2022-2023 Board Elections

The annual BTC Board of Directors elections takes place at the end of each year with each new term starting in January. The BTC board consists of 11 members and each term is 2 years. Members elected this election will serve on the board for 2022 and 2023. Most BTC members 18+ years of age are eligible to vote in each year's election.

The following 4 board members have 1 year remaining on their terms and will continue to serve on the board for 2022:

The terms of the following board members are expiring and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board for 2022 and 2023:

  • Mike Belus

  • Amy Bryan

  • David Federspiel

  • Brad Hilimon

  • Denise Salmons (current President)

  • Ethan Sasiela (current Secretary)

There are a total of 7 board member seats open for this year's election. The names and bios of everyone running for the board are below.

Jennie Alessi

I have been a member of the BTC for about 4 years. I started out only as a runner and a swimmer from back when I was in high school. The club members were extremely welcoming and encouraging. Through the Northtown Brick workouts and the Lake Erie swims, my passion for triathlons grew. I have accomplished a half ironman and a handful of olympic triathlons. Although I finished the half, I have to contribute part of that goal to another BTC member. At mile 6 of the run, I had hit a wall. I looked around to see if I could quit somehow and I saw another BTC member. He supported me and stayed with me as we jogged the rest of the way to the finish line. This club is truly filled with members who care for others and their goals. The club has been so supportive throughout the years that I have been a member, that I hope to contribute just the same to other members and their growing love for the sport. I would love to give back to the club by joining the board and to help keep the club growing!

Mike Belus

The last two years have been a challenge for us all and for the club. Through the pandemic, our club members have been able to connect in new ways. From virtual workouts to virtual races, we've given our members opportunities to better themselves together, even as we were apart. I believe having opportunities to participate in the club, no matter your situation or experience, is critical to the success of the club. I’d love the opportunity to continue helping new members and beginner athletes feel comfortable in the club and with the sport.

As a member of the board, I've participated in a revamp of technology tools, including a new look and feel for the website. I've been involved in many of our events, including our brick workouts, swims, and our special events. Moreover, the BTC family is a part of our family – my wife, Christine, is also a board member and duathlete.

I’m honored to be nominated for a position on the board and appreciate your vote!

David Federspiel

Hello my name is David Federspiel and I am asking for your support in serving the Buffalo Triathlon Club board of directors for 2022-23.

I have been an active member in the club since 2012 and have served on the board since 2015, with this past year serving as Events chairman for the club.Throughout the past years I have been fortunate to work alongside many board members and it’s been a pleasure serving you and I appreciate the dedication and efforts from all involved.

I have been an active participant in the local triathlon and running community in western NewYork for several years, Along with the BTC, I am a member of the Rochester Area Triathletes, Past and present Race Ambassadors/ member of Wolfpack Multisport and a member of the GBTC..if I’m not directly involved in the race you can usually find me heading up volunteer support groups for events like the Grand Island half bike support, aid station at Mighty Niagara or organizing training opportunities for those interested.I take great pride in helping others discover their own goals and dreams. This club and the sport of triathlon has given me so much joy over the years I find it only fitting to try and give back what I can to others.

While serving the Board I often look at my efforts thru the eyes of the athletes.What are the members interested in? Did they like and participate in a club event?? How can we improve?? This is important as I often seek input from the club members and it helps to keep our club a vibrant, fun and safe environment.

In 2021 I served on the Events committee as chairman. In light of the Covid epidemic, myself along with fellow members, were faced and challenged to provide a safe, fun events calendar for the members,Our Brick and swim workouts, Ontario Scenario, Spring Thing etc.. these Events could not have been pulled off without the efforts of many and I’m proud to say we pulled it off! As Race Director i took great pride in planning a challenging, fun, safe event. Sometimes changing up a bike or running route to keep events fresh and interesting but not ignoring our past successes. With that in mind I believe in not being stagnant or resting on our laurels, but instead build on our successes, learn from our shortcomings and provide to you new ideas for events and training . This of course involves input from our membership and I am always open and hope you feel you can discuss any support or criticisms you may have.

This past season I am proud to been able to establish a relationship with the Rochester Tri Club, Wolfpack Multisport and others. My dream and goals are to one day develop club workouts and competitions.

While it may seem I have a lot on my plate, I am ready for the upcoming off season and beyond and I would be honored to serve you again.

Carol Novak

Hello, I am Carol Novak. I am honored and excited to have been nominated for the BTC board. I have been a member of the BTC for 6 years. At first, I was little intimidated to join the club because everyone seemed so experienced and so awesome! It didn’t take long to find out that this is the most supportive and incredible group of human beings. At every workout, gathering or race you can always find someone with a wealth of swim/bike/run training knowledge they just can’t wait to share. If someone has a goal, this club will help you get to that starting line, cheering you on and meet you at the finish! I would be honored to serve on the board and to give back to the club that has given me so much support. The friendships and support this club has provided me is immeasurable.

Personally, running is my passion but I have come to love my time spent swimming and biking. Most recently I ran in the 2021 Buffalo Marathon where I placed third in my age group but I am proud to say that I was beaten by a fellow BTC member! I've done Sprint, Olympic and 70.3 Ironman races. Every year brings a new challenge me.

Looking forward, I would love to see some new club events, opportunities for workouts/training and knowledge sharing for our new members to this crazy sport.

Thomas Piwtorak

Hello everyone! I am entering my 4th year in this sport and 3rd year as a club member, and I am very excited for what the future holds. If elected to the board, I look forward to continuing progress in recruiting new members and expanding our group member activities. I love the member workouts and "race" events the BTC hosts. I also enjoy hosting my own multi-sport events. I plan to continue hosting my own Paddle-Bike-Run, now in its 3rd year, and possibly add an event by hosting a multi-sport race around the rim of the Niagara Power Authority reservoir in Lewiston. I have past and recent experience as a leader or officer in other clubs and on other committees such as being a current member of UBs Young Alumni Leadership Council (YALC), just finishing up the Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefits Program (TCEBP), recently a head baseball coach for Little League, and previously being an officer in a homebrew club and an adult leader in Cub Scouts. I also am a proud father of two fun, smart, athletic children. I am looking at getting my oldest child into this sport. She will be 10 this year. She already loves the water, to bike, and run around chasing her brother or our dog. I will be figuring out how to get her motivated to put all 3 together and do a beginner Tri with her!

Ethan Sasiela

Hi, Team! If you don't know me yet, I'm the loud guy at our swims deploying The Shark for the only true official temperature readings, hawking towels for charitable donations, and disturbing the peace heckling people who are trying to workout. Also been known to run a lap or twenty around Delaware Park.

I've been a BTC member for 6 years and served on the Board of Directors for the past two. In my first term I helped guide us through ever changing COVID rules and led the Welcome Wagon initiative to make new members feel more connected.

I'd be honored if you select me for another two years to continue improving the new member experience, as well as modernize our club by-laws making it easier for the Board to keep up with changing situations.

Mariya Vasileva

Hi, my name is Mariya (Spartan SGX Coach at HealthyWNY). I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a candidate for the BTC Board of Directors and help many individuals in taking their current training to the next level!

Let me introduce a little background of myself – Originally from Bulgaria, I came as a student to complete my education at the University at Buffalo. My wellness training started in martial arts with the achievement of my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Following in 2012 I have completed the HealthyWNY Challenge program twice which provided me with the necessary tools to advance and reach to the level I am today. For the last 3 years I have actively practiced CrossFit and Obstacle Course Racing which allowed me to complete 2 consecutive Trifectas and a total of 8 races as well as 3 Triathlons. In July 2019 and 2021 I earned my Spartan SGX Coaching Certification Level I in Obstacle Course racing which allows me to coach athletes and beginners to prepare them for all types of fun yet challenging obstacle course races including Spartan Races with a focus on their lean muscle strength, agility and overall endurance. In addition, I am a member of the Buffalo Triathlon Club as well as the Lurong Living Nutrition programs. I have partnered back with HealthyWNY to provide valuable coaching to those looking to change over to a healthy lifestyle as I have done.

In my Spartan SGX programs at HealthyWNY participants will learn the advantages of being an obstacle course racer and how to manage long-distance off-road terrains.This will include guidelines of what nutrition is needed prior, during and after a race event as well as how to be successful with weekly training so that race day you can challenge your own personal best. Pace techniques, trail running, learning how to build a confident mindset and much more! The reason I chose to run for this position, is because I enjoy working with athletes to further develop their endurance, coordination and agility. In addition, it is important to me to inspire other prospect members and volunteers in to participating in BTC events and workouts. I feel that I am qualified for the board position designated to Partnerships, IT Technical support and Credit Card maintenance because I have a good relationship with many athletes, and I can be a good leader and give advice to people or answer any questions they have about what we do in BTC and how to become a member. I also feel that because I currently hold a coaching position for two years; I am experienced in similar role and will continue to organize and plan workouts and events. If I get elected, I will try to make and set up more events to try to help the club and will try to help others on the board with anything they need or want from me.