Each of the IHJ founding members and 2019 Board Members have been instrumental in bringing to fruition the vision of moving young people and changing lives. Meet your IHJ Board!
Erin Sullivan – President
I have been a longtime member of the swimming, running and biking community in Omaha. I am a U.S. Masters Swim coach, a race director, a member of the Omaha Running Club Hall of Fame and a Kona finisher. My passion has been to mentor individuals who want to get active, not just in the sport of triathlon but by any movement that works for an individual. Participation in sports has provided me with not only a feeling of accomplishment but also led to lifelong friendships and a more inclusive, supportive community.
Kari Ann Pappas – Vice President
I am a local triathlete, food development consultant and 2019 board member. I believe through triathlon we become more confident in ourselves and what we are capable of doing. Through triathlon and Ironhawk Juniors Triathlon Club, I am challenged to stretch myself, our Juniors’ and the Ironhawk Juniors Board to build a stronger triathlon community. My goal is to make triathlon a positive, fun experience others. Ironhawk is a space inspiring the community to move; empowering young people to be kind; and jumpstarting a healthy lifestyle for years to come. Life’s Great! Tri Hard!!
Lindsay Toussant – Secretary/Treasurer
Hi! I’m Lindsay and my love for sports goes back nearly 30 years. I have worked in the sporting industry since 2012 at various levels and with various sports. I work for the Omaha Sports Commission and felt teaming up with Ironhawk Juniors was a perfect fit for my passion and a great way to inspire the next generation! I just completed my FIRST triathlon in the Fall of 2019 (thanks to the help of Kari Ann) and look forward to doing more when Spring time comes!
Beyond sports, I love trying new foods, cooking, traveling and spending time with my pets.
Sara Pierson – Marketing
Growing up as a shy, small-town South Dakota farm girl, I never considered myself to be an athlete. It wasn’t until college that I discovered a love for many sports-related activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, volleyball, yoga and lifting weights. Accomplishing things I never thought possible provided a great boost in my self-esteem. That is why I love the mission of Ironhawk Juniors! Showing young girls the pride that can come from accomplishing what can seem like impossible is something I learned much later in life. Being able to be a part of an organization that provides that opportunity for young girls is absolutely inspiring!
Michelle Bandur – Social Media & Community Outreach
When I was about the same age of our Juniors, I first learned of triathlon while watching the Ironman World Championships. I thought, “I am going to do that one day.” Although my Kona dreams haven’t come true yet, I am a six time Ironman! I have completed around 100 triathlons, and love how the sport has introduced me to incredible women and friends. I have learned to overcome challenges, work hard and live a healthy lifestyle. I want our IHJ girls to have this experience! I also am a reporter at KETV in Omaha. An anonymous viewer sent me note with a dollar bill so to “fix my big, fat nose and bags under my eyes”. This incident shows that bullies come at all stages in our lives but that we also have the power to overcome the negative. I have used the dollar bill to inspire thousands of dollars in donations for IHJ. Together we can turn the negatives to positives!
Jamie Adams – Events
I am the Assistant Athletic Director for College of St. Mary – where IHJ hosts weekly practices and the triathlon event. As a lifelong athlete and with a career in collegiate athletics, I enjoy seeing activity, teamwork and fun put into motion. I love seeing young kids learn a new sport or a new skill and as a board member or volunteer, we get to see that every week with this triathlon program. Having the opportunity to help start a program like Ironhawk Juniors from scratch has been a great experience. Seeing kids get better week after week and the excitement they have to show up to practices is an absolute joy.
Terri Hermes – Swim Lead
I have been coaching and teaching swimming for 40+ years. In the early 80’s, I volunteered at a national triathlon event, and I have been helping triathletes with their swimming ever since. Leading up to the 2000 Olympics triathlete Jen Gutierrez trained with our swim team. Her enthusiasm brought me into helping women who had never taken on a sport before train for their first triathlon. Eighteen years later when Brad explained his vision for Ironhawk Junior Triathlon, I knew I wanted to be a part of the program.
Lisa Peters – Bike Lead
I am a lifelong runner who accidentally became a triathlete after college. Being involved with Ironhawk Juniors and watching the IHJ athletes grow has reminded me of the joy that comes from learning the sport of triathlon, taking on new challenges, and discovering the self-confidence that comes from achieving small successes that build into larger successes. I love being part of what I hope is a lifelong fitness journey for our IHJ athletes and witnessing the athletes grow into tomorrow’s leaders (and probably my future bosses).
Kris Story – Volunteer Lead
I have been a triathlete for 10 years and absolutely love it! I started by doing the Omaha Women’s Triathlon as a total newbie. Fortunately, the race director of that race put together a series of classes on all the ins and outs of Triathlon, which made my first race fun and a success! As a result, I was hooked! I have now done dozens of Triathlons at every race distance and have raced at Kona, at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France, and at the ITU Olympic World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. More importantly, I have gained tons of new friends and have a new appreciation for the importance of being active at any age. I love volunteering for the Ironhawk Juniors and am honored to now be serving on the board. I am excited to share my love of Triathlon with the next generation of triathletes and to see where we take this next!