We are pleased to award the 2011 GM of the Year honor to Claire Brosius for her outstanding work running Ticket to Ride—one of WBC’s largest events—annually drawing in excess of 200 players. In winning the award, Claire breaks the glass ceiling for her gender, being the first woman to win the award.
Claire came to us late in WBC’s gestation, finally tagging along with husband Eric on his annual trip to WBC four years ago and was instantly hooked when she finished sixth in Lost Cities for her first laurels. Even on that first trip, she was anxious to pitch in and help in the registration room between events. Since then she has become a regular in the auction crew and wherever else she can lend a hand. So, naturally she takes over the administration of WBC’s largest event the following year and what a job she has done—hitting the ground running as a supremely organized human dynamo who broke into our Top Six ratings in only her second year on the job and won the whole shebang in her junior year. For winning the GM of the Year, Claire will be our guest at WBC 2012, and provided he behaves, she can bring Eric along too.
Claire’s event fills the Distelfink ballroom but nonetheless runs more smoothly than most events a fraction of that size. She can be seen standing on a chair in her station master’s hat, blowing her whistle, while she and her appropriately accessorized “conductor” assistants direct players to random tables using train jargon and juggling player preferences as to which version of the game they prefer during a difficult registration procedure which she handles with ease. One could almost believe they’ve entered a queue for a Disney ride. And her enthusiasm doesn’t end with organization either. Each of her preliminary winners received a gold train key chain memento she provides. In only three years, Claire has become the gold standard for WBC GMs—showing the rest of us how it is done.
Overall, scores ranged from Clair’s record 89 to a low of 27. Claire’s support was across the Board with two firsts, five seconds and a third—the highest score ever achieved in our annual GM vote. It bested the previous record of Ivan Lawson for Lost Cities by two points. Clair’s score topped runner-up Sean McCulloch who made his first appearance in the Top Six by a whopping 15 points. The seen but not heard Sean has been the un-voice of Slapshot for six years and is hard at work late into the wee hours dropping the final puck and recording the results long after the celebrities have hit the sheets. But Sean probably owes much of his support to his double duty as the record setting replacement GM for Facts in Five which doubled its attendance in 2011.
Finishing third for his fourth appearance in the Top Six with 68 points was John Weber who completed a ten-year stint as the guiding hand of Puerto Rico while amassing the most first place votes (3) from the Board. Rounding out the Top Six was Pierre LeBoeuf (59 points; second appearance) whose movement of 8XX to the pre-con has returned it to numbers it has not seen in 17 years, Ed Beach (55 points) making his fifth straight Top Six showing for his work with Here I Stand, and Terry Coleman (50 points) whose eighth year at the helm of March Madness was rewarded with a new attendance record and his first Top Six rating.