I always viewed being RC as a temporary thing. In fact, when I started, I had a two-year plan in place. That plan was to build up the region to the point where it could be split into two separate regions (Pacific and Mountain) with new RCs in both of those regions. Utah (then in the Southwest Region) was the lynchpin of this plan because of the presence of one Jeremy Behunin, a good friend and someone who I viewed as the best candidate to be RC of the future Mountain Region. What I had forgotten until recently is just how much Jeremy shaped what was the become the new NW I took over. It was Jeremy who first suggested to me that Wyoming and Colorado (both in the South Region at the time) needed to be included in any proposed Mountain plan because those states had more interactions with each other and with Utah, Montana, and Idaho. Under his advisement, I asked for those states to be added to the NW when I accepted the RC position in October 2012.
Yadda yadda yadda
Here we are, just shy of 2 years later. Due to various circumstances, the region isn't quite at a splittable place. However, the NW in general, and the Mountain portion in particular, are thriving. I do not see the fact that we didn't achieve a split as a failure here, just an incorrect initial calibration of the time frame needed. What is important here is that the Mountain portion has a much stronger cohesion and identity today. We had a bunch of judges show up for GP Portland from the Mountain states, including 4 on staff from Montana. I think there were 4 judges total in Montana when I took over the region (maybe 5).
Despite not achieving the split goal, two years still felt like the right amount of time for me. Like a Presidential term, I think I came in, did some good things, and now it's time to step aside and let the next person do some good, especially when we have a great "next person" in line. As I said earlier, it was Jeremy Behunin who shaped my vision of what the Mountain and the new NW should look like. Throughout my term, he has continued to be an excellent advisor and friend. He's traveled far and wide to Judge Conferences and PTQs to strengthen our core of judges. In short, he has already been the RC of the Mountain states, and now it is my pleasure to be able to hand him the keys officially.
It's notable that this is the first time the RC has resided "inland" for these states. Back when it was just the West, Jeff Morrow and then Aaron Hamer were coastal. When the West was split, Sean Catanese (SW), Hamer (NW), and Kevin Binswanger (South) were still on the periphery. When David Zimet and I took over the first two regions respectively, the geographic relationship stayed the same. There's no doubt in my mind that Jeremy is the right person for the job at hand, but I also think that the timing of having the RC residing in the Mountain portion will have a significant impact on the work we have put into developing it. Meanwhile, the Pacific states will continue to do what they've always done. Besides, it's not like I'm disappearing. Stepping down as RC will allow me to focus a bit more locally. I will play the strong support to him from here in Portland.
I wish that we could have announced this at GP Portland, but the timing of it just didn't work out. Some of you knew, or were able to surmise that something like this was up. I appreciate that people did not pry. What is cool about this timing is that GP Salt Lake City, his hometown event, will be Jeremy's first GP as RC. Sometimes things happen a certain way for a reason. A great party just got better.