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2017 Advisory Board Elections

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In 2017, NASPA held an election for three members of its Advisory Board (AB).

The composition of the AB over the years under NASPA is available at this website.

Election Results

See our iContact announcement giving full results of the election.

Electoral Districts

This year’s election will elect members in:

  • At Large: Any region
  • US South: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
  • US West: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY


At Large

Candidate Candidate Statement
Paul Avrin

[head shot]

I have been playing tournament SCRABBLE since 1975 and I have the distinction of playing more tournament games than any other player, a total of 8,450. Moreover, I served on the first Advisory Board in the early 1980s, directed several tournaments in the NYC area, served on the Tournament Committee, and am currently a member of the Rules Committee.

SCRABBLE has been an integral part of my life, and my experience, spanning four decades, has given me a good perspective on how SCRABBLE has evolved through the years. I think that as a member of the Advisory Board, I can make significant contributions to the organization. I want to see our community grow and flourish and I want to be a good advocate for the membership.

Josh Greenway

[head shot]

Hello beautiful, magical SCRABBLE nerds! I'm Josh. I've been playing SCRABBLE since 2008, have played in 100+ tournaments, and directed about 30 more. I'm running for the At Large position on the Advisory Board. I'd appreciate your support and your vote.

I have one overriding mission: bringing more players to NASPA! I'm working with the Forward Energy Committee on a welcome website to improve the experience of new players when first signing up. I'm also the co-chair of the Social Media Committee where I've prioritized outreach to new members with projects NASPA has funded, such as sending social media reps to the year's biggest events. I also work on recruitment with my local club and tournaments.

I work hard, have a positive attitude, and believe tournament SCRABBLE has a big future. If you reward me with your vote, I'll keep working hard for you. Thanks!

Stefan Rau

[head shot]

After years of playing Literati online, I played my first rated tournament in 2003. I lost the first game, but won the remaining six to win Div 4. I then played at BAT a few weeks later. My opponent in Round 12 was a woman whom I'd played once before at club. She had beaten me then by phonying with a 100-point BIZANTS*. I exacted revenge by beating her this time - and by only one point. I think she has forgiven me because she - Terry Kang - is now my wife.

Since 2003 I have played in 162 tourneys, including eight Nationals. In recent years, I have switched to CSW, which allows us to travel and compete in international tourneys as far away as Malaysia. I've had some real highs, including winning back-to-back BAT Premiers, but also plenty of lows. Despite that, I intend to play as long as I am lucid.

Away from the board, I am a partner in a thriving Radiology practice and serve as President of the Medical Staff and as a member of the Board of Trustees at Ellenville Regional Hospital.

I remain confident in NASPA and want to contribute to its growth. As an Advisory Board member, I believe I can help effect that growth in much the same way that my active participation in our partners' meetings has ensured the continued success of our practice.

Personally, I would like us to eventually unite under one dictionary, but I believe the focus now should be on growing membership and reuniting all North American SCRABBLE players under one banner.

US South

Candidate Candidate Statement
Robin Gates

[head shot]

Robin started playing Scrabble in 2008 after meeting Paul Holser on a dating website. She was fascinated at the idea of competitive SCRABBLE. She played in her first tournament in Austin December 2008. Her peak rating was 1032, and she has 5 tournament wins under her belt.

In 2010 and 2011, Robin voluntarily created the "Cruise Director" position for the NSC tournament to coordinate transport, travel, events, excursions, and concierge services for players. In 2013, she not only played in the NSC tournament but reprised her role in Las Vegas along with Alice Chew.

It has been a few years since Robin last played, but her love for the game and the culture has not waned. With her now husband, Paul, still playing regularly, Robin continues to have a strong interest in the success and workings of NASPA.

Robin serves in an executive role with several of her dog clubs on a Regional and National level. She has also served on several professional committees in the healthcare industry.

Mike Gincel

[head shot]

My name is Mike Gincel. I'm a 26 year old living in Orlando, FL, and I've played in tournaments for five years and have played over 400 games of rated SCRABBLE in nine states and two countries.

I'm currently a concierge at the Walt Disney World resort and outside of SCRABBLE, I love couponing, theme parks, and volunteering.

This is my 2nd attempt at running for the Advisory Board. I believe I am the best candidate for this honor as I'm someone who is actively trying to make not just competitive SCRABBLE but NASPA itself a better thing in our amazing world. I love NASPA and the friends and family I've made within our community.

It would be an honor to serve and something I wouldn't take lightly. I believe in being firm, fair, and open to any and all opinions that would come into our meetings. I plan on being accessible to all NASPA members if they ever need questions answered or wish to raise a concern; I want to be there for you. I want to make this organization even better.

I'm currently studying for my director's test and aim to become a director by the end of the year. I aim to deliver nothing but quality service and just and thorough rulings. I also would love to have a monthly open forum with the AB and Facebook to discuss new tournaments and what is going on with NASPA.

At the end of the day, my goal is to serve my fellow players. I feel my attitude, my heart, and my spirit are all in the right place and I will be the best representative of the average NASPA player. One who wants open communication, fun tournaments, and a community they can call home. I plan to bring that and more if elected. Thank you so much.

Mike Willis

[head shot]

During my first term of service on the NASPA Advisory Board, it has been my pleasure to represent the member’s wishes often. It is important to reach out and hear the voice of the membership, then push for what they want to take place. My outreach to find out if members wished to continue some form of playoffs in the National Championships, revealed that the polled members were overwhelmingly against them. I advocated this position, and playoffs were narrowly defeated for the past NASC, and the one upcoming.

I always try to say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done. Recently, I was selected as a co-spokesperson for the Advisory Board. I also chair the Forward Energy Committee, which finds opportunities for improvements in NASPA, then develops and implements solutions.

If I am fortunate enough to receive your vote, I will pledge to do everything possible to hear you personally, and make your voice heard as we push to continually improve NASPA performance.

US West

Bruce D'Ambrosio wins this district by acclamation.

Candidate Candidate Statement
Bruce D'Ambrosio

[head shot]

I've been a NASPA member since 1978 (well, at that time it was NSA). I am the current director of NASPA Club #195 in Los Angeles. I have been on the Rules Committee since September 2015.

I'm most interested in trying to reunify the SCRABBLE community, which I think is fragmented not only because of WGPO, but also the Collins Division, especially at the Nationals. (What does it mean to be the top SCRABBLE player in North America by winning Division 1 when there is also a group of excellent players playing by different rules at the same time in the same venue?)

If you would like to know where I stand on issues important to you, feel free to e-mail me and I will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you for considering me for this position.


Voting will take place from June 3–30 inclusive, Eastern Time. Votes will be accepted by paper or electronically. Any current NASPA member can vote for (at most) one candidate for each of the three contested seats, regardless of the region of residency.

Paper votes may be sent to NASPA by postal mail, and must arrive during the voting period to be accepted. Paper votes are not anonymous and must identify the voter and their vote.

Electronic votes should be made through the Member Services link at the NASPA website. Electronic votes will be anonymous, except inasmuch as a skilled person with access to the NASPA server could eventually reconstruct voting information.

The winner of each election will be determined by plurality. If an election ends in a tie, a lottery or coin toss will be used to break the tie.

Winners will be announced at the beginning of July, as soon as the votes are tabulated.

Any disputes about the elections process will be decided by the AB, excluding those members running for reelection.


Electoral candidates must meet all of the following criteria:

  • They must be a NASPA member in good standing.
  • They must accept the nomination during the nomination period of May 4–31, 2017.
  • They must be at least 21 years of age.
  • They must be prepared to comply with the obligations of NASPA committee members.
  • They must submit a platform statement.

They do not need to be a certified director, have a high tournament rating or serve on another committee, but neither do these qualifications exclude them. Incumbent members may stand for reelection.

Nomination Process

Nominations will take place from May 4–31 inclusive, Eastern Time.

To nominate yourself, send your name and platform statement to naspa-advisoryboard@yahoogroups.com.

To nominate someone else, send the candidate's name to naspa-advisoryboard@yahoogroups.com. Nominated candidates will be contacted by the AB and asked if they agree to run. If so, they will be asked to send their platform statements.

Platform Statement

A platform statement is a brief statement that describes a candidate's qualifications, background, platform, and any other information that might be of use to voters, for posting to this webpage.

You can view the platform statements of previous candidates here.

“Good Standing”

For the purposes of this election, a NASPA member is considered to be in good standing if:

Background Information

The AB acts as a liaison between the membership and the Executive Committee (EC), helps the EC decide matters of policy, and adjudicates appeals on decisions made by other committees.

AB members should possess:

  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to work well in a group situation
  • A willingness to make tough decisions on sensitive or controversial issues

AB members serve a 2-year term. The upcoming term runs from the 2017 North American SCRABBLE Championship (NASC) to the 2019 NASC.

Most AB business is conducted during monthly conference calls and over email which AB members are expected to participate in. Also, many AB members take on additional projects.