Candidate Bios – 2022 Board
Born and raised in Ashland, Wisconsin and now residing in Hayward, I am proud to call northern Wisconsin my home. I am the husband of Haley Stellmacher and proud first time dad to our four month old daughter Mareka. After attending the University of Minnesota Duluth for undergraduate coursework and the University of Wisconsin Madison for pharmacy school, I began my healthcare career as a pharmacist. Being a lifelong learner I went back to school to complete an MBA program through the College of St. Scholastica and now serve as the CEO of Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge where my wife also serves as a nurse practitioner. As healthcare professionals and clinicians our family values and embraces the holistic effects that an active and healthy and lifestyle contributes to an individual’s wellbeing. Whether you’re a competitive athlete looking to win a race, a casual athlete that uses a weekly group ride for the social interactions, a family looking to get outside, or a non athlete that likes to build trails in the woods; the CAMBA trail network provides the means to each of these ends. My perspective is that the true value of our trails are the relationships that are developed as a result of their use; trails truly do build community.
I am a current CAMBA board member, serving since May 2021. I am a passionate ambassador of mountain biking with riders on and off the trails. I believe my ambassadorship of CAMBA in the region and beyond can create increased rider visitors to the CAMBA trails that creates the potential for growing membership, sponsorship, financial strength and member benefits.
I have been riding CAMBA trails and the Chequamegon Short & Fat race since 2008 with my wife, Laurie Laner. We are CAMBA Lifetime members and long-term financial donors directly to CAMBA and through the donation request when registering for the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. Laurie is a two-time attendee of the Women’s Weekend Mountain Bike Clinic. We were married at Lakewoods Resort as a destination wedding and for its proximity to the Namakagon Cluster trails. From our home in Minneapolis (150 miles to Hayward), we make daytrips and overnight stays to ride CAMBA trails 20-30 days annually in all 4 seasons. I am a donor and listen to WOJB 88.9 FM from 1-5 pm when home and in my car when in CAMBAland, i.e., my mind is in the CAMBA area even when I am not there. We support local businesses as customers of AmericInn, Backroads Coffee, Brick House Cafe, Coop’s, Flatcreek Lodge, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Stationstores, KwikTrip, Lakewoods,Marketplace Foods, New Moon, Rondeau’s, Sawmill Saloon, Start Line Inn & Services, Triple G, Velo Cafe, and local cabins on Airbnb and Vrbo. We were donors to the Seeley Lions Club project for the Seeley Trails Warming Cabin and very thankful for the year-round access to trailhead cabins at Hatchery Creek, Mosquito Brook, OO and the North End.
As a board member, I will use my skills to help grow CAMBA’s membership, sponsorship, financial strength and member benefits. I serve and have served as a board member at numerous organizations ranging from startup, private equity, publicly traded, non-profit and advisory boards. I bring the best of small-company entrepreneurial passion and larger-company disciplines. I have been actively involved with these organizations as a board member, audit committee chair, and governance, finance, fundraising, marketing, membership and mentor committee member. My forte is helping companies achieve strategic growth, profitability, cash-flow, fundraising, and valuation goals.
I was introduced to the Hayward – Seeley – Cable area while growing up, spending time at a friend’s lake cabin. Fast forward to post college days where I earned an MBA in Marketing and BS in Biochemistry, and landed in White Bear Lake, MN. My husband Montgomery (aka “Mo”) and I traveled to the area to experience the trails – as runners and new owners of first generation mountain bikes. The vast number of trails located in a pristine forest absolutely captivated us. In fact, we weren’t actively seeking land but purchased some “just in case”. We were busy building careers – mine was Marketing in the cardiovascular medical device industry – and we broke ground just a year later because “why wait”. Incidentally, we built adjacent to what eventually became the Seeley Pass Trail. That was 17 years ago. With our love of the trail network, we were here nearly every weekend. In 2016, trailside living became our primary home. Today, I cherish the CAMBA trail system whether it’s riding singletrack, groomed winter trails or gravel routes, and sharing it with friends and visitors alike. The fun and adventure are endless. As you know, the CAMBA trail experience offers so much and quite simply, there is nothing else like it.
As a current board member and part of the Executive Committee, it has been incredibly rewarding to be a major contributor in all facets of CAMBA’s growth over the last three years. Everything we do at CAMBA is “For the Trails” and the community of riders.
During my time on the board I have contributed to several important initiatives:
• Member of the Executive Committee to help direct the organization’s activities.
• Fundraising programs to secure financial sustainability and ensure the development and maintenance of the CAMBA trails. Fundraising activities include raffles, sponsorship, membership and merchandise. We have had the best year in CAMBA history.
• Modernizing the CAMBA website to make it more user friendly and easier to find the information you need.
• Improving communication to the CAMBA Community. Our following is at an all time high.
• Increasing CAMBA membership and diversity of members. Our membership is approaching 40% women.
While we’ve accomplished a lot, there’s more to do, which is why I’m running for another term, and ask for your vote. Go CAMBA!
Professional Background – Ken has spent his entire career in the Life Science industry. He started out as an organic synthetic chemist at Pfizer and then moved into the software industry supporting pharmaceutical and biotech scientific workflows. He’s held several management roles in pre-sales, professional services and as a global client executive. He recently joined Astrix (astrixinc.com ) as Managing Director, Customer Success. Throughout his entire career, Ken has been successful through a mantra of proactivity and excellent communication with all stakeholders.
Involvement in Mountain Biking – Growing up in Massachusetts, Ken and his friends were at the forefront of mountain biking in the early 90’s as teenagers trying to get rad on trails that would make Rock Lake look like a flow trail! He’s lived in the mountain biking meccas of Boulder, CO and Bend, OR while also riding in many other locations in the U.S. (Bentonville, Moab, Malibu, etc…). Ken was first introduced to the CAMBA trails in 1996 while visiting his girlfriend’s family cabin on Spider Lake in Hayward. Fast forward 25 years…the girlfriend is now his wife and Ken’s been riding the great CAMBA trails ever since. Being a competitive athlete all of his life, cycling was no exception and Ken absolutely loves to race in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Most recent and notable results are 2nd place overall in the Cheq100km, 5th place overall in the 2021 Borah Epic, 7th Place overall in the 2021 Fat Bike Birkie, 3rd place overall in the 2021 Seeley Pre Fat, 15th place overall in the new Pro division of the 2019 Chequamegon 40, and 1st place overall in the 2019 Snacking Bear gravel race. In addition to racing, he also loves long rides through all of the CAMBA trail system and showing his friends the great trails.
Statement of CAMBA Board Interest – At the age of 45, I’m ready to start giving back to a sport that has given me some of my most enjoyable experiences that have been rooted in the CAMBA trails for over 2 decades of riding with family and friends. 2020 was a tough year for us with the passing of my father-in-law, Roddy West. Roddy and his wife Wendy are lifetime CAMBA members. We set up a CAMBA memorial for Roddy and raised over $12,000 from our family and friends. We placed a memorial plaque on one of his favorite sections of trail at the top of the switchbacks leading down to Martel’s pothole on Seeley Pass. I’d like to join the Board to continue his legacy and to join the team to continue progressing the initiatives of CAMBA.
I. “A biography outlining your personal and/or professional background and involvement in mountain biking.”
I have been fortunate to have worked for some of the biggest names in powersports, agriculture and even brewing throughout my career. My employers included Pabst Brewing Company, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Yamaha Motor Company, J I Case/New Holland and Mercury Marine. The majority of my career has been in powersports where I worked in product development, marketing, sales, retail development, global event management and planning, and international rentals and tours. I created products and experiences for passionate enthusiasts worldwide. Most relevant to the position of CAMBA Board Member I served 2 years as a Southern Regional Manager and then International Event Manager for the Harley Owners Group.
As an Events Manager, I developed programs for local enthusiast clubs through authorized dealers, worked with chapter members to establish local and regional rallies and riding events and produced marketing programs to promote the events. I worked on a national and international level working with local enthusiasts, government officials, CVBs, sponsors and suppliers to create rallies, riding rallies and tours for groups from 500 – 25,000 people. I offer a wealth of event management experience from event planning to on-site management.
I am currently living full-time in Barnes after having been a part-time home in the Eau Claire lakes area for 24 years. I am currently working as General Manager at Wild River Sport & Marine in Trego.
About 10 years ago, I became an avid cyclist in both on and off-road riding. I have been an avid rider of the CAMBA and surrounding forest trails. I have also ridden in multiple mountain bike and fat tire events in the Hayward area and throughout Wisconsin.
II. “Why you would be a good addi?on to the CAMBA board”
I believe my experience in event management and my passion for the mountain biking and enjoying the outdoors makes me an ideal candidate for the position of CAMBA board member. I have thoroughly enjoyed the CAMBA trails and as I am now fortunate enough to live in Barnes. I am currently able to participate in and serve the needs of the organization.
I personally would take great pride in being a board member and would find the position fulfilling. I look forward to assisting in the growth of the CAMBA trail system and working toward preserving responsible use of the outdoors.