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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 graduated from Saint Louis University in 1973 with a BS in Finance. Currently, he is president of General Marine Services, Inc. GMSI and affiliates operate barge terminals and provide transportation services on the inland waterway.

Mike is extremely active in the community through a number of different enterprises.  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 represents the City of Saint Louis to the board of directors for the Saint Louis Zoo. 

Mike is a member of Saint Raphael Catholic Church and is a past council member and president of the school board. Currently, he is the chair of the Legacy of Faith endowment campaign.


Jim Davies: Board of Directors

Jim Davies is a veteran of the chess world and has been a member of the U.S. Chess Federation since 1964. From 1971 to 1986 he was a chess coach at Ladue senior and junior high schools, where he was also a math teacher. Since then, he has been a private chess tutor.

Jim has played in hundreds of USCF-rated events and was inducted into the Missouri Chess Hall of Fame in 2000.

Today, Davies is a computer programmer for the Carpenters District Council. He lives in University City with his wife.


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.


Our Staff

Tony Rich

Tony Rich, the executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, graduated from Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly the University of Missouri - Rolla) with a BS in Computer Science. He has been an avid chess player since his freshman year at Saint John Vianney High School.

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.

Last year, Tony was accepted into the Leadership Saint Louis program, a highly respected and highly competitive leadership development program designed to foster an active and committed base of community ambassadors.

Tony is a FIDE Arbiter (2011) and USCF Senior Tournament Director (2011). He will attain the status of International Arbiter after his work at the 2013 U.S. Championship is complete. In addition, he is one of only 22 FIDE International Organizers in America. In this role he has successfully organized major events including four U.S. Championships, four U.S. Women’s Championships, three U.S. Junior Closed Championships, international matches and a variety of other high-level tournaments.

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 Swiss Pairing Program Commission, the FIDE Social Chess Commission and the USCF International Relations Committee. In addition, Tony also serves as an adjunct professor in the department of education at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis.

He is an amateur photographer and journalist and has covered many events including the 2010 World Team Championship (Bursa, Turkey), 2011 FIDE Olympiad (Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia) and 2011 World Team Championship (Ningbo, China). His contributions can be seen in Chess Life Magazine, Chess Life Online and various chess websites. Tony also worked as the editor for the Missouri Chess Bulletin and has served on the MCA board of directors, on and off, since 2006.


Joy Bray General Manager
Linda Davis Bookkeeper
Beth Deeken Administrative Assistant
Rebecca Buffington Event Manager
Kiley Herndon Communications Coordinator
Ryan Chester Club Manager
Mike Kummer Assistant Manager
Jonathan Schrantz Assistant Manager
Kareem Talhouni Scholastic Manager
Richard Pointer Scholastic Coordinator
Tony Chen Scholastic Coordinator
Kyle Weber Scholastic Coordinator
Lauren Stewart Development Manager
Tricia Crossey Development Coordinator
Tammy Hyde IT Specialist
Jesse Richardson Software Developer