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2013/02/17 Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives, Executive Committee, and Word Cup Committee

Notes from Meeting of WGPO Board of Player Representatives, Executive Committee, and Word Cup Committee

Phoenix, AZ, February 17, 2013


Executive Committee Members:

  • Keith Hagel
  • Stephanie Steele

Board of Player Representatives:

  • Larry Rand
  • Steve Pellinen
  • Sue Hoehn

2013 Word Cup Committee Members:

  • Angela Dancho
  • Julia Swaney
  • Laura Scheimberg
  • Mem Morman

Membership and Finance:

  • Janice Kaye
  • Melissa Brown

Chairperson  Janice Kaye called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
1. Word Cup 2013 Update

Angela presented a report on planning efforts for the 2013 WGPO Word Cup, which will be held Aug 2-7, 2013, at the Red Lion Denver Southeast in Colorado.

  • Currently, 55 people are on the tentative list, with several paid registrations.
  • The committee is working with the hotel to plan event logistics.  $100 a day for playing room has been negotiated.
  • An anonymous donor has offered $2,000 in funds for a lead-up 2-day tournament to be held in April or May to generate interest in the main event.  Angela will finalize a date within the next two weeks if it is feasible.
  • A search is underway for corporate sponsors.
  • WGPO will donate funds, to be voted on later in the agenda.
  • There have been 2 fundraising bake sales.
  • An opening reception will be held on Friday evening, August 2. Stephanie suggested that the refreshments be hotel-catered; Keith seconded this idea. Julia has already begun discussions with the hotel catering service to arrange for refreshments; there will be a vegetarian option.
  • Outside activities are being planned, including:
    • Bennett Jacobstein is on point to do a trivia night.
    • The committee is looking into local activities, including outings to the ball park, a brewery tour (Laura), outdoor parks, antiquarian book fair being held in Denver that weekend (Keith). Denver tourism materials will be obtained by the committee.
    • Julia will compile a list of activities and transportation information, rental car options, possible airline discount (Mem to investigate).
  • A general membership meeting will be scheduled for one of the lunch breaks with box lunches available for purchase.
  • Confirmation of entry fees:  Angela will send via email and cc Larry, who will update information on the website.
  • Janice asked that directors throughout the nation be reminded to promote the Word Cup during their local tournaments.  She suggested having receptacles for collecting donations for WGPO and the Word Cup.
  • Publicity plan:  Angela will write up an article to submit to Last Word newsletter; Keith will work on a press release and contact media outlets; Larry will publicize on OSPD, WGPO and CGP listservs, and do additional promotion.
  • Larry requested a monthly progress communication to keep the EC and BPR informed.
  • Janice will contact the Minneapolis television station that donated to Word Cup 2012 for leads on Denver possible donor stations.
  • Janice suggested that a WGPO branded gift item be available as either give-away or for sale; alternatives discussed, and attendees agreed that Julia should look into the cost of 200 water bottles.
  • In addition there will be some kind of ‘swag bag’ including give-aways; the Colorado Springs Scrabble Club will donate pens (Mem).  Also, Mem will arrange for printing and laminating name tags with the colorful WGPO logo; Steve will send Mem the logo graphic file.

2. Event for “Words With Friends”

Larry presented two proposals submitted by Bennett (absent due to illness). The first proposal is that WGPO sponsor a non-rated event to attract Words With Friends players.  Bennett offered to underwrite all expenses for this new idea, which is attempting to get more new players into the WGPO Scrabble scene. Bennett and Rick would pilot such an event in the Bay Area; to be clarified if this would be a Scrabble tournament or WWF tournament. The EC and BPR members present unanimously voted in favor of this idea. Larry will follow up with Bennett.
3. WGPO Western Tournament tour

Larry presented Bennett’s second proposal, which is for a Western Tournament Tour, modeled on Steve Pellinen’s NAST, with some type of a point system for attendance / competition.  BPR and EC approved the idea and asked for details.
4. Word Cup 2014

  • Larry voiced the concern about fall in attendance at tournaments, using the February Phoenix tournament numbers as an example (249 players in 2005, 117 in 2013 number is 117).  There was discussion around the fact that there is a lot of work to do to bolster attendance, which has diminished due to a number of factors, including demographics — aging player population and difficulty attracting younger new players — the economy, sentiment about the split into two word game organizations, now more tournaments being held, and an increased number of people playing online.
  • Keith stated that a healthy active club scene is essential to attracting tournament players.
  • The need was identified for a club committee chair to keep the web page updated.  Larry will approach a potential point person to be in charge.

5. Webmaster and Website (Larry)

Larry identified the need for someone to keep up the WGPO website, which is the face of the organization.  Steve volunteered to approach a web expert and look into options.
6. Name Change

The EC and BPR members present unanimously decided to not pursue at this time.

7. Collins Divisions at Tournaments

Stephanie voiced the concern that WGPO Collins divisions do not count toward WESPA rating.  And Collins competitors are concerned that exceptional performance efforts are not recognized.  A player with vested interest in Collins should be recruited to champion the cause. Keith will approach potential point person for this task.

8. Seed Money for Word Cup 2013

Janice reported that there is approximately $3200 in the Word Cup checking account.  EC and BPR members discussed the amount of funds to be allocated to Word Cup 2013. Initially Keith proposed a donation of $2500. After discussion about not wanting to set a precedent, Keith moved that WGPO donate  $1500 minimum in seed money with the option open to contribute additional funds. Steph seconded the motion, and all EC and BPR members present voted in favor.

9. Word Cup 2014

Larry has reached out to the WGPO director who had been considering a Michigan location for WC2014; this option is no longer on the table. Other possibilities were discussed, with the general feeling that the location should move east.  Madison, Wisconsin was suggested by Steph, who will discuss with the Scrabble leaders there. Larry volunteered to work with the director in organizing and running the tournament.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Brown

WGPO Member Liaison