WGPO Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Sunday May 1 , 2022
Call to Order: President Steve Pellinen called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm CST.
Attending: Steve Pellinen, Keith Hagel, Jan Cardia, Helen Flores, Laurie Cohen, Bennett Jacobstein.
- Approve March 27, 2022 Minutes No changes to the minutes as posted on the WGPO website.
- Update on Majors and Word Cup 2023 Board members moved to discuss locations, venue options and planning issues in closed session following the meeting.
- WGPO/CoCo Word Cup 2022 update Word Cup Budget details, including all prize amounts have not been finalized other than committing $10,000 each top prize money for TWL and Collins. Venue and overhead costs are significant. The event requires funds for a second ballroom, and Steve noted that $3500 of entry fees will be used to live stream several CWL Word Cup games. Word Cup 10 is a joint CoCo/WGPO event, and CoCo leaders urged streaming to promote and publicize the game. The Board of Directors discussed benefits vs. costs for live streaming games. Doing so should increase awareness of the Word Cup and WGPO Inc. as well.
- Possible WGPO hosting of World Championship Steve asked Board members to consider hosting the World Scrabble Championship in 2023. This prestigious CWL event attracts players from all over the world. Laurie noted that it would be a wonderful and exciting opportunity for our organization. Members expressed interest in this idea but expressed concerns about the amount of work we have already taken on. WGPO needs more time to plan before we can take on this charge. If CoCo decides to host the World Cup, WGPO Directors agreed to support that effort. WGPO’s hosting interest is not in 2023, but in the future, perhaps 2024.
- Finances: Directors addressed the following financial concerns.
* IRS Form 990 must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Steve forwarded a partial copy with the agenda. Steve and Jan are finishing work on that.
*Financial redundancy: Jan and Laurie will have signature permission with the WGPO bank account, along with Steve, at Wells Fargo Bank.
* Helen had sent Directors information about fundraising efforts for WGPO administrative costs. Fundraising committee members are few, and it is difficult to estimate whether or not the committee will raise enough to cover all annual costs.
Bennett suggested that the members vote on membership dues in a referendum, perhaps when elections are held at the end of the year.
- Insurance upgrade, Hasbro license As primary sponsor of the School Scrabble Word Planet event, WGPO needs to have a license agreement with Hasbro. Steve had forwarded Hasbro’s license with redlined initial and final versions prior to the meeting. The original license agreement proposal required extremely high insurance liability insurance. Steve noted how easy it was to meet and work with Hasbro’s new Director of Development. They were able to negotiate a reduction in the liability insurance amount needed. The updated WGPO insurance policy will cost $600+ additional annually.
- President’s expense spending limit: Steve asked the Board to consider whether or not the President should have an expense limit – to use WGPO funds – without consulting the Board. Such a policy would apply to the individual in the position of President. Members decided that the President is generally able to consult with Directors via Email or phone. Action: Set President expense spending limit of $250 without consulting the Board (Helen/Keith).
- Update School Scrabble Championship May 14 – 15
Steve noted that WGPO is providing 90% of the support for the School Scrabble Championship. WGPO is carrying the Hasbro license, providing liability insurance and $10,000 in funding. Will is streaming the event. Stefan Fatsis is directing.
- COVID update
COVID cases are rising again. However, tracking of cases is difficult, given home testing and less reporting than earlier. A Director recently lost a parent to COVID.
Directors considered vaccination/booster requirements for players from other countries. National policies differ. WGPO set a precedent when the Board agreed that Canadian players who comply with their country’s vaccination standards may play in WGPO tournaments. Directors agreed that players who meet COVID vaccination requirements to travel to the U.S. shall be considered in compliance with WGPO vaccination standards.
Should the Board further amend WGPO tournament guidance about masking? Players are to be masked in Word Cup playing rooms. Masks will not be mandatory at the reception. In order to protect members, Directors agreed to maintain Tournament guidance for COVID (last amended April 1, 2022) through the Word Cup in July.
- Proposed Advertising and Promotions Committee After brief discussion of the need for additional to WGPO advertising and promotions, no action was taken.
- Website update Charles and Thomas Reinke continue work updating the Web site. Current plans are for the Board to see a preview at the next (June) Board meeting.
- Director! Update Marc Levesque is the Director developer, and he has recently upgraded the software. The new version — Director 5 – is easier to use and may be downloadable to the upgraded WGPO website. It can manage 100-game tournaments and large tournaments like the Word Cup. For use of the software, Marc has generally received an annual fee of $200.
The Board voted to hold a closed Executive Session. (Keith/Jan)
The Board adjourned the open session Board meeting at 7:30 pm CST (Jan/Helen).