Announcing the Program Coordinator Class of Fall 2017!

Hello magic judges!

Before moving forward, we would like to thank Sean Catanese for his work and dedication as Program Coordinator. During the eighteen months, he has been a Program Coordinator he’s been a continuous support and guide for the group. Thank you very much Sean!

We have the honor to introduce the new Program Coordinator: Riccardo Tessitori. After a long and difficult selection process, we’ve decided Riccardo Tessitori is the best candidate to join the Program Coordinators ranks.

Riccardo Tessitori

Riccardo Tessitori

He wants to focus his attention, amongst other topics, in what is probably one of the biggest need of the PC group: Communication.

I would like to share with you an extract of Riccardo’s application with you:

Among the several goals and ideas I have, I would like to focus and give some more details about one specific area:
External communication The “what’s the role of PCs?”, “what do PCs do?” are questions I heard many times since the creation of this role.

From my point of view, the cause was not that the job was of a low quality; I worked for years with all the people who had the role of PC, I learned a lot from each of them and I know their strengths; I can barely imagine the constraints they had to face in the past, and I may imagine that, especially in this period of high sensitivity to delicate topics, communicating in a safe way to the broad public is all but easy. My impression is that the cause of frustration was the simple lack of expected communication and knowledge of their role and practical activity.
All the work behind the curtain is of course necessary; then, another aspect has to be taken into account: the visibility of the work itself is very important too. One of my favorite description of a role is “how it impacts the entire judge program”; in the case of PCs, which is a key role, an aspect that affects its impact is the trust that judges have in that role; judges are volunteers, willing to dedicate their time and energy to contribute to a system that is bigger than any of them, a system they need to trust to be able to commit at a level that would make them satisfied and proud.

1) Frequency of broad public communication
When the “From the PCs desk” blog was created, I was very happy and I thought “This is what I was looking forward to seeing”.

After some months, I had the impression that the amount of communication decreased. One of my specific goals in to increase the frequency of the publication of news from the PCs desk.

Though there will be months when “nothing special happens”, I see value in having a monthly article that may contain information about the activities of the previous month and especially a message about a topic that is considered to be important; I’m confident that we will be able to find 12 important topics to highlight in a year, and also the time to write some lines about each of those topics (they may even be a short reminder of an important aspect like being up-to- date with the most recent version of rules&policy, with links to the documents and to the “update or practice tests”).

2) Content of broad public communication
In addition to the frequency, there is also the content. I see value in giving more information about the specific activity of the PC group, in a way that is similar to the GPHJ list monthly summaries.
Point 1 already mentioned the idea of a “topic of the month”; another idea is a summary of the requests received and processed in the last period (with results, whenever possible; there might be confidential topics, of course); another idea is the most frequent requests or advice from polls (see point 4 below).

3) Promptness of private communication
I guess the PCs receive requests, comments, advice… and this is the first step of the interaction.
The second step is the discussion among the PCs, who need to determine the best course of action, which varies from “I can reply to them” to a long activity that involves an entire sphere or a delicate communication with Wizards and its legal department.
In addition of “making things happen”, the third step is replying; replying is very important, and replying promptly is fundamental. Quick discussion and decision processes should be applied and used; the number of PCs is low, so we may need just very simple tools (simplified example: 24 hours of conversations, 24 hours for a “vote”, finished).
Regarding the private replies, ideas vary from a standardized reply once the request is received and starts being discussed to a simple shared file with the status of the “ticket”.
Finally, a follow up some time after the end of the activity (to check for its effectiveness) is the icing on the cake!

4) Requests for opinions/advice/requests
Communication goes both ways; depending on the workload to address incoming communication and behind the curtain activities, I see a big value in actively asking for information, comments, ideas… both to individuals and to the broad public.

The creation of a common mail address was a first step, that can be followed by a series of polls (generic or topic oriented; limited to L3s, RCs, L2+…, people who offered feedback in the past…).

In the next days we’re planning to start working on some action plans and we count on keeping the community properly updated about them.

The main priority the Program Coordinators are going to work in the next period is the involvement of the other L3s in determining the areas we should focus on in 2018.

“A hive mind of 163 brilliant people will be wiser and more global than only 3.”

Thank you and remember, you can reach the Program Coordinators at

A big thank you to the selection committee:
Alfonso Bueno
Damian Hiller
Edwin Zhang
Johanna Virtanen
Richard Drijvers
Riki Hayashi
Ryan Dare