Houston Board Meeting, February 11, 2006

Meeting Called to Order:

Voting Members present: Eric Snow, Unit 174; Gerrie Owen, Unit 176; Tom Hughes, Unit 183; Martha DeCou, Unit 187; Carol Schoenhals, Unit 197; Sally Blewett, Unit 201; Judy McDonald, Unit 205; Larry Davis, Unit 207; Gay Roach, Unit 225; Tom Corlett, Unit 233; Rene Wallace, Unit 237.

Non-Voting Members present: G. Poplawsky, Sue Doe, Sandy Cambell, John Zilic, Charlie Price, Dewitt Hudson, Scott Humphrey, Chris Compton, Donna Compton, Dan Morse.

Distinguished Guests: Catherine Tucker, Jolie Hess, Andrea Klein, Bert Onstott, Ira Hessel, Mary Gross, Elizabeth Hudson, Barbara Nance, Harriette Buckman.

There is a Quorum.

District President Opening Remarks (Dewitt Hudson) I am very happy to have served as your president this year. We traveled to 28 tournaments. We couldn't get to all the tournaments because of conflicts in schedules. I am up for reelection this year. When I took over as President, we were 23 out of 25. Now we are 4th• I would like to have the opportunity to be District President for 2006 and see our District move to # 1 at the end of 2006.

First order of business is to elect the 2006 Officers.

Nominations for all officers are requested:

MOTION to approve Minutes. SECONDED. CARRIED.

District Representative Report (Dan Morse)

We are delighted to have Harriette Buckman with us this morning:

Harriette Buckman: My year has just started. I am very excited to be here with you. Many of you are teachers here today and I hope that you will join us tonight at our teacher's dinner. You are very lucky to have Dan Morse as your representative because of his bridge statue. Thank you again for having me at your regional.

Dan Morse: It is wonderful to see so many people at our meeting this morning. This year [ am on an ACBL Committee to analyze the relationship between the ACBL and the units. The draft report will be available on the ACBL website by the end of February. If you can't find it, email me.

We are having an amnesty program January I-June 30SI, 2006. If past members rejoin, they can get their masterpoints reinstated with no penalties.

We lost more money in 2005 overall. 2004 was exceptionally good money wise but the NABC's lost money in 2005. The BOD made a determination that they would not raise fees during 2005 because they were comfortable losing some money. However, they lost more money than they expected so the fees will be going up during 2006 - Particularly at the NABCs. A percentage of the increase will go back to Host Unit.

Dallas is having an NABC in 6 weeks. I want everyone to go back and tell your units to come support the NABC in March.

Treasurer's Report (Tom Hughes):

We have a balance of $15,708. I collect money from the regionals, STaC, GNTs and NAPs and I turn it around and send it back to the Scorecard and the teams representing the District at the NABCs. The only other expense we have is for the internet of $19.99 a month.

MOTION: The treasurer's books shall be reviewed on an annual basis starting in 2005 to be presented at the fall regional District meeting. SECONDED. CARRIED.

Secretary's Report (Donna Compton)

Please send your unit's updated contact information for the Internet to me ASAP.

Committee Reports:

Appellate (Scott Humphrey):

I have nothing to report.

Awards (Eric Snow):

Jacoby nominations are due July 1st to be presented at the Fall Regional. This year 17 out of 17 units nominated volunteers for the Texas Star A ward which will be presented at 6:45pm tonight.

District 16 Unit Goodwill Awards: Our plan is to do a kickoff ceremony during the Dallas NABC. It looks like their will be approximately 75 in attendance which means it will cost the District between $1,600-$3,000 if we have it at the Hyatt.

Dan Morse: I suggest that we hold it in the President's suite and have the unit workers to cater the event instead of the hotel. That will save the District a lot of money. I also would like to suggest that we hold it between the sessions on April 1 st.

DeWitt Hudson: MOTION: The District will budget $1500 for the Goodwill Award Reception held during the Dallas NABC. SECONDED. CARRIED.

Charity (Carol Schoenhals):

We have our five charities picked out. We are going to give $4,000 to five different charities. The charities are Fort Worth Area Habitat for Humanity; Midland Rape Crisis Center; South Pains Food Bank, (Lubbock); Star of Hope Children's Critical Care Fund (Houston); and Volunteer Services Council of Lubbock State School. The checks will be presented at the Goodwill meeting on April 3rd at the beginning of the Good Will Reception.

Dewitt Hudson: If your unit holds charity games, please make sure you apply for the annual charity refunds. Marsha Bernstein is the Chainnan of the National Charity Organization that gives a refund to units for holding charity games.

GNT (Sandy Campbell):

I still need the representatives from the units to contact me prior to the event with any questions. We need to update our conditions of contest for our District. Please remind the Superflight and Flight A participants that they must pre-register if they want to play in the finals in Dallas. Flights B & C do not have to pre-register.

Membership & Education (Donna Compton):

We have a lot of educational programs developing across the District and I am happy to report that we had a net change increase of 67 members across the District from July 2005 and February 2006. The Houston Unit is hosting a pilot school program underwritten by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. This is a very exciting opportunity for Houston area schools. If your unit is interested in starting a pilot school program, please contact me for more information.

Intermediate/Newcomer Coordinator (Su Doe):

We have an NABC coming up in Dallas and there will be lots of seminars to help you organize your IntermediatelNewcomer program.

Internet (Steve Bruce):

The District website has a lot space available so please send more information and expand your unit websites.

NAP (John Zilic):

We are one of the top Districts regarding tables in the North American Pairs. We are falling down at the club level however. We keep finishing 3rd overall and we need to be in the top two to be awarded the "at-large" spot. I plan on putting something in the May/June Scorecard to help the local units increase the club participation for the NAP at the unit level.

Tournament (Charles Price):

I got the raw data from Butch Campbell. We lost 3 tournaments in 2005. The table count in the large cities is up but the small market areas lost tables which caused our district to lose these 3 tournaments.

These reports do not include STaCs, NAP or GNT, Mexico, Lubbock, or Longview. The total numbers are constant across the board.

In 1992, Howard Wilkins suggested that we have a split regional every other year. Houston - yearly, Dallas/Fort Worth 2 to 1, and San Antonio/Austin swap off every year. The 4th regional has been split between various sites.

The Valley had a disappointing turnout this past fall and the unit officials would like to have it during the late winter/spring time (prior to spring break) so that the snowbirds can participate. For those units interested in hosting a split tournament, please contact me at your earliest convemence.

Disciplinary (Sandy Campbell)

All is well.

Scorecard (Donna Compton):

The Scorecard Committee would like to suggest that we have an "opt out" program for the Scorecard where the members could receive the Scorecard by email rather than by regular mail. This cost-saving measure could save the District a lot of money on mailing over time.

Board of Governors (Dewitt Hudson):

All is well.

Puerto Vallarta Regional (Judy McDonald):

We would like to thank Dewitt Hudson for personally promoting the Mexico tournament. We had a very successful tournament. We have lots of giveaways, prizes, speaker program, coffee, candy, etc.

The date for 2006 is October 23 - 29th at the same hotel.

For future tournaments, you need to be aware that you need some up-front money to promote the tournament until the funds come in from the tournament. You also need to think about giving some funds back to the unit to get these volunteers to come back and work the next year.


Dewitt Hudson: Hurricane Rita hit the Beaumont area hard so we decided to hold a STaC and private fund raiser for the area. The final check is for $3700 to help Unit 201 rebuild their clubs.

Gerrie Owen: We are currently accepting donations for NABC Event Names. Currently we have the following sponsors: Louise Childs Freed Day; Dallas Aces; Houston; Dallas, San Antonio; Austin. Please contact Gerrie Owen if you would like to buy a day for your unit or a special person in your unit.

Barbara Nance: The Houston unit has started a new pilot program to get Bridge as an elective or math credit during the class day. I have contacted the governor's office to have it as an official elective.

I also want to remind everyone to be aware of the Jewish holiday calendar before you schedule your tournaments.

Dewitt Hudson: Unit 224 members residing in Nolan County, TX have submitted a petition to the ACBL requesting a transfer into Unit 209. The reason stated for the request is "lack of representation in Unit 224 and lack of communication and cooperation with the Unit and Board of Directions." Unit 209 is not contiguous with Nolan County. Mitchell County in Unit 224 lies between Unit 209 boundary and Nolan County. If Nolan County were to move to Unit 209, then Mitchell County would be an island in the middle of Unit 224. There are no current ACBL members residing in Mitchell at this time.

Jackie Sonnenburg: We ask that the District 16/ACBL BOD do not take Nolan and Mitchell Counties away from Unit 224. We will not oppose anyone who wants to move to Unit 209.

Howard Wilkins (Via letter read by Executive Secretary): I request that the District not approve the transfer of Nolan and Mitchell Counties out of Unit 224's jurisdiction. As much of our Unit would hate to lose any Sweetwater residents from our Unit's membership, our Unit has stated in their response that they will approve any request for change of Unit membership to any other Unit.

MOTION: Nolan County and Mitchell County will remain a part of Unit 224 as presently assigned. SECONDED. CARRIED. NONE OPPOSED.

Thank you Houston for your tournament. Meeting Adjourned.