ACBL Unit 539
San Diego

Board Member Biographies

Lamya Agelidis

Like a lot of you, I grew up in a bridge family. My grandparents were avid players, and so are my parents, still today. My dad was a Middle East bridge champion in the '70s, and he has passed his passion on to me, always feeding me with words of encouragement and endless bridge articles. Bridge throughout my College days in London was fun and memorable but a full-time career in Business Process Consulting, Organizational Development and Project Management as well as raising a family took precedence. I discovered duplicate bridge in Nashville a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. Believe it or not, it's the superior bridge scene in San Diego that helped tip the scales for our retirement here 4 years ago! Being on the Unit Board has allowed me, as Prez, to lead a team of fellow bridge players in re-inventing some of our processes in order to make the San Diego unit the number one choice for all its members. Always looking to be more involved, I will be co-chairing one of the most popular regionals, San Diego regional, starting in 2016, as well as being involved in making the Fall 2017 NABC the grandest ever!

John Boackle, Jr.

I've been playing bridge in various local San Diego clubs and many tournaments for the past 25 years. My passion and enjoyment of the game hasn't waned since I first discovered it as a young boy playing with my aunts when we'd visit my grandmother on the weekends.

I have served on the San Diego Unit Board as Club Manager, making sure our Unit games and special events are scheduled, game reports and ACBL sanction fees are submitted, and all masterpoints earned by participants in our games are properly awarded by ACBL. With my 22 year history on the board serving our Unit, my goal is to represent well the opinions and concerns of our players at all levels, keeping focus on what benefits bridge players in our Unit and District. I hope to continue to serve on our Unit board.

Kathy Byrne

Given that my grandparents were avid bridge players, they taught each of their nine children to play, making it a common occurrence to have two or three bridge tables going at family gatherings. My Mom passed her love of the game along to me and taught me the basics. In my teens, I was a regular fill-in at family games, and received my first club masterpoints in my 20's.

After graduating with a marketing degree, I pursued a career as an Executive Director for a business association in Silicon Valley and took a hiatus from playing bridge except for online and family games. Close to a decade later after working in Silicon Valley, I accepted a position with a hospital as the Marketing Director where I worked for several years.

In 2011, I moved back home to San Diego to work part-time for a family owned business where I remained until I secured contract work with a medical consulting firm. Once re-settling in San Diego, I was invited to play bridge at a duplicate club. I was once again instantly hooked and inspired to enhance my game. I finally became a Life Master in 2015.

It is a pleasure to serve on the board and give back to a community that has given me such joy.

Carolyn Casey

Since my senior year in high school (some time ago!), duplicate bridge was often the topic of conversation in our home. My mother's (Lena Jelusich) interest and enthusiasm for the game was overwhelming throughout the years. When I came to live with her 13 years ago, driving her to/from AIB 5 or 6 days a week, I decided to give it a try. Three years ago I started taking lessons and, much to my surprise, I became thoroughly hooked!

On a more personal note, I have two grown children; a daughter who is an ER RN in Orange County, and a son who works for Northrop Grumman in Boulder, Co. I also have one granddaughter who is quite a blessing! I was married to a Marine helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam, and while we were in the service we moved twelve times in six years. I'm very grateful that the children were very young at that time.

Currently I like to play at least twice a week; Lately I've been up to five or six, and have moved out of the beginner's room! I see the Board in action putting together games on all levels so that everyone in the club has a comfortable place to play. It's time for me to do my part for this Unit, as it has done so much for me!

Peter Moyer

After 43 years in the accounting profession, I am now focused on grandkids, travel, golf, and of course, bridge! Bridge has been a part of my life since I was a kid, occasionally filling in for my Dad when he was out of town. I met my wife Kathy over a bridge table my first day at San Diego State, and played social bridge ever since. Now I am retired and playing more bridge.

I'm ready to contribute some of my time to support our San Diego Bridge Club, Unit 539, by joining the Board of Directors. As treasurer I plan to apply my career expertise to assist the unit in this capacity. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you better and continuing to improve my game.

Alana Shapley

I have been "playing" Bridge since I was a teenager. In 1985 I went to a duplicate Bridge game in Montreal and that was it...hooked! I subsequently became a Director, Audrey Grant Certified Teacher and Easy Bridge Teacher. It was at the Chicago Nationals in 1998 that Bob and I met and became a partnership in Bridge and marriage. Upon arriving in San Diego in 1999 I taught Easy Bridge at Adventures for a couple of years until unfortunately I got a "real job" and was only able to play once a week; however, I was able to do several Bridge cruises with Holland America during school breaks. Since retiring, I play as often as I can and am working towards becoming a Gold Life Master. I look forward to serving on the Board.

Stuart Showalter

I've been playing bridge for more than 50 years but serious duplicate only since I semi-retired six years ago. I play most often at Redwood Bridge Club but have played at a few other clubs here in town too. My career consisted of ten years in the Navy JAG Corps during the Vietnam war era -- including two years stationed here at the Navy hospital -- then about 30 years as a healthcare attorney. I've taught health law to masters degree students at five universities, I'm the author of The Law of Healthcare Administration (8th edition, with the 9th in the works), and I serve as Contributing Editor for the Healthcare Financial Management Association. I'm a native of St. Louis, but I've lived in a total of nine states at more than 20 different addresses. My current residence is in Mission Hills, and San Diego is my favorite place ever! I have three children and three grandchildren, none of whom lives in SoCal.

Wayne Sottosanti

I learned how to play bridge from my parents when I was in high school and used to play penny-a-point rubber bridge with my brother and a couple of friends. I didn't encounter duplicate, however, until a year and a half ago when I attended a social bridge session on a cruise ship. There weren't very many people at the social, but some nice ladies told me about their bridge group which met daily and was very organized. The directors of this group were kind enough to let me sit in on some of their lessons and games and this is where I had my introduction to duplicate rules and bidding boxes. Last summer, I discovered Adventures in Bridge and began to show up frequently, both to socialize and to improve my bridge game. I am a graduate student at San Diego State University in the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences program and am excited to join the board to continue to learn about and to help grow interest in this exciting and challenging game.

Marge Van Hemert

I grew up playing Cribbage with my grandfather. My family played all kinds of card games including rummy and poker. I started playing bridge in my early twenties. We used a 1947 Goran bridge bidding wheel. It was a cheap form of entertainment, and we didn't have to hire a babysitter. I played party bridge off and on most of my adult life. A friend who was terminally ill talked me into playing duplicate about 7 years ago. Several months later when my friend passed away, I was hooked. I found a new partner, Bruce. We set out on a mission to get our Life Masters. After that accomplishment, I decided it was time to learn how to really play bridge. It is a lifetime commitment.

As a retired teacher I found I could combine my passions, bridge and teaching. I love teaching kids bridge. I have taught almost 200 elementary school children in my local public school and at Redwood Bridge Club. I have made a commitment to teach bridge at the YMCA this summer. My next favorite job is "Caddy Queen" for the PSW Regional.

In between bridge I like walking my favorite Vizsla, Morgan, on the beach, visiting exotic and exciting countries, singing in a chorus, researching my family history, and sharing time with my family (two daughters and three grandchildren) and friends.

Sue Wightman

In my life, bridge has been a mentally stimulating way to keep connected with family and friends and become involved in the community. I learned in college and played in 'neighborhood games' with other young married couples in Texas. I also played with my mother and stepfather for a few years in Seattle before quitting to pursue other hobbies.

After retiring as a trauma nurse from the University of Washington, I moved to San Diego and resumed playing after finding this large, active duplicate community. It took many lessons to catch up to the changes in bidding, and I was raising an ill grandchild at the time too, so many thanks are due to Wirt Gilliam and David Walters for always finding me a partner on short notice. Their compassion and thoughtfulness helped keep me grounded during a stressful time in my life.

I am forever grateful and happy to be a Board member, because it's time to give back.

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