The creator of SwissSys, Thad Suits, directed his first chess tournament using cardboard pair cards at the age of 13. This was back in his home town of St. Louis. Even at that age, he figured there had to be a better way, but it wasn't until 1989 that he dashed off his first version of the program for his club in Rochester, Minnesota. Although rudimentary, version 1.0 (for DOS) did well enough to encourage him to continue work on the program.
Subsequent versions added new features and supported larger and more complex tournaments, a process which continued after he and his wife moved to Great Falls, Montana later that year. Montana is their home to this day.
The first Windows version appeared in 1997, and new releases have come out at regular intervals ever since. Thad still holds out hope that he will, before he retires, develop a version that features mind-reading capability and can make a superior glazed donut.
As a tournament director, Thad has traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada. As a player, his USCF rating topped out at expert level in 1997, the year he won the Montana State Championship. He regrets to say his rating has been trending downward since then.
Thad is a cellist by training, but like many musicians, he has always been fascinated by chess, mathematics, languages, and the problem-solving aspects of computer programming and algorithmics.
He also enjoys hiking and bicycling. And yes, for those long-time customers who may be wondering, he still has a wife and a guinea pig to support.