Hayward, WI (August 7, 2017) — With a mission of engaging, creating, and inspiring a healthy, active lifestyle, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) announced newly elected members to its 2017-2018 Board of Directors.  Nominations and voting culminated in the announcement at the ABSF’s Annual Meeting on August 5 at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead in the Great Hall. In addition, annual meeting attendees heard a recap of the past year’s activities and received an update on ABSF 2017-2018 planning.

Newly elected ABSF Board Members will serve a three-year term which will expire in 2020:

  • Dennis Kruse – Incumbent, Vice President, & reelected for new term
    • Retired law professor, Cable, WI resident
  • John Kotar — Incumbent & reelected for new term
    • Retired Professor of Forestry, Eau Claire, WI resident
  • Mike Mandli – Incumbent & reelected for new term
    • Retired Owner of Mandli Psychological Services, Hayward, WI resident
  • Kathie Pautsch – Newly elected to the ABSF Board of Directors
    • Pediatrician – Marshfield Clinic, Hayward, WI resident

The ABSF board of directors is comprised of 13 members of which one-third is elected annually.  Current board members include:

  • Paul Eckerline – Minneapolis, MN – President
  • Joe Timmerman – Hayward, WI — Treasurer
  • Charlie Dee – Milwaukee WI – Secretary
  • Jan Guenther – Long Lake, MN
  • Yuriy Gusev – Verona, WI
  • Sue Scheer – Hayward, WI
  • Jeff Tumbleson – Hayward, WI
  • Tom Duffy – Hayward, WI (Representative, Sawyer County Board of Directors)
  • Brett Rondeau – Cable, WI (Representative, Bayfield County Board of Directors)

John Garrett – past-ABSF board president, vice-president, trail committee chair, Birchlegger (completed 21 Birkie ski races), dedicated volunteer, Foundation for the Endowment of the American Birkebeiner donor/forerunner, and friend of the Birkie – leaves the ABSF board of directors after two-terms.  The ABSF extends its deepest gratitude to John for his loyalty and service to the organization.

The ABSF Annual Meeting day began with a dedication of the Franzen Fire Tower Cabin, a shelter found along the Birkie Trail and available for use by all who recreate there.  The cabin is named for Marilyn & Greg Franzen and in honor of their generous donation to the ABSF.  The dedication included a brief program along with light refreshments.

While originally created to support a ski marathon, the ABSF has grown into much more than a singular ski race and now encompasses a series of year-round seasonal silent sports activities and events including skiing, biking, running, trekking and hiking.  Throughout the year, the ABSF maintains the over 100km Birkie Trail through ongoing maintenance, mowing and grooming, along with the upkeep of trailside shelters and trailhead buildings.  Perhaps most importantly, the ABSF inspires a healthy active lifestyle for all ages, promotes conservation, and aids in driving economic growth in the region.  Last year alone, an estimated 100,000 silent sports enthusiasts utilized the Birkie Trail.

About the American Birkebeiner® Ski Foundation and Birkie® Events

Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February.  Today, the Birkie brand has grown to encompass a year-round lifestyle that provides healthy, active events for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels.  From the iconic Birkie ski race to the Birkie Trail Run & Trek, and Fat Bike Birkie race, the ABSF and the Birkie Trail attract skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite superstars.  The Birkie embodies a healthy active lifestyle, is a fitness destination and mecca for outdoor sports enthusiasts, and offers a series of best-in-class race opportunities.  Ski. Run. Bike. Live!  Visit www.Birkie.com to learn more.


Posted August 8, 2017 at 10:51 am