Judy Kay-Wolff


Most of my information about the ACBL is gotten second hand as Jay Baum, outgoing CEO, has responded neither to Bobby’s nor my emails.   Guess he is just counting the days till his sentence is over and who can blame him?   We hear neither the Head of Field Employees (TDs) nor the newest Chief Financial Officer plays bridge.   How can that be? ..  but we must allow for an error in the transmission.  Also, we learned that nine loyal people got the hatchet (some after forty some years of service) during the week of the Philadelphia WBF Convention last Fall.   We thought the firings could be because of financial deficits but we heard from a couple of reliable sources, the ACBL is in tip-top financial shape, perhaps the best it has ever been.  

If that is true (and we have no reason to believe to the contrary), why don’t they kick over some of the money picked from Peter Pender’s pocket from a total of $77,500 donated ($22,500 to the Junior Fund which was neglected for sixteen years until I got on someone’s back)– and the $50,000 also given by Peter to help commemorate his name (after his impending death from AIDS) – which caused the name of the Vu-graph to be changed to the Pendergraph, using the second grant.   However, by 1998, with the introduction of more modern venues, the Pendergraph was put to sleep quietly, never to be re-awakened, although in 2005 and 2006 about $11,000 additional was lifted from the fund – reducing it now to around $10,700.   What a work of stealthy illegal handling of a dead man’s money.   The CEO does not respond, the Board of Directors does nothing about revitalizing his memory and they close their eyes to the pleas to replenish the misused funds taken about seven years after the disappearance of the Pendergraph.

The world has major problems, but so does the ACBL.   Someone suggested posting a Petition signed by those friends of Peter still alive for the disgusting mishandling and probable negligence exhibited by those officials pretending to be conscientious and also fighting for the betterment of bridge.  Delusions of grandeur by them -– to be sure!!!


John Howard GibsonApril 10th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

HBJ : I admire your dogged and determined effort to fight for what is right and just. It’s a shame that are there not others who feel as strongly as you…….people who could help to bring this whole shameful affair out into the open.

Why the current officers in the ACBL can’t simply apologize, come clean on what past officers did with the money and why, and then restore the missing money for spending on alternative projects could also fulfil Peter’s requests …..is beyond me.

As an outsider it looks like a classic case where arrogance, stubbornness, and bloody-mindedness has triumphed over humility, co-operation and open-mindedness.

Personally I think a petition is a good idea and I’m sure it could be done via the internet, if you know someone who is savvy with such things. This shocking story needs nationwide publicity reaching out to every bridge club in the USA. This might get the level of membership outrage so high that change could be instigated through fear. A tall order I know, but a good starting point could be to persuade a few high profile players to join and be part of an Action Group for Justice.

Pressure groups can often be successful since they carry a lot of clout and influence.

Yours HBJ

Judy Kay-WolffApril 10th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Yes, HBJ:

It is appropriate to cease the fun and games and get down to the business at hand — (1) Getting the finances straight; and (2) Honoring Peter Pender, albeit quite late, for his generous contribution/s.

What has occurred is no secret from the CEO, ACBL President, BOD, League Counsel and many other influential people in the know. Just how long can this lack of leadership exist and the injustice go on — UNCORRECTED. They should hang their heads in shame rather than keep up this farce.

The time to act was yesterday!

Thanks for having the guts to speak up.


JordanApril 11th, 2011 at 11:56 am

I can understand how a CFO might not be a bridge player; although certain types of costs and expenses may need to be explained to the unitiated. I find it astonishing that someone is the “Head” [supervisor/manager (?)] of Field Employees, eg TD’s, who is not a bridge–there would seem to be lots of gaps in that individual’s ability to do the job, unless I am under a misapprehension as to what the job entails. Could they properly understand the complaints Judy’s posted over these many months regarding the slow play penalty in the LV Swiss if they don’t play.

As for Peter and his disappearing bequest, it is truly disappointing. The record must surely be somewhere in the accounting records, which the League’s auditors could no doubt locate, if the political will was there to dig. I’m don’t know if either bequest went to an entity that had a charitable status–if it did, maybe there are either avenues that can cause the relevant records to be disgorged.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 11th, 2011 at 3:43 pm


Thanks for taking the time to write.

It looks to us as the ACBL does what they damn please and are unaccountable to the public (who pay their salaries and perks) by, in one instance, misadjudicating the October LV Swiss Team situation NEVER HAVING HEARD THE OTHER SIDE. The decision was handed down by the Head of Field Employees (TDs) who claimed there was no bias? How could they possibly know when they never bothered to hear the complainants’ version. It seems like ACBL’S current policy is to cover each other’s butts –come hell or high water. What is unfathomable is the non bridge player conducted the meeting (hearing, trial — call it whatever you want) — and present were some famous and capable top directors. Bobby and I do not believe they knew the facts and still voted that way –unless they were coerced — to put the matter behind them and move on to the next mishap. Bobby says it was the worst handled situation he has seen in sixty years –and that is a long time — even if you are not good at math. So the ACBL is taking a devil-may care-attitude (appropriate for Horn Lake. MS) and just dismisses any grievances by the dues paying public. Protect their flock. That is their new philosophy. If they continue to conduct themselves that way, in no time short bridge will go to hell in a hand basket. That is the result of poor management and no leadership which has become blatantly obvious with each ensuing incident.

As far as the Pender money, originally we were told it was being held and disbursed by the Educational Foundation. At last count, it was said to be turned back to the ACBL and Jay Baum would handle how it would be used (assuming the wrongly spent money would be returned and added to the $10,700 balance because of the $11,000 withdrawals in 2005 and 2006 (about seven years after the Pendergraph disappeared into thin air).

To our understanding there should be about $25,000 left (giving the ACBL the best of it) but they refuse to acknowledge that fact — or anything else for that matter — a tyrannical way of running an organization for my money. It seems they are accountable to no one!!!!