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All comments by Russell Jones
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Most have minimumm room requirements and some have attrition charges. We are good for this year and are currently looking at 2020 tournaments.
Feb. 19
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I would love to visit the ABA tournament. Please send me a reminder as it gets closer to time
Feb. 19
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Taught at the university in Otago in 2005 and 2010. Played bridge weekly and even played in the Provincial Pairs to qualify a team for zonal. Bridge there is great with every club having a kitchen and full bar. You take a break in the middle of the game and have ‘supper’ - drink and a biscuit with biscuit = cookie. Also, you play one board per round and write your bids on paper in the middle of the table. Finally, you have to alert IF you play strong NT. Great Place!
Feb. 19
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Thanks for the well wishes Jonathan. As previously stated, it is hard to balance the ‘person who pays should be the one that benefits’. This even goes back to the idea that was floated about those that stay at host hotels pay lower entry fees! Hard to find the ‘right’ answer!
Feb. 19
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Randy,

Hawaii was indeed costly. ED Joe Jones has recently been reviewing in depth current contracts and has also researched using outside professional reviewers to assist in future contract negotiations. The ‘who gains the benefit should foot the costs’ is great in a for profit business, but is a little difficult in our world.

Currently, units receive a 11% turnback on their member's dues. The rules require them to perform duties for the betterment of bridge and their members in return for these fees. As far I remember, I can't think of any ‘policing’ to see if unit/districts are helping the clubs in their area.
Feb. 19
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Hey Ira! I said there was discussion on reducing the size of the NABC printed bulletin, such as not to include section awards. There needs to be a balance between costs and benefits. Sound like a business school topic I once heard of!!
Feb. 19
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David,

First, let me say thanks for all you do for junior bridge. Juniors are important, but it is a tough nut to crack. For example, my stepson was introduced to the game by me at age 16. Fell in love with the game and actually became the King of Bridge at 18! After a short trip on the bridge trail, he found his senses and got a degree and a job. He now plays only occasionally when on vacation because work and ultimately family will be in the way for a while. If we want to attack the junior market, we need to get them before they get ready for college and life. The problem is, in most communities, the primary and secondary school systems are tough to get into. We need professional educators and administrators at that level to promote the game as a learning tool. Some have done great, while others still hit the brick wall.

Wish I had a better answer, other than we keep trying and learn from what successful youth bridge promoters are doing.
Feb. 19
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Thanks Peter. If you like BBQ, you might want to try Blue's City Cafe or Rendezvous in downtown Memphis
Feb. 19
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Good to hear from you Karen. The 34 pages of minutes in no way reflect our time. One motion on club masterpoint changes was 14 pages and was never discussed in board and passed without any discussion. The CEO report, which is the minutes was listed as “Given” took far greater time but only used up a paragraph in the minutes. Therefore, the number of pages rarely is comparable to time spent.

Offloading some of the more operational tasks is one of the considerations of any board restructuring. An example is the new MP committee which will be charged with investigating SOF and other masterpoint changes which frees up board time to discuss more strategic topics.
Feb. 19
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IIan,

Yes, that is one of the considerations. A player would have a lifetime holding and a rating. The rating would be used for bracket placement, flighting, etc. and the LT would be used for achievement awards. Some of the options are ‘more pure’ but require more data and computations, while others are more simple to implement and understand. That is one of the tasks of the new MP Committee that will start in March.
Feb. 19
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It's tough on everyone. My 7 year old says daddy has three offices. One in Mississippi (HQ), one at school (AState), and one in town (Bridge Club). She tells me I work too much. I definitely couldn't have undertaken this without my wife's support. The deal is I travel only from Monday-Friday and am home every weekend with family. Therefore, you won't see me in many Sunday Swiss!! I am lucky to have some good help at my bridge club and the university saw it fit to let me have a sabbatical this year.
Feb. 19
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Rajan,

The Competitions & Conventions Committee meets at every NABC. They recently introduced the new convention charts and have a draft convention card under review. They are also charged with reviewing the Alerts/Announcements requirements. The committee chair is currently Danny Sprung.

Thanks,

Russ
Feb. 19
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Previously, we did not receive any data into HQ except what was necessary for processing MP awards. We couldn't even tell you how many times Joe played in a club game and didn't win. However, a new procedure where HQ will get copies of the game file, will allow us to track a lot of statistics better. In turn, we can provide better data to clubs, units, districts, etc.
Feb. 19
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I apologize for the delay in responses this morning. We had a few minor technical difficulties!! Also, as a general disclaimer, when I state my opinions, that is as an individual member of the BOD (4% of the total). It is not meant to represent the sentiment of the BOD as a whole.
Feb. 19
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Chip,

Thanks for the kind words and the concern. As in the reply to Gary Hahn, the BOD does not receive the details of the A&C deliberations due to a necessary separation of duties. Also, the BOD doesn't vote on the appeal results but simply votes to receive the report. The BOD cannot change the content of the report. This is current procedure.

As an individual board member, I am always open to suggestions on how to improve the current system. This could include the procedure, committee structure, or membership. If it makes sense for bridge and the league, I would support it.

Thanks again.
Feb. 19
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I remember our dinner together at the NABC. Good to hear from you again. As you can read in my past postings, I totally agree with you about clubs being our lifeblood and needing to do more for them. I don't think I agree about adding more members to the BOD. There are other ways to allow people to be heard other than placing them on the board. I don't know what the average age on the BOD is, but I would wager it is lower than the average age of members. I know that AJ Stephani and I are the two youngest!! I believe AJ is only a few years older than I :-)
Feb. 19
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Randy,

Clubs are very important and there are more people in the club department at HQ then the tournament department because there is a significant amount of work that Carol Robertson and her staff accomplish to keep the 3000+ clubs operating smoothly. The percentage loss of # of clubs, club tables, special games at clubs, etc. are all ranging at about a 1-1.5% loss. As previously mentioned, we have to spend more time working with club teachers and club managers. We need to provide them not only financial incentives and special game incentives, but also better recruitment materials, teaching materials, etc. This is our LIFE BLOOD.

I want to send out a big THANKS to all current and former members of the EOC, ACC, and other groups that have helped us to police our games and develop procedures to handle unethical behavior. We have made great strides in the past few years. We might disagree with a few of the outcomes, but I believe our track record is better than some other similar organizations. I know we currently have some motions to change current policies for collusive cheating to make the penalties more severe and to go a step further on stripping titles from proven cheaters. We will continue to work in this area.
Feb. 19
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Mike,

The Chair was added for continuity. The Chair has no official duties other than to serve in place of the President should the President be incapacitated. The outgoing President rotates into the Chair automatically.
Feb. 19
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Thank you Tanya. Linda and Risa did quite well in Jackson in the finals and we wish them well in Memphis. I believe Memphis is a great site for an NABC and not just because I live in the area. I hope you enjoy the bridge, BBQ, and blues!!
Feb. 19
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Alan,

I hope that all BOD members use their particular expertise in their assignments. As for me, I review quarterly reports from our ED, then CFO, continually. Currently, I meet with Joe and discuss our situation every two weeks in person since I live only 75 miles from HQ. In addition, we have a hard working chair of Finance, Joann Glasson, who is one of the most diligent workers I know.

My current financial area of interest is NABC costs/contracts and BOD costs. I believe you will see significant improvement in both of those budget items this year.
Feb. 19
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