Virginia Scholastic Chess Association

2018 Board of Directors Candidates

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Mike Callaham


My name is Michael A. Callaham. For 5 years I've been analyzing games, visiting schools, and coordinating projects by and for the VSCA as your VSCA Secretary!. I'm as good in the office as I am out in the field. My agenda is to bring our VSCA under the "Best Practices" umbrella to better fund our mission. I will work for better financial support for our up and coming Virginia players, teams, coaches, directors, and organizers. As the primary field liaison, see what people could be saying all over the commonwealth when we get more true to our mission!

I travel from the Eastern Shore to Roanoke to advocate chess and support scholastic activity. I'll work tirelessly to increase the Commonwealth's awareness of the VSCA and the support it provides for chess.

Virginia And US Chess Experience:
Organizer, The Richmond Metropolitan Grand Prix, Coach Tuckahoe Elementary School, Coach JB Fisher Elementary School, Coach Richmond Alternative School, President Richmond Chess Initiative, Coordinator Richmond Middle School Chess League, Secretary and Board Member Virginia Scholastic Chess Association, Vice President and Board Member Virginia Chess Federation, VA Scholastic Director, USCF Certified Tournament Director/Referee, USCF Certified District Level 2 coach, USCF Rating High 1943

Jeff Forbes

Virginia Beach

My name is Jeff Forbes, and I am seeking election to the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association Board of Directors. I have worked VSCA and VCF tournaments in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, and the Eastern Shore as a tournament director so I'm experienced with the VSCA. I am currently vice-president of the Hampton Roads Chess Association which enjoys over 240 players on our active rolls. We have worked to build a club that is teaching chess and building enthusiasm for it throughout the region. The HRCA was recently named the US Chess Club of the Year. I am seeking a position on the VSCA Board of Directors so I can to bring that same vision and work to the VSCA.

Brian Garbera

Chesterfield County

I would be interested in a Board of Directors position with the VSCA. I feel I have much to contribute: an overall knowledge of chess and of scholastic chess in particular, and a high degree of interest promoting scholastic chess.

Since August of 2012, I have been the full-time Richmond Area Director for Championship Chess. My company teaches chess to elementary students throughout the Richmond area. Many Championship Chess students participate in the VSCA tourneys throughout the year.

I help coordinate the Meadowdale Public Library Scholastic Tournament in Chesterfield County twice per year and volunteer as an assistant tournament director for many of the Richmond area scholastic tournaments.

I am an avid chess player with a rating peaking at 2071. I am married with two teenage children.

Cheryl Havens

Virginia Beach

I am the mom of 2 boys, Josh and Justin, who both play chess in many of the local tournaments. I am also the treasurer of the Hampton Roads Chess Association in Virginia Beach. In addition, I am a Local Tournament Director and enjoy working with the various chess players at VSCA and HRCA tournaments. I am running to be on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association because I love what chess and the VSCA has done for my boys, and I would love to see more chess opportunities for our children. The lack of support in the schools is concerning, and I would like to be a part of expanding chess programs both locally, and throughout the state.

Mike Hoffpauir

York County

I have been involved with the VSCA since 2003, first as a "chess Dad" and then as a volunteer, where I learned the ropes of tournament directing and organizing from our former President and co-founder, the late Peter Hopkins. I have been President of the VSCA for the last 7 years and have represented The Commonwealth as a Virginia Delegate to the US Chess Federation's annual Delegates' Convention for the past 5 years. In 2016 I became a member of the US Chess Executive Board and currently am serving as the President of the US Chess Federation. I also am a National Tournament Director and thoroughly enjoy donating my time to our organization. Tournament directing in VSCA events has given me the privilege of seeing many of our outstanding young boys and girls mature and move on in their own lives. With your vote, I'd be honored to continue serving.

Bart Mebane

Middlesex County

I have served on the VSCA Board of Directors for the past 17 years. I handle the pairings and results at tournaments, and I also take care of tournament registration, the website and the newsletter. I keep on volunteering because scholastic chess tournaments are very special places, and I enjoy being a part of them.

When my wife and I started bringing our two boys to tournaments in 1999, the VSCA was smaller, and there was a sense of community. The parents felt that they were a part of the organization; they felt comfortable volunteering and sharing ideas. The VSCA is larger now, and we are spread over a much wider area. But going forward, I would like to get back some of that sense of community. We are fortunate to have several experienced volunteers, but we all started as new chess parents. We would be very glad to have your help and your ideas. The VSCA belongs to you, the parents.

Christina Schweiss

Virginia Beach

My name is Christina "Tina" Schweiss. I've been on the VSCA Board of Directors for four years. I'm a retired US Army officer with a background in strategic planning. I have been involved in chess since 2007 when my son, 2015 Virginia State Amateur Champion and now in college, started playing. I founded and direct Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club and am the President of the Hampton Roads Chess Association (HRCA), a 501(c)(3) and USCF Affiliate, with a mission of expanding chess opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in our region. Through active recruitment, I have more than quadrupled the number of scholastic chess coaches in Hampton Roads and gotten them all qualified as USCF certified chess coaches (self included). I'm an active USCF Senior Tournament Director and have directed in events up to the national level. I continue to recruit, train, and mentor tournament directors in Hampton Roads. I will continue to grow chess in our region, working through our clubs and with local school officials. HRCA is now running several school chess clubs in the region with more in the works. I personally coach at a few schools myself. As the Virginia state coordinator for women and girls in chess, I will also work closely with US Chess to empower girls through chess.

Julie Wells

Virginia Beach

Hello, my name is Julie Wells and I am a local level tournament director who has been volunteering with Virginia Scholastic Chess Association tournaments for a little over a year. I have also been volunteering with the Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club for two years, both as a coach and parent helper. I started helping with chess at our local home school co-op three years ago when I learned there was a shortage of parent helpers. I quickly learned that although I thought I knew how to play chess, I only knew how to move the pieces. My appreciation for the game, the process that goes into becoming a better player, and all of the behind the scene details has only grown throughout the four years my children have been playing chess. I look forward to working towards the forward movement of chess in Virginia.