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 master points 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.

Gigette Caldwell

Gigette Caldwell is a retired Naval officer who enjoys life in San Diego with her husband, Craig. She is active in her local community, serving on its Board of Directors. She plays golf, travels, and also supports various volunteer groups in her free time. She started playing bridge in 1977 when she and Craig took lessons and played "party" bridge with Craig's parents. After a 30-year break, she has rekindled her interest in competitive bridge and plays regularly at Adventures in Bridge. Her goal to become a Life Master was achieved in 2017.

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!

Tom Herzog

I moved from Reston, VA to San Diego during August of 2014 to be near my son who works in corporate finance at PETCO. The wonderful San Diego weather was also a big plus.

I retired from full-time employment on July 1, 2011. My last job title was "Distinguished Scholar in Insurance Regulation" at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Prior to that, I had worked almost 42 years for the Federal government in the environs of Washington, DC. Most notably, I served as the FHA Chief Actuary, from December, 1982 until June, 2010. My undergraduate degree (in applied math) is from Brown and my doctorate in mathematics is from the University of Maryland. I am a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, and the author or co-author of four mathematics text books.

I started playing bridge when I was about ten years old. My parents lived in the same NYC apartment building as George A. W. Boehm who is best-known for popularizing the lebensohl convention. George's son, Augie, and I were born on exactly the same day. George began giving bridge lessons to his wife, Alice, and Augie when Augie was 5. A few years later, my parents figured that if Augie could learn, then so could I. So, they started teaching me how to play bridge too. This lead to duplicate bridge games at the Grand Slam Club where Augie introduced me to his friend S. Garton Churchill, the author of an early, well-regarded bridge book. While in high school I won some red points at various regionals at the New York Hilton. So, I was grand-fathered into the pre-January 1, 1969 ACBL system whereby one could become a life master without winning any gold points. After not playing much sanctioned bridge for many years, I finally became a life master during the fall of 2012.

Mike Koscielski (kosh – CHEL – ski)

Unlike the other members of the Board, I did not learn to play bridge as a youngster, nor did I grow up in a bridge-playing family, nor did I start playing while in college. I was born and raised in Detroit, MI and I learned to play bridge in the early 70's, after graduating from Wayne State University, while living in the fun capital of the Midwest—Dayton , Ohio. I did not play duplicate bridge back then, mainly party bridge and lunch-time bridge with co-workers. I came out to Southern California—Redondo Beach, specifically—in 1978 and nobody in the office played bridge. They all preferred outdoor activities like running and, much to my amazement, snow skiing—totally shattering my image of Southern California!

I had a 42-year career as a cost analyst/cost estimator. I started out as a Civil Servant with the Air Force, then worked for 22 years as a contractor supporting the entire Department of Defense and NASA, and returned to Civil Service with the Navy. I retired in December 2013 after 5 years as the Technical Director for Cost Estimating and Analysis for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

I've never lacked for things to do with my free time. For many years I was a scratch bowler, a recreational scuba diver, a semi-professional photographer, a woodworker, a motorcyclist, and a tennis player. Before moving to San Diego in 1999, I was a magician and performing member of Hollywood's Magic Castle. All those activities, however, have dropped by the wayside; my current passions are playing the piano and bridge. Though I hadn't played bridge since moving to California, I always harbored the desire to get back into the game. So, along with a former co-worker I took AiB's 3-course series of introductory bridge in early 2014, attended my first Regional in April 2014, and it's been off to the races for Life Master ever since! Still working on checking Life Master off of my bucket list, but I'm confident I'll get there.

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.

Larry Sherman

A couple of high school buddies of mine decided to take up duplicate bridge at the Hartford Bridge Club and the Hartford Jewish Community Center during the summer after we graduated high school in 1971. That was back in the days when ACBL master point awards were given on small slips of paper and bidding boxes had yet to be instituted. In contradictory form (I was about to come west to go to UC Berkeley), I taught my parents all that I had learned about the game in a few months, and they started playing it with their friends. To date I have been less successful in interesting my wife or my two daughters in trying out the game.

After taking about 35 years to digest what I hadn't learned that summer, I brought my 1.55 master points and back I came! An early partner of mine, Arno Safier, professed to me that you do not begin learning the game until you become a Life Master. Having recently earned Gold Life Master, I would be happy to tell Arno if he were till around that I am still learning this game. Along the way I became a Certified Director and enjoy refereeing at the Coronado and Soledad Bridge clubs.

Having served for several years on this board as the Publicity Chair and the Awards Chair, I am returning to take on new goals. We need a membership that is active in the life of our Unit, that understands that Unit games and Unit Sectionals need their contributions and promotion to be solvent. In terms of numbers, we are one of the larger Units around. We would like you to join us in continuing to make it successful. See you at the table!

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