President's Message


January 1, 2016

I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you one and all for the vote of confidence you displayed in electing me President of the American Bridge Association. After a hard fought campaign, members have spoken quite loudly-YOU WANT CHANGE. Change is inevitable; the world is changing all around us and it is impossible for us to stay the same and prosper. If the ABA is to survive, we must put aside our petty differences because it will take our united efforts and energies to meet the challenges that lie ahead. My campaign pledge was about change and I promise that I will evaluate every suggestion that is made to bring about a better ABA, membership enjoyment and office efficiency. I got my dedication to this organization some time ago from several members who have since joined the rank of Final Grand Slammer. They left me with the intestinal fortitude to fight for the life of the ABA and I will do so with vigor and steadfastness as long as I am your duly elected leader.

Along with a campaign for change I promised you full transparency, another pledge that I intend to keep no matter how bad or sad the information or outlook. You deserve to know what is going on, so that you can better understand what is necessary to fix it. Membership in the organization has been on a decline and in spite of the initiatives made in the past we have yet to reverse that trend. Because of declining membership, clubs are closing and others aren’t having their sanction games. To make matter worse
some of us aren’t supporting the National Tournaments to the level needed for us to survive. Your help is needed in all of these areas to reverse these trends.

At the General Membership Meeting at the Spring National in Atlantic City, you requested disclosure of the audit reports for the past three years. In an endeavor to determine the financial state of the ABA, I am actively reviewing the audit reports and financial records of the organization. My findings to date have been extremely alarming and in the very near future I will be able to offer you documented facts. It is obvious that we are spending more than we take in and I will lead a concerted effort to reduce our spending. Only you can help us increase revenue. If your club is not hosting your sanctioned games, please reconsider. The fees from these games are vitally needed as a part of our overall revenue for the year. Generally, the highest expense in these games is food. If necessary don’t have food, but have your games. Recruit, retain and reclaim your members! Let us all join the cause to rebuild our beloved organization. I told you that I had a three year program to increase membership and year one is very simple – EVERYONE BRING ONE!! If we could double our membership we would definitely increase revenue. Join the team and recruit or reclaim a member in 2016.

National tournament operation becomes another point of interest to many of you. I have spoken to the NTA, the NTC and our Supervising Director and all efforts will be made to make the games more enjoyable for you. However we need your help in this area also. We cannot start games on time if you aren’t in your seats before start time. We can’t allow you the opportunity to play in your own field if there aren’t enough of you there to make the field. New players will become a priority! We have some very innovative things planned for players in all areas, but especially new players. We will be reviewing club games in an attempt to encourage more participation there also. When you realize that 79% of our members have less than 2000 master points and 71% have less than 1200 pts., it becomes obvious where the future of the organization is and they make a difference.

ABAers, you supported a team through a very tough campaign. Your help and support behind that team is still vitally needed. Please don’t let the hard work you undertook to get us here go in vain. There are things that we can do and others that we MUST DO. We will serve you to the very best of our ability and only hope that you will
do your part with the same fortitude and conviction. Let us ALL work together to keep the American Bridge Association alive!!

ABA National Office Contact Information

Willetta PhippsBill Turner
ABA National SecretaryWebmaster
2828 Lakewood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30315