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It’s that time of the year again–for ARC Members to weigh in on who they’d like to represent them on the Board of Directors. Read below for brief candidate bios, and start thinking about who you’d like to see on next year’s board. (You can descriptions of each Board Member role here.)

A few quick notes on the election rules:

Winners will be announced on social media and in our weekly member newsletter once they are determined.

Iram J. Leon
It has been like constantly tuning up for the next big race to be President of the Austin Runner’s Club. It’s a challenge and at ARC we know about challenges since we host the Distance Challenge and the Decker Challenge. But the challenges can be frustrating and at times seem overwhelming but ultimately I know they’re good for me and I hope and believe I’ve contributed along the way. It’s been two good terms and if I get to stay I hope the 3rd time’s the charm.

Vice President
Elaine Chung
I’ve been an ARC member since 2013 and have served as vice president since 2015. I’m running for vice president again because I want to continue helping ARC to put on some of the best events in town. Having been on both the running and organizing sides of races, I’m excited to keep growing and improving our events.

Amber Wadey
I’ve only been a member of the Austin Runners Club for a year, but during that time I’ve had the opportunity to share my race reports on the ARC Blog as an average newbie completing my first Distance Challenge. When I’m not running, you can find me working in HR at the LIVESTRONG Foundation, raising two awesome kids, practicing yoga, and planning my next adventure. I’m currently tweeting as @AustinRunners @LIVESTRONGHQ and @amberwadey and look forward to getting more involved with the ARC.

Kate Gurfein
I have spent the past two years serving as the ARC Treasurer. I carefully scrutinize spending, and the resulting savings has allowed the board to better serve members, make meaningful donations to our beneficiaries, and provide financial stability for ARC. I would love to have the opportunity to continue this work. Please re-elect me as ARC Treasurer!

Director of Member Services
Jacques Benun
I joined ARC 5 months ago when I moved to Austin. I have been received with open arms by everyone in the group. Pretty much all my friends are now runners from ARC.
This group has become very close and dear to my heart so I want to give back by offering my services as a board member.

Larry Huang
As your current Director of Member Services, I managed to see first-hand from many angles how our ARC board serves our members. In addition, I was able to experience a unique perspective of finishing my third ARC Distance Challenge as an ARC board member. Through this experience, I came to discover things that worked well and things that needed improvement for better serving our members. I also met many of our wonderful members and listened to their concerns and helped to improve their membership situations. As a proponent of ARC and the Ship of Fools, I still maintain the philosophy–and share with others whenever possible–that anyone can and should run for fitness and health and happiness. In accordance, I try my best to motivate and make every ARC member’s experience worthwhile and fulfilling. I would like to continue forging these lasting relationships, improving our member services, promoting our club (and running in general), and giving back and forward to the running community at-large for this next year continuing as Director of Member Services.

Director of Volunteer Services
Deepa Patel
Volunteers play a critical role at every event but are really in it for the fun, and that resonates with my outlook on pretty much everything. I enjoy being able to influence positive change, and I’m excited about what I can contribute to, and learn from, the ARC Board. I’ve volunteered in most aspects of races from organization to packet stuffing (free paper cuts!) through course tear-down. My accolades include Volunteer of the Year from the Bay Area Running Club in Houston, Texas and the self-proclaimed title of Donut Eating Champion.

Sara Ferniza
My passion for running began 22 years ago while living in my hometown Chicago, Illinois. I have run a total of Forty Five (45) marathons including five (5) Boston Marathons. My marathon PR is 3:43. I have also run two (2) 50K & one (1) 50 Mile Ultra races. I have placed first in my age group in numerous shorter distance races. However, I truly enjoy motivating others and pacing marathons, it’s my way to give back to the running community.

Director of Information Services
Josh Janicek
I’m a native Texan, Austinite for 23 years, born-again runner for the past 4 years, an ARC member for the past 9 months, and 1st place winner of my age division in the 2016-2017 Full Course Austin Distance Challenge. I’ve worked at Under Armour Connected Fitness (formerly MapMyFitness) for over three years and have worked in the technology sector for over 17 years spanning SaaS, web, desktop & mobile product design & development. I’d gladly welcome the opportunity to serve the ARC members as the Director of Information Services.

Ralph Sanchez
I’ve been running on and off for most of my adult life, and now that I’m well into my 40’s, it has simply become a way of life. After completing the last two distance challenges, I decided that I would like to become more involved with ARC. I am currently the Information Technology Manager for a consulting engineering firm based in Austin.

Laura Still
I’ve been a member of the Austin Runners Club for one great season, and I hope many more to come. I enjoyed running in and volunteering for the Distance Challenge last year, and found myself motivated to give back to this community that has so improved and inspired my running. I’m running for Director of Information Services because I like communicating with you all- members of the ARC community. I also have some experience updating websites for non-profits I’ve worked with in the past. Vote for me!

Cast your vote here, from April 23rd through May 2nd: