May 2015 Anniversaries

Here are the May 2015 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Scott Kasliner from Las Vegas, United States
Jeremy Smith from Nyack, United States
Said Hodzic from Uppsala, Sweden
Oliver Bird from Dublin, Ireland
Chris Heard from Mount Holly, United States
Karl Florian Platt from Berlin, Germany
Simon Lee from Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Paul Ruan from Hsinchu City, Taiwan, Province of China

10 years

Yuval Tzur from Ashdod, Israel
Nick Coss from Maple Shade, United States
Brian Lynch from north providence, United States
Paulo Mendes from Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal
Carlos Navarrete Granado from Sevilla, Spain
Daniel Sole from Barcelona, Spain

5 years

Kali Anderson from Roanoke, United States
Craig Pelletier from Plantsville, United States
Petr Hudecek from Sezimovo Usti, Czech Republic
toby barnes from Loves Park, United States
Chris Chop from Guelph, Canada
Jason Finn from Chicago, United States
Andrea Fonseca from Funchal, Portugal
Erik Friborg from Bemidji, United States
Jani Lindroos from Porvoo, Finland
Loc Cao from High Point, United States
Stephen Brown from Tucson, United States
Miles Smith from Toronto, Canada
CJ Shrader from Smyrna, United States
Edd Miles from Cambridge, England
Alejandro Van Mourik from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Andy Koo from Singapore
Martin Koehler from Bonn, Germany
Gustavo Otero De Leon from Cayey, Puerto Rico
James Bennett from Lawrence, United States
Wella Anne Ladera from Pasig City, Philippines

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

This month’s featured judge is James Bennett from the United States. Regional Coordinator Kevin Binswanger had this to say about James:

Has no compassion for my poor nerves

Has no compassion for my poor nerves

“James Bennett loves education and helping other judges. If a judge is going to test for L2 in the afternoon, I absolutely want them to have breakfast with James Bennett first. He’s one of the best judges in the program for helping other judges learn the rules and be comfortable taking judge exams.

James Bennett lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and you’re forgiven if you don’t know where that is (it’s a city on the eastern edge of Kansas near the Missouri border). One of the impressive things about James is that he’s never been limited to just his physical surroundings. James made his mark first as a knowledgable and strong voice on #mtgjudge on IRC (he has since become a moderator there). Then he started showing up at events near and far. He advanced quickly by being awesome and finding opportunities to demonstrate it. I’m happy to see this trend continue; James has local influence in the surrounding two or three states, but his travels let him share knowledge and improve judges all over the country.

James Bennett is also one of the driving forces behind Judge Apps, which is a tool which most judges in the program have used. Since James Bennett literally wrote the book on Django, I don’t know if you can really call anything he does a side project. But when Judge Apps started, I don’t think many people realized how powerful and omnipresent a tool it would become. My wildest dreams were limited to replacing a set of spreadsheets I was using. Today it’s one of the key tools for judges near and far.”

This month we have two Level 3 anniversaries. Five years ago, Nicholas Sabin and Matteo Callegari certified for Level 3 at Pro Tour – San Juan. We asked a couple of L4s who knew them well to summarize their impact on the program. First, Cristiana Dionisio, Regional Coordinator for the Italy, offered these words on Matteo:



“Matteo, the Italian community relies on you. You’re one of our pillars, you have been helping and handling many areas improving the judge program over the years.

When Cristiana announced you would be testing for L3, we all exploded in cheer. Walter said aloud what all of us were thinking: “One day we shall all be slave to Callegari.”

You are a good companion, who is able to find the good balance between working hard at events and enjoying his free time with friends outside events.

You are so active on so many topics and projects and initiative that people started saying that you have a group of elves in your house, typing all mails for you.”

Finally, Jared Sylva has these comments on Nicholas Sabin:

It’s a team.

It’s a team.

“With all that he has accomplished and his standing in the community, it is hard to believe that it has only been five years since Nicholas Sabin was promoted to Level 3 as the Regional Coordinator of the Midatlantic region has been a leader for much longer than that. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Nicholas since we were players in Massachusetts and I’ve worked with him closely since we were Level 2s running into each other at PTQs.

When we moved to Roanoke eight years ago to work with I was lucky enough to work with Nicholas in a day to day capacity and see his skills on full display. Nicholas now resides in North Carolina and plays an active role supporting the vibrant Raleigh/Durham area. Although I see him less these days, he’s one of the judges that I always light up to see his name on an upcoming event.

Nicholas was the clear choice to take on the Regional Coordinator position when it came time for me to step down. His years of staffing experience and his deep knowledge of the judges in the region made him uniquely qualified for the role and his burning desire to improve the community and ensure everyone was supported made him uniquely suited to excelling in it. Nicholas has lead the Midatlantic for the last two and a half years to great effect, supporting growth and developing a strong crop of new Level 3s, and candidates throughout the region.

Always up for a game of Commander, Nicholas is infinitely approachable and has a knack for community building. We worked closely together as we moved towards Level 3 and Nicholas excels in many of the areas where I can struggle. There is no doubt that he had a big hand in helping me to become a better judge.”

Congratulations to both Matteo and Nicholas on 5 years as L3 judges!


About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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