The US Chess Executive Board consists of eight elected members plus the US Chess Executive Director. The Board elects from its own membership the President, Vice-President, Vice-President of Finance, and Secretary.
The 2023-2024 US Chess Executive Board:
Randy Bauer is a Director at Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM), a national public sector consulting firm. A Benefactor Life Member of US Chess, Randy was a nationally ranked junior player while growing up in Minnesota, earned the National Master title in 1989, and has won state titles in both Minnesota and Iowa. Randy has served on the Board of Directors for both the Minnesota and Iowa State Chess Associations and has served on the US Chess Executive Board on four prior occasions. Prior to joining PFM, Randy served as Iowa’s State Budget Director for nearly seven years.Click here to show email address
Kevin Pryor is a recently retired corporate leader who excelled in developing people, improving systems, and managing projects. His leadership in chess begin in 2014 on the same day he played in his first tournament when he offered to help revitalize chess in Northeast Florida by reviving the defunct Jacksonville Chess Club. He is a Senior TD, Certified Chess Coach, chess entrepreneur, and chess academy founder. He has served as the President of the Florida Chess Association since 2018. Prior to joining the Executive Board, he served on the Clubs, States & Affiliates, and Senior committees for US Chess. He has also worked very closely with the Women’s committee at national events. Kevin is a native of Mount Vernon, NY, but has lived most of his adult life in Northeast Florida.Click here to show email address
Vice President Of Finance
Chuck Unruh is a chess master and former Armed Forces Chess Champion (1975). A graduate of Miami University, he is owner and operator of various family owned energy companies. He is a Tae Kown Do Master. He sits on the policy boards of The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate and the Oklahoma Chess Association. His son Charles is also a US Chess tournament director.Click here to show email address
Mike Hoffpauir is a National Tournament Director and FIDE Arbiter with experience directing several National-level US Chess events in Scholastics, College, and Military chess. Mike currently is the Executive Board Liaison to the committees for Rules, Tournament Director Certification, Military Chess, and FIDE Events. He also is a Councilor on the Rules Commission in FIDE. Mike is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, with 27 years of military experience and 15 years as a Defense Contractor. He is a past-President and the current Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Virginia Chess Federation, and is President of the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association. Mike is a native of south Louisiana, but retired in the Norfolk, VA, area where he continues directing many tournaments across the state of Virginia.
Member At Large
Leila D’Aquin is an appellate and trial attorney whose involvement in chess began as a chess mom. She became Louisiana’s Delegate to US Chess when her son’s participation in the Barber Tournament took her to her first U.S. Open. She joined the Women’s Committee and soon proposed offering a skittles and social space dedicated to girl participants at scholastic tournaments; in the ten years since, she has regularly volunteered in the Girls Club Room at nationals.
Leila recognizes the educational and social value of chess to both tournament players and casual ones, and has been an officer in the Louisiana Chess Association, serving two terms as its president. As an Executive Board member, she is a board liaison to the Bylaws, Women’s, DEI, and Professional Players Benefit Fund Committees and is a member of the current Governance Task Force.
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Member At Large
John C. Fernandez is the SVP of Marketing at Glia, a financial services software company which has raised over $100 million from top investors. John gained an expert rating while living in New York City, and has managed six draws with grandmasters in classical tournament games. Very involved in chess, John worked at the Manhattan Chess Club, organized events such as the New York Masters and three events featuring Garry Kasparov, taught chess in prominent city schools, and served on the board of governors of the Marshall Chess Club. He also worked as director of public relations at the Internet Chess Club before transitioning into an ownership role in 2010. John now lives in Hannibal, Missouri with his wife and two young sons.Click here to show email address
Member At Large
David Hater is a retired Army officer who now devotes his efforts to chess full time. He served in the Ohio National Guard from 1988 to 1990 and then as a personnel officer on active duty from 1990 until he retired in 2015. His last assignment was as the chief personnel officer for U.S. Army Cyber Command. He served numerous overseas and combat tours including multiple deployments. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force War College and his awards and decorations include two Legions of Merit and a Bronze Star among other awards. He presently works full time as a chess professional. He is an employee of Continental Chess Association and does contract work for the Georgia Chess Association, Kasparov Chess Foundation, and Chess Center of New York among others. He is one of the most active tournament directors in the United States and typically directs more than 50 tournaments a year where over 10,000 players play for prize funds totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. He is certified as an International Arbiter by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and a National Tournament Director by the United States Chess Federation. Colonel Hater is very active in chess administration and governance. He presently serves as a Vice President of the Georgia Chess Association and is one of Georgia’s three delegates to US Chess. He is currently a member of the US Chess Ethics, Military Chess, and Rules Committees and served as the chair of the US Chess Ethics Committee from 2017-2018 and has served as chair of the Military Chess Committee numerous times. As a player, Colonel Hater is presently or has been an expert (rated over 2000) by FIDE, US Chess, and Canadian Chess Federation. Though he no longer plays as much as he once did, some of his significant playing accomplishments are winning the Armed Forces Open three times, winner of the Under 2000 section of the National Open, winner of the top player aged 35-39 in the U.S. Under 50 Championship, member of the top military team at the U.S. Amateur Team Championship and was a member of the bronze medal USA NATO Chess Team in 2013.Click here to show email address
Lakshmana "Vish" Viswanath
Member At Large
Vish is a chess dad who became a board member. Vish is also an NTD and has been in chess governance in Texas as President of Texas Chess Association and in other positions for over 10 years. Earlier he has served as the chair of the State and Affiliates Committee of the US Chess. Currently he is a liaison to Elections, Invitationals, U.S. Open, Seniors, State and Affiliates, and Clubs committees of US Chess.
He is retired and has experiences from academics and small businesses. He is an avid stamp collector.Click here to show email address