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.

Greg Chaffee

I've played bridge in San Diego for the past 30 years. I first started playing bridge about 50 years ago with my family. I enjoy the game very much and expect to play the rest of my life. I served on the San Diego Unit Board as Treasurer for about five years in the early 2000's. My goal is to give back to the unit since I have played in the unit games since 1990.

Mary Hudson

I acquired my interest in bridge along with good card sense from my Father. My parents played socially with their friends and taught their kids the rudiments of the game. I learned to play duplicate slowly from lessons and many hours of play in Washington DC, Houston, NYC, Tucson and San Diego. Occasionally, I even play in Austin Texas while visiting my daughter and her family. I always say that bridge is a lot like golf (another passion). Both are extremely challenging, and can be equally frustrating. Bridge and golf take years to learn and many hours of practice, and still you can feel you will never master the game. I am so gratified that after years of a demanding profession and raising a family, I have plenty of time to play both. I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to help to sustain and grow the remarkable game of bridge.

Sam Madison

Sam is a retired executive who worked mainly in the Financial Services and related software industries. He played most of his bridge in Europe for about 13 years and then had to stop playing bridge for almost 14 years due to work commitments. He returned to bridge 3 years ago and is now a full time bridge professional, teacher and certified club director.

Marjorie O'Malley

I started playing social bridge in high school and college and began duplicate once a week when I was 25. I was hooked and became a Life Master 5 years later, back when you had to mail in little paper slips for your fractions of points. After that, career and family took precedence and I essentially stopped playing bridge except online when I was traveling for business.

After a career in finance and health care management, I retired early and my husband Charlie and I moved to San Diego from Connecticut in 2008. I re-entered the bridge world in 2015 and really enjoy being back and getting to know many of the San Diego bridge players.

Jane Petering

I played bridge during college and took a 15 year break, to raise my family, and work.

I have always been in sales.... computers and real estate... which I loved. In 2007, I signed up for some bridge lessons at Adventures in Bridge, and quickly became hooked on duplicate bridge.

I think bridge is extremely challenging, and the research shows it is great for our minds, especially as we get older. My mother played a good bridge game till she was 101 years old!

I think bridge is a wonderful way to make new friends and to keep active socially. I look forward to serving on the board.

Mary Rea

I was introduced to Bridge in 2014 when friends in my Scripps Ranch community started a social bridge group with about 25 people and brought in an instructor to teach us the basics. It was instant LOVE! I immediately started another social bridge group for my local Women's Club. Both groups are still together having fun, but I discovered AIB Club bridge in 2017 and found my calling in duplicate bridge.

My passion for bridge came after an over 32-year career in State and local government, starting as a Financial Analyst and eventually becoming an Assistant Department Director. Upon retirement, volunteer work became all-consuming along with gardening and a few other hobbies. To this day, I am still an avid gardener but most other pastimes have taken a "back seat" to bridge. I welcome this opportunity to assist on the Board and contribute to the San Diego bridge community, especially after being the recipient of so many good times at the bridge tables and on BBO!

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.

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