2019 TAZ Board Voting

Aloha gang! Its that time of year to elect the 2019 Board of Directors. I have included a personal message from each nominee for your review. There are 3 ways to vote this season. We will be dispensing and collecting paper ballots at the Team AZ holiday party on December 9th. If you are unable to attend you can still vote by either filling out a paper ballot at the club canoe storage or emailing your vote to Merrily – mpychinka@msn.com by Saturday December 8th. You will be required to put your name on any ballot collected at the lake, however only Merrily will see and process those. 
Ok let's review the 3 options to vote:
1. Paper Ballot at the teams annual holiday party on December 9th
-If you are unable to attend to holiday party-
2. Paper Ballot at the canoe storage at Tempe Town Lake – Your name is required on the ballot. These will be tabulated by Merrily at the holiday party.
3. Email your ballot to mpychinka@msn.com

President Nominees:

Andy Thomas – I
began my paddling journey after Aloha Fest in 2013. I was fascinated at the
time by the sport and the people I was about to forge new relationships. I have
served on the board for the past couple years and look forward to continuing
serving in a leadership position. In the past I have coached little league,
served as President of the Tempe Town Lake Outrigger Canoe Association, and
offered my time through various volunteering and charitable events. As Team
Arizona OCC President, I will look to continue our efforts to organize and
structure the club so that it can stay true to its values and traditions. One
of my focus points has been to establish safety and communication processes to
ensure every member can have a safe, fun and fulfilling experience.


Vice President Nominees:

Carlos Hernandez De
– As a paddler, and a person, I've dedicated my life to helping
people. As Vice President, my plans for our club include finding more sponsors,
reaching out to other non profits for more community involvement, and more time
spent teaching new paddlers how to develop. Help me in achieving this goal and
help grow Team Arizona.



Lisa Zanin – I am
currently VP of HCZ Custom Homes which develops and builds homes, and I run our
custom cabinetry division which we have been in business for over 24 years. My
responsibilities are to generate business and design homes &
kitchens/bathes for our clients. As with any personal small business, it’s
imperative to ensure your customer service and the products you deliver are top
notch. As Vice President for the Canoe Club, I would bring my expertise of
running and growing a business to the position. In addition to augmenting the
President’s responsibilities, I realize how important the Aloha Festival is to
generating money for the organization along with coming up with new ideas on
how to raise monies for the Club. Having been raised in Hawaii, I understand
the importance of making sure that the members of the club embrace Hawaiian traditions
which is the nucleus of our community as a whole. This causes a strong
foundation upon which all of us are a part of.



Treasurer Nominees:

Diana Durham – I
have been the Treasurer of TAZ for the past 2 years and look forward to serving
in this position again this year. I have been a member of TAZ since 2012 and am
proud to be part of this amazing ohana. I have been “Aunty Aloha” managing our
lei stand for the last couple of years as well. While my background is HR, I
have been part of start-ups and small organizations where I have managed
finances and budgets as well as HR



Secretary Nominees:

Amy HartleI have been
with Team Arizona for 10 years…I know, a long time.  When I started with
the club Uncle Allen our founder, asked me to start participating on the board
right away as the Secretary and I held that positions for a couple years. In
following years, I have held positions of VP, Head Coach and served as
Secretary for the TTLOCA Regatta.  I love Team Arizona and the principles
it was founded on and want to continue to perpetuate this through our
ohana.  Professionally, I have worked for the State of Arizona and
currently work for the City of Phoenix.  I
attended ASU and hold a master’s degree in public administration. I have always
valued communication and information and possess the organizational skills
needed to be a successful team secretary. I hope throughout the 2019 year, you
see what I can bring to the Team Arizona board and our members.


Member At Large Nominees:

Alicia Riley – Over
the years I have been a part of a couple of different clubs, The Chisholm Trail
Saddle Club and The Natural Athletic Strength Association. I joined TAZ in
April 2018 as a new member to the team and a new paddler. I have attended two
races, MDR and ADR, and been regular with attending practice when I’m able. As
a new member to the team, I can bring a new and fresh perspective. I can still
actively relate to being a new member to TAZ and as a new paddler. I would
desire to bring new ideas and from a perspective that will get the name of TAZ
promoted and see growth within the organization. As a part of other clubs and
organizations I have learned to have a voice, seek the voice of others who are
not on the board, and understand that every organization has a polity system
they follow. My heart and desire is to see TAZ continue to flourish in teaching
paddle and the culture it holds to people, bringing community to the people
within, and creating an environment that is welcoming to new people to join the


Michelle Vega – I
have been spending my spare time at Tempe Town Lake since 2007.  I started as a dragon boat paddler on a
corporate team and then moved to the competitive teams.  I was introduced to outrigger paddling in
2017 and loved it.  In 2018, I decided to
move more of my focus to this sport and raced in three races.  My plan is to race in as many outrigger races
as possible in 2019, with the goal of paddling and racing in Hawaii with
TAZ.  I am a year-round paddler and am
only side-lined when I am taken down by heat exhaustion/heat stroke, which
packs more of a punch every time I get overheated. 

I have three children and a husband named Gary, who is
always popular with groups.  I torment my
family by taking them places to “explore.” Safety is usually not at risk, and
they ultimately enjoy these outings.   I
believe that travel helps to broaden minds and open hearts.  One of the most memorable of our adventures
was hiking the Mt.Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines. 

I am involved with various non-profit groups in the
community (Children’s Cancer Network, Happily Ever After League and Junior
Achievement) and have done a lot of fundraising.  I have captained crews for both the full
Ironman and the half Ironman in Arizona and am willing to captain a crew again
in 2019 in order to raise funds for TAZ.  
I am also available to help plan and organize other fundraisers –
perhaps a poker tournament.   

I work in finance at CVS Health and like to spend my spare
time paddling, traveling and laughing with my family.  I grew up in Wisconsin and take cheese
seriously.  I have taken groups to
Havasupai Falls and Zion and enjoy watching people experience new things that
put smiles on their faces.  I would
always rather be outside than inside.  My
house and the laundry piles reflect this. 

I have been recruiting paddlers to TAZ to help grow the
sport here in the desert.   Although I
consider myself somewhat new to outrigger canoe racing, if placed on the board
for TAZ I would commit myself to helping meet the goals of the team. 


SCORA Representative Nominees:

Stacia Palafox – I believe I would be a good candidate for
Scora rep as I have served on the board for 5 years. I needed a break last year
but did miss it. I decided that being a rep would give me an opportunity to be
involved with TAZ and expand my opportunities with learning more about how
Scora works and help keep our team on their good side. I think this would also
be a good chance to paddle with other teams


Tony Holland – I
have cultivated extensive contacts with other teams through the 9 man change
seasons. I look forward to the opportunity to expand those contacts through the
Scora representation and create new opportunities for our members to paddle
with other clubs when we run out of seats or are not attending races. And I
promise not to fall asleep during the Scora meetings



Valerie Smyth – I
offer my past experience in the position and interest in representing TAZ in
Cali SCORA meetings as reasons I would work well as SCORA rep. My goal in 2019
will be to bring other interested club members to the meetings thereby
expanding our membership's understanding of what is involved in being SCORA

Thank you 🤙


Head Coach Nominees:

Kui Eugenio – I
have been with TAZ for about 7 years now. 4 as a board member and 2 years as a
head coach. I feel like we have done a great job cultivating the Aloha spirit
and guiding the direction of this ohana. While I'm not the most knowledgeable
about all things outrigger, I do feel I have enough experience and a handle of
what our paddlers need to further their paddling career to enjoy and be
successful and safe within this sport.


Team Arizona Outrigger Canoe Club
550 E. Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, Arizona 85281