2017/18 Board Member Elections

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-03-59-pmIt’s that time of year again when we begin consideration and voting for the open board member slots of the Buffalo Triathlon Club. This year, the deadline for candidate nominations was October 31st. Bios will be published here on the blog as they are received with online voting beginning in late 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 6 board members have 1 year remaining on their terms, and will continue to serve on the board for 2017:

  1. Jennifer Bell (current president)
  2. Amy Benedict
  3. Keith Burtis
  4. Erin Sheehan
  5. Karla Sommers (current treasurer)
  6. Lisa Trapasso

The terms of the following 5 board members are expiring, and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board for 2017-2018:

  1. George Hackford
  2. Heather McIntyre
  3. Joe Pautler (current vice president)
  4. Gary Randolph
  5. Sharon Winiewicz (current secretary)

Who has currently been nominated or chosen to Run for a 2017/2018 Board Seat:

  1. Joe Pautler (Currently Serving)
  2. George Hackford (Currenty Serving)
  3. Mark Sommers
  4. David Federspiel
  5. Mark Knerr
  6. Alisha Gannon
  7. Dave Shapiro

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!

Joe Pautler

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-28-49-pmMy name is Joe Pautler and I have been a member of the BTC since 2005. I joined the club because I wanted a safe way to practice open water swimming before my first sprint triathlon, but I quickly found that the club had FAR more to offer than just that. I became very active in the club and established great friendships with the other members. I am sometimes asked why I devote so much time and effort to the BTC, and the answer is quite simple. I have benefited greatly from the previous and current members of the club and I want to make sure that the club continues to stay strong and provide those same benefits to the existing and future members for many years to come. The success of the BTC is due entirely to the members and volunteers that contribute to it. It is great that we have so many people that are eager to donate their time and services for the betterment of the club, and I just want to do my part. Here is a quick list of some of the ways that I have contributed to the BTC over the years:

  • Coordinated all north town weekly brick activities for 2006-2008 & 2011-2013 including the posting of weekly results and the creation and distribution of the year-end awards. I designed and implemented many of the practices that we continue to use today, such as the event formats, the laminated race numbers on race belts, the Members’ Memorial Time Trial, etc.
  • Served as BTC webmaster and IT Guru for 2005-2008 & 2011-present. I did a complete overhaul of the web site in 2005, and again in 2011, in order to update the information and create a site that is consistent with our club branding. I also take care of the buffalotriathlonclub.com domain name (including all of our email addresses and file repository), the oversight of our facebook group and our online club calendar, the care and maintenance of our membership database tools, the administration of all of our online registration forms and PayPal account, and the composition and sending of our monthly ‘email blasts.’
  • Served on the BTC board of directors 2011-present, and was the Vice President in 2012, 2013, & 2016. VP duties included scheduling the board meetings, producing the meeting agendas, and facilitating the meeting discussions.
  • Founded the BTC library and drafted the initial policies and procedures for it. I also designed/created various BTC promotional brochures, membership application forms, and workout sign-in sheets over the years.
  • Served on the membership committee 2013-present. Duties include answering inquiries from current and prospective members and assisting with the processing of online member registrations and renewals.
  • Represented and promoted the BTC at various events over the years, such as setting up and staffing information tables at health and wellness fairs, setting up and staffing the BTC tent at various races and events, etc.
  • Coordinated the design, purchase, and distribution of various club apparel orders (race kits, tech shirts, hats, etc).
  • Have written approximately 25 articles for the BTC newsletter & blog over the years, covering topics such as race reports, gear reviews, commuting via bicycle, etc.

Although I had to take a break from racing in 2014-2015, due to rupturing my ACL playing indoor lacrosse, my racing history includes approximately eighty 5k/8k/10k/15k running races, fifteen half-marathons, four full marathons, twenty-five Sprint and Olympic triathlons, ten 70.3 triathlons, and two IRONMAN 140.6 races (Wisconsin & Lake Placid).

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-28-12-pmWhen I’m not swimming, biking, and running, I work for the University at Buffalo as the Technical Program Manager for the data network. I am responsible for the technical oversight (planning, design, budgeting, implementation, etc) for all of the routers, switches, firewalls, etc, that provide Internet access and network connectivity to more than 120 buildings on the 3 UB campuses (Amherst, Main St, and down town). Our network provides services to approximately 30,000 students and 6,000 faculty and staff. I live in Depew NY, with my wife Paula and our guinea pigs Chip and Cadbury. Paula is also quite active in the BTC. She has completed many running races and also really enjoys riding her bike. She did her first (and probably last) triathlon at the Summer Sizzler in 2011, just so she could say that she did one. She is not a big fan of open water swimming. In 2013 she completed the Disney World Goofy Challenge (half marathon and full marathon on consecutive days) as well as the Disney Coast to Coast challenge (requiring a full or half marathon in both Disney World and Disney Land in the same calendar year).

Regardless of whether or not I am re-elected to the board, I look forward to continuing my involvement with the BTC, and helping out in whatever ways that I can to benefit our club, our sport, and our community.

Mark Knerr

Hello My name is Mark Knerr,

It is a great honor to be nominated to the board of directors of the greatest tri Club in the world.
This will be my 4th year as a member of the BTC and look forward to giving back to the club that has done so much for me and my triathlon experience. I have been the Ride for Roswell team captain for the last three years and have helped out with the club tents. I have had the opportunity to participate in many tri’s at many different venues and each time have brought back many great experiences from each. I always make an effort to meet and introduce myself to the new members and make them feel welcomed.

I also enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my better half Laura and our families when we can.Some of my other interest are Boating, water and snow skiing, and hikes with the dogs. I look forward to serving in whatever capacity best suits me if elected.

Thank you


George Hackford


Hello fellow BTC Members!

I’m running for another term on our Board. If elected you can count on me to represent the club and perform in the same capacity that I have for the past 2 yrs; ie helping distribute apparel/gear, sharing tent duties, and organizing/running our Northtown Bricks and TT’s. BTC is Family…and is undoubtedly the best Tri Club on the Planet. Every single member has motivated, inspired, or helped me in one way or another.

To sum things up, my main goal is to do everything possible to help maintain the quality and integrity of our organization.

Thank You for considering your vote!

George Hackford

David Shapiro

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-03-04-amI have been a BTC member for the 15 years I have lived here. I am honored to be nominated and if elected would do my best to continue the great job the BTC does in supporting our local athletes. I realize that the BTC is only so successful because of all of those who volunteer their time. I have been involved in the BTC more closely the last few years. I suggested and helped with the design and ordering of the tech shirts and I have volunteered at our Marathon water stop the last two years. I also volunteer for Amherst Meals on Wheels, am the Treasurer of my daughter’s soccer teams and raise money every year for the American Diabetes Association by riding in their Tour de Cure.

I am an Anesthesiologist at ECMC and The Center for Ambulatory Surgery but I have only worked half time the last 5 years so as to spend more time with my family (wife Mary, Daughter Alex 14 years old, Black Lab (Fifa 1 year old) while still pursuing multi-sports and Martial Arts (Krav Maga). I completed my first Full Ironman at Lake Placid this year. I had volunteered there the prior year (and at Chattanooga this year) and really appreciate how volunteering can be as inspiring as racing.

David Federspiel


Hello all, I would like to introduce myself, my name is David Federspiel.

I have been a member of the club since 2013, I would be honored to receive your support in the 2018 BTC Board Of Directors position. Over the last year I have been fortunate to serve on the BTC board and 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, volunteering, try to be a member that others can turn to for anything..and taking part in club activities. All my sporting accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of my fellow members. To me it is about giving back to a club and the sport. I look forward to the possibility to serve on the board for 2018 through 2020. I believe the following years will be an important period in our club. I would like to hear from YOU, the members, the backbone ….What do you like and 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,


Alisha Gannon



When I was a kid, I fell in love with Triathlons after watching Kona for the first time on Television. At that time the sport was new to me and I never thought I would ever compete in a triathlon myself – let alone an Ironman! At first it was a passing desire until later on in life, while working as a personal trainer, a client encouraged me to try a triathlon. I took their advice and signed up and I have participated in Triathlons ever since. Now I have 3 Ironman’s under my belt.The BTC has been apart of my growth as a triathlete and I am grateful for the passionate members that trained and encouraged my love for the sport. I have served the past two years as a board member for the BTC.  I have enjoyed this time helping to organize club events, NCC challenge, and organized our most recent sweat pants order.  This is a great club that I love to give back to.  I enjoy sharing my experiences and helping others learn about triathlons. During this summer, I really missed talking with members at our lake Erie swims, races and other events.  I had a accident a year ago and a couple of surgeries that put me on the bench this year. I look forward to getting back to training, working out and racing with everyone next year.In addition to the BTC, I have gained 11 years of valuable experience being involved with the Western N.Y. Herpetological Society. I served as President for 6 straight years, Vice President 3 years, and board member for 2 years.alisha1

Mark Sommers

48_m-100728869-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-1320_099952-2623437My name is Mark Sommers. I have been serving as President of the Buffalo Triathlon Club for the past year now and I have learned a lot from previous experience of the board members about what it takes to run this club. I would like to continue to improve on the foundation that has served us all well by creating new events for our members and improving on existing events. I have gained a lot of triathlon knowledge that I would love to share with our members. I completed Ironman Lake Placid in 2016 all while juggling a busy career and family life with my wife and two beautiful daughters. This club has been awesome to me and my family. We have made many, many great new friendships and want to continue making many more!  It would be my pleasure and honor to continue to serve on the Board!