Here are the December 2016 judge anniversaries!
Svante Rikberg from Borga, Finland
Terh Kuen Yii from Ayer Keroh, Malaysia
Luca Borra from Vobarno, Italy
Thomas Carrillo from Fresno, United States
Frank Chafe from Modesto, United States
Mike Combs from Eagan, United States
Brian Dombroski from Fresno, United States
Richard Gordon from Madera, United States
J.T. Henricks from Acworth, United States
James Higginbottom from Bound Brook, United States
Ryan Koenig from San Marcos, United States
Justin Lim from Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Tyler Morrison from Clovis, United States
Federico Piermaria from Bastia Umbra, Italy
Akira Seno from Niigata City, ChuOh-Ward, Japan
Jason Aron from Plainfield, United States
Oscar Carrera Notario from Villahermosa, Mexico
Dave Crowley from Cary, United States
Jelle Emmerechts from Willebroek, Belgium
Stephen Hagan from Lebanon, United States
Wesley Holland from Raleigh, United States
Daniel Mähr from Graz, Austria
Cassidy Melczak from Denver, United States
Shawn Montgomery from Poplar Bluff, United States
Donnie Noland from Madison, United States
Alex Rivard from Moorhead, United States
Ed Womble from Woodbridge, United States
Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!Mitsunori has a few words about Akira, who is a Japanese GP staple judge:
“Akira has a great presence. I feel that this is a focal point of him. There are always a lot of smiles (and ice creams) around him and we are endowed with the benefit of his presence. He is definitely a pillar of support to the Japanese region.
He attends every GP. We see his name on almost every translated document. Many local stores have reached to advanced level with players who are rallied by him. I couldn’t believe these achievements happened in just five years and I have been browsing his record for at least half an hour. Maybe it’s that is a mistake and he was certified 7 or 8 years ago? No. He was definitely certified Dec 2011.
Five years ago, Niigata had the finest rice but there was no judge. One of our community’s mentors found a good guy, Akira, at in his home town. Nowadays, Niigata has many advanced stores and it is also a venue for area conferences. I see his face in every Grand Prix or WPN event. He also likes to play Magic. Everyone got really excited for the tweet that said Akira’s earned an invite to an RPTQ. And more than anything, Akira’s translations are fast. He answered “hours?” when I asked for some translations and expected him to finish in a week. Imagine Toby updates the blog; later that day everyone knows that there has been some important rule change. Akira is there, because he knows it is a very uncomfortable thing to have PPTQ on the weekend without knowing changes. Everyone is grateful to him.
Local community, playing magic, high level event and Judge community. Akira does them all. Happy anniversary!”Next, Zimet shares his thoughts on the ever-present Frank:
“Congratulations to Frank Chafe on five years with the judge program! Frank has a history with Magic that goes way back – he even worked at Wizards at one point – and also has a history with magic (the kind with the rabbits and hats) that goes way back too. His skill with manual dexterity magic and shuffling has led to an interest and specialization in deck checks and shuffle exploits. Frank has given a number of seminars on both subjects, including one at San Diego Comic-Con sometimes referred to as the “Magic Magic Show.” You can find Frank at GPs and at his new home in the Pacific Northwest. If you are lucky enough to catch him at events after hours, you might ask if you can see his over-sized Magic card deck, or if he could juggle a few axes for you. Thanks to Frank for five years with the Magic Judge program, and here’s to many more yet to come!”Lastly, Nathan has some loving words for his fellow southern L3, Fabiann:
“In Fabiann’s decade with the judge program, there are very few things he hasn’t achieved. From head judging GPs, to making new judges, to functioning as WER tech support for judges across the country, Fabiann is a fixture in the Australian and New Zealand community. He has shaped the fabric of judging in this part of the world, and he continues to be a beacon of excellence that we all aspire to emulate (especially for those few hours that he out-leveled me).
His smiling face and flailing arms never fail to lift the spirits of those of us fortunate enough to work with him, and I hope that we continue to experience his otter enthusiasm for many years to come. Thank you for your dedication, your hard work and your excellence.”We also have one L3 anniversary this month! This month we are celebrating the 5-year anniversary of Level 3 certification for David Hibbs. David certified at Worlds in San Francisco at the end of November 2011 (so technically we are a little late in the celebration). We asked out-going Regional Coordinator of the US-South region, Kevin Binswanger, to say a few words about David, the incoming RC:
“David Hibbs is the measuring stick for judges in Texas. When I advanced to Level 3 first, it felt unfair and was a little troubling to me for a while afterwards. I consoled myself with two things: first, that he was making that journey while raising an incredible family, while I was on my own. And second, even though I was L3 and Regional Coordinator and he wasn’t either of those things (spoiler alert: yet!), he was still the standard for comparison. Part of this was his history; he’s been a fixture in the area for a long time, and he makes good use of his experience. But most of that is just him being Hibbs. When he finally set his mind to it, Hibbs made L3 quickly thereafter. As RC, I was happy to take credit for it, but really it was all him.
David’s presence is incredible. He’s not the loudest voice, and he doesn’t do a lot of work to make sure he gets to chime in. Rather others seek out his perspective, his opinion, and his guidance. I will admit to being jealous of his quiet, seemingly effortless presence. Wherever his cowboy hat and ponytail leads, others follow. He’s been directly or indirectly responsible for the growth and advancement of many of the most senior judges in the region. The list of judges who credit him for their success is probably half the judges in the region.
Fellow L3 Evan Cherry had this to say about David: ‘David is a father-figure in the program, both as an experienced senior judge and as a caring teacher. He is known throughout the region in and out of events in various educational projects. In particular, his dedication to the development of other judges and personal mentorship guided me from L1 to L3. He exemplifies everything as a Texas L3: personable, knowledgeable, and a black cowboy hat.’
In light of all of this, it’s fitting that he’s the one I pass the torch to as USA – South Regional Coordinator.”
Congratulations to David on his 5 years at Level 3 and wish him well in his new role as a Regional Coordinator.
Happy anniversary to all of you! We look forward to many more years of judging from you all.