We, along with some other passionate and vocal members, put out a call (a challenge even) for all card carrying members of USATF-NE to show up to the annual meeting and vote. From what I could see in the minutes from recent prior elections, the turn out this year was double (possibly even triple, depending on the point of comparison) what was normally on hand to cast votes. Congratulations, you answered the call. As I said up at the mic, the election results didn’t matter as much as the fact that so many people got involved. Whatever the outcome, it was important to see people showing an interest and becoming actively involved in the organization.
Without further ado, here are the election results with some play by play action mixed in.
First up was President. Before we got started, Joanie Bohlke was called up to help moderate/move things along. It was determined that each candidate would get five minutes to address the crowd, and then when both were done there was to be a ten minute general Q&A. In the Q&A, candidates were limited to one minute each to respond to the questions. Joanie had the watch running for each segment and was pretty strict about it.
On a side note, I must say that I think this is good to keep things moving along, but could’ve been implemented more effectively. If candidates were given something like a ‘one minute warning’, then they could’ve wrapped up and felt better about it. Instead, it left a couple of awkward endings hanging out there. You’re not really gonna win over a crowd if your closing thought is a sentence fragment. What if you were going to say “If elected, I will strip down the communication barriers and get more people involved”, but were only able to squeeze in “If elected, I will strip-”. See? Awkward!
On to the action:
The incumbent Steve Viegas went first, followed by the challenger Tom Derderian. They both had compelling statements and it was obvious that the vote would be close. The Q&A session to follow was quite…spirited, and I thought it would soon start raining chairs. Luckily, the chair clouds passed and things quieted down.
While the votes were being tallied for the President, the Vice Presidents were nominated and elected. There can be up to three VP’s and only two were going for another term (John Oleski and Jim Garcia), so who would step up to vie for the final slot? Victoria Barnaby ended up rising to the occasion, and since nobody else did, they all were elected without having to do a full vote.
Vice President (3 slots) – no vote necessary, everybody wins!
Incumbent: Jim Garcia (GLRR)
Incumbent: John Oleski (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Victoria Barnaby (GBTC)
Next, it was Secretary time. Gary Snyder (the incumbent) spoke first, donning a GBTC jacket to start things off. Now it was time for this guy, the challenger Eric Narcisi, to crutch his way up to the podium. I was only half joking when I asked aloud “does my time start now or when I make it to the podium?” Luckily for me the clock didn’t start until I got up there. I didn’t know what to expect of this meeting, so I didn’t prepare any statement. I just spoke from the heart and luckily didn’t run out of time. It’s all a blur to me, but I believe only one question was asked of us. After we both took a crack at answering it, it was time to vote!
While we were voting for secretary, the results of the presidential race were announced:
Incumbent: Steve Viegas (MassVelocity) – 69
Candidate: Tom Derderian (GBTC) – 83
It was a close one. Steve showed a lot of class in defeat and stayed on to continue overseeing the meeting and subsequent elections. The immediate former president also has a seat on the board, so he’ll still be involved.
It was now time to determine the new Treasurer. The new guy was the same as the old guy, as Stephen Peckiconis was unopposed. No vote was necessary here and he was pretty quickly named to another term as Treasurer.
I believe it was at this time that the results of the Secretary seat were announced:
Incumbent: Gary Snyder (MassVelocity) – 39
Candidate: Eric Narcisi (Whirlaway) – 106
I was (and still am) surprised by the results here. It’s never an easy battle going against an incumbent, so I figured if I did win, it would be a squeaker of a vote. I wasn’t even ruling out having to settle it with a run-off (that’s how we do in track!), but then my crutches would’ve been a huge disadvantage. Gary took off, and I then assumed responsibilities.
The rest was fairly simple. There wasn’t a need for voting for any of the chairs as each person, an incumbent in some cases and a candidate in others, ran unopposed. Some were completely open due to resignations during the year. The only surprise here was Skip Cleaver’s decision to not run for re-election. The Masters’ LDR was the only chair that looked like it would require a vote going in. Here are the Chairs:
Sports Chairs (1 year term)
Candidate: Gary Circosta (GBTC)
Incumbent: Lisa Doucett (CSU)
Candidate: Joe Navas (Whirlaway)
Candidate: Yvonne Green (NBB)
Incumbent: Mike Travers (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Jason Cakouros (HFC)
Incumbent: Paul Kirsch (White Mtn Milers)
Incumbent: Jason Kuo (NEW)
Candidate: Leigh Petranoff (Turbojav AC)
The last election was for athlete reps. There were five candidates, all seemed like they would make for a solid representative. I don’t know about you, but I found it to be a tough decision. They all were granted three minutes to speak, then it was opened up to Q&A once all of them had spoken.
While we voted on the reps, we started gearing up for the last order of business: selecting who would go to the national conference in Florida. There was a predetermined slate (featuring all interested parties) and that was put up on the grease board while the votes were counted for the rep positions.
Final results for the reps:
Athlete Reps (3 slots; 1 year term)
Incumbent: Will Feldman (GBTC) – 63
Candidate: Jason Ayr (WMDP) – 74
Candidate: Jim Burgoyne (Twilight Throwers) – 62
Candidate: Reno Stirrat (Whirlaway) – 52
Candidate: Dan Kramer (NBB) – 35
It was a close one here too!
As far as the delegates for the national conference, we can send up to sixteen, and although we voted last night, there was a motion that passed to end the meeting with those results pending. A few newly elected people (myself included) entered into that race as well, so there were quite a few names up on the board (close to twenty). Results on this should be available any second now.
The USATF-NE website should be updated with all the details from this meeting (including winners in the delegate vote) soon.
Congrats to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who showed up and took part in the process!
Disclaimer: This in no way represents an official release from USATF-NE or the Secretary (specifically). These constitute my observations as EJN, writer for Level Renner, and not Eric Narcisi, USATF-NE Secretary. If this makes sense, nod in silence.