Meet the Program Coordinators

The Program Coordinator role is an Advanced Role, as defined on the Official Resources site. Here is a list with the current Program Coordinators and their expiry dates.

All Program Coordinators are well-known judges who have been around for some time, but there are many judges who haven’t had the opportunity to work with them or interact with them. So here, in their own words, is a brief bio of each:

Current Program Coordinators


Alfonso Bueno, Spain
PC since 7 November 2016

Alfonso Bueno, Spain
PC since 7 November 2016

I became a judge at the first GP in Spain in 1998; I did something like 1-3 and drop into judge test. For the following years I had zero judge activity until a friend opened a Magic store in 2001 and contacted me to judge their events. For the next 4 years I judged an average of 4 tournaments a week. In 2002 I made it to L2 and in 2004 to L3. In 2005 I took a break from judging to focus on my studies and I came back a year later. I became RC of Spain and Portugal in 2011 and served that role until I was promoted to L4 in 2015.


In my earlier years I focused in the Spanish and Portuguese regional communities and I did my best to help the Judge Program grow in my region. Then I turned my efforts in the international community, I updated the requirements to maintain L2 in 2014 and worked to improve the communication in the Judge Program when I was L4. I’m current leading the Levels Sphere. During my first term as Program Coordinator, I focused on defining the PC role and improving the communication between the PCs and the judge community in both directions, from PCs to the community and from the community to the PCs. During my second term I want to focus on the spheres and projects structure.

I’m very excited to be a Program Coordinator, from this position I can help judges to create the Judge Program they want to have. I will do my best to support anyone wanting to contribute to the program, if you have ideas or suggestions, please contact me. We can build a better program together!

In my real life I’m a lawyer working for the Spanish Government.


Riccardo Tessitori, Italy
PC since October 21 2017

Riccardo Tessitori, Italy
PC since October 21 2017

Riccardo Tessitori is a Level 3 (former Level 5) from Italy.

He became a certified judge in October 2001, advanced to Level 3 in August 2003, to Level 4 in December 2005 and to Level 5 in December 2008.

On the international scene, he judged more than 30 Pro Tours (8 as head judge), 140 Grand Prix (53 as head judge), and all World Championships (now Magic World Cup) since 2003 (2 as head judge and 2 as head judge of the finals portion, and he has been selected to head judge the 2018 World Magic Cup).

He started travelling to Europe, United States and Japan in 2003, and has been a “regular” at Asian Grand Prix events since 2011. 2016 has marked his first participation to events in Latin America, and 2017 in Australia.

If you want to discover more about him as a judge, you can read this article.

If you want to discover more about him as a person, you can read this article.

You can contact him by mail, on Facebook or on WhatsApp (+393336204921).

Here you also have his blog, with many articles about travels and tournament logistics.


Johanna Virtanen, Finland
PC since April 1 2018

Johanna Virtanen, Finland
PC since April 1 2018

I became a judge in 1999, in a slightly unusual way: I did not play a single tournament before judging my first one. I was promoted to Level 2 in 2001 and to Level 3 in 2004. Since 2001, I have judged dozens of GPs and Pro Tours, as well as several Worlds and World Magic Cup events.

After my promotion to Level 3 in 2004, I started travelling to the other Northern European countries because they needed a Level 3 for Nationals. I had the opportunity to meet more judges from these countries and help them build their communities. Eventually, when the global Regional Coordinator program was created, I became the RC of the Europe North region, which includes Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. I have served in this role since 2010.

I have been involved in various projects over the years, including IRC, Judge Anniversaries and conferences.

I was a member of the Judge Conduct Committee during its first term, and in 2016-2017 I was the chair of this committee as well as the Player Investigation Committee. The leadership of the JCC has been handed over to someone else, but as PC I hope to keep working on conduct-related issues and support the current JCC in their work.

For many years, I worked as organized play manager for a Finnish game distributor, and my life was all about Magic. I have since then moved on to a non-Magic related career in media analysis. My favorite card, for reasons that are difficult to explain, is the Tarpan. It will serve you faithful and true.


CJ Crooks, USA
PC since April 1 2018

CJ Crooks, USA
PC since April 1 2018

The Program Coordinators have begun asking the community for guidance in determining a strategic direction. My primary goal is to address the topics raised by the community. First among them is a level redefinition that matches our current Organized Play system and does its best to future-proof certifications. This includes a critical review of our existing program construction and its ability to meet the needs of the program, program members, and program partners.

As a personal goal I am going to examine ways to expand opportunities for all judges to influence change throughout the program. This is a fundamental aspect of the program, but as membership grows we need to innovate our communication methods between judges.


Former Program Coordinators

Jason Lemahieu, USA
PC from 11 April 2016
to 7 November 2016

Jason Lemahieu, USA
PC from 11 April 2016
to 7 November 2016

Toby Elliott, USA
PC from 11 April 2016
to 4 April 2017

Toby Elliott, USA
PC from 11 April 2016
to 4 April 2017

Kim Warren, UK
PC from 11 April 2016
to 4 April 2017

Kim Warren, UK
PC from 11 April 2016
to 4 April 2017


Kevin Desprez, France
PC from 30 September 2016
to 16 May 2017

Kevin Desprez, France
PC from 30 September 2016
to 16 May 2017


Sean Catanese, USA
PC from 11 April 2016 to 1 October 2017

Sean Catanese, USA
PC from 11 April 2016 to 1 October 2017


Riki Hayashi, USA
PC from 4 April 2017 to 31 December 2017

Riki Hayashi, USA
PC from 4 April 2017 to 31 December 2017