With the health and wellness of our membership viewed as the top priority, the ACBL continues to place emphasis on supporting our clubs and our membership through online play. 

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, should a club choose to reopen, the ACBL has recently released its club safety recommendations, operational guidelines and best practices along with consensus recommendations from health authorities. 
As the ACBL supports clubs and membership, it must also remain viable. In May, revenue exceeded forecast by 80 percent mainly due to the Stay @ Home and Play @ Home and Silver Linings Week events, an increase in virtual club play and a reduction in operating expenses as a result of staff furloughs and budget reductions. Although May proved positive, year-end financial projections indicate the ACBL will still suffer substantial loss.    

The ACBL furloughed 11 employees from headquarters and 23 tournament directors. Staff and management took a 20 percent pay reduction and moved to a four-day work week while sheltering in place. Effective May 25, these reductions were eliminated while furloughed employees will be brought back as need and finances allow. The re-opening of headquarters has been delayed until at least June 21.

Efforts by the ACBL CFO to pursue benefits from the CARES ACT have paid off. The finance department is working with the ACBL’s payroll provider to use Employee Retention Tax Credits to partially offset our federal payroll tax liability. This tax credit will be utilized in the ACBL’s July 2020 tax filing. We will continue to monitor the potential for funding the ACBL through new and revised stimulus packages passed by the Federal government. 

The Play @ Home and Stay @ Home regionally-rated tournament, held April 30 through May 3, served as a fundraiser for the ACBL while providing membership an opportunity to earn GOLD/RED points. Proceeds totaled $230,000 and capacity was over 75 percent.

District Directors solicited feedback from membership which was condensed into a report. “Lessons learned” have been applied to future events. 
The Silver Linings Week, held May 25 through May 31, generated revenue through sanction fees, increased player participation and created much excitement particularly within our NLM community. The final tally: 37,639.5 tables -- an increase of 51.5 percent over the previous week. Online club play for May more than doubled the table count for April. This table count includes the Silver Linings Week and three of the four days of the Stay @ Home and Play @ Home tournament.  

Congratulations to Sam Hankins, Tijeras, NM and Elizabeth McKay, Highlands Ranch, CO for achieving the rank of Life Master and to Joshua Mullins, Albuquerque, NM for achieving the rank of Bronze Life Master during Silver Linings Week .  

The ACBL will continue to run events -- one per month -- until significant in-person play resumes.  Endless Summer, a four-day regionally-rated tournament, will be held online June 25-28 providing membership with more opportunities to earn GOLD/RED points. 
The ACBL Board of Directors meets regularly through conference calls, GoToMeeting and Zoom. Committees and task forces frequently meet using Zoom or similar technologies. The business of the ACBL is discussed and tasks, motions and discussion items are acted upon. Management, staff and the Board of Directors are fully engaged during these unprecedented and challenging times. 
20S-01: discontinuation of ACBL Board stipends for 2020
22/2/1 - motion passed after an amendment to receive the stipend in the third trimester failed 7-18-0. I voted against the amendment and for the motion.

20S-02: districts/units running online sectionals/regionals
5/20/0 - motion failed after much discussion.  The majority could not justify the additional financial hardship clubs would experience as a result of district and/or unit run regionals/ sectionals, particularly during a time when clubs are struggling to stay afloat. Also, the technological challenges combined with the increased strain these regionals/sectionals would place on BBO would be far too great at this time. I voted against the motion.
Financial hardship was sited as a rationale for district/unit run regionals/sectionals. To determine need, District Directors provided feedback to management regarding how their Districts are faring financially during the pandemic and how long before each showed signs of hardship. John Grossmann, president, D17, stated the District has enough reserves to hold in place for approximately two years.
My next National Director update will be included in the July edition of The D17 Bridge Buzz.

We are navigating through stressful and unprecedented times. Although it is uncertain when we will return to F2F play, I hope bridge continues to bring you joy, a connection with community through virtual club/SYC play and that you are earning lots of masterpoints!

As always, I am here to answer your questions and to address your concerns.
Take care and stay safe,

Cindy Shoemaker
ACBL National Board Representative