Mound, MN

Years of ABSF Membership:
many many

owner Gear West

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

I love and have been a part of the American Birkebeiner in all forms, as a serious racer, a mom of kids who skied the Barnebirke, a dog owner who loves ski joring, a business person who has been board for several terms, a Hennepin Parks Commisioner who experiences how boards work for other non-profits, and as a participant from Minnesota who brings a MN perspective to direction of the Birke.

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

Business perspective, my husband and I build Gear West from scratch, and it is now similar in size and in staff to the Birke. I bring real life knowledge and understand the issues organizations of this size face.

Event perspective. I ski, bike run and hike… I understand the Birke’s core business yet the need for any organization to pivot as the times (and weather) force change. I understand the need for strong leadership and believe much of the Birke’s continued success is due to the ir hard work and focused dedication into delivering a fantastic event product. I want to continue to support this type of effort.

Additionally I understand sponsorship and sponsor support. At times sponsors can be taken for granted and their needs not supported or understood. I have been vocal in my representation of sponsor expectations and will continue to be as the Birke grows and attention to some details may be undervalued.

Lastly I love to support women in the Birke and the growth of women participants. To that extent I created the idea of the Ski de She races, the Birke ran with the idea and put the events (which mirror the real Birkebeiner) into action. I desire to continue to build Birke’s support of women of all ages within the Birke offerings.

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

I own and run a store that supports and feeds customers into all that the Birkie stands for. I am so excited about the new Telemark Village because I STRONGLY feel a centralized location for family and friends will build comradery and social interaction within the athletic community beyond our expectations.

I was a part of the struggle and success of Wirth Park and their trail head and we all now see the outdoor community Wirth Trailhead has built. I believe in 10 years, we wont imagine how the Birke existed with such a unifying structure. I believe the Telemark trail head coupled with the existing (but not so old) 00 building entirely embodies the ABSF’s vision, mission and values.

As I age, (dang it!) I have lost some nervousness of being outspoken for what I believe. I don’t mind not following the crowd/board if I feel strongly that a different direction should be explored. I spoke in support for the Conservancy purchase of a parcel of the Telemark land. It is important not to be a ‘yes person’ yet continue to be a team participant.

The real challenge for all those involved with the Birke organization will be keeping lazer focused on delivering safe, fun and challenging events to a myriad of participants AND valuing the volunteers and sponsors who make it happen. These are big responsibilities and big visions but the payout is huge and that is creating wonderful activities and a maintaining in perpetuity, an organization which values health, exercise and outdoor fun to all those who seek it in the north woods.