This year we have one open seat for the Capital Striders Board of Directors, and three fine candidates hoping for your vote! We asked each to answer a few questions to help you get to know them. Here are their answers:
1. What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? Some of the examples are: membership, scholarship, equipment, club races, newsletter/social media, merchandise, social functions, bookkeeping/financials, volunteer coordination, training runs, etc… I would be glad to assist where I am most needed; however, I feel I would add most value in club races, and social functions or volunteer coordination.
2. What special skills would you bring to the Board? Ninja skills! Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Napoleon Dynamite reference. I enjoy volunteering, helping others, and adding value or creative input wherever I can. I’ve spent over a decade in the service industry, which can translate to race or volunteer efforts. I’ve also served as a corporate trainer, so am able to help facilitate discussions and events, and assist in their coordination.
3. How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past? I joined Capital Striders a little over two years ago. Since then, I’ve participated in a number of training runs, and raced and/or volunteered in the Loop the Lake, Capital Pursuit, and the Sycamore 8. Additionally, I attended last year’s annual dinner.
4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know. I’m the middle child of six boys from a family brought together through divorces, remarriages, and adoption. My parents were not supportive of sports, and I was only involved in wrestling in high school. Now I wish I had been a runner to see what my potential then could have been. After high school I had injuries to both knees, which kept me away from running until I decided to give it a try at age 41. I took up running to spend time with my wife on her runs at her parents farm, and found I enjoyed it for my own stress relief and fitness. Since then I’ve ran five marathons in five states, qualifying for Boston last year in Houston, but missing the time cutoff for 2017. I’m still very proud of the accomplishment. I’m very happily married to my amazing wifeAndrea, who is always supportive of anything I want to be involved in. We both volunteer our time and treasure to numerous organizations, including United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Iowa, the Educational Leadership Initiative, and Best Buddies. I have two boys, aged twenty and five. The twenty year old is an amateur MMA fighter, and I’m proud to see the man he is becoming. The five year old is a great joy in our life, as it’s a wonderful age and he’s just a great, bright kid with a big heart and sense of humor.
5. Fun question: if you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why? I’d be a rutabaga to be their advocate, as they are an underrated root vegetable in need of a good promoter.
1. What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? Some of the examples are: membership, scholarship, equipment, club races, newsletter/social media, merchandise, social functions, bookkeeping….. As a Board Member I feel my strength of focus would be the club races, social functions and training runs. I’m a relationship person and I truly love people, helping others, and I have the time to volunteer. I also love the whole camaraderie around running, races and people and all of these events involve people.
2. What special skills would you bring to the Board? As I mentioned above my love of people and helping others would be a special skill I would bring to the Board. The Capital Striders organization is definitely about people and helping people/runners be the best they can be not only as runners but as individuals. I’d be a motivator! I’m very passionate about running and sharing my experiences and being involved in the running community. I’ve been a Board Member for the Ronald McDonald (RM) House for 10 years. I loved my time on the Board at the RM house, and I also understand what it takes to be involved in becoming a Board Member. I helped out on many volunteer committees while I served my time on the Board at the RM House, and one volunteer duty was being a co-leader in the 10K/5K Run for Ronald for two years. This opportunity gave me the experience to help organize races.
3. How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past? I’ve been a Capital Strider member for many years. I’ve helped out at water tables for a couple of races, and annually Dana Kramer and I are “girls with jugs” for one of the CS training runs. I like to sign up and run the CS runs; I attend the membership meetings in March; and I love to promote the CS organization to my friends and families.
4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know. I have two wonderful sons – Chris (age 28) and Taylor (age 25) that I adore immensely. I currently live in Urbandale, IA. I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (yes, I’m a HUGE Husker fan!), and I have been in the insurance/finance world ever since. I currently work for a wonderful financial advisor by the name of Marty Smith and Steele Capital Management. My running career started after college when I was working for Mutual of Omaha in Omaha NE. The company had a running club and I thought it was a lot of fun as I met a lot of new people, and I actually became a pretty good runner. In my younger days I broke a 40 minute 10K (39:43) and qualified for Boston (3:30), but actually didn’t run Boston until I was older (April 2016). I feel I could go on and on about my running career and my highs and lows, but the biggest high that stands out for me is all of the wonderful relationships and friendships that I have acquired throughout the running world. To me that is my most successful accomplishment.
5. Fun question: if you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why? I’ve thought about this question a lot, and I will come up with a short but truthful answer. If I were a vegetable I would be a carrot. Why? A lot of people don’t care for all of the vegetables out there, but most people like carrots. And I feel that most people like me.
1. What area(s) of the club would you focus on as a Board Member? Some of the examples are: membership, scholarship, equipment, club races, newsletter/social media, merchandise, social functions, bookkeeping/financials, volunteer coordination, training runs, etc… My first area of board focus would be to put my talents where they can be best utilized. I cannot speak to the greatest need on the board today, but my biggest strengths are creating data strategies, which I think will be helpful for membership and related areas (see more details in #2 below) and I am interested in social function, volunteer co-ordination and training runs. I would also like to take advantage of new opportunities on the board, so I would be very interested in participating in other areas of greatest need.
2. What special skills would you bring to the Board? I have spent over 15 years working in data and analytics at the Principal Financial Group, which has led to an expertise and passion in this field. I believe these analytical skills will provide some value to the operations of the board, but I am most excited about how they can help the organization grow. I have worked with other non-profits on data strategies, and I am excited about how we can use data and technology to grow and engage our membership and outreach. I am also trained in finance, and will be able to leverage those skilled where needed, as well as utilize my personal and professional network for the good of the organization.
3. How have you been involved with the Capital Striders in the past? I came to running relatively late in my life, starting at age 38. Since falling in love with my favorite hobby, I feel like it’s not I have chosen running, but running has chosen me. I have run 2 marathons (2 Chicago and 1 Des Moines). I was overjoyed to finish my first, but my proudest achievement was dropping my time by 100 Mins in the second to a finish of 3:41. I now have my sights set on qualifying and running the Boston marathon. I love the diversity of the running community, and I believe my life experience will resonate with many others. I have participated in most of the training runs prior to my Chicago last year and the training run were one of reason why I finished at my PR. I have also participated in 10 mile, Hill billy half being part of striders. I would love to help my part for Capital Striders in any way I can. I have encouraged a lot of friends who were sedentary to become part of Capital Striders and many of them are now and are trying to finish their first half or full marathon in 2017.
4. Tell us about yourself - work, family, running experience, civic activities - anything you would like people to know. The love of my life is my wife Sanju, and our sons Rohan (8) and Aakash (4). I have worked at Principal since moving to Des Moines nearly 15 years ago, and my current position is Assistant Director of Advanced Analytics. When I am not running in my free time, you will likely find me on the cricket pitch where I was a founding member in Avengers Cricket Club and have led the team to 3 champions in the last 3 years. My family and I live in West Des Moines, and are very engaged in the Indian cultural societies and activities around town, as well as other arts and community building activities. I am also a board member of Gateway Dance Theatre in East Village which makes arts and dance accessible to all. My wife is huge participant in theatre scene in Des Moines and have participated a lot of plays thru Gateway Dance Theatre.
5. Fun question: if you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why? I would be a jalapeno pepper due to its vibrancy and healthfulness. I spent the first 25 years of my life in my home country of India, which instilled a love and passion for spicy food. Jalapenos are a great way for me to provide the nostalgic flavor that I love to any meal in my adopted country. Jalapenos are also very versatile, something I strive for in my life and career. This nutritious food helps with immune systems, migraine relief, and inflammation and also has positive benefits for fighting cancer, the nervous system, and pregnant mothers.
2016 was another stellar year for the Capital Striders. We invite you to join us to celebrate our club successes at the Annual Dinner on March 24. Please plan on attending our 2017 Annual Dinner where we will recap the year with some great success stories, door prizes, sponsor and volunteer of the year recognition, great food, board member elections and a fantastic speaker. You can find more information about this event here.