TaigaBridge founder Gordon Bower has been playing bridge for 25 years. He is active in the Pacific Northwest tournament scene, an ACBL Gold Life Master, and a member of the ACBL Goodwill Committee. He has had numerous regional and sectional successes, and even held a tiny handful of World Bridge Federation masterpoints once upon a time (for making the top 50 in the world in the 2004 Worldwide Bridge Contest. His minor claims to fame include —
- organizing an annual Auction Bridge game, played according to the 1920 Laws (don't revoke — the penalties are harsh!), including the only such game in recent history to award masterpoints, courtesy of a special one-time arrangement with the ACBL.
- Helping organize the "S.S. Finland Challenge" in 2000, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Harold Vanderbilt's cruise that launched the contract bridge craze (and winning the "Fifth Friday Trophy" tournament series that it spawned, two years in a row)
- Inventing a number of modestly popular bidding conventions, as well as a few even-more-modestly popular games.
He has been an accredited teacher and director since 1995. He has also been involved in bridge politics and administration. He currently represents District 18 on the ACBL Board of Governors. Previously he served several terms on unit boards (a past president of Farthest North Unit 426 and and Idaho Falls Unit 396), four years on the District 19 board, two years as District 19 Intermediate/Newcomer Coordinator, and chaired a number of sectionals. But he'd much rather play and teach than be a politician.
Outside of bridge, Gordon is by training a mathematician and geologist. He currently runs his own consulting firm, Excelsior Statistics and Optimization as well as serving as the Director of Institutional Research for Flathead Valley Community College. He has previously taught college statistics, and held research positions with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the International Arctic Research Center, the Alaska Mental Health Board, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Idaho National Laboratory.
In his spare time, he is also a classical violinist and composer.
He is happy to have escaped from city life (except for a few weeks a year at regionals!), living in northwest corner of Montana with his girlfriend Emillie and their two dogs, far enough off the beaten path to have a perfect view of the night sky for stargazing.