US Chess Executive Board Votes to Move Organization’s Headquarters – uschess.org

In a unanimous 8-0 vote, the US Chess Federation’s Executive Board has elected to move the US Chess headquarters from Crossville, Tennessee to the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area in 2022. This was a two-part process that carefully considered the following questions:

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

US Chess Vice President Randy Bauer observes, “I served on the Executive 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. In the almost two decades since, US Chess has evolved substantially and consequently so have its business needs.”

A prime example of this transformation is the challenge US Chess has faced in staffing its Crossville headquarters. With a 2021 population of just over 12,000 people, Crossville is best known for its golfing, outdoor activities, and as a retirement community. With its broader mission resulting from a change in 2014 to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, US Chess now requires different specialized talents to support its operations—skillsets that have proven difficult to find in Crossville. Presently, only three of US Chess’ 18-member staff are located in Crossville.  While US Chess has successfully integrated a telecommuting staff, we prefer that certain positions be located in our headquarters building. In recent years, we rarely receive applications from qualified candidates in the greater Crossville area for these types of positions.

In considering where to locate its headquarters, the Executive Board also keyed in on several attributes that would benefit the organization and its mission:

  • Affordable cost of living
  • Central U.S. locations
  • Superior transportation access
  • Large and diverse population from which to draw a skilled staff
  • Chess culture

Taken together with the synergy of St. Louis as the chess capital of the United States, Missouri’s second-largest city became the obvious choice.

Adds Mike Hoffpauir, US Chess President, “The US Chess mission – to empower people, enrich lives and enhance communities through chess ­– sets us on an exciting course to grow both competitive chess and the culture of chess in the United States. With the world-class chess activities in St. Louis, including the Saint Louis Chess Club’s decade-long string of hosting U.S. Championship events, we are excited about being positioned to better deliver on our nonprofit mission with this move.”

US Chess is forever grateful for the support provided by the City of Crossville, the Crossville community, Crossville businesses, and the State of Tennessee over the past 18 years. They will always be acknowledged as a valued part of our organization’s history and embraced as dear friends of chess.

FAQs

    • What other locations were considered by the Executive Board?
      • A: The US Chess Executive Board discussed other locations when considering this move including: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville and St. Louis. For the reasons noted in the announcement, St. Louis was the unanimous choice.
    •  Then why can’t we stay in Crossville if we’re already utilizing telecommuters?
      • A: US Chess will continue to use a hybrid staffing model for roles that are well-suited for this modality. The comparatively small labor pool in Crossville has limited the recruitment of more specialized skills, including some roles that are better suited for in-office service.
    • Where in St. Louis will the new headquarters be located?
      • A: US Chess has not selected a specific physical location at this time.
    • What will happen to the US Chess staff who work in Crossville?
      • A: US Chess’ practice is to offer telecommuting options for staff whose positions are well-suited for that model.
    • What inducements are being offered to US Chess to move?
      • A: The US Chess Executive Board made its decision independently from outside influence and incentives. There were no inducements 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. Should it be deemed the best course of action, a vote of the delegates would be required to sell the building. The sale of the building would result in funds returning to US Chess via the Life Member Asset Trust.