2024 RUSA Board of Directors and RBA Liaison Elections

 The deadline for casting ballots is November 30, 2023. Voting Begins on November 1, 2023.

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, elected 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 below. Here is the online ballot for voting for a regular Board position. (RBAs will be given their ballot separately to vote for RBA Liaison.)

   RUSA Board of Directors Election Electronic Ballot

Or you may email your vote to: election@rusa.org with the subject: RUSA Board Election 2024. When voting by e-mail, be sure to include:

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


Candidates for the RUSA Board

Phil Fox (#12365)
Susan Gryder (#9931)
Misha Heller (#8502)
Dawn Piech (#10146)
Dave Thompson (#4226) 

Candidates for RBA Liaison

Rob Hawks (#2515)

RUSA Board Candidate Statements

Phil Fox, RUSA #12365

Chicago, IL

Phil Fox

My randonneuring journey began in 2018 when I first heard of Paris-Brest-Paris. Since then I've fallen in love with this incredible community of like-minded individuals pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons. From my first events at the Coulee Challenge 1200K to Lon and Susan’s Arizona Brevet Week, I've made lifelong friends and mentors.

I'm passionate about the growth of American randonneuring and committed to building upon its rich history. Today I’m trailblazing new routes across the Midwest, sharing our stories and working diligently to bring more of us together.

Professionally, I bring expertise in market research, marketing strategy, and community engagement. Three opportunities to focus on include:

  • Engagement: I aim to strengthen our community by facilitating dialogue between RUSA and our members. Engagement surveys will provide context to our participation data to improve our organization and develop the next generation of American randonneurs. [Research Plan]
  • Connectivity: Randonneuring is about camaraderie. I'll elevate our social media presence and expand the RUSA member directory to foster more connectivity among our members and to promote our clubs and events.
  • Gamification: Let's make our awards more fun and engaging with digital badges and personalized dashboards. This will motivate clubs and members to track, share and celebrate these achievements. [Example]

I'm committed to bringing fresh perspectives, energy, and a renewed sense of community to RUSA. Let's embark on this journey together and reinvigorate American randonneuring.

You can read my full candidate statement here. As you have thoughts on RUSA's future, I'd love to hear from you. Find me on Strava, Facebook, Instagram.

Questions for Phil? Contact him at philip.fox@gmail.com.

► Phil's video interview with Deb Banks (passcode: 8Nw!t8X!)

Susan Gryder, RUSA #9931

Tampa, FL

Susan Gryder

I fell in love with Randonneuring in 2014. I was hooked immediately and went to my first PBP in 2015. I have not looked back! In the past 9 years I have become increasingly involved in RUSA as well as increased my annual mileage to ridiculous numbers (according to my family). I believe my greatest accomplishment with RUSA is the extended family I have gained. If I have not met or ridden with you, I hope to do so soon!

I am a firm believer in Community Involvement. I have spent my life volunteering & believe organizations are as strong as their volunteers. I prior owned many permanents in my area. I routinely pre ride & volunteer for Brevets in Florida. I additionally am one of the volunteers that helps with the online store. I love seeing riders achieve awards & send out items with a big smile. 

I am no stranger to the administrative side of organizations. I have prior held board positions at Rasmussen University, Athlete’s Who Care (AWC), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, 72 Hours to Key West Charity Bike Ride & my Homeowners Association. I am a Nurse Practitioner and a Professor at 2 Universities in Florida. I have years of practice with public speaking, community liaison & organizing human capital (ie herding cats).
I believe in RUSA. It does an excellent job at providing goals & award incentives for members. I would love to assist in building our Randonneuring Community by attracting new riders (including younger & women riders) as well as retaining the members we currently have. 

I was honored to be nominated & it would be a great privilege to contribute to RUSA as a Board member.

Questions for Susan? Contact her at sreppen1@gmail.com.

► Susan's video interview with Deb Banks (passcode: FVHhH%2i )

Misha Heller, RUSA #8502

Alexandria, VA

Misha Heller

If you know me, you know my passion for randonneuring. For those whom I haven’t met, I hope you’ll notice it immediately. RUSA has given me tons and I now have the time/credentials to serve. Pronunciation tip: "Misha" rhymes with "Tricia."

My professional work benefits from effective communication, writing, evaluation, analysis, and policy implementation skills. I will transfer these to the Board.  I engage stakeholders with different equities and find common ground/solutions to complicated problems.  With these tools I’ll help implement our mission productively, build bridges, cut through red tape, cross finish lines. 
Randonneuring must grow.  Rando isn’t easy, but I’ve got enthusiasm that makes it a little more fun. Let’s spread that.  I’ve observed massive participation increases in other ultrasports.  How can rando match this momentum? Is it time/resources/money?  Rules/traditions?  Marketing/social media? Something else?  I want to explore this meaningfully.  

I’m positioned to represent membership broadly as I’ve seen variations in which regions operate. I’m familiar with the rich traditions of PBP/ACP and I feel there are ways to improve implementation here while staying true to these institutions.  

I’m currently Incident Liaison, volunteering nationally to keep RUSA’s gears turning.  I volunteer locally.  If I’m not riding, I am helping somehow. 

I’ll operate with integrity; won’t default to status quo.  I approach decisions with critical assessment to determine what is in the group’s interest with a goal of maximizing rider experience. 

If you give me your vote, I’ll do my best to represent RUSA, along the way I’ll learn and grow while keeping RUSA wheels turning.

Questions for Misha? Contact her at mmheller@gmail.com. Or see her post on the RUSA Members Facebook Group.

(Misha declined the offer of a video interview.)

Dawn Piech, RUSA #10146

Lombard, IL

Dawn Piech

I am honored to be nominated again to serve you. I hope you will support me in continuing to work with you, for you and Randonneurs USA. 

I have served on the BOD since 2021 and am the Vice-President.  I am the editor of Between Controls, on the Gravel Committee and leading the release of our promotional videos. In 2021, I worked with members in developing our mission statement, values and organizational objectives and our awards survey.  In 2021-2022, I was our Incident Liaison.  In 2023, I collaborated with another member to develop our YouTube channel.  

If re-elected, I will:

  1. Create and implement a membership survey. 
  2. Expand communication with refinement of Between Controls, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. 
  3. Propose hiring an organization to develop a marketing and public relations campaign. 
  4. Expand the current leadership structure from 7 to 9 members.
  5. Encourage and grow women/girls in randonneuring.

I have a passion for cycling and adventure and became a member in November 2014.  I have been a Super Randonneur six times and have been to many regions and met members, volunteers and RBA’s. I completed two 1,200k rides including Paris-Brest-Paris in 2015 during my first year of randonneuring and the inaugural Coulee Challenge in 2018.  I authored nine articles for American Randonneur and developed 20+ permanents / populaires.  In 2020, I founded International Women’s Day Together We Ride: Inspyrd Movement.   

I welcome this opportunity to continue to build upon Randonneurs USA foundation together.  

Questions for Dawn? Contact her at dmpiech21@gmail.com.

► Dawn's video interview with Deb Banks (passcode: L?1!IL7s )

Dave Thompson, RUSA #4226 

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Dave Thompson

What are my qualifications to be a Board member?

Over the past 7 years, I have worked directly with hundreds of you in various roles - Board member, Treasurer, Store Manager and the Permanents Committee.  I've helped with rules, managed awards, run 1200k events, reviewed perm routes, handled mass mailings and supported other RUSA committees.  Together we made major changes to Permanents with Electronic Proof of Passage and Waivers and added flexibility.   I've worked with ACP on the rules of our sport, doing our best to retain the traditions and move us forward with technology.  I secured new insurance, removing the financial and operational uncertainty that we faced a few years ago.  

What would I like to do going forward?

Our sport continues to evolve - more gravel rides, more technology, more Social Media. We need to build bridges to other cycling organizations to keep our sport fresh, increase awareness and further community involvement.  The RUSA Board needs to find more ways to support our regional ride organizers, helping them grow ridership.  RUSA is both a cycling club - e.g. the permanents program - and a sanctioning body - providing services directly to members and through the RBAs.  

I have had a lot of fun over the past 7 years working with and for you, the RUSA members.  I believe that I'm uniquely qualified to help our organization grow and want to continue that work at the Board level.

Oh yes ... and I love riding my bike :).

Questions for Dave? Contact him at thompsw@pobox.com.

► Dave's video interview with Deb Banks (passcode: 4^.J1zq^ )


RBA Liaison Candidate Statements

Only RBAs may cast votes for RBA Liaison.

Rob Hawks,  RUSA #2515

Richmond, CA

Rob Hawks

This past year has seen quite a bit of turnover for RUSA regions, and it being a PBP year, there were unusual challenges with calendaring and giving RUSA membership as many options as possible to qualify for that event. For 2024, there are some loose ends to tie down and clean up.

The RBA-L position, for good or bad, has a one year term and at the same time there is often work that spans years. 2024 would be my 4th year in this position, and will almost certainly be my final year as RBA-L. For 2025, I'd like to turn this role over to the next person in good shape and spend 2024 solidifying the tasks and duties of RBA-L.

The board seat designated for the RBA Liaison is perhaps somewhat unique in that voting is only open to RBAs. I strongly encourage all RBAs to participate in this election to demonstrate the value we place in having that seat on the board.

Questions for Rob? Contact him at rob.hawks@gmail.com.