US Chess Discussion

Welcome! This blog has no connection with the USCF. It's a blog where I provide chess fans with general information about US Chess as well as the USCF. It's also a site where everyone can productively discuss or ask questions about various USCF issues! Your contributions and comments are welcome! PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL & RESPECT OTHERS! Enjoy! All posts that do not meet this guideline will be deleted -- WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY!(TM) --- 2006 Susan Polgar©

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Very important issues for the USCF

kbachler wrote:

I recently outlined a vision for USCF, including some high-level discussion of how to implement the vision. I'd like to see the EB candidates address this. (It may be helpful to first read the thread #1 Role for USCF: An Infrastructure for Volunteers)

Paul Truong: Kevin, Please let me address another issue which is a part of my vision. This is not an issue for debate and I do not want to go back and forth with a hundred posts. This is just my personal take as a retired business professional. I completely disagree with the assessment of some of the people about the state of the USCF.

In my opinion, the bottom line is NOT about if we are making, losing or breaking even this year. This is a short term thing. The bigger picture is to make sure that we will never go back to 2003. How did we get to 2003? Years of mismanagement and lack of proper direction! The only way to change this is to increase revenues while making sure that every dollar is spent efficiently. We are not doing this enough and it bothers me.

Is the USCF better off today than a few years ago? Yes. Is it enough to say that the state of this federation is healthy? No, not by a long shot! Healthier does not mean healthy! To be content with where we are today is totally irresponsible. It is great that things have improved but we must continue this trend every year. There is nothing to brag about when we are losing money in 9 of the last 11 years. We should not react only when our finances are bad. Unfortunately, this has been the mentality for a long time.

The same goes with big league sports. Teams replace their managers / leaders because positive changes are needed. Otherwise, things will get stale. We have people in the leadership positions afraid to make decisions because every move they make are second guessed by other chess politicians. All you have to do is look at the behavior in this forum. You cannot run a successful organization without deep vision and strong leadership. We need to run this federation like a professional and profitable corporation. Our leaders should be held accountable for the annual bottom line and not for every single decision. Otherwise, things would become a cumbersome bureaucratic system which will lead to failure.

We need to be a lot stronger financially and there is absolutely no reason why this can’t be done. We need to rebuild our LMA and have plenty of reserves. Imagine what we would do if Frank Berry did not step up to sponsor the US Championship or the KCF with the Olympiad? Has anyone taken a look at the operation in Crossville? Can it be run more efficiently? I bet it can. Can we save money with our current payroll so we can increase staff power for the same money? While some of us are fighting over a dollar or two with the memberships, we are wasting thousands and thousands of dollars elsewhere.

I also mentioned before about national scholastic events. There is absolutely no reason why we cannot increase the profit in these events by increasing sponsorship and advertisement revenues.

We cannot afford to hire consultants and pay tens and thousands of dollars to assess the situation and come up with sound solutions. I know because I got paid the big bucks to do just this in my career. But why not utilize in house talent who are willing, ready and able to volunteer? We do it for finances. Why not in this area?

There are so many people who are willing, ready and able to volunteer. We are not doing enough to utilize their talents. There are also countless people who are so willing, ready and able to help on the state and local level. All they want is to do good things for this game for an occasional thank you.

I just had lunch in Queens with a major chess business owner from the midwest an hour ago. He asked to meet GM Polgar and me. He would like to know how he and his company can help the SPF. I did not solicite him. He called me. I asked him why the SPF? Why not the USCF? He said he tried for many years but he did not like the way how he was treated. This is not the first time I have heard this. This is a man who loves chess and wants nothing more than to help and he walked away from this federation. I don't think he and his company have ever been recognized by the USCF.

The biggest problem we have is not finding players, sponsors or even promoting the game properly. The biggest problem is within us and our mentality. As I said before, how do you expect different results if we keep on repeating the same mistakes? I have many items on my list but this is a big one. If elected and I cannot help this federation improve, I will never run again. That is the promise that I have made over and over.

There is no reason why the USCF cannot have plenty of money in reserve if we run the operation properly. I want to bring everyone back and bring in new ones. I don't want to lose a single sponsor, supporter or volunteer. I want to thank every company and every person. I want to treat our partners, volunteers, sponsors and supporters like gold. Isn't time for us to do the right and logical things that can help the USCF?

Best regards,
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