by Carlos Muñoz, District 3 Director
This letter is limited in new developments, as the spring Board meetings will take place beginning March 16. Nonetheless, 2019 was a recovery year for the ACBL, with a net gain of $1.8 million, resulting from revenues $400 thousand over budget ($900 thousand over 2018) and expenses $100 thousand below budget. The Board meetings in Columbus will focus on reorganization to reduce the number of directors, probably by creating 13 “regions” most of which will combine two or three districts for representation, but not organization (i.e. districts would remain intact).
Please note that hand sanitizers will be available in Columbus, and players should be conscious of the need to take appropriate sanitary precautions wherever possible.
The bad news is that membership declined an additional 1.2% in 2019, would nationally and in District 3, and is budgeted to decline by as much as 4% nationally this year. Efforts are underway to reverse this disturbing trend, but those efforts will take a good part of the year to start showing success. It is hoped that a partnership with the Educational Foundation supporting the new website, trybridge.org, will attract new members, along with additional incentives for teachers and a free trial membership to be rolled out shortly. Congratulations to Sylvia MacNamara at The Bridge Deck in Scarsdale, who received a $500 stipend as one of the top ten ACBL recruiters last year.
All NABC and regional tournaments within the U.S. now accept credit card payments, and Canada is expected to be on stream in time for the Montreal NABC. Sectionals run by ACBL directors should be added soon.
On the home front, our Tarrytown tournament achieved break-even performance for the first time, although table count declined slightly. We need your continued support to make that tournament successful in the future, as it suffers from the “snowbirds” who unfortunately but understandably go south to avoid the winter weather.
Congratulations also are in order to Pat Linnemeyer of Unit 106, who was elected to succeed Debbie Wasik as District President, effective May 1. Pat has hit the ground running, having recruited Richard Podkowik to succeed Lynn Chapin as our new webmaster and Fred Shubert to fill the vacant position of Marketing Manager. Our sincerest thanks to Debbie for her years of dedicated service and her willingness to continue as Meeting Planner, and to Lynn, who is moving to full time service as an ACBL Tournament Director.
The District continues in need of two things: more volunteers and more members. Those of us on the District and Unit Boards thank you for your support and welcome your help.