Hall Of Fame

Rich Arendts

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Rich has served as his local league President for a number of years. He is also very instrumental in helping his local Charter with numerous Tournaments and has been a Certified VNEA Referee since 2016. In 2023, Rich was very proud to be invited to be a Referee at the Las Vegas World Championships. He looks forward to serving many more years as a world-class referee.

Quote: It’s a great honor to be inducted into the prestigious VNEA Hall of Fame that many of my peers have been inducted into. I love running tournaments because it gives me great pleasure to look out at the players and see them smiling and enjoying the sport we all love. Rich’s favorite quote is, “I would rather run a tournament than play in one”. I would like to thank my wife, Bev, for supporting me throughout my career and allowing me to do what I love.

Nigel Bennett

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, Alberta

Since 2016, Nigel has been at the helm of the Wal-Mac Pool League system helping them expand their already hugely successful league program. He has also served as his team’s Captain while earning Divisional trips to the World Championships. Nigel has been a Certified Referee since 2012 and is also a VNEA Certified Instructor. He has served on the Mini-Tournament Staff at the Vegas event and has become extremely proficient with the CompuSport League Software Program.

Quote: I would like to thank my Charter Holder, Elmar Klapstein, for helping with my professional development. Without he and Scott Morgan (VNEA President), I would not have accomplished what I have in the VNEA. Also, my favorite cue manufacturer and personal go to cue is Predator.

Jeremy Fedkenheuer

Charter: Bullseye, Inc. • Madison, WI

Since joining the VNEA, Jeremy has been Captain of many League and Tournament Teams through the years and is always willing to help others with their games. Known for his strong play and sportsmanship, Jeremy’s teams have accumulated many first place finishes in his local leagues and tournaments. He has also won over a dozen titles at the Wisconsin State Championships. Over the last 15 years at the World Championships, Jeremy has earned numerous Charlie’s, a 1st Team All-Star nod as well as an All-Star Honorable Mention. In 2018, he won the Men’s Master 9-Ball title in Vegas and about twenty minutes later, his wife, Ronda, won the Women’s Intermediate 9-Ball event just a few tables away! Ronda and Jeremy also won a World title in 2019 in Master Scotch Doubles.

Quote: I am proud to be involved with the VNEA. Their support of the players, including the Juniors, is an important part of keeping pool strong. The VNEA World Championships is a great event that brings league players from across the world together.

Rob Mattson

Charter: Dean Vending • Minneapolis, MN

Rob has served as Team Captain for many teams in both North Dakota & Minnesota. He has also helped build VNEA League and Tournament play in his area and now owns and operates his own billiard service company. Rob has won multiple State titles in both Singles and Team events in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is also a multi-time VNEA World Champion and competes fearlessly for titles each and every year!

Quote: VNEA has been a huge part of my pool career. I remember walking into the Tournament Room for the first time in Vegas at 21 years old and seeing all those tables... it took my breath away and I knew that this was something I would be doing for a very long time. VNEA has allowed me to meet so many people along the way and made me the player that I am today. The relationships and memories I’ve gained through the VNEA are priceless. The stories are endless! Also, a big shout out to Jacoby Cues who I’ve been with for almost 20 years!

Janis Ogawa

Charter: Inglis Coin Machine • Boise, ID

Janis has been an active and accomplished pool player for decades. She has served as Captain and Co-Captain in several leagues and has been named Top Shooter and won numerous VNEA League titles. Janis has also captured several titles at the  Idaho State Championships throughout the years. And she has had a stellar career at the VNEA World Championships starting in 1992 where her Women’s Regular Team struck gold. That same year, Janis also won the Regular Scotch Doubles with partner Curtis Hudson. She’s also had many other top finishes in Singles including winning the Women’s Classic 8 and 9-Ball division titles at the 2019 World Championships. That particular 8-Ball match was one of her most memorable matches since she was playing longtime friend and frequent teammate Kim Anderson.

Quote: I would like to thank the VNEA and Inglis Coin Machine for facilitating League and Tournament play. The Pocket in Boise, Idaho is my local pool room. Owner’s Heather and Wayne Earl support and promote league play, sponsor tournaments and hold many fundraisers for those in need.

Dave Rogers

Charter: Capitol City Pool • Cheyenne, WY

Dave served as Captain of numerous pool teams throughout the years. He was a strong promoter of VNEA in Salmon, Idaho and Cheyenne, Wyoming. He began Refereeing in 1989 with Frank Frye. He graciously taught the VNEA Certified Referee School at the Regional, State and International levels. In the early days, Dave helped start the Salmon River Spring Classic. In 2013, he was also recognized with the “Gordon McDonald Award” as the Best Sportsman across the pool league. He also won the “Presidential Award For Top Shooter” during the 2013-14 League Season with Cheyenne Music & Vending. One of his most memorable moments was capturing a 1st Place Charlie in 2015 in the Sportsman’s Division with his team “So There’s That”.

Quote: Dave played an integral part in promoting, teaching, refereeing and playing VNEA Leagues in Salmon, Idaho and Cheyenne, Wyoming. He loved playing the game and was one of the most respected and fun players in all of our region. Everyone was a friend.

Dusty Lovelace

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

As a Master player in D & R’s local league, Dusty has accumulated several titles including the 2006 MOMA AA State Team title. He has also served as a Referee at VNEA’s Junior Championships and for many local and State Tournaments. Dusty also served as President of his league for 6 years and was always willing to do whatever he could to improve his local league system. He’s played in over 15 VNEA International Championships beginning in 1990 at The Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He had the pleasure of carrying the USA flag at the Vegas event and years later his daughter was also able to experience carrying the flag in 2017.

Quote: I am honored to be a part of the VNEA and D & R Star Pool Community for 35 years. Everyone in this community is like family to me. It’s amazing seeing my own kids and all of the youth that have grown and gotten better at pool throughout the years. Thank you to my family and friends that supported me throughout my career.

Jason Kane

Charter: BMW Billiards • Las Vegas, NV

As a young teenager growing up in England, Jason played in and won many Snooker Tournaments. Once in the United States, Jason joined local leagues and served as Captain of many teams. As an accomplished player, he enjoys helping players of every skill level improve their games. In 1999, Jason’s team “Blackie’s Billiards” won the Open Regular Team title at the VNEA World Championships. He also won the 8-Ball Intermediate Singles title in 2013. Jason has always had a knack for both Artistic Pool and Speed Pool events and has won many competitions throughout his career. Meeting Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman and Dave “Ginger Wizard” Pearson are among his most fondest memories.

Quote: VNEA is family. I look forward to seeing all the VNEA Staff and Charter Holders every year at the VNEA World Championships. A highlight for me is the “Parade of Flags” at the Team Opening Ceremonies. Thanks to the VNEA I’ve made lifelong friends from all around the World. A special thanks to my Charter, Judy Mehle.

Lonnie Fox Raymond

Charter: Pioneer Vending • Union City, MI

Lonnie is a very skilled and accomplished pool player with multiple Women’s and Open League Championships. At the State level, she has numerous Michigan, Ohio and Indiana State titles. Most recently in 2022, at the Michigan State Championships, she was able to capture titles in both the Men’s Master 8-Ball and 9-Ball Divisions. This was very special to her since this had been her goal for many years. On the VNEA World Championships stage, Lonnie is always in the mix. In 2011, her team “Answer That” won the Women’s Intermediate Division title and in 2022, her team “Chop Suey” won the Women’s Masters Division title.

Quote: I’ve had so much support from our local league players, coordinators, tournament director’s and most importantly my family. I’ve been blessed with the talent that has allowed me to travel and compete against so many amazing people. Thank you to Pioneer Vending and VNEA for giving me the opportunity.

Martin Deschamps

Charter: Rezotek - Techno Jeux • Quebec, QC

After 15 years in the VNEA, Martin and his partner successfully merged the Quebec Leagues to create the largest Operator-based League System in the Province. Martin has helped organize the Quebec Invitational which brings together league players from across Canada and Maine. He has also organized several Regional Tournaments throughout the seasons. Martin has funded a program for local juniors to participate in leagues and tournaments. He’s been able to watch some of their league players that began in the Junior Program go on to excel in the Masters Division in Vegas. Martin’s best VNEA memories were when two teams (The Winning Stroke and The Demons) competed in the finals at the World Championships and when Fanny Giroux won the Women’s 8-Ball Intermediate Singles in 2015.

Quote: Being part of the VNEA has given me the opportunity to travel and meet so many new players. Thank you for an amazing “25 Years” in the VNEA Family!

Sir David Townsend

Charter: S & M Amusements • Dallas, TX

Since 1996 when Dave began running VNEA Pool Leagues in Dallas, TX, he was able to recruit over 1,800 league players including hundreds of teams earning his Charter multiple Golden “8” Awards. Dave has attended several VNEA Charter Holder Workshops and is one of VNEA’s most creative League Coordinators. He runs an end of the season “Top Gun” Championship for all players who won all games in a match as well as a popular “Top Gun” Golf Tournament. Dave’s participation at several VNEA World Championships hold many of his favorite VNEA memories.

Quote: Having worked for Walt Disney for 14 years, I did not think I would ever find another company of that Quality Leadership. I have stayed on as a League Coordinator since 1996 because of the Leadership at VNEA Headquarters. Mickey Mouse taught me to have FUN... there is nothing more FUN and exciting than being part of VNEA.

Tammie Kerby

Charter: Tri Valley Vending • Wasilla, AK

Tammie joined VNEA in the 1983/84 League Season with High Country Games in Laramie, Wyoming. She later became League Coordinator for A-Jacks Amusements in Denver, Colorado. She Captained a team for many years with TD Rowe and eventually moved to Alaska where she is currently the League Coordinator for Tri Valley Vending. She also helped form the first Junior League in Alaska raising enough money to send all of their players to Nationals. Tammie has had tremendous success at the World Championships placing in the money numerous times in both 8-Ball and 9-Ball. She has had several memorable times at the World Championships, but being elected to the VNEA Hall of Fame and winning the 9-Ball Sportswomen’s Singles were atop her list.

Quote: There’s not another organization that compares to VNEA and the friendships made along the way. I’m extremely honored to be part of the VNEA Family. Thank you Tri Valley Vending and all of my teammates for making this award possible. Looking forward to another 30 years!

Rick Jensen

Charter: Hustle Enterprises • Salt Lake City, UT

Rick was tapped as the first local VNEA League President/Coordinator for the 1986/87 season. He currently serves as the League Coordinator for Hustle Enterprises. Rick has won dozens of League titles and has accumulated many other Tournament titles throughout his illustrious career. He has been certified as both a VNEA Certified Referee and Instructor and has served as Tournament Director for weekly pool tournaments for over 35 years. Rick has participated in every VNEA World Championships since the 1987/88 league season. He has had many years of both Singles and Team success at the event. Walking into Bally’s in Reno for his first ever World Championships in 1988 was his favorite VNEA memory. As a young kid he was immediately hooked.

Quote: VNEA has opened doors to many friendships from around the World. I wouldn’t know all of the great people that have been on my teams, leagues or players and staff at the World Championships if not for the VNEA. It’s absolutely been life-changing.

Lew Humes

Charter: Warner Coin Machines • Erie, PA

Lew has captured titles in many local events including 8 league titles over the years. He has also won many Pennsylvania State Team and Singles Championships. As a premier VNEA Certified Referee, Lew has served as a Referee at several local and State events. He has also been a long-term Referee at the VNEA World Championships and International Junior Championships. One of his greatest memories was watching a local women’s team finish in 2nd place in the Women’s Regular Division at the 2021 Vegas Championships at Bally’s Hotel & Casino.

Quote: I have always enjoyed playing in the VNEA mostly because of the standardized rules and great competition. Warner Coin has always been there to help out when needed and they truly care about all of their league players.

Mario Daigle

Charter: Amusements Classique - QVNEA • Montreal, QC

Mario’s accomplishments at the local level have been many including several Open Tournament titles. He has also been very helpful at local and Provincial tournaments with set-up as well as Certified Referee duties. He has competed in the Vegas Championships many times throughout the years. He started off as a Regular player and through many top finishes, has played his way into the Intermediate and Master divisions. His most memorable time in his VNEA career was his teams 3rd place finish in the Master Team Division in 2007.

Quote: I am grateful to have had Marco Sanschagrin on my path to introduce me to the VNEA Pool Leagues. This experience has given me the energy to keep going in this life full of pitfalls.

Shane Van Boening

Charter: Music Service of S. Dakota • Sioux Falls, SD

Since the age of 9, Shane has participated in VNEA Pool Leagues following in the footsteps of several of his family members including his Mother (Timi Bloomberg), Aunt (Gari Jo Bloomberg) and Grandparents (Gary & Jeanie Bloomberg). Shane’s early talents were in full display in the VNEA Junior Program, but it wasn’t until he joined the adult program that the sparks really flew. In 2004 and 2005, Shane captured the Men’s Master 8-Ball title cementing his legacy at the VNEA Championships. Since then, Shane has become one of the best pool players to ever play the game earning numerous titles on the Pro Tour including Player of the Decade in 2020!

Quote: The VNEA Pool League in Rapid City was where I got my start in competitive pool. South Dakota and the Midwest had many VNEA World Champions. I grew up competing against many champions which truly helped me become one of the best players in the world. Today I am proud to be joining my Aunt, Gari Jo Bloomberg, in the VNEA Hall of Fame.

Charlie Siegel

Charter: Hustle Enterprises • Salt Lake City, UT

Charlie is consistently among the league leaders in his local program every year and has captured titles at the Utah State Tournament. He has also worked with local youth programs teaching them the rules of the different games and understanding good sportsmanship. Charlie has played pool all over the world due to his 38 year career in the U.S. Air Force. In 2005, Charlie finished high on the leaderboard in both Seniors 8 & 9-Ball events at the Vegas Championships just 7 months after suffering a tragic fall.

Quote: The VNEA in Utah has been very supportive of the Leagues and Players. Being in the billiard business, I have become good friends with many cue makers.

Jana Montour

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, AB

Jana has always been an exceptional player in the Wal-Mac League System. She currently enjoys helping the Junior League Program and constantly promotes the game that she loves. Her achievements are off the charts. She has been a Champion at every level of pool that she has been involved in. She has local league titles, WCVNEA titles and her accomplishments at the VNEA World Championships are legendary. In 2001, Jana won her first title in the Women’s Regular 8-Ball Singles event. Since that time, she has won three titles in Women’s Master 8-Ball Singles, two titles in Women’s Master 9-Ball Singles and claims a Women’s Master Team title.

Quote: VNEA has always been amazing to me. The Coordinators have always been great, knowledgeable and super friendly. I love the Valley Tables. This acknowledgement from Elmar is an honour.

Cheryl Holtegaard

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Cheryl worked in the D & R Star Pool League office for 19 years. Throughout those years, she organized several Fundraisers for local events and also helped her players prepare for both the State and Vegas events. She was very involved at the MOMA State Championships on the Tournament Staff as well as competing as a player. In 2005, Cheryl’s team travelled to Vegas for the World Championships. During one of Cheryl’s team matches, it was announced that her team played in the 2,500,000th Cumulative Tournament Match! This was truly an honor for Cheryl and her teammates.

Quote: Cheryl was given a Huebler Cue signed by Paul Huebler. She played with Huebler Cues throughout her career and was honored to have that special, signed cue. She was very proud of playing for D & R Star and in the VNEA Leagues.

Caela Henley-Huddleston

Charter: Entertainment Experts • Arvada, CO

Caela has diligently worked to promote the VNEA throughout the state of Colorado since she moved there in 1999. She began her VNEA career in the Junior Program and is now playing at the highest level as an adult. Caela has won numerous titles and top finishes in the 20+ years of playing at the VNEA World Championships in both Singles and Team events. Gravitating towards the mentoring aspect of the game, Caela has watched her local Junior Players not only capture titles at the Junior Championships, but also grow into World Champions at the illustrious Vegas event.

Quote: I wouldn’t be the player I am today without the blessing of friendships I’ve gained through my involvement with the VNEA. As a result of these friendships, I’ve been given so much... the sharing of knowledge and the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the game. The VNEA has and will always be a cherished part of my pool life.

Heather Tomkins-Nantau

Charter: Town & Country Amusement • Windsor, ON

Heather and her team have won numerous League titles and she has also had tremendous success at the Ontario Provincials. She truly enjoys teaching the local Junior players the fundamentals of the game. Heather started competing at the Vegas Championships at a young age and has taken home several Charlie’s in many different Divisions!

Quote: I am proud to have been a member of the VNEA for over 20 years through Town & Country Amusements. It has been a pleasure competing in a league system that has the player’s needs in mind. We have some of the best talent around and I appreciate all of the support these amazing shooters have shown me. I am grateful not only for all the friendships I have made through the VNEA, but also for the confidence that pool has given me. I have applied the lessons the game has taught me to my everyday life and it has helped me to be successful, even in my career. Thank you VNEA and players, BARE DOWN & SHOW THE LOVE!

Ed Hovi Jr.

Charter: BMW Billiards • Loveland, CO

Ed has achieved many League titles and MVP awards as well as racking up dozens of local Tournament titles. Ed has also been an active member of BMW’s Players Board since its inception. He has also served as Team Captain for many teams and is always willing to teach and advise fellow league members. Ed’s team has won several Rocky Mountain Team titles and he has also “cashed” numerous times at the International Championships in Las Vegas.

Quote: My claim to fame is that I have only missed one night of league play in 34 years! I enjoy helping new players develop the same love for the game as I have. I also do what I can to ensure that they all have the proper equipment in order to make their playing experience more pleasurable. BMW has been an amazing league system to be involved with.

Cat Hansen

Charter: Golden Route Operations • Billings, MT

Cat has always been a strong supporter of the VNEA at the local level by running Tournaments, teaching players as a Certified Instructor and encouraging players to get involved. She has won many league awards throughout her career as well as a title at the Montana State Championships. She also has great accomplishments at the International Championships in Las Vegas where she’s participated for over 20 years. Winning a Charlie and being able to walk on stage in Vegas was definitely a huge accomplishment for Cat and she counts it as one of her most memorable moments in VNEA.

Quote: My journey in this sport has taken me to so many places! I trained with Allison Fisher, Gerda Hofstatter, Mike Massey and Paul Potier. Sharing these valuable fundamentals and strategies with pool players over the years and encouraging them to participate in VNEA Leagues and Tournaments has been a pleasure!

Jessica Frideres

Charter: N.T.S. • Omaha, NE

When it comes to VNEA accomplishments, Jessica is at the top of the heap. She has won the Iowa State Championships numerous times in both Singles and Teams as well as the MOMA State Tournament. At the Vegas Championships, Jessica is one of the most decorated players of all time. She’s accumulated dozens of Charlie’s over the years including titles in Women’s Master Singles, Women’s Master Teams and Masters Scotch Doubles. Jessica recently attended the VNEA Junior Championships and marked it as one of her most memorable moments in the VNEA along with playing for the first time in the Dome at the Vegas event in 2010.

Quote: I would like to thank the VNEA, my league operator and all of the people that made this possible. It’s truly an honor to be a part of the VNEA as both a player and vendor.

Jo-Anne Campbell

Charter: G & G Enterprises • London, ON

A strong league player, Jo-Anne is well respected in the Ontario pool scene and is known for her contagious spirit and enthusiasm. Her league team has secured several league titles and she has also had several top finishes in both the Ontario Provincials as well as the 401 Tournaments. Jo-Anne’s team has also traveled to Vegas to claim International Gold!

Quote: I would not have been involved with VNEA and G & G Enterprises if it wasn’t for Bill and Barb Landrey and all of the influence and encouragement from Greg Sinclair. The VNEA has allowed me to play the game I love while making so many amazing friends along the way.

Dave Wells

Charter: Games People Play • Loveland, CO

In Dave’s first ten years in Colorado he won several Singles events and his team won the “A” Division title along with many other top league finishes. Dave has served as a Referee and helped run local tournaments. He has also offered lessons to anyone who asked and has tried to pass on his wealth of knowledge and experience to adults and juniors alike. Dave’s various teams from both South Dakota and Colorado have had several “Top 10” finishes at the Vegas Championships. He has also developed into a trusted cue repair technician over the past 20 years.

Quote: The VNEA has made "bar pool" much more special. When VNEA leagues first started in his area, it caught on quickly. The quality of players over the past 37 years has grown exponentially. Thank you to all the Charter Holders, players and fans who make the VNEA so special.

Garey Kirkland

Charter: SML Entertainment • Calgary, AB

As a longtime member of the SML Entertainment Pool League, Garey has accumulated numerous Tournament Championships in Alberta. Garey has had great success at the World Championships in Las Vegas even capturing a Scotch Doubles title in 1994. His team was also awarded “Best Dressed” at the 1990 event.

Quote: I started playing pool at the age of 11 and eventually joined a team with SML Entertainment. Our team traveled to Las Vegas in 1990 and have only missed one year since. I cherish the friendships that I’ve made over the past 30 years in Alberta and Las Vegas.

Brenda Hyke

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

For the past 15 years, Brenda has helped both run and organize the Youth Pool Program in Rochester. She is also an active player competing in local leagues and tournaments. She has also been an active member of VNEA Pool League Boards for both the Adult and Junior Programs. Brenda has also been a helpful hand at the VNEA Junior World Championships through the years. Whenever she attends a local or international tournament and she sees her youth players competing as adults, it makes her very proud of their sportsmanship and amazing abilities.

Quote: I appreciate all that the Hawkins family and D & R Star has done for the youth in our area. They are always there to help provide a positive atmosphere for the players.

Rich Chan

Charter: Town & Country Amusement • Windsor, ON

Rich recently captured the 2018 OVNEA Masters Team title along with many other Ontario Provincial, Ohio State and Regional and City Teamand Singles titles. He is also a member of the Windsor VNEA Hall of Fame. Rich has been Captain of many successful teams and tries to promote and grow the game of pool by mentoring and teaching the next generation of pool players. In Vegas, Rich’s Open Team (2003) and Masters Team (2007) captured the prestigious World Title. In 2007, Rich’s Intermediate Team finished 2nd, almost completing the “Triple Crown” run in each division. In the 2007 Master Team Finals, Rich’s team was down 46 balls with 6 games to play. He and his teammates ran out the last 6 games to win the title.

Quote: The best part of playing in the VNEA is the lifelong memories and friendships that I’ve made with all the people that I have competed against. The most important one is meeting my beautiful wife, Hollie, at the 2002 World Championships in Las Vegas!

Daxs Balenger

Charter: AAA • Bloomington, MN

Although Daxs has numerous D & R Star and MOMA Year-End event titles, his most meaningful accomplishments are the successes of his Junior Program. He’s promoted and taught VNEA Juniors for the past 12 years and hopes to continue to do so for the rest of his life. In 2012, Daxs and his best friends which he’s played with for a very long time, played well enough to finally get their very first “Charlie”. Daxs most memorable moments of being involved with VNEA happen every year when he walks into the Junior World Championships for the first time. He is always taken back with the emotions, pride and excitement for his players.

Quote: The VNEA has given me a platform to do two things I’ve truly loved. Play the sport I love, and will play forever, and teach the sport to our youth through the Junior Pool Program. Thank you to VNEA and my Charter, AAA, for trusting and supporting me along the way.

Steve Sones

Charter: Melodee Music • DesMoines, IA

A very accomplished local league player, Steve has several league achievements and championships. Steve’s talents have also led him to many top finishes around his region including Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. While he serves as his teams Captain and League President, Steve spends a lot of time promoting and recruiting. Steve has many years of Head Referee experience including duties as an International Referee at the Annual Vegas Championships for 25 years. His Vegas accomplishments include multiple team finishes in the money and several top 10 finishes in 8 and 9-Ball. Steve will never forget the first time Dave Pearson came to the International Championships and introduced Speed Pool to the VNEA. Steve and Frank Frye were asked to assist Dave in his first exhibition and it turned out to be an incredible memory and unforgettable experience.

Quote: Words can’t express what a great VNEA Family I belong to. My appreciation and thanks to everyone.

David Smith

Charter: Derrick Music • Charleston, WV

David’s local team has been dominate winning 15 championships including the last 11 years in a row. As team Captain, David has helped organize and contributed to many local fund-raising events. In 2000, his team captured the coveted Master Team Championship at the West Virginia State Tournament. David has been to the Int’l Championships 19 times with several top finishes including a title in the 3-Man Senior event in 2011. His most memorable moment would have to be winning the West Virginia State Championship by one point over the defending Champions.

Quote: I could never properly thank the VNEA, our team sponsor Denver Whittaker or Jerry Derrick and his family for providing the means for me to make so many friends and long-lasting memories.

Chris Glass

Charter: Superior Vending • Vadnais Heights, MN

From 1973 to the mid 1990’s, Chris went virtually undefeated in local and state Singles Tournaments. She’s been a member of her local league team that’s been unbeatable for the last 33 years. Her team has also owned the masters division at the Midwest Championships for the past 25 years. Chris has also accumulated nearly a dozen Team and Singles Titles at the VNEA World Championships. Her most memorable experience was winning their first VNEA Team title in 1985 solidifying the old adage that there is no “I” in Team and that a winning team is not composed of just great players but a unified group of members striving for the same goal.

Quote: I am pleased to join my teammate, Janene Hague, as a Hall of Fame member. So thankful for VNEA which promotes and fosters international competition and friendship. I am so glad to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Tammie George

Charter: Wyoming Amusement • Sheridan, WY

Tammie enjoys teaching rising pool players in the community how to play better pool and takes pride in watching them improve with each match and tournament. Tammie has played well at the International Championships and has made friends from all over the world. Tammie’s game has improved tremendously from her humble beginnings as a C Division player. She is currently a AAA player in her local area. She is passionate about helping build the women’s base and is always encouraging others to shoot their best. Her favorite statement is, “Not to give up”!

Quote: VNEA has helped improve the game with its standardized set of rules which makes it easy for the players to understand. My love of pool is that much stronger because of the VNEA and my Charter Holder.

Janet Anseeuw

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

A self-taught pool player, Janet consistently improved her skills through the years collecting countless awards along the way. She was always a strong performer at the coveted Great Plains Invitational. Janet was very instrumental in getting the VNEA league system up and running in greater Minnesota and Eastern South Dakota in the early 1980’s. Janet and her husband Larry worked closely with Roger and Lois Rasmussen and Dick and Dave Hawkins who were VNEA Operator Pioneers at the time. She and Larry spent many days on the road recruiting locations to get teams signed up for leagues and explain the system to them. In 1984, they got their first local teams to travel to Las Vegas for the World Championships.

Quote: VNEA allowed her to meet and get to know so many wonderful people throughout her pool playing career.

Sharen (From) Vermule

Charter: N.T.S. • Omaha, NE

Sharen was inducted into the Midwest Pool Players Association Hall of Fame in 2010 as a result of her several titles in both Master Singles and Teams. She has captured several titles in Nebraska events making her one of the strongest players in the state. She serves as Team Captain and is also a Board Member of NTS and helps on the Tournament Staff. In Vegas, Sharen has earned a number of Charlie’s while competing in Team and Singles events in the Open, Intermediate and Master Divisions. She also got married in the Tournament Room in front of a tower of Charlie’s by a league member who happened to be an ordained minister.

Quote: VNEA has been home since my first Int’l Tournament at The Riviera. It has an atmosphere of friendliness from the tournament staff as well as the players. Even more than the money and Charlie’s you can earn, are the friendships you can cultivate over the years that become your “pool family”.

Ruthie Taylor

Charter: Pioneer Vending • Adrian, MI

At the local level, Ruthie has excelled with (6) League Championships and several years as Points Leader. Her and her teams have also had top finishes at the State Tournament. Ruthie has been a League Coordinator for 19 years and has served as Secretary/Treasurer for 18 years. She is also the Tournament Director for the Michigan State Junior Tournament. Her league team has also competed admirably at the Vegas Championships. Her passion is watching her Juniors compete and then bring their knowledge and talents on to the adult leagues.

Quote: It’s been a pleasure coordinating and building leagues for both Coin-Op Services and Pioneer Vending. Many thanks to them and mostly to the players. Also, thank you to Viking Cues which has always been my cue of choice.

Bob Garza

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Bob has been playing pool for over 50 years and he still continues to love the game as much as ever. Bob has had an extremely successful pool career capturing titles in more than 150 Local, State and National Tournaments. Bob has the distinguished honor of being a 5-Time Champion of the D & R Star Masters Singles event. Tournaments have taken Bob around this great country and he treasures the friendships and experiences that he’s gained along the way. Bob loves to share his many numerous and interesting pool stories with whoever will listen and he is always willing to help out fellow players with useful hints and game improving techniques.


John Everett

Charter: M & G Services • Brookfield, OH

In his many years as a VNEA player, John has accumulated numerous League Championships, MVP’s and Sportsmanship Awards. He has served as Team Captain for 33 years, 5 years as League Coordinator and 20+ years on the OCMA Staff. He is also a state of Ohio Referee and was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Award from OCMA in 2009. John has also competed in 16 Vegas Championships. In 2010, he was chosen as the President’s Choice award winner. His favorite memory is suiting up as Charlie Cougar with Mr. Chuck Milhem in attendance.

Quote: Thank you VNEA for the opportunity to grow as a person and as a player. I’ve always loved playing in the VNEA Leagues. I feel they are the best for ALL players to sharpen their skills. A special thanks to GW Cues for all the help along the way!

Art Reekie

Charter: Tri Valley Vending • Wasilla, AK

At the age of 14, a young Art picked up his first cue in Anchorage, Alaska and has been playing ever since. That"s 75 years of pool experience! Since he started playing in the VNEA Pool League, Art has accumulated several "Top Shooter" Awards and has been the Captain of his league team for 4 years. Art has also spent a lot of time (10 years) teaching the game of pool to others. He has played pool with fellow Tri Valley Hall of Famer, Bill Breuer, for 17 years. Art is a very respected and long-time league player for Tri Valley Vending and throughout the years he's been a great all around player and Tournament participant.


Nils McConnell

Charter: V.V.S. • Lincoln, NE

Nils has obtained multiple top finishes in local Leagues and Tournaments including several League MVP"s and (3) Top 5 finishes in the Midwest Masters Singles. Nils has been a Referee for his local Charter for 21 years and has Captained one or more teams for over 25 years. He has served as a Referee at VNEA"s International Vegas Championships (including recognized as Head Referee) and the International Junior Championships for 15 years. He has also been an active Instructor for both adult and junior leagues in Lincoln. Nils has finished in the money on numerous occasions at the Vegas event and has enjoyed watching the players that he's coached finish atop the leaderboard.

Quote: Pool has played an extremely important part in my life. I have tried to give back to the sport as best I can. That I could do that with VVS and the VNEA has been extremely satisfying. I was lucky to have coached two Minor Division Teams that met in the finals at the 2012 Junior Championships.

Al Jarvis

Charter: Town & Country Amusement • Windsor, ON

With over 50 years of playing experience under his belt, Al (A.J.) has racked up many local and Provincial Team titles. He has been Captain for many teams over the years and has served as an Instructor for those players needing one-on-one lessons. A.J. is also a Certified Referee who has worked at the Vegas Championships for many years.

Quote: I pride myself in portraying Sportsmanship and treating all players with respect. I have always enjoyed helping people learn the game of pool and watching them progress. VNEA has given me the opportunity to make many new friendships that I have cherished throughout the years. I am deeply honored to be entering the VNEA Hall of Fame.

Randy Hahn

Charter: Games People Play • Denver, CO

Randy has helped Games People Play organize pool teams since 2006. His promotion helped his location, Lil"s Place, grow from 6 teams to 36 teams in just 9 years. He has also been very supportive of the local Junior League Program. Since 1992, Randy has several high finishes in the Rocky Mountain Team and Singles events as well as other regional events. His team also traveled to the Bahamas in 2008 and had a top finish. Randy has also volunteered as a Certified Referee for many Singles and Team Tournaments.

Quote: VNEA is how I met my long time friends. Even today, after 25 years, I don't know what I would do without the friendships that were created. VNEA is a place for people to become a family. I met my beautiful wife, Stephanie, at the Rocky Mountain Team Tournament in 1999.

Bob Glen

Charter: Town & Country Amusement • Windsor, ON

Bob has been very active with his local Junior Program for the past 12 years including fundraising and escorting his players to the Junior Nationals. He is also very involved with local charity pool tournaments. Bob has been Captain of the same league team for 20 years. Bob has refereed several State, Provincial and International Championships for the past 29 years. Bob has also been recognized as Head Referee at the International Championships. Bob received "Referee Of The Year" in 1997 as well as VNEA"s Lifetime Sanction Award in 2013.

Quote: I am proud to be involved with the VNEA over the past 35 years which I consider the best pool organization in the world. I'm also very proud to be with Town & Country Amusement which got me involved with refereeing.

Jack Reid

Charter: Ontario Skill Games • Scarborough, ON

As a League Coordinator, Jack continually recruits new members and helps players of all skill levels improve their game (including teaching the dynamics of the Diamond System). Jack has been Captain of numerous teams and promotes the league through various video presentations and on his Facebook page. Jack has competed in nearly every sanctioned tournament and event since joining the VNEA racking up a number of awards. He has also taken several trips to Las Vegas where he has finished in the money in both Singles and Team and has accumulated several “Charlies”.

Quote: I am looking forward to using the new on-line scoring apps and continuing to support Ontario Skill Games along with promoting VNEA Leagues to all players.

Gary Miller

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

The first time Gary asked his wife on a date 32 years ago, he took her to the finals of a D & R Star tournament. Gary joined VNEA in its infancy and has had perfect attendance for 33 years. One season alone, he shot in 17 Tournaments. This year is his 14th VNEA International event. An early officer in his hometown league, Gary and his good friend organized the first Owatonna year-end, League Banquet/Tourney 27 years ago which now is a huge 5-day event. Gary has run many benefit tournaments, submitted newspaper articles, and uses his commercial art background to create fliers for youth and adult pool events.

Quote: You don’t have to be the best, you just have to love what you do and try your best. All the hours I’ve put into the VNEA pool community has paid off in many, many lasting friendships.

Scott Davey

Charter: Games People Play • Denver, CO

Scott was one of the first VNEA League Coordinators in Colorado and the Denver-Metro area and served in that capacity for about 20 years. He currently serves as Captain of his league team. Scott was also instrumental in helping to create and promote the Rocky Mountain Singles and Team Tournaments held in Colorado and surrounding states. Scott is also a long-time and valued Statistician at the VNEA World Championships in Las Vegas. In 2010, Scott was named “Statistician Of The Year”.

Quote: As I grew from a single man to a married man and then a father of three, I helped three Charter Holders grow as well. I saw people meet while playing pool, fall in love and start families. Now I see players with kids and grandkids participating in adult and junior leagues. I take pride in being involved from the ground up in Colorado and have always run leagues with integrity, earning the respect of my players.

April Bedard Smith

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, AB

April is a very decorated player in her local league system earning nearly every award possible. She has also Captained several teams and helped her Charter with Tournament duties. She has been very successful at the Western Canadian Championships with (6) Master Team titles and (2) Runner-Up finishes. At the Vegas Championships, April has been selected to the All-Star Team numerous times. Her team has won the Women’s Master Team event an incredible (4) times and she has accumulated other Charlie’s for top finishes in 8-Ball Singles, 9-Ball Singles and Scotch Doubles.

Quote: I would like to thank Elmar Klapstein of Wal-Mac Amusements for this award. It’s an honour to be part of such a prestigious group and if there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it’s be humble when you lose and even more humble when you win.

Ted Basset

Charter: Aactive Coin • Winnipeg, MB

Ted really enjoys playing pool. He’s played in everything from the Fun Division Leagues to the competitive Vegas Division. His motto has always been, “Get out for a great night of League Pool!”. Ted, and Hall of Fame brother Bob, own Aactive Coin Machines and are very proud to have one of the largest Charters in Canada.

Quote: As a Charter Holder and Operator, the VNEA has been a catalyst for our pool leagues success as new locations call us wanting the league... it gets us in the door. Valley tables are the choice of our players and the use of electronics on the tables has helped play during off-times. All of us at Aactive strive to give our players the best “league” experience through the VNEA and our local Tournaments.

Kale Woodside

Charter: VVS • Lincoln, NE

Kale James “Woody” Woodside began playing pool in 1974, embarking on a lifetime of impact on the game. He began playing league pool in 1983 and won many local tournaments. His love for the game led to his becoming a Certified Instructor and involvement with the local Junior Program. In the 90’s, Woody began impacting pool on an international level when he became a referee. After earning a sterling reputation refereeing local and regional tournaments, Woody became the Head Referee for the VNEA International Junior Pool Tournament and a referee for the VNEA International Tournament. He was named the VNEA International Tournament “Referee Of The Year” in 2008.

Quote: The best thing about refereeing the VNEA Tournaments is seeing all the friends I’ve made over the years. It is like a family reunion. And working with the VNEA Junior Program has allowed a “sneak-peek” to the up and coming wave of shooters.

Beth Fondell

Charter: D&R Star • Rochester, MN

Beth was first sanctioned with the VNEA in 1987. She attended her first International Championships in 1988. Since that time, Beth’s accomplishments have been “off the charts”! She has accumulated over 30 titles in her local league systems and several Singles and Team titles at the State level. And get this... from the years 2000 through 2012, Beth has earned (19) Charlie Cougar Awards including four first place titles. Throughout those years, Beth played her way onto four VNEA “All-Star” Teams. She was also one of the fortunate players to get to participate in VNEA’s “3,000,000th Game Played” on June 2, 2010. This resume makes Beth one of the most decorated players in VNEA’s history.

Quote: Many thanks to VNEA for this tremendous honor and D & R Star for the nomination. From my first league to winning the VNEA International Master Team and Singles titles two decades later, it’s been a terrific ride.

Dawn Fital

Charter: Coin-Op Specialist • Adrian, MI

Serving as the Captain of several women’s and open teams, Dawn racked up numerous league titles in her region. She was also a Certified Referee. At the Vegas Championships, Dawn accumulated over a dozen sixth place or higher finishes in various divisions. She was a member of three different “All-Star” Teams (1st Team, 2nd Team and Honorable Mention). In 2011, her team Answer That captured the title in the Women’s Intermediate Team Division. Each year Dawn attended the Vegas event, her favorite part wasn’t the trophies or the winnings, but being there with her pool family and the experiences she shared with them.

Quote: Dawn and her Meucci cue played for the same Charter Holder throughout her entire VNEA career. She always enjoyed finding a fellow pool player to take under her wing to pass her knowledge on to.

Charles Castonguay

Charter: Ligue Alliance • St-Anselme, QC

A very accomplished pool player, Charles has captured titles in both the Singles and Team events at the Annual Quebec Invitational against some of the top players in Eastern Canada. Charles has traveled to New England, Wyoming, Colorado and the Bahamas to play in VNEA Tournaments racking up top finishes at every stop. In 2010, his team placed 4th in the Intermediate Division at the VNEA World Championships in Las Vegas. Charles is a Certified Referee and serves as an ambassador for his Charter Holder at many international events. He teaches beginners the game of pool and incorporates them into the VNEA League System.

Quote: Playing VNEA Leagues and Tournaments has given me the opportunity to travel, play and meet some outstanding players and friends from all over the world.

Bob Basset

Charter: Aactive Coin • Winnipeg, MB

Bob and his brother Ted own and operate Aactive Coin Machines which features one of the largest pool leagues in the VNEA system. He has helped promote the VNEA across Western Canada and especially likes developing the younger players. Bob has Captained many teams over the past 19 years and has many local accomplishments. At the Vegas Championships, Bob has had several high finishes including bringing home a coveted “Charlie” award. Bob has always felt that the best thing about the Vegas event are the people, from the organizational team to the players, it is a family atmosphere... and one BIG Party!

Quote: It has been a pleasure and an honor to be involved with a class organization such as the VNEA. Our Charter will continue to grow knowing that we have the backing of the VNEA.

Alain Lauzon

Charter: Alliance • St. Anselme, QC

Alain truly loves his sport. He has captained his team for 15 years and has competed in over 40 tournaments in his career. His team has won the Quebec Invitational four times. He has also captured titles in the Ontario Provincials and Bahamas Shootout. Alain’s great level of play at the tournament level has also carried into the Vegas Championships. He and his team have had several top finishes in the Open, Intermediate and Master Divisions. His most memorable time in the VNEA was in 2007 when his Master Team finished in third place and he and his best friends and teammates were able to walk on the stage at the Awards Banquet and receive their coveted “Charlie’s”!

Quote: When I joined the VNEA Family in 1997 with my team “Les Tigres”, I never realized that this would be the place that I would find so many good friends forever.

Barb McKinney Kuchenbecker

Charter: D & R Star • Austin, MN

Barb is part of an elite group of players who have been playing in the VNEA League System since its inception. This type of dedication to our pool league association is unparalleled. Barb is the captain of her league team and serves as Vice President of her pool league. She worked diligently for D & R Star for 25 years always promoting the VNEA and their local league program. She also served as the league secretary for many area leagues and also ran the youth pool league in Geneva for four years.

Quote: Paul Huebler is my favorite cue manufacturer and he is a sweetheart.

Gene Kapperman

Charter: BMW Billiards • Loveland, CO

Gene and his wife bought their own establishment in 1962 and it was one of the first VNEA league locations in Colorado. Gene has been a team captain since 1984 and has competed in many VNEA events over the years including several team league titles and a Rocky Mountain Singles Championship. He’s competed strongly in the International Championships including when it was held in Reno, Nevada. Gene has maintained his league status well into his retirement years. Gene now still plays VNEA leagues two nights a week. One of those nights he plays on a “3 Generation Kapperman” team with two of his sons and two of his grandson’s.

Quote: I would never have imagined playing a game that I enjoy so much would eventually result in being inducted into the prestigious VNEA Hall of Fame.

Pamela Falcigno, MD

Charter: Coin Drop Games • Naples, FL

Pam started shooting with the VNEA in 1995. Since then, she hasn’t missed a State Tournament and has only missed one International Championship. She has won several local league awards, many top finishes at the state level and captured first place in the Women’s 9-Ball Seniors division at the Vegas Championships in 2004. Her team also won the Women’s Team title at the Bahamas Shootout in 2000. Adding to her list of awards, Pam’s teams have won the coveted “Red Jones Team Uniform Award” twice at the Vegas tournament. Pam’s knowledge of the game is undeniable as she is a longtime Certified Referee, Certified Instructor and has implemented many computerized systems.

Quote: Being involved with the VNEA means participating in an organization that has set the standard for amateur pool, in the United States and Internationally. Even more, it is being part of a very special and caring family.

Bill Ellis

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Bill was an early “pioneer” in promoting youth and adult VNEA leagues in Southern Minnesota. As a pool room owner, he worked closely with Dave and Dick Hawkins to grow their league system. Bill was a championship caliber pool player but loved to host tournaments and provide professional quality pool lessons to anyone that was interested. Bill led his team to a second place finish at the first VNEA Championships at the Kahler Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota in 1979. Bill’s real passion was in building the local youth program. He was even known to rent a van to run young players around to D & R Star’s youth tournaments. An early promoter of the VNEA, Bill was highly respected by his peers and the many players that he touched through his dedication to VNEA.

Quote: Bill had a special relationship with legendary cuemaker Paul Huebler and sold many of his cues. Bill played with a top-end Huebler cue which was buried with him in his casket.

Dick Caldwell

Charter: GRE Amusements • Burlington, IA

Ever since the VNEA was established in Iowa, Dick has shot pool on a league every week and entered nearly every tournament. As captain of his team, Dick has won many league titles and city championships and has finished atop the leaderboard on several occasions at the state level. Dick established himself as a Master player in Iowa in 1990. He was always a gentlemen to compete against and never missed an opportunity to help anyone with their game. Dick loved creating and performing trick shots for his friends. He would amaze you with his fancy shot-making skills, and then show you how to do the tricks so that everyone could share in the fun.


Quote: Dick was one of those amazing people that when you got a chance to play him, the memory was always a happy and pleasurable experience. He was truly committed to the VNEA.

Mick Storey

Charter: BMW Billiards • Loveland, CO

Mick has been a dedicated member of his pool league for years. As a matter fact, he has never missed a single league night in 22 years. Now that’s dedication! He has always helped recruit new players and taught them the rules and sportsmanship. Mick’s team always participates in the Colorado State Tournament and has also been to every VNEA International Championships since they’ve been held in Las Vegas. His wife, son and daughter all play in VNEA Leagues and they use the Vegas trip as a kind of family vacation every year. Mick has also played well at the “Big Show” by finishing in the money in 8-Ball, 9-Ball and the Team event in the same year.

Quote: VNEA is far and away the best pool league in the world. BMW are the greatest people to work with and are always there to help with any issues that may arise.

Donovan Mickelson

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

As a retired Chief of Police, Donavon looks for ways to give back to his community. He gets local kids involved in pool, teaching them pool skills, the rules and sportsmanship. He also started a program in conjunction with the school, to allow handicapped kids to learn how to play the great sport of pool. Donavon is the Captain of his two teams and is always promoting pool, the VNEA and new, pool related products. Teaching pool is his passion. Donavon has had many accomplishments at the local and state levels including a 30-Zip in the 1992-93 pool league season. He has also played well at the International Championships which he has attended nearly every year since the early 80’s.

Quote: The Norberg family from C & N Sales has always ran a quality business and super tournaments. Also, Valley pool tables are the best known, toughest and in the biggest demand for leagues.

Barb Carr

Charter: SML Entertainment • Calgary, AB

Barb was the Captain of an incredibly talented ladies team between the years of 1992 and 1996. This team earned numerous Canadian and International titles. During this great run, Barb also captured 3rd in the Women’s Open Singles competition in Las Vegas. Barb is currently the League Coordinator for SML Pool Leagues. She wanted to take an active role in the organizational side of the sport and has learned that running a league is much more than scheduling matches and entering stats. She found that VNEA Leagues are about giving people an opportunity to socialize with friends, meet new people and achieve their dreams.

Quote: The excitement and anticipation of attending VNEA “Vegas” is awesome. Being involved with the VNEA, whether as a competitor or league coordinator, has always made me feel like I am part of an “extended” family and I always look forward to seeing everyone in Vegas.

Roger Anderson

Charter: Inglis Coin Machine • Boise, ID

Roger has been a VNEA Member in Idaho since 1986 and has participated in every Idaho State Tournament during that time. s a long-time Captain of his men’s team, he has racked up numerous top finishes in Team, Singles and Scotch Doubles competition at the Idaho State Championships. Roger’s team has also experienced great finishes at the International Championships on several occasions. Roger struck gold at the 2010 Vegas event and took home the “Charlie” for the 8-Ball Men’s Classic Division title after finishing runner-up in the same division in 2009.

Quote: It is always a privilege to play in the VNEA, both locally and at the International venue. The VNEA has given me the opportunity to compete on an International level and make many new friends.

Bill Breuer, Sr.

Charter: Tri Valley Vending • Wasilla, AK

Bill has been a dedicated member of Tri Valley Vending’s League for the past 17 years. In 1995, he and his team “USETA COULD” played in the league... every member of his team was 65 years of age or older. He has been his teams Captain for 13 years, League Officer for 4 years and Top Team Shooter for 6 years. Bill has also placed well several times at the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas. Bill has always been a huge asset to Tri Valley Vending assisting the league in several ways from helping obtain players to serving on numerous Tournament Committees.

Quote: I am truly honored to be in the Hall of Fame and would like to thank Tri Valley Vending, Valley and the VNEA for making the annual International Championships possible.

Gary Wooldridge

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, AB

Over the past 19 years, Gary has played in numerous leagues for Wal-Mac. Gary is a Certified Referee and has worked at the Western Canadian Championships and also served as Head Referee for Wal-Mac events. He is also involved in the Charter Steering Committee and has assisted with Board Committees on an ad-hoc basis. Since 1993, Gary has participated and competed strongly in every VNEA International Championships. As a pool player, it has been a pleasure for Gary to meet and play against so many other great pool players. He has always felt it was important to give back to the sport and, as such, has enjoyed his time helping the Junior players and dedicating his time to his Charter.

Quote: I sincerely want to thank Wal-Mac Amusements (Elmar Klapstein) for this great honor. I have been involved in the pool league  since its inception in 1991 and have seen it grow to one of the premier pool leagues in Canada and the VNEA.

Becky Wooldridge

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, AB

Becky is a force in the Wal-Mac system winning Vegas trips in Women's Regular, Women's Open and Regular Vegas pool leagues. She has served on several Committees and Boards throughout her career as well as acting as Captain on numerous teams. In 2003, Becky's team (Snifter's Stirred Not Shaken) captured the Sportswomen's Team title in Las Vegas. In 2006, her team (Sportsman 75 Selects) took home another "Charlie" for a 4th place finish in the Women's Intermediate Division. 2010 will mark her 18th appearance at the VNEA International Championships. Becky still considers winning her first "Charlie" in 2003 her most memorable moment in VNEA competition.

Quote: Being a part of Wal-Mac Amusements and the VNEA has been great and I have gained many long lasting friendships through this Association. I have enjoyed volunteering my time and being a part of this league. I want to thank my Charter Elmar for this  nomination - I am truly honored.

George Thompson

Charter: Rushmore Amusement • Rapid City, SD

George and his team have always competed strongly at the South Dakota State Tournament and they have consistently finished atop the leaderboard at numerous local competitions. He has also served as the Chairman of the Board for his local VNEA League. For over 27 years George has proficiently ruled as Head Referee for the South Dakota State Tournament. He has also served as a Referee and Statistician for the International Championships for many years. His team has also challenged for titles in the Las Vegas event. As a member of the South Dakota Hall of Fame, George can now add the VNEA Hall of Fame to his list of accomplishments. George has always been a great supporter and dedicated member of the VNEA.

Quote: Looking back over the years, I have had many wonderful memories working with the VNEA Tournament Director and Committee. The VNEA offers a challenging sport in which all players can compete regardless of their skill level.

Stub Foley

Charter: Automated Amusement, Games People Play, JE&S Video • Colorado

Stub has Captained numerous teams during his VNEA career and has also given lessons to a number of VNEA Master players on the "Diamond System" which he learned at a very young age. As a multiple winner of the Team Tournament Sportsmanship Award, the award was retired in his honor. Stub also won the C Division of the Colorado State Singles tournament in 2005... Stub was 89 years old at the time. Stub has also topped the leaderboard at other various State Singles and Team competitions. Stub has played in the VNEA International Championships for the last decade. His most memorable time was his first time playing in Vegas and experiencing the caliber of talent that the field possessed.

Quote: I started playing pool at the age of 8. I have played for 86 years except for the 4 years I was in the Army during WWII where there were no pool tables in New Guinea or the Philippines.

Ruth Klock

Charter: Aspen Amusements • Carbondale, CO

Ruth has been a league Captain for 17 years including "Captain Of The Year". She's also received "Sportsman Of The Year", "Aspen Amusements Hall Of Fame Member" and "Ben Freeman Award" for courtesy, helpfulness and friendly sportsmanship. She has been a member of Aspen Amusements leagues for 22 years. Ruth has always helped to find new members and encouraged new teams to join the league and attend the International Championships in Las Vegas. Ruth attended her first VNEA Tournament in 1986 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She has competed in the Open and Women's Divisions for numerous years and was honored to carry the Colorado flag in the Team Opening Ceremonies.


Wayne Hicks

Charter: D & R Amusement • Burlington, IA

Wayne played pool in D & R Amusement's leagues for over 30 years, even before the formation of the VNEA. He played every week and never missed the opportunity to compete in local tournaments. Wayne was a great competitor and proved that every year by finishing atop the leaderboard at several of the local annual Shoot-Outs. He captured 1st place at the Shoot-Out in 1989. With a trophy room full of nearly two dozen statues, Wayne took his talents to Vegas several times throughout the 1980s and "90s.

Many of Wayne's friends and playing partners were asked what some of the more memorable moment were while playing with Wayne. The common answer was, "Any game was memorable when Wayne played." I guess that says it all.

Quote: "Valley means quality and promotes quality players with an eye for the best in competitive pool.” – Wayne Hicks

Greg Sinclair

Charter: G & G Enterprises • London, ON

With Greg's vast pool experience and his knowledge of the VNEA system, he has served as Tournament Director for many of Ontario's major tournaments including the very first VNEA Ontario Provincial Championships.

Greg also played a key role in the formation of the Ontario Junior League Program. His involvement helped grow the program and the skills of the local youth players.

At the Las Vegas Championships, you could find Greg as either a top-notch Tournament Referee or a proficient and hard working Statistician. And Greg's pool playing skills are also of very high caliber. His teams, which he Captained, traveled to Las Vegas several times to compete on the sport's biggest stage.

Quote: “My involvement with the Valley Pool Leagues has provided me with many fond memories, most of which I can share, some I can't.” – Greg Sinclair

Mike Weiss

Charter: Twin States Music • Hudson, WI

In his 27 years of dedication and loyalty to the Twin States Music VNEA League system, Mike has racked up a multitude of titles in Singles, Doubles, and Team events showing his versatility as a proficient pool player.

Mike has served as his team's Captain and also helped organize weekly VNEA leagues and tournaments back in the early 1980s. Always willing to help where necessary, Mike has always been a precious asset to his local Charter.

Having won the respect of his local players, Mike has made several trips to the International Championships in Las Vegas to match his skills against the best league players in the world.

Quote: “Watching the VNEA grow over the years to what it is today is truly amazing. I would like to thank my Charter Holder and local team sponsors. The memories I have with the VNEA are too numerous to count. Pool will always be a big part of my life.” – Mike Weis

Ginny Keeler

Charter: V.V.S. • Lincoln, NE

Ginny's accomplishments on the local scene are numerous. She has multiple Lincoln City Singles and Team titles and is a two-time Midwest Pool Association Singles Champion. In 2007, she was also inducted into the Midwest Pool Association "Hall of Fame."

She is very involved with the City and Midwest Pool Tournaments and also volunteers as an Instructor for the successful VVS Junior Pool League Program.

Ginny has performed well at the VNEA International Championships and at the Las Vegas event in 1993, Ginny hit the jackpot and took home the title of 8-Ball Women's Masters Singles Champion. Spending time Las Vegas with good friends and playing pool is one of Ginny's favorite things.

Quote: “Special thanks go to my good friend (and fellow Hall of Famer) John Bussey and the best League Coordinator on earth, Marshall Kohtz from V.V.S.” – Ginny Keeler

Brenda Phillips-Ridge

Charter: Ontario Skill Games • Scarborough, ON

If you're in Brenda's women's league, you probably don't look forward to facing the squad she captains. They have been the League Champions for the last 12 sessions, consecutively. She has also captured 4 mixed league titles and numerous provincial tournament championships. She has been voted Most Valuable Player several times and has several Sportsmanship awards.

As a Certified Referee over the past 12 years, Brenda has served as tournament coordinator at many local event, including running the junior leagues for the past several years.

In Las Vegas in 2007, Brenda tasted success at the highest level of her sport by capturing 1st place in the 9-Ball Sportswomen's Division as well as a third place finish in the Women's Regular Team Division.

Quote: “I would like to thank my League Operator, Ontario Skill Games, who without their hard work behind the scenes and their support, we players would not have such a great league in which to play. VNEA Rocks!” – Brenda Phillips-Ridge

Warren Woodson

Charter: BMW Billiards • Ft. Collins, CO

Because Warren’s parents were Bowling Center Proprietors and had pool tables in their establishment, Warren began playing pool at the age of 13. He continued to hone his skills until 1968 when he went into the Army and was quickly sent off to serve in Vietnam.

Upon his return, Warren’s pool skills began to peak. He is often at the top of the leader board at the Rocky Mountain Team & Singles Championships including titles in both events. He has been the Captain of his team for years and has recently started an amusement company (BMW Billiards) and joined the VNEA’s ever growing Charter Holder base.

At the International Championships in Las Vegas, Warren has always been a contender in the Seniors, Scotch Doubles, and other events.

Quote: “VNEA is definitely the best pool league out there and VNEA does more for their players than any other league system. I love going to Vegas and meeting players from other countries, exchanging gifts, and also seeing the same friends year after year..” – Warren Woodson

Kim Anderson

Charter: Inglis Coin • Boise, ID

On the local scene over the past couple of decades, Kim has accomplished numerous league titles and amassed an impressive number of Idaho State Tournament titles including four Scotch Doubles first place finishes.

Kim has also Captained several league teams over the years and is always willing to share her vast pool knowledge with other players in her league system.

At the VNEA International Championships, she has accumulated 2 first place, 2 second place, and 6 third place finishes.

In 1992, she put together a team that won their local Women’s League and also did well at the Idaho State Tournament. So, they decided to head to Vegas and see how they would do. They captured the Women’s Regular Team title. In 2006, Kim took another team to the “big show” and won the Women’s Intermediate Championship.

Quote: “It’s always a privilege to play in the VNEA Int’l Championships. Win, lose, or draw, you can’t help but feel the excitement in the air for the players from all over the world measuring themselves against one another. Also, local Charter has opened a world of opportunities for our players.” – Kim Anderson

Shaun Pilfold

Charter: Aactive Coin Machine • Winnipeg, MB

In his 10 years as the League Coordinator for Aactive Coin Machines, Shaun has helped build their league system to over 400 teams. Tables on location grew from 40 to over 325 while Shaun was promoting the leagues.

Shaun was also a founding member of the Western Canadian Pool Championships, which has become the largest VNEA tournament in Canada.

In his 15 years as a player, Shaun has accumulated many local league honors, and he and his team have had great success at the International Championships in Las Vegas.

Shaun’s involvement as a stellar league coordinator has positively influenced the shape of VNEA pool leagues in Canada.

Quote: “It has been great being a part of the VNEA’s phenomenal growth in Canada over the years. It has been a pleasure for 15 years to be involved in the “Greatest Pool League in The World.” – Shaun Pilfold

Freida Nassas

Charter: New Crown Music • Ontario, Canada

Freida is that player in your area who walks into every tournament as the one to beat. Freida has won literally dozens of local tournaments and has been awarded League MVP for several seasons. She has served as the Captain for several teams, is a Certified VNEA Referee, volunteers her help at VNEA tournaments and is very involved with fundraising for VNEA’s growing Junior Program.

At the 2005 VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas, Freida captured the crown in the Women’s Intermediate 8-Ball Singles. She has also captured titles in many other Tournaments around Canada and the United States.

According to Freida, her most memorable moment in VNEA competition was attending her first VNEA International Championships in 1999.

Quote: “Having joined the VNEA has made the biggest impact on my life. I’ve met countless people, many of whom have become close friends. My dearest friend is John Weloski, our Charter Holder. I cannot thank him enough for all his hard work that benefits each of his players.” – Freida Nass

Mike McLaughlin

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

Mike’s Minnesota State Tournament titles are numerous. He captured Singles titles in 1984, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, and 2005. His team won championships in 1986, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2006, and 2007. He took first in Scotch Doubles competition in 1999 and 2001.

If that’s not enough, he also won the South Dakota State 8-Ball Championship in 1983 and the 9-Ball title in 1989.

Mike has had the high average in his local league for 9 years and, in 1984 and 2000, he achieved 30/0 Perfect Matches.

While Mike’s team has done well at the International Championships, a more impressive story is that his league team has been playing together since 1986.

Quote: “I would like to thank my Charter Holder for this nomination and the VNEA for the induction. Without a doubt, May 26th, 2008 will be my most memorable moment in my long VNEA career.” – Mike McLaughlin

Bryan Penner

Charter: SML Entertainment • Calgary, AB

Bryan served as the League Coordinator for SML Entertainment in Alberta and was proud to be a part of the largest VNEA Pool League in Canada.

Not only has Bryan been the Captain of his league team for ten years, he has also been certified as a VNEA Instructor and has won seven trips to Las Vegas to partake in the VNEA International Championships.

For most of the last decade, Bryan was instrumental in the success of the largest VNEA Provincial Championships (WCVNEA).

SML Entertainment has brought the largest amount of tournament participants to the VNEA International Championships for the past several years earning numerous “Most Tournament Entry” awards.

Quote: “It was very memorable at the 2005 VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas when two of my players, who started playing with SML Entertainment in 1999, captured 1st and 2nd place in the International “Artistic Pool” Challenge.” – Bryan Penner

Bill Beyer

Charter: Twin Ports Amusement • Duluth, MN

Bill has Captained many teams over his VNEA career. He’s always been active in local, regional, and state tournaments. He’s had top finishes in many large local, regional, and state events. Bill served as the League Coordinator for Twin Ports Amusement for three years and has performed nearly every duty possible at their state tournament.

Bill has played in the VNEA International Championships for the last 26 years and has had several impressive finishes.

Bill has been an active Certified Referee for the last 15 years and is now one of the most respected referees at the International Championships in Las Vegas.

Quote: “My most memorable VNEA moments were all of my firsts. My first National Tournament as a player. My first tournament as a referee. My first 25th Game win at the International Championships. The VNEA was the first league in our area to use “rules.” I like structure. Chaos was no fun and the game is fun with rules.” – Bill Beyer

Lloyd Spier

Charter: Camden Amusement • Cedar Rapids, IA

Lloyd has helped form the first VNEA leagues in the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Iowa City areas in 1993. He has served as his league’s President, Secretary, and Treasurer for several years. As a Master player in his local league, Lloyd’s team has accumulated many 1st place titles.

Lloyd’s service to his Charter Holder was overwhelming. He helped organize local tournaments, was the state tournament organizer, served on both the local and state Board of Directors, and was a Certified Referee and Instructor at every level.

Although Lloyd was an excellent singles player, he enjoyed the team competition the most. Whether it was with his five-man squad or with a scotch doubles partner, Lloyd loved being part of a team.

Quote: Lloyd always appreciated the opportunities that the VNEA offered its players. He was always a great league promoter and encouraged players of all abilities to get involved. He loved being a referee and would use it as an opportunity to teach players the rules and “table manners.”

Pat Stransky

Charter: Juke Box Jack • Evansville, WY

Over the past 22 years, Pat has captured many top finishes in both local and statewide tournaments. His team has also captured top prize at the Rocky Mountain Team Championships.

Pat has served as League President for 17 years and has captained his team for 14 years. He has also held the position of Tournament Director of their state tournament for 18 years and has helped organize and develop many local events. He also is always available to give lessons to anyone from juniors to seniors.

Quote: "Lynn and Vicki Haines of Juke Box Jack have done many great things for the game of pool in the Casper area, and I owe a lot to them and their VNEA Leagues. Thank you for this great honor and as always, I will continue to keep the VNEA and the sport of pool as one of my top priorities. VNEA is the greatest pool organization in the world…period!” – Pat Stransky

Jay Huffman

Charter: Perry Music Company • Ft. Pierce, FL

Jay was the originator and is the captain of “The Classics” pool team. His team has accumulated 6 Florida State titles as well as 6 Bahamas Shootout titles.

Jay has served as Perry Music’s League Coordinator, League President, Treasurer, and he has also performed the duty of Registration Director for the Florida State Tournament for 15 years. He is also the Chief Judge and Referee at the state tournament.

For the last 20 years, Jay has been competing in the International Championships in Las Vegas racking up some impressive finishes as well as a collection of memorable moments and friendships.


Quote: “I have found everything about the VNEA to be "1st Class." My team has been extremely fortunate to play for such a supportive Charter Holder as Danny Cribbs of Perry Music.” – Jay Huffman

Lena Weisbeck

Charter: Music Service of South Dakota • Sioux Falls, SD

Lena’s accomplishments at the local level are numerous. Showing her diversity in game styles, Lena has captured titles in 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Scotch Doubles, and Team events in her city and state Championships. She has served as her team’s Captain as well as the President of her women’s league. In the 2003/04 league season, Lena was inducted into the South Dakota “Pool Hall of Fame.”

At the International level, Lena took home the Women’s Team title in 1984 with her team “Bank Shot Hustlers.” She has also had many top finishes in both Team and Singles events.

Quote: “VNEA has always been the best organized sanctioned pool tournament that I’ve had the privilege of competing in. It is always professionally handled at every level.” – Lena Weisbeck

Laurie Hawkins

Charter: Rushmore Amusement/Black Hills Novelty • South Dakota

Laurie is one of the top women pool players in the state of South Dakota. She has accumulated many local and state titles and top finishes and has been voted “Most Valuable Player” of her league for 12 years. In 1999, she was inducted into the South Dakota “Pool Hall of Fame” making her a local legend.

Laurie serves on her local Board, is Secretary of her league, and Captain of her team. She is also a VNEA Certified Instructor and has helped promote her local Junior League Program over the last 10 years.

A past “VNEA All-Star,” Laurie has certainly earned the title capturing Women’s International Team Championships in 1984, 1990, 1993, and 1996. Laurie is a true “Hall of Famer” in every aspect of the term and her dedication to the Association over the years is in a league of its own.

Quote: “VNEA is a great organization to be a part of and always seems to have the players in mind when organizing events. Keeping players interested in coming back year after year is a task in itself. The competition is always excellent as well as all of the activities that surround the event.” – Laurie Hawkins

Rodney Weisbeck

Charter: Music Service of South Dakota • Sioux Falls, SD

While competing at both the local and state levels, Rodney has racked up several top finishes including many 1st place Team titles. Rodney has shown his leadership skills by being his team’s Captain for several years as well as taking on the responsibility of being his league’s President.

At the International level, Rodney has had both top Master Singles and Team finishes.

In the 2003-04 league season, Rodney, along with his wife Lena, was inducted into the South Dakota “Pool Hall of Fame.”

Quote: “I have found that the VNEA was always the best organized league for competitive pool when compared to any other league that I’ve played in. My experiences with both my Charter Holders, Music Service and Rushmore Amusement, have been very positive and enjoyable.” – Rodney Weisbeck

Tony Blankenship

Charter: Just Darts & Indy Amusements • Indianapolis, IN

Tony has helped promote pool and the VNEA in the Indianapolis area since the early 1990’s. Along the way, he accumulated many local titles. Saying that Tony is an Indiana “Super-Star” is an understatement. He was the Indiana State Singles Champion in 1991, 1999, and 2001. His team took home the Championship in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2002, and 2004.

In Las Vegas, Tony has had many top finishes including a Scotch Doubles Master title in 1996 and a 9-Ball Masters Singles title in 2002. In 1994, Tony was honored as a member of the VNEA “All-Star” Team.

From his first Vegas showing in 1992 to the present, Tony has always been a feared competitor at the International Championships and deserves the title of “VNEA Hall of Famer.”

Quote: “Being a member of VNEA has been a positive influence in my life. My best friends are VNEA members and participating in State and International events is something I look forward to every year. Valley tables are the standard in the industry and wonderful equipment to play on.” – Tony Blankenship

Larry Heywood

Charter: G & G Enterprises • London, ON

Larry has been very involved in the VNEA for several years acting as a team Captain on over two dozen teams as well as serving as President and League Coordinator for several leagues. In 1999, Larry helped start and coordinate the G & G Enterprises Junior League Program. Larry was a very big part of the 1st Annual Ontario Junior Championships’ success in 2003.

Larry’s most memorable moment in his VNEA experience was walking into the Riviera Hotel’s Grande Ballroom for the first time in 1991. The hair stood up on the back of his neck and that same rush still hits him every year at the Championships.

A great believer in the VNEA, Larry is a welcome addition to the VNEA Hall of Fame family.

Quote: “I would like to thank my Charter Holder, G & G Enterprises (Bill and Barb Landrey) for all of their support. Also, thank you to the VNEA for organizing both a first class International Junior Championships and a Las Vegas Tournament that is second to none.” – Larry Heywood

Art Erickson

Charter: Black Hills Novelty • Sheridan, WY

Art has achieved many top finishes at the Wyoming State Team and Singles Tournaments along with several titles in various regional events. In 2005, Art was inducted into the Wyoming Hall of Fame.

He is both a VNEA Certified Referee and Certified Instructor and teaches pool at a local college. Art organized the Black Hills Novelty pool leagues and has been the League Coordinator for the last 15 years. He has also organized the South Dakota State 9-Ball Championships and the Wyoming VNEA State Team Championships as well as other major state events.

Art has been a member of the VNEA since its inception 25 years ago and has participated in the International Championships for the past 15 years. Art is a true ambassador of the VNEA.

Quote: "VNEA has paved the way for TEAM pool for the past 25 years. VNEA promotes fair play, good sportsmanship, and camaraderie in a fun, competitive atmosphere." – Art Erickson

Anita Smith

Charter: BMW Billiards • Ft. Collins, CO

Throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and into the new millennium, Anita has captured several titles in both Singles and Team Tournaments in Colorado and Minnesota.

She has served as the team Captain for several teams throughout the years and has also shared her skills and knowledge of the game to other women players in her local area.

After winning the Women’s Team Division at the 2nd Annual VNEA International Championships in Reno, Nevada in 1982 with her team "Hoff’s Bar," Anita has shown tremendous consistency at the big event in Vegas. As a member of the VNEA for 25 years, Anita is one of the true veterans of our association.

Quote: "Pool is a fascinating sport. There is always something to learn to improve your game. It’s exciting to have experienced the growth, interest, and talent in pool the past 25 years, especially in the women’s divisions. I’m happy to be a part of the history of the VNEA." – Anita Smith

Andy Robinet

Charter: Town & Country Amusements • Windsor, ON

On the local scene, Andy has served as Captain of the legendary "Caboto Club" pool team for the last 15 years. He and his team have secured several league honors throughout their longstanding career.

Andy has finished atop the leader board at the Ontario Provincial Championships and Can-Am Tournament in both Singles and Team events on numerous occasions. A Certified Instructor, Andy has shared his knowledge of the game to many players including many local junior shooters through an Instructional Lessons Program, which he developed.

A Master Player for the last 20 years, Andy’s team has accumulated five "Top 3" finishes at the VNEA International Championships. Andy’s first trip to Reno for the VNEA Championships in 1982 resulted in an impressive second place team finish.

Quote: "I’ve had many great memories competing in the VNEA and am very thankful for all the new friendships that I’ve found along the way (many of them for over 20 years). I would also like to thank my teammates for all of their support and encouragement over the years." – Andy Robinet

Denver Whittaker

Charter: Derrick Music • Charleston, WV

Denver has been a member of the VNEA for 11 years and has helped his Charter Holder recruit and support a number of teams each and every year, even forming a Summer league for the last 3 years.

Always looking for ways to help, Denver has assisted in scheduling/coordinating and has been involved in a Women’s Charity Pool Tournament, which raises money for worthy causes. He also uses his skills as a player to teach others through weekly lessons and his knowledge as a VNEA Certified Referee to answer and explain VNEA rules to his fellow players.

Quote: "Since VNEA President Jerry Derrick asked me to join the VNEA in 1994, every year I look forward to the competition and excitement of flying to Las Vegas and playing in the VNEA International Championships. I take pride in watching and supporting our local teams at tournaments." – Denver Whitt

Mark Anderson

Charter: Cheyenne Vending • Cheyenne, WY

Mark has done it all. He has captained teams an average of 3 nights per week for over 20 years. Needless to say, his local accomplishments are many including raising money for many national charities.

He has been the League Coordinator for Cheyenne Vending for 21 years growing the leagues from 8 teams to 140 teams strong. Mark has been certified as a VNEA Referee and Instructor and has worked diligently with the Junior Program since he instituted the local youth program in 1992.

2005 will mark Mark’s 22nd year at the VNEA International Championships. Mark has been called upon in several capacities from tournament staff to set-up to VNEA booth duties, and he’s done them all with a smile. Oh yeah, he’s a pretty good pool shooter as well.

Quote: "VNEA has given me the opportunity to work within a system with people from local, regional, and national levels who all have a common bond in pool. There is a kinship in VNEA that has a sense of family rather than a business or a job." – Mark Anderson

Ty Wilson

Charter: Theisen Vending • Minneapolis, MN

Ty is a seasoned and repetitive VNEA All-Star. As a matter of fact, he has earned a spot on the VNEA International All-Star Team in three different years (1993, 2000, 2003).

Ty has been a team Captain every year of his 22-year involvement with the VNEA. At both the Minnesota and Wisconsin State Championships, he has accumulated several winner and runner-up finishes in both the singles and team competition.

At the International Championships, Ty has performed like a true Champion over the years. Besides being a 3-time All-Star, Ty has helped secure a Master team title in 1999 followed by a 9-Ball Master Singles title the following year in 2000.

Quote: "I like the way that VNEA and Valley goes the extra distance for its pool league players, especially at the International Championships. For example, bleachers in the Tournament Room, the Suds & Chips Mixer, the Banquet, Parties at the pool, and much more." – Ty Wilson

Sam Kirby

Charter: Muncie Coin • Muncie, IN

Although Sam has always helped promote the VNEA in his area, his main focus is on helping other players improve their games and take them to the next level.

Sam has played on 4 State Champion teams in Indiana, and he and his teammates enjoy helping new teams understand the rules of tournament play.

Sam’s most memorable moment in the VNEA came in 2000 when he received his first "Charlie" award at the International Championships in Las Vegas for placing 3rd/4th in Open 8-Ball Singles.

Quote: "Valley tables, the VNEA, and various sponsors have created an excellent pool league system and tournament format for competitors worldwide to participate in. My Charter Holder (Muncie Coin) does a tremendous job with our league program throughout the year." – Sam Kirby

Steve Guilford

Charter: A. Van Brackel & Sons • Defiance, OH

The consummate pool league coordinator. Steve headed A. Van Brackel’s pool league program for over 25 years. He was also in charge of the local Referee Training program and was the Tournament Chairperson for the local pool association’s annual championships.

Steve was the Past President of the AVB Pool League Association as well as Past President of the Ohio Coin Machine Association’s Pool Tournament Advisory Committee.

Steve was very well known as a Certified Referee where he worked at the local and state level tournaments as well as several International Championship events in Las Vegas.

Steve embodied the spirit and attitude that all pool players should have. He was such a good sport that A. Van Brackel’s local pool association now gives an annual award called the "Steve Guilford – Good Sportsman of the Year" award.


Robert Ross

Charter: Ontario Skill Games • Toronto, ON

Robert has shown a remarkable commitment to his local VNEA league program. He has been an active member of Ontario Pool Leagues since 1994 and has participated and supported all VNEA events and tournaments at the local, regional, and international levels. He has also volunteered his time in assisting in organizing the local advanced and intermediate league program.

Robert has captained at least one team every year since his first year of involvement. He referees, teaches, encourages, and develops confidence in many of the players with his guided leadership.

Possessing numerous local and provincial titles with his team "The Road Warriors," Robert has developed into a very accomplished player. He has also played well at the "Big Show" in Las Vegas every year from 1994 to 2002.

Quote: "My Charter Holder, Ontario Skill Games, are a class act. They have allowed myself and many other pool players the unique opportunity to play in various levels of pool competition." – Robert Ross

Don Tanner

Charter: Music Service & Automatic Vendors • Sioux Falls, SD

In 2003, Don was inducted into the South Dakota 8-Ball Hall of Fame and has participated in every South Dakota State Tournament since 1977.

Don has accumulated several local and state championship titles with his most memorable coming in 1989 when he captured the B-Division Singles title and his team won the A-Division Team title at the South Dakota State Championships.

He has captained several teams even bringing them to Las Vegas for the International Championships where his teams have finished in the "Top Ten" on numerous occasions.

Don believes that the VNEA league program has taken pool to the next level.

Quote: "Having attended every VNEA International Championship, except for the 1st Annual, I have seen the growth and improvement that VNEA strives for each year. Also, the addition of the Junior Program has been a great way to introduce our youth to the sport of pool." – Don Tanner

Denise Belanger

Charter: Ontario Skill Games • Scarborough, ON

Denise has numerous local and provincial accomplishments, which include several 8 & 9-Ball titles as well as MVP and Sportsmanship Awards.

She has been captain of her team for the last 4 years and has led her squad to numerous Ontario Championships. She spends a lot of time promoting the game of pool and shares her knowledge of the game through lessons.

In 1998, Denise captured the Women’s 9-Ball crown at the International Championships in Las Vegas. That same year, her team finished 3rd in the Women’s Regular Team Division. Denise has nearly 100 career pool titles, which makes her a threat every time she walks to the table.

Quote: "It is amazing that we have a pool league association for the up and coming players. Leagues improve your game, stamina, and confidence. My hats off to Ontario Skill Games and the VNEA. Keep up the great work." – Denise Belanger

Kathy Hayes

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Kathy and her husband were among the handful of players who signed on with the VNEA when Richard Hawkins conceived and started the first pool leagues at D & R Star.

Over the years, Kathy has served on several committees, boards, as team captain and encouraged and mentored anyone who expressed an interest in pool and pool leagues. For several years, she has served on the committee for The Beighley Cup 8-Ball Tournament for Cancer Research, a cause dear to her heart.

Kathy’s team captured the International Team title in 1983 and has finished in the money on several other occasions. With the opportunity to play in the Seniors Division, Kathy still dreams of winning that singles title.

Quote: "I like pool players and pool tournaments. I like watching as much as playing, so where better to indulge myself than the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas." – Kathy Hayes"I like pool players and pool tournaments. I like watching as much as playing, so where better to indulge myself than the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas." – Kathy Hayes

Donna Grass

Charter: G & G Enterprises • London, ON

Donna has accomplished many feats in her illustrious 17-year VNEA career. She has been the Captain of several teams and has been awarded many Sportsmanship Awards. She has also held benefit tournaments to raise money for cancer research, street kids, and she has been the top fundraiser for "Gene Pool" for the last two years.

Although she has numerous local league and provincial titles and top finishes, her first place finish in the Women’s Regular Team division with her team "Still Strokin’" at the 1997 VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas ranks at the top. Four years later in 2001, she finished a very respectable 3rd at the Vegas event with a new team. Donna’s record speaks for itself making her one to watch at the table.

Quote: "From the time we get off the plane in Las Vegas to the first match of the tournament, you can feel the excitement in the air. Everyone greeting old friends and meeting new ones from all over the globe. Now that’s what great memories are made of." – Donna Grass

Rick Tonjum

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Rick has accrued several championships both with D & R Star’s local league events and the Minnesota State tournaments. He claimed the top spot in D & R Star’s Masters Singles event in 1989, 1996, 1999, and 2000. His team captured the Masters title in 1987 & 2001. In 1998, his team earned the title Minnesota State Masters Champion.

Serving as a local VNEA Board Member, Rick finds himself promoting VNEA through local tournaments, as Captain of numerous league teams and through the education of D & R’s youth. D & R has built an impressive Junior Program, which Rick and his family play a major part of.

Rick’s proudest moment in the VNEA was watching his daughter Dana capture her third straight VNEA International Junior Championship title.

Quote: "The VNEA has always created and promoted camaraderie among the pool players. Throughout my 23 years of international play, I’ve been blessed and fortunate to meet people from all over the world. We come together to compete but leave with new friends and memories" – Rick Tonjum

Lorna Duprel

Charter: Hills Vending • Sturgis, SD

Lorna has many local accomplishments including League MVP and Team Champion as well as South Dakota State 8 & 9-Ball Titles.

Lorna has served as her team’s captain for many years as well as serving on her local VNEA Board of Directors. She has also served on the State Tournament Staff and was inducted into the South Dakota VNEA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Her International honors include having five "Top 4" finishes with her team: 4th in 1988, 3rd in 1993, 1st in 1995, 3rd in 1996, 4th in 1999. Lorna’s most memorable moment in VNEA was placing third in her first state qualifier to play in the C Division at the state tournament 24 years ago.

Quote: "VNEA leagues involve many different people. Competition, especially team, ignores race, religion, wealth, and gender to bring people together as one unit." – Lorna Duprel

Bobby Wiedeman

Charter: High Country/TD Rowe • Ft. Collins, CO

From "League Champion" to "League Top Shooter," Bobby’s local accomplishments are many. None, however, more impressive than receiving a "League Special Recognition Award" in 2001 for having 18 years of Perfect Attendance.

Bobby has served as his team’s Captain for 8 years and has also worked on the Tournament Staff for many state tournaments as well as the International Championships in 1988 where he was able to meet and become friends with Mr. Paul Huebler (Huebler Cues). Bobby has used a hand-made Huebler custom cue for over 20 years and being able to meet the maker was one of his greatest thrills.

Bobby has also competed at the International level in 1986, 1987, and 1996.

Quote: "I believe the league structure that VNEA has established can be matched by none, as it makes players of all skill levels better at the game of pool, which has been a big part of my life." – Bobby Wiedeman

Dennis Kubista

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Dennis has won various singles and team championships with D & R Star. With his guidance, his league has grown from 2 divisions to an incredible 8 divisions. He has served as league President and runs the year-end tournament with nearly 100% participation.

Dennis participated in the International Championships in Las Vegas in 1996 and has sent many junior teams to the International Championships. During his trip to Vegas in ’96, Dennis will always remember the quality time he spent with teammates Wayne, Del, Mike, and Dave. Hanging out with these guys that tournament was his most memorable event in his VNEA career. Dennis entered the Hall of Fame with twin brother Dan.

Quote: "VNEA is a great association. What makes it great is its foundation. Our local Owatonna league is very strong. That helps make our Charter Holder D & R Star strong. Strong Charters make the International level stronger. Everyone in the system benefits when we all work together." - Dennis Kubista

Dan Kubista

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Dan’s local accomplishments are many. His local team finished either 1st or 2nd in the top league and tournament in 11 out of 14 seasons. He has helped grow his junior leagues from 5 to 20 teams and the adults from 32 to 65 teams. He runs one of the largest junior tournaments in the nation with 50+ three-person teams and sends an average of 35 youths to the International Championships each year. He has been his team’s Captain for many years and has been very involved with league government

Dan has captured several league titles including a 1st place finish in 1999 in the D & R Masters. He has also played in four International Championship events in Las Vegas. Dan entered the VNEA Hall of Fame with twin brother Dennis.

Quote: "I am grateful to be a part of the VNEA because it gives me a chance to bring as many youth pool players to the International Championships as I can. Thanks to VNEA, Paul Huebler, and D & R Star for helping make this happen." – Dan Kubista

Bill Ganne

Charter: Wal-Mac Amusements • Edmonton, AB

Bill has captured titles in major tournaments in each of the last six decades. He won the Alberta 9-Ball Provincial Championship in 1996, 1997, and 2001. He was also the Wal-Mac Masters champion in 1996 and 2001. He holds Wal-Mac’s record for Most ERO’s and Most 10-0’s as well as several league singles and team championships. He has been a member of Wal-Mac leagues and both Captain of his team as well as president of his league.

At the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas, Bill was a finalist in the 8-Ball Senior Singles division in 1992 and 1993.

Bill also gives back to the sport he loves by teaching groups and individuals of all skill levels the fundamentals and strategies of the game of pool.

Quote: "I know I speak for everyone who has joined a Valley league or has journeyed to the annual championships in Las Vegas when I say please keep up the good work and continue your quest to remain the best pool association in the world." – Bill Ganne

Ken Barnhart

Charter: Great Amuse. & Music • Sioux Falls, SD

Ken "Barn" Barnhart has won numerous local championships and captured the South Dakota State Team "Open A" Championship in 1999. He followed that up with two third place finishes in 2000 and 2001.

He has served as League President and Captain of his teams for both Great Amusement and Music Service Charters and has been very active in the formulation of leagues in his area.

In 1982, at the 2nd Annual VNEA International Championships in Reno, Nevada, Dave’s team (Lariat Lounge) finished atop the leader board marking Ken’s most memorable moment in his VNEA career. Ken’s team finished a respectable third the following year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Quote: "I appreciate where VNEA leagues have taken pool. Pool’s better image is a direct result of it. Having Charter Holders like Great Amusement and Music Service will ensure league play for a long time." – Ken Barnhart

Marco Sanschagrin

Charter: Amusement Cote • St. Agapit, QC

Marco serves as the league coordinator for over 200 teams, directs several large yearly tournaments including a benefit tournament for "Children’s Dreams." He is a Certified Referee and Instructor and serves as the Head Referee during the Provincial Championships.

Marco has captained his team in over 30 tournaments in his career. He also set a world record by playing 307 hours of non-stop pool in a local fundraiser event.

The first year he went to Vegas, his initial trip to the New England VNEA Championships and the Charter Holder Workshops in Bay City, Michigan have left long-lasting memories in Marco’s career.

Quote: "VNEA is the best! Everybody wins, strong or weak. Thank you Alain Cote from Amusement Cote for giving me a chance to work with the VNEA. Thanks also to Dominique Marcotte, my mentor, for trusting me to organize events and to all the players that play in our leagues." – Marco Sanschagrin

Dave Everett

Charter: Capital Music & Vending • Youngstown, OH

Dave has won numerous league championships and has been on 5 State Champion teams, starting with the OCMA’s very first tournament. In 1999, Dave received the Meritorious Service Award from the OCMA. Dave is also a decorated VNEA Referee and has worked at the Int’l Championships several years. He has served as League President and Captain of his team for over 15 years and has been very active as a League Coordinator.

Quote: In 1988, Dave’s team placed 4th in the Men’s Regular Division at the VNEA Int’l Championships. "The VNEA, without a doubt, is the best league out there. It is set up for all to enjoy, and I am very proud to be a part of a sensation that has captured the world’s attention for all the amateur pool players." – Dave Everett

Sandy Chamberlain

Charter: R & M Music • Broken Arrow, OK

As a player, promoter, and league coordinator, Sandy has been very involved with all aspects of the VNEA. She has also served as Tournament Director for the Oklahoma State Championships.

As a VNEA Certified Referee, Sandy said that when she scored higher on her certified referee exam than her husband, that this one memory would last her a lifetime.

In 1995, Sandy placed 3rd in the Women’s Senior 8-Ball division at the International Championships in Las Vegas. In 1997, she accomplished her goal by winning the Women’s Senior 8-Ball Singles competition.

Quote: "R & M Music was brought to our town 10 years ago. When I was asked to be the league coordinator 5 years ago, I thought that I was at the top of my career. Not so. I never realized that I would become so involved with the VNEA family and make so many long-lasting friendships." – Sandy Chamberlain

John Bussey

Charter: V.V.S. Inc. • Lincoln, NE

John has been a long-time team captain and promoter of the VNEA and VVS, Inc. in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the VVS City Championships, John has had 7 first place singles finishes and 2 second place finishes and numerous top finishes in the team event. At the Midwest Regional Championships, John has had equally impressive results with many high finishes including 4 team titles.

Missing only one VNEA International Championship since 1983, John’s dedication to the VNEA has been stellar. His team has had several high finishes even reaching 3rd place in the Regular Division, and he has been very competitive in singles competition as well.

Quote: "Marshall Kohtz of VVS and the VNEA provide a great framework for competition and enjoyment. My teammates have become close friends, we even vacation together. Friends, fun, and memories – isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?" – John Bussey

David Beddoes

Charter: Southern Music Ltd. • Calgary, AB

As a loyal member of VNEA, David has been the Captain of his league for the past 12 years and has led them to several league championships. He is also a founding member of the Charters Player Committee, which was created to assist league coordinators with organization, tournaments, and player issues.

David captured 3rd place in singles at the WCVNEA Championships in 2000. A Certified Referee since 1994, David has officiated at many local play-offs and tournaments as well as at the WCVNEA Championships.

He has brought his team to compete at the International Championships for many years and has served as captain of those teams for multiple years as well. David enjoys officiating and teaching others the fundamentals of league play.

Quote: "Thank you Southern Music and VNEA for bringing pool the recognition and popularity the game warrants. Thanks also to Valley and Paul Huebler and the other sponsors for making the Las Vegas tournament a wonderful experience for all players." – David Beddoes

Bobby Rezin

Charter: Town & Country Amusements • Ontario, Canada

Bobby’s accomplishments are many. He has helped run tournaments in Canada for several years and continues to promote the VNEA League System to anybody who will listen. He is a great ambassador to the sport.

Here are a few of Bobby’s many pool life honors: VNEA league member since 1983; Multiple Team League Championships; Several Playoff and MVP titles; Several CanAm Top Finishes; Several 401 Top Finishes.

Bobby also has an impressive International Tournament record as evidenced by the following: ’86 and ’87 2nd Place Team; 1997 1st Place Masters Team; 1998 4th Place Masters Team. Numerous other top 16 finishes in the Open and Masters 8 and 9-Ball Singles competition with a best finish of 3rd Place in 1993 in Las Vegas.

Quote: "The VNEA to me means good people, good sportsmanship, and good pool. Any time you went to any event that the VNEA supported, that’s what you got." – Bobby Rezin

Jill Nagel

Charter: N.T.S • Omaha, NE

Jill’s local accomplishments are overwhelming. She started the Omaha City Leagues in 1991, helped establish the Omaha Youth Program in 1992, created the Nebraska State Invitational in 1994 and serves in many other capacities.

Here is a list of just some of the local playing titles that Jill has accumulated: League Team Champion (9 times); Midwest Team Champions (3 times); IA State Team Champions (4 times); IA State Singles Champion; NE State Team Champions (2 times); Numerous other Singles and League Titles.

International tournament pressure does not bother this Hall of Famer. Check out these numbers: 1988 – 3rd Place Women’s Team; 1997 – 3rd Place Women’s Team; 1998 – 4th Place Women’s Team; 1999 – Women’s Team Champions; plus numerous other high finishes in both 8 and 9-Ball Singles.

Quote: "Every year the VNEA continues to dazzle players with its organizational skills, quality tournament staff, and overall professionalism." – Jill Nagel

Keith Miller

Charter: D & R Star • Austin, MN

Back in 1978, Keith helped Dave Hawkins of D & R Star begin his local leagues. Keith keeps his ear to the pulse of the industry as the owner of Blooming Prairie Cue Company. One of Keith’s proudest accomplishments was the formation of the area’s first Youth League Program. He has also formed a number of other successful VNEA leagues.

Here are a few of Keith’s other impressive stats: Team Captain (18 years); League President (12 years); League Promoter (22 years).

Keith’s most memorable VNEA moment has been seeing the young players that we have worked with over the years coming out of our Junior program and progressing directly into our adult leagues at the A, AA, and Masters levels. These same players are also tournament tested and compete well at the adult tournament events.

Quote: "I don’t know how you could be involved with an association more competent than the VNEA. Also, Valley Pool Tables are hands down the best table in the industry." – Keith Miller

Joe McClung

Charter: Derrick Music Company • Charleston, WV

One of Joe’s treasured accomplishments is the fact that he started the first VNEA Open and Women’s Leagues in the state of West Virginia. He is also responsible for helping start the West Virginia State Pool Association in 1996. Joe has served on various committees including the VNEA Judicial and Tournament committees. Joe is also one of VNEA’s fine Certified Instructors.

Joe’s most memorable moment in the VNEA came at the West Virginia State Pool Tournament where his team played to an impressive 2nd place finish. Derrick Music Company has been very fortunate to have Joe as their League Coordinator for several years.

Quote: "The VNEA has been very rewarding to me as I have made many new friends through my involvement with the association." – Joe McClung

Ed Borgia

Charter: Warner Coin Machines • Erie, PA

Ed has served as League Coordinator and State Tournament Director for over 20 years. He has been an active Certified Instructor for over 10 years. Ed served as Chairman of the VNEA Association Services Committee and has had an unparalleled dedication to the Junior League Program as both a coordinator and instructor, at the local and international levels.

Ed’s talent on the pool table is also polished as his league team captured both the 1993 and 1997 State Team Championships. Helping to develop the VNEA Certified Instructor Program, Ed continues to serve as one of VNEA’s Classroom Instructors at the International Championships. He also serves as a member of the International Junior Tournament Committee and has served on the VNEA Rules Committee.

Quote: "The VNEA has changed the image of pool to the recreational sport that it is and everyone has benefited from this change." – Ed Borgia

Barry Smith

Charter: Grand Bahamas Distributor • Freeport, Grand Bahamas

Barry has been the backbone of the VNEA’s success in the Bahamas as he has worked hard to coordinate their local league system. Serving as a referee at his local and state events, Barry has conditioned himself into a highly respected International referee.

Barry’s accomplishments on the table range from leading his league in several categories to winning the Bahamas Int’l Singles Shoot-Out in 1998. He has also won the Grand Bahama Island Championship in ’92, ’97, and ’98 and was Bahama National Champion in ’95 and ’98.

Barry has been a strong competitor in the VNEA International Championships for many years and captured his first title in 1995 by winning the Artistic Pool Championship. He would again win that crown in 1997. In 1995, Barry took home the honor of Target Pool Champion at the big show in Las Vegas.

Quote: "I have thoroughly enjoyed playing and competing in the VNEA at all levels. The Valley organization is top notch." – Barry Smith

Jake Kruse

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

To say that Jake likes to play pool is an understatement. For the past 10 years, he has played pool three nights a week in three different leagues. Jake’s team has finished atop their league several times over the years and in 1991, Jake finished with the league’s highest average.

Jake’s defining moment came in 1994 in Okaboji, Iowa where he completed a 30 Zip match. Only twenty other players in the VNEA were able to match that feat during that season. Having been a member of the VNEA for 19 years, Jake has played in the International Championships a number of times.

In 1986, Jake’s team finished in 13/16th place and in 1991, he and his daughter captured 17/32nd place in the Scotch Doubles event. Jake has been a great competitor for many years

Quote: "My most memorable moment in the VNEA came in 1994 when I earned the coveted 30-Zip Award." – Jake Kruse

Gari Jo Jensen

Charter: Rushmore Amusement • Rapid City, SD

Gari Jo has been very active in the promotion of pool in her area by encouraging young players to get involved in pool by teaching them the fundamentals of the game. She also serves on her local VNEA league Board of Directors.

Her local accomplishments are many: League Singles Champion; S. Dakota State Women’s Masters 8-Ball Champion (6 times); S. Dakota State Women’s Masters 9-Ball Champion (6 times); S. Dakota State Women’s Team Champion (13 times); Inducted into the S. Dakota State 8-Ball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Gari Jo has been a pillar of excellence at the Int’l Championships. She has often been a member of winning teams and has placed in the top 4 in Singles competition numerous times as well. Gari Jo won the Women’s Master 8-Ball Singles Division in 1994, 95, & 96. She was the first player in VNEA history to win a division in 3 consecutive years.

Quote: "Having been involved with the VNEA for as long as I have, it has been very exciting to see it grow as it has." – Gari Jo Jensen

Dave Angiolillo

Charter: Juke Box Jack • Evansville, WY

Dave is involved in many aspects of his local league program from being an officer to helping conduct local and state tournaments. In 1997, Dave received the President’s Award for outstanding support and contributions to his league. He was also chosen "Player of the Year" for the 1997-98 league season.

Dave also helped start the Douglas Junior League and Douglas Team Tournament and has been successful in raising money for local charities through league and tournament contributions. He and his league team affectionately called "Big Dog & Little Whiners" have competed strongly at the VNEA International Championships for the last four years. Their goal, like many others, is to take home the Championship title.

Quote: "Before joining a VNEA pool league, my game was very mediocre. Team play has made me work harder at my game." – Dave Angiolillo

Mary Beth Altizer

Charter: W-K Music & Vending • Columbus, OH

Mary Beth has been a tremendous asset at both the local and state level whether it’s by refereeing or doing stats for tournament play. She has captained numerous 1st place league teams and has also performed well at their City Championships.
She loves the competitiveness of the VNEA International Championships and has been a tough competitor herself.

Mary Beth is also a nationally certified referee and has worked the floor in Las Vegas for the past three years.

Quote: "VNEA is like my adopted family. I would do anything that would benefit the VNEA whether it was on a local, state, or national basis." – Mary Beth Altizer

Dion Watson

Charter: Varner Vending • Ft. Smith, AR

Dion spends a lot of time promoting leagues to lady players trying to increase their involvement in traveling to different cities and even states to compete in pool tournaments. Conducting pool lessons for young people as well as doing Trick Shot Exhibitions for the United Way and other special causes keeps Dion well connected in the community.

Dion has served as team captain of her long-time team "The Lady Sharks" for many years. In 1982, Dion was featured in Sports Illustrated "Faces In The Crowd" section. In 1985, this Hall of Famer was chosen to grace the cover of Pool & Billiard magazine.

Quote: "My most memorable moment in the VNEA was when I was elected to the 2nd Team ‘All Star Team’ at the 15th Anniversary VNEA Int’l Championships" – Dion Watson

Don Soper

Charter: Automatic Vendors • Pierre, SD

Don has been seen conducting numerous "How to Play Pool" seminars for young pool enthusiasts in the Pierre area. He has captained multiple winning teams in his leagues. In 1986, his team went undefeated to claim the title. Don’s team took their talent to the state level and captured titles in 1989, 1993, and 1996. They also possess two 2nd and 3rd place finishes. In 1996, Soper’s team finished in 1st place and reinforced the respect of their peers by taking home the coveted 'Governor’s Cup'.

Don’s International Championship Accomplishments include: 1985 – 9/12th place Open Team; 1986 – 9/12th place 8-Ball Singles; 1992 – 3/4th place Seniors Singles.

Quote: "I can’t pick one particular ‘most memorable moment’ in the VNEA, but I can say that over the last 18 years of league participation, I have enjoyed every minute." – Don Soper

James Rohde

Charter: High Country Games • Laramie, WY

Rohde has always believed in promoting fair competition at every level. Throughout his career, he has accumulated over 25 plaques and trophies from various leagues and tournaments in the Laramie area.

For over 15 years, Rohde served as his team’s captain. Jim also stays very active by volunteering to set up for tournaments in the local area as well as the Int’l Championships. Throughout his career at the VNEA International Championships, Jim has had his share of success. Placing in the top 32 of the Men’s Masters Singles Division on more than one occasion makes Jim a force to be reckoned with in the VNEA.

Quote: "I’ve watched the VNEA grow by leaps and bounds over the years and it still feels like family. A well organized ‘large’ family." - James Rohde

Manuel Gonzales Jr.

Charter: High Country/TD Rowe • Ft. Collins, CO

Manuel is a long time member of the VNEA and has served as the captain of numerous teams throughout his pool career. He furthers his involvement with the leagues by assisting in local tournament activity and spending time helping others increase their skill level.

In 1994 and 1997, Manuel’s Men's A team placed 2nd and 1st, respectively, at the coveted Rocky Mountain Team Tournaments. He also captured 1st place in Open A/AA Singles at the 1996 High Country/TD Rowe 1st Annual Pool Tournament. Since 1970, Manuel has absorbed many local honors.

Like a number of other talented VNEA pool players have done, Manuel has completed the VNEA Certified Referee School and has used his certification to raise the level of professionalism displayed at his local events by promoting accuracy in call making.

Quote: "My most memorable moment in the VNEA was in 1997 at the Int’l Championships in Las Vegas when my son Manuel Gonzales III and his team finished first in the Open Team Division." – Manuel Gonzales Jr.

Art Ekern

Charter: Stansfield Vending • La Crosse, WI

Ekern has captured several local and state tournament titles throughout his many years of play with the VNEA. From 1984-1990, Ekern served as the league coordinator for Stansfield Vending’s league system. Art has continued to promote numerous teams as the owner of Top Shots Pool & Darts.

Art has also served as the Secretary of the local league in which he actively participates. He was also one of the first sanctioned VNEA League Players to record a Perfect Match-30 Zip on December 1st, 1982. As the captain of the famed "Hondo’s Bar" team at the 1981 International Championships in Rochester, Minnesota, Art was a member of the first VNEA Int’l Men’s Division Team Champion in the history of this prestigious organization. Art and his team set the standard for the thousands of teams which would later vow for their title.

Quote: "It has been a pleasure both helping and watching the VNEA blossom into the premier association that it is today." – Art Ekern

Michael Sathoff

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

Sathoff has captured over 20 local tournament titles and has garnered several 2nd and 3rd place finishes. He has stayed busy over the years serving as Team Captain, League President, and Certified Referee. He has also served as the Director of the local Youth Pool League.

Michael has proven to be one of the most consistent players in the VNEA by accumulating several Top League Player honors. He has competed in multiple International Championships in Las Vegas. He has successfully passed his extensive tournament experience on to several local youth teams in his area that he has accompanied to many of the VNEA Int’l Junior Championships.

Quote: "My most memorable moment in the VNEA was qualifying for the Int’l Championships for the first time in 1984. We played other teams from Newfoundland, Canada, and around the U.S." – Michael Sathoff

Diana Minor

Charter: Indy Amusements • Indianapolis, IN

A 5-time VNEA/IAMOA Women’s State Champion. Diana has served as the Captain of her local VNEA pool team and has been a Congress Representative in the past.

Minor’s Master squad finished 2nd in her league in 1994 and 1995 and captured 1st place honors in 1996. The 1994 VNEA International Championships proved just how good of a player Diana was as she was named to the VNEA 1st Team All-Star Team, took 2nd place in the Women’s 8-Ball Division and 3/4th place in the Women’s Masters 9-Ball Division.

Quote: "The VNEA has given me a great way to compete with the best amateurs in the world. I am honored to be acknowledged by such a terrific organization. Receiving 1st Team All-Star status in 1994 was my most memorable VNEA moment." – Diana Minor

Shelley Hudson

Charter: Elum Music • Massillon, OH

Shelley’s outstanding local tournament achievements include: 1994 – Ladies State Team Champs; 1995 – Ladies State Masters Team 2nd Place; 1996 – Ladies State Masters Team 4th Place. She has also been named League MVP several times throughout her career and was the 1997 Sandusky VNEA Champion.

Shelley was League Coordinator for 12 years helping to promote the start of the VNEA League System in her area and oversaw growth of league from 6 teams to an incredible 63 teams. She was also a Junior League Instructor and Coach and placed 3rd in the Women’s 9-Ball Regular Division at the 1991 International Championships.

Quote: "My most memorable moment in the VNEA was when I finished 3rd at the ’91 Int’l Championships, and I had the honor of sharing the stage with some of the best amateur players in the world and realizing that I was one of them."– Shelley Hudson

Dennis Favero

Charter: N.T.S. • Omaha, NE

Dennis’ accolades during his several years in the VNEA include an impressive display of Singles and Team titles in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Omaha, Nebraska. Favero has maintained his leadership role by serving as his team’s Captain and also as a respected Officer of his league. His experience as a player in the International Championships as well as many leagues has made him an invaluable promoter of the VNEA.

Notable International Championships Finishes: 1985 – Team Champions; 1987 – Team Champions; 1987 – Singles Champion; 1988 – Masters Singles Champion; 1989 – Masters Team Champions.

Quote: "We entered two teams in the 2nd Annual VNEA Tourney in Reno, NV. We all went with the idea of having fun and enjoying the competition. Our teams ended up playing each other and finishing in 2nd and 3rd place." – Dennis Favero

Ralph Allen

Charter: Music Service • Brookings, SD

As a member of our Association since its inception, Allen has had a chance to accumulate several top finishes during his long league career with the VNEA, including a State Championship in 1996. He has been the Captain of his team for many years and had served as the President of his league for nine years. During his term as President, Allen’s league grew from a dismal 5 teams to a whopping 56 teams. He is very proud of the fact that his wife and four of his children are active players in the VNEA.

International Championships Team Finishes: 1982 – Team Champions; 1983 – 3rd Place; 1984 – 5th Place; 1985 – 9th Place.

Quote: "Traveling to Reno, Nevada with a group of 56 other league players in my area and successfully winning the tournament was my most memorable moment in the VNEA." – Ralph Allen

Doug Rowland

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Doug has earned over 100 awards in state and local tournaments. He helped start and played on one of the first pool teams in the D & R Star Pool League system and helped start and served as President of the East Country Pool League.

Doug has served as referee at D & R Star’s pool tournaments and several state tournaments, he was instrumental in the creation of D & R Star’s 1st Annual Youth Pool Tournament. Doug graciously gives pool lessons to local junior and adult players.

He is a Certified Referee and has refereed several of the adult and junior International Championships including the 1st Annual Team Tournament in 1981. He played an important role in the creation of VNEA’s spawning Junior Program and continues to lend his support. Doug is considered a seasoned veteran by many of his competitors due to the sheer number of VNEA International Championships in which he has played.

Quote: "I am very gracious for the support and contribution of Valley Recreation Products to the VNEA and appreciate their outstanding quality product." – Doug Rowland

Donald Rotert

Charter: C & N Sales • Mankato, MN

Since 1983, Don has accumulated several State and Local accolades. He has served as both the Captain of his team and the President of his league multiple years. As a Certified Referee, Don has served as a referee at local qualifiers.

He has helped set up the Junior League System in his area and has helped the program progress at not only the local level but the state and international levels as well. Don’s proudest moment came in 1989 when he received the coveted C & N Sales "MVP Ring."

Don has had impressive finishes at the International Championships in both the Team and Scotch Doubles events. Don’s home town gave his team a hero’s welcome in 1987 when they returned from Las Vegas, which made that a most memorable occasion for Don and his teammates.

Quote: "When our team finished among the leaders at the International Championships, we were so proud of ourselves for doing so well so soon. We all felt like we had just won the Super Bowl." – Donald Rotert

Ron Morton

Charter: Indy Amusements • Indianapolis, IN

Ron possesses several state titles both with his team and as a singles participant including a sweep of both the Masters Team and Masters Singles titles at the I.A.M.O.A. State Championships in 1995. He has served as Chairman of Indy Amusements Players Congress as well as serving on the Tournament Committee at the Mid-West Regionals.

When his team isn’t busy winning titles across the state, Ron keeps busy as a VNEA Certified Referee. Since 1992, Ron has captained teams that have captured first place in both the Open and Masters Divisions of the International Championships.

Individually, Ron finished 3rd-4th in the 8-Ball Singles Division at the International Championships in 1992 and 5th-8th in 1995.

Quote: "Well run by its Charter Holders and extremely organized down to the state and local levels, VNEA Pool Leagues are my preference." – Ron Morton

Michael Jensen

Charter: Stansfield Vending • La Crosse, WI

With several City Team Championships and earning Class "A" League Most Valuable Player along the way, Mike is one of our Association’s premier members. As a League Director, Mike has utilized the entire VNEA League System by organizing leagues, tournaments, awards banquets, and a successful Junior Program. Mike has always believed that VNEA stands for "Very Noteworthy & Excellent Association."

Mike was a member of "Hondo’s" who were the Team Champions at the historical 1st Annual VNEA Team Championships in Rochester, Minnesota in 1981. He has been involved with the VNEA Junior Program from its inception and continues to play a big part in its growth as a member of the Junior Tournament Committee.

Quote: "My most memorable time in the VNEA came when my team ‘Hondo’s’ won the 1st Annual VNEA Team Championships in 1981 in Rochester, Minnesota." – Michael Jensen

Allen Duprel

Charter: Rushmore Amusement • Rapid City, SD

Allen’s teams have gained tremendous respect in their region over the years as they have captured the South Dakota State "A" Team Championship several times. His individual skills are also impressive as he is a multiple-time South Dakota State "A" 9-Ball Champion. He has served for many years on the Board of Directors of his local league, which includes a 2-year stint as President. Allen has also served as Head Referee at his State VNEA Tournaments.

Most of Allen’s accomplishments have occurred in the International Team competition. From 1983 to 1991, Allen’s teams have captured two 1st Place finishes, two 2nd place finishes, and one 4th Place finish at the VNEA International Championships.

Quote: "VNEA leagues have been very important in the growth of pool and the friendships that develop through team pool competition is very rewarding." – Allen Duprel

Louie Salazar

Charter: High Country Pool Leagues • Ft. Collins, CO

Since joining VNEA in 1986, Louie has accumulated many individual awards in the Men’s A/AA Division of his local league. He has also been a big part of his team’s multiple league titles. Louie’s team has won the State Team Championship, and he has also placed 1st and 3rd in State Singles competition over the last 3 years. He is very active in local tournaments as both a referee and as a Charter Holder assistant.

Louie has consistently placed very high in both the Regular and Masters Singles Divisions as well as in the Team Divisions at the International Championships. He is a feared competitor in the Mini-Singles Tournaments and has been very successful in these competitions over the years.

Quote: "I feel that VNEA Pool Leagues are instrumental in teaching individuals the finesse, strategy, and good sportsmanship of pool." – Louie Salazar

Carol McElhaney

Charter: Derrick Music Company • Charleston, WV

Carol has served as the President of her local VNEA league for many years. She also contributes a lot of time and effort to local VNEA League Coordinators by assisting them with weekly scores, league meetings, etc. Carol has been the Most Valuable Player of her local VNEA many times over. She has also had the Most 10’s in league play numerous times.

Carol captured the title of the Women’s Regular Singles 8-Ball Division at the 1991 International Championships. Carol’s name also appears in the record books for having the Most 10’s In One Season for the 1989-1990 season and runner-up during the 1993-1994 season.

Quote: "The VNEA is the best thing to happen to pool in our area. Pool was little known until we sent teams to the International Championships. Now, pool is well recognized." – Carol McElhaney

Blaine Mac Neil

Charter: Town & Country Amusements • Windsor, ON

Blaine has been an accomplished pool player in the Detroit/Windsor area for several years and has organized key tournaments for VNEA players. He has refereed several International Championships and has trained several players to also referee in International play.

Blaine has been instrumental in raising the profile of pool locally by establishing over fifteen mixed-level leagues in his local area. He placed 2nd in the Men’s Masters Division at the 1991 International Championships over one of the premier ranked fields ever assembled. Has consistently placed in the top eight in both 8-ball and 9-ball in Regional and International Championships. An accomplished teacher of pool, Blaine has helped train over 100 referees to work International competitions.

Quote: "I am very proud to have been a part of raising the profile of organized pool play in Canada." – Blaine Mac Neal

Anthony Falcigno

Charter: Collier Games Corp. • Naples, FL

Anthony initiated the first VNEA League Program in Florida including a Junior Program. He has also hosted and performed in many local sports T.V. programs teaching about pool and the VNEA. He is a Certified Master Instructor and is the Florida VNEA State Tournament Chairman.

Anthony has had several first place Team finishes, two Singles titles, and two second place Singles finishes in State Competition. He has the most Top Ten finishes in State Tournaments of any player in Florida.

Anthony is the co-author of the Certified Instructor Program. He has taught a two day seminar in Las Vegas, NV for the past seven years. His team finished 2nd and 3rd in the Masters Team Division at the International Championships.
Anthony has had both 3rd and 5th place Singles finishes along with several Top 10 finishes at the International Championships.

Quote: "My most memorable time in the VNEA came from having had the opportunity to work side by side with the late Warren Kelly." – Anthony Falcigno

Dick Callier

Charter: D & R Star • Rochester, MN

Dick has been a Master player in the D & R Star league system. He has won over 115 awards to date and has not missed playing in 20 years. He was instrumental in the creation of the VNEA Junior Pool Tournament. He also helped start the D & R Star Adult/Youth Scotch Doubles league in 1994.

Dick is a Certified Referee and has refereed all of the M.O.M.A. Tournaments and D & R Tournaments and has not missed an event over all the years. He has been providing lessons for youth in Rochester for many years. Dick also has been on the State Championship Team and Runner-Up several times.

At the 1982 International Championships in Las Vegas, NV, Dick’s team placed third in the Regular Team Division. Dick’s teams have always promised to be a favorite whenever they enter the competition at the International Championships.

Dick was one of the original Certified Referees at the 1st Annual VNEA Tournament. He is one of the very few players in the VNEA to attend every International Competition.

Quote: "What is most rewarding to me has been the growth of the local Youth Pool program which has blossomed from six youngsters to over two hundred." – Dick Callier

Dick Spitzer

Charter: Rushmore Amusement • Rapid City, SD

Dick has played a major part in the organization of local VNEA pool leagues in his area. He has also served as Tournament Director for many locally held and statewide tournaments. He has been on the Board of Directors or Chairman of his local league system many times over the years.

Dick has won the following state championships: 2-time "B" 8-Ball; 6-time "A" 8-Ball; 3-time "A" 9-Ball; 6-time "A" Team. He also was a member of the VNEA International Regular Team Champions in 1984 and Masters Champions in 1989.

His team finished second in the Regular Division in 1983 and second again in 1988 as a Masters team. Dick finished third in the Men’s Masters 8-Ball Division in 1990 and captured the title in 1992. He has also been a member of the VNEA International Championships Tournament Committee.

Quote: "It has been a pleasure to be associated with the VNEA both as a player and as a Committee member over the years." – Dick Spitzer

Larry Martin

Charter: Gapter Amusement • Cheyenne, WY

As a strong supporter of the VNEA, Larry has been very active in local and regional competition. Since 1982, Larry has consistently finished atop the leader board in local VNEA Tournaments. In the past, Larry has served as Captain of his team and was President of his VNEA league. Larry has also served as a member of the VNEA Players Advisory Board and is a card carrying Certified Instructor.

Larry has made several appearances at the International Championships competing not only in Las Vegas, but also in Milwaukee and Reno. Placing in the money a number of times, Larry is a force to be reckoned with in the VNEA.

Quote: "I feel that the VNEA rules and league system are the best of any league that I’ve played on." – Larry Martin

Tony Liburdi

Charter: own & Country Amusements • Windsor, ON

Tony has been very instrumental in expanding Town & Country Amusements charter system to more than double their original number of teams. His involvement in local leagues and tournaments as both a coordinator and director has made him a major asset to his charter and the Association. Tony also serves as a referee for many events and spreads his pool knowledge to other players as a card carrying Certified Instructor

Tony was a member of the VNEA Men’s Masters Team Champions in 1985. He finished second in the Men’s Team Division in 1982 & 1986. Tony has placed in the top 8 of both the 8-Ball and 9-Ball Divisions throughout his accomplished career. He has served on the VNEA Rules Committee and Player Advisory Board.

Quote: "Before VNEA and local charter holders, pool players had no goals. Now they have the ambition to do their best and go to the International Championships." – Tony Liburdi

Janene Hague

Charter: Dahlco Music & Vending • St. Paul, MN

While serving as the secretary for the Dahlco VNEA pool league system, Janene kept stats, ran qualifiers, and looked to help wherever possible. Janene’s involvement in the sport has ranged from instructing youth and organizing Junior leagues to coordinating a women’s professional tournament in 1988.

Janene was the MOMA State Singles Women’s Champion in 1982 and Women’s Masters Champion in 1994. She was also a team member on the MOMA State Woman’s Team Champion in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and Women’s Masters Team Champion in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994.

Janene won the VNEA International Women’s Singles Championship in 1987. She was a member of the VNEA International Women’s Team Champion in 1985 and 1986. Janene was also a member of the Women’s Masters Team Champions in 1988, 1989, 1991 and her team finished second in 1992.

Quote: "My most memorable time in VNEA competition was the first year we won the Women’s Team Event. It was a real team effort." – Janene Hague

Jack Dunbar

Charter: Derrick Music Company • Charleston, WV

Jack has participated in over 40 local tournaments and placed second in the Frank Veltri Open 9-Ball Tournament in 1993. He has also been very active in the promotion of the VNEA International Championships in Las Vegas. He has helped spread the word of the terrific experiences and thrills of worldwide competition to new and even seasoned league players.

Jack won the Men’s Regular Singles 8-Ball Division of the International Championships in 1989 and returned in 1993 to capture 5th-8th place in the Masters Division of the same event. Jack’s team captured first place in the Men’s Regular Team Division in 1991 and again as a Masters team in 1993.

Quote: "I am most honored to be one of the initial inductees into the VNEA Hall of Fame." – Jack Dunbar