[cets_callout_box style=’gray’ align=’full’ title=’Richard Drijvers / Niels Viaene’]
I remember the day Jona tested for Level 1. He was basically told he had to get the official certification so he could officially judge tournaments. His humor is intoxicating and works well with his superb presentation skills. It is always a pleasure to attend on of his seminars during our BeNeLux judge conferences. Next to that, his way of interacting with other judges is terrific. I’ve not yet met someone who didn’t get along with him or who felt like they weren’t being listened to.
Due to his tremendous insight in the rules, he is able to communicate and explain his rulings very well. This makes him a well-respected judge in both his local community and the international judge scene. Though lately he has mostly been in a staff role during European Grand Prix, he hasn’t lost touch with his LGS, judging there almost weekly. Some of his other contributions to the local judge community have come to light from his work on the BeNeLux Blog, Judge Conferences and our newsletter; BeNeLux Bulletin.
All in all, I think we can all agree that Jona has outgrown his Level 2 judge status, which is why I welcome him to Level 3 today.
From Niels Viaene:
Jona and me became Level 2 on the same day. He seemed to have an easier time in the interview that day. Even back then I considered him to be a better judge than myself. His insight in the rules lies on a level most can only envy. He had an easier time preparing for tournaments because of his better insight in logistics.
In the years since, we have worked together many times and in the beginning I felt that those events were mostly a learning experience for me than they were for him. As time passed Jona made me realize there are other qualities, which I had and did that he was trying to emulate. Strengths I was undervaluing. In doing so he became one of the 3 great motivators for me to become Level 3. Jona was my equal who showed me how to be a better judge and how I was already a better judge than I had realized.
The main reason it took Jona longer to make it to the level he deserves was a lack of time and interest in judging at the GP level. Finally seeing him burst onto the scene and performing better than I had even imagined was great to witness. He brought professional experience in a system that, after losing the judge reward foils and the shifts in TO’s, needed to mature. After only a handful of GP’s he demonstrated an insight in GP logistics and people management that rivaled most Level 3’s.
From all talents and skills he has, I think the most amazing one is how pleasant and easy Jona is to work with. Whether you are a first time GP judge getting your introductory seminar from him (one of many lauded seminars he has made and presented) or a veteran whom he put in a position where your skill set is used optimally, Jona will treat you with respect and will make sure that, by the end of the day, you feel accomplished. Him getting to Level 3 means he will have more chances to do this and I, for one, look forward to this.
Congratulations Jona! You can congratulate Jona on his promotion post on the Magic Judges Facebook page.