WGPO Board Meeting Minutes – July 22, 2019

The meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency. Coral Gables FL.   Attendees were:  Executive Committee: Deborah Baggett, Mike Johnson, Steve Pellinen; and BPR members: Laurie Cohen, Helen Flores, Bennett Jacobstein, Maurice Ross, Susi Tiekert.

Committee Reports/Accomplishments:

  • Membership Liaison Position: Deborah served as acting Member Liaison since July 2017. Susi Tiekert agreed to officially assume Membership duties and is currently in training.
  • Elections: Lynda Finn has managed the elections process and program in the past. She will be asked to do so again.  Position terms expiring are: Steve Pellinen, EC: Laurie Cohen, Helen Flores and Maurice Ross, BPR.  All agreed that we need to solicit nominees and get announcements out in a timely manner.
  • WGPO Tournament Expectations document, outlining conduct and behavior concerns, was approved after extensive review and comment from members and finalized in March 2019.  It is available on the WGPO website.
  • Rules: Laurie Cohen, Mike Johnson and Steve Pellinen developed draft WGPO playing rules that will be compatible with other Scrabble® organizations. Subsequent drafts will undergo additional review, including the full membership.  Work is ongoing.

Issues and Projects:

  • Member Survey: Laurie Cohen’s follow-up survey for Word Cup 8 provided valuable information and suggestions for attendees. She agreed to develop a Word Cup 9 survey. Laurie will include topics that may be suggested at the evening member meeting as well as EC and BPR additions. She plans to get the survey out as soon as possible.
  • Technology Projects: Mike emphasized the need to investigate tools and upgrade capabilities. New system versions do not adequately support the old membership database effectively or provide sufficient capabilities. The Web site provides valuable information, and we need to make sure that version changes or upgrades will continue to support it. Technology initiatives are very high priority for the organization that need to be addressed to accomplish other goals.
  • Social Media/Publicity/Outreach: Since WGPO tournaments aren’t on Cross Tables, game players may miss opportunities to participate. Group discussed several ideas to pursue to increase awareness of WGPO organization, clubs and tournaments. Attendees lauded Dave Postal’s work including Facebook WGPO pages. Action: Explore opportunities for greater communications and interaction with members and the community at large.
  • Required WGPO Membership: Bylaws currently allow Directors of tournaments to require membership or not.  Extensive discussion followed covering
    •  incentives offered to encourage players to become members,
    • labor intensity and technological complexity to administer tournaments, maintain data, ratings and performance information about 2 groups: members and non-members
    • need to enhance the ability to filter information and administer data
    • need to communicate more effectively and interact with players/members.

Following discussion, BPR members unanimously agreed that all WGPO players need to become WGPO members. They further agreed that the requirement should apply to all WGPO-sponsored tournaments in addition to Word Cups.

The group set the agenda for the Evening Player meeting and determined that Laurie Cohen would again chair the meeting. Topics shall include

WGPO accomplishments to date

Ongoing and Future Projects and

Questions and answers from those attending the meeting.

The Board meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m.

Submitted by Helen Flores