President's Message


December 23, 2016

As the first year of this administration draws to a close and we look back over accomplishments, we must say that 2016 has been a successful year. It hasn’t been an easy road, nor without trials and tribulations. But you, the members of the American Bridge Association have been most supportive and encouraging. It has truly been your active support and kind words that inspired this president to stay motivated and focused for the greater good of the ABA. You must understand the essence of your support and know that now is not the time to stay away or reduce your efforts. You hold the power that makes the difference. Keep up the great work that you are doing to support your organization.

Our primary effort for the year has been to improve our financial position. We made some drastic changes to our budget and spending in order to better our end of year balance. We had to deal with reduced revenue and the price of doing business going up. So, to meet the challenges we cut some projects and placed others on hold to reduce our spending. It is our hope that when our financial situation improves, we will be able to re-instate some of those beneficial projects. Though it was necessary for us to increase membership dues for 2017, we hope we have not caused hardship or inconvenience to any of our members. With membership and tournament participation in decline, we had no other choice and ask that clubs assist any member where a hardship may exist. Please help them pay those dues and allow them to reimburse you, their club. We cannot withstand further losses.

You members have been truly supportive and totally responsible for two successful national tournaments in 2016. We have two great tournament locations scheduled for 2017, but your participation is again encouraged and needed if they are to be a success. We are planning for the best and beg you to continue the support that you have demonstrated for love of the organization. Sanctioned revenue from games across the country, section by section, unit by unit and club by club are vitally important. Working together we can improve our success in this area also. You may have to work to stabilize and reduce your expenses at your games. But we beg that you continue to have them.

Project OUTREACH is an effort to improve game participation between members of the ABA and ACBL. When the details are worked out, you may play in one another’s game and receive either’s master points. Toward this end, collectively, we are working to include the ABA point structure in their new scoring program. This will definitely ease the capability to award points across organizations. I recently attended the passing of the gavel between ACBL presidents. The outgoing and incoming presidents are both supportive of the ABA and are willing to help us without absorbing us. They understand our heritage and longevity and want to help us stay a viable organization working in partnership to perpetuate the game of bridge across our areas of influence. We encourage you to play in ACBL games and invite and encourage ACBL members to participate in your games. The increased participation would be a benefit to both organizations.

In closing, I would like to wish each and every member of the American Bridge Association and their families a very Merry Christmas with the knowledge that we all will be with you working for a Prosperous New Year.



Respectfully yours,


Henry “Hank” Irwin, Jr., President
American Bridge Association