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BOD ELECTION 2019

As we approach the 2019 Capital Striders Annual Meeting and Dinner (March 22), we will have three open positions on the Board of Directors. We also have three current Board members (Rajesh Chalamalasetti, Kristy Cain, and Kristin Adkins) who are up for re-election. Voting this year will be held at the meeting.  You must be a current Capital Strider’s member to vote and your membership number will be required.

This year we have six fine candidates running to fill the three open Board positions. We asked them to answer a few questions to help you get to know them.   (Candidates are listed in no particular order.) Here are their answers:

CANDIDATE 1: YURI FEDIRKO

1.  What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? 

I’d be interested in membership, club races, social functions, and bookkeeping/financials. Really, I'd be happy to help where there is need.

2.  What special skills would you bring to the Board? 

Professional experience: Accounting, Financial Analysis, Internal Audit, and Project Management. Foreign Languages: Fluent in German, Russian, and Ukrainian

3.  How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past? 

I have been a Capital Striders member since late 2017. I participated in races, training runs and events organized by Capital Striders.


4.  Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

I grew up in Ukraine and immigrated to the U.S. in 2007. I work at John Deere Financial (JDF) in Johnston since January 2008. Most of this time I worked in the Accounting Department, interrupted by a 2.5-year stint in Internal Audit. In my current role, as an Oracle EPM system administrator I support monthly financial reporting and budgeting processes, lead system maintenance and system development projects.

I jogged and played soccer all my life, but I really discovered distance running for myself about 3 years ago, when I decided to explore my limits in the marathon. I love the sport and keep educating myself on it continuously.

My wife and I live in Des Moines, south of the Waterworks Park.

5.  If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

If I were an ice cream flavor, it would be a mix of hazelnuts, vanilla, and cherry. Strong nutty tones would certainly come as no surprise to people who know me well. I can put a very significant effort into things that I am really passionate about, to the point that some would only shake their heads. Vanilla is simple and universally popular, a "friendly" addition in almost every mix. This fits my nature when I find myself in social situations.  I like to meet people and listen to what they have to say. Finally, cherry - bright, tart and packed with antioxidants - underlines my personal quest for natural healthy choices in life, even in ice cream!

CANDIDATE 2: SUSANNE KENNEDY

1.  What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? 

I would love to help out with training runs, track night and the social functions and would love to help with bookkeeping/financials and whatever else is needed.

2.  What special skills would you bring to the Board? 

 I am not sure if I have special skills but I think I can be helpful in many areas.

3.  How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past? 

I have been a member for a while and participate in the Saturday morning runs, Track night and run with the Turkeys. I Have volunteered on many occasions and won the 2017 volunteer award.

4.  Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

 I work in Insurance, its Des Moines, the insurance capital after all ;)   and actually like what I do even though I would love more time of to go run and travel. I have been running for about 8 years and have raced distances from 1 Mile to 50 Miles and enjoy both running on the roads and on the trails. I also love running while on vacation and hardly take a trip that doesn't include a race of some sort. I ran the Amsterdam Marathon in October and the Reykjavik Marathon in 2017. I live with my 2 cats and usually have some extra cats at my house that I foster for Furry Friends Refuge. I also volunteer for various other organizations in town.

5.  If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

 I took some quizzes and all came back with something different, I guess I will go with Vanilla, you get what you get, no surprises!

CANDIDATE 3: STEVE BOBENHOUSE

1. What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member?

I've done in the past - membership, scholarship, equipment, club races, newsletter/social media, social functions, training runs, etc...

2. What special skills would you bring to the Board?

See above, lots of experience

3. How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past?

Helped put the club together

4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

I've been running since middle school, ran T&F in high school & college. Ran in the Drake relays. Ran marathons but hated it. Slow a molasses now. Been a race director for 35 years. Helped put on races for 40 years. Worked in design and development for Saucony. Consulted for Nike, Saucony, Adidas. Taught footwear class at DMU Podiatry school for 20 years. IOWA USA T&F XC Chair.

5. If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

Plain old vanilla. I can be mixed with most anything.

CANDIDATE 4: SHANNON HAUS

1.  What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? 

I would like to focus on scholarship, club races and/or contribute to some group runs as long as they are out in the Ankeny, Iowa area.


2.  What special skills would you bring to the Board?

I have been in education for 13 years teaching all grades as well as college level.  I work well with people, promote a positive atmosphere, and encourage others to achieve to the best of their abilities given their often-busy schedules. I am a motivator by nature.  I have helped several people set up training schedules to fit their busy lifestyles. I have also coached middle school track in the past I have worked with students applying for scholarships where I teach and really enjoy watching younger people develop athletically as well as educationally. 

3.  How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past?

I have led many group runs for the CS Turkey group.  I also volunteer regularly at Booneville Backroads Ultra on behalf of the Turkeys.


4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

I have been in education for 13 years, have managed a small business since 1997, have a wonderful wife and four kids ages 12-18, have a B.S. in Public Administration, a Masters in Public Administration, a State of Iowa teaching license to teach just about every subject in middle school and lower, have taught both special education and currently teach TAG kids, am currently working on a second Masters in School Counseling and live just outside of Ankeny, Iowa in the North Polk School District – whew! 

I am a mid-pack runner who is getting better all of the time.  I primarily run ultramarathons but occasionally will run a marathon.  Last year I finished my first 100 mile race at Kettle Moraine 100 in Wisconsin and completed a very difficult mountain 100K race called Never Summer in Colorado (13000 feet of elevation gain, hail, snow in the summer, etc. – 11, 500 max elevation – very little oxygen- tough race).  I have run Booneville 100K, Hawkeye 50K, Des Moines Marathon twice, and host of smaller 5K-50K distance races. I contribute many of my finishes to the help and advice of many Striders members. 


5. If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

If I were an ice cream flavor, I would be chocolate swirl.  I have learned through hard training cycles for 100 mile/ 100K races that neither training nor life travels in a straight line.  Training and life is seldom a straight line from point A to point B but rather, it swerves.  A training block may get side tracked because of a work issue or a sick kid, your long run may turn into a spring on a treadmill because of hazardous weather or a time crunch to get your children to an event, and you may have to do your training runs on little sleep because you want to spend your waking hours with your family so, your training runs occasionally may seem slow and sluggish.  Nevertheless, if you stick to it, rebound and continue forward you will reach your destination.  The way will not always be linear, but it will be sweet!

CANDIDATE 5: S. DAVID PULLARA

1.  What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? 

I'd like to help organize training runs, especially for the Turkeys if that need hasn't already been met. I'd be happy to help organize volunteer coordination though it would be very helpful if I could work with/learn from someone with a lot of experience.

2.  What special skills would you bring to the Board?

I do my best to be helpful. I'm a good follower and enjoy collaboration. I think I'm a good leader too, however, my personal philosophy is to not "take control/command" -- maybe I'm not understanding leadership but it feels wrong to me assert one's will over others in that way. The best example that comes to mind is from an episode of Star Trek: TNG where the crew temporarily lost memory of their roles on the ship. I appreciated the way Captain Picard offered well-reasoned suggestions on their best course of action as opposed to Worf who was more dominant in trying to lead. IMHO, the best leaders lead by example.

3.  How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past?

I've been a Striders member for 3 years and have participated in and volunteered at races.

4.  Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

I came to Iowa from Massachusetts about 7 years ago to be with my better half, Kimberly Graham. By day I'm a software engineer, by night... I'm sleeping.

I work for Banno, a division of Jack Henry & Associates. It's a great company that truly lives by their guiding principles: Do the Right Thing, Do Whatever it Takes, Have Fun. I started running regularly just over 5 years ago and am continuing the journey to better health and fitness. I'm very thankful to the Capital Striders community, and particularly the Turkeys, for being such a welcoming group.

I'm not religious, yet I strongly believe in fairness and social justice. I try to help those less fortunate than myself though I know I can do more. Unfortunately, I make mistakes. I do my best to learn from them and do better.

5.  If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

Maple Walnut because I'm Canadian and a little nutty. Well, maybe more than a little.

CANDIDATE 6: DAVE CARIS

1. What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member?

I would be happy to serve the Striders Board and members in any capacity the Board sees fit. The areas that appeal most to me, and for which my experience lines up, would be bookkeeping/financials, social functions and club races.

2. What special skills would you bring to the Board?

I have extensive experience in running and racing that spans 40 years and am very familiar with the Capital Striders and the training runs and races they coordinate each year.

3. How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past?

I first joined the Capital Striders about seven years ago after a long absence from running and racing. I have participated in countless training runs, many Striders races and several annual meetings and social functions during that period of time.

4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know.

I am currently the CEO of the Community Bankers of Iowa Association. Prior to that I had a 30 year career with MidAmerican Energy Company serving as VP of government affairs and VP of corporate communications before retiring in 2016. I am married to Hallie Still-Caris, an attorney at the Nyemaster Law Firm, and have two grown children.

I lettered in track and cross country at Iowa State University in the late 80s and early 90s and ran five marathons during that period. After about a 30 year break from running and racing, the Capital Striders inspired me to make a comeback about seven years ago. Since that time I have competed in nine more marathons and countless half marathons and shorter races. Among my proudest accomplishments are qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 1980 and 36 years later in 2016.

I have chaired and/or served on the following boards: Greater Des Moines Partnership; Downtown Community Alliance (chair); Iowa Business Council Deputy Committee (chair); Junior Achievement of Central Iowa (chair); Salisbury House and Gardens, Riverfront Development Authority, Roosevelt High School Foundation (chair); Roosevelt High School Rider Club (chair); Iowa Taxpayers Association; Central Iowa Taxpayers Association; and, Wakonda Club.

I am passionate about running and know first-hand the significant benefits of running with groups such as the Capital Striders. There is no question that I could not have reached several goals (that seemed impossible) over the past several years without the Capital Striders! And, the best part is I developed many cherished friendships along the way that will last a lifetime!

5. If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be, and why?

Rocky Road. Getting and staying in shape can be a rocky road. Also, I prefer running on gravel to hard surfaces because it’s easier on the joints.

2019 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Capital Striders scholarship program for high school cross-country athletes in Polk county began in 1999 with one $500 award. The number of awards and the amount per scholarship has grow since then and this year, we were able to again present five $1200.00 scholarships.

Three of these scholarships are named after supporters of Capital Striders:

1. Dave Hurd was an avid runner and patron of running and wellness in Central Iowa.

2. Chuck Jipp, who lost his battle with ALS in 2000, was a long-time Striders Board Member, volunteer, and runner.

3. Stan Smith was one of the first members of the organized version of the Capital Striders, and contributed endlessly to the running community whether it be youth programs, high school, collegiate, or lifetime.

For the third year in a row we have been able to offer an additional scholarship, named for Kinetic Edge, for donated additional scholarship funds. Special thanks to Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy and Todd Schemper, a long-time Striders member.

The 2019 Capital Striders Scholarship Winners are:

Dave Hurd Scholarship: Kate Snodgrass, Valley High School. College, undetermined.

Chuck Jipp Scholarship: Helen Gould, Valley High School. Planning to attend the University of South Dakota.

Stan Smith Scholarship: Noah Mable, Urbandale High School. Planning to attend Iowa State University.

"Kinetic Edge" Scholarship: Paige Blackford, Southeast Polk High School. Planning to attend the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Capital Striders Scholarship: Ben Russell, Roosevelt High School. Planning to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology.