2010 NAFA Board of Directors and Executive Director Nominees

Board of Directors:

Executive Director:


Board of Directors:

Alisa Romaine

"NAFA Nominating Committee

I would like to nominate Alisa Romaine for the NAFA Board of Directors. Alisa races in Region 6 with Heat Wave Flyball. Heat Wave has been racing since 2002 under Alisa’s guidance and was the 2006-2009 NAFA regular racing champions for the region.

Alisa began racing flyball in 1995 in Dallas, Texas, with her Gordon Setter, Tory, on Dallas Flyball Association. Tory was the first FM Gordon Setter in NAFA’s history. Alisa went on to race with several other teams in Texas before moving to Phoenix with her family in late 2000. Although pregnant, Alisa immediately began training new people and dogs for flyball because there was no flyball in Phoenix at the time. Currently, besides Heat Wave, there are three active NAFA flyball clubs in Phoenix and several individuals in Tucson who are getting started with Heat Wave’s assistance. For the past few years, Heat Wave has carried region 6 by nearly single-handedly hosting all the tournaments in the region. Now the newer teams are stepping up and hosting as well, with Alisa and Heat Wave’s assistance as needed. The Phoenix area flyball growth is a direct result of the hard work Alisa has put into the sport.

Heat Wave regularly puts on flyball demonstrations for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Power Paws Assistance Dogs, and seveverl other Pet Expos around the Phoenix area. These events often include other Phoenix teams and is great public outreach and exposure of flyball to the general public. In January 2010, Heat Wave put on a three-day flyball event in conjunction with Phoenix Wags for Wishes. The flyball portion of the event was able to donate over $2,000 to the Make a Wish Foundation to help the kids. Wags for Wishes is again scheduled for January 2011 with Heat Wave set to host the flyball side of the event. This exposure affords a wonderful introduction to flyball for those who have never seen it before and results in new members for all teams in the area.

At the current time, Alisa has trained and races her personal dogs, including two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and two Border Collies. Her husband runs their Jack Russell and her son races his Toy Fox Terrier on occasion. Alisa is currently training her new Staffy, a six month old named Kimber. Alisa has an excellent eye for a dog’s potential and is able to bring this out through training. The entire Heat Wave team participates in training the dogs and the closeness of the team makes them a real force in Division One racing in region 6.

Alisa’s excellence as a competitor is matched by her principles. She is committed to ensuring fair play and equal application of the Rules for all teams and all players. Although she steers clear of unnecessary controversy, she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right when the situation demands it. Alisa’s last three years on the board have enabled her to see the broader picture of flyball. Her opinions are reflected in her votes on all flyball issues over the last three years. The ability to put aside her personal feelings and vote for the good of all competitors has been one of her strengths.

Alisa’s work background includes 14 years as a legal assistant in Washington State and Texas. This gave her vast experience in seeing both sides of an argument and in making rational decisions based on facts and not gut assumptions. For the last nine years, Alisa has been a stay at home Mom with her son, Garrett. She has started a successful internet business creating custom collars and other dog paraphernalia. She is also a Tastefully Simple Consultant and hosts food tasting parties on her free weekends. Alisa has the great ability to manage her passion for flyball, her part-time businesses, and her family life.

I believe that Alisa’s outdoor racing experience would continue to benefit the Board by not letting the special circumstances around racing outdoors be lost. In addition, her energy, understanding of people, life experiences, and authentic sportsmanship would be an asset to NAFA. Sincerely,

Dave Collett
NAFA Judge"


Ally Stern

"I am Ally Stern-Kolesnikow and I am running for the North American Flyball Association's Board of Directors. I am very committed to NAFA flyball and it would be my pleasure to volunteer my time to my favourite sport! Danielle Beauregard of Region 20 writes "I don't know of anyone else in our area who does more for the sport or is as supportive of NAFA as Ally." If elected I assure you that I will bring this same enthusiasm and energy to the NAFA Board.

I have been playing & teaching flyball classes since 1996 and racing in NAFA flyball tournaments since 1998. I have been captain of DogZworth flyball team since 2004. DogZworth has hosted 27 successful NAFA flyball tournaments and I have been Tournament Director at all of our events. DogZworth will be hosting 5 flyball tournaments in NAFA fiscal year 2011 and 1 more yet in 2010. In 2008 NAFA's Annual General Meeting was held at DogZworth's "Flyball At The Big O" tournament. 62 teams raced at the event and it was the largest tournament in this part of North America.

Bonnie Klonowski of Region 15 writes: "Ally has a wonderfully diverse attitude towards the sport of flyball, appreciating all aspects of the sport including title achievement, speed racing, the joy of helping a rescue dog find a job, and the "family" of the sport." To elaborate on her point, my husband Scott and I currently own six flyball dogs. Together we have earned almost 400,000 NAFA flyball points. I have no other hobby. If I am not racing in a tournament I am teaching a flyball class to new flyballers. In 2009 our dog Bizzy was inducted into the Clyde Moore Hall of Fame. She was the first rescue dog to earn the Hobbes title. I have raced our dogs in NAFA Regions 1, 2, 10, 13 and 20 in all classes- regular, open, multi and veterans. I currently race my own dogs in Region 20's division 1 as well as our region's 22-24 second division.

DogZworth's main goal is to grow NAFA flyball in Region 20. In order to reach this goal we host over 5 tournaments a year in Montreal, QC, teach weekly flyball classes and occasionally host a seminar or do a flyball demonstration. Most of the members of DogZworth are new to the sport. We are always encouraging our students to continue their training and join our flyball team. DogZworth's annual Big O flyball tournament is another way we market the sport to the public. This tournament is held at one of Canada's biggest pet shows- the SNAC. 1000s of spectators attend the every year. Yes, flyball is growing in our region!

Natalie Cornell, Regional Director of NAFA Region 20 writes: "Ally's commitment to flyball and specifically to NAFA is evident in the level of participation she engages. Working tirelessly to promote flyball in Quebec, I think the NAFA Board of Directors would strike a wonderful balance with a representative from Region 20. Ally gets my vote!"

For many years I have cared about NAFA flyball. I was one of the many people that asked NAFA for an open class. Recently I suggested to the Board that tournament results & cheques be sent by regular mail instead of costly UPS. I am also the one that proposed to NAFA that a fair, un-biased lottery system be used to determine which teams got into limited tournaments that over-filled.

I am a stay at home mom to two children & our 6 dogs. I teach & organize the DogZworth dog training classes at our 50,000 square foot training facility in Montreal, QC. I am also DogZworth's webmaster, treasurer and one of our marketing "experts". Before I had children I worked for a number of years in the high tech industry. I never thought my work experience would someday prepare me for the NAFA Board of Directors but I am very thankful that my career focused on administration, customer service and accounting. My work experience would make me an important asset to the Board. In 1995 I earned a BA in Political Science & History from McGill University (Montreal, QC). I am committed to good sportsmanship, safety in the racing lanes, the further growth of NAFA and fiscal responsibility. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at: ally@dogzworth.com I would really appreciate your support in the upcoming election.

Ally Stern"


Christine VanWert

I/We nominate Christine VanWert for election to the NAFA Board of Directors. I have known Christine for 10 years and she is uniquely qualified in many ways.

Christine served in the U.S. NAVY for 5 years. Her service to her country has prepared her for volunteerism and taught her leadership skills and experience dealing in stressful situations.

Christine was President of the Debate Club in High School and participated in the Government & Current Affairs Society in College. She graduated Monroe County Community College with an Associate’s of Applied Science in Communications & English. She was a member of the National Honor Society in High School and was inducted as a Phi Theta Kappa (Honor Society for junior colleges). Christine has the skills to draft language when reviewing rules and corresponding on NAFA’s behalf and she understands the complexities and importance of parliamentary procedures.

Her career has included several employers which have utilized her skills in customer service and quality assurance to grow and expand their businesses.

Christine has spent her whole life living in the company of dogs. Her parents bred Papillons to compete in AKC Conformation shows. She gained an appreciation for flyball in the early 1980’s when her sister Ruth participated in demonstrations of flyball prior to NAFA organizing in 1985. In 1999, she joined Runnin’ Ruff Flyball Team and in 2001 assisted her sister in forming the Wooferines Flyball Team. She designed the Wooferines website and acts as their webmaster.

The Wooferines lifetime best time is 18.01. Their mission statement is: Flyball is for all dogs of all breeds and all speeds. Currently, the Wooferines have a deaf BC on their roster and Chris has personally owned & handled a JRT that had only one eye. She understands the challenges and hopes & dreams of NAFA players who participate just for the fun of seeing their dog play flyball at whatever level they can , as well as those competing for regional points and championships.

As a service to the flyball community, she is an administrator for the i-Flyball.com website, the Flyball Forums and is a contributing author of The Flyball Blog. She also maintains her own personal flyball & training blog and is Producer and Editor-in-Chief of the Flyball Today Livestream Channel. She does this all without monetary compensation. Her only reward is promoting Flyball.

Christine has always been closely tied to NAFA. She was appointed Special Project manager for the NAFA BoD Marketing Committee in 2005 and as the Nominating Committee Chair in 2004, 2005 & 2006.

Vision for NAFA:
NAFA needs individuals who are willing to listen, willing to challenge the status quo and willing to advocate for “the best interests of flyball.” We need to plan ahead and work to prevent problems before they become problems. We need to develop a mission statement that is clear to all: participants and NAFA Officials. We need to develop a business plan that is fiscally responsible with clear goals set out set out for 5, 10, 15 years and beyond and that also balances NAFA‘s budget. We need to make all aspects of our business accessible to all regions, teams, clubs and individuals and treat “problem-resolution” issues cheerfully.

I believe Chris to be a worthy candidate. NAFA needs change. NAFA needs more women as well as people who run in the lower Divisions on it’s Board. We need representation that is open minded, accessible, as well as easy to talk to, has vision for the future and also has an understanding of the past . Chris is a hard worker and I believe she has the best interest of the whole of NAFA in her vision for the future. Chris is willing and able to take on the challenges that NAFA board members encounter in their service to the NAFA flyball community.

For all the reasons stated above, Chris is uniquely qualified to serve on the NAFA Board due to her education, community activities and success as a flyball competitor.

Respectfully submitted by
Monica Johnny, NAFA approved Judge, Spirit Catchers

Joined by:
Natalie Cornell, Region 20 Director, Hot Diggity Dogs
Linda Bullard, Captain, Northern Lightspeed
Shannon Seeger, Captain, Ballistics
Scott D Rideout, Release the Hounds, Region 15
Pamela Schultz, Captain, Slammers"


Curtis Smith

"NAFA Nominating Committee

Please accept this letter as nomination of Curtis Smith for consideration for the North American Flyball Association’s Board of Directors. I met Curtis and his wife Stacy over 8 years ago when they started their flyball journey with DogGoneFast (DGF) in Raleigh, NC. At the time Curtis was working on a post-graduate degree at Duke University. The Smiths joined our club and trained and raced Colby (a Labrador Retriever) and Willoughby (an American Pit Bull Terrier). Curtis became hooked on flyball.

While racing with DGF, Curtis was a fun loving and gracious teammate. Whether things were going well or poorly, Curtis kept his sense of humor and most importantly his sense of “team”. Curtis worked hard at practice helping to train many of the dogs on DGF. At tournaments, I don’t think I ever saw Curtis in our crating area, as he was always pitching in however he could: pass calling, recording stats, line judging and box judging, whatever was needed. Teammates like these are wonderful to have!

After Curtis moved back home to Alaska in 2004, he led the efforts to extend NAFA’s presence to The Last Frontier. Curtis is a founder and the team owner of Alaska Dogs Gone Wild (ADGW), which hosted the first ever tournament in Alaska in June 2006. This very successful and enjoyable tournament was the first of many Summer Solstice tournaments that ADGW has hosted. You are likely familiar with Curtis’ e-mails to the flyball list encouraging competitors to make the trip to Alaska to enjoy their hospitality and play a little flyball while they’re there. Curtis did a super job with the local media during the tournament, getting both print and television coverage of the event. In addition to hosting tournaments to promote flyball locally, Curtis’ club performs demos and offers beginner instruction. Curtis also organized a seminar, including the training curriculum, for local dog enthusiasts in Soldotna, AK. Curtis has traveled with his teammates to many out-of-state tournaments including Cynosport in 2007 and the Can-Am event in 2009 in Indianapolis.

Enough participation in flyball? Well, not for Curtis. In addition to working with his club, Curtis is a NAFA Approved Head Judge. The dedication it took for Curtis to achieve his approval says a lot about his determination and “can-do” attitude. Living in Alaska posed a challenge for a prospective Head Judge. All of Curtis’ training assignments had to take place out of state. He was approved as a judge in 2007 and is the only Head Judge in Region 18.

Curtis’ flyball credentials speak for themselves. He is dedicated to the promotion and growth of NAFA. He has participated in the sport at all levels: teammate, team owner and Head Judge. Curtis has a great understanding of the dynamics of flyball: how to make it fun and fair for all. He has gained a broad perspective of flyball from his experiences out of Region as a competitor and judge, as well as via the Alaska Summer Solstice tournaments which attract competitors from across the United States and Canada.

What would Curtis bring to the game as a member of the NAFA Board of Directors? Professionally, Curtis has a background in mathematics, theoretical ecology, education and technology. He is proficient at conducting scientific research. He would like to use his expertise at analyzing trends to help with budget projections for NAFA. He often conducts surveys, analyzes data and summarizes results in the context of his job as a Research Professional with the University of Alaska Anchorage.

In 2008, Curtis applied his skills and ran a matting preference survey: http://flyballdogs.com/alaska/mat_survey. Curtis will propose using surveys to periodically obtain feedback from NAFA competitors about issues that are important to them, which would help keep an open channel of communication between competitors and the Board of Directors. As a Head Judge who has read every message posted to NAFA's judges' list including those archived since its inception in 1999, Curtis is very familiar with the Rules of Racing along with a multitude of atypical situations that can arise in flyball settings, which would be an asset if he were to serve on the Rules and/or Judges Committee(s). Curtis is also experienced at working with the media to promote the sport of flyball in Alaska. He is a consensus builder with an easy-going style. Being creative and insightful, I believe that Curtis would help the Board to come up with innovative solutions to the problems they might face during his tenure.

In conclusion, I am pleased to nominate Curtis Smith for election to the North American Flyball Association’s Board of Directors.

Best Regards,
Geoff Brown
DogGoneFast (Region 9)

Endorsed by:
Linda Sell, QuickSilver (Region 1)
Glenn Hamilton, Some Ruff Competition (Region 2)
Brian Fay, Natural Disaster (Region 4)
Darcey Sare, Good2Go (Region 8)
Todd Beedle, Quad Run (Region 12)
Trish Gedney Bjurling, White Mountain Mayhem (Region 13)
Jon DosPassos, Revolution Flyball (Region 15)
Jane Horsfield, Rock 'n' Rovers (Region 16)
Keri Caraher, D.E.O. Speedwaggin' (Region 19)"


Dave Walt

"I would like to nominate Dave Walt for the NAFA Board of Directors. Dave came into the sport 8 years ago and since then has continued to enhance his knowledge in all aspects of flyball. In those few years he has become a very respected NAFA Supervising judge and been a part of the Rocket Relay/Positive Pups club that host 6 NAFA tournaments a year. He has always been very approachable as well as helpful and I have seen him spend hours with new judges and competitors thoroughly explaining rules or how things work to make sure they are set on the right path. His dedication to the sport is second to none and he does an outstanding job promoting NAFA within our region. He is always the one to go to in our region for NAFA news or how to go about getting help from NAFA.

I believe he would be a great addition to the board due to his dedication and his knowledge of the rules and procedures NAFA employs. Being a Supervising judge and visiting many regions each year, he has a very good feel for what NAFA needs based on his many conversations with fellow competitors and judges. Never one to argue but always able to get his point across in a calm, confident and assertive way, he would provide a fresh new attitude that would be an asset to NAFA.

Thanks for considering Dave for one of the Board of Directors positions.

Tammy Frank and the whole Instant Replay Flyball Team

Also supporting Dave’s nomination:
Rocket Relay Flyball Club
Positive Pups Flyball Club
The Ball Snatchers
Team Hard Drive
Revolution Flyball Team
Ruff Enuff Flyball Team
Extreme Chaos
Josh Watson, NAFA Approved Judge
Hugh Morrow, NAFA Provisional Judge
Dave Dery, NAFA Provisional Judge"


Eric Foster

"Eric Foster discovered flyball about 4 years ago and since then has fully engaged himself in the sport. What started as a way to be closer to his girlfriend at the time has led to a desire to understand flyball on so many levels, including how the NAFA organization is run and how its members impact the sport. Currently Eric is in the NAFA judges training program and has shown an outstanding commitment as he makes his way through it. Two of Eric’s biggest strengths is that he is a problem solver and thinks outside the box.

Eric’s day job requires him to be a quick thinker and to find solutions for problems that no one else can grasp. Add to that he is also responsible for the safety of hundreds of people so his focus and dedication to tasks that achieve this safety would make him an asset to the Board of Directors.

Eric runs his dogs in region 15 on Team Hard Drive. Team Hard Drive is different than other teams in that their beliefs cause them to be honest, caring, truthful, and outgoing. This is a powerful combination for someone that is asked to adhere to the rules of NAFA and to make decisions that will benefit the members of this organization. These qualities are what I believe a person should possess to make an effective board member.

Dave Walt
NAFA Supervising Judge "

Executive Director:

Lee Heighton

"I would like to nominate Lee Heighton for the position of Executive Director of the North American Flyball Association. Lee has the broad experience within the sport, both as a competitor and as a leader, to run this association on a daily basis.

Lee came into this sport in 1998 with his first dog, Bonsai, a Staffordshire bull terrier. Starting as a casual observer, he moved to become a handler and team member playing on several teams in and around the Michigan area. He trained, played, worked and supported tournaments and teams in his home region while gaining an appreciation and understanding of how the sport worked. He used his skill as a K-9 Police Handler to aid those around him and has shared his experience and training skills with teams across the world of NAFA ® flyball.

But Lee has not limited his flyball experience to just playing and training; as he has taken the step of volunteering to become part of the Board of Directors. Over his years of service to NAFA® flyball as a director, Lee has served on many committees; tackling the complex issues of finances, rules and organizing. Lee has been an active part of developing and purchasing new timing systems for racing, he has helped craft new rules, such as those establishing the Open and Veterans Class of racing, and his energy has helped paved the way for new awards for point milestones such as FDCh-Silver and FDCh-Gold, as well as pushing for new award pins for higher titles within the sport. Lee hasn’t just tackled the easy issues but has helped in drafting rules relating to better training and certifying of Judges, established a challenge procedure for measuring controversies, and worked to make a more equitable fee structure for single day and two day tournaments.

As a director, Lee served to make things better from the very beginning of his term in late 2003. His leadership was recognized a year later by others on the board and Lee was elected to serve as the Chairman, again volunteering considerable time and energy in making the organization run smoothly for all participants. Lee stepped forward to serve as Executive Director in November of 2009 when the position became vacant.

Lee has experienced flyball from the ground up. Although playing in Michigan, he has broadened his perspective by attending flyball events in many regions of NAFA ®. From California to Vermont, from Canada to Arizona, Lee has experienced the wide range of flavors that is included in the NAFA ® world. This gives him a broader view and a good understanding of the way flyball is different across NAFA ®. He has volunteered hundreds of hours to make this sport run more efficiently over the many years of his service, willingly taking calls from Regional Directors at any hour just so that everyone can play.

All of the above, plus a true love of the game, makes Lee Heighton the right person for the job of Executive Director and I hope you will join me in supporting him.

Sam Ford

Lee's nomination is additionally supported by:
Amanda Brown, Region 9 RD
Bill Bunting, Region 15 RD
John Hendriks, Region 12 RD
Elizabeth Currin, Region 5 RD
Jane Kline, Region 14 RD
Natalie Cornell, Region 20 RD
Sharon Atkinson, Region 21 RD
Chris Sells, Region 11 RD
Bill Carter, Region 16 North RD
Peter Wesdyk, Region 8 RD
Cindy Henderson, Region 13 RD
Melinda Vernon, Region 19 RD
Jules Comeau, Region 10 RD
Jonnie Geen, Region 6 RD"