Board of Directors Biographies
The PTMA Board of Directors all have various backgrounds and skills that they bring each month to plan the Rhody Run. Each member performs a variety of duties to ensure the run "runs" smoothly each year. Below are short biographies for each of the board members:
Jill Buhler represents the historical roots of Port Townsend serving with the Port Townsend Marathon Association board. Her parents were graduates of PTHS, classes of 1936 and 1938. After living elsewhere she came to Port Townsend to re-establish those family roots in 1988. She married a long-time Port Townsend family friend, John Buhler, in 1990. Jill got involved with PTMA as a runner in the mid-1980s, then volunteered after moving back here. She has been a volunteer since the early 1990s and for the past several years has been in charge of awards and gear security. She has a long history of community involvement including Chamber of Commerce president, Kiwanis treasurer, Northwest Maritime Center secretary; committee work for Centrum, the city of Port Townsend and the Elks club; and Guardian ad Litem for Jefferson County. She also has served on several scholarship committees for local organizations, including AAUW and the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, and currently is president of the Jefferson Healthcare District board.
Eric Johnson represents the board as refreshment coordinator for Rhody Run. He was born and raised in Port Townsend, graduated from PTHS in 1979, went to CWU, graduating in 1984. He returned to Port Townsend and worked for the city in law enforcement for 14 years and with Fire District 6 for 23 years. He is presently a self-employed landscaper. Eric has been part of the Rhody Run event from the beginning, first doing traffic control then working inside the compound helping with refreshments and took over as refreshments board member in 2006. He has completed more than 20 of the 32 Rhody Runs.
Mary Weeding retired from a career in IT (Information Technology) and moved to Port Townsend eight years ago with her husband and their Springer Spaniel. She is active in AAUW and numerous volunteer activities in the community. Currently she works on a Math Competency Program for all public school third graders in Jefferson County and was co-nominated for 2011 citizen-of-the-year for that effort. She is also an organist/pianist at Trinity United Methodist Church and has been a runner for almost 35 years.
John Nowak grew up in Port Townsend, graduated from PTHS, Washington State University, married and raised two sons here besides working with Jefferson Healthcare District the past 30 years. This is his first year on the PTMA board, and he said he believes it is an excellent match with the mission of Jefferson Healthcare to enhance the health of the community. He facilitated the first Youth Sprint, a preliminary race open free to all youngsters under age 10 on Rhody Run day. He has also assisted in connecting professional medical practitioners to help on race day. He is a veteran Rhody Run participant, as are members of his family.
Janet and Dick Giger are a Rhody Run board team. Dick grew up in Port Townsend graduating from PTHS in 1959, He earned a BA degree from Western Washington University, a Masters from Seattle Pacific University, completed additional graduate work at the University of Washington, and retired in 2005 after 42 years in public education as a teacher-administrator in Northshore and Mercer Island school districts. Janet was born and raised in Port Townsend, the daughter of Burdette and Gordy Redding who owned Redding's Studio where she worked until graduating from PTHS in 1963. She attended Western Washington University and graduated from the University of Washington. Subsequently she taught elementary school in Northshore and Shoreline school districts. She and Dick returned to Jefferson County in 2005. They have served on the PTMA board since 2010, coordinating sponsor recruitment and contributing management functions. They maintain the run is a family tradition, recalling how generations accompanied the Reddings on the run, especially completing it together on the senior Reddings’ 60th wedding anniversary year.
Dan Huntingford has been owned and managed Port Townsend’s SOS Printing since 1996. He is a fourth generation native of Jefferson County, a Chimacum High School graduate and a graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications, Washington State University. He worked as the advertising manager of the Port Townsend Leader for 20 years prior to purchasing SOS. Dan is a past president of Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, past chairman of the Chamber’s Retail Trade Committee, past president of the Jefferson County Pilots Association and has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Rhododendron Festival and Port Townsend Marathon Association. Until 2011 Dan is one of few participants to complete all 32 Rhody Runs. He missed the 2011 race to attend his niece’s wedding in Washington D.C. He has served on the board for four years and helps coordinate the association’s advertising and marketing program.
Jeni Little is president of the Port Townsend Marathon Association board and is Rhody Run race director. She has worked as coordinator for Jefferson County Family YMCA and is head coach of the Port Townsend High School Cross Country team in addition to serving and supporting other youth activity groups in the community. She married Jim Little, a Port Townsend “native,” in 1988; they have one son, Forrest, a recent Evergreen State College graduate. Originally from Salem, Oregon, she moved with her family to Port Townsend in 1977. She became involved with PTMA through her friendship with fellow cross country coach and former Rhody Run race director Steve Taylor. She recently resumed studies toward a college degree.
Jeni is seen here with her husband Jim, dog Lucas and son Forest.
Doug Pierce has been a PTMA board member since 2007 and is a native of Port Townsend. He graduated from Port Townsend High School and has run or walked the Rhody Run a number of times before becoming a board member. Doug is a federal employee and his favorite activity is hiking in the Olympics or being on or near the water around Port Townsend. He enjoys talking with the runners and trying to make their run a memorable one, especially for families. His ambition is to make the Rhody Run a legacy run for many years to come.
Todd Jensen moved to Port Townsend from Lake Chelan in 1999 to accept a promotion to the Chief Ranger position at Fort Worden State Park. Along with his appointment to the park position came an automatic assignment as the fort’s representative to the PTMA Board of Directors. He now serves as the board’s secretary. Jensen also is the Fort’s liaison with the board, communicating any changes in policy or fees that may affect the run. He coordinates race day setup at the park directing placement of directional signs and barricades, and with his staff provides traffic control and visitor protection on race day. Jensen has run and/or walked the Rhody Official’s run for the past several years. He said he appreciates and enjoys working with the Rhody Run volunteers for the teamwork and camaraderie they express
Steve Taylor moved to Port Townsend in 1976 to work on the Indian Island pier construction. In 1982 he joined Rick Nelson's Rhody Run prep class and ran his first Rhody Run. The same year he established Mobile Logic Welding, which he managed until retirement in 2007. Taylor began volunteering for the Rhody Run in 1986 doing course layout. Since joining the board he has also served as Race Director and now is primarily involved in setting up the finish line and compound. The Rhody Run started a life long love for running, he stated, and he hopes to pass this love along to the community youth. To this end, the past few years he has been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Blue Heron track and High School cross country teams.
Frank Garred is former editor-publisher of the Port Townsend Leader, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, a founding director of the Port Townsend Marathon Association, ex-runner (all three PTMA marathons, many Rhody Runs — until knees failed) — and currently serves as Rhody Run announcer. He is a past co-chairman of the Rhododendron Festival and past United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County chairman. Garred remains active in the community after a career in Journalism as reporter, editor and publisher, and as Journalism associate professor at Western Washington University and Peninsula College. He is currently coordinating editor for Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Olympia News Bureau, and remains active with several professional national and international Journalism organizations. He is a forty-four-year resident of Jefferson County.