Listed below are the judges on our 7-member judging panel. In keeping with NACBMA and WBMA rules, we are scoring Olympic-style meaning that each competitor is judged on a 5.0 to 10.0 half-point increment scale, where the highest and lowest scores are dropped. Each judge was chosen for his or her experience as a competitor and judge at previous events. 


Hailing from Springfield, Missouri, our first judge is a man of many faces, one who has competed in 11 different categories* over his career. He’s competed most notably in Hungarian Moustache, where he took 4th Place at the 2017 World Beard & Moustache Championships (WBMC) in Austin, and 1st Place at the 2016 Great American Beard & Moustache Championship (GABMC) in Denver. He’s been competing since 2011, where he showed up to the Queen City Beard & Moustache Federation’s competition with a six-week-old baby beard, and made a big splash at the 2012 Beard Team USA Nationals in Las Vegas placing in the Top 10 in Garibaldi.

He’s served as Queen Ambassador and as president for the last two years of the QCBMF, an organization which has so far raised over $81,000 for local charities in Southwest Missouri. Please welcome Missouri’s Bill Petersen!

* In case you were wondering what those 11 were: 

  • Business Beard Under 2"

  • Full Beard Under 6” or Under 8” (depending on the comp)

  • Over 8"

  • Over 12"

  • Full Beard Style Moustache

  • Full Beard Freestyle

  • Chops

  • Whaler

  • Partial Beard Freestyle

  • Natural Moustache, and 

  • Styled Moustache

Photo credit: Jeffrey Moustache for The World of Beards




Our second judge is an ice cream lover from Cincinnati, Ohio. Frankly, little else needs to be said other than he's Taxi Phil! He is the co-founder and current president of the Cincinnati Beard Barons. Phil has been sporting a handlebar moustache for nearly 30 years. He and his iconic ‘stache started competing over 10 years ago. In this last decade, he has claimed numerous awards, and has had the honor of judging over a dozen bearding events.

At the recent 2017 WBMC in Austin, Phil claimed the title of 3rd Place in the Freestyle Moustache category. As if that all wasn’t enough, he is also a sponsored ambassador for the MEAN BEARD Company of Batavia, Ohio.

At the core of it all, Phil says that the fantastic people, incredible charities, and amazing friendships he’s made over the years, have kept him coming back for more. He looks forward to many more years of being a part of the bearding community. Please welcome Ohio’s "Taxi Phil" Jones!

Photo credit: Douglas Duerring Photography


Our third judge is certainly no stranger to the bearding world and judging. Calling the woods of Northern California home, her ties and history with the European beard and moustache clubs run deep. She attended her first World Beard and Moustache Championship with her husband Aarne back in 2009 in Anchorage and they have made it to every WBMC since. A seasoned judge and competitor since 2011, Rita’s competed and placed at dozens of competitions all over the country. In 2013 in Germany, she placed at the first and only (so far) Whiskerina event in Europe.

Aside from being the resident cat lady, she enjoy reading science fiction, and likes to sew, craft, and oil paint, along with gardening and traveling. Though recently much of her and Aarne’s time has been devoted to rebuilding and cleaning up their property after losing their outlying structures, water system, and vehicles in last fall’s firestorms that swept through that region. Their house was amazingly spared, but there’s still much work to be done before their home is anywhere back to normal.

Rita loves all of the wonderful friends she has made from all over the world, where every comp is like going to a big family reunion, only with the best family you could have. Please welcome California’s Rita Bielefeldt!

Photo credit: Jeffrey Moustache for The World of Beards


Our next judge is the president and co-founder of the Salty Saints Social Club & Facial Hair Society, a non-profit organization founded in 2013. Calling Salt Lake City home, they’re a proud member of NACBMA and the WBMA. Greg is the creator, M.C., and head coordinator of the Snowbird Oktoberfest Beard and Moustache Competition, marking its 5th year. A prodigious freestyler with about 50 different freestyle designs since April 2013, he’s been growing his beard for about 6 years without trimming, and plan to just let it grow! He’s judged in competitions throughout the western U.S. and placed 5th in Full Beard Freestyle at the 2017 WBMC in Austin.

Sponsored by Mariner Jack, Greg’s also a stay at home dad, who homeschools his two wonderful daughters. In his spare time he works at Shades of Pale Brewing, and previously has been a professional ballet dancer, a ballet teacher, a deck construction worker, and a parking attendant. But at the end of September, he’ll be Judge Schoenwolf. Please welcome Utah’s Greg Schoenwolf!

Photo credit: Jeffrey Moustache for The World of Beards


Judge #5 is a current member and former president of Spokane Beard & Mustache in Washington state, Jeremy Smith! Dedicated to his Whaler beard, he first got into bearding 2014 when he finally got up the nerve to go to a meeting. The community quickly became something he loved, and threw himself into it because of the people involved and charity aspect. Over the past 6 years, and with his guidance through several years, WBMA member club Spokane Beard & Mustache has raised over $75,000 for local charities.

Jeremy’s traveling has been limited due to multiple back surgeries, but has managed to take home several partial beard trophies over the years and judged at competitions in the U.S. and Canada, not to mention learning from some of the best judges around at Spokane’s own competition over the years.

A devoted fan of Montucky Cold Snacks (a brand of Northwest lager that donates 8% back to local causes), he’s been a Teamster Warehouseman for 22 years, and married to his wife Heather for 18. They have 2 kids, Taylor (26) and Chloe (19), and they now enjoy their empty nest if you don’t count Otis (6), their 150 lb. Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix. Please welcome Washington’s Jeremy Smith!

Photo credit: Bailward Photography


Our next judge had a very successful 2017. He is currently the World Champion in the Full Beard Freestyle category and was awarded “Best in Show” at the 2017 WBMC in Austin. After a tidal wave of public support, he’s been a member of Remington’s Beard Boss team for the past two years.

A man of creative and artistic talent, he got his start in beard competitions back in 2013, and since then has had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on both sides of the judging table. He has racked up many 1st Place finishes in Full Beard Freestyle and Full Beard Groomed categories at numerous competitions across the country.

Outside of bearding, Jason owns and operates One Eyed Cat Curiosities and Crafts, a handmade functional ceramics business that specializes in cups and mugs with moustache guards. We’re willing to bet many of you have some sitting at home or work. Please welcome Wisconsin’s Jason Kiley!


Photo credit: Greg Anderson Photography


Our 7th and final judge is the epicly-goateed Grammy-winning drummer, Chris Adler! Best known as a member and founder of metal band Lamb of God and Grammy Award winning member of Megadeath, Chris began Lamb of God in 1994 under the moniker Burn the Priest with dorm-mate, best friend, and it’s current bass player, John Campbell. Both previously served as judges at the RVA Beard League’s annual charity competition, the Mid-Atlantic Beard & ‘Stache Championships.

Chris became a member of thrash metal band Megadeth from 2014-2016, collaborating and working closely with Megadeth’s primary songwriter and founder, Dave Mustaine and is credited in helping write their 15th album, “Dystopia.” Chris performed most live world-wide touring dates in support of that album. In his 5th Grammy nomination, "Dystopia" won Chris his first Grammy Award for the Best Metal Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards.

In 2006 Adler collaborated with revered progressive guitarist Ron Jarzombek beginning the project Blotted Science, and in 2010, Adler moved to Toronto for 6 weeks and recorded and helped write the album "Volition" with the progressive metal band Protest The Hero. The album went on to win and provide Chris his first Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Grammy). In 2014 he contributed several drum tracks to the Testament album “Dark Roots of the Earth.” In 2016 Adler recorded three songs with Jim Gillette, Michael Angelo Batio, and Victor Wooten in a California studio for a Nitro reunion album. As of October 2017, he left the Nitro reunion project to focus on a mid-2018 release and tour with Lamb of God.

He is the elder brother of bandmate and guitarist Willie Adler, whom he brought into the band. Prior to his work in Burn the Priest/Lamb of God, Chris played in several local bands including Calibra, Jettison Charlie, and Grouser. Adler is pescatarian and has worked with PETA.

Please welcome him back to the judges’ table, the one and only, Virginia’s own Chris Adler!




A Virginia native, Jimmy Thomson started his competitive bearding career at the 1st Ever Mid-Atlantic Beard & 'Stache Competition in 2012. An outstanding member of the RVA Beard League, he served as treasurer for several years. In 2015, Jimmy rose to the occasion at the Mid-Atlantic Beard & 'Stache Championship IV, filling in for a sick judge, and last year co-emceed the Mid-Atlantic Beard & 'Stache Championship VI.

Jimmy’s competed in several different categories in 10 different states, Freestyle being his preferred, but also Groomed, Chops, Natural Mustache and all the Natural Beard length categories except 12” and over. He placed in a fair share of comps and received a Best In Show in New York City at the Gotham City Beard Alliance’s final competition back in 2016. He competed at the 2017 WBMC in Austin, has traveled to places he never thought he’d get to see, and made some of the very best friends a man could ask for. Please welcome Virginia’s Jimmy Thomson!

Photo credit: Back Bay Photography


Sharing the stage with Jimmy is the president and co-founder of Cape Beard: Follicles of Freedom, Johnny Awesome!

Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, Johnny’s been a resident of Fayetteville, North Carolina since 2008. A semi-professional/part-time botany enthusiast, Johnny studied graphic design at Pensacola Junior College, graduating in 2005. He’s been a tattoo artist for Smokin Guns Tattoo for 7 years, tattooing for 10, and considered one of the best traditional and freestyle artists in the country.

Johnny’s a founding and original member of Cape Beard, which was started back in 2011. Under his direction as president, Cape Beard has raised over $134,000 for local charities around Fayetteville, including Karen Chandler TrustAutism Society of Cumberland County (NC)Second Harvest Food Bank, KidsPeace, and Piedmont Fayette Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Services. Competing since 2011, he’s competed in Full Beard Freestyle, Groomed Beard, Ginger Beard, Full Beard Natural, Full Beard with Styled Moustache, with several first second and third places. Johnny has judged numerous competitions both local and around the country. He has emceed The All American Tattoo Convention for the last 2 years, the Zombie Walk & Prom Fayetteville NC walk for the last 5 years, all of his club events, and many others. He is a 2014 alumnus of The Fayetteville Observer's 40 under 40, an avid music and concert-goer, and devoted comic book and toy collector. Please welcome North Carolina’s Johnny Awesome!

Photo credit: Back Bay Photography