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All comments by Rena Hetzer
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What a nice testimonial to the beauty and joy of bridge. I bet you are good enough to play up.
Dec. 1, 2018
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Larry, probably not NABCs unless ACBL management turned that duty over to him when holding NABCs there. But I am sure, if ACBL management were smart, they included him when meeting with hotels in Atlanta to negotiate for future NABCs there. When you are on the inside of ACBL it is hard to constantly feel the pressure from members and board members who all love our game and all believe they know best. There is the thought that there can be too many cooks in the kitchen.
Nov. 30, 2018
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Jack, I appreciate your point of view. However, you along with many others from the Mid-Atlantic (and other areas) have long held a negative view of any thing done by ACBL management (and perhaps the BOD too?) as indicated by the COI movement and newsletter. (I have forgotten what COI translated to). I suspect you were and are right about some things but not all. I know that there are folks out there that believe the Memphis labor pool is surely a bunch of know nothing knuckleheads. But Memphis produced a Fred Smith and it is hard to argue with the success of FedEx.

And, pardon me for asking but you say you could point out many errors in the contracts if you had them before you. Is that because you are a lawyer or because you have negotiated with hotels to the extent you could be called an “expert meeting planner?”

I do know that you have been the Tournament Chairman for Atlanta tournaments for many years.

Wendy may not have had the credentials her two predecessors had but Jeff's sudden death was a blow to all who worked with him and Wendy gave it her all. And, I am thinking the negotiation of contracts and their eventual approval was not left in the hands of one person alone.
Nov. 30, 2018
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David Levin yes, I mean Jeff Johnston.
Nov. 30, 2018
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They were not terminated. That was when Holiday Inns was shutting down. The office where Nancy and Jeff worked was closed by Holiday Inns. Nancy left ACBL to be the Meeting Planner for International Paper headquartered here in Memphis. I believe she is still there. Perhaps that speaks well of her expertise. As far as I know you would be hard-pressed to find critics of her successor Jeff Johnson.
Nov. 30, 2018
Rena Hetzer edited this comment Nov. 30, 2018
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I don't think in my time at ACBL anyone was promoted to Meeting Planner who had not served under the previous meeting planner. I think Ralph Cohen did it. Then Becky Rogers hired Nancy Foy. Her assistant Jeff was put in the position when Nancy left. Nancy and Jeff both were previous employees of Holiday Inns.
Nov. 30, 2018
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Jack, here I go again defending ACBL, but what is the logic in not promoting someone who in theory has learned from their predecessor who may have been excellent in the job.
Nov. 30, 2018
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I well remember the excitement of going to a Regional, entering the Open Pairs, looking over the field in the opposing direction and hoping I was going to play against the best players in attendance.

You cant get on court with a Serena or on the course with a Tiger but you can sit at the table with the best.
Nov. 30, 2018
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Buy you books and buy you books but all you do is eat the covers.
Nov. 30, 2018
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Chris, and while we are at it lets get rid of Bracketed KOs, limited events like Gold Rush (except for Novice games) and keep stratification as a way for experience levels to compete among their level but still rub elbows with the experts. I know, just another old person thinking the good ole days were better.
Nov. 29, 2018
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Scott, yes the various suggestions are what we already have. The original post really is suggesting that a radical change be made. I would like to see more discussion on the pros and cons of the suggested radical change.

In reading and enjoying the Facebook posts coming from Hawaii there is no doubt that the site is being enjoyed by those who either were willing and able to pay the freight or by those who are being paid to be there.

If our NABC's are going to continue to have a schedule of events catering to everyone's skill level it may make sense to try and cater to everyone's pocketbook including ACBL's pocketbook. Fine dining is not for everyone. Or I should say everyone's pocketbook.

I believe the lure of the game itself is strong enough to overcome boredom with repeated sites. Just make the summer NABC the no holds barred, fancy dining, nice vacation spot location. Pick permanent sites for Spring and Fall that provide the bread and butter – good playing conditions, good weather, reasonable housing and easy access to food. And, consideration in the Spring and Fall for locations that might lower expenses of running the tournament like shipping and transporting staff and board.

Bridge players will go to the game if it is humanly possible to do so.
Nov. 29, 2018
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Thanks Larry but it would be wrong for me to take credit as a volunteer at the Trials as I was there as an ACBL employee. I would have volunteered. The Trials in Memphis was the highlight of my work year. All the best of the best enjoying my city (except for Jan maybe). Even Zia, once he located the best restaurants in town, told me he enjoyed coming to Memphis.
Nov. 28, 2018
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Georgiana you have make me laugh again!
Nov. 28, 2018
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Well Don, I never heard anything about what you appear to imply
Nov. 28, 2018
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Georgiana, That is funny. I was there then, at the time the theft was uncovered. I wondered in retrospect why some of us didn't suspect hanky panky when it was no secret that there were frequent deliveries to headquarters of merchandise from Neiman Marcus and she seemed to have expensive rings, bracelets etc. I was not a close friend just a coworker and when I did ask about how she could afford such luxuries I was told her husband had a very good salary. She was the darling of the board at the time but not very popular with me cause she frequently bad-mouthed her co-workers to members of the board.
Nov. 28, 2018
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Actually, the minutes from Hawaii has some stuff about the frills which ACBL pays for and approves. Locals get to select the registration gift and section top prizes but the ACBL budget amount for these items is very, very modest and again subject to ACBL approval I think.

My suggestion of 2 permanent sites and one moving around site was mostly based on thinking it very possibly we could save money and reap benefits from a annual relationship. Maybe better room rates? Quantity Discount? I am thinking that a contract for each of the next 5 years with a renewal option would be attractive to a hotel/convention center but I could be totally off base on this.

Anyway, see you in Memphis in 2019. I am a real Pollyanna and believe that 99.99% of the people who were here in 2012 are pleased to be coming back. If the weather treats us well everything will be great.
Nov. 27, 2018
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The original post did not ask where we should have them but was suggesting permanent sites for two of the NABCs and one for the attractive/interesting/vacation site. I merely made two suggestions. Memphis mainly because headquarters is here. I fully expected others to mention their choices.

I think Jan we are in more agreement than we are in disagreement.

I don't agree that Memphis is hard to get to. I think I would agree that a direct flight may not be possible. I have flown very little in the last few years.

Please don't apologize for stating your opinion. You and I have been at odds re Memphis for years. (Insert smiling face here).

On another issue mentioned by you regarding the less than top players. I think you underestimate their passion for the game which is much greater than their need for gifts and prizes.

In this day and age no one with internet access needs a local person to tell them about the local attractions.
Nov. 27, 2018
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True enough. Same reason that the child care may not continue unless another Donna Compton comes along.
Nov. 27, 2018
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I agree, the stickers are fun to collect and paste on your notes or convention card.
Nov. 27, 2018
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Cost does matter. Nice weather matters somewhat. The ability to get out for a walk to a close by eating place is a real perk. Does Vegas still have cheap rooms and cheap food? Maybe not so much anymore. I believe the significant majority of NABC attendees want comfortable playing conditions and well directed events, clean and close by bathrooms, reasonable room rates, and easy access to food. Tourist attractions are a perk but not necessary.

I always thought the summer nationals were the largest because kids were out of school and well, summer is the normal time to vacation.

It is a given that the pros and their clients will go wherever and whenever the cards are dealt. Also the retirees with no financial concerns may attend all three. The rest of us may pick one of the three.

It does seem it is time to quit doing what has always been done. There are too many tournaments, too many events, and too much separation of players by skill level. The thrill of playing against a “star” and maybe breaking even or besting them on a board has disappeared. I have lived to see the day that a regional open pair game has one section only.

I sound like any old person bemoaning the loss of the good ole days!
Nov. 27, 2018
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