May 14, 2016 Midwest City

District 15 Board Meeting
Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center
5750 Will Rogers Road Midwest City, OK 73110
Saturday, May 14, 2016

BUSINESS MEETING was called to order at 9:11am by President Henry Robin.

Unit Voting Members:
Unit 101 – Rick Giles, Mel Volmert Unit 131 – Susan Urich
Unit 132 – Ardy Alexander, Mary Hembree Unit 158 – Marilyn Lafleur, Henry Robin
Unit 167 – Linda Hughes, Doris Beaton, Janet Pitt alternate for Shelba Parmley Unit 234 – James Masilamani, Jerry Sloan
Unit 247 – Len Fettig

Past District Presidents: Marti Malcolm, Barbara Whittlesey, National Board Members: Phil Rea, Linda Eakes

Non-Voting Members and Guests:
Board of Governors: Judy Rea, 2017 KC NABC: Larry Gibbons, Gregory Jecker

The definition of Quorum for the Board was questioned by Len Fettig. Mel read from the by- laws and it was agreed that the meaning could be misinterpreted. Jim Masilamani will lead a committee to propose a rewording if needed. A definition of voting members and non-voting members as well as their relationship to a quorum will be addressed.

Minutes from the previous meeting were approved with minor changes due to typographical errors.

The 2015 Oklahoma City Regional Tournament Financial report was not available. Both the 2015 and 2016 Oklahoma City Regional Reports will be presented at the next meeting.

Kansas City gave their Financial Report for their 2015 regional. It was mentioned that the District check had not been received. It was moved and seconded that the report be approved. Passed.

Susan Urich then elaborated on negotiating hotel space, the District’s guideline of 33% player amenities, that while the Units run the regionals – they are owned by district, and that different units and cities have different ways to get space at a reduced rate or free. It was noted that hotels make money by food not space.

District treasurer Marilyn LaFleur presented the Balance Sheet. ACBL District 15 Balance Sheet as of May 10, 2016


Checking $6,088.56
Savings $21,685.09
Total Assets $27,773.65

Reserve Fund for NAP $1,540.83
Reserve Fund for GNT $8,258.39
Total Liabilities $9,799.22

Beginning Balance $1,7784.83
Net Profit/(Loss) (12/29/2015-5/10/2016) $189.60 Total Net Worth $17,974.43


The Reno NABC was a great success with 11,642 tables in play. It was a little confusing with games being held in three different hotels, although the hotels were all interconnected and players were able to get to the playing sites without going outside. It just took a while to get familiar with the vast complex. There were numerous restaurants from economical fast food to gourmet dining. The players also enjoyed the gambling venues in the Silver Legacy, El Dorado and Circus Circus Casinos.

The board held two working sessions – one on the WBF and finance and one on strategic planning and technology. These were beneficial for the ideas presented and the interactions of the board members.

The full board minutes will be available on the ACBL web site. Items of interest to District 15 are noted below.

The League will no longer have a League Counsel, instead we will hire an in-house attorney to handle ACBL legal matters. The CDR was amended to provide that attorneys will be allowed to represent parties for hearings at the National level, but attorneys will not be allowed to represent at Unit, District or Tournament Disciplinary Committee hearings.

Appendix A – Guidelines for Disciplinary Committees was approved. I urge all of you to contact your unit disciplinary chairs and ask that they carefully read the details to become familiar with the procedures.

A stronger burden of proof defined as “Comfortable Satisfaction” was included in the CDR. ACBL Tournament Directors will hear and rule upon all appeals filed at the NABCs. All Conduct and Ethics or Disciplinary matters will continue to be heard by the NABC Tournament Committees.

With the Kansas City NABC coming up soon the question of the Volunteer dinner is of great importance to this District. There are now two options, one of which must be selected by the host volunteer committee at least 3 months before the NABC.
Option #1 – There will be a formal dinner held on the Wednesday night before the start of the NABC. The President and District Director for the District, the Chairman of the Board, Board of Governors Chairman and ACBL Treasurer will be invited to attend. Formerly all board members were invited to attend.
Option #2 – The Volunteer host committee may choose to receive $5,000 from ACBL to be used to recognize the volunteers in a manner they determine.

Grass Roots Funds will be dispersed no more than 90 days after Grass Roots Month.
At newcomer games to acquaint new players, at the discretion of club management, players may ask for advice, refer to notes and have help on any hand.

The board approved the creation of an Anti-cheating Commission which will consist of at least 5 expert players appointed by the CEO to provide written opinions to the National Recorder’s Office that evaluate player memos and other materials with the goal of identifying collusive cheating.

The operating budget showing an excess of revenue over expenses of $101,486 was ratified as was the capital budget in the amount of $497,000.

For team events held at an NABC in which all teams’ entrants receive full overall masterpoint awards, entry will be charged on a per person basis. For team events in which the overall award is calculated as a percentage of a player’s participation, entry fees shall be charged on a per team basis at a rate equivalent to four players on that team.

There was a motion to eliminate pre-tournament activities for spouses/companions of board members before an NABC. This motion was defeated by a vote of 12 for 13 against. I voted for the motion.

Last but by no means least as this will directly affect several teachers and units in our District, the Cooperative Advertising Program (CAP) was changed. CAP will now only reimburse 50% of eligible advertising costs. Qualifying advertisements are date-specific ad campaigns for beginner bridge lessons, newcomer programs, social bridge recruitment events and ACBL member recruitment. For specific information on CAP guidelines and Requirements visit:
Phyllis Harlan District 15 Director

District Tournament Coordinator Phil Rea reported that the 2018 Topeka Regional will not be a split tournament. Other scheduling problems remain. If the Spring tournament is in May the summer tournament has very little time to choose. August is filled with popular successful tournaments in surrounding districts, July has the National and a 4th of July tournament in Texas, that leaves June which means the District will have 2 tournaments in 8 weeks’ time.

An understanding that beginning in 2017, OKC will schedule their tournament in March/April and Topeka will then have the weeks of June 18 or 25 available. OKC will communicate their timing to Topeka by June 10th.

There have been 3 IN Regionals scheduled for 2016. They will be held in Bella Vista, Wichita and Tulsa. In 2017 Bella Vista, Springfield and Topeka will have the IN regionals. This will mean that every unit will have the opportunity to have either an Open or IN regional. The IN regionals can be run as enhanced sectionals or a standalone tournament. The IN tournaments pay a lower percentage of the Open gold points.

Regional Tournaments Coordinator Susan Urich discussed the problem of lower count side games and when they can be integrated to make larger games. KC hopes to run a schedule that helps eliminate this problem.

Topeka has started an email blast with help from David Kopper in Wichita in hopes of increasing attendance at their tournament. It was suggested that tournament chair seek advice from the directors, perhaps holding a review session after the tournament.

STAC Chairman Marti Malcolm received a letter from the ACBL informing that there would be a $1.00 per table charge to pay the National Director. Fees were also raised this year. Discussion ensued on whether to continue with the two a year, if there were benefits having the joint STaC with District 14, how much money did the STaCs produce for the district and the Units, and if our fees should be raised. There is a possibility of having an additional STac for National funding the first week in 2017. More discussion will be needed at a future meeting.

NAP/GNT Chairman Phil Rea reported table count was up for the recent GNT. A motion was made and seconded for reimbursement for the first timers. It passed. Some of units did not hold final games. A motion was made and seconded for reimbursement to the GNT teams will be

$1000.00 per team for the 4 teams. It also passed.

Conditions of Contest for the NAP 2017 were changed to reflect the raise in table fees. After discussion on how the change affects clubs and corrected date and location the motion was passed.

Len Fettig Marketing Chairman had mailed the report to the Board earlier.

Education Chair Linda Hughes reported that the ACBL had slashed funds for class advertising. She also pointed out how electronic scoring being used in conjunction with hand records benefits new players. Several sites publish this information. A tech is not usually needed and costs are under $200.00.

Phyllis Harlan rewrote and clarified the Boards position on funds for the Nationals to wit:

The Board of Directors of District 15 ACBL hereby reaffirms the policy proposed and accepted by consensus at its meeting held October 11, 2014, to wit: Effective January 1, 2015, all regional tournaments held by units in the district during 2015 and 2016 will pay the equivalent $4.00 per table for each table in play at said regionals for deposit to the NABC 2017 Fund established at a Kansas City Bank. This money will be used to provide hospitality to players at the Spring 2017 NABC to be held in Kansas City. This money may be raised by any method deemed fitting by the units hosting the regional tournaments, i.e., raising entry fees at the regionals, direct from their funds already on hand or other methods deemed reasonable by the unit.

The board also reaffirms that If any of these funds are not expended by the District to finance the Spring 2017 NABC, they will be held in a separate account to fund future NABC tournaments held in District 15.

This charge will not apply to Intermediate/Novice Regional tournaments held in District 15 in 2015 and 2016.

It was accepted by motion and vote.

Linda Eakes and her committee brought us up-to-date on the Spring 2017 Kansas City Nationals. ACBL has had their site visit with the committee. This was the hotel walk through and only chance to be face to face. Highlights included all the chairs and sub chairs getting a recap on what is expected. Jim Urich has replaced Marilyn Davis as head of the volunteers. He is working with webmaster Michael Hughes to inform and recruit positions needing filling.

The hotel has lowered parking fees for both guests and non-guests, All NABC events will be in one hotel. Kansas City has a new street car trolley downtown. The budget was approved with changes. The CoC will give money after the fact.

Fundraisers have been very busy working on sponsorships and naming rights. Discussion was held about the Silent Auction or raffle. It might be held during the Springfield tournament.

Registration gift is a portfolio. The restaurant guide will have 16 placements available. There was no new business.

Election of District officers was held. Voted in were Mel Volmert, President and James Masilamani, Vice President. Phyllis Harlan was appointed Secretary/Treasurer

The next meeting will be held in Springfield on Saturday, October 15 at 9:00 am.