President's Message


6 September 2016

WOW!!!ABAers you have done it again, as your demonstrated support took us through a successful Summer National Tournament. It all started with the Washington Bridge Unit and tournament chairman, Ray Mosley planning and then executing those plans superbly. We cannot thank them enough for the entertainment, hospitality and spirit that they brought to this tournament. To the Washington Bridge Unit, we give “A most sincere and heartfelt thanks for a job well done.”The Washington Bridge Unit set the tone to get us started, but without you the members of the American Bridge Association we still would not have been a success. You rose to the occasion and two weeks prior to the start of the tournament our convention manager was still trying to get additional rooms from the hotel to accommodate members registering late. I give a personal thanks to Mrs. Andreda Pruitt for the tireless effort she put forth coordinating with the hotel on your behalf. This is what it means to work together as a team and if the team works, the dream will work equally as well. Thank you all for making this Summer National an overwhelming success.We are trying very hard to give you the best opportunities at tournaments, but you have to be commended for your efforts to help. I, personally, thank the directing staff for their efforts to conduct and run the games as efficiently as possible. But I must thank each of you for your efforts to register and be in your seats so that the directors can evaluate their flights and start the games on time. We are trying to modify how we run some of our games in order to accommodate our newer players. However, we can only effect these modifications if participation warrants even trying it. These efforts aren’t only being considered for our national events. I observed a Swiss Team event this weekend conducted by Andrew Echols, our National Tournament Authority, and he employed a modification that he and I had discussed and the result was awesome. Director training becomes the key to affecting these new approaches but you must provide the appropriate numbers to make it work.Our National Tournaments for 2107 are scheduled for April 1-8 at Harrah’s Casino Hotel, Reno, NV and August 16-27 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel, Lombard, IL. I had the pleasure of visiting this property this past weekend and it is a lovely property and I am certain that you will enjoy your stay. Start planning early and don’t wait until the last minute. In Arlington at the Summer National you generated nearly 20% more room nights than was contracted. If this trend continues (a good one to have) we will need the time to negotiate with the hotel to get the additional rooms. You have demonstrated your support of this administration and your love for the American Bridge Association, but now is not the time for us to relax and rest on these successes. The future of the ABA will still be determined by your continued support and loyal dedication. We are doing everything possible to reduce spending and YOU are the only source that we have to increase revenue. Your participation in National and sanctioned events is the major source of income besides membership dues. Our declining membership has reduced participation and this trend must be reversed. Your help is needed and if you need our help, many of us are brainstorming with suggested ideas to help improve participation in your local games. If you ask, I’m sure that ideas will be shared with you. This is still a part of the team at work. Through PROJECT OUTREACH you can invite your party bridge friends and ACBL friends to participate in the games. This administration and that of ACBL is working diligently to work out details so that points can be awarded across associations if you win them. Let’s pull this together in partnership to better bridge across America. I thank you in advance for your efforts to keep the dream alive.We ask you to put forth your very best effort to help us make the American Bridge Association the best that it can be. Your continued display of support will keep this president, executives and board working overtime to support you. We all thank you!!