March and April 2019 Anniversaries

Here are the March and April 2019 judge anniversaries for which we have historical data!

15 years

Nicolas Glik from Elche, Spain
Nicholas Sabin from North Carolina, United States of America

10 years

Vuk Gavrilović from Rome, Italy
Sebastian Reinfeldt from Bad Homburg, Germany
Shinpei Ohkawa from Hiroshima-shi , Japan
Filipe Fernandes from Queluz, Portugal
Louis Fernandes from Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Christian Steudtner from Nürnberg, Germany
Jens Lindberg from Gteborg, Sweden

5 years

Lucas Hyytiäinen from Stockholm, Sweden
Camilo Fernandez from Viña del Mar, Chile
Carlos Martín Bassetti from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kentaro Guthrie from Victoria, BC, Canada
Espen Oftedal from Trondheim, Norway
Raymond Parker from Plano, Texas, United States of America
Marc DeArmond from Oak Harbor, Washington, United States of America
Adrian Preston from Brisbane, Australia
Ricardo Felix from OAXACA DE JUAREZ, Mexico
Hannes Versmissen from Beerse, Belgium
Janit Mindis from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Justin Purcell from Greenfield, Massachusetts, United States of America
Hiroshi Yamada from Shizuoka, Omaezaki-shi, Japan
John Rowe from San Leandro, California, United States of America
Mani Cavalieri from New York, New York, United States of America
Dale Marsh from Sarnia, Canada
John Macdonald from wallaceburg, Canada
DJ Andrucyk from Windsor Mill, Maryland, United States of America
Leanne Capewell from Melbourne, Australia
Zack Ruckman from Lubbock, Texas, United States of America
William Dair Grant from Martinsville, Indiana, United States of America
Tulio Abud Lemos from Divinopolis, Brazil
David Clawson from Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Kris Burningham from Orangeville, Canada
Dan Collins from Lakewood, New Jersey, United States of America
Ivan Lendvaj from Osijek, Croatia
Filip Mrso from Cepin, Croatia
Derrick Correia from Fall River, Massachusetts, United States of America
Darrin Sisneros from Midlothian, Texas, United States of America
Benjamin Bandelow from Bremen, Germany
Kazumasa Wada from Miyazaki,Miyazaki-shi, Japan
Christopher Dreher from Moreno Valley, California, United States of America
Jorge David Mendieta Chica from Bogotá D.C., Colombia
Vincent DiDomenico from Tampa, Florida, United States of America
Yanjie Liang from åä, China
Christopher Rumore from Massapequa, New York, United States of America
Jeremey DeVooght from Conway, Arkansas, United States of America
Miao Bai from Sunnyvale, California, United States of America
Hebert Camacho from Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico
Lon Starkey from Cayce, South Carolina, United States of America
Brenden Gansner from Campbell River, Canada
Sangmin Choi from Daegu, South Korea
Tom Douglass from Santa Cruz, California, United States of America
Sabas Barriga from Mexico, Mexico
hidetoshi kiyokawa from Kakogawa-hyogo, Japan
George Edouard Cuartero from Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Edgar Trujillo from valencia, Venezuela
Alfonso Sarmiento from Valencia, Venezuela
Jelle Zwaan from Hoofddorp, Netherlands
David Incorvati from Akron, Ohio, United States of America
Jonas Drieghe from Leuven, Belgium
Charles Trottier from Blainville, Canada
Christopher Brunner from Hamburg, Germany
Agustín Mopty from capital federal, Argentina
Jason Latham from McKenzie, Tennessee, United States of America
Kai Li from Beijing, China
Kyle Yeates from Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America
Patrick Hunter from Belchertown, Massachusetts, United States of America
Charles Milutinovic from Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Dave Bartlett from Farmington Hills, MI, Michigan, United States of America
Jonathan L Melamed from Brasília, Brazil
Tyler Karle from Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America
Robert Johnston from Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
Christopher Milburn from Mount Vernon, Illinois, United States of America
Nick Picard from Victoria, Canada
Alexander Rosdahl from Helsingborg, Sweden
Joseph Strickland from Mobile, Alabama, United States of America
Chris Wendelboe from Ashland, New Hampshire, United States of America
Andrew Hallin from Litchfield, Minnesota, United States of America
Caitlyn Hebert from Eugene, Oregon, United States of America
Gustavo Marin from São Paulo, Brazil
Ryuuji Nohara from Okinawa, Japan
Nicolas De Bonis from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Francisco Gonzalez from Carolina, Puerto Rico, United States of America
Henrique Pacheco from Vitoria, Brazil
Linda Johansson from Uppsala, Sweden
Jon Buck from Elgin, Illinois, United States of America
Marie Emonds from Midland, Michigan, United States of America
Gail Senatore from Roanoke, United States of America
Michele Vianello from Padova, Italy
Dmitriy Zaritskiy from BROOKLYN, New York, United States of America
Karl Simmons from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America
Doug Hewson from Calgary, Canada
Trevor Murdock from Victoria, Canada
Milorad Pavlovic from Novi Sad, Serbia
Daniel White from Casper, Wyoming, United States of America
Xinyue Liu from Beijing, China
Stefan Holebæk from Aalborg, Denmark
Jason Stewart from Shoreline, Washington, United States of America
Ryan Clow from Hinesville, Georgia, United States of America
Leonard Larratta from Niagara falls, New York, United States of America
Lucas Hyttel from Roskilde, Denmark
Yoann Buzenet from Paris, France
Àre Maturana from Toulouse, France
Manuel Gallardo from Valparaiso, Chile
Geoffrey Drake-Heaton from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America
Patrick Malvoso from Panama City, Florida, United States of America

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

Janit Mindis

Janit Mindis

This month we are featuring a whopping 10 judges: Janit Mindis, Àre Maturana, Savvas Themistocleous, Joe Wiesenberg, Jorge Requesens, Jernej Lipovec, Federico Donner, Paul Baranay, Takanori Nakamura, and Riki Hayashi! First up is Janit, who is celebrating their 5 year anniversary with their RC, Adrián:

Since Janit began the journey within the program of judges, its impact on the community, not only in Argentina, but inside and outside the region was incredible. Always ready to join many projects, with the desire to improve day by day, led her to be under the spotlight, in many team like mentoring, community and others, include the ones outside her confortable zone like rules, in there, little by little being a reference for many judges who take their first steps within the community. I could keep on making a big list of all the goals that Janit was able to achieve in these 5 years, but it would be unfair, because I will surely forget some of his achievements, but above all things because I will not be able to put in that list the most important thing that Janit is to the program of judges, a person in which each and every one of us can feel supported, a person in which you can trust any task and will give everything and more to help you . People like Janit, are not there outside every day and I think that all of us were lucky that Janit was part of this community which improved the same day when she decided to be part of it. Happy Anniversary!

Àre Maturana

Àre Maturana

Next up is Àre, who’s RC, Sophie, wrote a multi-lingual anniversary:

The judge program is much more than going to a tournament, give rulings and come back home. It is more than having succeeded at a rules test. It is not being a cop for bad players.

It is about meeting friends, growing up and getting better persons. It is about knowing that we can count on them on any occasions. It is about exchanging in the same walk in a dark street of a foreign country both the last weird ruling we encounter and the most private memory we have from our childhood. It is sharing rooms, meals , improvements for the next challenge we’ll encounter and uncontrolable laughs for a logistic issue we had. It is giving a single smile to this only player that had hard time losing and by doing so making their day better. It is supporting each other when the worse arrive, could be on our improvement when we got stuck or on our private but too exposed life. It is listening without judging and give what we have to help the other getting better, even if what we have is just an earing and the silence. It is about giving all our passion in a single game, talking hours and with everybody we can meet between the side event stage and the main event stage about this special interaction that nobody agrees on. It is spending hours explaining in a little room to this other player why they got this penalty while they are so angry about it that they want to give up to Magic. It is creating a whole project we truly believe in to help growing dozens of judges. It is sharing our only cookie for the day in a small judge room. It is smiles again, kindness, hugs. It is love. Muito obrigada Àre , por dar essa paixão ao Judge program e ser um dos meus melhores amigos. Parabéns!

Savvas Themistocleous

Savvas Themistocleous

Due to some scheduling issues, we didn’t get the chance to recognize a couple of Level 3 anniversaries in January. So this month, we’ll share those with you. First, Savvas Themistocleous is celebrating 15 years as a Level 3 judge.

Anastacia Tomson had these comments about Savvas:

“Savvas, throughout his judging career, has exemplified the spirit of commitment and dedication towards building, growing, and sustaining the South African Judge community. He has developed a reputation amongst South African Magic players as a wise and knowledgeable figure, but also an approachable one, and his passion for the game and all those involved in it is absolutely palpable. For years, Savvas’s name was synonymous with the SA Judge Program itself, as he steered the community almost single-handedly, doing his utmost to ensure that our rigorous standards were maintained even while South Africa was isolated from the rest of the global community. As far as recollection permits, Savvas’s presence has been ubiquitous in South Africa’s biggest events, where he developed a reputation for working tirelessly to ensure positive player experiences, and where he strives to grow, develop, and mentor judges, always trying to challenge them and give them new opportunities to build their skills and abilities.
Savvas has also, despite tremendous geographical challenges, proven himself a worthy leader in the global community, where his vast contributions ensure that he is well-known and respected by judges throughout the world. Despite whatever challenges life outside of judging has thrown at him, Savvas has always made a point of staying up-to-date with rules, policy, and community developments in the game, and has devoted the time and energy to make sure that he can continually find new ways to grow the community.

A true stalwart of the South African Magic community, in every sense of the word, this 15-year anniversary is a superb opportunity to acknowledge his significant contributions to the game and its Judges.”

Joe Wiesenberg

Joe Wiesenberg

Next, we celebrate the 5-year anniversary of Joe Wiesenberg. Joe’s RC, Angela Chandler, put together some comments about Joe (and got some others to help too):

“Joe Wiesenberg is one of my closest mentors and a fantastic judge. He is quiet and caring, yet can still surprise you with a great joke (or a really good troll moment). He has been taking care of the judge community since I have known him and is the main reason I pursued Level 2. Congrats on your 5 years at Level 3. I reached out to a few others in the community to include a little more about Joe….

Christian Aguilar: Joe has been the pinnacle of the Southwest region’s community since I’ve known him and always a great resource at giving quality feedback. He has always been inviting and continues to do what he can to help keep the community moving forward and engaged in the program. His attitude has continued to be “If you’re going to do this do this right” and striving to keep the quality of judges up when mentoring. My experiences with Joe were always very memorable, one of my favorite examples of this is his explanation of back ups for GRVs using the “Remedial Chaos Theory” episode of Community, it was always a pleasant treat to listen to to get a visual idea of lines of play (or in this case, different timelines that the characters go through). His ability to provide any feedback either positive or negative with the right twist to make sure that the recipient understood what he was trying to communicate. Just like with my previous example he curates his responses to individuals or masses in order to try to create what he believed was the best understanding of scenarios.

Joe’s’ nature constantly made him easy to be around and a caring mentor for an area that didn’t have much in the way of events. Between helping with the RPTQs to making sure that prospective judges got the experience to thrive, I’m happy to say it’s been an honor to have Joe continue being a pillar in the community.

Stephan Classen: Joe is the kind of judge, the kind of person, you always want on your team, who you know has your back, without needing the conversation to confirm it. I met Joe truly when I was most in trouble- a break round, understaffed and deck checks off the floor. We were just about the only floor judges for a 350+ person event. But we coordinated, took judge calls, spread out, and got help from the stage. Most of that coordination was him, and he worked to mentor judges, talk about logistics throughout, and all with a calm face! Joe is the calm center of the staff of any event, and I wish we had more judges like him. His guidance and input makes you feel like you’ve known him closely for years; it make any time I get to spend with Joe some of the best times at an event!

David Zimet: I’m really glad to have this opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of Joe Wiesenberg’s advancement to Level Three. I’ve worked with Joe for years and one of the more unexpected joys of judging has been watching him quickly go from a moderately quiet Level One to a quality Level Two to someone that I feel has far surpassed me to become a truly outstanding member of the program. Joe’s someone who I would reach out to for advice on basically any aspect of judging, whether planning events in the region, or to double-check a rules interaction (I can always rely on him to catch “creature card” versus “creature” when I’ve missed it). Joe is a solid leader at events and in the community. and what’s most impressive (and sometimes a bit mystifying) to me is his ability to connect with people. As RC, occasionally there would be judges where I had trouble getting to know them. Every time I would check in with Joe to get his thoughts on someone where I hadn’t been able to get a sense of them, he would say something along the lines of, “oh, yeah, I’ve talked with them, they’re doing well, I’m working with them on

, we play together online all the time, they’re doing great.” It’s that personal touch that makes Joe the kind of judge that just makes judging a better quality experience for everyone. Congratulations on the anniversary!”

Jorge Requesens

Jorge Requesens

For the rest of this post, we are celebrating the judges that anniversaries of Level 3 certification for March and April. Five judges reached the 5 –year mark and one reached the 10-year mark. Let’s hear what others had to say about these L3s and their accomplishments. First, we’ll hear comments about Jorge Requesens from a couple for fellow Spanish judges. Alfonso Bueno said:

“I remember a walk around the city, on Monday after GP Moscow 2012, when Jorge was unsure if he wanted to go for the L3. I never encourage anyone to become L3, I present facts, advantages and responsibilities, and I let every individual to make their own decision.
I guess that conversation weighed in Jorge’s decision because soon after, he started his L3 process and he took very seriously the part of the responsibilities, because Jorge had become a very important part of the Spanish community back bone. He’s fundamental for the community growth, and for many judges after him.

Thanks you, Jorge, for being part of the community!”

And Sergio Pérez Marcos continues:

“”Jorge started judging almost at the same time as I did and has always been very active for the community, despite leaving in an area without too much organized play. For me, as an RC, Jorge has been always a well-balanced critical voice, while at the same time a huge support to keep track of pending action items; for our regional community in Iberia, he’s been way more, either by starting new projects (like the miniconferences many years ago, before they were a thing outside Spain), contributing to existing ones (L2 Candidates, forum maintenance…) or even taking over the leadership in key areas when needed (L1 Candidates project, L2 Maintenance…). In addition to that, and despite his quite short availability during the last years for professional reasons, he’s been always dedicated to contribute to our Conferences and attend our Leadership meetings while keeping up to date at events.

Jorge has been always a clear example of hard work and persistence, and I hope these 5 years as a L3 are just part of a much longer time with him on board. ¡Muchas gracias Reke! :D”

Jernej Lipovec

Jernej Lipovec

Next, we hear from Europe East RC, Yuval Tzur, about Jernej Lipovec:

“Jernej is not only an incredible judge, but an overall amazing person. He’s generous, compassionate and easy-going, with an innate understanding of what makes a person tick. He has helped people grow as Judges, and also as a human beings. He’s a great asset in the L2 mentoring project in the region. What I like the most when working with Jernej is that he thinks of solutions and makes them happen before you realize you need them. He just sends you a link to a tool or a website (that he probably made himself), and that’s exactly what you needed. Jernej, I’m grateful to have you in my region, and I hope more people draw inspiration from you. Thanks for all the good work.”

Federico Donner

Federico Donner

Third on our list, we’ll hear about Federico Donner from his RC, Adrián Estoup:

“Speak about Federico for me is to speak of self-improvement and it is for me an inspiration to understand that if one proposes to it, things sooner or later will come. Federico began his career as a judge in Uruguay, one of the smallest countries in Latin America, where there was only one store, so, the environment was not very good for the development as a judge. He was certified and little by little he began to travel to Buenos Aires, to participate in other events a little bigger where he started as is logical in a somewhat shy way, but eager to learn and after a while, he was already one of the referents of magic at the regional level both for their participation within the events as well as outside, especially in discussion forums, did not surprise anyone who soon became L3.

While many reach the highest level of the judges’ program feel that they have achieved their greatest goal, this was not true for Federico, his participation in many events being an expert in many areas, both logistic and rules or philosophy. Also outside events, where he obviously became the benchmark of Uruguayan magic but also covered the entire region by launching the first Spanish-language podcast, with a great regularity that helped many other judges to continue growing.

On this anniversary, I want to congratulate Federico for these years in which I saw a person grow up who, although from their place of birth, many might have thought that moving forward in the program would be difficult, showed that no matter how much the environment conditions you, With effort and dedication you can achieve great feats.”

Paul Baranay

Paul Baranay

The last 5-year anniversary from March is for Paul Baranay. His RC, Megan Linscott, shared these thoughts:

“While Paul Baranay goes by the moniker “Bearz”, he is far from the intimidating figure that name would suggest. Instead he’s one of our most approachable leaders, passionate about the Judge Program and the people in it.

Paul is driven – he certified in 2012, and worked at his first Pro Tour as an L3 only two years later, in 2014. The path to L3 is arduous, but Paul set his mind to it and achieved it. Since then, he’s advanced to GP HJ and continued to strive for the improvement of himself and others.

He’s the head of the Technology Sphere, and one of the lead developers on JudgeApps. He’s part of a wide variety of projects, including help certify new judges, and advance to all levels of the program from L2 to L3 and beyond. He also ran a personal blog that discussed a variety of ideas, including self-improvement, providing radical candor, and discovering comfort in the judge program. He’s presented on similar topics at a variety of conferences in the Northeast and spoken about the inclusivity the judge program shows, and the steps we have yet to take. He’s a moderator on /r/mtgJudge and was previously involved in the main Magic Subreddit, helping with, among other things, daily spoiler season update posts. On top of all that, he’s a Grand Prix Head Judge, showing up to events in burgundy frequently, in addition to being a stellar floor judge.

In spite of his impressive resume, Paul is sure to always be approachable. His warm demeanor and keen listening make him easy to talk to. He’s know to help you take your thoughts and rephrase them to allow you a new perspective. It works because Paul cares. To Paul, the judge program is a family, focused on inclusivity and personal growth, and he does what he can to foster that. He recognizes those judges who exemplify those traits and seeks to embody them himself. He speaks up for those who have no voice and encourages others to do the same.

Paul is dedicated, passionate and kind – a paragon of the judge community”

Takanori Nakamura

Takanori Nakamura

The only L3 anniversary for April is for Takanori Nakamura. Masaru Koide wrote following message about him:

“Dear Nakamura-san. Congratulations for your 5th anniversary as an Lv3.

Time has passed 10 years since we started judge together and five years have passed since you were at Lv3. Time pass way too quickly.
You are continuing to judge at competitive event such as Magic Fest as professional.
I feel nostalgic about the days which I used to judge at local event with you on a weekly basis together.

Outstanding rule & policy knowledge has not changed than before.
Nakamura-san is making a summary of changing rule & policy when these has changed every time over 10 years for support for Japanese judges understanding.
That’s a grateful activity for everybody.

Since you are at L3, you are expanding your activities by participating in activities for worldwide project.
I feel that you have become an integral part of the judge program.

By the way, I have left 3 years until last year from Japan by my job.
I distressed whether I can continue to be judge even I left this region.
At that time Nakamura-san gave me an advice for giving me encourage to continue it.
I would tell you thank you at this opportunity about I could continue judge at East Europe region and I continue work with you now.
I proud to be able to work with you.
Thank you very much !!

Once again, congratulations for your 5th anniversary.
And I am looking forward to the day of celebrating your 10th anniversary.”

Riki Hayashi

Riki Hayashi

Finally, we have one 10-year anniversary. In 2009, Riki Hayashi passed his L3 exam at Pro Tour Kyoto. Shawn Doherty had these thoughts to share on Riki:

“I have known Riki since he was a Level 2 judge. At one of these early Grand Prix events, I had a chance for him to be my Team Lead. He was one of the most prepared Team Leads that I had a chance to work with. I was impressed by his passion and desire to help others even from those early days. In the years to come, Riki continued to grow as a judge, while his influence as a member of the Magic community also grew. He has worn many hats in the program, from Regional Coordinator to Grand Prix Head Judge to Pro Tour Judge and the list goes on. He’s held roles for event management at StarCityGames including organizing the Keystone program, which has provided great growth opportunities for countless judges.

In addition to the roles he has held, the passions that he has promoted in the program have had significant impacts. He’s been one of the strongest advocates for feedback, particularly in the form of reviews. I know that he believes that this feedback drives the growth of us, individually and as a group. Riki has also been a great advocate for diversity in the judge program. He’s pushed for more opportunities, such as Team Leads, to be provided for underrepresented groups, including women and LGBTQ+ judges. His desire to grow the judge community is undeniable and the passion he shows for it is contagious.

I don’t get to see Riki out on the floor of events as much as I used to, but I am still always happy when I have a chance to see him at an event or discuss a topic with him online. I know that he still loves the Judge Program and the people in it. I look forward to many more years of his involvement, regardless of the role. Best wishes, Riki!”

Okay, that’s all the Level 3 anniversaries for this month, but there will be more in the months to come. Best wishes to all of the judges celebrating this month!!

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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