BPA Board of Directors Profiles
April 27, 2014

Election Results | Current Board | Officers | Previous Board

Ken Gutermuth, BPA Chairman of the Board and Treasurer
KEN is VP, Corporate Planning, Analysis & Systems for CommScope in Hickory, North Carolina. He has been gaming since 1975 when he played his first game of Panzer Leader. Ken has attended Avaloncon/WBC since its inception and has been a GM and Assistant GM for many titles. His achievements at Avaloncon led to his election in 1997 to the Avaloncon Hall of Fame. Ken was Convention Director for BPA's Enlightenment mini-con. He is one of the BPA Auctioneers, and he handles the accounting portion of the BPA auction.

His platform for the 2011 election was: My goal in seeking re-election is to continue to build upon the success of the BPA and the WBC. My business background will allow me to continue to contribute in making the BPA a strong organization in the future. As for the WBC, I intend to continue to support the cross-genre gaming while trying to enhance the experience for the next generation of gamers to participate in and enjoy the WBC experience. As demonstrated over my years serving on the Board, I will continue to work with the Board in making the WBC the best week of the year for all attendees.

Favorite Games: Age of Renaissance, Paths of Glory, Le Havre

Issue: Maintain the players atmosphere of the convention while promoting the hobby to a future generation of gamers.

 

Don Greenwood, BPA President and WBC Convention Director      
DON is a former VP of the Avalon Hill Game Company in charge of boardgame development between 1972 and 1998. He started gaming in 1960 with the purchase of TACTICS II. The original founder of ORIGINS, he ran four of them before and after its acquisition by GAMA. Disenchanted with the commercial aspects of the major conventions, he originated AVALONCON in 1991 under the premise of a return to basics with the emphasis on the players rather than on designers or manufacturers.

His platform for the 2012 election was: As an original member of the Board whose goals for WBC have largely seen fruition during the past 12 years, I would stand for more of the same. In short, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. WBC has managed a degree of success I wouldn't have thought possible when we started, so we must be doing something right. I will continue to espouse a "less is more" philosophy while accepting inevitable evolution in player preferences without throwing our original members under the bus. I ask your vote to stay the course. 

Favorite Games: Breakout Normandy, Up Front, Settlers, Football Strategy, Air Baron, Aladdins Dragons, Napoleonic Wars

Issue: Preserve the traditions of AVALONCON by maintaining the high degree of camaraderie and competition at the world’s best boardgaming convention.

 

Kaarin Engelmann, WBC Assistant Convention Director (Webmaster, Publicity)
KAARIN is a freelance writer, editor, and business consultant based in Springfield, Virginia, but currently living in Vicenza, Italy. In 1989, she and her husband formed Engelmann Military Simulations, which published three games: Rise and Fall, Shattered States, and Crisis Games: Colombia. Kaarin attended Ghengis Con and Atlanticon in the early ’90s, but she became truly addicted to gaming after attending the last AvalonCon, in 1998. Kaarin has attended every WBC and has served as a GM for both adult and junior events. She received the WBC’s Sportswoman of the Year award in 2002 and 2008. She was appointed to the BPA Board of Directors to fill out the remaining term of Stuart Tucker who resigned after the 2004 WBC and won election in 2005. She has served since that time. In 2005, she became Assistant Convention Director and BPA Webmaster.

Her platform for the 2011 election was: As a member of the Board of Directors, I will ensure that BPA remains inclusive of all boardgame genres—from war, sports, racing and rail games to Euro and abstract games. Furthermore, I will maintain our traditions, including sponsoring WBC with a strong tournament structure and quality competition, while supporting growth in open gaming at the convention and supporting PBEM events and mini-cons. In addition, I will continue to emphasize the need to provide a welcoming atmosphere for youth and those new to the hobby and to reach out—both to enthusiasts in North America and abroad—via various public relations efforts, including a website with extensive deep content.

Favorite Games: Battles of the American Revolution Series, Here I Stand, Puerto Rico, A Few Acres of Snow, Stock Car Championship Racing

Issue: Ensure that tournaments remain a strong focus at WBC while creating a welcoming environment for those interested in open gaming.

 

Bruce Monnin, Secretary  
BRUCE is a substitute math teacher and a high school sportswriter in Minster, Ohio. He published the BOARDGAMER magazine until he became editor of MMP’s Operations magazine. He has been gaming since 1980 when he discovered Battle of the Bulge ’65. He has attended every Avaloncon/WBC, serving as GM since 1995 in seven different events and was honored with the Best GM award for his shepherding of the War At Sea tournament in 1998. He was appointed in 2000 by the BPA Board of Directors to fill out the remaining term of Russ Gifford, who retired for health reasons, and elected to a full three year term in 2002 and has served since that time.

His platform for the 2011 election was: I am running for re-election to the BPA Board of Directors because I want to help preserve the World Boardgaming Championships as the pre-eminent convention for the competitive play of boardgames.  I also wish to have the BPA continue to support other events which promote increased and improved play of these games, such as the BPA mini-cons and the BPA play-by-email tournaments. I also want to ensure that the fun remains in the WBC, through such ideas as the auction, the Team Tournament, the Caesar award and the late night events without compromising the basic competitive nature of the WBC.

Favorite Games: War At Sea, Wilderness War, Across Five Aprils, March Madness, Circus Maximus, Twilight Struggle

Issue: To steadily grow the BPA PBeM tournaments and the WBC while maintaining the focus on the play of games.

 

Josh Githens
JOSH is the Retail Management Representative for HASBRO, Inc. in Greenville, SC. He has had gaming as part of his life from a young age, spending family time playing Parcheesi, Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, etc. Josh was introduced to the Greenville, SC gaming group via his high school soccer coach. Since 1998 he has enjoyed playing a wide range of games from Acquire, Circus Maximus, Napoleonic Wars, Dominion, the list goes on. He looks forward to meeting up with the group every week to enjoy games but more importantly friends. This is the same way he feels about the WBC, having attended since 1999; it is the highlight of the year. He has been GM for Air Baron, and currently is the GM of Formula De. He looks forward to serving the convention and its members in ways that both strengthen and support the WBC.

Favorite Games: Circus Maximus, Napoleonic Wars, Titan, Dominion

Issue: Promote a healthy growth of new attendees while maintaining the focus and traditions that have acted as the pillars of the convention.

 

Andy Lewis
ANDY runs the day-to-day operations of a plastic wear and friction testing and test equipment manufacturing company and is VP of GMT Games responsible for Game Submissions and Development. His two jobs and growing family keep him very busy. He started gaming in 1971 with D-Day. He has attended Avaloncon/WBC for 19 years and been a GM for 17. He owes a lot to this convention since it is directly responsible for bringing his wife into the hobby. His position with GMT arose from his desire to help the hobby by playtesting for AH, and then GMT which led to developing Saratoga, Paths of Glory, and others.

His platform for the 2012 election was: I would like to continue on the Board to ensure the composition of the Century and overall tournament offerings remains a good mix for all the different types of players who participate in WBC. I bring a personal perspective as a wargamer of 40 years who participates yearly in wargame, sports, Euro and late night events. WBC has been our family vacation since our kids were born. Danny is now 15 years old and we all participate. I also represent the perspective of the vendors and publishers as a VP of GMT Games.

Favorite Games: We The People, ASL, El Grande, Stock Car Championship Racing, Santa Fe Rails, Replay Baseball, Combat Commander

Issue: Ensure the Century and the overall tournament group remains a good mix for all the different types of players participating.

 

 

Bruce Reiff 
BRUCE is a surety bond underwriter from just outside Columbus, Ohio—home of The Ohio State University (from whence he graduated). He’s married to the lovely Rhonda and has two daughters, Nicole 9, and Victoria 5. Bruce’s first strategy game was Strat-O-Matic Baseball. His first wargame was France 1940 from the late Avalon Hill. Shortly thereafter he discovered Diplomacy and his life has gone downhill ever since. Bruce has been involved in GMing at Avaloncon/WBC since 1993 and has attended all of them while racking up more wood than the rest of the Board combined and leading to his election as the first occupant of the original AVALONCON Hall of Fame. His gaming prowess has taken on Urban Legend status—having claimed winner’s wood every year. A major domo with the Columbus Area Boardgaming Society, and if that isn’t enough, he is also our talented and entertaining head auctioneer.

Favorite Games: Diplomacy, Win, Place & Show, Football Strategy, War at Sea, Battle Cry, Battleline, and Formula Motor Racing (Nicole’s favorite) and Mamma Mia (Victoria’s favorite).

Issue: Maintain a convention which all groups/types of boardgamers can enjoy while keeping it on solid financial ground.

 

Ken Whitesell
KEN is a “Lead Advisory Analyst” for an insurance company in Baltimore. Ken started gaming with RPGs in 1977, graduating to real games the following year by getting started with Squad Leader and Third Reich. He started GMing events at Origins '84, and has been helping out at various conventions ever since. Ken has attended every AvalonCon / WBC, and has been a GM at most; having GMed 11 different events. He has been married to Jeanne for 15 years, and has a son John (14) and a daughter Amy (13).

His platform for the 2012 election was: Once again I ask the membership to allow me to continue the work I've been doing on the Board. My priorities always have been, and remain that (1) the convention and the BPA continue to be managed and run in a fiscally conservative manner, (2) the focus of the BPA and the WBC remains on the friendly competition between players, and (3) the interests and concerns of the players take priority over the interests of vendors. I stand on my record as being an advocate for the position that we never lose sight of what makes us different from any other convention.  

Favorite Games: Conflict of Heroes, Football Strategy, Up Front, Dominion, and the old Avalon Hill "Classics" (Afrika Korps, etc)

Issue: Maintain the focus and vision of the WBC—I want to avoid seeing it become another GenCon/Origins.

 

Bruno Sinigaglio
BRUNO's
first wargame was DDay in 1963. He is the Chief of Maintenance and Operations at Fort Wainwright, Alaska—700 facilities in an area the size of Connecticut. He can help with evaluations and discussions with facilities. He wants to ensure that gamers of ALL venues have a voice in the preservation of their favorites. There is a yearly struggle to retain games in every venue. He has participated in those struggles and would like to be a voice for anyone attempting to do likewise. He worked for Avalon Hill on select projects as designer, developer, and star center fielder. He has worked conventions in various capacities going back to Origins I, long before Bruce Reiff dreamed about winning plaques. He has GMed the following events at various “Doncons” since 1980: 776, AFK, ANZ, B17, BWD, B81, CMS, FSE, GBH, GBG, PGG, PZB, QGB, SAR, SQL, TRC, VIP, and WAS, as well as Juniors and the AH500.    

Favorite Games: Grognard games and many more.

Issue: I want to ensure that gamers of ALL genres have a voice in the preservation of their favorites.


Officers

Peter Stein, Comptroller  
PETER is a regional controller for a real estate management company in Worthington, Ohio. His early gaming career consisted mainly of PBM Strat O Matic leagues and solo games of Russian Campaign and Fury in the West. Then, without knowing anyone, he went to his first convention,  Avaloncon, 1993, “because the ads in The General made it seem interesting,” and everything changed after that. He has served as Treasurer of several clubs and is currently President of the Columbus Area Boardgaming Society. He is a regular at many conventions including Origins, Prezcon, GMT East and Buckeye Game Fest.

Favorite Games:Whatever I’m playing. Usually.

Ralph Gleaton, Legal Counsel  
RALPH is currently the managing partner of Gleaton Wyatt Hewitt, PA a law firm in Greenville, South Carolina, that focuses on acting as a general counsel to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial owned businesses. Prior to going into private practice 11 years ago, he was a prosecutor in South Carolina handling cases from petty misdemeanors to capitol murder. He began playing any game he could find when he was young but went into a game hiatus when he entered college for lack of people to play with. Fortunately for him, when he moved to Greenville he met the Greenville Mafia and plays all manor of games with them weekly. He attended his first WBC in 2001 and has been to every WBC since.

Favorite Games: Up Front, Successors

Charles Kibler, Asst. Convention Director (Publications, Registration)  

CHARLES is currently a freelance graphic designer, specializing in art for board-wargame components. He worked as an artist and designer at Avalon Hill Game Company from 1981 to 1995, and then at several Baltimore-area software firms. He designed “Red Barricades,” the first historical module for the ASL system, as well as the original rules & missions for ASL Solitaire. At the WBC, Charles & his wife Judy can usually be found behind the registration desk. Charles is an avid American Civil War re-enactor, donning blue or gray as the situation demands, and prefers the authentic/progressive ACW events.

Favorite Games: ASL, Wrasslin’, Robo-Rally, Mille-Borne


Previous Board Members

Alan Applebaum, term ended in 2003    
ALAN is a corporate lawyer in Boston. He traces his birth as a gamer to 1961 with exposure to Risk and D-Day. He has attended every AVALONCON and been a GM for six of them, standing ready to serve as an alternate when needed in his areas of expertise. He is the principal contributor to the GM Guidelines which serves as the BPA bible on how to conduct tournaments. Alan has also contributed a number of in-depth strategy articles to the AH General and the Boardgamer magazine.

Favorite Games: Victory in the Pacific, Breakout Normandy, Up Front, Advanced Third Reich, Titan.

Issue: His major concern is to preserve and promote serious competition in two-player games (primarily, but not exclusively, wargames) in a format that rewards skill while providing an enjoyable experience for all entrants.

 

John Emery, term ended in 2000      
JOHN
owns and operates a small chain of game stores in SC. He was first introduced to AH-style games as a freshman at the University of Nebraska in 1973. He has led a very successful contingent of Carolinians which import large quantities of plaques to the SC area annually for the past eight years.

Favorite Games: Up Front, World in Flames, Backgammon, Britannia, Bridge

Issue: Increase contact and involvement with manufacturers of games to encourage them to exhibit and/or otherwise participate in our conference.

 

Russ Gifford, term ended in 1999
RUSS is a Regional Manager for TelePartners Cable in Northeast Nebraska. He is also a member of the South Sioux City City Council, various other boards and commissions, including chair of local technology commission that created local FreeNet, a Distant Learning center, and IT academy. On the gaming side, he created and ran free regional convention for wargames that pulled 300 people per year for seven years—no small feat in Nebraska—which still continues today. His gaming career began with chess, Stratego, Risk and Broadsides, but one of those old ads in Boys Life for Gettysburg really started the wargaming bug, sealed when he purchased Anzio in 1972. He was the ASL GM throughout AVALONCON and has won five Best Six GM nominations over that period. He also maintained the ASL AREA ratings in the wake of the Avalon Hill decline until forced to give it up by his work schedule.

Favorite Games: ASL, Terrible Swift Sword, The Russian Campaign, Speed Circuit, Diplomacy

Issue: Continuance of wargaming as a viable hobby, by fanning the embers via exposure of gaming to potential players, young and old, especially via highly publicized events like conventions and tournaments.

 

Keith Hunsinger, term ended in 2006
Keith
is the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Defiance, OH. He is also the volunteer chaplain for the city police and fire departments and the county sheriff’s office. In addition he serves as adjunct staff to Trinity Lutheran seminary as an Intern Supervisor. Keith’s interest in gaming goes back to his earliest childhood with family games and his first venture into wargaming was in the late 60’s when he was introduced to Afrika Korps, D-Day, and Battle of the Bulge by a history teacher and fellow student. His first games purchased were Waterloo and Blitzkrieg. He has attended all but the first Avaloncon/BPA though his participation in 2002 was by phone and e-mail due to a family illness. He has GM’d six different events and assisted at seven others.

Favorite Games: Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Atlantic Storm and ’64 Midway

Issue: To maintain diversity within the BPA family, to increase exposure of the BPA, to continue to provide the best tournaments we can

Larry Lingle, term ended in 1999    
LARRY is a retired railroad conductor for Conrail in Harrisburg, PA. He has been gaming since 1959, when as a 10-year old, he beat his dad, uncle and two older brothers at Risk in a game that ended at 2:30 AM and began a lifelong addiction to boardgames. A familiar face at most gaming cons, he has been active in AVALONCON since the Camp Hill days, most notably as the Waterloo GM.

Favorite Games: Titan, Waterloo, War in Europe, Risk, Shattered States

Issue: To continue the spirit and camaraderie of AVALONCON in the BPA by continuing to emphasize the gamer over commercial interests.

 

Andrew Maly, term ended in 2001      
ANDREW is an Environmental Engineer in Bel Air, MD. He learned to play Chess at 5 and graduated to wargames in 1975 with the purchase of SPI’s Normandy. Blessed with a photographic memory, he has the ability to remain current with an inordinate number of game systems…and even studied ASL at the foot of the master, Bob Medrow, in his University days. He has GMed at every convention, doing the honors for eight different games. Most recently, he has gained renown among gamers for his stint as an undefeated champion on tv’s JEOPARDY from 30 November—4 December, 1998.

Favorite Games: Up Front, We The People, Third World War, The Russian Campaign, Frederick the Great

Issue: Ensure that the enthusiasm for the convention continues without the need for corporate sponsorship.

 

Greg Mayer, term ended in 1999
GREG
is a Technical Analyst for Anheuser-Busch in St Louis. He has been gaming since 1968 when he made the crossover from Dogfight to D-Day. A huge fan of Stalingrad, Afrika Korps and Blitzkrieg in his younger days, he has attended AVALONCON since its inception and been an active GM ever since…most notably for Merchant of Venus, one of our largest tournaments for which he has garnered Top Six GM status three times. He is a former Director of the Conflict Simulations Game Club of Indianapolis (1984).

Favorite Games: Merchant of Venus, Empire Builder, Eurorails, British Rails, Manhattan

Issue: To maintain the focus of the convention in the wake of the Avalon Hill sale to Hasbro. Maintaining the proper mix of old favorites while adding titles currently in print to allow growth without getting lost in a sea of games will be a constant challenge.

 

Glenn Petroski, term ended in 2001      
GLENN is an electrical-mechanical technician from Wisconsin. Glenn started wargaming in 1965 with D-DAY. He has attended all the Avaloncon/WBCs and has served as the Victory in the Pacific GM since the outset. His work in that area has earned him five Top Six GM nominations and appointment to the Avaloncon Hall of Fame as a GM in 1997. A born-again Christian, Glenn has been instrumental in the creation and continuation of the Interfaith Religious Services held every Sunday at the convention. His other hobby services include hosting the Midwest Victory in the Pacific Open and the continuation of the AREA rating system originated by Avalon Hill.

Favorite Games: Victory in the Pacific, Blitzkrieg, Richtoffen’s War

Issue: Continuation of the conference as a viable venue for wargamers to measure their skills against the best competition.

 

John R. Pack, term ended in 2004      
JOHN is a database analyst/programmer from Sandy, UT, who can’t remember a time when the latest game wasn’t his favorite addiction! His business, GameAholics (1993-98), helped him learn the inside of the game industry and his monthly game club, zeal for improvement of his WBC tournaments, and PBeM events keep him in the center of the action continuously!

Favorite Games: Victory in the Pacific, War at Sea, Gangsters, Republic of Rome, Advanced Third Reich, Up Front, History of the World, Medici, Tikal, Galaxy, Slapshot, We the People, Diplomacy, Axis & Allies: Pacific

Issue: Revitalizing juniors events and securing tournament status equitably for all types of tournaments by empowering volunteer GMs.

 

Kathy Stroh, term ended in 2004      
Kathy is a database administrator from Bellefonte, PA who dates her gamer birth to 1986 when she discovered both she and her husband-to-be owned copies of the same game: Wizards Quest. Kathy made her mark at AVALONCON as a GM for children’s events—a role she has filled every year since 1992—in the process winning election to the GM wing of the AVALONCON Hall of Fame. She served as Secretary for the Board until completing her term in 2004.

Favorite Games: History of the World, Merchant of Venus, Settlers of Catan, Medici, Age of Renaissance, Union Pacific

Issue: Maintain vibrancy by introducing new games while maintaining the enthusiasm for the old standbys.

 

Heikki Thoen, term ended in 2000      
HEIKKI
is Vice President of Education at ICS Learning Systems in Montreal (a division of Harcourt Brace publishing) where he has worked for the past 28 years. He started gaming with Blitzkrieg in 1968. He has attended every Avaloncon and been the GM for Kingmaker for the past 8. His mastery of Rail Baron is evident, having won three times in a popular event that attracts a large number of worthy competitors.

Favorite Games: Kingmaker, Rail Baron, ASL, Roborally, Kremlin

Issue: To communicate to other GMs the significant benefits of the AREA rating system in the hope of encouraging more GMs to wholeheartedly support this worthwhile endeavor.

 

Stuart Tucker, term ended in 2004         
STUART is a Print Coordinator/Editorial Consultant, working primarily for the World Bank Office of the Publisher. He has been gaming since 1972 when he first encountered Waterloo and Blitzkrieg. He has been a regular attendee since 1994 and during that time has GMed or assisted in several events. Stuart resigned his position on the Board due to other commitments at the conclusion of the 2004 WBC but remains an active and valuable resource to WBC as a veteran and trusted GM and popular Team event handicapper.

Favorite Games: Hannibal, Viceroys, Dune, Third Reich, Republic of Rome

Issue: Now that the convention has been saved and put on a sound footing, the next major task is to find paths of growth that do not compromise the high quality of the gaming experience.

 

Keith Levy, term ended in 2010
KEITH is a Center Director for an educational facility in Columbia, MD. He is also the Founder and President of Games Club of Maryland (GCOM). Keith discovered gaming with Risk, in his junior high school days, back in the 1970's. Axis and Allies and Titan were the other two games that started weekly gaming sessions in the late 1980's and eventually led to the discovery of Avaloncon in 1993 and to the formation of GCOM in 1996. Keith has been a GM for more than 10 years; running Risk, History of the World, Titan, El Grande, Power Grid, and many WBC Juniors Events. Disenchanted with not being able to find opponents to play games, Keith wanted to ensure that no one else would have the same problem, while making the hobby widely available to the general public, by forming GCOM. Keith serves as Organizer of the WBC Sampler Showcase pre-con event.

Favorite Games: Axis and Allies, Power Grid, Princes of Florence, Medici, RA, Risk, Union Pacific, and many others.

Issue: To act on behalf of BPA members, make gaming a mainstream hobby, and increase WBC attendance.

   

Bruno Passacantando, term ended in 2010    
BRUNO is a CPA and owner of a CPA practice in Marlborough, CT. Prior to opening his practice, he had worked for Ernst & Young, an international accounting firm, and had been Controller for two Connecticut corporations. Risk and Strat-O-Matic Baseball and Football were the first games played by Bruno in the late 60s and early 70s. In 1977, he purchased Gettysburg ’77 and SPI’s Cobra, which finally provided an outlet for his lifelong interest in the Civil War. More than 60% of his modest game collection are Civil War titles. In 1993, the GENERAL ran an indepth recap of AvalonCon, and that article alone spurred Bruno to attend the following year and ever since. It still amazes him that such close kinship has been created among gamers who meet only once per year.

Favorite Games: Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series, Axis & Allies, World at War, March Madness, A House Divided.

Issue: AvalonCon was successful because of its focus—to play specific games, not to sell games—keep the winning formula. Second, integrate wargaming into the teaching of history as a tool for learning as well as bringing newcomers to the hobby.

   

Tom McCorry, term ended in 2013 
TOM is a Program Director for Lockheed Martin and lives in Northern Virginia with his family Katherine, Katie(19), and Megan (16), all of whom have been long-time attendees at the WBC. He started in the gaming hobby in the 1970s playing SPI games, especially Quadrigames, and a little bit of D&D with a group that ranged in age from 6 to 63 years old. After a tour on active duty as an Army Signal Corps officer, Tom became an ASL fanatic/playtester for many years, earning a leader counter in the Gung Ho! expansion. Tom did a short stint on the dark side playing CCGs but as the kids got older became more involved in Euro games travelling to Essen each year for the Spiel! fair. He is now playing many 18xx titles and PBEM games, especially Twilight Struggle. Suffice it to say his passion is board gaming no matter the genre.

Favorite Games: ASL Starter Kit, Twilight Struggle, Carcassonne, Agricola, 1846, SPI Battle of Nations

Issue: Ensuring the BPA maintains its professional operation so it can continue to offer the preeminent conventions for the playing of all styles of board gaming (War, Euro; Tournaments, Open Gaming; Multiplayer, Two Player; Classics, New Releases).

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