Goodwill Ambassadors

In 2011, District 17 established a Goodwill Committee and Charter to recognize D17 members in good standing who exemplify congeniality and ethical behavior. 

Committee members subscribe to the ACBL Goodwill slogan, “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”

The ACBL Goodwill Committee was organized in 1955.  In 2010, the Committee was renamed the Aileen Osofsky ACBL Goodwill Committee in appreciation for her 25 years of service as chair.  

Congratulations D17 Goodwill Ambassadors 2020​

Ashley Erwin

Ashley Erwin
El Paso Unit 159 Nominated by Steve Nordberg
Although Ashley is fairly new to the bridge scene, he has stepped in to help where and when needed, serving on the local board and chairing tournaments. As president, he has handled routine and problem issues with equal enthusiasm. Setting up unit emails for club news and other information such as traffic alerts has enhanced our club experience. He has established rapport with the Las Cruces Unit and shares their information. Of equal note, his research has enabled us to have additional unit championships so that we all have a chance to earn more points. He was also instrumental in establishing a Saturday 299’er game to stimulate interest for newer players. More importantly, he is a “friendly fellow” and willingly plays with all players regardless of rank. Criticism is not in his vocabulary.

Eileen Utter

Eileen Utter
Mesa Unit 351 Nominated by Lakin Hines
Eileen is friendly and hard working and strives to help others improve and enjoy the game. Eileen has been the coordinator of the Unit 351 novice/mentor program since 2006. As the coordinator, Eileen receives applications filled out by novices and then pairs each with a suitable mentor. She takes her duties seriously and strives to fill all requests with qualified mentors. For several years, Eileen has dedicated herself to assisting with partnership requests for the Sun Lakes Duplicate Bridge Club. In 2011, she was elected to the Unit 351 board and served as president from 2013 to 2015. Eileen is someone to emulate.

Anne Marie Harrington

Anne Marie Harrington
Phoenix Unit 354 Nominated by JoAnne Lowe
Anne Marie was an active Unit 354 board member for at least nine years. During that period, she was our partnership chairperson for all tournaments and a co-sponsor of our mentoring program. Between working the partnership desk and playing almost daily she knows most of the newer, local Scottsdale players. She encourages and puts new players at ease. At the bridge table, she smiles and greets both friends and opponents. Her love of bridge and people are evident. Anne Marie is an excellent ambassador for bridge.

Joe Green

Northern AZ Unit 355 Nominated by Bill Phillips

Joe has been a bridge player for many years, partnering with accomplished players and making his way to Silver Life Master through successful tournament and club play. Several years ago, he and his wife relocated from Flagstaff to Sedona, AZ. He now plays in nearly every session at the Sedona Bridge Center. Since that move he has devoted himself to partnering with less experienced players, serving as a gentle mentor and helping many individuals earn masterpoints. He is a treasured member of the Sedona Bridge Center who brings much joy and pleasure to all.

Joyce Honorof

Joyce Honorof

Tucson Unit 356 Nominated by Steve Reynolds

Four years ago, Joyce retired from her professional practice as an internist. She discovered bridge which excited and captivated her. After some beginner lessons, Joyce and her colleague, Barbara Starrett, realized the need for organized duplicate bridge games for new players living north of Tucson. They borrowed equipment, practiced ACBLscore, became ACBL directors and started the Small Slams Bridge Club, an ACBL sanctioned invitational club for 749’ers in SaddleBrooke, AZ. Joyce, although a new player herself, became an ACBL Certified Bridge Teacher and focused on teaching beginners.

After the Bridge Center of Greater Tucson closed, Joyce joined a steering committee to continue playing options in north Tucson and the Northwest Tucson Bridge Club was born.

Joyce remains an active volunteer director in both Small Slams Bridge Club and the Northwest Tucson Bridge Club, and is now a Virtual BBO director as well. Most importantly, she continues to be an avid player and ambassador of encouragement for anyone wanting to share in this invigorating experience we call bridge. Joyce is enthusiastic, positive and dedicated to bringing people to the game. “Joyce is the glue of the bridge community in Tucson,” stated a local player. “She is an outstanding ambassador for bridge.”

Elly Larson

Ellie Larson

Denver Unit 361 Nominated by Jennifer O’Neill

I have nominated Elly because she has done so much for our Denver bridge community. Elly is supportive of newer players and supports the unit by hosting numerous events.

Since the stay at home orders began, Elly is running online games for local clubs.

She has bent over backwards to accommodate all the requests for help in using BBO and has adjusted her schedule based on requests from members.

Elly began playing bridge in college but got hooked on duplicate after a friend asked her to try it and they won five MPs.

After taking over a failing club in 2017, she revived the club with a zero-tolerance policy.

Elly considers running the bridge club a hobby, not work.

In her limited free time, Elly spends it with her husband, Eric, and in-town granddaughter. She is a great cook and is generous in giving out her recipes.

Toby McEvoy

Las Vegas Unit 373 Nominated by Liz Hamilton

Toby is playing a key role in building the foundation for the future of duplicate bridge in Las Vegas and deserves recognition for his outstanding efforts.

Toby McEvoy is a certified ACBL teacher having completed TAP and the Best Practices programs. He is a member of the ABTA and planned to take the ACBL director’s course at the Spring 2020 NABC which was canceled due to COVID-19. He plans to do so at the first possible opportunity. He will be an excellent director.

The 2019 NABC was held in Las Vegas Nevada and Toby served on the tournament committee for three years. He attended meetings with the hotel and assisted with many other tournament decisions. His key role was as the I/N chair. He put together an outstanding team of volunteers to make sure the I/N Help Desk and Partnership Desk were friendly services that helped newer players enjoy the tournament. Player feedback was excellent. Toby took personal leave from his full time job in the IT industry to be present at the tournament each day.

Toby and his partner Christopher Hahn have established a teaching program for local I/N players. They offer classes at no cost to students and organize duplicate games with other unit players on the weekends. This gets their students comfortable at the bridge table and well prepared to play in local club games and tournaments. Many have become ACBL members.

Toby is also a talented musician and musical director. He has directed critically acclaimed shows at Spring Mountain Ranch, The Vegas Little Theatre and Faith Lutheran High School.

Gene Covington

Gene Covington
Santa Fe Unit 383 Nominated by Felicity Moore
Gene exemplifies the qualities for which District 17 established the Goodwill Committee. He is always pleasant. Gene played bridge in college at the student union. After graduation, he played socially, but his best friend was a life master who helped him learn real bridge. At one point, Gene and his partner owned a floral shop in Atlanta, Georgia; they were one of five florists for the 1996 Olympics. Later he had a long career in the oil and gas business, mostly in Dallas, but humidity was not his friend. He then moved to Santa Fe, where the bridge club’s education programs were a special attraction. When he started playing open games at the local clubs, he began wearing unusual hats, and he always makes a particular point of creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere at the table. “I have offered to help mentor and play with people starting out and I have SO many great friends who are dependable and treat me with kindness,” says Gene. “It is indeed an honor that they have given me. Simple kindness is in my DNA.”

Charles Wilkins

Charles Wilkins
Santa Fe Unit 383 Nominated by Cindy Shoemaker
Charlie recognizes that bridge is a game of social interactions where lasting friendships are made. “At club games and bridge events,” states Charlie, “I notice players happily milling around, chatting with each other, and obviously looking forward to the game. I knew that losers would outnumber winners by 10 to one or more, so it was clear to me that the social and friendship aspects of the game are very important” Charlie keeps the atmosphere at the table friendly and pleasant and subscribes to the Aileen Osofsky ACBL Goodwill Committee slogan — “It is nice to be important, but more important to be nice” Charlie has been the Santa Fe Unit 383 president since 2019. While he always likes to find the least expensive yet effective way to carrying out any task, he strives to make all activities as enjoyable as possible for all players. Expanding the definition of goodwill during these unprecedented times, Charlie has been instrumental in bringing online bridge to Santa Fe — keeping players engaged and in the game. At present, Santa Fe offers ACBL virtual club games during every one of its traditional F2F time slots. I have had the pleasure of meeting with Charlie on several occasions. It was apparent early on that he is committed to moving bridge forward. He is a big picture thinker who values players, education and the need to maintain and enhance communication.

Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith
Laramie Unit 422 Nominated by John Grossmann
Sharon brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm to duplicate bridge, supports the players and enhances her bridge community. Sharon moved to Steamboat Springs, CO in 1994 and helped Elaine Gilbertson restart a local bridge club. Soon she became active in local club operations as a director. In 2018, Sharon organized a highly successful 18 table Learn Bridge in a Day class held at a community center. She is also developing online bridge classes through a local college. When the covid pandemic hit Colorado, Sharon made a compelling case to BBO about pioneering a virtual club game in a rural setting. Not just one session, but three well- attended sessions a week of virtual bridge. Sharon is extremely pleasant and a wonderful ambassador for our game, all from a person who skis, bikes, hikes, snowshoes and golfs in her beloved Steamboat.