By Laura Doman
The election of new members to the Board will be the primary focus of the 2016 annual meeting of the Georgia Chess Association (GCA), which will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 2:30 pm in Cox Hall of Emory University, 569 Ashbury Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322. As in previous years, the meeting will take place during the last day of the Georgia State Championship, which will be held between rounds 4 and 5 and at the same location.
Four candidates are running for three elected offices, that of 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, and 2nd Member-at-Large. All members in good standing are invited to attend and cast their votes. To be in “good standing,” GCA members must be 18 years of age or older with a current, paid membership. Those with family memberships receive a maximum two votes, assuming that two adults are included as registered family members. To join the GCA or renew a membership, please visit www.georgiachess.org/membership.
The option for absentee voting has been announced since March on the GCA website, and is now closed. Absentee ballots must have been requested from the GCA Secretary by April 17th and received back by April 28th (3 days before the meeting). Members who would like to cast their vote and who had not voted absentee must now cast their ballots in person.
Of the three races, two positions are uncontested. Priya Srinivasan is running unopposed for 2nd Vice President and Amrita Kumar (incumbent) is without a challenger for the position of Treasurer. Ashley Thomas (incumbent) is being challenged by Henry Moon for the position of 2nd Member-at-Large. Please note that each of these positions is for a WORKING BOARD, meaning that each GCA board member has hands-on responsibilities to run an aspect of the organization and is expected to be actively involved on an on-going basis. The detailed descriptions are available under the About tab of the GCA homepage, www.georgiachess.org. Each elected office serves a two year term.
2nd Vice President
The 2nd Vice President is the person who steps in for the 1st Vice President and the Chief Volunteer Officer (President) when they are unable to complete their overall governance responsibilities. The 2nd Vice President is a liaison to at least two board committees and completes any necessary tasks that are required to benefit the stability and growth of the organization.
- ✦Chess parent
✦GCA Membership Coordinator, Aug 2014 onwards
✦GCA Open Events Registrar, Aug 2015 onwards
✦GCA Web Team Member Aug 2015 onwards
✦GCA Volunteer, Scholastics and Open Events for the last 3 years
✦Volunteered since Jan 2016 at the Georgia Tech Open Events conducted in partnership with GCA, Metro Atlanta K-8 Team Qualifiers, K-8 Team State Championship
✦GCA Open Events Coordinator 2014- 2015
✦Actively volunteered with the GCA in many roles: Office Manager, Score Keeper, Coordinator, Registrar, Membership Coordinator, Web team member etc.
✦Organized the first GCA Membership Social to honor and recognize volunteers and the many chess clubs in Georgia in 2015
What will I do for the Georgia Chess Community?
My decision to run for the Board came after my few years of volunteering with the GCA. The game of chess is very dear to me as my son is passionate about chess. Both kids and adults in Georgia love chess. We have a very robust and friendly chess community. I would like to help expand and further strengthen chess in Georgia, in particular the Open Events.
As your GCA 2nd VP, I will do my best to make chess more promising and fun for everyone in Georgia!
The Treasurer is responsible for recording and managing the Board’s finances, providing an annual budget, leading the development of financial policies and procedures, and ensuring that the annual tax return is filed accurately on a timely basis.
Amrita Kumar, Ph.D., MPH
- ✦Family: Husband (Anil), Son (Anish)
✦Occupation: Research Scientist, CDCChess Volunteering Activities
✦Treasurer- GCA, November 2014-Present
✦Club TD certification
✦GCA Volunteer, 2013- Present
✦Druid Hills Middle School Chess Parent
✦USCF Georgia Delegate, 2015
Other Volunteering Activities
✦Member, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Atlanta
✦BalVihar Hindi School Teacher, 2012- present
✦Clifton School, PTA Parent Member, 2004-2006
My son, Anish, has been playing chess since he was in second grade. Over the last seven years, I’ve seen how chess has positively impacted his academic, social, and emotional learning. The Georgia Chess Association and its many volunteers have been instrumental in supporting and providing him with these positive experiences. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to give back, originally as a tournament volunteer and currently as the organization’s treasurer, and contribute to the growth of the GCA. I believe in GCA’s vitally important role to empower fellow Georgians through chess.As the treasurer for the past sixteen months, I have diligently organized and maintained the GCA’s books to ensure that it remains a financially healthy organization. I have paid all bills on time, kept orderly and accurate records, filed federal and state taxes on a timely basis, and renewed the GCA’s operating licenses. If re-elected, I will continue to build on this solid foundation and provide greater financial stability by focusing on tax distributions, looking at investments strategies, and streamlining office operation costs.
As a current board member, I have been actively promoting chess in the state of Georgia and will continue to do so throughout my next term. The GCA is involved in hosting and supporting tournaments that benefit so many people. It is my sincere wish to be an integral part of that effort, helping to make competitions even more enjoyable for the players. Positive experiences create wonderful memories that I hope will stay with them and contribute to their everyday lives. In my mind, that’s what chess is all about!
The two Members-At-Large on the Board are each responsible for a committee that best fits the needs of the GCA, as well as their individuals skill sets. The candidates for the open 2nd Member-At-Large position are Henry Moon and Ashley Thomas (incumbent).
Henry Moon, Ph.D.
BIO: Professor of Organizational Behavior at several leading Universities including Emory, London Business School, Indian School of Business, and CEIBS in Shanghai. Henry has recently taught leadership and organizational structure to mainly senior executives including nearly 1000 CEOs and managing directors of companies both large and small. He is the father of Joseph and Benjamin who have won or tied for 13 national championships including being the only brothers to win both the K-3 and K-6 championship in the same year. He took an active role in their training and development as chess players. In one year he took Mason elementary K-3 to a 2nd place finish nationally falling ½ point from tying Dalton for the team national championship.
Personal statement: I have now semi-retired from academics and returned to what I consider to be my home in Duluth GA. One of my goals is to help build scholastic chess in the state of Georgia through working with various schools and organizations. I am currently happy to lend whatever knowledge I have in building and improving organizations in either a formal or informal manner.
Ashley Thomas (incumbent)
✦ Chess parent and player
✦ Georgia Chess Volunteer for past 3 years
✦ Served as 2nd Member At Large 2015-2016
✦ GCA Outreach Committee Chair
✦ Recently volunteered for K-8 Team State Championship, Metro Atlanta K-8 Team Qualiﬁers, MLK Tournament.
✦ Organized the 2016 GA Collegiate Team Championship
Activities as part of GCA Outreach
✦ Initiated and supported new chess clubs
✦ Hamilton Mill Public Library
✦ Grayson Public Library
✦ Auburn Library
✦ Helped with Chess activities in Atlanta area
✦ CHOA Fundraiser Tournament by Thanu Avirneni
✦ New Quickstart Tournament at Douglasville
✦ Helped with the ﬁrst 2 tournaments by GT Chess club
✦ GCA Membership social
✦ Organized GCA Bughouse tournament at the Ironyard
Other voluntary activities
✦ St. Vincent De Paul (at St. Jude Catholic Church)
✦ Catechism teacher, St.Alphonsa Church, Loganville
✦ Taught chess to kids at the Interfaith Outreach Home (2014)
How can I contribute?
✦ Continue and strengthen the GCA Outreach activities with a goal to promote chess in GA.
✦ Reach out to potential sponsors as part of Outreach
✦ Work with the Board to give the necessary direction for GCA
I see this role as a wonderful volunteering opportunity to contribute towards a great cause, namely, to promote, and inspire more chess in Georgia. I believe that chess has a positive impact on kids and adults in the long run; but primarily Chess is pure fun! And I’d like to be part of the effort to spread the fun around!