WGPO Board of Directors Meeting Minutes March 27, 2022

Call to Order: President Steve Pellinen called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm CST.

AttendingSteve Pellinen, Keith Hagel, Jan Cardia, Helen Flores, Will Anderson, Laurie Cohen, Bennett Jacobstein.

1.    March 6, 2022 Minutes – Approval  There were no changes to the minutes as posted on the WGPO website.

2.    Executive Session  Steve identified the need for the Board to document certain types of sensitive issues with discretion. Disciplinary charges require the Board to investigate charges and complaints, gather information, and document concerns. In order to maintain privacy during this phase of the process, the Board met to review a potential disciplinary action. Members reviewed concerns at length and assessed possible WGPO action at this time. The Session closed with agreement that action would be needed and authorized Steve to pursue coordinated efforts with other organizations.

3. WGPO/CoCo Word Cup Update: Board members noted that entry fees go up on April 1.

4. School Scrabble Planet Word Event: Steve Pellinen has been invited to participate in the School Scrabble Championship event, May 14 – 15, in Washington D.C. to assist with the event layout and logistics. It will also provide an opportunity for Steve to meet with new Hasbro executives. Will Anderson, representing Scopely, will have his expenses covered.

Action: Board approved use of WGPO funds for Steve’s lodging and travel for Planet World School Scrabble Championship (Helen/Laurie).

5. Director Software: Bennett identified the need for continued support and updating of Director software that is used for managing tournaments. He suggested that perhaps WGPO could look into taking over these responsibilities. Discussion included assessments of other software products that have been used for tournaments. All agreed that the software needs to be director-friendly and of course accurate. CoCo is in the process of developing a new software, and it might also work for WGPO.  Officers will check to see what other efforts are underway, with the Woogles team, among others. It would be beneficial for the software to tie into the Reinke’s website revision work as well.  Steve agreed to contact Mark Levesque.

6. Fundraising Committee Report: Helen noted that the Fundraising Committee has determined that its goal is to raise funds to help cover WGPO Inc. administrative costs.  Given the infusion of CCSFF funds for prizes, tournament entry fees should fully cover tournament venue and associated costs.  Therefore, we will no longer contribute additional funds to increase prize amounts, as we have done in previous years.  With this amended focus, Committee members are doing wonderful things. Stay tuned!

7. Finances – Budget for 2022 remainder and look-ahead to 2023

Steve provided a detailed summary of finances to date in advance of the meeting.  Some items listed are one-time expenses related to incorporation, IRS filing, etc.  Insurance and some other items will not change much from year to year. Some other items are difficult to estimate; legal fees, for example.

Bennett requested that the Board estimate amounts of CCSFF prize funds that will be allocated to the three regional tournaments that he is trying to schedule.

The Board noted that CCSFF funds are earmarked as follows: $50,000 Word Cup, $10,000 School Scrabble. $1,500 CCSFF funds contributed to the Phoenix prize fund.

Members suggested that the total prize for each of the three regional tournaments needs to be substantial. Tournament directors need incentives.

Action: WGPO will use as a goal $10,000 CCSFF prize fund for each of three regional tournaments in 2022-23.

8. COVID Update: COVID infection news remains unpredictable. Board members discussed whether or not to further amend the Updated WGPO Tournament Rules. Consensus was to take no action.

9. Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm CST (Keith Hagel/Laurie Cohen).