Since BPA exists solely on the basis of its members’ willingness to give of
themselves for the greater good and their voluntary efforts to support the boardgaming
hobby, the Board of Directors has chosen to honor that spirit of volunteerism by singling
out those who have done the most to improve the World Boardgaming Championships. In 2007,
the Conference Director selected 12 nominees for the Hobby Service Award. Emphasis
was on those who provide behind-the-scenes support rather than only those who do GM duty.
Members of the BPA Board of Directors voted by secret ballot, ranking each nominee from 12 (strongest) to 1 (weakest). No nominee received more than two first
or two last place votes, with final scores ranging from 26 to 69 votes out of a possible 96 votes.
The eighth recipient of the WBC’s Hobby Service Award was Bruno Sinigaglio, with
69 votes. Bruno is almost single-handedly
responsible for the Grognard Pre-con, where he GMs all eight events
until the WBC "day" shift arrives to take over later
in the week. Even then, his hand is clearly the driving force in
completing the paperwork for many of these events. He also runs
several BPA email tournaments for the classic hex wargames and
is largely responsible for their continued survival at WBC with
his GM-intensive flexible format scheduling, which is accomplished
at the cost of his own laurel chances. He stepped out of
grognard character to Sponsor Queen's Gambit, a perennial favorite at WBC.
Bruno received an engraved
book clock keepsake to commemorate this award.
BPA applauds Bruno ’s efforts—and those of
the shining example they provide for the
spirit of volunteerism that drives WBC. Note: The initial six honorees, one for
each year of the WBC, were announced in
Previous WBC Hobby Service Award Recipients
Stuart Tucker (2005): Stuart
is a past Board member who has always shouldered at least one GM burden every
year; often doubling up to handle an orphaned event as well. Under his direction,
Hannibal has prospered in a Pre-Con slot and he is largely responsible
for the success of the Winter Activation Meeting mini-con. He
may be better known for his role as the Happy Handicapper who
posts the odds and commentary for our Team Tournament event. Lastly,
he originated the Laurels concept that drives all of the Caesar
and other metagaming secondary features of WBC. No wonder he led
all the nominees in votes!
Kathy Stroh (2005): Kathy is also a past Board member who could
always be counted on to volunteer when a job needed doing. She
headed the Juniors program at WBC long before there was a WBC
and remains active as a Juniors GM today. Gender issues don’t
bother Kathy—she’s a regular at the Enlightenment mini-con and
has long competed there as the sole female in attendance.
Steve Okonski (2005): Steve is the guy behind the scenes who
gives BPA its public face to the world—working hard to organize
our ever growing website. His programming skills have also fathered
the Personal Scheduler which is a true boon to WBC veterans plotting
out their daily schedules. Many of the photos gracing our website have
come from Steve’s camera in the years he’s been able to attend. An ardent
rail game buff, he has been active helping to run Rail Baron and Empire
Builder and is also a winner of our Sportsmanship Award. Quite a resume.
Vince Meconi (2005): Vince is the epitome of a professional
GM. His vibrant War At Sea tournaments just get bigger and better
every year despite being long out of print. He was the first GM
to publish extensive statistics pertaining to his tournament.
His players know that they will be provided plenty of post-event
coverage direct from the horse’s mouth every year. Not coincidentally,
Vince always ranks highly in the GM of the Year balloting.
Mark McLaughlin (2005): Mark really is the epitome of the enthusiastic
volunteer. He’s never had a child attend WBC but every year he
runs Princess Ryan’s just for the kids on Saturday morning. And
every night he runs Napoleonic Wars for us big kids. Not a tournament
kind of guy, Mark is unusual in that he doesn’t play in his event
except as needed to round out a table. But that doesn’t stop him
from buying a round for the finalists and toasting the emperor.
Ken Whitesell (2005): Ken stands out in a crowd.
Even without his hat adorned with his bonafides—badges from every Avaloncon/WBC—the 6’ 5" WBC bouncer doesn’t often sneak up on you. The
founder of the Tontine society for veterans of all Avaloncons/WBCs,
Ken is responsible for those WBC Legion XV additions to our Badge
holders that all the in crowd is wearing. Ken has always taken
on the dirty jobs that no one else wants—like acting as security
in our non-obtrusive honor system badge police. He also volunteers
for whatever event is orphaned in the waning days of the scheduling
- foregoing the pleasure of running a favorite game for whatever
happens to be needed. The big lug is really a softie at heart.
Keith Wixson (2006): Keith garnered 68 of a possible 96 votes for the honor from a strong field whose dozen scores ranged between 26 and 68. Keith is widely considered one of the best GMs at WBC where he has long been active in the CDW field and is known particularly for his strong support of Wilderness War which he backs with an assortment of unique period weapon replica prizes. His service to gaming in general and BPA in particular is also noted with his strong stewardship of quality PBeM tournaments and as a reliable fixture behind the Winter Activation Meeting mini-con.
Bruno Sinigaglio (2007): Bruno garnered 69 of a possible 96 votes. Bruno is almost single-handedly responsible for the Grognard Pre-con, where he GMs all eight events until the WBC "day" shift arrives to take over later in the week. Even then, his hand is clearly the driving force in completing the paperwork for many of these events. He also runs several BPA email tournaments for the classic hex wargames and is largely responsible for their continued survival at WBC with his GM-intensive flexible format scheduling, which is accomplished at the cost of his own laurel chances. He stepped out of grognard character to Sponsor Queen's Gambit, a perennial favorite at WBC.