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Our Board and Staff

Our Board

Rex Sinquefield: President & Chairman of the Board

Raised in Saint Vincent Home for Children in Saint Louis, Rex graduated from Saint Louis University with a business degree before pursuing an MBA from the University of Chicago. Along with associate David Booth, Rex formed Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) in 1981, which today oversees more than $230 billion in assets worldwide. Rex's wife, Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, who has an MBA and a Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Chicago, was instrumental in the achievements of DFA as well.

Through the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, Rex and Jeanne support organizations that are focused on music, children and education. Rex provided the seed capital for the creation of The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which is a destination for both new and seasoned chess players in Saint Louis. He also recently helped fund the move of the World Chess Hall of Fame to Saint Louis.

Rex Sinquefield serves on the boards of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri History Museum, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Symphony and Saint Louis University. He is also a member of the Investment Committee of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and the recipient of numerous awards for scholarship and service.


Jim Voelker: Treasurer

Jim was born in Akron, Ohio, and had some successes in Ohio chess, winning the Cincinnati Championship and tying for first in the Ohio Championship. Jim moved to Missouri in 1992 and was Missouri Champion in 1994, 1998, and 2004. He tied for first in the 2010 CCSCSL Championship. Jim is a former member of the Missouri Chess Association Board of Directors and a former editor of the Missouri Chess Bulletin. He maintained a website for Missouri chess news from 1998 to 2011. Jim has BA, MLS, and JD degrees and works as a law librarian. He and his wife Joan live in Webster Groves with their son Andy.


Mike Lueken: Secretary

Mike Lueken is the president and owner of General Marine Services, Inc. Mike has been extremely active in the community through a number of different enterprises over the years.  He was appointed by Gov. John Ashcroft to a six-year term on the 22nd Judicial Commission and to the St. Louis Election Board as Secretary from 2003-2005 by Gov Holden. He also represented the City of Saint Louis to the board of directors for the Saint Louis Zoo. Mike is a member of Saint Peters Catholic Church and is currently a school board member and serves on the curriculum committee. He is active as co-chair with his wife Laura implementing the St. Peters SPICE initiative to help children with special needs find the assistance they need early in their grade school education.  He is proud to be a lifetime board member of the Saint Louis Chess Club.


Ed Baur: Board of Directors

Ed Baur taught chemistry and mathematics at Rosary High school from 1969 to 1991 and coached the chess team there from 1975 to 1991. After that, he taught the same courses and coached the chess team at Vianney High School from 1991 until his retirement in 2007. He continues to coach the Vianney chess team in his retirement. Ed has been a member of the Missouri Chess Association Board of Directors for 14 years, and president for six years. The author of the instructional chess book, "Griffin Chess," Ed lives in Saint Louis and teaches chess at Saint Louis Community College.


Doug Eckert: Board of Directors

Doug Eckert, CPA, moved back to the Saint Louis area in May of 2011 when he joined Brown Smith Wallace to lead the firm’s international tax practice. He was the 1983 and 1984 U.S. Junior Open Champion and achieved his FIDE Master title in 1986. Doug also is an International Master in correspondence chess and a five-time Missouri State Open Champion. While attending the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1986, Eckert authored a book entitled, Sicillian Schevenigen: Keres Attack. A licensed CPA, Eckert earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He resides in Chesterfield with his wife and three children.


Mike Podgursky: Board of Directors

Michael Podgursky is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he served as department chair from 1995-2005. His research focuses on the economics of education. He has written many articles in the area, with a primary focus on school finance, educator compensation, and human resource policy in schools. He serves on the board of editors of several academic journals including Education Finance and Policy and Education Next, advisory boards for various statistical agencies and research institutes, and was a fellow of the George W.Bush Institute from 2010-2013. He is a co-investigator at the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, and the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, two national research centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, and is a founding board member of the Show-Me Institute. He has a strong research interest in the scholastic value of chess for elementary and secondary students.


Jean Hoffman: Board of Directors

Jean Hoffman is a nonprofit consultant and educator. Jean has spent the majority of her career working to promote the benefits of chess to under-served and under-represented populations. From 2013-2017, she served as the Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation. Prior to that, Jean co-founded the nonprofit organization 9 Queens with Jennifer Shahade, the two time US Women's Champion and FIDE Women's Grandmaster. She also worked as the general manager for the online sites Wuchess/, and for the New York city based non-profit organization Chess-in-the-Schools.


Our Staff

Tony Rich

Tony Rich is the Executive Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. He graduated from Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly the University of Missouri - Rolla) with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Tony’s love for chess started at a young age and he has been an avid chess player since his freshman year at Saint John Vianney High School. He is now rated over 2000.


In 2009, and again in 2010, Tony was awarded the title of Organizer of the Year by the United States Chess Federation. This national recognition is a testament to the hard work, dedication and leadership he has demonstrated to help make Saint Louis an internationally recognized chess city.


Tony is a FIDE International Organizer (2010), International Arbiter (2013) and US Chess National Tournament Director (2019). In addition, he is one of only 21 FIDE International Organizers in America. In this role, he has successfully organized major events including U.S. Championships, U.S. Women’s Championships, U.S. Junior Closed Championships, U.S. Junior Girls’ Championships, the prestigious Sinquefield Cup, and a number of “Champions Showdown” matches with an array of international players. Along with those, Tony organizes a variety of other high-level tournaments, including the introduction of the Classic series, which is a series of four tournaments a year for national and international players looking to break through to elite status.


Tony has traveled extensively since 2008, serving as the head of delegation for the American teams at the FIDE Olympiad and World Team Championships. He is a member of the FIDE Arbiters Commission and the US Chess delegate for the state of Missouri.


Yasser Seirawan
Chief Commentator and Spokesperson

Yasser Seirawan is an American grandmaster, four-time U.S. champion, a former world championship candidate and an inductee to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. In 1979 he won the World Junior Championship, and eventually went on to qualify for the 1985 and 1988-1990 Candidates Tournaments.


A long-time member of the U.S. national team, Seirawan won the individual gold medal at the 1994 Chess Olympiad. Seirawan is the author of several acclaimed chess books and has worked as a professional chess commentator for many years.


Joy Bray General Manager
Norah Friel Accountant
Cathy Gallaher HR Manager
Rebecca Buffington Marketing Manager
Teresah Trask  Inventory and Events Coordinator
Mike Kummer Tournament Director
Caleb Denby Programming Manager
Holden Martinez Club Manager
Alex Moellering Assistant Manager
Richard Pointer Scholastic Manager
Jeremy Compton Scholastic Coordinator
Janá Thomas Scholastic Coordinator
Lauren Stewart Development Manager
Tad Middleton Director of Development
Ryan Chester  Operations Manager
John Costello Chief Security Officer
Jason Simontacchi Security Officer
Erik Arnson IT Manager
Danny Machuca IT Specialist
Jim Gildehaus Facilities Director
Abby Byer Administrative Assistant