Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Albuquerque, NM

The Western Conference Board of Directors meeting was called to order by President Jerry Fleming at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at the Marriott Pyramid North Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Roll Call: The following representatives were present: John Van Ness, Jerry Fleming, Roger Smith, Marion Robertson, Jim Kirkham and Gayle Andrews. Secretary-Treasurer Tom Shulman was present via telephone. Ken Monzingo was also in attendance. Guest Bonnie Bagley was also present for part of the meeting.

Minutes: On motion made and seconded, it was

*MOVED: That the Minutes of the December 14, 2006 meeting of the board in Rancho Mirage, CA were approved as read. MOTION CARRIED.
Treasurer's Report: The Treasurer's report, sent via email, was reviewed, with Tom Shulman present via telephone. (See Tom Shulman's "Summary" for fiscal 2007 which is attached.) It was agreed that the Western Conference is "doing great." financially. For fiscal 2007, the WC net profit was $18,644 which was $27,088 better than the prior year. The 2007 STAC table count was almost identical to 2006. Increased expenses included $12,000 for postage and mailing The Contract Bridge Forum and approximately $8,000 for printing portions of The Forum in color. Ken Monzingo noted that color has been cut from originally 2/3 to 1/3 of District pages, and he is charging $150 extra for color ads.
On Motion made and seconded, it was *MOVED: That the Treasurer's Report is approved as read. MOTION CARRIED.
Contract Bridge Forum: Ken Monzingo explained the various cost differences in publishing The Forum including the costs to the districts. Costs vary depending upon how many pages are included in The Forum (usually 12 pages at approximately $100/page, but 16 pages in February). District 22, for example, included 6 pages with a greater number of ads (8) plus Unit Scopes; District 21 included only 5 pages with Unit Scopes, and District 17 included only 4 pages with no Unit Scopes. Ken has recently changed publishers, and printing costs have declined. The year saw increased expense for promotional flyers for Regionals and STACs. Ken is switching districts having colored ads among the WC member districts.

Discussion followed regarding the need for advance payment for unknown advertisers (see the "Dude Ranch" ad in the February 2008 Forum). Ken sends copies of his bills to Tom Shulman, and Tom tells him if no payment is made. No payment has been made on the Dude Ranch advertisement.

Las Vegas NABC: Ken introduced Guest Bonnie Bagley as "second in charge" of the upcoming Las Vegas Nationals. Ken Monzingo is the chairman. Bonnie displayed the Travel Bag registration gift including an Ethel M (with headquarters in Las Vegas) chocolate bar. Section top winners will receive a glass with a chocolate bar. For the San Diego NABC in 2009, Bonnie displayed the registration gift bag with convention card holders; section top winners in San Diego will receive a set of 4 glass drink coasters.

The board went into Executive Session to discuss Ken Monzingo's salary: Ken is currently paid $82,196 with his $5,000 bonus awarded in 2006 paid in January, 2007. From this amount, Ken pays his staff $20 (Lettie and Sergio) per hour.

On Motion made and seconded, it was *MOVED: That Ken Monzingo be given a raise of $450 per month, which would increase his current $6,750 per month salary to $7,200, or $86,400 annually. MOTION CARRIED.
Regional Tournaments: The Regional Tournament list was distributed (and a copy is attached). We were reminded that Regional tournaments need to be sanctioned at least three years before to the event in order to preserve priority weeks.

STACs: Table fees are currently $6.00 for member district players and $7.00 for non- member players. The December 2007 STAC should gross $47,000, and ACBL will invoice us for $25,000. Under the new ACBL board-approved proposal , ACBL sanction fees will increase from $3.50 to $4.50 per table, based on the number of tables, but costs will be "all-inclusive" (including directors' fees, etc.). The Western Conference should net $2.50 per table.

Discussion followed on how we are advertising our STACs to outside districts (Districts 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, and 23). At the suggestion of Gayle Andrews, we will ask ACBL to "blast email" news of WC STACs to these districts. Gayle also suggested that we allow any club participating in the August Swiss STAC games to have pair games instead. It was also suggested that we give a supply of STAC-week flyers to directors in the outside districts for distribution at their tournaments.

On Motion made and seconded, it was:

*MOVED: That the August STAC may be changed from Swiss teams to pairs games, at the discretion of clubs, with silver points awarded at clubs, but with no overall awards. MOTION CARRIED

On Motion made and seconded it was:

*MOVED: That the August STAC be re-named the "Summer Fun STAC." MOTION CARRIED.

Adventures in Bridge: Discussion followed on the Adventures in Bridge club's sanctioning of four bridge sessions held on May 8, May 9, May 10 and May 12, 2007 as Great Western (Western Conference) STAC games, promoting them as such, and using the Great Western STAC hand records. Adventures in Bridge is refusing to remit the appropriate sanction fees ($312.00) to the Western Conference, claiming it was a Charity game.
On Motion made and seconded, it was

: *MOVED: That the Western Conference President resubmit the $312.00 invoice to Wirt Giulliam of Adventures in Bridge for payment with the proviso that, until payment is made, Adventures in Bridge will be barred from participation in any future Great Western STAC game sponsored by Western Conference. MOTION CARRIED.


STAC Profit Distributions: Following discussion, on motion made and seconded, it was
*MOVED: That the policy change made in 2007 to suspend the May STAC profit distribution to districts for one year and to instead pay member districts $500 for one year be continued for another year, to be revisited at the next WC meeting. MOTION CARRIED.
December, 2007 STAC Reconciliation: Last Fall, Jerry Fleming volunteered to take responsibility for collecting the December 2007 STAC fees. He has received hundreds of checks with no paper work to account for numbers of tables in play, and often no way to recognize the name of the participating club. He has devoted at least 150 hours to date to this project, and it is not yet complete. His conclusion is that the WC needs a STAC administrator and very specific instructions for club owners and directors on how to account for tables in play and calculate fees.
On Motion made and seconded, it was:

*MOVED: That Jerry Fleming is authorized to get estimates to find a STAC administrator to get the job of reconciliation done correctly. MOTION CARRIED.

On Motion made and seconded, it was:

*MOVED: That Jerry Fleming be paid a "token" $2,000 for the work already done to resolve the STAC payment reconciliation process. MOTION CARRIED.

Discussion followed on the WC's ability to limit "special" games (e.g., junior fund, charity, ed fund) during STAC weeks to our member districts. Jerry Fleming was authorized to check with ACBL about our ability to do this.

Election of Officers: Jerry Fleming was nominated to run for a second term as president. There being no further nomination, Fleming was elected. Tom Shulman was nominated to run for another term as Secretary/Treasurer. There being no further nominations, Shulman was elected.

Next Meeting The next meeting will be held in Palm Springs at the Regional slated for December 15-21, 2008.

No Rate Changes: Upon motion made and seconded, it was:

*MOVED: That there be no sanction fee increase for 2008. MOTION CARRIED.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at Noon.

Marion Robertson
Acting Secretary

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