of 1590 was the highest since the 90s and a profit of $12,300 was realized. .

Future Tournaments
Five Year Schedule Bonnie Bagley reported the 2011 regionals are Albuquerque, Tucson I/N, Mesa, Denver, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and Phoenix. There will be a vacancy in August 2012 if Ruidoso does not have a tournament. John Van Ness has talked with Kaye Kernodle and she said the unit members are not able to have another regional. One possibility is that Colorado Springs and Tucson rotate every other year in August. This will be on the January agenda. There will be a vacancy in October 2013 because Phoenix will be hosting the Fall NABC and will unable to have a regional that year since Phoenix cannot have a regional in October followed by a national in November. There is a District 17 policy that a unit may not have a regional in a year an NABC is held in that city. Las Vegas is a permanent site regional, which makes it the only exception. Las Cruces is looking into the possibility of being able to have a regional then. For 2014 Las Vegas proposed switching dates with Albuquerque. There has been no response from Albuquerque Unit about the proposed change. Karin Griffin said she would notify John Van Ness Sunday, October 18.

Albuquerque (January 18-24, 2010) Karin Griffin said everything is all set.

Tucson I/N (February 25-28, 2010) Gene McDougall reported plans are underway in a new location, the Desert Diamond Casino.

Mesa (April 5-11, 2010) Dale Sweetwood said all is fine.

Denver (May 25-31, 2010) The Denver schedule was approved by the Executive Committee. The budget was submitted and approved by the Finance Committee. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to approve the budget and offer the Baldwin Plan to Denver.

LasVegas (June 7-13, 2010) Diane Graese noted Las Vegas is suffering because the negotiated room rates are 2 - 2� times what players can find on the internet. Las Vegas sectionals are being cut from 7 days to 5 days, eliminating the weekends because the room rates escalate Friday & Saturdays nights. Hospitality money was used to offer free entries for the evening sessions, which was very popular. The budget for the regional was approved by the Finance Committee and a motion was made and seconded to approve the budget. The motion passed unanimously. A survey was done after the 2009 Las Vegas Regional as to why people played in the 10 am & 3 pm games - the majority of people played at that time because they liked the times, not because it was a Senior Event. The submitted schedule has the two session Open Pairs moving from 1 pm & 7 pm and eliminating Senior Pairs. There was a discussion of eliminating the 1pm & 7pm Open Pairs games. The Regional Tournament Committee did not have a consensus to approve the submitted schedule. A motion was made and seconded to approve the submitted schedule, the motion passed. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to offer Las Vegas the Baldwin Plan.

Phoenix (August 9-15, 2010) Lesley stated the tournament will be at the DoubleTree in Scottsdale. The submitted schedule eliminated Choice Pairs and added Senior Pairs Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10 am & 3 pm and Open Pairs at 10 am & 3 pm on Thursday. The Regional Tournament Committee recommended approval of the submitted schedule. The Finance Committee approved the budget. A motion was made and seconded to approve the schedule and budget and offer Phoenix the Baldwin Plan. The motion passed unanimously.

Tucson (October 4-10, 2010) Gene McDougall said the tournament will be held at the Holiday Inn PaloVerde, but Barry Abrahams is looking at other locations for future tournaments.

Committee Reports
Elections Karin Griffin reported the incumbents are Bonnie Bagley, Colorado at Large, Jerry Ranney, Denver, Gene McDougall, Tucson, Evelyn Colson, New Mexico at Large and Ralph Liguori, El Paso are running unopposed. Diane Graese, Las Vegas is not running for reelection; Barbara Dunkley is running unopposed.

GNT Jerry Ranney stated the District 17 GNT Conditions of Contest were approved by the Executive Committee. Jerry has the sanctions required for the district finals which will be held in June at the Las Vegas Regional.

NAP Dale Sweetwood reported the North American Pairs Flight B was held Friday. There were 15 tables 3 � less then in 2009. Dawne Parker and Robert Knowles of Albuquerque were the first place winners. Molly Hosford and Dan McGuire of Las Vegas were second and Nancy Ruiz and Bob Walsh of Santa Fe were third. When the players left the playing area Molly & Dan were in first place and Dawne & Robert were in second. Molly & Dan found a scoring error NOT in their favor and reported this to the director, which resulted in them moving to second place. This cost Molly & Dan $400 each and 4 gold points, but they retained their integrity and honesty. They embody the best we all seek in our bridge as well as our lives. The Flight A & C finals will be held today.

I/N Evelyn Colson reported she is disappointed in the turnout from Texas players. She mailed 419 postcards to I/N players and 400 postcards to regular players. She contacted Texas units and gave them hotel information. Evelyn will send postcards for the Albuquerque Regional in November.

By-laws No report .

Charity Reported above.

Regional Tournaments Reported above

Scorecard No Report .

Tournaments Coordination Marianne Spanier stated Jerry Fleming will have the Tournament Schedule listing for the year 2010, 2011 and 2012 at the Albuquerque meeting. Carolyn requested Jerry email it to the board members.

Finance Jerry Fleming reported the Finance Committee met yesterday morning. The Finance Committee members have access to the Wells Fargo accounts web page and can check on the status of the accounts. Jerry reiterated that Jerry Ranney conducted a review of the D-17 finances and found all to be in order. Carolyn Newcomb stated IRS forms have been filed; we had an extension to August 15. Jerry Fleming said there was discussion about the amount of money needed in the treasury. There was no consensus as to what amount would be excessive. Suggestions are welcome as to what more could be done to benefit our players.

Baldwin Plan No report.

Education Ralph Liguori said there is a group of aspiring players in El Paso interested in classes and wondered what financial help might be available. Jerry Fleming mentioned the Cooperative Advertising Program is one of the best things offered by ACBL. Information on that program and others can be found on the ACBL web site.

Unit Affiliations No report.

Appeals No Report.

Contract Review Allen Johnson and John Van Ness agreed that when the contracts are sent to them, please make sure all the blanks are filled in and the final contract should be reviewed, not the preliminary one.

John Van Ness stated the Executive Committee approved to pay for one ad in the D-16 newspaper at the cost of $175. The ad was run two times. A motion and was made to pay for the second ad. The motion passed with one opposition.

There being no further business a motion was made, seconded and carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 11:53 am. The next meeting will be January 23, 2010 at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie L. Bagley



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