David T Day 2023 Executive Board Candidate

David T Day's candidate statements also appear in the Chess Life issues under which they are listed below.

David Day_300_2023
April Statement:

Many of you know me, but many do not, so let me introduce myself. I learned the game as a child, attended my first tournament in seventh grade, directed my first tournament in high school, and then slowly drifted away from the game. I came back to chess in 2012 when my children started to play and fell in love again. I enjoy online chess but there’s nothing quite like rated OTB play. I became involved with my state chess association and re-activated my TD certification, working my way up to ANTD (and FIDE NA). I’m active in my state, organizing and directing multiple events per year, including several of our state championships, both scholastic and open. I served on the Ethics Committee, including one year as chair. I travel to other events when I can. I’ve been a delegate several times. I truly love the game.


May Statement:

US Chess is at a crossroads. Due largely to the stellar efforts of my predecessors, we are now a financially stable 501(c)(3) organization that can focus on creating and implementing programs rather than simply keeping the lights on. We are also seeing a mini chess boom with more than 100,000 members and with more and more people playing, watching, and enjoying the game in one or more formats. We are in the pro­cess of transitioning from a spunky group of passionate volunteers to a professional­ly run organization with strong member involvement.

I feel strongly that we need to continue to become a more professional organization from top to bottom. We need to give our ex­ecutive director and her staff more tools and resources. We need higher quality processes. We need to finish the website update and re-design. We need to partner with online platforms and content providers. We need to grow the game and better reach out to underserved communities.

This is all very hard work that needs to be done well. We need programming that gives us maximum bang for our buck (or for our exchange sacrifice). We need to harness our volunteers in ways that move us forward as an organization. It takes a mix of skills and a focus on the right priorities to effectively manage the next phase of our ongoing evolution. No one person has all of the skills we need and I certainly don't claim to be an expert in everything. I do want to highlight some of the skills I do have and what I do bring to the table.

I talk with executives, investors, and disruptors regularly as part of my day job. I watch boards of directors and manage­ment teams in action. I work with multiple nonprofit organizations. I run tournaments. I work in details. I'm fascinated by oper­ational efficiency and finding ways to do things better.

Let me talk about a few things that I'm not. I'm not a chess professional and outside of de minimis directing fees I don't earn money from chess. I don't prioritize any spe­cific region of the country or type of player or member. I often don't suffer fools gladly. I value our tradition and heritage but I think we should have very few sacred cows. I'm not an ally of those who never want anything in the organization to change.

I look forward to sharing a few ideas with you next month.


June Statement:

Having discussed several general principles last time, let me now discuss some specific concepts and ideas. 

We need to utilize our volunteers in new ways. For years much of the volunteer efforts either happened at the local level with minimal support from the national organization or happened at the delegate/committee level. We need to change both of those. Too many areas in our federation don’t have enough local volunteers, and the volunteers that do exist often don’t have enough resources.

We need to continue down the path of making more resources available to state affiliates, local clubs, and organizers and directors. At the national level, we have in the past often formed volunteers committees to do work that otherwise wouldn’t be done. We now have a hodgepodge of committees with roles and missions that have sometimes not been well defined or recently updated. Too many of the committees feature too many of the same people while others in the federation wonder why they are never asked to help. We need to change this system. 

We need to focus on safe play. Period. Our culture has tolerated too much bad behavior, both at the board and away from it, for too long. Some of our critics are not acting in good faith, but that is not an excuse for tolerating bad behavior and not creating an environment where all of our members feel safe.  

Much of chess now happens online and several for profit companies are making chess into a big business. This is candidly both an opportunity for and a threat to the US Chess Federation. I want it to be an opportunity. We share many common goals with these groups, including a desire to grow the game. We each need to see the other parties as value add partners and not resources to be exploited.  

US Chess is in good hands and our best days are ahead of us. Regardless of the election results we will have a strong Executive Board composed of persons who are each a net positive and a strong Executive Director. Please vote for the candidates who you think will do the best job. And after you vote, please go do something to help the game. Volunteer at a school or club. Sign up to be a director. Make a donation. Find your own way to make a difference. Grow the game.