Your 2021 Board Results

July 15, 2021

At the UPSDA annual meeting in May, Paul Racine and Monica Regis were re-elected to the UPSDA Board and Mari Vaydik was elected to her first term on the Board.

Paul is no stranger to the UPSDA. As an MTU student in 1990, he drove to Marquette and spent the weekend filling posts as a Ham Radio operator along the trail and at headquarters, relaying information required to run the race, and providing safety communication for the racing teams.  In 1992, he operated a radio relay station from his apartment in Rapid River, sending trail communication from Rapid River, Gladstone, and Escanaba to headquarters in Marquette. Apart from the few years he lived in Minnesota, Paul has volunteered for every UP200 since 1990. Paul served on the Board the past 3 years and intends to continue coordinating race communications and working in headquarters. Prior to election Paul wrote “I would be honored to serve as a board member and look forward to working with a great team of people and offering my experience and abilities to help the UP200 race continue as the “Little Iditarod.” Paul and his wife, Jessica, reside in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Monica is also a returning Board member. She is a resident of Marquette and a lifelong Yooper. Since 2015 she has worked with merchandise and headquarters. As a board member, Monica became the merchandise coordinator which includes getting the design to the print shop for clothing, ordering sale items from a local embroidery shop, and making sure musher award hats, volunteer patches and judge hats are ready when needed. Merchandise is a substantial means of financial support for the organization with online sales running most of the year and Monica manages merchandise details without missing a beat. During race week she spends most of her time at headquarters with a group of dedicated volunteers, selling merchandise, banquet tickets and providing information to the general public.

Mari is our newest board member, but she too has history with the UP200. In her pre-election statement, Mari shared that her “interest in serving as a UPSDA board member stems from my specific love for the UP 200 and my growing appreciation for the sport of mushing in general.” She was introduced to the UP 200 while living in Marquette for seven years in the late 1990s. Mari lives in Pleasant Ridge (MI) and despite the six-plus hour drive in winter weather, has made the trip to Marquette for the UP 200 every February since 2008. She also says “Over the past three years, my interest in mushing has grown and I’ve started to follow more races and more mushers. I love seeing the supportive communities that exist around mushing in general, around specific regional and international races, and around the mushers themselves. It’s so fun to be an “armchair musher” and I’m interested in giving back through volunteering my time.” Mari began attending board meetings last November and volunteering in January. Mari works professionally as a fundraiser and relationship builder. She is currently the senior director of philanthropy and alumni relations for the College of Liberal Arts.