Board of Directors

Founder/Board Chair

A US Navy veteran [HMC (SW/AW)/Ret] created Playing ACES CHESS while his grandson was attending Stone-Robinson ES SY 2008/2009. Nate has played chess for over 50 years. His first tournament experience was a 3rd Place finish (a trophy he still has) from a summer chess tournament conducted at the Perry Street YMCA in Montgomery, Al. His father who immigrated here after WWII with his mother taught Nate to play chess when he was just a little over 4 years old. Nate played for his Club Team at Sidney Lanier HS and several command teams during his military career. He is married to the former Betty Payne of Pensacola, FL. They have two grown children(Jennifer and Joseph) and now have two grandchildren (Jacob and Avery).  Jacob plays chess and Nate is now introducing his granddaughter to play the game. He attended East Carolina University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences (Public Health Focus) and was inducted into Epsilon Nu Eta (Environmental Health Honor Society). He is active in Scouting (Eagle ’72) and other community activities. Contact Nate:

As you interact with a veteran do not just – thank them for their service.  Be willing to buy them a cup of coffee and really learn about who they are – lessen!

Nate Szejniuk, LinkedIn Profile
Nate Szejniuk

Board Members

Rob Masri is married with three children. He is also a graduate of the UVA Law School and teaches part-time at the Darden School of Business. He is also an entrepreneur who developed Cardagin and is an executive with Moonlighting. He is a Master (USCF Rating > 2000) level chess player and prefers to play Blitz Chess. He continues travel the world for business, yet finds time to play chess in parks and cafes from Moscow to San Francisco. Board member since 2012.
Rob Masri, LinkedIn Profile
Rob Masri
Kathi Paul is mother to two young chess players who currently attend Baker-Butler ES. Kathi is a lawyer and works for the CFA Institute. While Kathi is not a chess player she became involved when her children wanted to grow their chess skills. She is also the PTO parent sponsor of the Baker-Butler Chess Club. Board member since 2016.
Kathi Paul, LinkedIn Profile
Kathi Paul
Dave Price is a former construction trades supervisor and freelance remodeling expert.  Dave joined Nate to provide chess to student at Stone-Robinson ES with outreach over the years to make public, private and home school programs.  Dave still services the needs for the students of Stone-Robinson ES.  
Dave Price
Dave Price
 Looking to fill board position vacated by Nick Matthews for Editor Daily Progress when he transfer to work in Florida for another paper.
 Looking to fill board position.

Direct Program Support Advisers

Barry Keith, a veteran foreign languages teacher (French and Spanish), Barry Keith serves as the Playing ACES Program Development Adviser and area Playing ACES USCF Certified Tournament Director. Barry is a life member of the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) and is a member of the Charlottesville City Chess Club (CCCC). Beginning in 1999, Barry organized and directed a small USCF-rated scholastic chess event each year called the Mustang Open.  Barry is  Chess Merit Badge Counselor in the Stonewall Jackson Area Council for the BSA.  In 2009 and in 2015 he hosted the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association (VSCA) Virginia State Scholastic Chess Championships at Monticello High School. In April of 2012, Barry organized, with John Teixeira, the first Steve Graziano Memorial Charlottesville Chess Club Championship for adults, which attracted twenty area players. Barry has directed tournaments at a variety of other schools, including a series of unrated events for Albemarle County students with colleague Jennifer Whitenack of Baker-Butler ES.  He collects stamps with chess-related themes. Barry is married and has three children. He is also an expert Scrabble player and member of the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA). Advisor since 2012.
Barry Keith, LinkedIn Profile
Barry Keith
 Greg established for Madison House the program to recruit and develop student youth mentors to support K-12 chess programs for locations like Boys & Girls Club, Venable ES and Agnor-Hurt ES to name a few in support of the Playing ACES CHESS mission to provide K-12 chess experiences to area public, private, and school students in our area, including support for various local k-12 chess tournaments.  Greg is a UVA Graduate of the Curry School with a Masters in Science Education.  Presently, Greg is a Physics teacher at the Chesapeake Bay Governors School, but still finds to help Playing ACES CHESS with projects he can support remotely.   Greg hopes to return the Charlottesville soon.  In the mean time he continues to bring chess to the students he currently serves. Advisor since 2012.
Greg Dorsey, LinkedIn Profile
Greg Dorsey