Russ Jones is a bridge booster as his volunteer resume attests. He is a club owner and director. He organizes tournaments – he held the first-ever non-Life Master Regional many years ago and continues to host that tournament annually in conjunction with a sectional. He teaches bridge. He has coordinated GNT/NAP and special event contests. He has served on his unit board. He has served on the ACBL Board of Directors representing District 10 for five years.
Now he accepts the gavel to serve in the League’s top volunteer capacity: as 2019 president of the ACBL.
“My priorities as president are twofold,” says Jones, “financial responsibility and increased support of clubs/teachers. I am actively looking for ways to lower expenses at the League. Several members have made suggestions that give us a good starting point. I will be instructing the Governance Committee to investigate these alternatives and present their thoughts to the Board in the near future.”
Jones says that on his travels as president, he will be focusing on meeting with teachers/club managers to get their input on how the League can help. “Most new members are recruited at local clubs by club managers and teachers. We need to reach out to these groups and incentivize them to recruit ACBL members.”
Jones, who got his doctorate from the University of Texas–Arlington in computer science and accounting, has been a professor in the department of accounting and information technology at Arkansas State University for the past 28 years – “with the exception of two years I was ‘on loan’ to a university in New Zealand.” The past three years he has served as department chair.
Jones lives in Jonesboro AR with his wife, Jessica, and their two daughters, Riley, 7 years old, and Madison, 1. “Obviously, without the support of my family, I would be unable to fulfill the duties of this office.”
He adds, “Besides family, work, and bridge, the only other thing I do with my ‘free time’ is golf once a week.”
Jones says he started playing bridge when he was 7 or 8 with his family around the kitchen table.
“My first duplicate game was February 1987 with my mom. We won a masterpoint and had to join some organization called ACBL to get our points recorded. My proudest bridge achievement was winning the Flight A Pairs at the Mexican Nationals with my mom while we were still non-Life Masters.”