Message from the District Director
By Carlos Muñoz
I recently returned from Kansas City, where three full days of Board meetings brought out the following highlights:
ACBL membership is almost flat, with an increase of 140 members so far this year, to 168,215 as of January 31;
Orlando NABC attendance was 19% below estimates but 2016 was profitable thanks to increased revenue from an agreement with BBO;
The CEO search Committee is moving forward, but applications are not robust, and it may be necessary to go to an outside search firm, which will require significant cost not in the original budget;
A new marketing director has been hired and plans to increase membership and reduce attrition are moving ahead;
Significant progress is being made on a project to replace ACBLscore with a 3rd party scoring engine and an ACBL–owned master point engine;
An anti–cheating Commission was approved, to consist of five to seven members of the highest caliber, considered above ethical reproach and including at least two members from outside North America, to deter, detect and prosecute collusive cheating or other serious ethical violations;
In an effort to increase efficiency and reduce expense, the Board voted to include the first Friday and Saturday of NABCs in its meetings, meaning Board members will be precluded from playing during that time.
On the local front, our Tarrytown Regional is receiving universal acclaim for its convenience, quality of the playing site, reasonable room cost and hospitality. Attendance nevertheless was somewhat disappointing and hopefully will improve next year, which will be necessary if we are to continue at a Westchester County site.
Other items of interest include separation of the ACBL Educational Foundation from the League, allowing the Foundation to form its own Board to focus on expansion and future growth. The new Board is staffed with impressive executive and fund raising capability.
Please make your plans now for Saratoga Springs this coming June as it will be our last tournament in Saratoga, where new ownership of the hotel brought with it existing commitments for our time period beyond 2018. The good news is that, beginning in 2019, we have secured space in the Albany Hilton, with excellent playing conditions, downtown location, many restaurants AND free parking. Many thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you all at our remaining events this year.
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