UT Dallas Chess Advisory Board

The UT Dallas Chess Advisory Board is composed of business, civic and chess leaders, who provide input and perspective on program activities and strategies. Board members are active in recruiting, hosting events and fundraising. We are delighted to have such an enthusiastic group of advisors.

Also, see the contact information for the executive team of the UT Dallas Chess Program.

Rodney Thomas

Rodney Thomas - Board President

Rodney is currently the IBM North America Techline Business Unit Executive for Software technical sales assistance, with global leadership responsibilities. He joined IBM in New Orleans in 1979, as a Systems Engineer supporting mainframe computers. Mr. Thomas has held a variety of technical and management roles, including, Systems Engineering Manager, Lotus Technical Sales Executive for the Americas, and North America leader for ERP Solutions in IBM’s Utility Industry sector.

He is active in the community, serving as President of the Advisory Board for the Chess Program at the University of Texas at Dallas. UTD recruits scholar-chess players globally, and is a leader in promoting chess as a vehicle for improving the scholastic performance of youngsters at the university, secondary & elementary school levels. Rodney majored in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. He resides in Dallas, with his wife Tracey.

John Jacobs

John Jacobs - Board Member

John is Executive Vice President, Economic Development for the Richardson Chamber of Commerce. He helps companies to relocate, expand, and establish businesses in Richardson. Before bringing his expertise to Richardson he was vice president of economic development in Garland and was a successful real estate broker.

John formerly served as vice president for a major national commercial real estate development company and has served as chair of the Dallas Area Economic Development Association as well as president of the Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter of NACORE, a CoreNet Global predecessor. Currently, he is a member of the Texas Economic Development Council and CoreNet Global. In 2008, he chaired the DFW Marketing Team, a regional economic development effort of 40+ North Texas communities, and was on the Board of North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors (NTCAR).

John holds a degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’ of Corporate Real Estate designation from CoreNet Global.

Sunil Weeramantry

Sunil Weeramantry - Board member

A nationally acclaimed chess instructor, Sunil served as Chairman of the USCF Committee on Chess in Education from 1990 to 2000. He has also been a member of the USCF Scholastic Committee from 1986 to the present, and served as co-chairman of the USCF Scholastic Council from August 2002 to July 2004.

For his work in scholastic chess, Sunil earned the 2004 Meritorious Service Award from the United States Chess Federation. In 2005, Sunil was named “Chess Educator of the Year,” a prestigious National recognition by the University of Texas at Dallas. In January 2007, Sunil gained international recognition by earning the title of FIDE Trainer.

A FIDE Master (FM) and a former two-time New York State champion, Sunil is one of the most successful chess coaches in the country. He has coached over 80 individual and team champions in national scholastic tournaments organized by the USCF. He served as one of the coaches for the American players at the World Youth Chess Championships in 1985, 1987 and 1989. Many of his students have medaled at this event over the last 20 years, the most recent being his stepson Hikaru Nakamura. Sunil is a pioneer in the field of curricular chess instruction.

Sunil is the author, with Ed Eusebi, of the best-selling chess book, Best Lessons of a Chess Coach, and of a soon-to-be-published book on the history of chess, with Alan Abrams.

Hank Mulvihill

Hank Mulvihill - Board Member

Hank has been a licensed securities professional, and a licensed life and health insurance agent, since 1987.

Hank is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and the Dallas Association for Financial Professionals (DAFP). He was a long-time member of the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas (GFOAT) and the Government Treasurers Organization of Texas (GTOT).

Hank holds the Certified Financial Planner and Certified Wealth Strategist designations and the Permanent Credential of Certified Cash Manager from the Association for Financial Professionals.

Hank is a member of the Richardson Rotary Club & the Richardson Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Leadership Richardson, Richardson Citizen Police Academy, Richardson Citizen Fire Academy, and is active in other community organizations.

Hank, his wife and three sons reside in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He is a Lifetime Member of the Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas. Hank and his wife completed the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. He owns the same 1941 Cadillac that he grew up with and used to take his first driver’s license test.

Chuck Riehm

Chuck Riehm - Board Member

Chuck is currently a customer-facing engineer at IBM crafting solutions for big data challenges at IBM’s largest customers. Mr. Riehm, an avid chess player and advocate, recently joined the Advisory Board for the Chess Program at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). For two+ years, Mr. Riehm taught Computers in Business during the early MBA program years at UTD.

During his career, Mr. Riehm has held a variety of technical and management roles at SGI, Raytheon/E-Systems, and Rockwell-Collins across a wide technology spectrum from mainframes to High Performance Super Computing to Telecommunications to Cloud Computing. During his career, Chuck has done business in 30 countries and lived in Hong Kong during the 1980’s.

For 8 years, he has served the City of Richardson’s Environmental Commission and is currently the Vice Chair. This commission coordinates the many environmental programs to reduce pollution and improve quality of living. Since, UTD resides within Richardson, close coordination has been successfully enhancing both. He was awarded a Master’s in Econometrics and a B.B.A. in Financial Economics (minor in Computer Science) from the University of Iowa. Chuck currently resides in Richardson, with his wife Sarah.

Jason Saving

Jason Saving - Board Member

Jason is currently a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he conducts research into public policy issues. He joined the Dallas Fed in 1996 following a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at George Mason University. Topics on which he has worked include health care reform, the stimulus plan, entitlement debt, and tax reform. He also speaks to Metroplex audiences about state and national economic conditions and has taught classes at several institutions including the University of Texas at Dallas and Baylor’s executive MBA program.

Jason majored in Mathematical Economic Analysis at Rice University and received a PhD in economics from the California Institute of Technology. He is married with three children, one of whom helped rekindle his youthful interest in chess and renewed his appreciation for its logic and structure.

Krish Prabhu

Krish Prabhu - Board Member

As President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer for AT&T, Krish Prabhu oversees the company’s global technology direction; which includes network planning and innovation road map including product development, AT&T Labs, and also the security and intellectual property organizations.

Before stepping into his current expanded role, Krish served as president and CEO of AT&T Labs, where he oversaw the technical and operational activities in the labs as well as all research and development.

Krish has extensive background in innovation and industry experience from his time at AT&T Bell Laboratories and executive roles at Tellabs, Alcatel USA and Tekelec. He also previously served as a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, where he assisted in developing information technology and communications start-ups, advised industry-leading telecommunications and semiconductor companies and has also served on several boards.

Krish earned a BS in physics from Bangalore University, an MS in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MS and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, where he is a member of the Board of Visitors at the School of Engineering. Krish is a life member of the Development Board of the University of Texas at Dallas.