Mike Howerton began his career in the financial industry but soon found his true calling was software and the internet. He began his web life by building and maintaining websites for book publishers and soon launched AZBilliards in 1998 to cover the Arizona pool scene. When he decided to also track the performance of the Arizona players on the Camel Pro Series in the late 90's his web traffic began to soar and he made the switch from AZB being a local website to it being first a national sire and then an international web site.
The constant evolution of AZBilliards.com keep Mike in constant action these days. The forums are the most interactive platform billiard enthusiasts have today to share ideas and opinions as well as to trade, buy and sell billiards equipment.
Mike was the sole programmer behind AZBilliards for 13 years, developing in the process the world's biggest database of players, tournaments results and stories there is. Mike worked closely with fellow programmer Jérôme Desroziers to complete the migration of data from earlier AZB versions to the new version.
This new version of AZB is the fourth redesign that the site has undergone and plans are always underway for what will come next.
Jerry Forsyth began his working life in the printing industry where he became a manager of large printing firms. He retired from printing in 1985 and his lifelong love of billiards led him to become a writer for pool publications in order to occupy his time. In 1985 he began by writing for the TExas Billiard News which then became the American Cueist.
In 1996 he joined Pool & Billiard Magazine as a writer and photographer. He eventually became their Tournament Editor before leaving In 2007 to join AZBilliards as a partner to Mike Howerton. In addition to his duties at AZB he also is a television commentator for British Sky Broadcasting, TSN of Canada and ESPN/Star of Singapore for whom he does color commentary on international billiard events. He has been doing commentary on the Mosconi Cup since 2002.
In his spare time Jerry helps his wife Fran with their charity gardening effort to raise food for local food banks. To date they have given away more than 10 tons of fresh vegetables that are organically grown using no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer other than composted organic material.
AZBilliards.com wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for the help and involvement of more than just the two of us. Many more people have helped us and continue to contribute to the site regularly. We would like to recognize them.
Not enough can be said about JP Parmentier and Jerome Desroziers' work in the redesign and launch of version 4 of AzBilliards. Both JP and Jerome worked tirelessly and the redesign would not have been possible without them.
Skip Maloney started writing articles for AzBilliards in June 2009 and has been our regular tournament writer since then. Skip has an uncanny skill in finding new ways to describe tournament results each and every week, and his assistance has been invaluable in the continuing growth of the site.
Holly Dimmick has played many roles in the growth of AzBilliards. Holly has written articles, taken pictures, edited stories and ran the marketplace for a time. Besides these mundane chores, Holly was involved in helping to map out the future of the site in the late 90's and played a big role in keeping Mike from pulling his hair out many times.
Samm Vidal Claramunt has played a number of roles within AzBilliards. Covering tournaments, writing her Pro Vision column and helping keep us informed as to what a number of pro players were hiding in their pool cases are just a small sampling of the ways Samm has contributed to AzBilliards.
Melinda Bailey has been involved with AzBilliards almost since the very beginning. Melinda's assistance with introducing the site to select pro players in the early 90's was a huge help in the early growth of the site. Over the years, Melinda has helped with writing stories and has taken many great photos from various tournaments.
"Mr. Wilson" has tirelessly worked to maintain order in a very busy AzBilliards forum system. Dave took on a thankless job and has done his best to maintain a firm, yet neutral stance for years on end. Needless to say, the forums would be a chaotic mess without his assistance.
We'd also like to mention the following people who made a difference by supporting us during the creation of the latest version of this website:
Conrad Burkman, Publisher of the National Billiards News. Evertlasting thanks for his amazing gift and his trust in our project. We'll try to follow in his footsteps.
Karim Belhaj, CEO of Predator. He was the one who pushed us to work together and set up the first meeting between Jerry and JP in August of 2009 in Jacksonville, FL.
Luke Riches, Media director of Matchroom Sport, for believing in our project early on, and his tremendous help for the future. Working with him boosted our motivation.
Nicolas Daoust, Pool freak and lawyer, for his big help during the early stages of data conversion and his legal knowledge.
Many thanks also to
Achim Gharbi, Alison Fischer, Anne Craig, APBU Staff, Ashi Fachler, Bill Powers, Bob Guerrero, Brandon Soliven, Bruce Clayton, Carissa Biggs, Carol Whiteside, Chantal Vezina, Cleiton Rocha, Daniel Dagotdot, Deno Andrews, Diana Hoppe, Don Hettiaratchy, Harry Beeson, Henry Balingcongan, Jean Gonzalez, Jeff Smith, Jennie Malloy, Jerry Forsyth, John Sturgis, John Yee, Jojo Lirio, Mark Whiteside, Markus Hofstätter, Melinda Bailey, Michael Neumann, Mike Fieldhammer, Mike Janis, Mitch Heydt, Pete Jorgenson, Peter F. Nielsen, Raul Roa, Ray Vibar, Rick Schmitz, Ricky Bryant, Roberta Case, Roger Brennan, Sadik A, Shawn interrante, Sophie Chen, Stefan Osnabrug, Susie Levinberg and Takao Mathilda Takayama.