Q and A with Paul Truong - Part 2
Q&A with Paul Truong (Part 2) - Questions by various USCF members
Q: How does it feel to win this very difficult election?
A: Nothing changed for me on a personal level. It is not about me winning a seat. It is about helping the USCF. I still do the same things everyday. Now I would have a chance to help the USCF a lot more. My #1 motivation has always been about US Chess. I love chess and I am absolutely confident that we can do a lot more for this federation.
I used to tell people my chess promotional ideas. People said it would never work. They said that chess is not marketable. Fine! I am not a confrontational person. So rather than going back and forth with useless arguments, I implemented my promotional ideas through the SPF instead of the USCF.Chess can be big if it is being promoted properly. There is no reason why the USCF cannot expand its memberships and revenues. I believe this board will be motivated to do it.
It is actually fitting because I was a NJ kid. When I came to America, I spent my youth in Northern NJ. I went to school there. My family lived there for years until recently when my father retired and moved to Florida. But I have always considered myself a NJ kid. My first ever tournament in the US was in Edison, NJ, directed by Glenn Petersen. I have known Steve Doyle for years. I played at the Westwood, Hillsdale and Dumont Chess Clubs.
Many of my wonderful chess friends such as Aviv Friedman, Chuck Adelman and David Cole are from NJ. Now I am back to NJ as an elected official of the USCF and I see a great future for chess.
Q: Did you believe that your team can win the 4 seats?
A: I am not sure what you mean by team. Susan and I felt that the most qualified candidates that can help the USCF now are Misha Korenman, Jim Berry and Randy Bauer. It does not mean that other candidates are not qualified. It just means that we believe that they can help the USCF the most right now. It may be different 2 years from now with different priorities.
I wish that Misha would have been elected too. But unfortunately there were only 4 spots. He is the great voice for scholastic chess as well as professional and college chess. I have no doubt that Misha will work closely with this board. He is a great person and a tremendous chess lover.
We had a clear strategy and our goals and mission were very straight forward. We pounded on the issues rather than relying on personal attacks. We pointed out the problems with the organization as a whole and we offered the solutions. When others relentlessly attacked and insulted us, we refused to get into the mud slinging war. It does not do any good for chess to keep attacking each other. There are enough things to do to improve this federation.
Q: Someone said that Susan and you spent less than $50 for this election. Is it true and if it is, how is it possible to win spending that little? It is unheard of.
A: Yes, it is true. Once again, this is what I have been saying all along. It is the same thing as chess marketing, PR and promotion. We do not have to spend tons of money to get good results. I learned throughout my life experience to make things work with what I have.
The USCF forgot or neglected the grassroots way long ago. We did not. We met thousands of people in the past few years. People believe in Susan’s vision. And people campaigned hard on our behalf. They want to see positive changes and she offered the greatest prospect for this to happen.
It is also about the Internet. With today's technology, there is no reason why we cannot update chess news very rapidly. If the two of us can do this, the USCF as an organization should be able to do many times more. I think we were very efficient using this technology to get our messages out instead of using the print media. But we also did not email people. Spamming people will have the reversed effect.
Q: Would you want any position for yourself on this board?
A: No. I want nothing for myself. I am a behind the scene guy. I don’t need or want any glory. I am most happy when I can make magic happen from the background. But I think the other board members will play major roles in reforming the USCF.
Bill Goichberg has an incredible amount of experience. So is Randy Hough. I know both of them for more than 25 years. Joe Channing is a great guy and he has a lot of wonderful ideas. Jim Berry is fantastic and one the biggest chess lovers I know. So is his twin brother Frank. I consider both of them friends. I have great respect for Randy Bauer, especially when it comes to finances and budgeting. Susan of course is a chess magnet. She has the special ability to energize and excite the members.
As for me, I like to be behind the scene doing I am good at. I am not so good being in the front because I am a no nonsense guy and I say what I mean. I will not be bashful in saying what is on my mind when I am asked a question. Some people do not like that.
I think the USCF would benefit greatly with Susan as President. She will bring instant credibility for this federation in this country as well as around the world. Imagine the kind of publicity the USCF can get with her as the face and voice of this federation. She ran her company for more than 10 years. She also has a lot of experience in the non-profit field being on the board of the SPF and Point Hope. She can do it all.
I think Randy B. is the most obvious choice as VP of Finance. He is very successful in this area. I think Bill or Joel could be the critical pieces to help move the USCF along as VP. Jim Berry or Randy Hough would be great as the USCF Secretary. I just want to be a part of the team and help with marketing, PR and promotion.
Q: What are some of your immediate goals for the USCF?
A: Reduce frivolous spending and increase revenues. We have to be fiscally responsible. I see of lot of waste which can be reduced and there are areas we need to spend more on. But we are going nowhere unless we can generate more revenues. I intend to discuss all of these areas with my colleagues next week.