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2011/07/03-04 WGPO Committees and BPR Meeting

WGPO Committees and Board of Player Representatives Meeting

Reno, NV

July 3-4, 2011

Attendees:  Stephanie Steele, Keith Hagel, Peggy Grant, Susi Tiekert, Steve Pellinen, Rick Wong, Larry Rand, Janice Kaye (nonvoting), Melissa Brown (nonvoting).  (Laurie Cohen was unable to attend.)

Meeting Chair:  Day One – Stephanie; Day Two – Keith


The Sunday, July 3 meeting was called to order by Stephanie.

1) Rules update (Susi)

Susie distributed copies of the rules.  Susie believes this is a complete first draft, as written by her with editorial assistance from Melissa.  These rules are intended to be used at WGPO clubs and tournaments in lieu of any other organization’s rules.  As NASPA comes out with new rules, WGPO will review and determine if revision necessary.  Moved by Rick that the committees and the board review the draft, and discuss at a future meeting.  Seconded by Peggy, and passed unanimously.

2) Director’s test update (Janice)

Janice reported that two people (Bill Pizer and Michael Bradley) have taken the Director’s test, which was created by Peggy and revised by Janice.  Janice will distribute a final copy of the test to committees and board.  Stephanie moved that the test contact info should be included on the website; the motion was seconded.  It was agreed that Larry and Rick will announce during the Word Cup that the test is available.  Expressing interest in taking the test is not a commitment to doing so.  WGPO will utilize only the one test, and it will be used only for new directors; not required for those who have already passed the NSA/NASPA test.  Keith will compile a list of all the WGPO members who are directors.

3) Director’s recognition (Peggy)

Peggy would like the group to consider expanding recognition of directors for the next year with the goal of focusing on having more WGPO tournaments.  Peggy moved to adopt, in principle, to offer a tournament entry fee reduction or waiver incentive for any director who directs a WGPO tournament in the next fiscal year.   Details need to be worked out before this incentive is implemented.   Keith seconded.  Supported:  all except Rick and Larry, who abstained.

4) 2012 and 2013 Word Cups (Keith)

Keith stated that planning should being immediately for the 2012 and 2013 Word Cup tournaments.  Rick stated that he has already made arrangements with the Grand Sierra Resort (Reno) to hold a tournament there at the beginning of July 2012.   Minneapolis was discussed as a good choice for the Word Cup because of its central US location with easy access by a large number of WGPO members.   Keith stated that a committee should be formed and given 30 days to make arrangements for holding the WC in the Minneapolis area.  If arrangements are not made in 30 days, the early July Reno tournament can again be the WC.  Keith moved that a committee be formed immediately to plan the 2012 Word Cup Tournament in Minneapolis to be confirmed in 30 days, and that a committee also be established to begin planning for 2013.  Rick seconded.  Unanimously passed.

5) Formal recognition of WGPO as a legitimate organization by Hasbro(Larry)

Larry proposed that the group approach Hasbro with information about WGPO and ask for formal recognition, because WGPO has almost 800 members, directors, tournaments all over the country, rule book, word list, software for directing, and inclusion in the monthly newsletter.  There was discussion around licensing agreement, and the pros and cons of approaching Hasbro.  Early on Steve had approached Hasbro and did not get a response.  Steve considering approaching Hasbro about the NAST using the registered trademarked name.  There was not a formal motion or vote on this item.

Because of time constraints, it was decided that the meeting will be continued on Monday, July 4.

Two additional items were discussed:

  • Holding a WGPO membership meeting for everyone in the tournament on Tuesday, July 5 at  8 pm in Crystal Ballroom.  Unanimously agreed.
  • There is a $2000 balance due for the Word Cup shirts.  Moved by Steph that the balance be paid by WGPO , seconded by Keith, passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned.

*     *     *     *     *

The Monday, July 4 meeting was called to order by Keith.

Continued discussion of Item #1 (Rules).  After their initial review, Steve and Rick gave some general comments on the conciseness and tone of the document.  It was agreed that Susi will provide a soft copy of the document to all attended, with comments due to her by August 1st, with the goal of having a finalized copy completed for the Wisconsin Dells tournament.  Rick moved that comments are due August 1st, seconded by Larry, and agreed upon unanimously.

6) Establishment of a Scholarship Fund (Susi)

Susi proposed setting up a scholarship fund for people who cannot afford to travel to a WGPO tournament.  There was discussion around how to raise funds for this effort (for example $1 per entrant per tournament or asking for voluntary contributions).  Steve proposed setting up a Scholarship fund, asking for voluntary contributions, with a committee set up to determine winners.  Rick moved that WGPO look into to establishing some sort of scholarship fund and look into administering it.  Steve seconded, passed unanimously.

7) A plan to get more tournaments (Keith)

Keith stated his concern that there is a small number of WGPO tournaments, mostly held in the Midwest and West.  Keith commented that more directors are needed.  TC Houlgate-West from California and Marcia Wade from Indiana have expressed interest in taking the director’s test, per Janice.  Bill Pizer, who has taken the test, is planning to look into directing a tournament in New York, and others in the East have expressed interest in directing.  Regional plan suggested by Keith.  Peggy raised the idea of having a destination tournament in the East or Midwest, to be directed by Larry, ensuring that it does not conflict with any NASPA event.  Larry mentioned looking into a place that has not had tournaments before, like St. Louis.   Steph reinforced the idea of incentive to get new directors.  Keith suggested Hartford and Peggy suggested Mystic, CT.  There was not a formal motion on this item.

8.) Open discussion.

Rick said that he is considering delivering speech for closing ceremonies to state that WGPO is not competing with NASPA, but to look for new ways to become a better organization.  Rick estimates that 5 million people in the US play the word game, and even attracting 1% of them would be a big opportunity.  His idea to bill a national tournament as a convention including lectures and other innovative features to attract the fan base.  Look at what has succeeded in other industries.  Steph and Steve agree it is a good idea …  Think different, like the Apple slogan.  Susi cautioned against use of the trademarked name in advertising.  Timing suggested for first thing Wednesday morning or immediately before the awards ceremony for Rick to do a 10 minute speech.

Membership meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday evening.  Steph will take minutes or engage someone else to do it.  Format of the meeting was  discussed.  Moderator of meeting will be Peggy.  There will not be a formal agenda, instead, it will be a Q and A with the audience.  Keith suggested that EC and committee members introduce themselves.

Motion to adjourn was made by Keith and seconded by Steph.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Brown