The election was open between December 1 and 14. Here are the nominees:
For Executive Committee (unopposed): Keith Hagel. For Board of Player Representatives (2 positions, 3 candidates): Bennett Jacobstein, Susi Tiekert, Winter.
Susi’s candidate statement:
Once again I would like to request your vote to add me to the Board of Player Representatives of WGPO.
I believe strongly in our organization and the work we do to keep Scrabble accessible to all who want to play in peace and harmony.
It has been a privilege to serve on the board since our inception and I would like to continue to be a part of all we accomplish.
Winter’s candidate statement:
My top priority as a Player Representative will be to increase awareness of WGPO in the eastern half of the country and expand the opportunities for Eastern players to participate in WGPO tournaments. With the selection of Springfield, MA, as the site for the 2017 Word Cup, it is important that players in that part of the country be aware that WGPO exists and is a legitimate organisation worthy of their patronage. As a player who has been working on the East Coast, and participating in many East Coast tournaments, for the last three years, I am well-positioned to reach out to players here and encourage them to participate in WGPO events and, hopefully, run tournaments of their own.
Bennett’s candidate statement:
I am currently serving on the Board of Players Representatives and would be honored to continue serving in this capacity.
I Believe a players’ organization should be run by the players and should welcome and encourage input from all members. I have organized numerous tournaments. I believe welcoming players of all levels and making prizes equal for all levels has the potential to attract a wider group of participants. In addition, making the tournament a social event as well as a competition adds to the experience. I support cooperation and co-existence with other Scrabble groups. I also strongly support the efforts by Mike Barron and others to have a joint tournament.
I believe our top priorities should be:
* Increase the number of tournament offerings. (Note: currently there are 14 upcoming land-based WGPO tournaments scheduled and over 150 scheduled by NASPA
* As much as possible, work towards conciliation of the two Scrabble groups
* Continue to promote word lists that are free to be used by all
* Attract new players
Keith’s candidate statement:
I would like to respectfully seek your support for my candidacy for re-election to the WGPO Executive Committee.
It’s a little hard for me to believe, but WGPO will be 7 years old in January. So much for those who glibly predicted a short lifespan for a democratially run, all-volunteer organization without membership fees or other organizational charges. Because of the dedicated efforts of many, we’ve become an established part of the tournament Scrabble scene and have brought competition and enjoyment to the many players who believe in our mission to play often, to play fair and have fun.
We can’t rest smugly on our accomplishments; however, if WGPO is to flourish in the years ahead, we must offer more tournaments, which means adding more directors, and increase our geographic spread. Again, recruiting new directors in underrepresented regions will be key. I believe I have contributed significantly to the good strides we have made in the last year, with some new, enthusiastic directors and additional, well-received tournaments in several states. And I strongly advocated bringing the 2017 Word Cup to the East Coast; having it in Springfield, Mass., will be a giant step in the right direction.
But we must intensify our efforts if we hope to increase our roster of active players. In particular, we must get more younger players not only into our organization, but also involved in its operation. Clearly, the average age of tournament Scrabblers is quite high, regardless of what banner or banners they play under. If we do not sharply increase our outreach to attract young players, WGPO will face serious problems in the years ahead.
More directors, more tournaments, greater geographic spread and intensified outreach to younger players: These are the areas that I pledge to focus my efforts on if I have the honor and responsibility of serving another term on the WGPO Executive Committee.