2019 MDRA Board Member Elections

Voting is available online by logging in to your member account at runmdra.org or by mail: MDRA, P.O. Box 6419, Minneapolis MN 55406. All current MDRA members are eligible to vote. Online voting closes at midnight January 18, 2019.  VOTE HERE: 2019 MDRA Election Ballot


MDRA Board Officer Elections

Please vote for one candidate in each of the three officer positions: president, vice president and treasurer.

 Rochelle Christensen, Bloomington, MN- Candidate for President

Running Background: I have been a member of MDRA and participated in their training programs/events since 2002. I have trained for 26 marathons with MDRA. I enjoy physical fitness, running, skiing, bicycling and many forms of athletics.  I have a passion to help others improve their health and fitness.

Qualifications: I have been on the MDRA board for the last 4 years and I have coached 6 MDRA marathon training classes. I own Fit In Training and Coaching in which, I coach runners, endurance athletes and provide personal training services.  I worked for a non-profit organization for 26 years as the Director of Customer Service and Administration. I was responsible for: relationship management, staff management, customer satisfaction, quality control, operations/metrics, process improvement, and benefit presentations.


 Goals and Plans: As President, I would continue many great traditions of MDRA. The strategic planning we are doing this fall, will help guide and set our priorities and focus for 2019.  I believe our primary focus should be providing events and services that meet the needs of the current  running community. I would also like to make sure: • We grow our foundation, providing more grants to those running communities most in need. • We maintain consistency within our programs and events. • We expand MDRA brand recognition. • We explore new opportunities All of these things should lead to improved member numbers, participation and enjoyment!


Kathy Larsen, Minneapolis, MN- Candidate for Vice President

Running Background: I joined MDRA’s marathon training program in 2011 after thirty years of running on my own; completing 19 marathons and too many races to count.  Joining MDRA I discovered the joy and value of coached group running.  Running with MDRA has been rejuvenating and informational.  As my running career tapered, I have become more active with MDRA by serving on the BOD and volunteering at numerous running events, including Indoor Stadium Running and representing MDRA at expositions.

Qualifications: I have twenty-five years of management in several non profit agencies, working with seniors, serving low income families and pushing energy conservation.  During my non-profit career I was responsible for policy, project management, marketing and promotion.  My non profit experience assisted the Board in establishing the MDRA Foundation as a private non profit organization with tax exempt and tax deductible status at the end of 2017.

Goals and Plans: I am excited to be a team member in MDRA’s strategic planning process, so MDRA meets the needs and desires of the current running community while remaining true to our history as an organization that binds and serves the MN running community. As Vice President I would work with the President, Board Members and Operation Manager to define MDRAs structure and role as a nonprofit that seeks to serve all members of the running community. I would continue to work with the outreach committee to ensure MDRA is an inclusive association that embraces all runners.


Steve Hennessy, Woodbury, MN - Candidate for Treasurer

Running background: I've been running a long time-starting back in high school and continuing off and on through the years.  I've been running more in the last handful of years including training with MDRA since 2017.

 Qualifications: I was treasurer of a club sports team in college for two years and I was treasurer of the student body government in law school.  I  have also served as the MDRA treasurer since July 2018.

Goals and Plans: My area of focus is keeping the MDRA bills paid.  I am also interested in the outreach in getting new runners running.



Open Board Member Elections

Please vote for up to six candidates running for the open board positions.


Chad Austin, Apple Valley, MN

Running Background: I'm a long-time runner who's been actively involved with MDRA for probably 12 years or more. I've written numerous articles for RunMinnesota over the years and last Spring I coached the Spring Marathon training class. I was very fortunate to find running as a kid  and running has always been "play" for me. I like to say I run all the time, but I've never exercised a day in my life. I probably think about running more than 1 person should in their lifetime and I'm always thinking of ways to share it with others.

 Qualifications: I'm passionate about all things running in Minnesota; roads, trails, track, youth, elites, newbies, etc. I've coached youth cross country for the past 9 years and served on the Eastview Athletic Associations board of directors for 1 year. I volunteered with TCM 1 year, writing their press releases and I've been fortunate to present the USATF Runner of the Year awards in 2 of the last 3 years.


Goals and Plans: I'm open to working on areas that I have experience; Publications and Programs, as well as working with TCM and USATF. But I'm also open to gaining new experiences in other activities. A couple of things that interest me are helping MDRA increase its visibility, both in the metro area and out-state, as well as increasing MDRA's reach to a younger audience.


Dennis Barker, St. Paul, MN 

Running BackgroundI have been a runner for 48 years and a track/cross country/running coach for 38 years. I have written training articles for a variety of running publications and journals, and am also the author of a running book, The River Road.

Qualifications: Writing, speaking, coaching.

Goals and Plans: I am interested in promoting MDRA programs, publications and membership to serve existing members and bring in new members. 


Tom Goudreault, Minneapolis, MN

Running BackgroundI started running in 2011 with inspiration provided by my wife (MDRA Coach Laurie). I have been an active cyclist for 20+ years and expanded to triathlon in 2014.  I particularly enjoy the sense of camaraderie that exists in multi-sport and running events to include MDRA sponsored races. It’s a great community and the MDRA fills an important role providing education and advocacy for its stakeholders.

 Qualifications: I have an MBA from the University of Minnesota and broad business experience to include sales, marketing, operations, strategy, and project management. I also serve on the Advisory Board of FastBridge Learning (a fast-fifty for profit company) and have served on the Board of Directors for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (now Our Streets Minneapolis).

Goals and Plans: As a board member, I would be happy to jump in wherever needed but would enjoy working on advocacy and outreach to expand the number and diversity of MDRA members. I am also interested in increasing awareness and developing strategic partnerships for the organization.


Jill Jewell, St Louis Park, MN 

Running BackgroundI have been a runner for over 30 years and an MDRA member for over 20 years. My running career began in 9th grade when I joined the cross country team and I’ve never looked back.  I’ve been a member of the MDRA marathon training classes in recent years and this summer, enjoyed volunteering as a Pace Team Lead for the Kiwi Group (long run – 10 min/mile pace).  For the last 20 or so years, I’ve been homeschooling our two sons.  Now that they are grown, I Iook forward to giving back to this wonderful organization that has provided me with a community of friends and many racing opportunities.

Qualifications: I have many years of experience leading and being a part of committees/clubs from neighborhood organizations, church committees and with Hennepin County 4H.  Within those roles, I’ve had to recruit participants, organize and execute events, communicate with participants/members, maintain budgets, and evaluate results.

Goals and Plans: I feel I’d best fit in with the Outreach initiatives, as committee. However, as the kind of person who likes to “dig in” and get the work done I’d be open to helping with other well.


Damon Rothstein, St Paul, MN

Running BackgroundI have been an active participant in supporting health, fitness, and well-being for several years. I am a multi sport competitor racing events like Triathlons, Duathlons, Century Rides, Marathons and Stair Climbing. I started running about 5 years ago with a focus on alternate training shifts.

Qualifications: I have recently completed my first term on the board of MDRA which is amazing experience. I have prior experience as a board member for  Northstar Running where I was a collaborative influence in the creation and registration of the running group as non-profit organization.   On a professional level, my experience is in Information Technology focusing on business development and Integrations of mergers and acquisitions.

Goals and Plans: I am happy to apply my various skill sets in any capacity that would be required or of assistance in continuing to develop the brand recognition of MDRA and continue to promote an active lifestyle in the running community. Any one of the committees would be an amazing opportunity. I think as a focus area that would be of benefit is fostering the relationships with the multiple fitness communities and the cross branding of MDRA and the running community.

Christopher Turoski, St Paul, MN

Running Background: I started running in 2015, and ran 4 marathons. I participated in MDRA programs and events since 2016

 Qualifications: A business focused, practicing lawyer and Law Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. A participant in MDRA events and programs. I served as Secretary and General Counsel for the Epilepsy Foundation MN. I counseled the Board on day-to-day operations, policy, compliance, and litigation. I guided the strategic plan. I developed a crisis communication plan. I conducted a program risk assessment. I assisted in fundraising including: annual fund, capital campaigns, corporate sponsorships, events, and individual giving. I restructured the restricted gifts program, and developed a gift acceptance policy.

Goals and Plans: I am experienced in non-profit management and operations. I am interested in living the mission of MDRA and its new foundation, and ensuring MDRA has proper practices and controls in place as it continues to grow.