Organization skills

US Chess Executive Council votes to relocate organization’s headquarters

In a unanimous 8-0 vote, the board of directors of the American Chess Federation elected to relocate the US chess headquarters from Crossville, Tennessee, to metro St. Louis, Missouri in 2022. This was a two-part process that carefully considered the following elements of the questions:

  • Should US Chess maintain its headquarters in Crossville, Tennessee?
  • If not, where should US Chess locate its head office?

US Vice President of Chess Randy Bauer observes, “I was on the board in 2003 when the decision was made to move to Crossville from New Windsor, New York. US Chess was a fundamentally different organization in 2003 and Crossville met our needs. Over the next nearly two decades, US Chess evolved dramatically, and as a result, its business needs evolved as well.

A prime example of this transformation is the challenge that US Chess faced in equipping its corporate headquarters with Crossville. With a population of just over 12,000 in 2021, Crossville is best known for its golf, outdoor activities, and retirement community. With its broader mission resulting from a change in 2014 to a 501 (c) (3) charity, US Chess now needs a variety of specialist talents to support its operations, skills that have proven hard to come by at Crossville. Currently, only three of the 18 US Chess staff are based in Crossville. Although US Chess has successfully integrated a telecommuting team, we prefer that some positions be located in our head office. Over the past few years, we rarely receive applications from qualified candidates in the greater Crossville area for these types of positions.

In considering the location of its headquarters, the Board of Directors also looked at several attributes that would benefit the organization and its mission:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Central United States locations
  • Access to superior transport
  • A large and diverse population from which to draw qualified personnel
  • Chess culture

Combined with the synergy of St. Louis as the chess capital of the United States, Missouri’s second largest city has become the obvious choice.

Adds Mike Hoffpauir, US President of Chess, “The US Chess Mission – to empower people, enrich lives and improve communities through failures – sets us on an exciting path to develop both competitive chess and chess culture in the United States. With world-class chess activities in St. Louis, including the decade-long US Championship series of events hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club, we are delighted to be able to better fulfill our non-profit mission with this move.

US Chess is eternally grateful for the support provided by the City of Crossville, the Community of Crossville, Crossville Businesses and the State of Tennessee over the past 18 years. They will always be recognized as an important part of the history of our organization and adopted as dear friends of chess.

Faq

    • What other locations have the Board of Directors considered?
      • A: The US chess executive discussed other locations when considering this move, including: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, and St. Louis. For the reasons mentioned in the announcement, Saint-Louis was the unanimous choice.
    • So why can’t we stay in Crossville if we are already using telecommuters?
      • A: US Chess will continue to use a hybrid staffing model for roles well suited to this modality. The relatively small labor pool in Crossville has limited the recruitment of more specialized skills, including some roles better suited to office service.
    • Where in St. Louis will the new head office be located?
      • A: US Chess has not selected a specific physical location at this time.
    • What will happen to the American chess staff who work in Crossville?
      • A: The practice of US Chess is to provide telecommuting options for staff whose positions are well suited to this model.
    • What incentives are offered to US Chess to move?
      • A: The US chess executive made its decision regardless of outside influence and inducements. There was no incentive offered to US Chess to make this move.
    • What will happen to the building owned by US Chess?
      • A: The building is owned by US Chess and is part of the Life Member Asset Trust. If this were to be considered the best course of action, a delegate vote would be required to sell the building. The sale of the building would result in the return of funds to US Chess via the Life Member Asset Trust.