Candidate Statements2021 Elections
CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT
Paul Guyas, “Surround yourself with good people, give them wings, and watch them soar.” I’m very proud of the things we’ve accomplished over the past two years: A new website, GWTC365, the Youth Council, the Diversity Committee, no disasters during the pandemic, the list goes on. But we still have more to do. On the horizon are more plans for outreach, more updates and upgrades to our Club’s functions including more coordination and collaboration between our varied initiatives and an ongoing effort to increase transparency and member engagement.
Mark Priddy joined GWTC in the mid 1990’s but has been a runner most of his adult life. He has run hundreds of races including some 44 marathons and one ultra. He has served as a Director at Large, Membership Director, and Race Director of the Flash 12k and the Palace Saloon 5k. He has served on most of the Club committees and he created the Club’s Extreme Challenge event. His most satisfying position was School Grant Coordinator for 11 years. He was able to observe many of the youth participants develop from non-athletic walkers into pretty good runners in the community. He wants the opportunity to lead the Club forward from the 2020 issues by strengthening our running programs and races, and to encourage our members toward greater personal growth in the coming year.
CANDIDATES FOR VICE PRESIDENT
Trevor Sununu, I have been an avid runner since early childhood, and have been a part of Gulf Winds Track Club for the past seven years. I am a Baker at Panera who has had the honor of personally baking the bagels donated to several of our charitable races. GWTC gave me a running home when I first moved to Tallahassee as a student seven years ago and I’ve watched our club grow and develop into the organization it is today. GWTC’s cause to serve the community has always inspired me to keep reaching for new heights. I would be truly honored to give back to our club by serving as Vice President. I have experience hosting multi day events of over 3,000 participants per day and leading club activities as a former officer of FSU’s Japanese Animation Club of Tallahassee, which raises cultural awareness and inclusiveness to the community. I believe I can bring this experience to the local running community to benefit our club sponsored events and activities.
Heather York, has been running since 2002 and enjoys running on our local trails. She is currently serving on the GWTC Board as a Director-at-Large. She has assisted with directing the Summer Trail Series and Swamp Forest Marathon. She is a Director of Development for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and One More Child. She is hoping to take on a leadership role in the club and to promote running in our community.
CANDIDATE FOR SECRETARY
Brittney Barnes, 32 years old, has been running with Gulf Winds for 9 years. Brittney stumbled across the running community after running a race and always felt welcomed with open arms. Always on the go with work, personal training and professional bodybuilding but the values of the club and camaraderie keep me always trying to help or volunteer when I can.
CANDIDATE FOR TREASURER
Peg Griffin has been running since joining GWTC in 1986. She has been volunteering at GWTC events since about that time, and has previously served as race director of the Tallahassee Marathon, TUDC and Pine Run, director at large and membership chair. Peg has been timing races since 2003 and served on the committee that studied and recommended the acquisition of the club’s chip timing system. Peg currently serves on the club’s website committee and is a member of the GWTC Hall of Fame and past- recipient of GWTC’s Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport, Bill Lott Volunteer of the Year and Race Director of the Year Awards. “GWTC is fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers and it has been my pleasure to work alongside them. I look forward to continuing my service as your Treasurer.”
CANDIDATE FOR LECTURE COORDINATOR
Kat Sack joined Gulf Winds Track Club in 2015 where she began racing several 5Ks and 10Ks. The more she got involved with the club, the longer the distances of races she’s trained for and completed became. Kat has served two years as Equipment Manager and also coordinated training groups – Springtime Training Group as well as Trailblazers. She has also worked with the timing team on multiple occasions, even running split points on her own. Kat is the 2017 FROTY, completed several marathons, qualified for Boston twice, and made age group podium spots in sprint/olympic triathlons; but has been battling hip issues for a few years now and not really running. Many of her goals as Education Coordinator are to provide knowledge and routines for injury prevention due to being out of the count for a while. With her experience in club leadership positions – as well as experience with cross-training, hydration, stretching, and dealing with injuries – the education seminars will be inclusive of all runners of all levels and backgrounds. My goal is to make sure no one gets preventable injuries that disrupt their running career.
CANDIDATE FOR RACE DIRECTOR COORDINATOR
Mary Jean Yon, has been running since 1985 and has been a member of GWTC for that same amount of time. She is the Executive Director of Keep Florida Beautiful. Mary Jean has served on the GWTC Board as President, Past-President, Secretary and Director-at-Large. She is Co-Director of the Tallahassee Turkey Trot and volunteers at many GWTC races. Mary Jean is a member of the GWTC Hall of Fame and a past-recipient of GWTC’s Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport, Runner of the Year and Race Director of the Year Awards. “GWTC gets in your blood. The camaraderie, commitment and charitable actions of the Club truly make it one of the greatest organizations. I am proud to be associated with the Club and seek to continue my contributions.
CANDIDATE FOR SOCIAL DIRECTOR
Vicky Droze Vicky Droze for Socials Chair! Served as equipment manager for 3 years and as a director-at-large for 1 year. Been running since I was 18. Met the love of my life and amazing friends through the Club. Last year was my first year as the Social Director and I hope others had as much fun as I did at First Sunday’s game nights at Momo’s.
CANDIDATES FOR DIRECTORS-AT-LARGE
Judy Alexander has been a member of GWTC since 1996. She currently serves on the Board as a director and served as president from 2009-2012. She owns High Touch High Tech, a hands-on science-teaching business. She has volunteered at numerous Club- and non-Club sponsored events, and coached cross-country and track and field at North Florida Christian, Florida High and The Magnolia School. Judy is a member of the GWTC Hall of Fame and a past recipient of GWTC’s Runner of the Year and Cleveland Caldwell Advancement of the Sport Awards. “I have been a member of many running clubs through the years. I can’t think of one more inclusive and philanthropic than GWTC. I’m proud and honored to be a Club member and to serve on GWTC’s Board.”
Charlie Johnson has been running since the mid-1980s, and has been an active member of GWTC since 2009. He has served on the Gulf Winds Triathletes as a board member from 2015 to 2018 including a year as President. He directed the St. Marks Duathlon from 2017-2019 and continues to support it. He is currently a member of the statewide Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation board. He most recently earned GWTC’s Bill Lott Volunteer of the Year award in 2019. He has also served on community volunteer groups such as KCCI and currently the Urban Land Institute Capital Region Board all meant to better our community where we live (and run). Seeing the success of club members reaching their running goals, the lifelong friendships that are made and the societal and health benefits to our great community are all reasons he believes in the Gulf Winds Track Club.
Gary Johnston has been running since 2010. He started as a challenge from his uncle to run a 10 mile road race while visiting family in Newfoundland Canada. While that race wiped him out he was bought in and hasn’t looked back. He joined Gulf Winds Track Club when he returned from that trip. He is a nurse practitioner and the Vice President of Clinical Services for Select Medical. He has lived in Tallahassee since 2003 and has 4 children from 21 down to 5. The family has participated or volunteered for countless running events through the years and Gary loves to promote running and the club to anyone that will listen. Road, trails, or track…it doesn’t matter. All distances, all times, all participation is all that matters.
Tristan LaNasa remembers he started running in 2005 after suddenly losing his friends and home to Hurricane Katrina and moving to the foreign state of “Florida.” He never stopped after. He works as an Attorney at Law and Lobbyist for state agencies. Tristan began as a GWTC Director in January of 2020 and has carried on with the Club leadership through these coronavirus times. Currently, Tristan is a volunteer with the GWTC Diversity Committee, GWTC365 Member, and leads the Rogue Runners Monday Group and leads the GWTC Wednesday Intervals Workout. He looks forward to continuing serving the Club whether voted on the Board or not as it continues to transition into a post-Covid world. “After I finished school I was down on my luck until I found GWTC. The friendships, races and events ignited a passion in me to be the best version of myself. I want to pay it forward and help others find that fire- if not me, then who?”
Jerry McDaniel has been running since around 1973, and has been an active member of GWTC for over 20 years. He spent 37 years working for state government and recently retired from six years as a governmental consultant. Jerry and his wife, Jackie, were the race directors for the GWTC 30k/15k from 2005 through 2016, and were instrumental in moving the race to Old Centerville Rd in 2006. They received the Race Director of the Year award in 2010. Jerry is a frequent volunteer at local races and especially enjoys volunteering for the Turkey Trot Race. Jerry enjoys a number of outdoor activities including camping, cycling, motorcycling, hiking, and kayaking. “I enjoy competing in all distances from the mile to the marathon, and have made life long friends in pursuit of all outdoor activities”.
Sarah Monbarren completed her first 5k at the 2009 Turkey Trot. Okay, well not officially the first one but the first one she actually trained for. We don’t talk about the 2007 Run for Your Life 5k unless there’s a drink involved. At any rate, after Turkey Trot she became hooked trying to get her time down and run in longer distances. She got involved with GWTC shortly after thanks to her speedy and slightly famous brother, Chris Lake. She enjoyed meeting all sorts of likeminded people and felt a sense of inclusion. Over the years Sarah has competed in many 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and has completed 5 marathons. She’s also a member of Gulf Winds Triathletes and completed her first 70.3 in 2019. She’s looking forward to giving back and serving on a committee for an organization that is near and dear to her heart.
Tom Perkins, has been running since 1976 and has been a member of GWTC for much of that time. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service and is now a full-time realtor and race director. Tom was President of GWTC from 2004-2006 and currently serves on the Board as a Director-at-Large. He is a co-director for the Miller Landing Madness race, the Summer Track Series and the Girl Scout Run for the Cookies. Tom is a USA Track and Field Official and enjoys volunteering at numerous races throughout the year. He is a member of GWTC’s Hall of Fame and a prior recipient of GWTC’ Race Director of the Year Award. Tom is interested in the promotion of youth running.
Sarah Shuler Thompson first started running in 2004 and has been a member of Gulf Winds since 2013. She currently serves on the Board as a Director-at-Large. Sarah’s involvement with the Club began by participating in the Beginning Running Group and she returned in subsequent years to help coach with BRG. For the last two years, Sarah has served as co-director of BRG and enjoyed the chance to support and encourage new and returning runners as they kickstart their journeys. Since joining GWTC, Sarah has looked for more ways to get involved by helping lead training groups, volunteering support for races, joining the race timing team, and serving on the Board. She is also co-director of the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic. Sarah enjoys being a part of the Club’s continued efforts to introduce a love of running and fitness to the greater Tallahassee community.
Christopher Turner has been “running since 2011 when he decided it was time to get active again before his 30th birthday. In 2013, Christopher, along with Shannon Colavecchio and Michael Stewart, coordinated and directed a fundraiser race for victims of the Boston Marathon. He is an Associate State Director with AARP Florida. Christopher serves on the Board of Directors of the Donna Foundation based in Jacksonville, and has served for six years as a fundraiser and race ambassador for the 26.2 with Donna, National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. Christopher also volunteers in the community as an Assistant Cross-Country Coach at Lincoln High School, and as a pacer for Galloway Training where he “serves as a coach, entertainer, motivator, and drill sergeant” during races. “I have really enjoyed my time as a member of the Gulf Winds Track Club community. We have such a diverse group of individuals; it allows you to remember what we can all unite around. It has been great getting to know people of different backgrounds and becoming friends, because without the club we may have never connected. I look forward to the opportunity to serve our community in a greater way, and to help bridge the gap so that everyone is able to lace up and race.”
Herb Wills, has been running since 1971. He ran age-group track from 1971-1974, high school athletics at Leon High from 1974-1978, and college athletics from 1978-1982. Herb frequently volunteers at GWTC races and shares his photographs of most local races. He has served as hurdle setter, lane judge, announcer, and timer at various levels of track and cross-country meets since the 1970s. Herb is currently serving on the GWTC Board as a Director-at-Large and is director of the Tannenbaum 6K. He also serves on the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame Committee. He is a contributor to the Fleet Foot and the Tallahassee Democrat as an avid running and fitness blogger and regularly promotes GWTC and its events and activities on Facebook and Twitter. Herb is a member of the FSU Hall of Fame, the GWTC Hall of Fame, and is a past recipient of GWTC’s Runner of the Year, Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport and Race Director of the Year Awards.
David Yon, has been running since 1983, and has been an active member of GWTC for almost as long. He is an attorney with the Radey Law Firm. David is a former GWTC President, and currently serves on the Board as Treasurer. He also serves on the Chenoweth Committee. He is co-director of the Tallahassee Turkey Trot and the Potluck Bash. He volunteers at many GWTC races and is a frequent columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat. David is a member of the GWTC Hall of Fame and a past recipient of GWTC’s Runner of the Year, Race Director of the Year, and Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport Awards. “I have worked with a lot of volunteer groups over the years and GWTC does the best job of accomplishing its goals. It is made up of a lot of very committed people who have good hearts and small egos. I especially appreciate the way the Club reaches out to the entire community to support running and fitness and to support numerous charitable organizations. I also support the Club’s efforts to improve its infrastructure with new equipment such as the timing system and to improve the way it operates through dedicated, organized and efficient leadership.” At the top of his list is supporting efforts to improve the quantity and quality of youth running programs.