February 2015 Anniversaries

Here are the February 2015 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Takao Yamasaki from Yokohama-shi, Japan
Wearn Chong from Ipoh, Malaysia
Michael King from Aurora, United States
Jason Ness from Cochrane, Canada
Ian Taylor from Fitchburg, United States
Miguel Correia from Lisbon, Portugal

10 years

Joshua Bryant from West Boylston, United States
Jinyi Lim from Singapore, Singapore
Tomas Joska from Beroun, Czech Republic
Herman von Ronge from Pretoria, South Africa
Erik Olson from Minneapolis, United States
Frederick Salamin from Essex, United States

5 years

Jose Boveda from Sacramento, United States
Mackenzie Stratford from sydney, Australia
Joose Hakosalo from Siilinjaervi, Finland
Pier Paolo Rascato from Aversa, Italy
Albert Masclans Pujol from Castelldefels, Spain
Greg Peloquin from Tacoma, United States
Andres Abujatum from Santiago, Chile
Ignacio Agustin Costarelli from Mendoza, Argentina
Victor Barbier from La Cavalier, France
Nicolas Duguet from Bordeaux, France
Scott Slomann from Westlake Village, USA
Jeffrey Lee from Honolulu, USA
Lucio Lodato from Savona, Italy
Colleen Nelson from Irvine, United States
Justin Turner from Saint Petersburg, United States


Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

This month’s featured judge is Justin Turner from Florida. Fellow Florida judge Bryan Prillaman writes:

“This month Turner (I am incapable of calling him Justin) celebrates his 5 year anniversary in the Judge Program.  He was certified by Ben McDole at a Pro Tour Qualifier in Fort Lauderdale. Since then he had a meteoric rise from L1 to L3 in 19 months.  During that time he made a name for himself teaching local judges, working on projects such as Judge Class, discussing policy on IRC.  He also made a name for himself for being a bit of a ‘personality’ in the judge community.  At Pro Tour Philadelphia, Toby Elliot announced his promotion fondly as a “clerical error that will be corrected shortly”.

Deal with it

Deal with it

Today he is Regional Coordinator of the South East Region in the United States.  He takes the responsibility very seriously, yet still infuses it with the fun and the style he is (in)famous for.  He expects the best from the judges in his region, and works daily with them to see that they have the opportunities to demonstrate their best.  Turner continues to work on multiple education focused projects, and serves as a guidepost for those looking to further their judging careers.  While being a bit notorious on social media, he is also one of the more direct and bluntly honest judges I know.  He has the ability to see through all the nonsense people tell themselves to justify behaviors and more importantly, he is able to get them to see it too.  He always makes himself available on multiple platforms, and makes time for those that come to him with issues.  Both in front of and behind the scenes Turner has an eye for what’s important.  He is able to look at a situation and determine the implications very quickly, including long term effects.  Honesty, directness, responsiveness and long term vision are all important qualities in a leader, and Turner is one of the program’s finest.

"Honesty, directness, responsiveness and long term vison are all important qualities in a leader, and Turner is one of the program’s finest"

“Honesty, directness, responsiveness and long term vision are all important qualities in a leader, and Turner is one of the program’s finest”

I first met Turner at a Star City event in Orlando.  It was my first event and I found myself on the floor alone and unassisted.  Turner helped show me the ropes, despite being an L1 for only a month himself.  He was much younger then, and his skill was still a long way from catching up to his ego, but he was an immediately likeable fellow.  Today, I count him as one of my closest friends, and who knows, in another 5 years, I might be able to write that his skill has finally caught up to his ego.”


This month we have one Level 3 anniversary. Thales Bittencourt certified for Level 3 at Pro Tour – San Diego in 2010. Since Thales is the Regional Coordinator, we asked Rafael Dei Svaldi, Level 3 and long-time judge from Brazil, to provide some comments about him. Here’s what he had to say:

No, you deal with it

No, you deal with it

“Thales Bittencourt is the Regional Coordinator for Brazil, which is no small task. Under his guidance over these last years, our community managed to grow from less than 20 judges to a vibrant group of 100+ judges of several levels (including 3 level threes, something our country had never achieved before).

But Thales is more than just a great RC. I still remember when he travelled from Rio de Janeiro to my city, in order to judge at one of my PTQs. By that time he was seeking the knowledge necessary to reach L2. I must say that I was impressed by his commitment and passion for the game. From that event on, my admiration and respect for Thales only grew, as well as our friendship.

Nowadays, Thales is not only our Regional Coordinator, but also the most prominent leader in Brazil. And I am proud to have been part of his history on the program. When I tested Thales for L2, I told him that he was my best contribution to the Judge Program. Those words are still true even after so many years.”

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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