Join Bridge Winners
My Turn to Speak

My sudden dismissal as ACBL CEO in April 2018 generated a lot of speculation. I could not respond to questions or dispute ACBL’s account of my termination, because of constraints in my employment agreement. Instead, I initiated an arbitration process that has now come to conclusion. In line with my view that ACBL’s actions should be shared transparently with the bridge community, I asked to be allowed to share the arbitrator’s decision. (You can find it here.)

I was told that the Board hired me because it needed someone who would bring change to ACBL. They were looking for new ideas, energy, knowledge of technology, and marketing expertise. I am proud of what the ACBL staff and I accomplished during my ten month tenure. We worked on more than 100 projects and completed more than 60 of them. I worked seven days per week, often from six in the morning until midnight. I sent more than 10,000 emails to ACBL staff, members, club managers, teaches, unit and district officials, the Board of Governors, and ACBL’s Board members. (I received at least as many messages in return.) I tried to consult the Board before I took action on an area where they had authority and to form policies that fit their views.

Many of you know how much I love bridge. I’ve played since I was 8 and have been an ACBL member for more than 40 years. Those who share my love for our game understand how much I wanted to encourage new people to enjoy bridge, join ACBL, and become friends and competitors for those of us who already play. I regret that I was unable to effect the changes that I and many others felt that ACBL needed. I would like to thank the many people in bridge who supported me during my tenure and after my dismissal.

If ACBL wants to promote bridge and provide leadership for our sport, I believe it must stop focusing on elite tournament players and high-ranking Board and District-level officials. It should instead focus on the needs and interests of ordinary players, the teachers who instill them with knowledge about our game, and the thousands of bridge clubs that ACBL members visit each week. Without this change, bridge will never attract the new players and respect that it deserves.

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