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All comments by Jack Feagin
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I agree with a ban for life on this TYPE of cheating but if that is not our rule certainly a long time ban before they can be readmitted. The fact that most of the Board just approved this very serious decision without knowing all the facts points once again to the fact that our governance structure is very BROKEN.

If they are going to let them back in the Committee or BOD deciding upon a gut feeling the amount of a fine to go towards a fund to improve our systems of catching future cheaters that might be a good idea.

Having a complicated system to determine a disgorgement amount would be a nightmare. We have enough trouble determining the masterpoint awards. lol
Dec. 12
Jack Feagin edited this comment Dec. 12
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Yes that is possible and Atlanta wants to help by doing them on a regular basis but 3 in 10 years was more than any city wants. Despite high entry fees they don't give enough money to put on a good tournament and if you hire people entry fees will go up more. Don't be surprised if the Atlanta Unit has something to say about 2023 especially on the times of major events


However, I also think there are many good locations and we have a good piece of business to offer to certain places at certain times
Dec. 9
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You should understand that the Atlanta and District 7 raise money each time and the volunteers put in several years of work. Once every seven years is enough for most places.
Dec. 9
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I was twice President but way before this but if he tells you differently I want to hear about it.
Dec. 9
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This is more information that you want but is the only way of explaining how things worked in Atlanta and perhaps elsewhere.

This is want I know on this one.

In the 2013 event Wendy was doing her first NABC and we got into some disputes. The first day of the set up she had put the partnership desk in the middle of the ballroom instead of our 15,000 square feet of foyer space and a few other odd decisions. I took a strong stand and it was changed. So shortly after the 2013 NABC our District Director called our Unit President and asked if the Unit had people who could run another NABC besides me and the Unit President rightfully thought that could be done.

He was told that the deal was that they wanted to come to Atlanta in 2018 because they could not make a deal for Nashville because of high hotel rates there. Neither the District Board or Unit Board voted on this deal but the Unit and District President were told and perhaps gave their blessing. I didn't like the lack of approval by the local or District Board but time pressure may have caused it. I was told much later that the deal was struck as follows.

3 main points

1. I would not be the Chair (even after having done 4 NABC successfully under budget) because I was “too difficult to deal with”. I agree I can be difficult when I believe you are doing something wrong.

2. The times for NABC events would not be at 10 and 3 again because the ACBL BOD did not like it and it interfered with their work at the tournament.


3. The Atlanta Marriott was willing and desiring to take the 2018 Summer and the 2023 Fall NABC as a package.


Locals are beginning to realize that having one in 2018 and 2023 is a great burden. Especially when we are having 3 in 10 years. Easy to see why many thinking there are problems in this in house department of the ACBL.
Dec. 9
Jack Feagin edited this comment Dec. 9
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I disagree about the BOD just approving proposals for the District. The recent Atlanta NABC and 2023 Atlanta Fall NaBC were all done in 2013 and the whole plan came down because the ACBL was having trouble finding a site for 2018. A package deal was created whereby Atlanta was stuck with 3 NABC in 10 years. 2013, 2018 and 2023. A great burden for local volunteers. Having to do this should have been a warning site that a failure was occurring in making deals. Doing it house and promoting within has been a bad approach that maybe continuing.


Hawaii was not a package deal and that is not a requirement. We are just in desperate need of help on these contracts and the BOD did fail in its responsibility of overseeing this major part of our organizations' business of running championship tournaments.
Dec. 9
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The oversized board have been a factor is this problem. Another reason for quick action in reducing the size of the BOARD.
Dec. 5
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Our BOD has never had a real understanding of what is management business and what is the business of the BOD. There is help out there on this issue for non profits.

I recently have been urging again that the ACBL to consider in getting some professional assistance with knowledge about contracts for major conventions which change cities every year.

I was told by Jay Whipple that it was the opinion of the BOD that this was a management matter. I responded that whether it was done by an in-house employee or a true professional was a BOD decision then management would chose the person or identity to use to carry out the BOD policy.
Dec. 4
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Thank you kevin Lane and Mark Leonard for this posting.


Things are worse than I could ever imagine. Now I understand why when I asked questions about the NABCs contracts I never really got meaningful answers. When the COI was investigating many things in the 1990s that were wrong we consider a lawsuit to force change because of the breaches of fiduciary duties. However, we settled for promises that were not kept. We must get the Board set up to change. No doubt a lawsuit would get some immediate change on how the Directors view their fiduciary responsibility. These NABC contracts are a huge part of the ACBL and they are being mishandled. Certainly the BOD is failing in its obligation to oversee a major problem facing the organization.
Dec. 4
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I am not really meaning to be critical of anyone. However, as to hotel contracts for these huge events it would be a plus to bring in some professional help. I guess I feel very strong on this point because I do know a good bit about it. I have been doing hotel contracts for bridge tournament in Atlanta for almost 40 years and in the past other cities in District 7. However, I am in no way trying to be involved except urging that we use help from professionals for the contracts for the NABCs.
Nov. 30
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What was Wendy's hotel experience ? I know that when she started 6 years ago she did not have the right background to start. Having worked at Holiday Inn is a plus but it depends on what level you worked for them. All the people you mentioned I liked but now is the time to get some professional help who can negotiate on an even level with these major venues. I just don't thing promoting from within is the right approach on the making of the contracts for these major events. The other parts of the job that might work out.

There are three main parts of the job the way it is now. One part requires extensive experience with negotiating multi million contracts and knowing the hotel business and knowing the national hotel market on a high level. You don't get that working in another department of the ACBL. The current contracts have so many problems that could have been avoided. Get a copy of the contracts and I can point out many of the mistakes but better yet show them to a true professional in this field.

Another part is more like a tournament chairman and then estimating the income and expenses and perhaps overtime this can be learned in house but it won't be easy. We should not be losing money on these events. If we are losing we made the wrong deal.

The final part of the job is setting up the venue with tables, trash cans, concessions etc etc and making sure the BOD has it's needs met and planning the staff etc. That can be done in house and most of it is already on paper.
Nov. 30
Jack Feagin edited this comment Nov. 30
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Having a small NABC is not the worst thing in the world but not having the right people to properly plan for it is fatal. Promoting people from other departments into these planning positions is dumb and leading to terrible financial results. A 6,000 table tournament can be very profitable with proper planning.
Nov. 30
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The minutes seem to indicate the BOD was knee deep in masterpoint decisions and very little else on our problems except raising NABC fees.
Nov. 26
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Steve what will be the hotel rates?
Nov. 13
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Just due to the amount of space we must book you must book further out than 2 years but maybe not 7 years like our current plan. An advisory committee to review the proposals could be beneficial.
Nov. 12
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Big factors in any deal

1. how many sleeping rooms will you book and what will be the room rate.
2 how much meeting space do you need and for how long.
3. how much will you guarantee in F&B
4. what do you want in return for your business?
5. what are market conditions for the city you want for your meeting?
Nov. 12
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Yes they screwed up Hawaii and maybe Memphis (I hope at some point the bridge public will know the whole story so we learned from it) but let us fix the problems by fixing our future deals
rather than overreacting and jumping off the bridge.


These proposed fixes will surely decreased attendance at NABCs. Not the right approach.
Nov. 12
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It's true it is a good piece of business but do understand that we use a tremendous amount of space. Small tournament maybe 65,000 to up to 100,000 square feet.

Back in the days of the COI I got my hands on our standard proposal or the first letter we would send to the hotel and it was very clear then our highest priority was how the BOD and VIP would be taken care of in the deal. That should come up after the major items of room rate, space and F&B requirements and discounts are all worked out in the deal.

For sure we need the right people making the deals and the deals should be carefully reviewed by people with knowledge.
Nov. 12
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I hope I am wrong as well and I plan to make part of it. But there are people who are very concern about Memphis
Nov. 11
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I have no details except that more than one person close to these matters have implied it will be another loss and from the conversations my best guess is that there are more potential penalty provisions perhaps for not meeting our guarantees on our room block.

Remember our organization is based upon the belief that it's better for the members to be kept in the dark and most matters are kept secret. Often on certain matters the BOD members are given instructions on what they can say and this maybe one for now.


Until recently the whole ACBL yearly plan was to make a $ 500,000 profit on each NABC. Now we are wondering about how big a loss we will take. This is a matter of poor planning and poor contracts and poor OVERSEEING of our events not bad luck.
Nov. 11
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