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!
Brad Hildebrandt – President
I am the founder of Ironhawk Endurance, a USAT Certified Coach and USA Triathlon’s Director of Events.
Erin Sullivan – Vice 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.
Lindsay Toussant – Secretary
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! My sport is running and as many of the girls in IHJ set goals, my next goal is to run a marathon. Beyond sports, I love trying new foods, cooking, traveling and spending time with my pets.
Kari Ann Pappas – Treasurer
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!!
Michelle Bandur – Marketing & Media
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 – Event Management
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.
Caryn Kusleika – Programming & Development
I am involved with Ironhawk Juniors because I love triathlon and I love being a triathlon athlete, coach (USAT Certified) and dietitian. The mission of Ironhawk Endurance is to inspire people to reach their true potential through triathlon. My favorite part about coaching is that I get to be a part of someone’s journey in becoming more confident and believing in themselves. I am also passionate about making triathlon welcoming to everyone who wants to be involved. I myself have connected with some amazing people along my triathlon journey. I love that Ironhawk Juniors is inspiring young people and I am excited to watch these kiddos learn something new, grow in confidence and feel inspired as they cross the finish line and become triathletes.
Terri Hermes – At Large Member
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.