Warrenville, IL

Years of ABSF Membership:
Approximately 10 years or more

Outdoor recreation enthusiast

Why are you interested in being a member of the ABSF Board of Directors? 

I am enthusiastic about giving back to the sport of cross-country skiing and the American Birkebeiner World Loppet event suits my spirit and purpose. The American Birkebeiner has significantly impacted my family’s lifestyle, my mental health and physical fitness. The Birkie surrounds me with a community of enthusiastic and positive people who are now my close friends. Since my first American Birkebeiner in 1980 I have become a 43 year Birkie Uberlegger. I am committed to supporting the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation’s creative outdoor initiatives and addressing challenges and, will be honored to continue the tradition of an environmentally efficient world class event.

What knowledge and skills do you possess that can benefit the organization?

I bring over 37 years of experience working with conservation, education, and recreation agencies and non-profit groups. As the former Director of Public Affairs at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Northern Illinois, I have extensive experience in program management, including personnel management, grant writing, fiscal management, contract development, public information, marketing, advertising, trail consultation, and promotions. My educational background includes a Master of Science in Outdoor Recreation Resource Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications.

My involvement in community initiatives, such as the Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, demonstrates my ability to lead projects that promote healthy and active lifestyles. I am gratified to have had a role in enhancing community amenities and securing grant funds for significant projects.

I am dedicated to preserving ABSF’s financial health, ensuring budgets are developed on time with funds allocated appropriately to maintain excellent services and operations. My fiscal management experience includes securing federal and state grant funds to offset major project costs. As an alderman for the City of Warrenville, I have been actively involved in community, conservation, recreation, and health organizations, enhancing my ability to support ABSF initiatives through cooperative efforts and open communication.

How do you see yourself helping to fulfill the ABSF vision, mission and values? 

The ABSF vision of inspiring people to challenge themselves in outside recreational settings aligns perfectly with my own experiences and values. Participating in the American Birkebeiner since 1980 has profoundly shaped my lifestyle, and I am eager to share that joy with others. I believe in the ABSF’s mission to host world-class events, be good stewards of the American Birkebeiner Trail, and promote healthy, active outdoor lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities.

Education, communication and collaboration are just three of the strengths I will bring, joyfully. to work with the board of ABSF. I have edited a magazine for many years, conributed to publications, worked with websites, written a book on trails and I feel that getting the word out and sharing experiences draws people in to participate and enjoy making memories.

As a lifelong conservationist and outdoor recreation enthusiast, I am committed to the wise use of natural resources, conservation education, and outdoor recreation. My career in public affairs and community service has equipped me with a thorough understanding of organizational operations, fiscal management, communications, and planning processes. I have successfully collaborated and served with various non-profit, professional organizations and support groups, including, but not limited to: Chicago Wilderness, National Recreation and Parks Association, FORWARD DuPage, Sierra Club, DuPage Visitor and Conventions Bureau, Nothern Illinois Nordic, CXC’s Nordic Rocks program, and I envision contributing to the development and accomplishment of ABSF strategic plans to benefit employees, volunteers, sponsors, and participants. My experiences and commitment to collaboration, education and communication will support the ABSF in achieving its vision, mission, and values.