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All comments by Len Fettig
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Gary, Thanks for reporting the issue.
Try this: http://lenfettig.com/ACBL%20Restructuring-II.pdf
June 24
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Jeff, As of 4pm CDT, we have 63 views. I think that means unique views.
June 22
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Steve, Can we sell online Vugraph sessions? Seriously, can we monetize the spectator aspect of top-flight bridge?
I'd like to see this idea move forward.
June 9
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We have seen many comments that question the suitability of either the current Unit or the District Boards as the electorate.

While there will be a transitional period, as the 25 member BoD gets replaced by a 9 member Executive Board (EB), afterwards, we need a sustainable methodology which will give stability in governance.

I've posted my recommendations in the Board of Governors (BW) area, but will repost them here:

My ideas to supplement the Task Force’s initial plan appear below.
http://lenfettig.com/ACBL%20Restructuring-II.pdf

I have previously provided ideas: http://bridgewinners.com/forums/read/boardof-governors/restructuring-the-acbl-goverance-post-3/

My recommendation (post transition) is that the Districts nominate people for consideration for seats in the Senate and/or the EB. There is also a provision for petitioning (self- nomination).
A Panel (labeled the Leadership Development Panel) will vet all of the nominees. The voting for the Executive Board will be done with 60% of the vote cast by the Senate and 40% cast by the EB.

For candidates to the Senate, the Senate votes on nominees vetted by the Leadership Development Panel.

Constructive comments are appreciated.
June 9
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I took the survey. Here is the text of the ACBL email and my follow up emails.

ACBL wants to know about you!

Hi Len,

The American Contract Bridge League has recently partnered with a third party firm, RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy to help create a new member acquisition strategy, raise awareness of the ACBL, and raise awareness of the wonderful game of bridge.

That process starts with understanding what drivers influence our current members such as when you started playing bridge, why you currently play bridge, and why you became a member of the American Contract Bridge League.

Based on your survey responses, we will provide the ACBL with recommendations to grow their membership and awareness.

Because your candid responses are critical, it is important to note that no responses obtained through this survey will ever be linked to an individual, and as such, your responses will remain anonymous.

We know that your time is valuable and estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete this survey.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

_________________

Me to ACBL
Hi,

I received a survey request that may be a scam.
You might want to send out an email to members to confirm or deny that it is a valid partnership.

Hi Len,
The survey is legit. I’ll forward your suggestion to our Director of Marketing.

Stephanie Threlkeld
Education and Communications Manager


Feb 28, 2019, 1:48 PM
to ACBL

Hi,

I took the Red Rover survey and then looked up the company.
I was disappointed in both. In particular, I don't feel that the Red Rover Company understands membership organizations. I feel that they took some routine questions that were developed for other types of organizations and plugged them in to our survey.

I hope that something good comes of it

____________


//
June 3
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The full election chart can be found here: https://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/election-chart/
June 3
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I believe that most of the Memory and Brain enhancers are blood thinners in some way.
Use with care, if already on blood pressure medication. Nose bleeds are a good indicator of too much.
May 28
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Brett,

I pulled up the flyer for your Albany Regional and the results from Albany 2018. It is pretty easy to identify major problems with the tournament management; just by looking at two items.

A bad tournament (poor attendance and therefore loses money) is almost always the result of:

1 - a bad schedule
2 - bad management
3 - no marketing

I see a terrible schedule. The most obvious issue is that there are no games which are limited to our 0-299 players. Gold Rush and Intermediate/Newcomer events will attract a lot more players than just running Gold Rush.

But the attendance at the Albany tournament is dismal. It should be a 1,000 - 1,200 table Regional; instead of 600 tables. This is likely a result of limited advertising and no Marketing.

The flyer devotes more space to Travel Directions than to the tournament schedule. Nothing is said about Hospitality. In addition to a Tournament Chair and a Partnership Chair, you also have someone with the title of ‘Room Problems Chair’. That is under-inspiring.

No tournament website, no pre-registration, entry fees not stated and the list goes on.
You don't have an attendance problem you have a tournament staffing problem. Running a successful tournament takes more effort than is represented.

FYI, My Unit is in rural Arkansas, with a membership of 270 players. We get 100+ tables per day at our tournament and year-over-year growth is 10-15%.
May 24
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Jeff,

Thanks for raising the concern.

I agree with the premise that something needs to be included in this reorganization of ACBL governance to deal with specific things which are not now being handled.

On March 29th, I posted this comment:

“The main issue that I have {with the reorganization plan} is that as an 80+ year-old organization, the ACBL has no organizational entity that is responsible for member recruitment.
We don't know how to locate or engage bridge-playing prospects. The general approach has been to manufacture new players.
There is a lot that goes into this topic. The important take-away is that we need to deal with this vitally important function.”

My response to the reorganization plan (not yet posted here) will include a Membership Recruitment and Retention Panel and a Leadership Development Panel.

Membership recruitment and retention embraces the Club Managers and our Bridge Teachers. We need a top-tier group that will focus on our ‘engines of membership growth’.

Leadership Development will deal with on-boarding candidates for the Senate and the BoD, as well as grass-roots education of our Unit Board members.

Jeff, I read all of your BW posts and I feel you have expressed many good ideas for teaching bridge. I hope that you do consider running for the Senate. Our organization needs your insights and no one would be a better advocate than you.
May 24
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FWIW, the process of developing members to serve on Unit Boards begins long before the arm twisting. The minutes of every Unit Board meeting should be sent out to all members of the Unit.

The minutes of District Board meetings need to be sent to your Unit Board members.

Motions that affect Clubs (aka the change in Club Appreciation Games) need to be sent directly to all of the Clubs in our Districts.

Current Board members must constantly be on the lookout for people who have potential to take on more responsibilities. Engage them in discussions of current issues.

We know that we need a steady supply of members to move into leadership positions. Start grooming them and never stop.

Communications is clearly the missing element in many Units and Districts.

Further, rotate your volunteers into and out of different positions. Don't be afraid to put your best members on the bench for a year or two. Everyone needs a rest and more members need to be engaged and involved.
May 12
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Jack,

You have a really good schedule of events.

I especially like the idea of running NLM pair games; at least twice per day.

With a daily table average of 150 tables, you also limit the number of concurrent sessions, in a time slot, to four. I see a lot of tournaments that have 100 tables per day and bulk up on events, such that they have six or even seven concurrent sessions.

Nice job and I wish you and your support team great success.
May 9
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When folks talk about reducing the number of tournaments, they may think it is a solution to a problem. Further, tournament attendance, which is an outcome, may be perceived as a result that can be managed by rules/restrictions on tournament sanctions.

Many things contribute to tournament attendance. The two most important, IMHO are the event schedule and the tournament marketing.

I've worked with many Tournament Chairs and can attest to the downside of a poor event schedule and NO marketing (limited advertising and no marketing).

Further, tournament attendance is an elastic factor. Players will attend more or less tournaments, depending upon the above two cited factors.

If a tournament sponsor wants to maximize attendance, then learn what events need to be on the schedule and learn the difference between advertising and marketing.

I will add, that with Pianola, any sponsor can now do broadcast advertising. It takes more to get the attention of your audience.

Finally, reducing the number of tournaments will reduce the member benefits for our most important group of players; our 0-299 MP players.



—- Build of Tomorrow ——–
May 7
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2S is available to create a forcing auction.
May 6
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Maybe Branson, MO would be a better tournament site than Gatlinburg.
May 1
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Jim,
My response will not help at all, but here goes.

My Club has 10-12 tables in play for our twice a week games.
The club is ‘owned’ by the players.
We have backup people for every position.

Because of the nature of a player-owned Club, when players arrive, they look around for something to help with. About a dozen players will stick around after the game to put everything away.

No one has to ask people to help or to tell anyone what needs to be done.

The CM and Directors let each other know their vacation and tournament plans. Rarely is there any issue.

We rotate players into and out of key positions: treasurer, Club Manger, partnership chairs and hospitality (snacks). We don't want to burn anyone out, so we keep rotating the roles. We try to have 3 qualified Directors at all times.

Except for the Directors, all other positions are unpaid. But we do give token gifts in December.

Try to remember the Seven Dwarfs singing “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go.”
April 23
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Jack,
It is an interesting newsletter. Thanks for posting.
April 21
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Everyone is encouraged to read the restructuring proposal for themselves.

The Board of Directors goes from 25 to nine members. The current Board of Governors, with 125+ members, is dissolved. A group of new Super Committees, with decision-making authority, is created.

The general framework moves the detailed activities to the Super Committees and leaves the Board with appropriate oversight, audit and strategic planning duties.

Many of the things that players have wanted are in this initial plan. Please take the time to review the documents.



footnote: To me a Committee is a ‘recommender’ and the use of the term Super Committee is just a way to imply decision-making authority.
April 19
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Just an FYI, the rooms for the Las Vegas NABC were opened for reservations on Jan. 15th.
April 14
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Please also consider that for many small clubs their club owner does everything. When that person ages out then the club folds.
April 13
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Thanks Jim. I knew you would have the answer.
April 12
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