Joyce Deitch's National/International Record Speaks for Itself in WTBA Bid
April 15, 2003
Sometimes you get the impression that people with power begin to feel they are larger than life and
bigger than the office they represent. I never got that gut feeling while watching Joyce Deitch serve
nine years as president of the Women's International Bowling Congress.
She stepped down last summer and then last fall I came across her volunteering as a runner of scores
at the Storm Professional Women's Bowling Association Tournament at Texas Station. Joyce
performed the menial task with a touch of class because she's a classy lady in my book.
Joyce Deitch is also a sensible human being and gave the move a great deal of soul searching before
announcing last week that she's a candidate for the presidency of the World Tenpin Bowling Association. "I have been sitting there as second vice-president of WTBA for four years and as first vice-president for the past eight years and I have always thought that people should be moving forward," Deitch said from her home in Las Vegas. "In other words, I believe they should either move on or move out. I'm not sure everybody in the world will agree with me but that's something we'll find out next September in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia" during the WTBA World Championships. If I had a vote, I would cast it for Joyce Deitch because I know she knows how to delegate authority and then let the various committees do their thing.
Asked what she would bring to the table, Joyce replied: "I'm not sure I would bring any dramatic changes. But I do think we need to examine who we are, where we're going and how we're going to get there." Asked what would be her No.1 priority if elected president of WTBA, she added: "To be perfectly candid, I don't have a No. 1 priority about what we should be doing. We can only accomplish things by working together, bringing the zone organizations on board and communicating effectively with the various federations."
You would never find Joyce Deitch at a crap or blackjack table in Las Vegas because she knows that's
gambling and you can end up a big loser. But she doesn't feel that way about running for an elusive
WTBA office and possibly tying up four years of her life. "My three children think I'm nuts. They thought I was ready for retirement after serving nine years as WIBC president. But I feel life is full of choices. You can always turn your back on a challenge and walk away from it. "But I don't seem to be able to do that. I feel passionately about our sport of bowling and think there are ways to improve the game. But that won't take just one person, it will take the entire organization working together."
Asked if she was going to do any campaigning, she retorted: "Probably not real campaigning. My concept is you let people know you are available and if they ask questions then you answer them honestly."
Asked if she thought being a woman would hurt her chances since the WTBA is made up of about 100
countries, Joyce Deitch hesitated for a few seconds before answering: "That's an interesting question and I don't have a factual answer to it. I like to believe no federation would be against me or any other woman candidate just because of our gender. But traditionally speaking, they have gone to men when electing their WTBA presidents. "Speaking very candidly, I never have been treated like a second class citizen around the world just because I'm a woman. I have been treated with respect because of the office I held."
As I said at the beginning, that respect may stem from the fact that Joyce Deitch knows how to lead by
example. She never has an air that she's larger than the office or bigger than those she works with. I have sat in with her at WIBC Hall of Fame Board meetings and marveled at how she maintained a hands-off approach when it came to tough committee decisions. She only volunteered information when it was requested and insisted it was only her opinion. It was not that way under three previous WIBC
presidents who sat in on Hall of Fame Board meetings where I was a voting member. They always
seemed to have the last word in any controversial issue. "I am presenting myself as a candidate because
I believe in giving back," Deitch said. "It's been my good fortune to be involved with this sport at all levels -from competitor to administrator and from volunteer to leader." There's no question that not everyone in the world may like Joyce Deitch, but there's no question that everyone respects her. And in life, people can either like or dislike you for trivial reasons, but you only earn respect the old fashion way -through hard work and honesty.
On April 28 in Reno, Nev., Joyce Deitch will be inducted into the WIBC Hall of Fame. I will be there
and I will be one of those quick to my feet when she's introduced and applaud for a job well done as
Now on to the next challenge, hopefully as president of the World Tenpin Bowling Association. There
may be other good candidates seeking the office but there will be none more capable and humble than
Joyce Deitch. If you think I'm wrong then read the following comment by Hazel McLeary, co-chairman for the Canadian Task Force for Canadian Single Membership and a WIBC Hall of Fame member: "I've worked with Joyce Deitch on various boards at the national and international levels and I don't know of anyone else who commands the respect that she does. Joyce is one of the few leaders who does not let her ego get in the way of good judgment, in fact, I don't think she has an ego." Even males in leadership positions are impressed by Joyce Deitch. Here is what Roger Dalkin, executive director of the American Bowling Congress, had to say about this dynamic lady: "I have known Joyce for more years than she or I would like to admit. I have seen her in small intense negotiations and in large gatherings such as the WIBC. In all instances she has been a diplomat, a mediator and a consummate professional in her efforts to do what is best for the game. I think she is respected in the world bowling community and would be the ideal leader for WTBA in the coming years."
Enough said. Joyce Deitch's career record speaks for itself.