When delegates to the 2016 USBC Convention in Las Vegas picked up their credentials at registration, their “goodie bags” included a three-page letter from Executive Director, Chad Murphy, outlining the pressing need for passage of proposal B3, which would clear the way for a national dues increase.
Murphy touched on how the decline in membership has resulted in a decline in operating revenues, how it may be necessary to start tapping association reserves in order to maintain service levels, and noted that the added revenue generated by a dues increase would be used to maintain current services.
“The reality of a declining membership base and smaller revenues lead all of us (locals, states, USBC national) to make cuts to continue to support the services,” Murphy noted. “Down from 240-plus employees to 88 today. Down from 10 executives to two.”
Added Murphy: “We will have to come face to face with the reality of this question shortly: Do we want to continue the services USBC provides through the membership piece of the business, or do we want to face additional cuts?”
Murphy’s letter was part of a stapled packet that also included a pledge signed by all members of the USBC Board of Directors. The letter to association leaders and delegates said, “If B3 is approved as proposed, the USBC Board of Directors formally commits to these guarantees:
• National dues will not increase for the 2016-2017 season
• National dues will increase to $13 for the 2017-2018 season
• National dues will not increase again before the 2022-2023 season.”
Wednesday’s keynote speaker, Christine Cashen, noted that she is on a campaign to eliminate “global whining,” and urged delegates to focus on the positive when dealing with the bowlers they serve and looking to the future of the sport. Follow-up seminars focused on why league bowlers leave the game, and the role local associations could play in both recruiting and retaining members.
This morning, delegates will meet the candidates for the USBC Board, attend an all-delegates seminar on continuing to build a future for the sport, and then hear a variety of presentations from industry leaders as the Annual Meeting kicks off. Friday morning, the meeting will continue, and Friday afternoon, the legislative session will take place.
Watch BowlersJournal.com for a report on the legislative session late Friday.