Black Sheep Marines
I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought YOU could be.
Gordon Gillis, Captain - Port Paddler
The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert. Vince Lombardi
Ray Vail, Co-Captain - Port Paddler
Hometown: NYC, NY and then Baiting Hollow, LI, NY; Military Service: US Army; Previous/Current occupation: CBS, Inc., Information Technology Director. Installed and created the first real time online computer system in the industry in 1966, directed the operations and software departments of the data center and was Director, Corporate Systems, CBS, Inc.. Joined AWI (Automated Wagering Inc) in 1995 and installed state lottery systems in the US and lotery/sports betting in Europe. Retired at age 47. Spouse: Pat; Children: 0; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Captain, Leatherneck Warriors (Red) 2010-2012, Co-Captain, Black Sheep Marine Dragon Boat Racing Team. 2012-present; Favorite Quote: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson. Favorite Dragon Moments: Winning the Silver in Tampa, 2012 and coming from behind to win in Marathon Key, both with the Black Sheep; How you became a Black Sheep: It's a long story, but Gordon was the answer. Why you love being a Black Sheep: The crew, the team, and the people. Why you are a DB addict: Being on the water is a good enough reason, but with 20 friends all paddling in sync with the same goal, that's the addiction. Athletic Background: Past: HS Track and Field, College Intramural Football, Industry Softball, golf for life, swimming and running. Present: Dragon Boating, Golf, Pickleball, Softball; Anything else you care to add: Love computers, photography, woodworking and construction, overseas traveling and almost any competitive sport. Cocktailing with good friends is another favorite pastime.
Greg "Coach" Walker - Port Paddler
Home: Nova Scotia, Canada; " The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." For further background, go to website page Coach Walker-War Canoe
Christine Gillis, Manager - Starboard/Port Paddler
"Being properly prepared is one of the biggest assets in business and in athletic competition."
Thaddeus "Ted" Kasubick, Steersman
Home City/State: Philipsburg ,Pennsylvania; Military Service: 7 years army reserves Military Police; Previous occupation: Owner of construction company; currently retired; Spouse: Nancy; Children: 4 Girls; Grand: 13; Favorite Quote: Cool Beans; Favorite Dragon Moments: Ist race as steersman, almost crashed into another boat at the start; How you became a Black Sheep: Just plain lucky; Why you love being a Black Sheep: They are so friendly and such a happy bunch; Why you are a DB addict: Love being on the water; Athletic Background past: Football and wrestling in High School; Wrestling in Collage; Present: Dragon Boating steering , bowling, fishing , hunting, golfing , cycling; Past: Spent 65 years of my life in Pennsylvania; I'm married to the same lovely woman for 46 years; Present: Live in Mallory on Surfside Lane and have great neighbors, two whom I dragon boat with... Anything else you care to add: Love living in the Villages and hope to be around healthy and active for many many years.
Adela "Dela" Saucedo - Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Chandler, AZ; Previous Occupation: Elementary K-8 Teacher; Current occupation: retired; Significant other: Frank; Children: 2; Grand: 6; Great: 1; Dragon History: Joined January 2013; Favorite Quote: "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi; How/why you became a Black Sheep: Wanted to try something different to challenge myself. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: Everyone is so supportive, friendly and helpful. Why you are into dragon boating: It is Great exercise! Athletic Background Past: softball, track, gymnastics, tennis. Athletic Background Present: interval, aerobics, dragonboat paddling.
Allen Stepro - Starboard Paddler
Nick Name: Had so many that some can't be printed but let's see, Tank when a lineman in high school football, Ricky Recon when in Force Recon USMC, Big Al when I played on the Camp Lejeune Football team; Home City/State: Tun Traven USMC Boston, Ky & New Albany Ind.; Military Service: USMC 23 year; Previous Occupation: KAB Radio manager in Okinawa, Athletic Director Camp Hansen Okinawa, Single Marine Coordinator, Cherry Point NC.; Current occupation: Retired and Dragon Boat Paddler; Spouse: Deceased; Significant other: Marna Bowytz is a great lady and fun to be with; love her dearly; no children; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Coming together as a team and then winning a medal; Favorite Quote: It is just as hard to be miserable as it is to be comfortable. Favorite Dragon Moments: Tipping over:) & winning the medal in Tampa; How you became a Black Sheep: Saw the people out on the water and decide to find out more about it then talked to Gordon and I was hooked. What you like about being a Black Sheep: The team work and hard work. Why you are a DB addict: Love to exercise & Love to win. Athletic Background Past: Played football in HS, Camp Lejeune & Court House Bay. Played basketball in HS, Marine Corps and here in the Villages. Played baseball for HS & Marine Corps. Played Softball for the Marine Corps. Took up Golf when I was 30 and made the All Marine Golf Team; 6 to 8 HC... at one time a zero. Played Racquetball while AD in Okinawa. Athletic Background Present: Golf, Dragon Boat, working out at the gym and spinning, Anything else you care to add: Love Marna, Love the team & I Love life.
Bob Carroll - Port Paddler
Home City/State: Pittsburgh PA, Grew up in Maryland by Washington DC; Previous Occupation: Worked for the Bell System/AT&T for 33 years; Retired 1998. Accepted a position with IBM for the next 12 years as a Senior System Analyst. We migrated our Corporate customers into our IBM Data Centers maintaining the hardware and Operating System. Current occupation: Retired 2011; Family Info: Divorced; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Started Dragon Boat Racing with the Leatherneck Warriors. Moved to the Black Sheep January 2013. Favorite Quote: Integrity: What You Do When No One Is Watching.. Favorite Dragon Moments: Joining the Black Sheep. How/why you became a Black Sheep: Mike Mitchell moved over which made me look into the Black Sheep. I wanted to join a well disciplined, competitive, and dedicated team. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: Great to practice on Lake Sumter instead of Lake Miona. Why you are into dragon boating: To be competitive in a team sport. For the health and fitness benefits. Athletic Background Present: Golf and Pickle Ball.
Bob Levenson - Starboard Paddler
Hometown: Oceanside and Los Angeles, CA, The Villages full time. Spouse, Jeanine, 2 daughters, 1 grandchild, 1 3/4 great grandchildren. Military, USMC, same MOS as Gordon. Occupation, Sales and Marketing Management, Textile and Apparel Industry. Retired in 1998, worked as auto collision estimator and retired this year. Sports, Golf, Football, Baseball. Recruited to try out with the Black Sheep DB team by Gordon and Chris while they were fundraising for Wounded Warriors at Publix. Poor Susan had to put up with my soaking paddle catch that first session. (Bob I enjoyed the shower:). I am truly amazed at the conditioning, team spirit and camaraderie on the Black Sheep team. With patience, hard work, and great coaching from Gordon, Coach Greg, Mike, Susan, Ted, Dave, John Mac, Lynn, Cas and the rest of the Sheep, I look forward to being a part of your great DB team. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome!
Cas Chmielnicki - Starboard Paddler
Dean Nicholson - Starboard/Port Paddler
Home town: Deep River, Connecticut. Marine Corp 1966 to 1972, currently a registered investment adviser, Sage Point Financial; spouse Bonnie; two daughters- Erin and Jenifer, recent Black Sheep from "gold"- paddling for two years, member of national team, favorite quote: do the best you can with what you got; best moments is when a new member learns our stroke; became a Black Sheep due to Chris and Gordon, as well as how gracious and accepting the team was to me as a visitor paddler; the paddlers with the Black Sheep have the most energy, spirit, and zest for life of any team in the Villages; I am a DB addict since I really have fun at the practices; I have a varied athletic background: semi pro mountain and road bicyclist, Olympic alternate in sailing for the Tornado in the 1978 Olympics, 3rd national ranking in mountain biking in 1990; 2nd place in world rankings in the INVA "Big Wheel" or Penny Farthing cycling; 2nd ranking in Florida grand masters cycling 2010.
Dennis Faillo - Port Paddler
Home State: Illinois; Military Service:USMC; retired; Spouse: Mary; Children: 5; Grand: 9; Great: 1 on the way; Dragon History: started on the Leathernecks; On being a Black Sheep: it's all about the Team & Captain!
Edward "Big Ed" Charles Carter - Port Paddler
Home City/State: Harvard, MA; Spouse -Dianne; Children 2; Grand 3; Military Service: Commission officer, Army. Served as Tac Officer at Officer Candidate School, Aide de camp to Brigadier General, EXOC with 5th Special Forces( A-232) Vietnam; Professional Life: President – Carter Little CO(high volume custom matting business), VP & Senior Project Manager, Chapman Waterproofing Company, (commercial and heavy highway construction)Boston, MA; Dragon History & achievements: Joined Team May 2012; Favorite Quote: Let it ride!; Favorite Dragon Moments: Ballast- non paddling member during practice when recovering from shoulder Injury; How you became a Black Sheep: Contacted other teams. When I told them how much I weigh the subject changed. Gordon didn't flinch and told me to meet him behind Water Front Inn to see what I got. Why you are a Black Sheep: love the concept of team, and the personalities on the boat. Why you are a DB addict: Curious about sport and the need to be in shape to do it which is becoming a big help to me personally. Athletic Background: Past: Football, track, intramural sports; Present: Tennis, pickle ball, softball, cycling, dragon boat racing, dancing.
Gayla Johnston - Port Paddler
Home City/State: Frankfort, KY; Previous Occupation:Elementary school teacher. Taught at a gym. Current occupation:Teach at a gym when in KY. Spouse: Bob; Children: 2 sons; Joined the team Nov. 2012; Favorite Quote:Will you look back on life and say, I wish I had, or I'm glad I did. How/why you became a Black Sheep: Sharon, a friend invited me to give it a try. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: Everyone is friendly and work hard for the team. Why you are into dragon boating: I have always enjoyed being on the water, but I had never tried anything like dragon boating. Athletic Background Past: Running, Martial Arts, Tennis, teaching various classes in the gym. Athletic Background Present: Martial Arts, teaching gym classes, pickleball, biking.
Gene Campbell - Starboard Paddler
Home Town: Carbondale, Illinois, home of the Salukis of Southern Ill. Univ; Military Service: Marine Corp.- 1962-1965; Previous occupation: Accountant (CPA); Spouse: Jo Ellene; Children: 1; Grand: 3; Became a Black Sheep: Via Marine League Athletic Background: Past: High School wrestling 103 lbs.; Present: golf, gym.
Jane Hoffman - Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Balsam Lake, Wisconsin; Previous Occupation: Worked at 3M Company for 28 years in technical service and sales with double coated tapes and pressure sensitive adhesives. Current occupation: Retired; Spouse: Tom; Children: Son and daughter and two identical twin grandsons (I am a twin too). Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Joined February 2013; Favorite Quote: From my mom: "You get out what you put it". Favorite Dragon Moments: Being with the cheerful team early in the morning as we prepare for practice. How/why you became a Black Sheep: Greg Walker who was in my tennis drills group asked me to give Dragon Boating a try. I was impressed with his fitness as well as Ed Carter's and Mike Johnson who were in the group and thought this new activity would make me a better tennis player so I went for it. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: I really like how positive, cheerful and supportive the Black Sheep are to each other. They push each other to be the best that they can be. Why you are into dragon boating: To raise my level of fitness and to learn a new skill while having fun and meeting new people. Athletic Background Past: Played college tennis and never stopped playing, and now coaching high school girls tennis in the summer/fall when up north. Athletic Background Present: Jogging, biking, tennis and golf. Anything else you care to add: One of my proudest accomplishments was leading the effort to raise a million dollars, purchase land and build a twelve-field soccer complex when our kids were teens.
Joanne Lavoie - Drummer
Home City/State: Watertown, CT; Previous Occupation: 2nd grade teacher; Spouse: Dan; Children - 0; Dragon History and achievements: Winning a gold and bronze medal in Orlando; Favorite Quote: Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Favorite Dragon Moments: Participating in the Orlando International Dragon Boat Competition and winning a gold and bronze medal in my first competition; How/why you became a Black Sheep: Recruited by Lynn Feeks who told me the team really, really needed a drummer (I like feeling needed); What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: The team is composed of a great group of people who take what they're doing seriously, yet know how to have a good time. Why you are into dragon boating: I enjoy being on the water, it's so peaceful early in the morning. I enjoy the drumming--it feels like a steady heartbeat. It's great being part of a team of dedicated, welcoming people. Athletic Background Past: Running, biking, skiing and kayaking; Athletic Background Present: Running, biking with the Sumter Landing Bike Club, swimming, zumba, line dancing, jazz and tap dancing; Anything else you care to add: I am very proud and happy to have been welcomed so enthusiastically into the Black Sheep Marines team. The people on this team are very supportive of each other. They offered me help and encouragement that made me feel that I was contributing right from the beginning. The coaching is fantastic and our team captain and manager are terrific motivators. I can't say enough about this great group of people.
John "JMAC" MacPhee - Port Paddler
Home city/State: Chelmsford, MA; originally from Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia Military Service: After two years of College wanted to join the NavCad program but was in a major automobile accident that summer and they classified me 4F. Even tried enlisting for Viet Nam but they also gave me a 4F. Thank you Vets for your Service...love you; Previous occupation: Technology Director in the Medical Diagnostics Field; Spouse: Mary Anne; Children: 3 + 2; Grand Children: 5 + 5; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Started with the Leatherneck Red Team and enjoyed two great seasons. Decided it was time to move on when we had too many members and then my friend Ray went to the Black Sheep. Look out Marathon this is just a race to help out....but I liked the Team and the rest is History, short but sweet...just a wonderful group of individuals; Favorite Quote: If you can't do it right the first time then the second time around makes no sense. Favorite Dragon Moments: My first Race...lots of adrenalin and it was a real team effort, win or lose it felt terrific; How you became a Black Sheep: Gordon needed some folks to paddle for Marathon and Ray said all the right things about the team and he was right...love you Black sheep; Why you love being a Black Sheep: When you move on it's always good to make a positive change. I feel that's what happened when I became a Black Sheep Dragon Boat team mate. Why you are a DB addict: Love the Team involvement and it's a sport where everyone has to pull together at the same time. The exercise is another benefit but paddling on race day is a real rush. Athletic Background; Coached and played Hockey for over 25 years, all levels both young boys and girls. Enjoy any sport that makes you appreciate the skills and gifts of your team mates. Past: Only look to the future and it's looking very good. Fantastic family and friends and, how can you beat The Villages.
Juliette "Julie" Perry Mitchell - Port/SB Paddler
Home City/State: First 20ish years - Orange, CA; next 20ish years – San Francisco, CA; 7 years in Alexandria, VA; Previous Occupation: Lots of things, mostly Human Resources related. Co-founder of internet software company, contract oversight for Federal government HR-related contracts; Current occupation: human being; Spouse & fellow Paddler: Mike Mitchell; Children: 2 sweet step (adult) children; Grand Children: 0 but I have 10 Grand nieces/nephews; Any Great Grand Children?: not yet… Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: paddled for a few months, way back when, for the Leatherneck Red team. My Dragon related achievement(s): meeting such fabulous people! Favorite Quote: Well I have three: “If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!” ― Dalai Lama XIV “The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.” ― Dalai Lama XIV An eye for an eye.... we are all blind” ― Dalai Lama XIV Favorite Dragon Moments: Every moment! Even the painful ones. I’ll let you know if I’ll include spotting an alligator close by as one of them if it ever happens ;) How/why you became a Black Sheep: Encouragement from my very sweet and supportive husband, Mike and our darling neighbor and dear friend, Ray. What do you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: The people, the laughter, the sweat, the joy and the pain. Why you are into dragon boating: Why not!?! Athletic Background Past: high jumping, gymnastics, casual runner, and 1 Sprint Triathlon that was a blast! Athletic Background Present: golf, pickleball, water volleyball (in the warm weather), yoga (at home) and last but not least Dragon boating. Anything else you care to add: Thank you to all of the people on the team that do all behind the scenes work and to our team captain and coach!
Kathy Mantel - Port/Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: California to Miami then The Villages; Military Service: USAF brat; USAF Reservist wife. And I get the 10% off card for Home Depot! Previous Occupation: Court reporter, ski instructor, volunteer; Current occupation: Spouse, volunteer; Spouse: Hans; Children: 1; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Just started paddling! Favorite Quote: I love quotes! Two of my favorites are from Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture. "Experience is the thing you get when you didn't get what you wanted." And "Follow your Passion, believe in Karma, and you won't have to chase your dreams. They will come to you." But the one on my refrigerator until the magnets no longer would stick was by Miss Piggy: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." Favorite Dragon Moments: First time in the boat! Terrifying and exhilarating! How/why you became a Black Sheep: Wanted to join a team. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: The work- out, the camaraderie, the drive to win! Why you are into dragon boating: Love being on a team! Love a challenge and learning something new. Athletic Background Past: Gym rat, spinning, yoga, skiing, windsurfing. Pretty much anything and everything. Athletic Background Present: Spinning, yoga, beach tennis. Anything else you care to add: Happy to be here!
Lonnie Sellers - Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Duncan, Oklahoma; Military Service: Army 1967-1969 Ft. Detrick and Viet Nam; Previous Occupation: Agronomist, Oklahoma State University; Currently Retired; Spouse: Arlene; children - 0; Dragon History: Joined, December 2012; Favorite Quote: How you stand depends on where you sit. How/why you became a Black Sheep: Joanne, team drummer, mentioned it and encouraged me to participate. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: The camaraderie. Why you are into dragon boating: Exercise; Athletic Background Past: Runner; Present: Jogger and weight training.
Loretta Supplee - Starboard Paddler
Home City/State:Conshohocken, PA; Previous Occupation: Human Resource Generalist; Currently Retired; Spouse: Bob; Children: 2 daughters; Grand Children: 4; Great Grand Children: 1; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Started dragon boating March 2011 in the Villages. Participated in two races in Florida...Turkey Lake and Hommassasa. Loved it so much when I went home to PA I joined The Philadelphia Flying Phoenix women's team. They let me race in the National Harbor race on the Potomac. We won the Gold Medal (Holy Crap). Another race was in the International Philadelphia Dragon Boat Festival in early October. There were 146 teams competing; 28 were all women. After 3 races we qualified for A Division and proceeded to bring home the Bronze in the finals. Returning to The Villages and joining the competitive Black Sheep Marines gang....the winning streak continues with 2 medals at the Orlando International Festival. Besides the joy of competition...the camaraderie and fitness challenges are what I enjoy most. Thanks to my new team for allowing me to share in your successes. Favorite Dragon Moments: Surviving Coach Greg's practices; How you became a Black Sheep: My neighbors and friends, John MacPhee and Ted Kusabick knew I would enjoy their team and encouraged me to join. Thanks, guys. What you like about being a Black Sheep: Their commitment to being "the best." Athletic Background Past: Always involved in team sports, basketball, field hockey..guess you could call me a jock. Avid skier (raced for a team), tennis player (USTA), golfer (WPGA team competitions at home in PA.) Athletic Background Present: Dragon Boater, Golfer, pickleball, some tennis, Yoga, fitness workouts.
Lynn Feeks - Port/Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Croton-On-Hudson, New York; Retired Teacher; Significant other: Ed Holtzman; Children: 2 (Ryan and Ashley); Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Started as a Paddler this past June; Favorite Quote: What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. How you became a Black Sheep: Recruited by Mary Lou as a drummer because of size. Realized I'd prefer paddling. Why you love being a Black Sheep: Team spirit and camaraderie. Why you are a DB addict: Discipline/challenge; Athletic Background: spinning and bicycling
Marie Heidemann - Port/Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Chicago, IL Previous occupation:: Chicago Police Officer; Current occupation: Registered Nurse; Spouse: Fred; Children: 2; Grand Children: 3 and one on the way; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Winning my first medal in Tampa; How you became a Black Sheep: Met Susan at a swim lesson; she invited me to a practice paddle and I've been hooked ever since; Why you love being a Black Sheep: The camaraderie among our team members is amazing, you couldn't ask for a better group; Athletic Background Past: Volleyball, jogger, general exercise; Athletic Background Present: Try to workout regularly.
Mary Lou Bremer - Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Lebanon, Connecticut; Previous Occupation: Mother; Current occupation: Computer Programmer; Significant other: Mr. Morrissette; Children: Richard and Thomas; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: Joined the team January 5, 2012, Silver Medal at Tampa Bay International on April 28th in the C division; Favorite Dragon Moments: Winning the Silver Medal at the Tampa Bay International; How you became a Black Sheep: I’ve always watched when Yale sculling competed and when Bob asked if I’d be interested in DB paddling I said ‘Sure, I’ll give it a try’. What you like about being a Black Sheep: Our team members, they are the best. Why you are a DB addict: I love being part of our team, I like that we have a goal and work hard to meet it. Plus I like competition. Athletic Background Past: Jogging, snow skiing and horseback riding. Athletic Background Present: Paddling, working out.
Michael "Mike" Johnson - SB/Port Paddler
Military Service: Retired Army; Previous occupation: Manager, Northrop Grumman; Spouse: Lisa Children: 3 Grand 2; Dragon History; Joined January 2012; Favorite Quote: "I am that I am"; Favorite Dragon Moment: Bass jumping in my lap while paddling on Lake Miona; How you became a Black Sheep: Always wanted to be part of a crewing team; my wife's aunt here in The Villages recommended I check out dragon boating. Why you enjoy being a Black Sheep: I like staying in shape, competing, and enjoy the camaraderie; Athletic Background: golf, snow skiing, tennis, cross country, and water skiing.
Mike Mitchell - Port/SB Paddler
Home City/State: Where ever my hat hangs; Military Service: USMC; Previous Occupation: Federal employee; Current occupation: Government consultant; Spouse: Julie; Children: 2; Dragon History & related achievements: Former member of the Leathernecks Red/Warriors; Favorite Quote: "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." -Eubie Blake; Favorite Dragon Moments: The first time I paddled. It was like I was back in high school. How/why you became a Black Sheep: To compete with like minded people. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: The camaraderie; Why you are into dragon boating: Exercise and competition; Athletic Background Past: High school sports - Football, basketball, tennis; College sport - lacrosse; Athletic Background Present: Dragon boating, biking, hiking, and golf.
Peter "Pete" Oatis - Port Paddler
Home City/State: Indianapolis, Indiana; Military Service: USMC 1966-1978; Previous Occupation: Corporate Aviation Director/Pilot; Current occupation: Retired; Spouse: Barbara Val; Children: 1 Daughter; : Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: 'Rookie'; Favorite Quote: "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. " Henry Ford; Favorite Dragon Moments: Meeting the team members and being made to feel welcome; How/why you became a Black Sheep: Met Gordon in a shoe store, was invited to possibly join a great group of competitors (also my very first aviation squadron in the Marine Corps was VMA214 (The Black Sheep squadron); What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: Team is made up of a diverse group of people who share a team attitude and a competitive spirit; Why you are into dragon boating: Most excellent physical exercise and equally excellent camaraderie and competition; Athletic Background Past: Always have been into personal fitness, running, weights, aerobic activities - have participated in football, baseball, basketball, fieldball and rugby; Athletic Background Present: Personal physical fitness activities, golf.
Robert "Bob" L. Morrissette - Port Paddler
Home city: Pawtucket, RI (12 years); Fort Lauderdale, FL (55 years); Military: USMC; Occupation: Retired Law Enforcement; Children: Bob and Michelle; Grandchildren: Andrew, 22 Johnny, 15 Jeni, 12 Significant Other: Ms. Bremer; Dragon Related: Joined the team January 5, 2012, Silver Medal at Tampa Bay International on April 28th in the C division; favorite quote: It’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country. Favorite Dragon moment: winning the silver medal in Tampa; How you became a Black Sheep: Purely luck; Why you love being a Black Sheep: So I can keep an eye on ML; Anything to add: the people on the team and the camaraderie is exceptional.
Robert "Bob" Wilhite - Port / SB Paddler
Home City/State: Born and raised around St Louis Missouri but eventually ended up living in Shrewsbury PA; Military Service: 21 Years USN, retired in October 1981 as MCPO; Previous Occupation: After USN worked for AAI Corportation outside of Baltimore MD as a VP of a product area. Currently Retired; Spouse: Michele; Children: 4 Grand Children: 5 Favorite Quote: I yam what I yam; Favorite Dragon Moments: Practices with Gordon behind me! How/why you became a Black Sheep: Interested in an activity that would physically challenge me. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: Turns out that the best part of being a Black Sheep is the camaraderie among the members; Why you are into dragon boating: Love the physical (and mental) challenges; Athletic Background Past: Played baseball, football and basketball in HS. Played football in the Navy; Athletic Background Present: Avid golfer.
Sharon Kane - Port Paddler
Susan "Coco" Christiansen- Starboard Paddler
Home City/State: Madison/Lauderdale Lakes, WI ; No personal military service; my father was very proud of his service to the country and served in WWII and Korea on a Destroyer - He was a Navy Lt. Commander and later served in the reserves; 2 brothers Navy; 1 brother Air Force; Previous occupation: Self-employed - Director in Mary Kay Cosmetics then managed the operations of my husband's entertainment booking agency he established in 1976 in Madison WI and still operates today; Spouse: Nels - married 30 years; No children but 16 Nieces/Nephews & 20 greats; Favorite Quote: The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno Dragon History & achievements: Joined newly forming team July 2011; Competed in 7 races in 2012 and 5 the 1st half of 2013; our team has accomplished a lot in our first 1 1/2 years of competition winning 12 medals and 6 cups; Favorite Dragon Boat moment: Swimming with the gators and snakes in Mount Dora... exhilarating! Seriously, nothing could top our Division D 100m win against Canada's best teams in Ottawa on June 23, 2013 and our 3rd place finishes in the 500M and 200M. How you became a Black Sheep: How do you say no to Gordon? He shook my hand, thought it was solid and the rest is history. Why you love being a Black Sheep: Let me count the ways! I would have to say being part of a great bunch of people first and foremost. Laughing and having fun...it is the best medicine in life! Why you are a DB addict: I am totally into the adrenaline rush of racing and the hard work ethic of our Coaches' practice paddles. Athletic Background Past: Although this is my first team sport in my life; I have always enjoyed challenging myself in what ever I have done, whether it was football and ice hokey with my 6 brothers growing up; long distance hiking on the Wis. Ice Age Trail; biking the trails in Wis; cross country skiing the Wis. Kettle Moraine State forest; and tennis with my husband Nels. Present: I like to cross-train for DB lifting weights, water aerobics, walking/jogging, biking, swimming laps, tennis and hiking at Sunnyhill Restoration along the Oklawaha River. My dragon boat achievements are dedicated to my brother Gary who inspired me growing up to love athletics and who taught me to be a tough competitor.
William "Wild Bill" Marsh
Nick Name: "Wild Bill" given to me by my classmates at USNA because I was anything but. Paddle Side: Port (for the moment, while I learn the stroke, but, I'm ambidex so I can go either way); Home City/State: Baltimore, MD but only lived there about a year total. I've been a bit of a nomad. Military Service: USMC - Semper Fi - I was destined to be a Marine, I was born the day the 1st Marine Division was surrounded at Chosin Resevoir. Previous Occupation: Last - IT Security Officer in the Federal Government; Current occupation: Retired (and primary 'Honey-do' list worker); Spouse: Carolyn - A 'Steel Magnolia' from Louisiana who was also a Marine; Children: 3 Grand Children: 1 (but more on the way) Great Grand Children?: That's going to be a while; Dragon History and Dragon related achievements: None yet; Favorite Quote: "Dallas Cowboys Football, it's why I drink" and "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" How/why you became a Black Sheep: Ray Vail lives about 4 houses from me and suggested I give it a try. Plus, the race shirts are the coolest Marine shirts I've ever seen. What you like about the team and being a Black Sheep: I love the workout, the team atmosphere, and the chance to consort with my fellow Marines. Why you are into dragon boating: Because I like team sports and the motivation to keep in shape. Athletic Background Past: Lacrosse player (long stick defenseman), 1st Dan Tae Kwon Do, 1st Dan Shotokan, Ki Aikido, distance runner, softball, plus 16 years of coaching youth sports; Athletic Background Present: long distance swimming, biking, golf, weight lifting, and, of course, now Dragon Boating; Anything else you care to add: I look forward to becoming a good team member - Semper Fi
William "Bill" Lupien - Port Paddler
Home City/State: Plymouth, Massachusetts; Former Middle School teacher, PE/Health; Spouse: Jacki; 2 Children: Brad Lupien and Danielle Diogenes; Grand: 4; Dragon History: Year two; Athletic Present: Golf, tennis, water volleyball.
Janice Parsons - Port Paddler
Mike Mason - Port Paddler