AJB icon Atlanta Junior Bridge


Patty Tucker

I began playing bridge in 1965 at the age of eleven and played in my first tournament a year later.

A familiar face at national and regional tournaments, I earned national recognition upon winning the North American Open Pairs National Championship with my long-time partner, Kevin Collins.

During the last thirteen years, I have devoted more time to teaching. Though I still enjoy playing, there is a deep satisfaction in passing on to others my joy in the game of bridge.

Major Accomplishments:

Theresa Bell

James R. Brown

Carole Budnick

Carole Budnick, an educator by profession after receiving a Master's degree from Emory University, returned to duplicate bridge after taking a 16 year hiatus to raise two sons. She is currently a silver life master with an active involvement in the national teachers organization, ABTA (American Bridge Teachers Association). For continuing education, she attends the ABTA's summer convention yearly. She is also an ACBL Accredited Teacher as well as an ACBL director. In her spare time she teaches on such cruise ships as Holland America, Radisson of the Seven Seas and Crystal.

Carole got serious about her bridge teaching in 1993. She has built a very large and successful business in the Atlanta area. Her students come from such areas as Buckhead, Northlake, midtown/Virginia Highlands, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Her contagious enthusiasm, strong teaching skills and knowledge of the game have made her a very popular choice for students.

Jenni Carmichael

Barbara Chapman

Karen Christian

Karen, a recently retired Fulton County teacher, had often considered starting a bridge club in the middle school where she worked, teaching the game of bridge to young people. Atlanta Junior Bridge has provided her with an opportunity do exactly that. She strongly believes that a game such as bridge, that utilizes deductive and inductive reasoning powers, memory and recall, and problem solving skills, provides students of the game with more than just an enjoyable pastime. As these young bridge players mature and become adults, they will have acquired a true life skill, one which will keep them actively thinking and at the same time, will provide them with a great deal of pleasure wherever their lives may take them.

Karen learned to play bridge in high school from her parents, and actually met her husband, Ralph, at a bridge game. Until her father passed away, her favorite bridge teammates were her parents and her husband. In addition to playing bridge, Karen volunteers as a coordinator for Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association and transcribes children’s books and textbooks into Braille as a member of the Atlanta Braille Volunteers. She and her husband have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. And guess what? She is teaching her grandchildren to play bridge!

Maggie Corrigan

I began playing "party" bridge in college and continued while raising my family. In 1990 I played duplicate bridge at a club in Atlanta, meeting my future husband, Doug, at the bridge table.

I am a Registered Nurse in the Emory Healthcare System, working full time as an operating room nurse for over 24 years.  I have two sons and four grandchildren.  But there is always time for bridge!  I enjoy assisting in the AJB classes, watching the children wonder at the hands, the strategies.  I am excited to be a part of them learning a life-long hobby.

I am a Life Master and an ACBL Accredited Teacher.

Arjun Dhir

Virginia Dixon

Barbara Douglas

James Dover

Carolyn Eckert

Carolyn Eckert, a retired social worker, played some duplicate bridge in the mid 70’s while working and raising a family.  She returned to the game in 2000, won the Mini-McKenney award the following year for the most masterpoints earned in her category and attained Life Master within 20 months.  She currently holds the rank of Silver Life Master.

With both her children in school, Carolyn returned to college in 1977 to earn her undergraduate degree at Penn State University while her husband Lee, partner in life, bridge, and bridge teaching achieved his graduate degree.

Carolyn began teaching bridge in April 2005 with three 4th grade students at Ocee Elementary School in Alpharetta.  That has already grown to 41 students in 4th and 5th grades.  Four of her students participated in the first Junior Game held at the North American Bridge Championships in Atlanta in July 2005.  Recently, Carolyn organized an online bridge team match between her students and four youngsters from an elementary school in Germany.

Carolyn was formerly Secretary of Atlanta Junior Bridge, Inc. and has been Secretary of the Duplicate Bridge Association of Atlanta for the past three years.

Carolyn is an ACBL Accredited Teacher.

Lee Eckert

Lee Eckert, a retired Engineer and Sales person, started playing duplicate bridge in the early 70’s but then quit due to job and family. He started playing again in April of 2000,  currently holds the rank of Silver Life Master and is an ACBL Accredited Teacher and Certified Director.

Lee’s career was in Technical Ceramics with a MS from Penn State University. Currently he assists his wife Carolyn in teaching children from their home as part of the AJB team.

Joe Gallagher

I grew up in a small town (4,000 people) in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. At age 19 my parents, both bridge players, encouraged me to take bridge classes at our local community college. I began playing bridge as a partner with my father and have been enjoying the game for more than four decades.

Bridge enabled me to: meet interesting new people while I was stationed in Seoul, Korea for 13 months; have an instant social outlet when moving into new communities; and make life-long friends that I otherwise would never have had an opportunity to meet. Bridge is a very inclusive game. People of different sexes, economic levels, races, religions, and nationalities actively play this game around the world. I have always loved that about this game and it has provided me with a cornucopia of wonderful experiences.

I have a BS in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. My work career was primarily with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service in Atlanta, Georgia, working with Child Nutrition Programs in the Southeast Region. Being a recent retiree, I am having fun: playing more bridge, volunteering with the Atlanta Preservation Center conducting historical tours of the Grant Park neighborhood, taking classes at Emory University, and traveling. I look forward to playing a role in the education and fun of future junior bridge players.

I am a bronze life master and an ACBL Accredited Teacher.

Evelyn Gilliard

A retired college professor in Early Childhood and a Gifted Education Consultant, Evelyn believes in the value of learning bridge for children. A Silver Life Master and ACBL Accredited Teacher, she hopes to share her love of bridge with her students.

Nicolas Hammond

Nicolas Hammond learned the game as a teenager but normal life took over. He restarted in February 2002 and is now a Silver Life Master, an ACBL Accredited Teacher, a certified club director. He is involved in the computer/Internet security business.

In 2005, Nicolas won the Sally Young Life Master Pairs National event. He has had consistently high finishes in national and regional events. For the last two years, his team has had the highest place finish of any Georgians in the main Atlanta regional event. In 2003-2005 he finished first in his category in the Unit Mini-McKenney races. In 2006, his team won the Micro-Spingold National event.

Nicolas teaches bridge to 7-11 year olds at Lovett as part of their after school program. He is married with three children. His 7 year old son has been playing for two years and has played at national tournaments. His 5 year old daughter is learning and his 4 year old son is learning the names of the suits. One day he hopes to field his own Swiss team!

Nicolas is on the board of the Duplicate Bridge Association of Atlanta (DBAA) and on the board of Unit 114 (most of Georgia).

Nicolas helps with the online database and manages the email list for AJB.

Gladys Hardcastle

Before moving to Atlanta, I lived in Los Angeles, California, with my husband, Kenneth, and our three children. I had earned my Masters in Library Science from UCLA, and worked as a Senior Librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library. While there, I played a little social bridge and dabbled in duplicate.

After moving to Atlanta in 1999, I worked as a Principal Librarian with DeKalb County Public Library. Upon retirement in 2001, I began to play the challenging game of duplicate bridge in earnest. At first I played exclusively with my husband. We became Life Masters together at the end of 2001. Shortly afterwards, with the help of many good partners, I advanced to the rank of Silver Life Master, and am now I am well on my way to reaching my ultimate goal of Gold Life Master.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Atlanta Junior Bridge students. As a librarian in Los Angeles, I had run a chess club for teens and know the satisfaction that comes from teaching kids a game that thoroughly engages the mind.

Bette Hardin

Bette is a veteran bridge player with over twenty years of experience, the last seven of those playing duplicate. A member of many bridge organizations, her greatest enjoyment comes from helping others learn the game she loves.

Bette began her teaching career volunteering with a group of seniors who had no previous experience with bridge. She is now teaching juniors from the ages of 9 to 16 and loving it!

She serves as a volunteer with the Prison Ministry, the Atlanta Food Bank and is a dedicated elder in her Presbyterian church.

John Hassett

John Hassett is a recently retired engineer. He took up bridge again about four years ago after a 25-year hiatus. In the past four years he has amassed more than 1200 masterpoints, achieving the rank of Silver Life Master along the way.

In July 2006, his team won a national championship, the 0-1500 Spingold Knockout Teams, at the Chicago North American Bridge Championships.

Barbara Heller

I began playing bridge in 1967 but did not play in a tournament until Gatlinburg of 1983 where I won 23.50 gold points in my first major event. From then on, I was hooked on tournament bridge. I became a major volunteer in the bridge community running many local and regional tournaments. After my marriage to Bob Heller in 1992 and moving to Atlanta from Knoxville, Tennessee, I began to think about teaching bridge to students in the schools where I worked. I helped start a nonprofit organization called Bridgeatschools and was instrumental in developing a curriculum tied around math standards, social skills standards and higher-order thinking skills. I have been using this curriculum to teach students at Henderson Middle School since 2001.

Major Accomplishments:

Roz Howell

Roz is an ACBL Accredited Teacher, a certified Director, and a bronze Life Master.  "I learned to play bridge as a child, but took up duplicate only four years ago.  I am pleased to be able to share my joy of bridge by volunteering and teaching."

Diana Hughes

Diana grew up around bridge but never played with anyone outside her family until she organized a social bridge game and class for some co-workers in 1999. Dabbling with online bridge, she finally took the plunge into duplicate in 2002, made life master in eighteen months, and hasn't looked back. Today, she plays as often as she can, mentoring new players and continuing to learn the greatest game in the world.

Semi-retired from a career in Information Architecture and User Experience Design, Diana most recently worked on GameTap, a video game jukebox service produced by Turner Entertainment. Diana assists AJB with various graphic design projects, primarily brochures, buttons, and banners.

Queen Jackson

Richard Jeng

Bob Jones

I have been playing bridge in the Atlanta Area since the late 1980s. I now regularly play at tournaments. My recent accomplishments include winning a regional event in Birmingham and qualifying to play in the North American Open Pairs in Detroit. I enjoy my role teaching and am proud of the accomplishments of our program. I live with my wife, Carol, of 20 years and my two sons in Acworth, GA.

Sheila Katz

As a newly minted Life Master, Sheila enjoys teaching beginners the game of bridge. Sheila relocated to Atlanta from Chicago in 2007, and was very impressed with the duplicate bridge that Atlanta offers. Sheila and her husband, Jeff, retooled their bridge game and dived into playing bridge regularly. Sheila continues to study and improve her own game while helping teach the juniors.

Sheila's background includes being at stay-at-home mom for most of the last two decades. Sheila's work background includes working as a mechanical engineer, a patent attorney, a software trainer and a technical writer. Sheila has also had experience working with children at her own children's school and church activities. Happily, both of Sheila's sons will occasionally play bridge with her, or even better, the boys team up against their parents. Sheila finds that teaching bridge to interested learners like our juniors is fun and rewarding.

Evelyn Lewis

Nancy Lucas

Sam Marks

Sam Marks is an Emerald Life Master and an ACBL accredited bridge teacher. Since moving to Atlanta in 1986, he has been a constant presence in local, regional and national bridge tournaments. In 2005 he came very close to winning a national championship, placing second in the Wernher Open pairs.

Sam started teaching bridge 5 years ago, after being asked to run the Atlanta Senior Olympics bridge competition. Over this time he has taught juniors, adults and seniors. Currently he is running classes at both Dunwoody United Methodist Church and Temple Sinai. He also offers small group lessons.

Major Accomplishments:

For more information on classes, visit www.sammarksbridge.com, call Sam at 770-354-6033 or email sam@sammarksbridge.com.

Maureen McGuire

Jacqueline McLoyd

Jane Melby

Jane Melby, the mother of two college-age daughters, spent her children’s childhood years involved as Scout Leader (2 troops), Room Mom, Library Mom, Team Mom, and Sunday school teacher. Her passion for working with children and the game of bridge led to her involvement with Atlanta Junior Bridge.

Jane works part-time in public accounting and only needs gold points for her Life Master.

Allison Milhem

I began playing party bridge in the mid-1980s and loved the game. In 1999, I discovered duplicate bridge and never looked back! I have enjoyed the mental stimulation and the social opportunities ever since. I'm now a Bronze Life Master.

I work for an international insurance broker, in the Reinsurance division. It sure would be nice to be retired though so I could play bridge more often...

Marty Nathan

Marty Nathan is a semi-retired CPA who began teaching bridge several years ago while living in Hilton Head, SC. He now is a popular teacher in the Atlanta area. He played his first duplicate game as a teenager but gave up competitive bridge before college. After a long break he resumed duplicate bridge in 2000. He won the Georgia Open Pairs in 2004 with fellow AJB teacher Maureen McGuire and was District 7 champion in the 2001 Instant Matchpoint Game. His team finished second in the 2005 Mini-Spingold held at the 2005 Atlanta NABC.

Marty’s contributions to local bridge go beyond AJB. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Duplicate Bridge Association of Atlanta. He is currently secretary of ACBL Unit 114, which covers most of Georgia. In 2005 District 7 of the ACBL chose Marty as a member of its Goodwill Committee. He also is an ACBL Accredited Teacher and popular local ACBL club director.

Marty lives in Sandy Springs with his wife Patty. They have two grown sons; Marty’s biggest bridge regret is that neither plays his favorite game!

Dorothy Placide

Doug Roberts

Doug Roberts is an Atlanta native who plays regularly at the Roswell Duplicate Bridge game. He has been a player at various games in the Atlanta area since 1981.

He lives in Woodstock with his wife Paula and son Cameron. Doug is an active member of his church where he currently serves as Finance Elder, sings baritone, and facilitates a Bible Study on Sunday evenings.

A graduate of Georgia Tech BS Management Science (1978) and Kennesaw State MBA (1988), he is employed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics where has worked as an Industrial Engineer since 1981.

Quote: "I love the game of duplicate bridge. No matter the cards dealt, I'm competing against players that have held the same cards, good or bad! The challenge is to be constantly learning yourself and at the same time be willing to nurture new players in the art of bidding, defending, and declarer play."

Ashish Shah

Lola Sliom

We were all born and raised in South Africa and we came to the United States in 1977.

I played duplicate in South Africa, but when we came to the United States I started from scratch. I am a Bronze Life Master and an ACBL Accredited Teacher and Director.

I enjoy teaching and have done so for many years. In El Paso Cyril and I started a mentoring program which is flourishing.

We teach on cruises and have done so for about 5 years.

Josh Small

Josh is a Bronze Life Master who has worked in a variety of occupations including accounting, computer support, business, and teaching. "I love the game of bridge primarily because of the opportunity it affords me to socialize with fun, interesting, and energetic people. I am delighted at having the opportunity to introduce young people to a potentially life-long avocation that will both give them the opportunity to make great new friends and help them sharpen their math, memory, and logic skills."

Nancy Smith

I started playing bridge when friends needed a warm body to fill in, played a little party bridge for a few years but stopped playing altogether as life and family took the forefront.

Then I moved to Atlanta. Five years ago I wandered into a store front that read "Bridge Club" and never looked back.

I became a "life master" almost two years ago and "bronze life master" near the end of 2005. I am planning on taking the ACBL Teacher Certification course and have already completed my training as a certified Director.

I find working with children a joy and hope to continue to teach them the game I love for years to come.

Barbara Soza

I am a life-long whist player, but discovered bridge shortly after taking early retirement in 2001. I now love the game of bridge because it helps my memory and affords me the opportunity to meet and socialize with an array of interesting people. I am now introducing young people to this great game that will also give them the opportunity to meet new friends, sharpen their math, memory, and social skills. I started teaching bridge during the summer of 2006 and continue to work with students in after-school programs. I enjoy the game immensely and look forward to many years of playing and teaching.

Richard Starr

Richard learned bridge in his youth at the knee of his grandmother. He attained further bridge education during several of his many college years. The high point of these years was a 49'er win at the 1986 Atlanta North American Bridge Championships (He even got a trophy!).

After this victory, Richard eschewed a professional bridge career and took a sabbatical to concentrate on school and work. In 2004, a co-worker innocently mentioned he had played bridge before and was whisked immediately to the ADBC. Richard has not stopped playing since. He became a Life Master in 2006 and a certifiable ACBL teacher in 2007.

Richard currently is teaching a class to Georgia Tech students on Monday nights at the Student Center (Tell your friends!). The more he gets to teach the less he gets to make his partners suffer ...

Allean Strickland

Sim Turner

Joanne Urvan

I have lived in Georgia since 1983 with my husband and four children. We lived in Dunwoody for one year and then moved to Roswell. I own my own interior landscape business.

I have played bridge since 1956 in both college and while working doing chemical, spectrographic and metallurgical analysis for private companies. My teacher earned a master's degree at 18 years old and was a strict taskmaster but taught Goren.

Having played on and off over these many years both duplicate and social, last year I decided to take lessons to update my knowledge.

As an individual and a family, we have been involved in many volunteer activities including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Recycling Center, the Equestrian Center, PTA programs, the library, the Master Gardeners, the election process, and now teaching young children a game I love. I believe life-long learning keeps you vibrant and working with children a joy.

Semmes Van Brocklin

Charles Walker, Jr.

Nancy Watkins

I started playing Bridge in 1997. I held a semi monthly game in my house for 2 years called "giggle bridge." It was sure a lot of fun, but very little skill. I stumbled into a Duplicate Bridge game in Alpharetta early in 1999, and the rest, as they say, is history. I quickly became a club director and in 2002 became an ACBL tournament director. I am currently working my way up to becoming a full time tournament director. In the meantime, I still play a lot of Bridge, and teach some out of my house in Cumming Georgia.