Hello there Judges, welcome back to another Judge of the Week! This week we have another edition from our Special Feature: Regional Coordinator series!
Today we have Thales Bittencourt, Level 3 and the Regional Coordinator from Brazil!
Location: I’m from Petrópolis, a city in the Rio de Janeiro State, in Brazil. Judge start date: September, 2006
Why did you become a Judge?
I don’t know for sure. I guess I just liked the idea of helping others to have fun and I always liked to know the rules so we could play better.
What advice would you give to a Judge growing up through the program?
My advice would be to find out what you really want to do and where you really want to be in the Judge program. It doesn’t matter if you want to help your local store, or be a Level 5 judge, issues will come up to Hinder you. Never let them beat you, and proceed towards your goal!
What advice would you give to members of your region?
Brazil, as a Region, has many peculiar traits. I believe the most important one is that there is great room for growth, development and innovation. It’s a land where everyone can have chances to grow! My advice to judges in my region would be to take the initiative to develop yourself and/or implement projects by taking advantage of this position and using the leaders as a resource, rather than seeing them as “bottlenecks” to that growth.
Could you recognize a few outstanding members of your region?
Sure! First of all I have to mention the L3s: Rafael Svaldi and Carlos Rangon. They are truly leaders. I’m very happy with the way we operate as a team! Also, I want to recognize the L2s for the way they have stood out in the first PPTQ season, coordinating among themselves and showing a very professional work to the TOs all around Brazil. A few names that represent that effort are Leonardo Martins, from São Paulo, Philippe Monlevade, from Rio de Janeiro, Marcello Klingelfus, from Santa Catarina, and Bruno Fonseca, from Minas Gerais.
What’s the coolest event you ever been to?
That’s a hard one. From the “epicness” aspect, the best one was probably PT San Diego 2010 (and the road trip that succeeded it), which was also the event where I was promoted to L3. For an event I had the most fun at, I believe it was GP São Paulo 2009. I believe that was one the few situations in my life where I laughed to tears for three days straight. If you want to know why, you should ask Adrian Estoup about a very peculiar fish in the Amazon River…
What’s the farthest you have ever traveled for a Magic event?
If you mean the distance, curiously, it was to the city that I traveled most outside Brazil: Seattle, WA, in the United States. I’ve traveled there from Rio de Janeiro four times. The two cities are approximately 11,000 Km (6,890 Mi) from each other. With all the necessary stops, it can take up to 20 hours traveling by plane!
But if you mean the time I spent traveling, it was GP Santiago 2014. I had a “brilliant” idea of doing a road trip to Santiago and back. I was inside a car for over a 100 hours total, and for almost half of it I was driving. That was epic, fun, gorgeous…! But it was also very very long.
Thank you, Thales, for a short but sweet interview! See you all next week judges, and don’t forget to nominate a fellow exemplary judge for Judge of the Week!