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District Direction

By Ken Monzingo
National Board Representative

 write this column from Denver during the Fall NABC, where the national board of directors has just elected me 2016 president of the entire American Contract Bridge League. To say I am overwhelmed is the proverbial understatement of the year. I am humbled with gratitude to the many who were supporting me, especially the amazing people of District 22. The strength of my presidency will be solely due to the love and respect of you all, and the dedicated board members who campaigned so hard to make this a reality.
As the Holidays are upon us, I’ll count those blessings, and approach the new year with more hope and determination than ever before to repay your confidence. I ask you all to join me in the excitement of what this means to our district and to the Western Conference. I will represent the entire ACBL of course, but never lose sight of the D22 units who elected me to the board, and the conference that makes our bridge life so sensational. It’s really a new world for me, and I hope I can bring a rebirth of betterment to a new year of hope for all of us in 2016. And beyond.
ACBL’s Challenges

s fresh calendars replace the past, I could list the 2016 challenges facing the league – major challenges in ACBL finances, technology, communication, and our assault on the cheating scandals – and I promise I will take on all these head on. Trust me, I am prepared to force change and improvement, but, like I said, this is Christmas, this is Hanukkah, this is a New Year, this is the season of love and respect. If none of that fits you, just enjoy the thrill of the Holiday ... the yule music alone is most reassuring. There’s comfort in devoting this time to the giving of gifts of friendship, and a willingness to extend hands for a better future. Reach out, forgive and forget.
During this sacred season I will not use more of my report on our pressing needs. That will come tomorrow, in a new year.
New Year, New Careers

y future with you is now set. I’ll spend 2016 as your ACBL president, 2017 as Chairman of the ACBL Board, and finish that year, and my political career, chairing the fabulous San Diego Fall NABC – truly one the greatest in the land. Oh, I will not fade away, I promise to continue my passion  – to publish this newspaper until the Post Office prices us out ... ten more years, I hope. And I will aid and assist the district in the transition of leadership period.
In 2016, other career moves will be evident. David Lodge, our district president, will have served his two successful years as such, and will give way to a new one we will elect during the Palm Springs board meetings. Warren Cederborg, a beloved friend and past president, will be leaving the board after many years of faithful service. I will miss his loyalty and great heart.
We will be announcing new regional tournament chairmen in both Irvine and Palm Springs, and I will be stepping aside as co-chairman of Riverside. Nancy Erickson and Nance Lodge will be chairing the first ever California 0-750 NLM Regional in Palm Springs. Lamya Agelidis, president of the San Diego Unit, has taken on co-chair duties of the Pacific Southwest Regional, and will also be my San Diego Liaison for the 2017 national at the glorious Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Bonnie Bagley, my 2017 NABC Co-Chairman, was just elected president of the ACBL Charity Foundation. Teri Atkinson, the first alternate to the District Director since I was first on the national board, will give way to newly elected David Lodge.
Rising superstar Arleen Harvey will be our new head director in Irvine, and Mary Ann Braden (another rising star) will be taking on many of the Riverside chairman duties for Teri Atkinson and myself. Both ladies are residents of Riverside.
Maritha Pottenger and Marc Matz will be traveling with me on my presidential trips to the three NABCs, serving as my hospitality assistants. I wish I could take you all with us!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

t’s difficult for me to digest all the happenings and opportunites facing me – and all of us – in the upcoming year. I can only relax for this moment and absorb the aroma of the pine trees of Christmas, sharing my hope with my family, my friends, and my two faithful employees at the Forum.
For now, let me wish you the same euphoric hope that I feel for a better year, and for a better bridge life. If that is possible.
Merry Christmas. A New Year blessing to you all.

Peace, my friends.