About the TGA
The TGA runs three major tournaments each year - Origins, Gen Con, and Railcon - and sanctions others. The TGA is a non-profit organization overseen by a Board of Directors. The Board has established this structure to run its tournaments:
MAJOR TOURNAMENT SENIOR LEADERSHIP (Senior Tournament Directors):
These Senior Directors work closely together to manage convention and sponsor relations, all volunteer activities, and all aspects of the TGA’s tournament preparation and on-site operations. They assist and back each other up in these roles.
Trella Bromley is the Senior Director of Tournament Operations. This position has primary responsibility for the operational side of establishing and running our major tournaments.
Jeff Jackson is the Senior Director of Tournament Systems. This position has primary responsibility for the rules, systems and processes by which tournaments are run and games are organized and played.
CONVENTION LEADERSHIP (Head Conductors):
Each tournament has a Head Conductor, appointed annually and overseen by the Senior Directors. Head Conductors have autonomy as to logistics and management of their conventions, within guidelines established by the Tournament Systems and Rules Committees.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS (beyond Origins, Gen Con, and Railcon):
Phil Cottrell, our Regional Tournament Manager, is in charge of sanctioning conventions that wish to run an official Puffing Billy Tournament or other sanctioned events. He is assisted by Debbie Gutermuth. They have information about becoming a conductor, getting started, and sanctioning a PBT, modified PBT, or other TGA affiliated train game tournament. If you represent a local convention that might be interested in running a TGA-sanctioned event, please talk to Debbie or Phil, or ask one of our Volunteers how to get in touch with them.
TOURNAMENT SPONSORSHIPS AND SPONSOR RELATIONS:
Trella Bromley, Ken Gutermuth and Jeff Jackson currently manage TGA Sponsor Relations. Please contact one of them if you are interested in sponsoring a tournament at our major conventions, or supporting the TGA in other ways.
FORMAL TGA ORGANIZATION:
The Train Gamers Association is a non-profit corporation, overseen by a Board of Directors. The Board is elected by the Voting Membership, which is a subset of the general TGA membership.
OFFICERS: Chairman (Ken Gutermuth), President (Bart Pisarik), Treasurer (Chris Meyer), Secretary (Ken Bachman)
2019 BOARD: Ken Bachman, Trella Bromley, Chip Charnley, Ken Gutermuth, Jeff Jackson, Chris Meyer, Justin Moul,
Bart Pisarik, Brian Tipper
VOTING MEMBERS: Ken Bachman, Dave Beery, David Belew, Trella Bromley, Anthony Carver*,
Chip Charnley, Phil Cottrell, Tammy Fiala, Debbie Gutermuth, Ken Gutermuth, Ed Hewlett*,
Charles Hooks, Brian Humphreys, Jeff Jackson, Michael Jacobs, Kevin Jaekley, Cathy Lizama,
Chris Meyer, Dave Mitton, Justin Moul, Cheryl Orosz*, Bart Pisarik, John Puddifoot*, Daniel Schuster
Richard Sheaves-Bein, Al Stiles*, Dave Thornburg, Brian Tipper, Eric Verheiden, Wayne Williams*
*Past Board Member
If you have questions about the organization, please ask any of the Voting or Board Members.
An Abridged History of the TGA
In 1989, a small but fanatical group of train gamers in Denver, CO, created a competition to determine the best train gamer in their group, which became the first Puffing Billy® Tournament. They presented their rules to the Denver Gamers Association who agreed to host a PBT at a local gaming convention. That same year, Dean Washburn took the PBT to Origins in L.A. where it drew the attention of Darwin Bromley from Mayfair Games, Inc., an avid train gamer and designer. Darwin immediately saw the potential for the PBT and agreed to support the formation of a club which became the nonprofit organization known as the Train Gamers Association (TGA). The TGA acquired all rights to the PBT from the original committee, and began offering the tournaments around the country.
The TGA was initally supported heavily by Mayfair, but we have always had a policy of running all train games which our members want to play, regardless of manufacturer. We are proud to count Mayfair, Rio Grande Games, and Days of Wonder as long-time sponsors of multiple TGA tournaments for more than ten years. We are also happy to have sponsorship agreements with Catan Studios, Z-Man Games, R&R Games, and APE Games.