ICA Executive Board

Patrick Cohen (Interim President and Downstate VP)

Stephen Plotnick (Metro VP) joined the chess community when his son started playing late 2015. He has assisted Quest Academy run by Yury Shulman where his son takes chess classes. Due to his passion he is now a TD having worked at the Chicago Open and the K-12 Greater Chicago Open at McCormick Place. He started his business life in the early 1980’s trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After working for Merrill Lynch heading up their IT department for their business brokerage and valuation division in Chicago, Steve started is own consulting business in 1987. He has maintained a relationship with many large companies including a multi-billion dollar company in retail and wholesale environment for almost 30 years. This is the strength he hopes will be his best asset for serving the Illinois Chess Association.

Patrice Connelly (Secretary) is the coordinator and instructor for Edgewater Chess Club, which meets at the Edgewater Chicago Public library branch twice a month. She is an active player in the Chicago Industrial Chess League (CICL), where she served as bulletin editor from 2010-2016. She is now captain of the Wombats, a CICL team from South Suburban Chess Club in the West Division. When not playing chess, Patrice enjoys other activities, like explaining to her non-chess player friends that yes, chess is fun and helps you develop other skills, and no, it’s not nerdy.

Directors At Large

Eva Harrison was born and raised in Germany and came to the U.S. in 1995 with a degree in translation from the University of Mainz-Germersheim. After working at the Chicago Waldorf School for three years, she switched to self-employment and now handles legal, financial and business translations out of her home in Beverly (Chicago). Eva is married to John and they have five children, including two sets of twins. Soon after her then third-grader David had joined the Keller Chess Club (Christopher later followed), Eva was invited by a friend to the South Suburban Chess Club in nearby Oak Lawn. While not a complete beginner, in May 2012, she joined her first chess club and played her first tournament chess challenging her sons to beat her rating. When her time allows, she also frequents other chess clubs in the area or plays table tennis. Eva is the co-captain of the Pawns, one of the teams in the West Division of the Chicago Industrial Chess League (CICL), and became a board member of the ICA in April 2017.

Michael Lenox is a physically disabled retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer. He credits chess with his rapid recovery from severe mental effects from a major stroke 11 years ago. He is the founder/president of several Chicago area chess clubs and the Illinois Chess Vets (ICV) nonprofit organization. ICV holds weekly US Chess (USCF) tournaments, has several VA hospitals recreational chess therapy programs, oversees several chess clubs, and conducts community outreach on the health benefits of chess. He is a 1200+ strength tournament chess player, USCF Local Tournament Director, USCF Certified Coach and USCF Special Needs and Circumstance board member. His veteran organization memberships include the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He currently lives in Burbank, Illinois with his wife of 19 years, Lia.