President's Message


June 8, 2016

As we move closer to the Summer National Tournament in Arlington, VA, I ask you all to make this your bridge priority. So far, room pickup is going very well and I understand that many of you are planning your visit to include a visit to the White House. If you haven’t made your reservation, do so as soon as possible and if you are interested take the necessary steps to plan your visit to the White House. The host group has planned a very dynamic schedule of events and guarantees you a fun packed stay at this tournament. As the games begin, remember your promise to register early and be in your seats early so that the games may begin on time. Your directing staff greatly appreciated your efforts to make this happen in Orlando and ask for your continued cooperation. Please remember also that this is our effort to make the tournament enjoyable for all of our members. We will be actively enforcing the cell phone and zero tolerance policies. It is incumbent upon each of us to be pleasant, enjoy and help others to enjoy the tournament. Let us respect one another and our directing staff and that will lead to more enjoyment for everyone.

ABA finances remain the focal point of our concern and your Executive Staff is doing its best to regulate our spending. But only you can help with our revenue return. Membership dues have been received for 2016 and this leaves the remainder of our revenue to come from sanction fees and new members. It is in these two areas that your efforts are most important. The secretary indicates that we are not getting very good results on our “EVERYONE BRING ONE” recruitment effort so I ask you to help us increase our numbers. You can pay for a person to join, assist in paying their dues or two of you help pay for one. You can work the effort to best fit you, but we need your help to increase our numbers.

Your Board of Directors stepped out on a limb when we voted to purchase ABA Name Badges for you. Yes, we prepaid for them and need you to help us recover the funds spent. The badges are magnetic and we label them as our effort to display “ABA PRIDE”. I see many of you displaying badges purchased in an ACBL format. But ask you to encourage your club members to unite and come together to get and display their ABA PRIDE badges. Take a minute to give your support as a club and have the club order them with members paying for them when they pick them up. Support your Board, we are trying hard to support and represent you!

Your president is hard at work supporting director training and negotiating future tournament sites. I was proud and honored to conduct a Directors Work Shop in Norfolk for the Tidewater Bridge Unit. There were eight participants who were upgraded or certified as new directors. Directors and Teachers are needed across the ABA and we are offering training for upgrade and certification in both areas before the start of the Summer National in Arlington, VA if you are interested.

I have just returned from a hotel familiarization (FAM) Trip and was most impressed with all that I saw and the people I was able to meet. Our Convention Planner (Wynell Shipman), Brenda Polk and I attended this FAM representing the American Bridge Association. We are actively seeking tournament sites across the country and have received proposals from several cities, but feel that the rates being offered are not to our liking. We will be preparing a total list of these proposals to send for your information. Many of these offer a rate in the order of $120.00+ so that with taxes and fees this approaches $150.00 per night. It is felt that this too, is a little too high for our members and we are seeking better rates. We may not be able to get rates below $100 as we have in the past and we must give thought to having to pay more, but we are seeking to keep our room rates as low as we can. If you have cities in mind that you would like for us to evaluate, please send them to me and I will forward them to the convention planner to see what we can get.

I’ve heard comments from some of you who say, “What can I do?” I am only one person and can’t do much because of my age. But folk let me assure you that a little from all of us amounts to an awful lot. The American Bridge Association will be busting at the seams if we all just did our little bit to help. Your ads and patron list for the souvenir journal is help, hosting your sanctioned games is help, displaying ABA Pride is help. Join the team, be a true member of the American Bridge Association and know that your little bit is need, welcomed and most beneficial to our organization.




Hank, Your president