VHTRC Board Candidate Statement of Robert Gaylord

Below is the candidate statement I submitted two years ago when I first ran for a Board position. I am now even more committed to continuing the change process we committed to. I hope I am given the honor to continue serving on the Board to continue our work. With appreciation, Bob

I love running and I love runners. That’s why I love the VHTRC community and all that I believe it stands for and its values. Whether a person is a competitive athlete, veteran trail runner, newbie, front-runner, middle of the packer, or back of the packer…VHTRC welcomes them all. The diversity and inclusiveness of the VHTRC is its hallmark…its strength. We need to keep it that way.

People run for many reasons. I run because I believe it is adult play. Most of you know me…I’m the old loud guy out playing like it’s 4th grade recess after a hot, stuffy morning of testing. It’s cathartic. It’s transcendent. It provides a common ground for friendships to form and grow…for community to take root and flourish. People join VHTRC to be a part of that community. We should always be grateful for, and to, those who started that community many, many years ago, and those who continue to serve today…the board members, race directors, trail work leaders, and volunteers, all who are leading and serving without compensation or personal gain. They do it for the community. They are giving back. 

That’s why I’m running for the Board…to give back to the community I love so much. We all enjoy the runs and camaraderie. But VHTRC also is a business that must be run as a business with stakeholders and members. We are, at the end of the day, a member-based nonprofit organization deriving revenue from membership and services (our signature races). We owe it to our members to be transparent and appropriately governed by a consensus-driven board of directors charged with managing the affairs of VHTRC. I believe my background in the military and running non-profit and private companies, and sitting on plethora non-profit boards, equips me well to help govern on a collaborative, consensus-driven board of directors.

I intend to help continue the legacy built by so many awesome board directors in the past and take the VHTRC to the next level as our trail running community shifts and transforms in many dimensions. We need to listen internally to our members, and externally to the winds of change. We need to change as our community changes…or risk irrelevance.