Judy Kay-Wolff


I recently learned that a meeting will be held by an ACBL CEO SELECTION COMMITTEE IN Las Vegas this coming weekend to discuss the potential applicants and possibilities for someone to replace the outgoing CEO, likeable JAY BAUM.

How many people do you know who could fend off the challenge of twenty-five sets of handcuffs (that’s my description of the BOD) and stand up to the Directors in Charge, some of whom may not qualify to handle club games – but seems rarely to admit to a mistake in judgment, always protecting their flock.

It is time to do away with all the personal agendas and political issues and be unafraid to set their goal to improving the ethics, morality and high moral bridge standards and stop playing favorites toward professionalism which now seems to have superseded the importance and majesty of the game itself.

Start reading the requirements and mandates below and see if there is any human alive you know whom is so perfectly suited to even begin to meet the goals suggested.   The eventual winner is always in  the debt of the search committee.   The BOD is accountable to their constituents who elect them and sees to it that they get their proper amount of sectionals, regionals and nationals.  Too many districts and too much patronage for my tastes.   Sounds like a job for Clark Kent!

ACBL CEO Job Description


The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is a non‐profit organization with a mission to promote and sustain the game of bridge. We support a network of teachers and clubs across North America. We have approximately 165,000 members and generate approximately $15M in annual revenue. Our headquarters is located in Horn Lake, Mississippi (De Soto County), a suburb of Memphis, TN, where we have approximately 70 full‐time employees in addition to approximately 45 full‐time field tournament directors and 125 part‐time field tournament directors.

THE POSITION: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO is a full‐time position, hired by and directly accountable to the Board of Directors. The position is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the ACBL, including services, programs and business operations. Areas of responsibility include: planning and implementing strategic goals; policy development; day‐to‐day operations and administration; personnel; financial management; and public relations.


Management and Administration

o Develop, with Board and senior staff, a strategic 3‐5 year plan and annual work plan consistent with the ACBL mission

o Develop and administer operational policies

o Oversee all programs, services and activities ‐ prudently manage and evaluate programs and services and determine their effectiveness

o Oversee business development

o Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements

o Manage anticipated loss of knowledge as key members of the staff retire


o Demonstrate an understanding of the ACBL funding sources

o Develop, recommend, and oversee the budget process

o Ensure effective audit trails

o Approve major expenditures in conjunction with the Board

o Provide for proper fiscal record‐keeping and reporting

o Submit monthly financial statements to the Board Finance Committee


o Create an efficient and positive culture for employees

o Mentor and teach to create strong internal human resources

o Treat all employees with dignity and respect

o Administer Board‐approved personnel policies

o Ensure proper (legal) HR activities

o Provide for supervision, development, and evaluation of all staff

o Build and oversee a senior management team that understands an integrated work plan

Public Relations

o Serve as the chief liaison with people and organizations, and groups in the broader community, presenting a strong, positive image.

o Ensure all employees appropriately represent the ACBL Board Relations

o Must develop a strong collaborative relationship with an actively engaged 25‐member Board

o Assist the ACBL President in planning the agenda and materials for Board meetings

o Initiate and assist in developing policy recommendations and in setting priorities

o Advise and inform Board members, act as a conduit between Board and staff, and facilitate the orientation of new Board members

o Arrange staffing for Board committees as appropriate


o Must be willing to relocate to Memphis, TN, area

o Plays bridge and understands the competitive and social culture of duplicate bridge, sharing our commitment to promote and expand the popularity of the game of bridge

o Executive management experience required ‐ At least 20 years management experience with at least 10 years experience in senior management (desired: nonprofit sector)

o Has demonstrated experience in addressing critical issues that have been challenges in the past

o Ability to maintain a revenue generating membership program

o Ability to motivate and build a high‐performance staff team

o Must have demonstrated experience and understanding in Marketing and Technology to meet Board’s related strategic objectives

o Must have experience interacting with large volunteer groups

o Must have demonstrated experience in public speaking (in English)


Salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.


John Howard GibsonApril 29th, 2011 at 6:51 am

HBJ : Sadly no

CAROLApril 29th, 2011 at 7:21 am

He would need Lois Lane as well.

ross taylorApril 29th, 2011 at 7:28 am

Well, I could do all that, but I don’t want to move to Memphis

Judy Kay-WolffApril 29th, 2011 at 9:02 am


You are unique. I bet you could.


Georgiana GatesApril 29th, 2011 at 9:11 am

Bobby would be qualified, but you’ve said before how much you love Las Vegas.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 29th, 2011 at 9:20 am

Dear Georgiana:

Brilliant idea and the best thing that could happen to the future of bridge ….. BUT …

1. NO WAY even if they were housed in Utopia; and

2. The BOD would not want an

intruder in their midst.

maggy simonyMay 1st, 2011 at 7:01 am

Comment from an outsider.

Almost first words of reason for being of ACBL is “promote and sustain the game of bridge” yet none of the requirements for candidates ask for that skill. It’s as if they’d never read bridge history–bridge thrived when the pop culture CLIMATE was positive for bridge — i.e. the number of social/sociable players zoomed.

If any of you are on that selection board (or able to “get to” soeone who is) should ask this question.

How would you go about getting Mark Zuckerberg to be the “face” of bridge? To be what Culbertson and Goren were back in the glory days of bridge? Yes, just read somewhere Zuckerberg plays bridge!!!

Buffett’s been medium good–at least a wide swath of public knows of him and like him despite being a billionaire. But Zuckerberg is YOUNG, everybody knows HIM.

Be happy to have any of you subscribe to my blog/ezine at http://bridgetable.net and argue with my view of what bridge needs to thrive and survive–that of a purely sociable player who loves the game as much as you-all do.

I’m among last remnants of players from what Culbertson did back in the 30s and Goren adopted by the 50s when I learned to play bridge. But we’re about to die off!

You need a replacement–I nominat Zuckerberg.

Judy Kay-WolffMay 1st, 2011 at 9:56 am


To be honest I never heard of Mark Zuckerberg until you posted your comment. I promptly checked him out and learned of his exciting ideas and achievements and I suggest everyone look up the accomplishments of this young lad — no doubt a genius in his field.

Thanks for sharing. It was indeed an education for me.


Dustin StoutMay 3rd, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I agree, Maggy. A younger person with a vision for promoting the game in the electronic age would be ideal. Otherwise the game will continue to decline.

Judy Kay-WolffMay 5th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I agree — but easier said than done. I can’t wait to see whom the illustrious search committee comes up with. A pretty all-encompassing job. It better be someone strong who can stand up to the BOD without fear of losing his or her job.

maggy simonyMay 9th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

from maggy

The job sounds way too big for anyone–combining as it does all kinds of detail and administration, various “factions” plus ability to promote bridge–an altogether different set of aptitudes.

In my blog at http://bridgetable.net I suggest a Bridge Booster volunteer organization/website of both serious and sociable players, brainstorming and coming up with ways to promote bridge to that “lost generation”–the boomers. NO BRIDGE HANDS! Just dialog and ideas.

Buffett’s Bridge Boosters would be fine–but after findng out that Zuckerberg plays bridge–he might be even better. How about a mass email campaign?

As to converting young women to take up the sociable bridge I want (so it doesn’t die with my generation), maybe could get those trashy Real Housewives to take up bridge?? Less time for their toxic gossp.

My generation had ladies-only bridge clubs that last for 50 peaceful years. One in Ohio I blogged about has been around 70 years–with four original members still alive!

Judy Kay-WolffMay 11th, 2011 at 4:56 pm


I am behind in responding and didnt see your reply tlll just now. Yes, it seems a bit much for one person to be wearing so many hats — but you know the ACBL — they are accustomed to doing it THEIR WAY. Good luck to them. It is a leviathan job. Can’t wait to see who the winner (or loser) is. Congratulations and condolences.

maggy simonyMay 14th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Fact is I DON’T KNOW the ACBL–only what I’ve learned from writing my book, reading/researching bridge history.

Something I got hookied on 20 years ago, turned into my end-of-life “cause” so to speak–that social bridge survive after I’m gone. It’s how come I wrote a book and write a blog turning 90.

The era that intrigued me, the 20s when contract bridge was “invented”–ACBL was still the Whist League then–they seemed to be oblivious to that historic potential. My hero, Ely Culbertson saw the opportunity and took it–simply pre-empted the bridge establishment (to use a bridge term), targeted all those auction-playing ladies for conversion to contract bridge (and his Culbertson system of course) and turned bridge into one of the great fads of the 20th century.

I see parallels today. Serious bridge IS coming back, the ACBL growing but they’re missing the boat again.

What they should do is learn from Ely–promote social bridge (along with the serious kind) to that lost generation of bridge players–the boomers.

I see glimmers of hope! Andrew Robson in England, for one, is a tournament player who gets it and says: “the untapped market of social players, that’s my main focus.”

As well it should be if serious bridge is ever to become what it once was.


Judy Kay-WolffMay 26th, 2011 at 6:45 am

Dear Maggy:

I enjoyed your comments and the history that accompanied it. We, too, were impressed (to say the least) with Andrew Robson. Bobby continues to quote his standard of alerting: “On the need to know basis”.

If bridge is to continue, the untapped market of social players from day one must be taught the cards, the suits and the whys and wherefors of protocol as well. The third aspect is overlooked by most in their zest to get the newbies on the road. They must be taught good manners and ethics at the same time or bridge will die a slow death.

The ACBL (directors included) close their eyes to many things in order to keep the card fees and dues flowing. That will never work without keeping an eye on the majesty of the game.

Here’s to bridge. May it long endure — but only if it is contested on a level playing field.