December 2017 Anniversaries

Here are the December 2017 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Clifford Yap from Singapore, Singapore
Claudio Nieva from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Richard Drijvers from Tilburg, Netherlands

10 years

Andrew Hanson from Tucson, Arizona, United States
Tom Vandenberghe from Drongen (Gent), Belgium
Martin Widmer from Winterthur, Switzerland
Chad Horton from Astoria, New York, United States
Evn Tomeny from Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Remi Bonnet from Cachan, France
Jeffrey Huls from Ede, Netherlands
Jean Mathieu from Limoges, France

5 years

Tom Wyliehart from Kent, Washington, United States
Pedro Gonçalves from Queluz, Portugal
Patryk Pacewicz from Warszawa, Poland
Steve Hatto from Howald, Luxembourg
Hugo V Ordonez from El Paso, Texas, United States
Keng Siang Ooi from Gelugor, Malaysia
Brett Colbert from Columbus, Ohio, United States
Aaron Volpert from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Mauro Rossi from Milano, Italy
Gao Sen from Shenyang, China
Bill Anderson from Hinsdale, Massachusetts, United States
Ionut Zabulica from Bucharest, Romania
István Fejér from Witney, United Kingdom
Matthew Munoz from Redlands, California, United States
Shlome Jeffries from Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
Nathaniel Lawrence from Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Alan Warren from Wasilla, Alaska, United States
Stefan Bruschek from Pinkafeld, Austria
Wataru Ito from Tokyo, Japan
Rüdiger Rico from Olhão, Portugal
Patrick Wong from Markham, Canada
John Denz from Auckland , New Zealand
Jian Zhong from WuHan, China
Qi Shiliang from Beijing, China
Erik Halverson from Staten Island, New York, United States
Marvin Münzberg from Berlin, Germany
Andrew Brown from Santa Monica, California, United States
Seth Cohen from Seattle, Washington, United States
Lucas Kuemmling from Guelph, Canada
Kevin Sanger from Santa Monica, California, United States
Elijah Herr from Bangor, Maine, United States
Bob Hopcroft from Oshawa, Canada
Engel Sanchez from San Salvador, El Salvador
Earl Stanley from Medway, Maine, United States
Geoffrey Shreiber from Orange City, Florida, United States
Jeffrey Emery from Lewiston, Maine, United States
Pedro José Fajardo Ponce from Caracas, Venezuela
Paul Jasinto from Clovis, California, United States
Korey Ladyman from Hollywood, Florida, United States
Evgenij Sergienko from Novomoskovsk, Ukraine
David Jimenez III from Wellington, Florida, United States
Ahti Siirand from Tallinn, Estonia
Rui Duarte Dos Santos Melim from Maracay, Venezuela
Darcy Alemany from Scarborough, Canada
Stephen Kiel from Bangor, Maine, United States
Mark Virata from Toronto, Canada
Simon Freiberg from Sydney, Australia
Giorgos Kourkoutis from Chania (Crete), Greece
Eddy Bollue from La Louvière, Belgium
John Wolfe from Salem, Illinois, United States
David Hazan from Sydney, Australia
Aythami González from Sta. Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Andrew Rauch from Sydney, Australia
Eric Rodríguez from Santa Cruz de Tenerife , Spain
Jack Amy from Colchester, United Kingdom
Samuel Severson from Merced, California, United States
Alejandro Morales Borges from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Boyce Travis from Rockville, Maryland, United States
Byron Calver from Saskatoon, Canada
Cam Johnson from Calgary, Canada
Carlos Rodas from Corning, New York, United States
Anders Thidemann from Aarhus C, Denmark
Bertrand Ong from Vancouver, Canada
Jacob Møller Jensen from Roskilde, Denmark
Stephane Gobe from Vernon, France
Engel Sanchez from San Salvador, El Salvador
Anders Thiesen from Roskilde, Denmark
William Wray from Ottawa, Canada
Jay Regimbal from Welland, Canada
Josh Skura from Welland, Canada
Julio Gutierrez from Guarenas, Venezuela
Mark Larson from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Levi Exner from Denver, Colorado, United States
Lisa Seelye from Toronto, Canada
AJ Bernard from Welland, Canada
David Spada from Savignano sul rubicone, Italy
Jay Griffiths from Toronto, Canada
Matt Salts from Dixon, California, United States
Craig Reeder from Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Łukasz Wójcik from Kielce, Poland
Will Morenz from Wheatfield, Indiana, United States
David Kosacky from Grimsby, Canada
Nikolas Lima from Providence, Rhode Island, United States
David Spada from Savignano sul rubicone, Italy
Andrew Sullano from Richardson, Texas, United States
Zen Takahashi from Auckland, New Zealand
Carlo Grimaldi from Napoli, Italy
La Miao from Shanghai, China
Gao Yan from 呼和浩特, China
Harrison Greenberg from orlando, Florida, United States
Charles Dice from Auburn, Georgia, United States
Amanda Bentz from Cudahy, Wisconsin, United States
Jason gyoker from Statesboro, Georgia, United States
Maickel Gulikers from Elsloo lb, Netherlands
Yuko Masuyama from Tokyo, Japan
Nealesh Aneja from Oakland, California, United States
Justin Trezise from Adelaide, Australia
Mattias Dzieciniak from Lund, Sweden
Kevin Shoemaker from South Lake Tahoe, California, United States

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

Scorekeeper of our hearts

Scorekeeper of our hearts

This month, we have 8 judges being featured: Jeff Emery, Simon Freiberg, Clifford Yap, Jack Doyle, Daniel Sole Garcia, Jared Sylva, Eugene Bazhenov, and Jeff Morrow! This is probably the longest blog post the anniversaries project has ever done! 😀

Today, Jeff Emery is a rock of the Northeast judge community. He is well regarded as a mentor on the floor of whatever events he attends and is sought after when a calm, steady hand is required at the helm of an event.

But this hasn’t always been the case. Before Jeff began to judge regularly, he was, in his own words “a bad person”. He was easily upset and vented his frustrations loudly. One story he recounts was from very early in his career as a judge, when a player disagreed with his ruling. The debate got heated, and eventually escalated into a shouting match. On reflection, Jeff admitted that it happened because he wasn’t entirely confident in his ruling, but was uncomfortable with his authority being challenged. Since then, Jeff has become a bastion of stability. He’s become the go-to Head Judge for the Titanium Series – a high profile tournament series in the Northeast.

Jeff is also an area representative, helping organize PPTQs, and has been recognized multiple times for his efforts in coordinating schedules between the judges who are available to work these events and the many stores that are hosting them. He has also made himself available for judges who are running their first events solo, even if he isn’t able to attend in person – giving them his contact information in case anything comes up that they want to run by him. I’ve also talked with him about his dedication to making sure that players across the state have positive experiences wherever they go to play. He’s gone hours out of his way to participate in events at stores throughout his area so that he can know first hand what the experience is for the players. With that knowledge and the knowledge he gained from being a local judge for several years, Jeff is able to speak confidently and directly with new store owners and tournament organizers about how they can improve their events, both for their players and themselves.

Furthermore, Jeff has made an impact at several Grand Prix, being recognized many times for his calm and collected nature on the floor, even while things are beginning to fall apart. At GP Cleveland in 2016, side events faced numerous challenges, including the parking garage closing hours earlier than advertised and players having to move their vehicles. Jeff was able to handle the tasks given to him, and he anticipated potential problems and had developed solutions before they were needed. Throughout it all, he remained upbeat and positive, ensuring that players had a good time, but also making sure that the judges that he was working with were doing okay, and avoided burning themselves out.

Beyond his work as an area representative and on the floor, Jeff has been a member of two large projects, both of which help grow the judge program. With Mystical Tutor, Jeff was one of the creators of the actual presentations used for the lessons, taking the script and audio, and putting together slides in such a way to best present the information to both judge candidates and judges who are seeking to learn more about the rules and policy of the game. More recently, Jeff has become a part of Welcome to the Fold, a project that celebrates every judge working their first Grand Prix. At events, he seeks out these judges and talks to them about their experience and shares with them his own.

In five years, Jeff has come a long way. From a rowdy player, to the powerhouse local judge, he’s made a splash on the Grand Prix circuit and continues to drive forward.

Foundation of the South

Foundation of the South

Next up, Simon celebrates his anniversary with some of his closest judge friends:

From Ryan:

Simon Freiberg (Fry, if you call him Simon he won’t you know you are talking to him) became level 3 a few years ago, only a short time after becoming level 1 and then level 2. His impact upon the program was felt almost instantaneously as he used his love of technology and skills in this area to create a slack for AU/NZ judges to hang out in all while he worked on a number of international projects. Recently his creation of Fry’s chatbot ( has improved events all over the world, up to and including GP’s.

Whilst Fry is sometimes lovingly referred to as a robot, his passion for the rules and policies of MTG shines through. He is never afraid to challenge the belief’s of others and discuss them in a respectful way if he does not agree with you.

Thankyou Fry for infusing new blood into us old ducks in Australia and New Zealand.

From Nathan:

It is difficult to believe that Fry has only been a judge for 5 years. In a relatively short space of time, he has cemented himself as a program stalwart, both through his diligence and exceptional ability on the ground and the work that he’s done out of events to develop new tools that make all of our lives better. I think that all of you who have had the pleasure of using Fry’s Facebook-based pairings bot will join me in wishing Fry a very happy judgebirthday, and hope that he’ll have many more to come.

From Fabiann Peck:

I’ve known Fry since his first GPT, about 5 years ago, clipboard in hand, taking a mountain of notes. With his moves to Canberra and “Sydney” he’s grown as a judge, and grown communities along the way.

Fry is a judge who’s often quietly working away on invisible thing behind the scenes, and then all of a sudden GPs worldwide are using a new Facebook pairings notification system, or there’s a new decklist creator that also handles deckchecks.

Despite his reputation, JudgeBot’s creator is not actually a robot himself. In his free time from instantly answering rules questions on Facebook he’s been a strong advocate from judges to TOs, a leader in the AU/NZ community, a generally awesome person, and a friend.

Thanks Fry, for being awesome and keeping the rest of AU/NZ sane.

Everyone’s friend :D

Everyone’s friend 😀

Wearn has collected a lot of words to celebrate Clifford’s 15 years in the Magic Judge community:

In the 15 years since he became involved in Magic events, Clifford has worn every hat one could wear.

As a judge, he was friendly but firm and fair, and always willing to share his knowledge and mentor others to help them improve. At events, you could always count on him to be one of the earliest to arrive and latest to leave. Outside of events, he helped to take care of not only the Singapore judge community, but also the Magic community by being a source of knowledge and expertise to help TOs and players. And whenever I needed help to look into something in Singapore, I only had to ask and he would step up.

Other than judging, Clifford broadened his expertise and became a skilled scorekeeper who was always calm even when under pressure. He became a staple fixture at various premier events in Asia, from Nationals to Grand Prixes, you name it. And finally, he even took on the role of Premier Tournament Organiser, running Grand Prixes in Asia for a few years. As a PTO, he took care of the judges very well, never once skimping on providing and caring for the well-being of judges working for him. Having been in those shoes before, he knew what it was like to be appreciated and he did his best to spoil us (almost!) rotten 🙂

His humbleness and generosity with his knowledge coupled with his willingness to help others also saw him become a staff member of the China PTO so he could transfer knowledge and help them get up to speed with organising Grand Prixes in China. To this day, he remains a great ally of Panda.

Of all the hats Clifford has worn though, my favourite will always be the one he always has on, that of friend. We’ve shared lots of good times together, whether at events or outside. From food trips to conferences, or catching midnight live telecasts of football during Euro 2016, there are plenty of memories to go around. Here’s to making more as we head into 2018. First stop, back to L2! 😉

Happy 15th Judge Birthday, Clifford!

Wearn Chong

I have the pleasure of working with Clifford for his progression through as a Judge, a Scorekeeper, and a Premier Tournament Organizer. I still remember he and me were the first South East Asia judges who travelled to judge in an Australian GP. Clifford did progress very fast to become a Scorekeeper and become a fixture in almost all of the GPs in South East Asia. He has a lot of experience as a Scorekeeper using the old DCI Reporter. I would say he know most if not all the quirk of that software. I cannot recall even once where Clifford would do a mistake and cause delay to a tournament.

Outside of Magic, I know him as a person who enjoys his food, and also MMORPG. When I am in Singapore and have the time, we would go have some really nice food (and we both then suffer from gout). There are also times where he and other Singaporean judges would travel up to Malaysia to have a weekend full of sinful food.

So Clifford, this is your 15 years’ anniversary and I hope you will still be with the community in many more years to come.

Shing Nien Fong

Clifford is the key pillar in the SG Judge Program. Be it approaching him for complex rules questions, tournament operations from planning to execution or any issues arising from WER, there is Clifford to approach to solve your problems. Clifford might have dropped back to L1 due to personal commitments but he is no less committed in improving the local Judge community. He is always around in every major SG events such as the previous WMCQs and the recent Nationals. His wealth of experience in all tournament operations coupled with his willingness to share this said experience and provide very constructive feedback is the reason why Singapore has numerous Judges who are well adept in tournament operations despite not being staffed in GPs before. To sum it all in 1 phrase that both Judges and players make when Clifford is on staff says it all, “Oh Clifford is around, tournament confirm will not be delayed!”

Chuanjie Seow

Congratulations! Just known from Wearn that you have been in Magic Judge Program for more than 15 years. You will always be our greatest asset and your abilities and contributions are an important key to uphold this Magic Judge program. I have personally taken a moment to reflect upon your initiative and take pride in knowing that you are an important member of our South-East Asia judges.

I know the amount of effort that you put into judging and your efforts are appreciated. I have been under your guidance as floor judge and even scorekeeper for a period of time. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of the day, I may not show the expectation of your requirement but I truly appreciate your patience and the way you have teached me. I am impressed with the effort produced by you and you showed leadership qualities that the rest of the judges can look up to.

You really did an excellent job of training the rest of the new judges and I know that due to your extraordinary leadership, we can really perform well in our judge assignment. Your diligence, self-motivation as well as dedication have been a source of inspiration for the rest of the judges.

Leong Kin Seng

Quickly rose to the top!

Quickly rose to the top!

Former RC, DLS, wanted to take the time to personally acknowledge Jack’s 5 year anniversary:

Jack Doyle has had a head-spinningly fast ascent to the top – from L1 to L3 and Regional Coordinator in no time at all. But besides setting an unhealthy example for aspiring judges, what else is there to say about Jack? Perhaps the endless time he has for the myriad judge projects he weighs in on? Or his seeming omnipresence as an authoritative, informative, and helpful voice in the online judge community? Or how about his wide experience in every tournament role there is to have? Or perhaps there’s nothing nicer to say than that he is a friend, and a friend to so many of us because we have seen his growth from an eager L1 to a capable L3, and because we see how his confidence, his skills, and everything about him have benefited from association with the judge program, and we see a little of ourselves and our own journey in him. Jack was a safe pair of hands to hand over my own RC mantle to because I understand him so well – he is, like many of us, a try-hard do-gooder who wants to make the world a better place, and has grown immensely as a person to help make that possible. Jack Doyle is an archetype of the journey that many of us have been on, and an exemplar (small and big “E”) of what a new, shy L1 today might look to achieve. The only feedback I’ve ever given him that he hasn’t immediately absorbed and improved on is to smile more. Hi, Jack! Smile more, Jack. You’re great and we all love you. You are all of us.

Someone we can all trust

Someone we can all trust

For the last month of the year, we have a quartet of Level 3 anniversaries to celebrate. First, we have one judge celebrating his 5 year anniversary as a L3 judge: Daniel Sole Garcia. Regional Coordinator Sergio Pérez Marcos shared his thoughts along with a few other Spanish judges (Alfonso Bueno, Carlos Ho, and Antonio José Rodríguez)


Dani was already a L1 when I got certified 10 years ago, and he’s been always there helping the community, working in many different projects and taking care of the people, always building trust around him. He’s able to build a direct, but constructive critic if there’s something he doesn’t like, while creating unexpected funny moments at any moment (sometimes even in the same sentence!). He can create and lead a big new regional project from zero, or take part of an existing one, adapt to it, and contribute in a continuous and supportive way.

I still remember GP Lisbon ’12 pretty well. Dani was offered the opportunity to panel there a few days before, as it happened with me at PT Barcelona earlier this year, and he was pretty nervous because he thought he was going to fail. “I’ve failed my first attempt on each and every single exam or process that can be failed in the program so far, so why would be different this time?” he told me. I don’t know why it was different, but I remember running in the hall to hug him when he passed the panel, and since then, I’m pretty happy to see how good it’s been for our region and the whole program.

Thanks Dani for being here with us! 😀

Sito (Alfonso):

I remember first time I meet Dani. He was a brand new L1. It was GP Lisbon 2005, it was my first GP as L3, I was wishing to start certifying new judges (back in those days only L3+ could certify L1s)… but Dani instead choose to go to another L3 to test 🙁 I was so sad… :p

But in the end, that day turned out to be one of the best days for the Spanish judge community. That day joined our ranks one of the most solid judges we have ever had. Dani has, since then, judged countless tournaments, run and led very important projects and helped many other judges (including myself) to improve and perform at their best.

Thank you, Dani for being part of our community!


Dani is one of the main reasons why Spain experienced a sudden explosion in L1 certifications. While working towards L3, he took upon himself to come up with a plan for L1 training and certification in the country. He devised a structure, dividing the country in different zones, with managers and mentors, a streamlined process that could be easily followed thanks to the documentation available, and a spreadsheet to keep track of all the candidates that had contacted the group. Dani kept polishing the process, adding better ways to filter out candidates that weren’t that really interested before assigning them a mentor, and other improvements. In less than a year, we had experienced a tremendous growth in the community, Dani was L3, and we all know we had a great process-oriented leader in the region.

AJ (Antonio Jose):

I noticed that we shared many good moments as judges: you were in my team in my first GP in Madrid 2012, even my Team Leader on Sunday and you wrote me my first review. I still remember GP Lisbon when you became L3, it was something new for me and it was very exciting to see you so happy. And, of course, that memorable trip to Warsaw. Remember that “Come here, Alejandro. We need to talk! “ was the motto of that trip. Apart from those experiences in tournaments I found a great person that has many things very clear, that is not afraid of sharing his opinion and that is clearly devoted to take care of the judge community: local, regional and international. The Judge Program is clearly better with you helping us to grow. Congratulations for those 5 years as Level 3.

King of SCG Judges!

King of SCG Judges!

Next, we have 3 judges who have been L3 (or higher) for 10 years this month: Jared Sylva, Eugene Bazhenov, and Jeff Morrow. Midatlantic Regional Coordinator Nicholas Sabin had this to say about Jared:

“This month marks the tenth anniversary of Jared Sylva’s certification for Level Three, at Worlds 2007 in New York City. At the time, Jared’s exposure to the Grand Prix and Pro Tour circuits was fairly limited: he had participated in his local GPs when he was an excellent L2 in Massachusetts, but when he moved to Roanoke in early 2007 to work for Star City Games, his involvement ramped up quickly, and it became very clear that Jared was a poised, consummate professional with an exceptional work ethic and a nuanced understanding of both rules and policy.
Since certifying for L3, Jared has enjoyed a career in the judge program of which anybody could be proud: he was one of the first Regional Coordinators, he was a Level Four judge, he Head Judged countless Grands Prix and SCG Opens, and was a key influence on the develop of countless exceptional judges nationwide. Next year, Jared will serve as the Head Judge of Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan.

Jared’s career in the judge program is proof that hard work, integrity, and creativity pay off. I know many judges who identify Jared as a major factor in their own successes, and I count myself among that number. Congratulations, Jared!”

Friendliest judge in the world?

Friendliest judge in the world?

We have a trio of Russian judges to speak about Eugene:

Arseniy Egorov:

“I don’t remember the first time I met Eugene, I was young to the community and lives in the small town isolated from other judges. But from that time to now on he always shows great support and taking care of fellow judges (even if he never saw them in person, because they are living on the opposite side of Russia and there is no other judges in thousands kilometers around).”

Mikhail Turetskiy:

“I met Eugene at some judge party back in 2012 some time after I was certified. Later I discovered how much he likes to party, up to the point that he posts an open New Year party invitation on social network…

Anyway, it seems like Eugene was there forever, and the most (if not all) of judges in our region share this feeling. These days our region is decently developed, we have a lot of L2s and several L3s that help running local judge community. And it blows my mind to think that before all of us he’s been doing all this himself.

Eugene has successfully delegated a lot of his RC duties, I wish Eugene to find more trusty people to be able to delegate all of them!”

Lev Kotlyar:

“It’s just been about half a year ago when we celebrated Eugene’s 15 years judge anniversary and another milestone is reached!
It’s really hard to imagine our region without Eugene. In such a huge geographic region, where some isolated judges are within several hours of flight from each other, where uncontrollable disturbances create unfortunate borders, he’s managed to make every judge feel as a part of welcoming, supporting and genuinely friendly community.

Through the years I’ve been watching how Eugene makes napoleonian plans and methodically executes them. This year largely thanks to his efforts we had a fantastic Nationals weekend. I know what he’s planning next, but I don’t want to jinx (or spoil) it. The world’s definitely gonna hear of it!
Long live and prosper, Cap’n!”

This is a lovely photo of pirate Eugene from ixalan prrrrrrerelease:

Bye Jeff! :(

Bye Jeff! 🙁

Finally, for Jeff Morrow, we have three judges speaking about him and his accomplishments as he finishes his tenure as a L3:

Daniel Lee:

“I’ve known Jeff Morrow ever since I first certified as a judge in November of 2004. I frequently attribute my success in the judge program to the collection of excellent people that I had as mentors, and Jeff is one of the most prominent among them. I recall always being struck by how friendly and genial Jeff was while also being professional and direct when it came to working events. He was an instant role model for me and someone that I aspired to emulate as much as possible. It was very unsurprising to me that Jeff ascended through the ranks of the judge program. He has always been extremely effective, approachable, and a blast to work with.

When I decided to pursue advancement to Level 3, he offered to mentor me from the start. He has provided useful and actionable feedback on every step of my L3 process to this day. He has been supportive, encouraging, and critical in equal measure. I can confidently say that I would not be the judge I am today without his guidance. The program is losing a giant and I am really sad to see him go, but he has given me so much that I only want awesome things for him and I will support any decision he makes, including this one. I, for one, will definitely miss his presence at events and his effective counsel. You are amazing, JMo, and your loss will be felt throughout the program.”

Toby Elliott:

There’s a lot of things we could say about Jeff on the occasion of his retirement. In fact, I already did. Everything there is even truer today. Jeff’s been a force, been a voice, and, most importantly, is still a dear friend. We’re older and greyer, but he’s still the same J-Mo. Safe travels, friend.

Louis Fernandes:

“I would like to get real with you about JMo. Turns hat around, sits backward in chair. So let’s get real about JMo. Jeff is the best mentor I have ever had, within the Judge program or without. Jeff really stands out in three ways.

Stand out number one: you get out what you put in

JMo is the reason the modern judge program looks the way it does. Well, he’s one of the reasons. Jeff was tasked with reworking the way judges test for Level 3. The checklist? The qualities? He helped build the world where achieving the highest echelon of judging was something that everyone knew how to do. Gone were the days where a mysterious cabal would summon you into a dark room to be interrogated for six hours. In were the days where you got recommendations, wrote a PEI, submitted a checklist, and then were summoned by a mysterious cabal into a dark room to be interrogated for three hours. Everything was put up front (excepting, of course, the mysterious cabal and the dark room). If you put your time in, you got your shot at becoming Level 3.

That’s a theme with Jeff. If you do the work, you get your chance. Period. This in an incredibly powerful tool when used in a training setting. If you do the work, the reward is that you get to do more work. When you want to get to the next level, that’s very motivating. Jeff taught me that hard work should be recognized and rewarded.

Stand out number two: so what?

Jeff is the master of “so what?”. What is “so what?”, you ask? It’s the ability to get to the heart of the matter. It’s the ability to find the crux of the argument. It’s the ability to ignore extraneous information and only deal with what actually matters. So much of what we do (even outside of judging) is noise; we are forced to prune down our observations to only those that matter. Jeff has a remarkable knack for doing just that. This is one reason people want Jeff involved; he will quickly identify what actually matters and poke at that. Jeff taught me to try to find the important bits and to ignore the rest.

Stand out number three: “Look at me, I’m Jeff Morrow”

Riki Hayashi has a Jeff impression. It’s pretty straightforward: while making arms like a wacky waving inflatable tube man, he says, “Look at me, I’m Jeff Morrow.” It’s funnier than it sounds here. Being the subject of a terrible impersonation isn’t what makes him a great mentor. And maybe this is less of him being a good mentor and more of him being a good sport, but there is something about Jeff that is relatable. Maybe it’s the fact that he goes out of his way to meet new people. Maybe it’s the fact that he will skip his lunch break to help you deal with issues, or even just to listen to you jabber. Maybe it’s the fact that Jeff is just a plain old-fashioned nice guy, and it’s impossible to 1) not like him and 2) not want to hang out and play board games with him. There are judges who worked GP Atlanta solely so they could say “hello” to Jeff. Jeff taught me that being relatable has power; meeting and talking to people makes you a better leader. Being friends with your colleagues and fellow judges isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.

Jeff’s mentorship has made me the judge I am today. You know what’s awesome? I’m not the only person who can say that. Jeff’s mentorship spans generations, TOs, and even continents (Jeff has had a very big impact on the Japanese judging scene). I can think of no better recognition of Jeff’s work than to point to all of the people whom have been made better by his presence. As Jeff enters the “retired judge” phase of his career, I can only say “thank you”. This doesn’t entirely express the depth of gratitude, respect, and gratefulness that I have towards him, but I’m reaching my word limit, so it will have to do.”

As you can see, these 4 judges have had tremendous impacts on the Judge Program and those that how known them. Congrats to all four of you and best of luck in the future!

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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