2017 RUSA Board of Directors and RBA Representative Elections

The deadline for casting ballots is November 15 2016.

It is time again for our annual elections. These RUSA members have been nominated for positions on the RUSA Board. The general board members serve three-year terms, while the RBA Liaison, nominated by the RBAs, serves a one-year term. (Remember, only RBAs can vote for the RBA Liaison position.) Read the candidate statements to learn more about each nominee, The election is closed.

RUSA Board of Directors Election Electronic Ballot - Election Closed

RUSA RBA Liaison Electronic Ballot - Election Closed (RBAs only)

Alternatively, you may send your vote via email by clicking here: RUSA Board Election 2017 - Election Closed

If the email above link does not work, please send your vote to: Election Closed with the subject: RUSA Board Election 2017.

When voting by e-mail, be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your RUSA membership number
  • The names of the candidate or candidates you are voting for

Or you may print out and mail this ballot.  Ballots must be received by November 15, 2016.

Candidates for the RUSA Board

Hamid Akbarian
Roland Bevan
Dan Diehn
Lynne Fitzsimmons
Nigel Greene
Stephen Hazelton
Tim Sullivan
Dave Thompson

Candidates for RBA-L

Jake Kassen
Spencer Klaassen
Paul Rozelle

RUSA Board Candidate Statements

Hamid Akbarian, RUSA #4500

Boca Raton, FL / California, MD

Hamid Akbarian

It is with my great pleasure and high honor to be nominated for the 2017 RUSA board of directors. I am a RUSA member for almost 10 years and I was so fortunate to be able to meet many other RUSA members throughout the years. I usually participate in one of the international grand Brevets event every year and proudly wear my RUSA jersey to present RUSA to all foreign riders. Why do I want to run for the RUSA board? I really believe that my years of randonneuring experiences in/out of U.S., passion and commitment to the sport that we all love can be extremely beneficial to RUSA. I am known as a person that constantly talking with other riders while riding to see what others think about our sport and RUSA. I heard many of you so far and WANT to hear more from all of you by being part of the RUSA board of directors. We need to improve and streamline some of our processes and procedures in RUSA. We need to work on some of our brevets quality; especially 1000K and longer. You are voting for someone who is open-minded and willing to hear your concerns and fight to get things done in a manner consistent with ACP. I am not looking in to this as a popularity contest, I am looking in to this as an honor that you gave me to protect and preserve the integrity of American Randonneur. It will be my highest honor to have your vote and work for you in the RUSA board of directors.

Roland Bevan, RUSA #5090

Roland Bevan

I have run for the RUSA BOD twice before, and I’m throwing my hat in the ring once again, not because I feel that those previously elected were not deserving but because I truly wish to have a chance to observe and help steer the inner workings of RUSA. I’ve steadily increased my volunteer role over the years, first as a general volunteer at brevets, then as Team Events Coordinator (Flèche and Dart/Dart Populaire) for San Francisco Randonneurs for the past 6 years and most recently this year as RUSA Brevet Coordinator. I would appreciate your voting for me and if elected I’ll be open to your ideas, suggestions and feedback for RUSA’s direction moving forward. Thank you!


Dan Diehn, RUSA #3812

Black River Falls, WI

Dan Diehn

I am extremely honored to be nominated for the RUSA Board of Directors.  Since completing my first brevet in 2007, I’ve been hooked. I ride regularly with several Randonneur clubs, including the Minnesota Randonneurs, the Great Lakes Randonneurs, and the Driftless Randonneurs. I’ve been a Super Randonneur the past nine years, have ridden brevets in many other RUSA regions, and have completed seven 1200K events, including PBP.  I have also organized numerous events and developed routes for the Minnesota Randonneurs.  My favorite randonneuring memories are the late night stories and laughs shared on quiet country roads. The camaraderie and shared sense of accomplishment are truly rewarding.

When I’m not riding my bike, I own and manage a general law practice in Western Wisconsin. I am currently the President of the Board of Directors of an organization that operates four food banks and am on the Board of Director for a regional Boys and Girls Club.  These experiences have given me insight into constructive ways to address problems and resolve disputes.  Legal issues creep into many aspects of operating a successful non-profit organization. RUSA would be strengthened by having a Board member who is familiar with legal issues and is comfortable analyzing problems from a legal perspective.

I enjoy travelling to different RUSA regions and different parts of the country to share experiences with riders from across the country.  Each region has its own identity, procedures and outlook on randonneuring.  The challenges, concerns, and experiences of riders and organizers in a region that has 4 or 5 riders per event are vastly different from those of the larger RUSA regions.  I believe RUSA can benefit from a Board member who understands these differences.

Lynne Fitzsimmons, RUSA #3821

Portland, OR

Lynne Fitzsimmons

I would be pleased and honored to continue to represent you as a member of the RUSA board. When elected in 2013, I stated that I would work to make RUSA operations more transparent and, while serving as RUSA Secretary for two of the past three years, have added more content and depth to the Board Meeting Highlights, so RUSA members can have some insight into what the Board is discussing, and what factors are considered in arriving at decisions.

Additionally, over the years, I have worked towards increasing organizational redundancy, I created  a RUSA Volunteer Wiki, where the various committee chairs may document their processes in a centrally-available location, and I created a RUSA online common document store, so that organizational history is both preserved and accessible.

I will also continue to be a voice for members who enjoy participating in RUSA activities, but maybe don't have an SR or 1200k as a goal, and I will work toward ways to attract additional members outside our current demographic.

In addition to serving on the Board, I am an active member of both the Routes and Website Committees, and I have assisted with the American Randonneur publication as needed.

Serving on the Board allows me to better understand how the all the volunteers and committees of RUSA work together to bring events to you.  Using my skills as a Human Factors Engineer/Usability Engineer, I have been suggesting ways to streamline some of the more complex processes, mostly, but not exclusively on the RUSA website, to make that aspect of the volunteer experience less burdensome.  As a small example, the RUSA website now has a menu item which takes RBAs and Perm Owners directly to the Submit Results process. 

But in the larger sense, these are the areas I’d like RUSA to pursue:

  • Continue offering a comprehensive event calendar throughout our membership area.
  • Continue to keep the organization on a solid financial footing.
  • Clarify what makes Randonneuring unique among cycling organizations, and maintain that focus.
  • Run a full membership survey to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s missing.
  • Create redundancy and sustainability in our organization – we as an organization need an understanding of the work processes of each of the committees independent of the current volunteer(s) doing the work.  Additionally, this means expanding our volunteer base, such that we are not depending on the same few volunteers to do many tasks.
  • Work to expand our membership outside our existing demographic.  How can we get the RUSA message out to the underserved population?  How can we help RBAs to do that?
  • Consider ways in which we can incorporate modern technology in a way which works for both the volunteers and the riders (for example, alternate control verification), while understanding that paper and pencil generally do not malfunction, or run out of battery.

Nigel Greene, RUSA #6245

Elkins Park, PA

Nigel Greene

I am humbly honored and thankful for the nomination to serve on the RUSA Board of Directors. I joined RUSA in April 2010. In the following six plus years, I completed over 30,000K in events that covered every distance and type of event up to PBP. In the process, have seen that the success of this sport depends on its volunteers. To give back to the sport, I currently volunteer as the RUSA membership chairperson, I have written several articles for American Randonneur, I serve as the administrator for Facebook Groups relevant to the sport (Advice from Ancien(nes) and NJ Rando); own two permanents and volunteer at local brevets. Based on this experience, I accepted the nomination because I believe that RUSA would benefit from the following changes:

1. Communication. I would like to see RUSA develop and improve its communication with the membership. There should be an official system in place for members to exchange ideas and comments with the board instead of the unofficial collection of message boards, emails and personal communications that currently semi-serves that role. For example, I would like to see the board notify the membership of significant issues before the final decision is made and be open to receiving and responding to comments. I would like to see the minutes kept current and provide more information.

2. Electronic proof of passage. I would like the board  to look into ways to incorporate electronic proof of passage in addition to receipts and/or signatures . The technology is there if the will is there.

3. East Coast Representation.  While the sheer numbers of Randonneurs on the west coast may exceed those on the east, those of us who live east of the Mississippi include riders who are as motivated, interested and invested in the sport as any member. I would like my candidacy for the board to serve as a request for recognition by all of the membership that having input from members from more than one side of the country gives all of us a greater range of ideas, options and possible solutions. 

If you agree with this platform, I ask for your support in pursuing these goals.  Thanks for your consideration.

Stephen Hazelton, RUSA #5389

Stephen Hazelton

My first impression of randonneurs was that they rode long distances but had fun while doing it.  I liked that idea and worked my way into the sport myself.  Today, after several years and thousands of miles, that combination of distance and fun still seems to be the key to this sport.  It keeps me riding year round, and I’m still having fun!

RUSA is a first-class organization, thanks to countless volunteer hours invested in it, and the result is the current randonneuring system.   I have benefitted greatly from that system, and I appreciate all the hard work that has produced it.  I also keep an open mind towards improvements that can be made in the future.  This might be in the way of new programs, or tweaks to the existing rules, new awards, or incorporation of new technology.

In the last few years, I’ve been involved in hosting rides, route creation, route checking, pre-riding, and other support activities at the local level.   I welcome the opportunity to serve at the national level as well on the Board of Directors.  I get along with other people, treat other people with respect, listen to other people, and maintain a spirit of cooperation.

I am asking for your vote for this position, and I thank you for that.  But more importantly, I ask for your support for RUSA and for your local randonneuring club.  Let’s work, let’s have fun!

Tim Sullivan, RUSA #28

Coronado, CA

Tim Sullivan

I am honored to be nominated to the RUSA Board of Directors having previously served on the Board from 2001 to 2007. During that time on the Board I learned how valuable all of our volunteers from the RBAs, ride organizers, volunteers on each ride, and the members assisting the Board behind the scenes are to the growth and success of the organization. Through those volunteers I saw the growth of randonneuring in the US. Growth that was fostered by supporting the RBAs, promoting different rides for members, including the implementation of the permanents program that has greatly contributed to the growth of riding.

As a new Board member I will look for new ways to promote randonneuring and our various rides. One of the unique aspects of RUSA is that it is entirely served by volunteers. One of the best ways for the Board to promote the sport is to provide assistance to the volunteers at the local level, the RBAs and ride organizers. It will be through their efforts that riders will experience the camradarie and sense of community that makes our type of cycling unique.  One of the best ways of doing this is by providing RBAs with tools that they need to make their jobs easier. A recent example of this are the changes to the results submission that from my perspective as a permanent owner simplified the process. We need to continue to explore ways to use technology and innovations to verify rides while maintaining the traditions and rules that differentiate randonneuring from other types of cycling.

As RUSA nears its 20th year I would like to foster an exchange of ideas between our diverse regions on how to provide different types of brevets, team events and populaires. For example, this past month Terry Hutt and the Pacific Coast Randonneurs recently hosted a Night Audax, a 200 km that started at 7:00 pm. It was fun and different to ride audax style with 17 riders enjoying the end of summer, a full moon, a dinner at the half way point, and a nice evening. I would like to learn if there are other regions who have discovered different rides that we can offer our members so that we stay fresh.

I have been a member of RUSA since 1998 enjoying riding in different regions, meeting riders and volunteers. I have had the pleasure of riding 6 PBPs as well as 10 US grand randonees. I would like to use my experience to serve RUSA and welcome your vote.

Dave Thompson, RUSA #4226

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Dave Thompson

My randonneuring experience started in 2007 and since then ranges all over North America and Europe, giving me a broad perspective.  From an organizational standpoint, I am already heavily involved, owning Permanents and running two very successful 1200k's -- the Sunshine 1200k and Granite Anvil 1200k.  I am also helping the RBA plan and execute the Cracker Swamp 1200k.  I have designed routes, from 200k through 1200k and fleche.

I believe that I can make a significant contribution to the RUSA Board:

•    I listen; that comes from my experience as a consultant.  I’m used to playing that back, working towards consensus and moving it forward in a timely manner.

•    Being retired, I have time to contribute more.

•    Communication is one of my strengths; I stay on top of telephone calls, email and texts.

•    I’m a team player, used to working with volunteers and volunteer boards and various levels of management, external suppliers and contracts.

My education in IT and my MBA coupled with my management and rando experience give me many ideas to help improve and automate.  We need to continue moving forward, from a technology perspective, yet preserve the spirit of our sport.  For our members and volunteers and especially   Permanent Owners and RBA’s, anything that we can do to make their lives easier will improve productivity.

I’m passionate about our sport and want to contribute more.  I’m honored to be nominated for the Board, and welcome the chance to have earned your vote.

Board of Directors Candidate Contact Emails

RBA-L Candidate Statements

Only RBAs may cast votes for RBA-L.

Jake Kassen, RUSA #3598

Boston, MA

Jake Kassen

In running for the position of RBA-L I hope to encourage RUSA to focus on streamlining the tasks of an RBA. As organizers, we're are the heart and soul of Randonneuring in the US. For this reason I’d like to see RUSA’s board consult RBAs frequently before and after policy changes. While not all RBAs will agree with the board's decisions, prompt and detailed justification regarding changes would be appreciated. This includes timely posting of meeting minutes.

In riding with many distant RUSA regions I’m impressed at how uniquely -- and successfully -- each region is run. Since no two regions are alike (both in terrain and ridership), RUSA should encourage RBAs to do what they feel is best to foster their local community. I wrote Cardomatic in order to make it easier to run rides and I feel there are similar technical ways to streamline the RBA’s tasks. Similarly, I’d encourage a pilot program which would allow organizers to run GPS-Only events. Most regions won’t be doing away with cue sheets (including Boston) but RUSA should be flexible in allowing interested RBAs to experiment with these sorts of changes if they feel it would improve their events.

Spencer Klaassen, RUSA #1989

Saint Joseph, MO

Spencer Klaassen

It’s an honor to be nominated for the chance to continue to serve as the RBA Liaison.  The past twelve months have been quite busy updating the website as well as the result submission pages for permanents, brevets, fleche, and arrows/darts.  I appreciate that my fellow RBAs were patient as the volunteers worked to make those changes. 

I was trained as a pharmacist and do a great deal of hands-on activities at a regional hospital in the midwest.  At the surface, it would seem like none of my training would have any benefit for RUSA.  My job does include committee work as well as working with patients, family members, nurses and physicians every day.  Since I can only give suggestions (as opposed to orders), I had to developed the ability to work and communicate with all types of people and patients.  This can be similar to working with different RBAs; I need to try to understand where they are coming from before thinking about solutions.   

I enjoy traveling to other regions to take part in brevets and permanents.  Although I can’t understand all the issues in an area, it does give me a “feel” for the region.  A benefit of knowing many of you is that I get new ideas that might benefit and grow my region. 

In conclusion, I would be grateful for the opportunity to serve the RBAs for another year. 

Paul Rozelle, RUSA #2955

St. Petersburg, FL

Paul Rozelle

Our riders are the heart and soul of RUSA. Without active, continued participation in our events, there would be no randonneuring. As RBAs, you are on RUSA’s “front line,” not only for organizing events, but it is the RBAs who riders come to first with questions about RUSA and with suggestions about changes that might benefit our sport. Without our RBAs and their consistent, tireless dedication as RUSA volunteers, there would not be any randonneuring, either. 

As your RBA Liaison, I would be your voice and representative on the RUSA Board. First and foremost, I believe the RBA Liaison should serve as a conduit for the timely and transparent communication of information between the Board and the RBAs. The RBA Liaison’s role is to ensure that the great diversity among our regions (in size, geographic location, and manner in which our clubs are organized) is considered and respected in the Board’s decisions. The RBA Liaison is also a resource, not just in working with RUSA and the Board, but for day-to-day advice and counsel on how to design and run successful events, handle issues with riders, and in helping to resolve the many questions that come up in fulfilling our duties.

I have been a cyclist all my life, a randonneur since 2005, and the RBA for Central Florida for five years. I have organized dozens of brevets, including most recently the Cracker Swamp 1200, which is the second largest 1200K ever held in the United States. I have also ridden brevets all over the United States and the world. My experience as both a rider and an RBA has helped me appreciate and respect the diversity and long history of our sport and to value good communication as the foundation of RUSA’s future success. I would be honored to serve you as your RBA Liaison.

RBA-L Candidate Contact Emails