The USCF Executive Board convened today in Newburgh, beginning a two day meeting.

The meeting started with over five hours of closed session, during which time personnel, Games Parlor, and book & equipment sales were discussed.

VP of Finance Frank Camaratta reported that USCF lost $11,000 in September, bringing the loss for the fiscal year up to about $160,000.  The monthly loss doesn't sound too bad, but he described sales as "dismal" and said that the adult membership trend, about 100 members per month lost since 1995, is continuing.

A $450,000 mortgage on the USCF building has been approved by the bank.  However, the USCF Life Member Assets Fund owns the building, there was a discussion of how much could be borrowed from the LMA after the mortgage.

Camaratta said that USCF had a "terrible cash position" with $72,000 cash on hand and $500,000 in accounts payable, but that the federation should try to pay what it can more promptly.  Recently, USCF payments to vendors have been even slower than required by the cash crunch.  The Board unanimously passed a motion calling on all bills to be paid within 90 days if possible, and another requiring all payments to vendors to be approved in advance by the VP of Finance.

Another motion passed unanimously requires all orders to purchase books or equipment to be approved in advance by the VP of Finance.  This is certainly "micromanagement," but seems desirable under the circumstances.  Not only have sales plummeted, but at a time of severely depleted chess inventory, the latest Chess Life has a full page USCF ad selling games other than chess!

Helen Warren moved that the office transfer over $15,000 to the Professional Players Health & Benefit Fund account as suggested by the auditors, as well as any additional funds received on behalf of the PBHF.  The Board unanimously agreed to require that this transfer, plus interest, occur by January 1.

A motion was passed allowing organizers to appeal to the Executive Director or President for relief from having to pay all guaranteed prizes in the event of a serious decline in attendance due to terrorism.  There was discussion of allowing the organizer to return two-thirds of entry fees under such circumstances, but it was decided to remain flexible and not specify a percentage.

The meeting will resume tomorrow at 8 am, in closed session.  Open session is expected to start about noon to 1 pm, with the meeting adjourning at 3 pm.

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