Rarely has a USCF Board candidate been subjected to as many false and misleading attacks as Frank Camaratta.  A retired corporate Director of Engineering, Camaratta is a former USCF Vice President and Treasurer, and also has extensive credentials in the chess world in the areas of ratings, tournament organizing and directing, correspondence chess, chess set collecting, and chess history.  And he chairs meetings so well that he was appointed to chair substantial parts of the Delegates meeting by two different Presidents.

In a recent letter, SteveDoyle listed as one of the two most important "traits" of a good Board member, "the ability to understand business issues."  He went on to group candidates according to "skill sets," said that "Some of the best members of the boards have come from the real business world," and then omitted Camaratta from his "business" category!  
Frank Camaratta was an executive for a multi-billion dollar corporation (Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies) for 21 years.

Doyle's omission of Camaratta from his "business" category is especially odd when we consider those he does include in that category- an internal auditor, a computer programmer, and an insurance salesman.  None of these candidates has any executive experience, as far as I know. Leroy Dubeck also praises the insurance salesman, saying he has "real life business experience."

Doyle and Dubeck appear to have a strange idea of what "real" business experience is. Camaratta has substantial experience as a corporate executive, and other candidates have none. That's a big plus for Camaratta in my book.   

Doyle has also charged that USCF Treasurer Camaratta suggested investing the LMA in the 1990 World Championship Match, an absurd claim.  Camaratta was not Treasurer at the time, and it was Executive Director Al Lawrence who proposed that LMA funds be used to "cash in" on the presence of the match in the USA via an expensive advertising campaign.  The Policy Board unanimously rejected this proposal.

Leroy Dubeck has attacked Camaratta's statement from his May 16 mailing that "The LMA is nothing more than a savings account," saying, "This implies that Operations can withdraw money from the LMA without having a repayment plan.  Camaratta in fact argued for this position when Operations this May was forced to ask the LMA for the funds to repay a Bank Loan." This is misleading.  Camaratta has never argued against a repayment plan, either in his campaign letter or at any other time.  

Camaratta's letter did not oppose an LMA repayment plan, but merely suggested a way to reduce member confusion about the nature of this fund.   Here is the relevant part of what Frank wrote:

"The LMA needs a fresh look.  We need to unravel the Amystery@of the LMA Fund for our members. The LMA is nothing more than a savings account.  It is basically a savings fund, which requires a saving plan, an oversight committee, investment guidelines, Delegate approval for major withdrawals, etc.

The membership can understand a Savings Account.  It is an asset, period. However, many of our members don't have a clue what the LMA is.  Many consider it a liability."

Dubeck also questioned stock transactions made by Camaratta on behalf of the LMA in 1995, quoting a statement in which Don Schultz had suggested that excessive transactions took place.
 It would have provided a truer picture for the reader, though, if Dubeck had mentioned that Camaratta's trades realized an impressive net gain for the LMA-more than $120,000 profit over a 9 month period with $350,000 to $400,000 at risk funds!  This fact was mentioned in Camaratta's May 16 letter, but not reported by Dubeck!

Camaratta owns TheHouse of Staunton, a successful small business specializing in new and antique chess sets, and has been attacked by Tom Dorsch and others for supposedly receiving payments from USCF for his sets and then taking months to ship the merchandise.  The truth is exactly the opposite- The House of Staunton shipped chess sets to USCF on credit, and the federation took as long as nine months to send payment!  

It would be appropriate for USCF to have at least one corporate executive on the Executive Board, and Camaratta's chess resume is excellent as well.  He will be a valuable addition to the Board. homepage