I am a candidate for the USCF Executive Board in the 2015 election.
This may come as a shock to some of you. I have served full terms on the
EB on two prior occasions, and I have often made it known that I was
looking forward to the end of those terms. That is not the case in 2015.
I'm not exactly sure why (probably the wisdom of the electorate), but we
have a current EB that works and functions well together, and I would
like to continue to be a part of it. In the current EB construct,
various members take primary responsibility for various aspects of the
functions of the EB. For example, Ruth Haring is primarily focused
(besides her responsibilities as President) on FIDE, titled players and
womens' issues. Gary Walters, as an attorney, provides outstanding
advice on legal issues. Allen Priest, as a CPA, does the same on
financial matters (and is also involved in scholastic and tournament
direction issues). Mike Nietman advises on technology issues and is also
very involved in scholastic and tournament organizing issues. Mike
Atkins is very involved in FIDE, tournament direction and organizing
issues. Chuck Unruh is very involved in business and financial as well
as state issues.
That is an impressive list of credentials and skills, and I am happy to
have served with all of them. I like to think that I complement the
group and can continue to be a value-added member of the EB. What
exactly do I bring to the table?
In my professional career and my volunteer service to the USCF, I have
been a reformer, innovator and networker.
Those would continue to be my focus on the Executive Board for another
As a reformer, I have been there
with the USCF at some of its darkest - and brightest - moments. I served
on the EB when the budget could barely balance, and I am proud of the
progress we have made since those days. I was there since day one of the
move to 'One Member One Vote' and was on the committee and actually
drafted the bylaws changes necessary to accomplish it. I was also there
from day one of the (now successful) effort to achieve 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization status for the USCF.
As an innovator, I have worked to
make our Board and the professional staff more accountable to the
membership. This included spearheading the first member survey that was
done last year and driving the strategic planning process for the EB.
As a networker, I first put the
USCF in touch with and raised the issue of involvement with the current
funder of the extremely successful US championships. I have also been a
primary champion of this Forum as a way of keeping the USCF member
community connected with its leadership and each other.
I am running again because there are still aspects of each of these that
I am driven to see to success and completion. As a
reformer, I want to see the USCF
budget more permanently structurally balanced and opportunities for
additional funding (particularly related to our non-profit status)
identified and utilized. As an innovator,
I want to complete the circle of strategy - planning, budgeting,
execution, measurement and analysis - that is the hallmark of a high
performing organization. I want to continue to provide - for free - the
organizational and management skills to the USCF that my clients get (at
$250 an hour). As a networker, I
want to continue to build the community that is this USCF Forum and the
networks that exist to grow the game.
I don't want to be 'everything' as it relates to Executive Board
service. That said, in my chess career, I have been a scholastic player,
adult player, state junior high, high school and junior champion; state
over-the-board and correspondence champion and national master; local
tournament director; state organization director, editor and President;
USCF committee member and chair and Executive Board member.
Past experience is important and useful, but it isn't necessarily an
indication of future performance or focus. In short, I wish to focus my
time and attention on overall strategic direction for the USCF and the
Executive Board, improving its customer service functions, and ensuring
its continued financial stability. Yes, these aren't necessarily 'sexy'
and they are 'meat and potatoes' issues. At the moment, I think they
continue to be necessary areas of focus for the overall success of our
I like to think that I know a bit about this organization and can help
it succeed. I think my track record suggests that is the case. I would
appreciate your support and vote for one last opportunity to finish some
of what I and others have started.