A Change Among the Program Coordinators!

It’s with a mix of excitement and regret that I announce a change in our Program Coordinator cohort. Jason Lemahieu has decided to take a step back from the role, and Alfonso Bueno will be stepping up to take his place.

Lems has contributed immensely to our efforts to implement the different pieces of the NNWO and understand the broad range of projects in which judges across the world are involved. We’ve been fortunate to have him in this role. Here’s how Lems describes his decision:

Several years ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would only work on things in the judge program that I was truly passionate about – as life’s simply too short to do things that don’t excite you.  To continue being a Program Coordinator at this point would be breaking that commitment.

While I’m sure that the Program Coordinator workload doesn’t look like much from the outside, the reality of the situation is that it requires a tremendous amount of time, work, and stress.  At this time, it has simply become too much for me to balance alongside my other personal and professional commitments.

I love the judge program, and will continue to stay heavily involved, but being a Program Coordinator isn’t right for me at the moment – and just as importantly, there are others who could really excel in the position.  Knowing that Alfonso would likely take my place if I stepped back made the decision incredibly easy.  I’m excited for Alfonso, and the entire judge program, about this transition.

With that, let’s hear from Alfonso in his own words, too!

First things first, I want to thank the countless number of people who has helped me along all the years I’ve been in the Judge Program. Since I became a judge I felt continuously supported by other judges; many judges from different places spent time and energy to teach me; and a significant number of individuals were vital for the development of my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses.

But even more important, I would like to thank in advance all the people who are going to help me in the future, because I won’t be able to make it without your help. This is the biggest strength of the judge program: the people! You!

I’m aware there are many challenges and many opportunities in the future, and I’m going to be there 101%, but I will also need some help from you. The judge program belongs to all of us and we all should contribute to make it what we want it to be.

The judge program is a living organism that either evolves or becomes atrophied, the main way the program has to evolve is through the projects run by judges around the world. I would like to use these final lines of my letter to encourage you to identify what the program needs, what you would like it to be or what you can do to help others; give a step ahead; put a team together; and start a project to make a better project for everyone!

My duty from now on is facilitating you the creation and management of projects. How can I help?

We could have simply continued with four Program Coordinators, but there’s a lot we still need to do and a full complement of Program Coordinators will keep the workload manageable. Alfonso applied to join the Program Coordinators in the most recent cycle. His application was easily one of the two strongest (the other being Kevin Desprez’s), and we nearly picked him at that time.

Please join us in thanking Lems for his contributions and welcoming Alfonso to his new role as a Program Coordinator!