This year, the positions of vice president and treasurer and the adult youth committee chair were up for election on the staggered schedule of officer elections. Joe Fessler was re-elected to the position of vice president. He was installed in this position last year as a result of the then vice president, Lyman Wolske, being elected to the presidency. Julie Schmelzer, a relative newcomer to NSSDC circles, was elected to be the new treasurer. In that there were no nominees to accept the position, the Adult Youth Committee Advisor remains vacant.
Vice president Joe Fessler’s involvement in the operation of mushing organizations is the next step in his goal of supporting the sled dog community and educating the broader public about the sport. Through his passion for mushing and his innovative ideas, he hopes “to contribute energy and promote collaboration amongst the various groups involved in the mushing community.”
He became involved in our sport around 2005 or 2006 with his Siberians in the skijoring events, where he has garnered many accolades. This young man lives life at 90 miles an hour. He is a board member of Mushing USA and a founding board member of Skijor USA. With a B.S. Degree in Computer Science, he is currently employed as senior software engineer. He is the founder of Experience Sled Dogs, an organization that provided a sled dog program for 141 girls of the Rum River Girl Scouts. Joe has been an integral member of the NSSDC race committee, lending his energy and expertise to, especially, the St. Paul Winter Carnival race. Fessler lives in Chisago City, MN, with his kennel of Siberian husky dogs.
NSSDC’s new treasurer Julie Schmelzer lives in Kimball, MN. She has been around the sport for thirteen years, mainly in the mid-distance classes. Schmelzer loves the outdoors, especially hiking, canoeing and camping. Although she received her education in recreational leadership and American Sign Language, which she freelances at, her true calling is for the outdoors. Her interests in hiking took her to Kenya, Africa, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2009 with three other women. The climb took five days of hiking and camping. “The views were awesome.”
Back at home she resides with her hubby and her Siberians, which she races in the mid-distance classes. She especially enjoys the sport or rec class. Her next adventure? Only she knows!