WGPO Board of Directors Meeting Minutes – August

From Helen Flores:

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Call to Order: President Steve Pellinen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm CST.   Attending: Will Anderson, Steve Pellinen, Jan Cardia, Laurie Cohen, Helen Flores, Keith Hagel, Bennett Jacobstein.

Approve July 3, 2022 Minutes: With no changes or additions, the Minutes were approved (Steve/Laurie).

Member Discipline/Discipline Committee Needed: On August 4, the Board took disciplinary against a member for failing to disclose testing positive for COVID in order to play in a tournament. The player received an immediate suspension from tournament play and attendance. The player is further required to acknowledge and apologize for violating tournament requirements.

Board Members discussed sharing player disciplinary action with directors, the full membership, and the public. They agreed that tournament directors need to know which members are suspended and which are in good standing. However, the identity of a disciplined member need not be shared with the general public or the membership at large. Therefore, Board meeting minutes shall briefly summarize the infraction, disciplinary action taken, but without member identification.

For future discussion, Board members asked how discipline should be addressed when there is no consensus: How many votes will be required to act: a simple majority? Unanimity? or other?

Keith noted that disciplinary issues consume an inordinate amount of time for the Board, He recommended that the President appoint a Disciplinary Committee to be charged with reviewing complaints, requesting and assessing incident reports from all parties involved, and recommending Board action.

2022 Word Cup Review – What worked, what could be improved?  Improvements suggested included:

  •  Print names on both sides of lanyards.
  • Instead of loose strips of paper to report winners and scores, provide sticky note tablets at playing tables.
  • TWL Streaming coverage was disappointing. It worked for CoCo – but the WGPO tourney received no coverage except for the Awards Ceremony. Board members discussed options for TWL tournaments to be streamed, including ideas to address Hasbro and Mattel concerns about using the TWL lexicon. Will Anderson agreed to investigate setting up our own separate streaming channel.
  • TWL tournament publicity and coverage were sorely lacking. Board members noted that WGPO has always been weak in this regard. We need to appoint a communications  committee to promote the organization and the game; and publicize events.
  • The Town Hall Meeting needed an agenda. Topics raised were of limited interest to the membership, and discussion rambled. Laurie noted that low attendance is often because there is little incentive to be there. Previously the incentive for member meetings included learning where the next year’s Word Cup would be held.

Future WGPO/CoCo Joint Ventures: Board members shared mixed views about the joint 2022 Word Cup event. Both tournaments were successful, but there was little joint interaction. Obstacles included: players in entirely separate rooms, COVID and other health concerns, and extremely busy directors.

As noted earlier, the TWL tournament should have been announced frequently during the streaming session. What other measures might have been taken to include more TWL coverage?

Our next CoCo collaboration will be at the upcoming 2023 Crescent City Cup. Tournament organizers approached CoCo, who then contacted WGPO, about co-sponsoring the event in New Orleans. Steve will meet with CoCo leaders to discuss this tournament and ways to improve further joint ventures.

 2023 Word Cup 11 Discussion: Board members discussed alternative locations and venues in Northeast United States for Word Cup 11, including costs and benefits of two alternatives. Details about specific venues were discussed in closed Executive Session. Members expressed concerns and raised questions that need to be addressed before the Board will make a final decision. Steve agreed to gather additional information within the next two weeks.

 Election Committee: Bennett agreed to contact Lynda Finn to request that she chair the Elections Committee again. Four members’ terms are up at the end of the year: Laurie Cohen, Helen Flores, Keith Hagel and Steve Pellinen. Helen suggested that Board members identify potential candidates for office.

 Lexicon Committee: Bennett has contacted Lexicon Committee members. He will send a written report to the Board.

 Adjournment: The Board adjourned the Board meeting at 8:00 pm CST (Helen/Keith).

Helen Flores, Secretary, WGPO