Happy Thursday, BWRC! Over the next few months, on top of our weekly member spotlights we will also feature a weekly post on our board members for everyone to get to know what it is each board member does for the club as well as to get to know them individually! Kicking things off this week is our Club President, Jim Kowalski. We asked Jim to share more about his role as president, his vision for the future of the club, to share a little bit about his own personal running journey, and finally to share some interesting facts! We hope you enjoy this post and future ones to come!
Q: What is your role on the board and what are your responsibilities?
Jim: I share the role of Club President with my lovely wife Amanda. Her official title is Co-Chair for legal purposes but she’s the boss. I wear many different hats but my primary role is to collaborate with our Directors, Board, and Members to make sure the BWRC member experience is positive and impactful. I represent the Club in the community and work with our sponsors to schedule group runs. Making sure we are following all the various state and federal legal requirements as an incorporated non for profit is a boring but necessary part of my role.
Q: How long have you been a runner? Why did you start and why do you continue?
Jim: January 2012 is when I started. I started immediately after quitting a 2 pack per day cigarette habit. Amanda had been running for a couple of years. I saw how happy it made her so thought I would give it a try. Within a month I had a new addiction, this time to running.
Q: Do you have any upcoming races or goals that you’d like to share with the club?
Jim: We’re running the Chicago Half Marathon on September 23rd as a tune up for the November Monumental Marathon in Indy. I’d like to stay healthy and PR at both (Half 1:47, Full 3:51).
Q: Tell us a little about yourself outside of running.
Jim: I’m in telecom sales (snore) and still unsure of what I want to do when I grow up. I am the proud father of my son Ryan age 28 and daughter Taylor, 22. At their ages, we treasure what little time we get with them. Amanda and I love to dine out, sometimes too frequently. Interesting fact… In 2011 I tore through the field at the Area Rock Paper Scissors challenge and advanced to the regional round for a chance to compete in Vegas. At Regionals I won my first 4 matches only to lose in the semifinal in a hard fought yet heartbreaking tie-breaking set. I was one round from Vegas but my rock wasn’t enough to defeat paper on that final draw of hands.
Q: What is your favorite race mantra?
Jim: I have 2 favorites. 1.) If you think you can, you can! If you think you can’t, you won’t. 2.) Run the mile you’re in.
Q: What is your vision for the future of BWRC?
Jim: The Club has grown so rapidly in a very short period. The path we are on is the right one and already impactful. That path is leading to more opportunities to get involved in our local communities. I envision BWRC to be known in those communities as a reputable organization which promotes running as a contributor to a healthy lifestyle while providing an inclusive platform for individuals at all levels to participate. We’re going to have a ton of fun along the way.
Q: What does being a member of the BWRC board mean to you?
Jim: To be a part of this group of people who are committed to making BWRC the best organization possible is so rewarding. We listen to the wants and needs of our membership then work closely together to make things happen. I’m honored and privileged to serve our amazing BWRC family!!!