Greetings North Judges,
In discussion with the Area Captains group, we have made a decision to rotate a number of the Area Captains. This is not anybody abandoning their local area. Just the opposite. A number of the Area Captains have done an awesome job of raising up and training a local leader that can really step up and handle a lot of the point work in their areas.
I’m going to start with the outbound Area Captains that are stepping aside, and I’ll talk a bit about the great work they have done and continue to do, then run down the incoming Area Captains and get them introduced.
Outgoing Area Captains
Karl is stepping aside as the Milwaukee/eastern Wisconsin Area Captain. Karl has been spending a lot more time at Grand Prix and Opens, and wants to give someone who is invested in the local area the chance to step up and be awesome.
Jack is stepping aside as the Madison/southern Wisconsin Area Captain. Jack has done a really fantastic job training in judges, putting together judge classes, and managing the judge schedule at Mox Mania, where he continues to manage the judge staff.
Eric is stepping aside as the Duluth-Superior/Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin Area Captain. Eric has done a great job of preparing other judges for Level 2 and running the yearly Duluth Miniconference/cookout.
Zach is stepping aside as the Minneapolis/St Paul Area Captain. Zach has been a consistent voice of reason on the Area Captains group, making sure we make sensible decisions and good plans. He has been wrangling judges in the Twin Cities metro, and wants to dial that down a bit as life gets…interesting and wonderful. (He is buying a house and having a baby.)
John is stepping aside as the Fargo/eastern North Dakota Area Captain. John has been focusing more and more on personal projects. He also is stretched a bit thin with his PPTQ commitments, and wants to give another person a chance to really shine in supporting stores.
Ken is not stepping aside so much as changing focus. Ken is keeping his area of the north end of the Twin Cities metro, but he is handing off the core metro to other folks. Ken will focus on being Area Captain of the St Cloud, Bemidji, and other areas north of the Twin Cities proper. He will also be providing support to other Area Captains, as he is the most experienced Area Captain we have since he was the MN state captain for the Midwest Region.
The New Area Captains
Blake Smith is stepping up as the Milwaukee/Eastern Wisconsin Area Captain. Blake says:
Hello all,My name is Blake Smith and I am a judge who love judging large events and well as growing the local area. Over the last year I have run 2 judge classes and 2 conferences and plan to keep programs like this going.Thank you,Blake Smith
Matthew Westfox is stepping up as the Madison/Southern Wisconsin Area Captain. Matthew says:
The North calls the banners, and Madison answers the call!I have played Magic since Alpha… with about a 17 year break in the middle. I got back into Magic during Gatecrash, and became a judge a few years later when I was living in a new place, and looking for a new community to be a part of. Through judging, I’ve made a lot of great connections, at both the local and national level, and have really enjoyed getting to learn so much more about the game I love, and help others find that same love and connection. Some of my favorite experiences in the judge program have been putting together social events like judge dinners and post FNM drinks, and organizing events like EDH nights and a recent charity tournament, As Area Captain I want to facilitate better relationships among judges and between judges and stores, and help judges in the Madison area define and work towards their goals in the Judge program.Simic Forever,
Greetings from the Far North!I have been playing magic since the beginning of Theros Block, I initially learned the game to better serve a few clients that were struggling to open up about their personal struggles. My interests in judging deal with soft skills, judging theory and helping other judges become good at what they do. As an area captain I desire to assist in the planning and coordination of conferences, build thriving judging communities at rural stores and support the development of judges throughout the region. My personal interests in Magic is to learn competitive decks, grow in my skills base and ultimately Jund ‘Em Out.Looking forward to working with you,KEN
I have been playing ever since Mirrodon block, I was sort of dragged into Magic by my son, and fell in love with the interactions, consistency, and predictability of the way cards worked. I was fortunate to be one of the graduates from the Misty Mountain(Legion)/Steve Port/Rob McKenzie judge factory – Regional Pre-releases, and monthly PTQs did a lot to make me a judge. While I have always liked helping out and facilitating, the impetus that pushed me into judging was – being out of work. I found that I could “play for free” by judging, and using my comp to pay for entries into events – a great way to do something you love for free. While I have traveled to SCG events and Grand Prixes, my heart has always been with the local competitive events – I love to see the same individuals and know that you are making a great event for them. I hope as Area Captain to ignite this fire in my fellow judges – a commitment to not only be the game experts we currently are, but to be customer service experts, making player experiences better.
It’s been more than two decades since I started playing MtG way back in Ice Age. I’ve been in and out of the game over the years as my social groups and time allowances have shifted, but I always make my way back to the table. I started judging to get back into the competitive scene about 5-6 years ago after falling out of competitive magic due to a difference of opinion between my wallet and the game. Judging let me still engage with the community I loved without making my wallet scream. As an L2 I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring a number of judges and watching people around me prosper. I want to teach people to be better judges, I want to see people grow and succeed, and I want to bring that to the role of area captain.
Makin it happen as captain,
What Does This Mean To Me?
None of the old Area Captains are leaving. Far from it! They will remain active in your areas.
The new Area Captains are going to be taking over the duties from the Area Captains Page. They will be keeping in touch with local judges and stores, helping mentor people, and working to make our local communities great places to play and judge…which they were already doing.
In large part, this is just shifting titles so that people have a chance to step up and shine with a titled role.
I do want to emphasize that the prior group of Area Captains are the reason this group exists. In a lot of cases, the prior Captains directly mentored and built up the current Captain, and the fact there is another strong person in their area who can be point is directly attributed to the great job they have been doing.
Thank you to everyone outgoing and incoming, and let’s keep the USA – North region awesome.