2020-2021 BTC Board Elections

It’s that time of year again when we begin consideration and voting for the open board member slots of the Buffalo Triathlon Club.  Bios are published here on the blog and online voting begins in November. Announcements of the winners will come as voting completes and new or reelected board members will be installed at our club banquet in January.

How Many People Are on the Board and How Many Slots are Available?

The BTC board consists of 11 members, and each term is 2 years, with half of the terms expiring each year.  The following 5 board members have 1 year remaining on their terms, and will continue to serve on the board for 2020:

  • Mark Sommers (current President)
  • Alisha Gannon (current Secretary)
  • Renee Sossong-Brady
  • Lynzee Ralph
  • Kelly Voigt

The terms of the following 6 board members are expiring, and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board for 2020-2021:

  • Denise Salmons (current Vice President)
  • Karla Sommers (current Treasurer)
  • Amy Benedict
  • David Federspiel
  • Brad Hilimon
  • Helga Ivanova

Who has currently been nominated or chosen to Run for a 2019/2020 Board Seat:

Click on each candidate name to see their bio and information:

More information on Board Member Duties and Activities

Board members meet once per month (for approximately 2 hours, usually over dinner at a local restaurant), and keep in touch via email and in-person to manage the overall direction and administration of the BTC.  Tasks that are overseen by the board include such things as weekly club workouts (swims & bricks), club events (Spring Thing, Ontario Scenario, etc), organization of the annual banquet and other social get-togethers, processing memberships, newsletter & blog, apparel orders, negotiating sponsorship and partnership agreements that include discounts for BTC members, accounting and budget management, BTC asset management (tent, bike boxes, safety equipment, etc), administration of the web site and Facebook page, BTC library management, and more!

Candidate Bio: Mike Belus

Mike.jpgWhen I became a member of BTC in 2011, I quickly came to enjoy the camaraderie the club and the sport have offered me. While there are still so many of you that I’ve never met, it’s possible I’ve called out your name as the race announcer at many Score This!!! triathlons.

The organized bricks and other workouts are just what an introvert like myself needed to connect with many members. I came for the training sessions, but I never expected to make so many friends. Thanks, in part, to BTC helping to push my training to the next level, I have successfully competed in 25 short-course triathlons, often getting on the podium for my age group. In fact, I was thrilled to place second overall at this year’s inaugural Silver Serpent!

I believe having opportunities to participate in the club, no matter your experience or goals is critical to the success of the club. I’d love the opportunity to help new members and beginner athletes feel comfortable in the club and with the sport. I’d also like to help organize some additional off-season workouts or How-To clinics for members of all abilities.

The BTC family is a part of our family – my wife, Christine, is a member and duathlete. Our pups, Gus and Oliver often run with us, and Gus takes his cheer squad duties very seriously at races.

I’m honored to be nominated for a position on the board and appreciate your vote!

Candidate Bio: Amy Bryan

Amy.jpgI have been a member of BTC for about 8 years. The club has offered so much to me through the Northtown Bricks, the Lake Erie Swims, the Lake Ontario Swims etc. I have participated in the Ontario Scenario, the Lockport UNdo and several other BTC events. Through these events I have learned a great deal about triathlon and certainly learned to push myself beyond what I ever thought that I could do. I have done almost all of the local triathlons, nine half-ironmen (Musselman was my favorite) and a full Ironman in Muscoka. The support of BTC, the crowd cheering go BTC, has meant so much to me during these events.

Another thing that I truly value is that the club is open to all levels of participants. Newbies are welcomed as are old timers like me. I have made many friends through BTC and  I never would have even meet them otherwise. This friendship and support is very special to our club.

I feel that it is time that I give back to the club by joining the board and helping to keep this wonderful organization growing. I have board experience, DeSales Catholic School Board, 8th district Dental Society Excecutive Council and the Palace Board in Lockport. These experiences have helped me to learn to support the organizations that I truly believe in.

I will do my best to be a participating board member. I feel that I can contribute some new ideas and will support BTC in any way that I can.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Bryan

Candidate Bio: David Federspiel

Dave.jpgHello All,

I would like to introduce myself, my name is David Federspiel.  I have been a member of the club since 2013 and have served on the BTC Board of directors since 2017.  In those years I have enjoyed the opportunity to help plan club events, schedule bike box’s/ club tents for athletes and events and general operations of our great club.  But I have to say the most enjoyment is helping new athletes to the club and to the sport of triathlon. For myself there isn’t a greater joy then helping others achieve their goals.  To me it is a way to give back to those who helped me in my triathlon journey, many of which went above and beyond, and I honestly can say I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my successes without their help and guidance.  I would be honored to receive your support in the 2020 BTC Board of Directors position. I would like to thank those members who will be leaving the board after many years of hard work and dedication. Your efforts have resulted in the great club we have, and you will be missed.  Since joining the club, I have taken great pride as a member, taking part in club activities, racing, training with members and showing my BTC colors with pride. All my accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of my fellow members. I look forward to the possibility to serve on the board for 2020-22.  I believe the following years will be an important period in our club. We have grown and I look forward to hearing from YOU, the members, the backbone of our club …What do you like/ dislike? How can we go about building on our successes and work on issues that need attention? Club members involvement is essential to its success.  It has been a pleasure working with the current board and I look forward to serving you again.

Thank You, Dave

Candidate Bio: Brad Hilimon

brad-picMy name is Brad Hilimon, I’ve been in the BTC for 6 years and a board member for the last 2. Since joining the board I’ve been the Lake Ontario swim coordinator and have taken over all membership management and IT-related responsibilities. I’ve also lead the effort to migrate our membership management to a new platform to help improve club communication.

We’ve made various tweaks and changes over the last year to change things up and try to improve member participation, which we’ve heard many good things about. We want to make sure the BTC appeals to athletes of every experience level. We hope to use this year’s member survey to continue making improvements next year. We value everyone’s feedback and want to make sure we’re doing things that benefit the majority of our members.

I feel the local triathlon community is still strong. We have lost a few local races over the last couple years but have had even more new local races replace them. All around Western New York, no matter how big or small the race, there is sure to be some BTC members participating.

When I wrote my first board member election bio 2 years ago I said I’m confident I would never have gotten this far without the opportunities the BTC has offered over the years, especially the open water swims. The BTC only exists because of the continued volunteer support from its members. There’s something to be said when you can go to races across the state (and in other states!) and people yell out “BTC!” along the course.

-Brad

Candidate Bio: Wendy Kimpel

WendyHello BTC Members!

My name is Wendy Kimpel and I am reaching out to you to say that I have accepted my nomination to run for the board.  When I received the email, my first thought was holy cow! Did I just read this right? Needless to say, I am surprised and deeply humbled.  It has meant so much in my journey to become a member of the BTC. The inspiration, support, and knowledge you have offered is priceless and it is important to me to pay it forward.  Balancing a career and family, the wholehearted way the doors have been opened for them to be involved has meant more than I can put into words.

Over the years one question has been directed my way numerous times, “Why do I do this?” My response is simple,” I absolutely love everything about being a triathlete!” The challenges of training, proper nutrition, and of course racing are just fascinating to me! Maybe I am a bit of a fanatic, but I love to watch races, learn about new gadgets and training tips, read triathlon magazines, and talk to anyone that will listen about the being a triathlete and the BTC!

It has been an honor to receive this nomination.  Should I be elected, I will undoubtedly bring passion and a diverse skill set in public speaking, fundraising, and management to the BTC in a way the benefits the club.

Looking forward to cheering you on and inspiring others to give a Tri a Try!  Thank you.

Warm Regards,

Wendy Kimpel

Candidate Bio: Tina Macey

Tina.jpgMy name is Tina. I began triathlon in 2016. I was a runner before that, having completed my first half marathon in 2013. In the years that followed, I ran a few more halves, but running started to take a toll on my body, and my mind. I decided to try triathlon as a way to change things up, and to get me off the couch again. I grew up a swimmer, and had ridden a bike here and there, so I thought, why not! I picked a race, and gave myself 12 weeks to get ready. I had no idea what I was doing, and was really just flying by the seat of my pants. I didn’t even know anyone at the time that had ever done a Tri. Me and my 1988 steel frame Shwinn (with down tube shifters), and an old pair of running shoes gave it my best idea of training. I joined the club about a month before the race, and learned I was totally unprepared. I scrambled to get into open water and get a wet suit, and get a wetsuit on! It was a comedy of errors, but the people I met were warm and welcoming, and full of great advice and resources. On the big day, the swim was canceled, and I was left feeling a bit lacking. I didn’t actually do the Tri. It needs the swim to be a Tri. My teammates directed me toward the Dunkirk race that year, and helped me get a real training plan in place. I took 4th overall female, and officially caught the triathlon bug.

Since then, I have done numerous sprint distance races, gone to USAT Nationals,
gotten injured, recovered, and completed a half IronMan. Most importantly, I have met
and become friends with some of the most thoughtful and caring people. Whether I
was celebrating or struggling, the people from my team have always gotten me
through. When Kelly asked if she could nominate me for the board, I was blown away,
and unexpectedly fired up about what that role could look like. I have made some
amazing connections with this team, and would love to usher a new group of bright
eyed and excited athletes into our world of triathlon. I may not have stuck with the
sport had I not had so much support from this team, and would be honored to share
that love and support with new and existing members, and create a strong, year round
community. I’d like to see more than just group swims, but also runs and rides. I’d like
to help buddy up team members with first timers to ease the worry of race day, and
create connections for training, even in the off season.

Candidate Bio: Meg Morris

Meg.jpgMy name is Meg and I have been a triathlete and member of the BTC for 2 great years. I would like to thank whoever nominated me for the nomination! When I joined the club and started triathlon, I had no idea what I was doing, but everyone in the club has been very welcoming and helpful to me. Since joining the club, I’ve completed 2 half-ironman’s and have the dream of finishing a full ironman one day. I’ve got a long way to go and still a lot to learn, but I’m very thankful to be a part of the club! If I am elected to join the BTC board, I would hope to help welcome other new members to the club with the same support and encouragement that was offered to me. I’m excited to continue to grow with the club and hope that I can give a little bit back to the club by serving on the BTC board!

Candidate Bio: Gretchen Neureuter

Gretchen.pngWhile I’ve been a BTC member for a few years, I didn’t become an active member until the past two seasons. Now, I’d like the opportunity to give back to the club. There’s nothing like being at a race (or anywhere really) wearing BTC gear and hearing “Go BTC!” I love everything this club stands for and hope to share my passion with others just starting out.

My interest in triathlon began in 2013 as a means to become healthier and get my body moving but in no time, I had caught the bug. As I understand in this club, that’s a pretty common occurrence 🙂 . One of the reasons I decided to become more active in the BTC was the unwavering support of fellow members at IMMT 2017. The high fives and friendly smiles on course from teammates (whom I had only met days prior) truly helped me finish strong . I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know other BTC members at the Lake Erie swims, Northtown bricks, Undu and various local races. Other triathlon clubs constantly comment on how fun/friendly the BTC is and I’d be so honored to continue that legacy. While I am certainly not the fastest triathlete on course, I pride myself in my ability to push through the tough times and keep a smile at the finish line.

Thank you again to our club for welcoming all athletes and creating a space where we can be some level of “crazy” together. I hope to have the opportunity to join the board but at the very least, look forward to sharing a race course with fellow BTC members in the future. As they say, “Swim like you’re going to drown, ride like you stole it and run like they’re chasing you.”

Candidate Bio: Carol Novak

Carol.jpgHI! I am Carol Novak and let me start by saying that not only was I surprised but also incredibly honored to be nominated to run for the BTC Board. This is such an amazing club!  I started running approximately 10 yrs ago as a way to get in shape and lose a few pounds.  However, that was just the beginning!  After struggling through a few 5k’s I progressed to 8K’s, 10k’s, half marathons and have completed a hand full of full marathons.  After a few years of running, I started looking for a new challenge.  Boy did I find it!  After completing my first Sprint distance tri, I was hooked!  I’ve competed in sprint and olympic distances as well as Muskoka Half Ironman.  (I haven’t done a full IM ……yet!)

At first, I was little intimidated to join the club because everyone seemed so experienced and so awesome!  It didn’t take long to find out that this is the most supportive and incredible group of human beings.  At every workout, gathering or race you can always find someone with a wealth of swim/bike/run training knowledge they just can’t wait to share.  If someone has a goal, this club will help you get to that starting line, cheering you on and meet you at the finish!  I would be honored to serve on the board and to give back to the club that has given me so much support.  BTC strong!It doesn’t matter the distance or how fast you go, as long as you just keep moving!