November 2018 Anniversaries

Here are the November 2018 judge anniversaries for which we have historical data!

20 years

John Shannon from West Point, New York, United States of America

15 years

Mario Contreras from Cali, Colombia
Pedro de Diego from Rada Tilly, Chubut, Argentina
Cesar Baldellon from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Ville Kovelo from Nurmijaervi, Finland
Brian Bradshaw from Mocksville, United States
Michael Wiese from Sankt Augustin, Germany

10 years

Mike Krasnitski from Kiev, Ukraine
Ross Bower from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
James Mckay from Mississauga, Canada
Dylan Headley from Warrensburg, Missouri, United States of America
Alli Medwin from Bellevue, Washington, United States of America
Christopher Hiles from North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States of America
Bruce Mills from Roanoke, Virginia, United States of America
Kevin Lowrey from Austin, Texas, United States of America
Fabio Vegnuti from La Spezia, Italy

5 years

William Hendricks from Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States of America
Wataru Otsuka from Osaka, Japan
Ricardo Machado from Porto Velho, Brazil
Adrien Saint-Mars from Troyes, France
XiaoPeng Wu from ShenZhen, China
Alfredo Celis Orozco from Guadalajara, Mexico
David Hernandez from Mazatlán, Mexico
Martin Nanik from Skopje, Macedonia
Lars Rosengren from Darmstadt, Germany
Alex Moore from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America
Olivier Jansen from Sacramento, California, United States of America
Rune Hyldkrog from Copenhagen, Denmark
Tayfun Turgut from Istanbul, Turkey
Dustin Jones from Southwest, Wisconsin, United States of America
Matthew Philps from Bristol, United Kingdom
Cindomar Ferreira from Ananindeua, Brazil
Landan Heinricy from Pierre, South Dakota, United States of America
Phil Scutter-Cairns from Plymouth, United Kingdom
David Murray from Newport, United Kingdom
Todor Vladimirov from Sofia, Bulgaria
Domen Kuncic from Kranj, Slovenia
Frieder-Michel Drenger from Magdeburg, Germany
Felipe Gaboardi from Uppsala, Sweden
Samuel Hopkins from York, United Kingdom
Norman Ralph from Preston, United Kingdom
Gene-Paul Russell from Milton, Georgia, United States of America
Warren Roberts from Durban, South Africa
Russell Tanchel from Johannesburg, South Africa
Joey Valente from San Diego, California, United States of America
Sampo Suomalainen from Kuopio, Finland
Jonathan Harrison from Salisbury, Maryland, United States of America
Michael Schultz from baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Alexandra Stokes from Wellington, New Zealand
Kevin Chong from Metro Manila, Philippines
Jonathan Brewer from North Vancouver, Canada
Dustin Pyle from Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States of America
Sebastian Heene from Hannover, Germany
Dennis Nolting from Hannover, Germany
Robert Heisler from Lakeland, Florida, United States of America
Bruno Neyra from Tampa, Florida, United States of America
Duane Young from New Port Richey, Florida, United States of America
peter spoto from tampa, Florida, United States of America
John Stock from Marquette, Michigan, United States of America
Giulio Tedeschi from Venturina Terme, Italy
Artur Panfilow from Warsaw, Poland
wilson salas from Alajuela, Costa Rica
Christian Kragelund Pedersen from Tølløse, Denmark
Mike Garner from Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Anttu Kaipainen from Jyväskylä, Finland
Joe Steinhoff from Wahiawa, Hawaii, United States of America
Patrick Cossel from Sheridan, Wyoming, United States of America
scott munro from brisbane, Australia
Bertil Angermann from Dillingen, Germany
Marshall Sweet from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
Brandon Capps from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
Harrison Hite from Tacoma, Washington, United States of America
Lucius Penn from Richmond hill, Georgia, United States of America
Andrew Cohen from Reisterstown, Maryland, United States of America
Jeff Kruchkow from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America
Anders Almerlöv from Solna, Sweden
Justin Whitehouse from Sumner, Iowa, United States of America
Cyril Ford from edmonton, Canada
Donald Phillips from Wichita, Kansas, United States of America
Willian Brandimarte from Jaboticabal, Brazil
Guy Montuelle from Bergen, Norway
Marc Lunde from Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America
Kendra Smith from Orlando, Florida, United States of America
Lucas Kuster from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
April Schmidt from Ottawa, Canada
Jian Liang Chu from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
Sam Oransky from Kennebunkport, Maine, United States of America
Patrick Hesselbach from Bay Shore, United States of America
Jeremy Tilley from Howe, Texas, United States of America
Natalia Nadezhdina from Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Kirstin “Kir” Jarchow from San Francisco, California, United States of America
Ville Teräväinen from Lahti, Finland
Ally R from Nowhere, Maine, United States of America
Jeremy Tilley from Howe, Texas, United States of America
Rhys Kennewell from Launceston, Australia
Connor Kelly from Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States of America
Lukas Jurnicek from Prostějov, Czechia
Daniel Ankiewicz from Olsztyn, Poland
Nathan Hudson from Warren, Michigan, United States of America
Russell Busch from Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America
Tamara Komatar from Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ignacio QUiroz from Santiago, Chile
Raimundo Meza from Viña del Mar, Chile
Kevin Guinn from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, United States of America
Joshua Kimbrough from San Rafael, California, United States of America
Brandon Welch from Corvallis, Oregon, United States of America
Alyssa Windsor from Vancouver, Canada
David Garcia from Valladolid, Spain
Johan Jernmo from Kumla, Sweden
Andreas Frederiksen from Ringsted, Denmark
Dustin Bingham from Lakeside Park, Kentucky, United States of America
Graham Schofield from Toronto, Canada
Tatsuya Masatsugu from Tottori ken Kurayoshi shi, Japan
shinpei motoyama from yonago, Japan
Artur Sanchez from Tarragona, Spain
Kyle Gorbski from Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America
Ian Groombridge from Cold Spring, New York, United States of America
Allan John Shaquel Suson from Talisay city, cebu, Philippines
John Paolo Bago from Cebu, Philippines
justo chacon from lyon, France
Patrick Morina from Bünde, Germany
Ronald Lehmann from Mannheim, Germany
Taylor Wilson from Alexandria, Virginia, United States of America
Hirokazu Suenaga from Saitama, Japan

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!



This month we are featuring 3 judges: Michael Wiese, Norman Ralph, and Jürgen Baert. RC, Stefan, has put together some thoughts about Michael’s 15 years in the program:

We don’t have that many judges in the program that have been active for 15 years or more. Michael can look back on an incredible career: Tested at GP Amsterdam in 2003, and only 4 years later, at US Nationals in 2007, where he was scheduled to test for L2 tester (that was a thing back then), Michael managed to convince his interviewees to make him L3, an incredible achievement. Michael became a logistics expert at events big and small, traveling the whole world, and was soon the leading judge in Germany. It was no surprise to anyone that he became RC, a role in which he served 7 years before passing on the mantle in 2016.

But I think I can speak for the many judges whose life Michael touched that his crowning achievement are the many connections he built with other judges in the program, and the many judges he inspired and mentored. Michael has a way with people. With his friendly and outgoing manner, his warmth and empathy, and his capability to listen and give advice and encouragement, everyone around him feels welcome and appreciated and at ease.

In recent years, Michael has been less active in the program. He built a family and a house, so he didn’t have as much time as he used to have. But now his house is completed, he is hungry for more. Here’s to another 15 years!



Jack, Norman’s RC, wrote a few things about how Norman became a staple judge in his region:

When an RC looks at a member of their region that is such an integral lynch-pin, and has to come to terms with the fact that it’s “only” been five years since they were certified, it’s a really wonderful feeling. For UKISA, Norman Ralph is one of those lynch-pins. I met Norman at a PTQ in Sheffield, in the north of England, where he took his L1 test. Already a confident figure (it’s hard not to be when one towers over mere mortals), it wasn’t particularly difficult to envisage Norman going far.

That said, I didn’t quite expect all of the accolades that Norman has gathered in that time — an internationally experienced scorekeeper; a diligent Operations lead at Grands Prix and, soon, MagicFests; a motivated Area Captain; and a travel companion I’m proud to call a friend. Norman is incapable of leaving things worse than, or the same as, he found them, and that innate willingness to improve things has been invaluable for the entire region.

Under Norman’s wise leadership, the country (and area) of Wales went from an under-served area with very few judges, to a self-sustaining community-focused area with one of the most tight-knit judge families and store relationships that I’ve seen in the region. After moving, the South West of England is now under that same wisdom, and while leading remotely, I’m hopeful for the same growth in that area.

In a relatively short space of time, Norman has become synonymous with leadership in the region, and integrates himself effortlessly into any situation. It’s impossible to think of the shape of the region without him, and judges like him. Thank you, Norman, for the last five years, and to many more.



November marks the 10-year anniversary of Jürgen Baert certifying for Level 3. We asked new Regional Coordinator of BeNeLux, Niels Viaene, to speak about Jürgen. However, before he shares his thoughts, he wanted to let some fellow judges to have a word:

Dustin De Leeuw
Jürgen is never satisfied with anything less than perfection. While this makes him a logistics expert on a level that only few in the world can compare to, this also makes him a passionate mentor. I used to be scared of his frowning face because I thought it was a sign of disapproval, but in reality, Jürgen was pondering over new information and insights, and was about to offer praise or curiously ask for more details about what he just learned. So I learned not to be afraid of his stares but to instead learn as much from him as possible, as Jürgen has a lot of wisdom to share about logistics, policy and even about human behavior.

But of course, Jürgen isn’t perfect. He has some deeply rooted false beliefs. For example, he still thinks that his cat Tora is cuter than my cat Luce. Maybe someday he’ll better his life…

Emilien Wild
Jürgen is one of the three judges who have been the most instrumental in my development as a judge. I owe him immensely. He started mentoring me when I was a reclusive, socially inept Level 1, and through patience, humor, and not holding punches when needed, he not only allowed me to learn skills and knowledge from him, but more importantly, methods and values. He always was ready to discuss policies and practices while allowing me room to develop my own opinions as a relentless debate opponent. The few times we had a deep disagreement on things, he always saw opinions from the other side and focused on finding ways to make things work. By cascading these practices to new generations of mentors, his impact could be felt in all of Belgium and the European GP scene.

Jürgen is someone who never shied away from pushing people out of their comfort zone, and as such, show them their untapped potential. He does so while providing caring support, and is never afraid of getting his own hands dirty – even in the top leading position, he’ll still push in chairs and deliver floor rulings as any other member of his team, while being a charisma monster that will attract the attention of a whole room in what seems to be infuriatingly effortless.

Back in the old days where we had 5 levels of judges, Riccardo Tessitori used to describe the difference between L3 and L4+ as the latter being not only judges performing roles, but icons who, through their actions, inspire people to be more like them. While we’re now at a 3 levels system, Jürgen is still that judge to me: being at his sides shows me all the ways I can still grow and train myself.”

Jona Bemindt
Jürgen has been one of the cornerstones in the Belgian Judge Community for as long as I can remember. The Benelux is well-known for its large amount of high-level judges, as well as for its high density of judges as a whole, but back when I was still “judging” events from the basement of our LGS, he was the one that came looking far and wide for people that could take up the torch in getting certified judges around the country. I am sure that without his enthusiasm and motivation, our region wouldn’t nearly be where it currently stands now.

He is a logistical mastermind at large events, but you can just as well find him at a Two-Headed-Giant Pre-Release (making horrible play-mistakes), or just around for some old-fashioned feedback when you need it.

Niels Viaene
And finally it is my turn, the fresh-faced RC, a position I would most likely never have pursued if it weren’t for Jürgen, after reaching a level of judging I would never have attained without Jürgen as my mentor, and as my friend. To say Jürgen was instrumental in me becoming who I am in the judge community is about as obvious as saying people need food. He was there in 2007 when he saw the other L3 judge in Belgium fade away to mentor me to L1, he was the one who tested me for L2 in 2012, he was the one that took the L3 test part in 2015 and was a soundboard and support through the RC selections a few weeks ago. Besides all this he is a friend and someone who was there for me and helped me in ‘the real world’ tremendously.

Beyond the personal mentor aspect Jürgen is amazing as a passive mentor, by leading by example as mentioned plenty by my peers before. He leads by demonstration, inspires by action and finds ways to simplify and formulate things he learned in easily digested bits of information hidden in a broad spectrum of seminars. Even though he has never taken center stage in the region he was a driving force in the development of the Belgian part of it when the community needed it the most.

It seems like the only limiting factor to what Jürgen can achieve is time and I think a lot of people would be amazed to see in just how many subtle ways he has influenced the program, its projects and many of its judges. And I, for one, am proud to count myself in those.

Thank you, Jürgen, and I hope we’re just getting started.

P.S. Don’t listen to Dustin, everybody knows the Kami-Tora combo is the cutest thing to exist in the feline realm.

Thanks to all for their kind words about Jürgen. Best wishes on the next 10 years!

Happy anniversary to all of you!  We look forward to many more years of judging from you all.

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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2 Responses to November 2018 Anniversaries

  1. Alli Steele (neé Medwin) says:

    In fairness, I’ve been working at Wizards for five and a half years now, and had to stop in Oct 2013, so my ten-year anniversary means I’ve been not-a-judge longer than I was a judge.

  2. James Mckay says:

    Except I have only been judging for 9 years.

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