2018-2019 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 2018:

  • Alisha Gannon
  • George Hackford
  • Mark Knerr
  • Joe Pautler (current vice president)
  • Mark Sommers.

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 2018-2019:

  • Jennifer Bell (current president)
  • Amy Benedict (current secretary)
  • David Federspiel
  • Erin Sheehan
  • Karla Sommers (current treasurer)
  • Lisa Trapasso

Who has currently been nominated or chosen to Run for a 2018/19 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!

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Karla Sommers

My name is Karla Sommers.  I have been a BTC member since 2013. I joined the board in 2016 and have very much enjoyed being a part of it.  I take pride in being able to do whatever I can to help make this club be as wonderful as it is.  I am thankful every day for what I can do and what I have been able to accomplish.  In July of 2017, I completed Ironman Lake Placid.  Something I never thought I could do.  The support of my family and this club, played a big role in my decision to sign up and ultimately complete the race. 

When I joined the BTC and started on the road to triathlon, I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. The overwhelming support and care from each and every member of this club was overwhelming.  The rally cries and pictures and high fives make any struggle on the course (or perhaps even personal) easier to deal with.  My plan as a board member is to keep that support going and to do the best I can to provide to others what was and continues to be provided to me.  I will continue to contribute as much as I can to this great club and to continue to forge friendship that will live on well past my triathlon days.

Karla Sommers

Mary Songster-Alpin

Hello, my name is Mary Songster-Alpin.  Many people know me via social media (Facebook) as Mary Suzanne.  I have been a member of the BTC since I first joined April 7th, 2015.  I am running for election to the BTC board directors because I can’t think of a better way to give back to a club that literally helped save my life and has helped me to become the person that I am today.

When I joined the BTC, I had started to embark on the greatest challenge of my life.  Just 4 months before joining the BTC, I was a struggling, depressed, overweight mom, wife and veterinarian.  I was in severe pain due to having ankle arthritis and struggling with the knowledge that my mother died in 2011 prematurely due, in part, to having severe arthritis, limited mobility and arthritis.  I was terrified of ending up in the same situation and not being around for my beautiful daughter.  I struggled with proper nutrition and with being able to stick with a physical activity that could help me lose weight and regain mobility.   Swimming was my only forte but that activity alone didn’t help me lose weight and become physically fit – I needed something more.  Fortunately I met some triathletes both in real life and on-line and their enthusiasm for the sport caused me to want to embark on this wonderful sport as well.  I joined the BTC Facebook group in 2012 and immediately found an extremely supportive group of friends.  I really wanted to become a triathlete so first I dabbled in indoor triathlons but still struggled with my weight and with trying to become active.   I then tried to compete as the swimmer in a relay at the ECC Kat with wonderful BTC members Lisa Trapasso and Erin Sheehan in 2014 but the untimely death of my father-in-law waylaid that plan.  I started sliding backward again and it wasn’t until the following January that I actually learned how to eat properly and started losing weight.  Once the light bulb went on and I started losing weight, I started being able to be more and more active and, although my ankle continued to be painful, I found that I could actually run – even a mile or more!!  After 4 months of slow gradual weight loss and increasing physical activity, I joined the BTC for real and successfully competed in the ECC Kat Sprint Tri – this time by myself!  I was a triathlete!! 

Through the love and support of my husband, daughter and my BTC family, I continued to lose weight and continued to compete in triathlons – building from sprints to Olympic aquabikes to Olympic triathlons to eventually half Iron-man distance triathlons.  I lost a total of 75 pounds and even though my ankle continued to deteriorate, I could still work out regularly and remain active.  I found that even though I was a slow triathlete, I had the endurance to compete in the long distance triathlons.  I then made the absolutely insane goal of actually competing in a full Ironman.  After a year of training and planning, I successfully completed Ironman Louisville on October 15th, 2017 with a time of 16 hours and 36 minutes.  I was now an IRONMAN!!!

I couldn’t have succeeded in this journey without the help of my BTC club mates.  Your help, advice, support and encouragement have meant the world to me and I can’t imagine competing in this sport without the help of such an awesome diverse yet united club.  Now that I achieved my bucket-list dream of completing an IRONMAN, I want to give back to this awesome community.

I know that you want to know more about me than just my triathlon journey though. I am a WNY native having grown up in Frewsburg NY near Jamestown.  I went to undergraduate college at Cortland (where I thought that I would become a physical education teacher until I learned that I couldn’t throw a ball to save my life and changed to a biology and chemistry major).  I obtained my doctorate degree from NC State where I lived for 8 years in the mid to late 90’s.  I now live in Machias (approximately 45 minutes south of Buffalo) with Jim, my husband of 25 years, and Kerianne, our almost 15 year old daughter.  We have a small farm just outside of town that we share with our 3 horses (Kaine, Brave Heart and Tutt), 1 dog (Misty – a 5 year old yellow lab), 2 cats (Paws and Lindsay), gecko (Buddy) and rabbit (Gus).  I own a veterinary clinic in Chaffee, NY called Pioneer Paws Veterinary Clinic – I am the solo full time veterinarian and my husband is my practice manager.  I occasionally do relief work as well for the emergency hospital in Orchard Park.  Our daughter is a sophomore at Pioneer Central School and is a skilled and talented equestrian, cross country and track runner and top-notch student – much of our time is focused on supporting her in her endeavors.  Although most of my life for the past year has been consumed with training for my Ironman, I have been an active volunteer in the Cattaraugus and Allegany County 4-H activities.  I have served as coach and mentor for Kerianne and other 4-Hers as they participated in horse knowledge based and show ring competitions at the county and state levels.  I am also very active in my church (Hope Lutheran Church) in Arcade where I have volunteered as a Sunday School teacher, in the altar guild and on various committees. 

I hope that you will consider me for election to the BTC board of directors and if elected, I will work hard to assist the club in any way possible to improve life for our members.

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!

David Federspiel

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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,

Dave

2016 BTC Board Member Elections are Here!

 

BTC 2016 Elections

2015 is rapidly coming to a close and this makes it BTC Board Member Election time! The current board is thrilled to see the enthusiasm this year as we have a number of interested individuals running!

A BTC Board seat  position lasts two years. Current board members are listed below along with their designation and status. Currently we have 10 people running for a total of six open positions. There is a total of 11 board seats.

6 Slots Currently Electing for:

  • Jennifer Bell – Term Ends 2015:Running for 2016/17
  • Derek Bell – Term Ends 2015:Not Running for 2016/17
  • Keith Burtis – Term Ends 2015:Running for 2016/17
  • Charlie Watson – Term Ends 2015:Not Running for 2016/17
  • Lisa Trapasso – Term Ends 2015:Running for 2016/17
  • Joe Drees – Term Ends 2015:Not Running for 2016/17

5 Slots Filled Through 2016:

  • Gary Randolph
  • Sharon Winiewicz
  • Joe Pautler
  • George Hackford
  • Heather McIntyre

Because we had so many folks nominated we created a bio page for each individual. Click on the images of each nominee below and it will take you to their bio page to learn more. Keep an eye out in your email as we will be sending everyone a ballot to make their choices for the 2016 board.

 

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karla sommers-thumb
Amy Campbell-thumbbryan dever-thumbJoe Levesque-thumb

BTC Elections for 2015!

BTC Elections-1

2014 is rapidly coming to a close and this makes it BTC Board Member Election time! The current board is thrilled to see the enthusiasm this year as we have a total of twelve individuals running!

The following board members have 1 year remaining on their terms, and will continue to serve on the board for 2015: Jennifer Bell (president), Derek Bell (vice president), Joe Drees, Lisa Trapasso, Charlie Watson, & Keith Burtis.  The terms of the following board members are expiring, and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board in 2015: Joe Pautler, Jeri Olson (treasurer), Kate Leary, Joe Grey (secretary), & Justin Adamek.

Because we had so many folks nominated we created a bio page for each individual. Click on the images of each nominee below and it will take you to their bio page to learn more. Keep an eye out in your email as we will be sending everyone a ballot to make their choices for the 2015 board.

Joe Pautler

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George Hackford

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Joe Pautler – BTC Election Bio

JP-1My 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.  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 one of our club apparel orders in 2008.  Approximately 50 members placed orders for approximately 100 pieces of apparel.
  • Have written approximately 20 articles for the BTC newsletter over the years, covering topics such as race reports, gear reviews, commuting via bicycle, etc.

Although I had to take a little break from racing in 2014, due to rupturing my ACL playing indoor lacrosse, my racing history includes approximately 70 5k/8k/10k/15k running races , 15 half-marathons, 4 full marathons, 25 Sprint and Olympic triathlons, 5 70.3 triathlons, and IRONMAN 140.6 in Wisconsin.

JP-2When 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 Snickers 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 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.

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David Federspiel – BTC Election Bio

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.33.12 PMHello my name is David Federspiel, I am presently seeking election to the Buffalo Triathlon Club Board. I would like to thank the present board members for their hard work, vision and dedication to the club.

I have an amazing wife Rhonda as well as two children and live in Niagara Falls. I presently work at Gray Furnace as Service Manager and have been working in the HVAC field since 1986 after receiving my degree at Niagara County Community College. While growing up I played organized soccer at various levels and served as Co-Captain, coach and manager for my high school, college and club teams in the BDSL. I was never a gifted athlete and thus any accomplishments on the field were through hard work, determination and the willingness to learn. I believe these attributes can be applied as a member of the BTC board and I look forward to working to help in any way I can.

I first became involved in Multi-sport in 2013 with the Summer Sizzler Duathlon. The transition from team sports to triathlon was intriguing and I wanted to learn more about the sport so I joined the BTC in December of 2013.I have met some wonderful people in the club that have always lent a helping hand on and off the course as well as answering any questions I had. Knowing that I have a great team behind me makes it all a bit easier. I feel fortunate and have always tried to pay this same attitude forward to anyone that was in my shoes. For me, this is an opportunity to give back to something that has given so much to me.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.32.28 PMI’ve always tried to bring  positive enthusiasm and will continue that with the opportunity to serve on the board. I believe the BTC should be an active and visible part of the community through volunteerism, community events and on the race course.

In closing I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to become a member of the BTC board and look forward to working on behalf of our members. When I think of the BTC I think of a team and a family –  I am proud to be part of it!

Thank you

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Heather McIntyre – BTC Election Bio

HM-5As I sit down to write this bio it’s hard to believe I’ve been involved with triathlons for 7 years.  Who knew 7 years later I’d be running for a position on Board of Directors for the Buffalo Triathlon Club?  Competing in triathlons has become more than a sport to me, it has become a way of life.  My social calendar works around my workouts, my family vacations incorporate Ironman competitions and my base of friends are mostly triathletes.  I strive to do the best I can whenever I commit to something and this is very true of triathlons.  I put 100% effort into my training and focus on my A race so when that day comes I know I am prepared.  I would do the same as a member of the Board.  To date I have completed 4 Ironman competitions, 2 World Champion 70.3 competitions, numerous ½ Ironman competitions and even more finishes in the intermediate distances.  I was also named an All-American Triathlete by USAT for finishing in the top 5% of all woman 40-44 in 2012.

I believe I bring experience to the table for this group and I would love to be a part of planning events that benefit the new members of the BTC.  I am familiar with all aspects of the sport and with many of the venues where the races are held.  I would like to see more time allotted to the preparation of new triathletes for their races by taking a day and going to certain local venues and holding training clinics that mimic the race itself.  I remember my first triathlon, Tri In the Buff, and how lost I felt (it didn’t help that the swells were 4-5 ft in the swim) and wish I had gotten down there at least once before participating. 

HM-1One of the best perks of belonging to this club is the connections and social networking that take place.  I’ve already headed up several TriGirl happy hours throughout the past two years and would continue to do so periodically.  I think it is important to socialize off the race course too.

I have been a member of the BTC for quite a few years and have made so many amazing friends through this club and I proudly wear the black, red and white.  This club and the people in it are a big part of my life and I consider these people part of my family.  It’s my goal to make others feel the same way. 

Triathlons are my passion and creating interest in the sport is my mission. 

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