Bid Co-Chairs

Helen Montgomery

Helen has been active in Chicago fandom since 2000, when she began working on Capricon. She has held many roles for Capricon, including the newsletter, marketing, programming, and convention chair (twice). She has also served two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of Phandemonium, Capricon’s parent corporation, including four of those years as Board President.

For Worldcon, Helen first worked on CascadiaCon, the 2007 NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention). Since then, she has worked on five Worldcons (Nippon 2007, Denvention 2008, Renovation 2011, Chicon 7 2012, LoneStarCon 2013, and Loncon 2014) and two additional NASFiCs (Detcon 1 2014 and NorthAmeriCon 2017). She is currently the Division Head of Events for Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon. For Chicon 7, she was one of the three “Chairman’s Flying Monkees” (Vice Chairs), overseeing the WSFS, Members Services, and Hospitality Divisions.

Helen chaired Smofcon (a convention for people who run science fiction conventions) in 2016 in Chicago. She is also the President of the Science Fiction Outreach Project, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes literacy and fandom through the reading of science fiction and fantasy.

Helen recently moved to Seattle, but will always consider herself a Chicago fan, continuing to work on Capricon and the Chicago in 2022 Bid.

Dave McCarty

Dave has been attending science fiction conventions since he was a teenager but did not get actively involved until 1999. His first official job was to co-chair Capricon 19, and he’s been hooked ever since. He has chaired Capricon two additional times, run Operations, and currently is the curator of the Capricon Exhibits / Hall of Fame. He served on the Board of Directors of Phandemonium, Capricon’s parent corporation, for one three-year term, and now serves as the Facilities Liaison for them.

His work with Worldcon also started at a high bar – in 2004, he was asked to take over the Chicago in 2008 Worldcon Bid as Bid Chair. Over the next two years, he worked hard on that bid, although did not succeed in bringing the Worldcon back to Chicago that year. He went on to work for Nippon 2007 as the Events Division Head, and has served several times as the Hugo Awards Administrator. He led the successful Chicago in 2012 Worldcon Bid, and was the Chair of Chicon 7.

Bid Committee

Members of the Board of Directors are marked with *

David Abzug

Gary Agin *

Gary Agin is a long-time fan and regular volunteer at Worldcons.  He has been a staff member doing at-con Registration at most Worldcons since 1992 while helping out in Hospitality occasionally.  He was Assistant Head, Member Services Division at Chicon 2000.  He is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Michigan Technological University and was active in the local club PFRC (Permanent Floating Riot Club).

James Bacon

James is from Dublin Ireland, now living in England. He is  a professional train driver and now trains and instructs Train Driver Trainee’s. James reads a lot of comics, likes Star Wars, fountain pens, post, military and Irish history, and fanzines. James chaired Octocon the National Irish Con Chair, Eastercon, Damn Fine Con and many other cons.   TAFF delegate, Nova Award, ESFS Award and ISFA Award recipient,  he has been nominated for Hugo Awards, and finds it hard to believe that he won won two as Fanzine Co-Editor. 

James chaired Dublin 2019 An Irish Worldcon. 

Pam Burr

Pam attended her first con in 2005 where she met her husband on her first night there, but that is an other story.  She has been involved in various local and WorldCons mostly in marketing them and/or raising money for them. She sees herself as a jack of all trades, but master of none. 

Gadi Evron

Gadi Evron has been active in Israeli science fiction fandom since the 90s. The first international (US) convention he attended was SMOFcon in 2007. In the last few Worldcons he has helped run several areas such as volunteers and the Masquerade. In Dublin 2019 he was DDH for logistics. He is currently DDH Events for CoNZealand, and DH Events for Discon 3.

David A. Hirsch

David Hirsch is a life long science fiction fan. He has been attending both local, national, and international conventions since he was a teenager. David is a recently retired high school teacher who is proud to have brought a science fiction class to his school. A passionate Star Trek fan, David is also an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres – and everything else, too. He is currently the coordinator of a science fiction book club associated with the Capricon, a local science fiction convention. David is also a father, husband, writer, Sunday school teacher, and member of the Chicago Worldcon bid committee!

RJ Johnson

RJ Johnson’s fannish career can be encapsulated with the phrase “Hey, that looks like fun; let’s try it!” From editing the Purdue University fanzine in the early 80s and performing with Moebius and SpaceTime Theaters to being Minister Without Portfolio and Idea Guy for Congenial (the little relaxicon that could) in the 90s to heading up the Volunteers Department for Capricons 20 and 21 as well as art and charity auctioneering at Worldcons, Chicago, and SF Bay Area conventions over the past 30 years, RJ keeps looking for new things that look interesting and enjoyable to partake of and share with others. Including being on a Worldcon bid committee for Chicago in 2022. RJ lives in San Francisco these days but still keeps up with the best cheap eats in the Chicagoland area.

Douglas Killings

Douglas B. Kiilings got his start in fandom running several video fan groups, including the Skaro Hunting Society and later the Greater Chicago Megazone anime organization.  He was the Anime Department head for Capricon, 1986-1991; Capricon Film Department Head, 1997-2002; 2018-Present; the Chicon 5 Anime Department Head (1991); the Chicon 6 Video Department Head (2000); was a Phandemonium Board Member, 2000-2002 (? – Check with Dave on exact years; I’ve forgotten), and is currently the Capricon Con Chair for Capricon #42 (2022).  He has also worked at numerous conventions in the Chicago area and elsewhere.

Kerry Kuhn

Sandra Levy *

Sandy started reading science fiction in grade school, watched Star Trek as it was first broadcast and has been a reliable geek all her life.

She started going to SF cons in the early 80’s. For many years she attended cons and played with her small circle of friends.  Then she asked a fateful question at a World Con Bid table “Do you need any help”. And her life changed.

At that time she started working  various bid tables and helping set up  and work parties at cons. Then she started working cons.  She’s been an area head at several world cons leading the info desks and signage teams.  At regional cons, Sandy worked in several other departments in addition to the above. She is on the dealers’ team and have done publications.

From all this work Sandy has gained a wide circle of friends from around the world.

Siobhan Murphy *

Siobhán Maura Murphy is an attorney and partner with Chicago and Indianapolis offices of the law firm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP.  Siobhán has an extensive, reasonably well maintained professional resume, but doubts that is called for in regard to Chicago in 2022.  Siobhan has been involved in fandom since she was a high school student in the 1980s.  Her elder sister Deirdre first found and then shared our fascinating world of artists, writers, readers and creative thinkers.  Siobhan was with the Cambridge Union Science Fiction Society (CUSFS) for a convention (in 1992), and has either assisted in running or have ran convention art shows for the Chicago-area convention, Capricon, in the late 1990s & early 2000s, until two memorable years in which she (1) left the convention to meet an expert and test theories as to how a bus accident may have occurred (which involved riding in a vehicle while the expert tried to upset it); and (2) found herself attempting to run a convention art show while pregnant with twins.  Siobhán has been a panelist at many conventions, including past Worldcons in the United States and abroad.  She also provides advice, whether requested or not, to fans and convention runners, and is grateful that fandom is generally tolerant, if not grateful for the same.  She sometimes refers to herself and an Officious Intermedler.

Brian Nisbet

Brian Nisbet started running running gaming and SF conventions in Ireland in the mid-90s. In 1998 he got involved in the International Discworld Convention, held in the UK, and went on to chair it twice in 2010 & 2012. He co-chaired Shamrokon, the 2014 Eurocon. Brian went to his first Worldcon in 2005, but then didn’t go to another for 9 years, until LonCon3 in 2014, most of which he spent telling people about Shamrokon and Dublin 2019.
Since then he was a DDH Turva at Worldcon 75, DDH Exhibits at Worldcon 76 and DH Logistics at Dublin 2019. He’s currently DH Member & Staff Services for DisCon III and he’s on the bid committees for Chicago 2022 and Glasgow 2024.
When he’s not running Worldcons he can be found running his own annual relaxcon, MCing charity auctions at cons in Ireland and the UK and working to support research & education in Ireland.

Chris Rose

He’s just this guy who sorta fell into this job.

Ann Marie Rudolph

Ann Marie has been Co-Chair of World Fantasy Convention 2018 in Baltimore, Chair of Balticon 2017, the Baltimore Regional Science Fiction Convention. Hotel Liaison for Balticon for eight years, the 2014 WFC and North American Discworld Cons, and the 2012 Nebula Awards weekend. Ann Marie hosted the Green Room at Nippon 2007, ran pre- and post-Hugo events, the Balticon Consuite for four years, and worked in other hospitality areas at Worldcons, starting with the Con Suite at Bucconeer. She has volunteered in various other areas at Worldcons including MIMO, Facilities, Press Office, Programming, Registration, Exhibits, Volunteers, and Staff Den. Member of Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Washington Science Fiction Association, and on the Boards of the Baltimore Washington Area Worldcon Association and the World Fantasy Convention.

Jay Spitzer

Bill Thomasson *

W. A. (Bill) Thomasson, a frequent panelists at regional and World Science Fiction cons, has served on Access staff at six Worldcons. He was Access area had at Sasquan (the 2015 Worldcon) as well as at the 2029 NASFIC and 2020 Arisia. He also serves as Treasurer for Chicago’s annual Disability Pride Parade.

Barbara van Tilburg *

Barbara VanTilburg  has been active in Chicago area Science Fiction conventions since 1982 and owns and operates OffWorld Designs with her husband, artist Ray VanTilburg.  She has run Sales to Members at Chicon V, Intersection, Chicon 2000, Interaction, Anticipation, Chicon 7, Loncon 3, Sasquan, MidAmeriCon, Worldcon 76 and Dublin 2019.  Her fanish experience includes a term on the board of WindyCon and attendance at 20 cons a year personally and 40 – 50 via OffWorld Designs.

Tom Veal

Tom Veal chaired Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention (in Chicago in the Year 2000, naturally).  He co-chaired the Orlando in 1992 Worldcon bid and was Administrative Coordinator of the ensuing MagiCon, the 50th World Science Fiction Convention.  At other Worldcons, he has served as facilities liaison, operations head, corporate treasurer, house manager and pre-con information desk.  Oh, and as a Masquerade catcher, too.  He has also worked on local and regional cons, most notably as the treasurer of Windycon, one of the Chicago area’s two major regionals, from 2007 through 2017.  In 2013 he received the Forrest J Ackerman Big Heart Award for service to fandom.  His literary output includes works on pension plans, executive compensation and employee benefits that are far more fantastical than any SF.  After a quarter century in Chicago, he moved to Washington State in 2018, where he lives in active semi-retirement with his wife Becky (Thomson) Veal.

Leane Verhulst

Leane Verhulst has been involved in convention running in the Chicago area since 2003 where she first helped as a staff member in the Capricon art show. She quickly became addicted to helping behind the scenes. She has held a few different positions on her local convention of Capricon, including being chair once. She has also been on the Board of Directors for Phandemonium, Capricon’s parent organization, as Board Secretary and, separately, as Board Treasurer.

Leane became involved in the Worldcon community around 2005 when she joined the Chicago in 2008 Worldcon bid. When Chicago won the 2012 bin, she became the Member Services Division head. Since then she has worked on 6 Worldcons: LoneStarCon 3 (2013), Loncon 3 (2014), MidAmeriCon II (2016), Worldcon 76 in San Jose (2018), Dublin 2019 and CoNZealand (2020).

Leane is a member of the Science Fiction Outreach Project (SFOP), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes literacy and fandom through the reading of science fiction and fantasy. She is also a member of the Space Agency Fan Fund (SAFF). a 501(c)(3) IRS-recognized non-profit whose goal is to promote Outer Space related activities by all nations.

Ben Yalow

Ben Yalow’s very first convention he attended as a fan was Lunacon in 1971, followed later that year by his first Worldcon, Noreascon. Ben first started staffing conventions at the very first Star Trek convention in January 1972, followed by the Worldcon in 1973, Torcon 2. He has attended roughly eight hundred cons and staffed over three hundred. Discon 3 will be the 50th anniversary of his first Worldcon, and he hasn’t missed any in between.Ben’s contributions to con-running are numerous, and still on-going. Wanting to have a place where convention runners can come together to learn and teach one another, Ben co-founded SMOFcon, the annual convention that focuses exclusively on convention running. He has attended them all (including the one not held). He has been a Worldcon Division Head, co-Division Head, or Assistant Division Head for sixteen different Worldcons (on three continents), on the Chairman’s staff for a half-dozen others, and Comptroller for two more. He has chaired Lunacon (1978) and Boskone (1994), co-chaired one SMOFcon (1984), and was co-Vice Chair at the 1994 SMOFcon (and, with the Chair being a stuffed animal, the Vice-Chair job was a lot more involved than normal). He ran programming for Westercon in the same year he was Assistant Programme Head for Eastercon (2000), when they were about as far apart as they could possibly be (Hawaii and Glasgow).

In non-convention fanac, he is a member of NESFA (having once been President), FACT, LASFS, and SCIFI. He has been a Lunarian, a Fanoclast, and a member of OSFCI and FANAC. He has written a regular column for a fanzine (Jane’s Fighting SMOFs) and edited four books for NESFA Press, two of which have gotten nominated for the Hugo Award (“entirely the credit of the author, Dave Langford, not mine—I’ve just been really fortunate in that that he let me edit them”).

Bid Volunteers

  • Bobbi Armbruster
  • Jason Betts
  • Gary Blog
  • Alan Bond
  • Kathy Bond
  • Tammy Coxen
  • Marinda Darnell
  • John Donat
  • Matthew Duhan
  • Lisa Garrison
  • Andrea Hawkins-Kamper
  • Colin Harris
  • Alexia Hebel
  • David Ifversen
  • Emily Knowles-Grumble
  • Sydnie Krause-Steele
  • Brendan Lonehawk
  • Jesi Lipp
  • Joyce Lloyd
  • Glenn McDavid
  • Shirley McKinzey
  • Michael Nelson
  • Diane Osborne
  • John Phillips
  • Adam Reuter
  • Olave Rokne
  • Steven H Silver
  • Kris ‘Nchanter’ Snyder
  • Ian Stockdale
  • Becky Thomson
  • Michael Unger, MD
  • Helen Whatley
  • D’Andre Williams

Bid Staff

  • Corporate President: Dave McCarty
  • Corporate Secretary: Jason Spitzer
  • Corporate Treasurer: Shirley McKinzey
  • Art Director: Emily Knowles-Grumble of Eek! Designs
  • Bid Merchandising: OffWorld Designs
  • Convention Appearances Coordinator: Pam Burr
  • IT Director: Chris Rose
  • IT Staff: Victoria Garcia
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Leane Verhulst
  • Webmaster: Matthew Duhan