Joe Timmerman has been a cross country skier since 1975, beginning with wooden skis and bamboo poles. He participated in his first Birkie in 1993 after a good friend from Wisconsin Rapids talked him into doing the race.
“I distinctly remember arriving at Telemark and seeing a sea of multi-colored lycra-clad skiers warming up under a bright blue sky,” says Joe. “The rock music was blaring. I was really nervous. When it finally came time to start, the gun went off and I was off like a shot.”
About two minutes into the race someone opened Joe’s binding with a ski pole. He fell and by the time he got going again he was the last person in the wave. Joe regained his rhythm and started passing people.
“It was a tremendous experience and I’ve been back every year since.”
The first Birkie taught Joe that he needed to “Live the Birkie” year round be maintaining his fitness level. Joe achieves this by cycling, paddling, and skiing. He also enjoys hiking, hunting, camping, and fishing.
In addition to participating in the Birkie, Joe also does the Pre-Birkie, Book Across the Bay, Lap the Lake benefiting the Weiss Community Library, and the Stormy Kromer Pursuit. For the last 25 years he has spent a week canoe camping in Quetico Provincial Park with friends.
Joe brings 33 years of experience in the forest products community, working in land management, public relations, legislative affairs, budgeting, sales, and manufacturing operations. He spent 25 years with Consolidated Papers and in his most recent position he served as President of Midwest Forest Products Company in Hayward.
In addition to his professional careeer he brings additional leadership experience to the American Birkebeiner Board from service as past Chair of the Wisconsin Society of American Foresters, member of the Bayfield County Economic Development Committee, and former member of the Laona school board.
In his free time you may find Joe with a good book. Joe has two grown daughters who live and work in Minneapolis.