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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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Any “similar motion” dealing with number of Directors and not with Board composition and method of electing/selecting its members will be no better than the motions that have failed every attempt in recent years, Gordon.
Nov. 29, 2019
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Peg,

Very close. That game was dying; my predecessor was a caretaker who was so eager to get rid of that game that he gave me a 32-board set of old aluminum boards and volunteered to stay on and work with me for a few weeks while I “got my feet wet.” Besides co-directing, this included bringing refreshments the first week, making boards and bringing hand records for the first several weeks, and walking me through submitting monthly reports to ACBL (after weeks 2 and 7). After that, I was on my own.

Jeff,

I didn't announce I was directing! Later in that first week I told some friends that I was now directing that game; next week attendance was 8 pairs; and by year's end 16 pairs played.

Next year, I was asked to serve on the Unit Board because I had “turned around the club.”
Nov. 29, 2019
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Not exactly, Ed. I just want to contrast ACBL's largest “bricks-and-mortar” club's future outlook/planning with the future outlook of what Jeff describes as "A huge number of clubs are about to go under. … way too many clubs are run by, and populated with, players who will not be able to carry on much longer. Without a viable plan in place for how to make our ecosystem function properly, there will no no one wanting to take their place. Nor will there be a need."

I myself got started when Directors got fed up with running a dying club and gave it to me, almost seven years ago. The first game I directed there had only four pairs playing.
Nov. 29, 2019
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Richard,

We can make significant progress in preparing for a post-ACBL world of competitive Contract Bridge in North America with zero financial resources and without inflicting structural damage on ACBL. These preparations will also be valuable within a significantly-restructured ACBL with all of the useful features, structures, and functions that the not-yet-thinking-schism reformers want.

The time may come when we must oppose an organization with a Board of Directors that refuses to do the right thing in the face of imminent demise. When it does, we will have many allies willing to step out with us, and access to significant income (more than enough to meet our financial needs at that time) – or we will fail. In either case, we have no need to inflict structural damage on ACBL.

ACBL's current structure is what makes it incapable of facing the future and this structure is what is currently leading it to its demise.

We don't need financial resources now; we need the structure to establish the money supply up to the valve. We turn on the money supply when we step out to replace ACBL, not before then.
Nov. 29, 2019
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Mr Lane, sir, I read above "despite my skepticism of the re-org proposal's ultimate effectiveness I would be inclined to support it if it cleared the air to focus on the critical problems facing the ACBL."

Thanks to you and nine other, the most recent re-org motion failed. Yet another task force has been announced. Apparently the air is not cleared. Are you willing to explain to us, here on Bridge Winners, your part in leaving ACBL and its Board of Directors in our present condition for at least four more months?
Nov. 29, 2019
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Speaking of which, Jeff, what's your succession plan for Honors/Cavendish/Aces? You state
"There are seventy professional players in the NYC area. Most intend on devoting their lives to the game. Many are under 45 with long lives ahead of them. Many are wonderful teachers. None want anything to do with opening a bridge club"
When you step back from your role at your clubs, will the clubs remain in good hands? Are any who are in positions to step in/up when you step back capable and prepared to carry on successfully?
Nov. 29, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 29, 2019
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Hi Richard,

In another time, I used to be a Chess player. I learned that a threat can be much more powerful than actually carrying it out.

Now you tell everyone "I agree that schism is probably a reasonable option at this point in time“ – and astute observers (perhaps including ACBL BoD members) may see the threat is increased.

At this point, ”schism“ is just a word. How do we turn it into a real threat designed to force ACBL's Board of Directors to take note and make appropriate progress to place ACBL in a position to effectively provide a solid and sustainable future for competitive Contract Bridge in North America?

1: We draw up a plan for a step-by-step implementation of the successor organization.

2: We take the first step or two, not directly opposing ACBL, and show that reform-minded and forward-looking people and groups are capable of organizing and taking action to protect the future of competitive Contract Bridge in North America, with or without ACBL's current governing structure.

3: With each step, we look for constructive action by ACBL and especially its BoD – we have seen, as has the BoD, that ”Formed another Task Force“ is nothing but rearranging deck chairs – each of them knows this, even if they will not admit it in public.

Now, ”Identified and hired the experts to make the demographic/financial study that gives us a realistic view of where we stand and what we can expect and need to plan for in the next few years“
sounds much better but is not in itself the real progress we need. It is, however, a necessary first step … but time and again ACBL's BoD has taken such ”necessary steps" and then quit/turned away.

Within a few months, the experts will return with their data-based recommendations. Faced with the actions necessary as the next step, ACBL's BoD has consistently failed.

ACBL needs a Board of Directors that has enough members with the courage and foresight to admit that they themselves are not the experts, and to implement the recommendations of the experts.

4: Of course we need to continue carrying out the steps to prepare the successor organization because the ACBL BoD continues to prove itself unwilling/incapable of taking positive action on whatever is recommended to it, whether
* from its own hired help (as in whoever may be doing the demographic/financial study above),
* from inside (most recently Task Forces 1 and 2), or
* from outside (e.g. Hamman, Graves, et al).

As soon as the ACBL's Board of Directors turns away from what is needed, we have to be ready to turn threat into action
.

I have no desire to “form a new organization that is directly competing with the ACBL,” but unless we are capable of doing so and prepared to do so, we cannot expect ACBL's BoD to implement the changes it is currently unable/unwilling to implement.

We will not see the desired demographic/financial study coming out of the current San Francisco meetings.

If we sit around waiting for the BoD to act responsibly, we will not see this study coming out of Columbus, or Montreal … indeed, we may NEVER see them implement such a study. Indeed, in their drive for self-preservation in a position of power, we may never see them authorize access to the relevant data for anyone else to do the study.

The ship approaches the iceberg; time is running short. The “demographic cliff” faces us; will we meekly go over it? Alas, YES, unless we begin now to prepare for the post-ACBL world.

Not ignoring your four questions,Richard – but until we have consensus on the road map and timeline for the necessary steps, there's no need for immediate funding.
Nov. 29, 2019
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Hi JoAnn,

The credit for the vote of the DD of my ACBL district belongs to her alone; I did nothing to influence her vote.

The credit for the vote of the DD of your ACBL district belongs to her alone; no matter who tried no matter how hard to influence her vote, she made her choice and is responsible for her actions.

Bottom line: each District Director is responsible (some may praise them, some may condemn their choices) for their own vote on this and every other vote they take.

I certainly hope that you agree with me on the above, and that "JoAnn and Kevin both want a solid and sustainable future for competitive Contract Bridge in North America."

We may disagree on methods, but our goal, the end result we seek, is the same.

Edit: Thanks, JoAnn, for liking this comment!
Nov. 28, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 29, 2019
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therefore, Neal, ACBL BoD < ability to prepare for future expected events

JoAnn's hope for ACBL's future was and may still be > Kevin's

Kevin's disillusionment with ACBL's BoD used to be and may still be > JoAnn's

JoAnn and Kevin both want a solid and sustainable future for competitive Contract Bridge in North America.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 28, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 29, 2019
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Another “feature” of ACBLscore, result of which is also incorporated in ACBLMerge, is the option to list only Masterpoint winners (doesn't work for team games). That would be a useful addition to Live for Clubs as well.
Nov. 27, 2019
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Richard,

I don't know if you are thanking me for offering condolences on the fate of your canary or for pointing you to the data, but in either case, you're welcome.

So your four cases might show that those four Bridge Politicians are examples of self-preservation is important to politicians, no matter what they say in public.

I expect Michael Shuster would be strongly in favor of evacuating those four.
Nov. 27, 2019
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Richard,

My condolences on the death of your canary.

The mix of Districts becoming Regions was amended Nov 21 or 22 in committee, changes were:
R5 from D12 D13 to D8, D13, D14
R7 from D8, D10, D11 to D10, D11, D12
R10 from D14, D17 to D17

votes for Regional Director/Representative were to be by voting members of Unit Boards; weighted in proportion to ACBL membership of each Unit. Make the District changes above to the table at the beginning of https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c-pruAN-eNDTdmO6wO9Jlc0MKkN5PUp_KPOhf9lI_xA/edit and you'll have enough data to draw appropriate conclusions about the vote.

With the above information, you're as well-informed as I am.
Nov. 27, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 27, 2019
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Your memory is correct, JoAnn. But I have no direct vote in the matter. Your District Director, who actually had a vote, also did not support the motion! (FWIW, my District Director DID support the motion.)

No matter the size of the ACBL BoD, as long as the members are chosen by the same electorate, it will be the same kind of people it's always been. See Jeff Bayone's comment below.

Richard Willey's canary has died. Now it's time to get out of the mine!
Nov. 27, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 27, 2019
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ACBL's (insert appropriate adjectives here) Board of Directors has failed the membership yet again. We can wait until Columbus, Montreal, or whenever – but we cannot expect anything different.

ACBL BoD – SS, DD

Time to begin preparations for the successor organization! It's certainly not too early, just hope it's not too late!
Nov. 27, 2019
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Ed, one of the many meanings of “evacuate” might well apply!
https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/evacuate
Nov. 27, 2019
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“perfectly designed to achieve the results it gets,” Ed
Nov. 27, 2019
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Steve Moese told us Nov 22 (summarizing an excerpt from “today’s” email from the BoG chair):
Having read the new modified motion, the major changes are:

Region composition
R5 from D12 D13 to D8, D13, D14
R7 from D8, D10, D11 to D10, D11, D12
R10 from D14, D17 to D17


Definition of 3 classes of Regional Directors
Class 1: R 1,3,5,9,11,12 but 9 moves to Class 3 after 2 years.
Class 2: R 2, 4, 6, 13
Class 3: R7, 8, 10, joined by 9 after an initial 2 year term in Class 1.
R9 Director serves for 2 years in first term as part of this transition.

Definition of non-core Board work:
17. A Transition Task Force will be created under the direction of the Governance Committee to work with Management to transfer non-core responsibilities from the Board of Directors. Non-core responsibilities include program activities and topics integral to the mission of the organization, exclusive of Executive, Audit, Finance, Strategy, Executive Director Review, and Governance, which shall be the focus of the RDs. Non-core functions and decisions shall be transferred by 12/31/2021.
Nov. 27, 2019
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Nov. 27, 2019
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high sixties are younger than average ACBL member!
Nov. 27, 2019
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Also note how many of those voting NO are sure (by size of electorate) to lose if they run for Regional Director/Representative.

For example, D5 loses in Region including Districts 5 & 6; D23 loses in Region including Districts 22 & 23. Self-preservation is important to politicians, no matter what they say in public.
Nov. 27, 2019
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Is auto-plagiarism a crime?
Nov. 27, 2019
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