Friday, March 02, 2007

Statement by Randy Bauer for the USCF election

As a 30-year life member, I love the USCF. Please help me save it. With your support, I believe we can.

We face many important issues, including securing our finances, fostering chess interest in the US, and building and serving our membership. We must address these, but no Executive Board member is going to constructively change things based on our current circumstances -- we cannot make progress while our leadership is divided and divisive. We must focus on electing a Board that can collectively work to improve our organization.

Lately, the Board has been distracted from the work it needs to do. Important discussions and decisions have been sidetracked by internal dissension. We can no longer afford this politics as usual -- we need a change.

Change has to start with the people we elect. We must elect Board members who are honest, effective and accountable.

Our Board needs to convey and demonstrate professionalism, collective competence, teamwork and good judgment. We need to get beyond decisions based on the ability to get a majority vote on any one issue and move to a willingness to cooperate and communicate with all, an understanding of group dynamics and how to work collectively for the larger goals of the USCF.

Make no mistake -- this is a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds. There are candidates who can make it work, but others who cannot. We need Board members who are able to work with others: Lone Ranger types need not apply. We need Board members of sound judgment: people you can trust to make reasoned decisions, even under pressure. We also need a Board guided by a sense of service, not motivated by a desire for attention or to create a spectacle. Finally, we should elect people of solid character -- those who will act ethically and honestly toward each other and the USCF.

I’ve spent much of my professional career leading teams dedicated to improving finances and services for large, complex organizations. These have included balancing a $5 billion state budget without raising taxes, creating strategies that improve results and reporting, and supporting award-winning initiatives that cut bureaucracy and create innovative change. We can do the same for the USCF.

Two years ago, I was elected to a one-year term on the Executive Board. I am proud that during that year we balanced the budget (only the second time in nine years). We also voted to move the USCF office and successfully implemented that change. While I didn’t originally support the vote to move, I did everything I could to make it successful, and it was implemented without negatively impacting member services.

That is the focus I will bring to the Board: I will approach each issue on its merits – as an independent voice. However, once the Board has decided, I will work with all members to successfully implement those policies. Together, we can make a difference. I ask for your vote for constructive, positive change.

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