Mushing USA (MUSA) Holds Organizing Congress

Mushing USA, the national governing body of sled dog sports in the US, held its organizing congress in Marquette, Michigan, July 14, 2007. Among business accomplished was the approval of the bylaws, election of officers and board of directors, creation of standing committees, and the establishment of goals for the next year.Elected as officers were Sara Vanderwood (Maine) as president, Mike Hutchens (Michigan) as vice-president, Debbie Serbousek (Wisconsin) as secretary, and Sally O┬╣Sullivan Bair (Minnesota) as treasurer. Bud Rice (Alaska) was elected as past president. Sara Vanderwood continues in her appointment as the USA representative to the IFSS (International Federation of Sleddog Sports) council. These five comprise the MUSA Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.Elected to the MUSA Board of Directors as Active Athlete Directors were Dennis Marksteiner (Wisconsin), Jason Sperry (New York), and Paul Therriault (Maine). Elected as At-Large Directors were Sally J. Dawson (Ohio), Lloyd Gilbertson (Michigan), Mike Marsch (Wisconsin), and Hilary Schwafel (Alaska). Because of the staggered terms for directors, three board positions will not be filled until the next MUSA Congress in 2009.Four standing committees were approved. They are: Legal Affairs (Mike Marsch, chair), Development (Sally Bair, chair), Recreational Program (Dennis Marksteiner, chair), and Competition Programs (Mike Hutchens, chair). Each committee chair discussed possible goals for the upcoming year. Among the goals presented were developing kits for sponsorship and legislative action, setting selection criteria for USA representation to the IFSS World Championships, and establishing a program for recreational mushers based on accomplishment and participation rather than solely on competition performance. Discussion also ensued regarding designing a package for bidding for major race sites/hosts, such as a national or regional championship.Lloyd Gilbertson was the keynote speaker for Saturday evening┬╣s dinner. He presented an anecdotal history of his mushing career, which has spanned over 40 years. He ended his commentary with his vision for the future of the sport.Mushing USA, formerly known as the United States Sled Dog Sports Federation, traces its roots to 1988. It was reformed in 2001 under its new name and incorporated in the state of Alaska in 2003 as Mushing USA. MUSA is a non-profit (501 C3).Questions may be emailed to MUSA Secretary, Debbie Serbousek (windigo@cheqnet.net).

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