Voting & Election Regulations

Voting and Election Regulations

Qualifications for Office:
1. Officers (President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer) must be a resident of the United States.
2. Officers have a two year rotating basis. This year the positions up for election are President and Treasurer.
3. Directors (state representatives) will serve a 1 year term and be up for election/re-election the following year.
4. Directors must be a resident of the US and reside full/part time in the State unless serving as an at-large Director.

On each matter submitted to a vote of the Members, including but not limited to the election of Officers and Directors, the recall of Officers and Directors and any special elections and resolutions deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors, each member class shall have a vote as follows:
Festivals shall have one (1) vote
Clubs shall have one (1) vote
Individual members shall have one (1) vote

The annual meeting of the Members of this Corporation shall be held once a
year, at a time and place determined by the majority vote of the Board of Directors, for the purpose of electing Officers and
Directors and for the transaction of all other business as may come before the Members. Special meetings of the Members may
be called by the President or by the Board of Directors.

Notice of Meetings:
Electronic or printed notice stating the place, day, and hour of the
Members’ meeting, and, in case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be delivered
within ten (10) days before the date of the meeting, either personally, or by electronic mail, by or at the discretion of the President,
the Secretary, or persons calling the meeting, to each Member of record entitled to vote at such meeting. If notice is given by
electronic mail, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when sent. Except as otherwise provided under the provisions of law
or these Bylaws, notice may also be delivered personally, or by telephone.

Good news—SRDBA election season is here! 2024 potentially will be an exciting time for clubs and athletes.  SRDBA is looking for nominations of individuals willing to serve on the board and together support athletes and clubs in our region in achieving their goals.

Nominations and Elections at a glance

  • Nominations
    • We will accept nominations up until 14 November 2023.
    • Nominations must be emailed to [email protected] by midnight on 14 November.
    • Regional positions:  Any regional member in good standing may nominate himself or herself, or another member in good standing, for the following open regional positions: President, Treasurer, and Membership Director.  More information about the positions and term of office may be found by following the link provided below.
    • State positions – Any member in good standing* residing in a state on a full or part-time basis may nominate himself or herself, or another resident member in good standing of that state to serve in the position of State Director.  The State Director positions that are becoming open are South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.
    • *To be eligible for nomination, you must be a current (2023) individual member of SRDBA, and all board members will be required to renew 2024 individual membership in January.  Membership is open year-round for each calendar year and registration information can be found here:  Join SRDBA – SRDBA.
  • Elections
    • Elections will take place electronically 1 – 14 December.
    • Members in good standing will receive voting invitations as follows:
      • All Individual members will be offered the opportunity to vote for Regional positions.
      • Individual members residing in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee will also separately be offered the opportunity to vote in their State Director election.
      • Clubs will have the opportunity to vote for Regional positions.  Therefore, an individual who is also their club representative will have the option to submit two votes for Regional positions: one vote as an individual and one vote as their club representative.
      • Clubs in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee will also separately be offered the opportunity to vote in their State Director election.
      • Festivals will have the opportunity to vote for Regional positions.
      • Festivals in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee will also separately be offered the opportunity to vote in their State Director election.
  • Election Results:  The Election Results will be communicated to the SRDBA Membership on 20 December 2023.
  • AGM (Annual General Meeting)
    • The AGM will take place virtually on Wednesday 27 December at 8 PM Eastern.  All dragon boat athletes, supporters, club organizers, corporate sponsors, festival organizers, and water sport business owners, as well as any individuals in the community interested in learning about the future of the sport in our region are welcome to attend!
    • Open positions are listed below. Descriptions are attached.
  • President (2-year term)
  • Treasurer (2-year term)
  • Membership Director (2-year term)
  • State Director (2-year term) – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee

*Should zero nominations be received for one of the four states electing a new state director, that state’s directorship will be filled by an at-large director.

Questions? Contact our Membership Director, Annely Thorstad at [email protected], or our Secretary, Barbara Paluszek at [email protected].


Kelly Hood, SRDBA President

2023 SRDBA Job Descriptions Oct.23

2024 Board Nominee Candidates:

On 1 December we will be opening up the Election process for the SRDBA Board. Outlined below are the candidates for each position. To get to know the candidates better you can review their respective bios when they are provided:


Beth Turconi : I was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey. My parents owned a beach house on the bay in Surf City where our family spent summers. I learned to swim, sail a Sunfish, and row a boat, before I learned to ride a bike. In my teens, I participated on the local swim team in the summer and ice skated in the winter. In 2015 I relocated to Sarasota, Florida to live closer to my parents. At that time, Angela Long was the coach for Survivors In Sync, a thriving, growing breast cancer survivor
“BCS” team at Nathan Benderson Park. The following year, Nathan Benderson Park launched a non BCS dragon boat program. I joined the team in January of 2016 as an inaugural member of the NBP Dragons and quickly discovered my new passion. I have been fortunate to have attended camps, clinics, and been mentored by many of the best coaches in the nation including Angela Long, Ellen Law, Pat Bradley, Kitt Noythanongsay, Jonathan Rivera, Bob McNamara, Marc Applewhite, Linda Dyer, Carole Pettijohn, Kristin Stix, Albert McDonald, Annely Thorstad and Jim Farintosh. Collectively, they have taught me invaluable paddling skills and techniques, in addition to being exemplary examples of how to lead and coach with passion, discernment, and humility.

In June of 2019 I was selected for the Senior B women’s national team. In Thailand I was invited by Marc Applewhite to join the Tarpons and by Kitt Noythanongsay to join SACA. In the fall of 2019, Angela Long expanded the BCS team at Nathan Benderson Park to include supporters, and I was able to join her team. In 2021 Coach Long became the head coach for the entire dragon boat program at Nathan Benderson Park. Our program at NBP is now a thriving, award winning club of
paddlers ages 32 – 84 who compete in multiple divisions including ACP, BCS, Veterans, Premier, Senior A, B and C. Later that year, Coach Long invited me to serve as an Assistant Coach for the Nathan Benderson Park outrigger and dragon boat programs. In addition to assisting with coaching, I provide administrative support to Coach Long and manage a successful mentorship program I cultivated for our club. I completed the USDBF Level 1 coaching class in 2020. In 2021 I was selected for the Senior B women’s national team, however there was no travel due to the pandemic. In 2022, I completed the USDBF Level 1 Steering Clinic. Having been a caregiver to my parents for the past several years, I now have the time to dedicate to the community that has given me so much. I am grateful for the friendships
and experiences I have gained during the past 8 years and look forward to representing my region and serving the wonderful teams that comprise the SRDBA.

As President of the SRDBA, I would lead a region that gives back to its members. Educational opportunities, the expansion of the youth and paradragons divisions, and helping to formulate and build a Senior D division are areas I feel strongly about. I value integrity, transparency and clear communication and believe these, and my love of the sport, will equip me to serve my region well.

~ Beth Turconi

Annely Thorstad : I have been involved with and participated in paddle sports all of my life at many different levels, focusing on dragon boat paddling, coaching, steering, and festival production since 2010.  Paddling is pure joy for me, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunities I have had as part of such a dynamic and driven community.

Academically I have a background in Business Administration and Industrial Relations, with over 15 years of experience in marketing and international tourism, and 10 in Corporate Development.  Eight years ago, after completing a variety of personal training and therapies certifications, I made the decision to return once again to complete a Bachelors in Sports Performance Psychology followed by a masters program in athletic nutrition so that I could pursue my paddle passions on a full-time basis. Currently I am preparing to graduate with a masters in Sport Performance and am the two term Membership Director for the SRDBA, a position in which I am now cycling out of.  In the second term as USDBF Board Secretary, I sit on the USDBF Nominations committee and the newly formed Can Am Club Crew Championship Steering Committee. I am the owner of a small paddle facility on the Black River in South Carolina with my husband, where we have served over 30 clubs in North America to date.  We train paddlers in person, off-site, and online; write dryland and nutritional plans;  perform repairs and maintenance on paddle crafts; and provide a space for coaches and trainers to host private clinics and retreats for their teams and small groups.

Over the next two years I would like to see the newsletter returned and communication opened up between our SRDBA members and our governing bodies, including with the national level.  I would like to see a regional resource and marketplace added to our website to help provide developing teams with supports, bring awareness to the individual coaching opportunities, advertise the incredible camps available in our region, and create a place to buy and trade needed equipment from paddle bags to boats and trailers. I would like to see the efforts realized for the return of a Regional Championship that includes a Senior D division as it is reflective of our membership, and the development of youth and para padders. Lastly,  I believe it is important to see benefits for club and festival members enhanced, and funds raised and set aside each year for paddler sponsorships.

Thank you so much to all of those who put their trust in me through their nominations for this position, and to all of you who choose to get involved and cast your vote for all of the worthy volunteers seeking your support in this election.
~ Annely Thorstad

Dana Bauer : Dana’s college major was finance.  Dana worked in banking for 20 years.  Dana began as a teller and retired as a loan officer.  At one point in her career, her bank transferred all personal, business and loan accounts from manual to computerization.  Dana led the changeover.  Dana has been treasurer of Survivors in Sync since 2015.  When she became treasurer of Survivors In Sync, Dana set up the books in QuickBooks and has used QuickBooks ever since.  Dana also uses Quicken for her personal finances. Dana feels that she can be an asset for the SRDBA Board.

Laura Brunner : Laura K. Brunner – A Dedicated Dragon Boat Racer and Marketing Professional Seeks Membership Director Role at SRDBA. With a deep-rooted passion for dragon boat racing and a proven track record in marketing and design, Laura is an enthusiastic candidate for the position of Membership Director on the SRDBA Board of Directors. Her unwavering commitment to the sport, coupled with her professional expertise, makes her a strong contender for this role. Laura’s involvement in dragon boat racing began in 2016, and since then, she has become an integral part of the Jacksonville Dragon Boat Club. Over the years, she has had the privilege of paddling with esteemed teams like the Florida Tarpons, Wun Fun Cru, Miami Puff, and most recently, Team USA 2023 in Pattaya, Thailand. These experiences have not only honed her paddling skills but have also instilled in her a profound appreciation for teamwork and the power of unity. Beyond the competitive realm, Laura possesses a strong professional background in marketing and design. Her five years of experience in this field have enabled her to develop a comprehensive skillset encompassing digital marketing, graphic design, branding, print, social media, and web design. She has a proven track record of creating impactful and engaging marketing materials, successfully promoting events and initiatives, and contributing to the overall brand identity of organizations.

Laura’s passion for dragon boat racing extends beyond the water. She is deeply committed to fostering a thriving dragon boat community and believes that the SRDBA plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal. As Membership Director, she aims to leverage her professional skills and personal enthusiasm to enhance the membership experience, attract new members, and strengthen the overall membership base. Her vision for the SRDBA is to create an inclusive and vibrant community where dragon boat enthusiasts can connect, share her passion, and contribute to the growth of the sport. She believes that by fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among members, the SRDBA can elevate the dragon boat experience and attract a wider audience to this exhilarating sport. Laura is confident that her dedication to dragon boat racing, combined with her professional expertise and passion for community engagement, makes her an ideal candidate for the position of Membership Director on the SRDBA Board of Directors. She is committed to working tirelessly to strengthen the membership base, promote the sport, and ensure that the SRDBA continues to thrive as a champion of dragon boat racing.

Andrew Fraden : I have always been a waterman since my childhood and continue today. In the late 70’s thru 80’s I raced stock outboard hydroplanes finishing 5th in the Nation when retiring. Most of the races were around the middle or South of the State of Florida. The water had to be very calm and of course, come the afternoon it got windy many times. At one windy race I saw a windsurfer having fun and had to give it a try. I fell in love with Windsurfing so much that I started a Club in Jacksonville called Jax. Associated Wind Surfers or JAWS for short. I was President of JAWS for many Years with an annual membership of 25-40 members. In 2002, I opened a retail and rental facility, All Wet Sports, to show everybody else what a FUN time you can have on the water! I became a certified Windsurfing Instructor under the direction of the late Beth Powell and still to this day love teaching the sport! As well as windsurfing, the AWS sales team and I have taught 100’s of people how-to Stand-Up Paddle and Kayak on Big Pottsburg Creek next to All Wet Sports.
In 2016 I was approached by then President AJ Alenduff of the Jax Fire Dragons about sponsoring and hosting their Dragon Boat Team on my property next to All Wet Sports. I was enthusiastic about the idea and said YES! Soon after the JFD team began their practices on Big Pottsburg Creek, and I joined in on the fun. I was hooked on Dragon Boat paddling! It has been a wonderful marriage ever since! I was voted President of JFD for 2020 and 2021 and led the team back to life from a low of 6 active members to now over 40!
Currently, I both paddle and steer for the Jax Fire Dragons at practices and races throughout the Southeast. I have enjoyed competing and winning gold, silver and bronze medals beginning in 2016 at Beaufort South Carolina Race were JFD came in 1 st overall! Also competed at the very few races held in 2020, and up through Hernando on November 4 th of this Year. Our Team also competed at Nationals and Worlds held in Sarasota.
I have recently enjoyed putting together excursions for the Club, like taking a Dragon Boat to Silver Springs for a different environment with gators, manatees, and monkeys. I recommend all Teams try it! I am now seeking your votes to become the next Florida Director SRDBA!

Thank You,
Andy Fraden

Bonnie Brett : My very first dragon boat paddling experience took place in 2019. As a school principal, I was excited to find a way for my teachers to build relationships and exercise teamwork. We joined a community dragon boat team and participated in the Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival. It was an amazing experience, and I was officially “bit by the dragon”! That year, I participated in several events in and around Florida with the Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) team. I’ve grown within the NPB paddling program, and currently serve as an active member of the Dragons competitive team. At the 2023 Club Crew National Championships, I paddled on the NBP Dragons Women’s Senior B boat, where we won the gold. In the past year, I’ve also mastered the Level I Dragon Boat Steering Course and was invited to take the Level I Coach Course this September to assist in coaching the NBP team.
As a very active volunteer at NBP, I helped create a formal dragon boat mentoring program, was a member of the Spirit of the Dragon, which supported our team at the 2022 Club Crew World Championships and give my time to many different events at the park throughout the year. Professionally, I have been a school principal for the past 14 years and received the Florida TaxWatch Principal Award in 2022. This year, I was promoted to the Charter Schools USA national team. This new position has given me the flexibility to work from home and assist principals all over the United States.
It’s very exciting to be nominated for the SRDBA Florida State Director, and I look forward to promoting and representing SRDBA, the State of Florida, and the sport of dragon boating. I am committed to actively ensuring Florida and its network of teams always has a seat at the table.

Desiree Maurer : Passionate about competitive water sports and knowing the importance of teamwork, I am honored to be considered for the South Carolina Director position. With a deep-rooted commitment to promoting the sports’ spirit and enhancing the dragon boating experience in our region, I bring a wealth of enthusiasm and dedication to this role. As an avid paddler since 2018 with Paddles and Pearls of Dragon Boat Charleston as well as Charleston Paddle Club, I advocate for community engagement and am eager to contribute my skills in strategic planning, marketing, communication, and collaboration to further elevate the dragon boating community in South Carolina. As a business owner with a marketing background, I feel I can help further enhance the passion for this incredible sport across the Southeastern region.

~ Desiree Maurer


Executive Director, Assistant Coach, Certified Steersperson
Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Gainsville-Hall Dragon Boat Festival, Peachtree City Dragon Boat Festival, Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival, ACA Sprint National Championships, ACA Marathon National Championships
Training Camps in Tempe Arizona and Long Beach &Irwindale, California with coaches Josh Hwung, Tek Li &Nathan Salazar, 2023 IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships Pattaya, Thailand
Assistant Coach

DIRECTOR AT-LARGE (for Tennessee)
Joanna & “Jodie” Kosko : Joanna “Jodie” Kosko was first introduced to dragon boating by participating on a corporate team for Atrium Health in the Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival based in Salisbury, NC in 2019.  She was introduced to club team paddling by one of her teammates from that race and joined the Charlotte Dragon Boat Association later that year and went on to race with Charlotte Fury team until late 2021.  She joined the Charleston Paddle Club in 2022 and was introduced to OC paddling.  She has a passionate about the sport of dragon boating and spends most of her spare time on the water or on her ERG training for the next race.  She has volunteered her time at Dragonboat festivals getting corporate paddlers ready for the race and lives to share the excitement of the sport with first time paddlers! She looks forward to learning more about this sport and helping to grow knowledge and participation in this wonderful sport community!

Peaches Diamond : PEACHES L. DIAMOND, BS, JD, MA
AT LARGE DIRECTOR : As the current Director – At -Large for the SRDBA, (Tennessee), serving the SRDBA member of special committee for the USDBF. Continuing in broadening the knowledge and scope of individuals participation in recreation, local, regional, and international paddling recreational paddling, competitive racing in the southern region, nationally and internationally. Currently, serve on the USDBF special committee for para dragon athletes. A veteran, paddler, coach in training and para athlete continuing to build on the foundation of our Southern Regional Association and bring other paddles, veterans and para athletes into a regional division to compete in local, national and world championships. A recent highlight this year, was recruiting para athletes and supporters, for the first time our para dragon athletes and supporters in our region, were selected as team members for the USA Para Dragon Team, in the World Championship in Thailand, in August 2023. Continuing to engage in recruiting, training, and educating the public concerning our sport and empowering individuals through dragon boat sports both recreational and competitive.
Athletic Experiences
After surviving cancer, a stroke, and serving honorably in the United States Navy, I explored new challenges to pursue my athlete interests. I began skiing and became a volunteer ski instructor and was later hired at Belleayre Mountain, in New York, from 2010 through 2015. It was also extremely rewarding working with the adaptive ski clinic helping individuals with diverse disabilities needing unique accommodations. I am presently, a member of the Dragon Boat At the Beach Club and have paddled with various teams in Florida, Puerto Rico and New York, (Empire, DBNYC, SeaDogs, Puff – Puff and was a member of “Women in Canoe”) where I served on the board.
Profile and Paddling Experiences
Motivator team development among paddlers and athletes particularly those seeking to participate outside of their comfort zones, promoting self-development skills and team camaraderie. Further possess strong analytical skills with superior track record in advocacy, supporting military members, their dependents and veterans with disabilities, career development, civil rights, employment, and housing advocacy. Certified Coaching Dragon Boat Level -1 – Pam Am, received in December 2022 Certified Coaching Dragon Boat Level – II – Pam Am, received in August 2022 Level I Dragon Boat Steering Course – completion of online steering course with “Surge Fitness,” Liisa Reimann and Joan 2022, anticipated date of Competition for practical Steering Course, 2024 Adaptive Sport Training Courses, Joe Moore, Esq. Adaptive Expeditions, Para Training Development, 2023 anticipated completion of on the Water Safety Courses in 2024 Attended multiple Paddling camps Pam Am Dragon Boat Club, Jim Farintosh, “Bow Wave, in Florida and participated in multiple Camps in Florida, California, Pam Am International Racing in San Pedro Del Pinatar, Spain, Senior C – Coaches, Pat Bradley and Liz Bradley, in
October 2022, International Racing, Coaches Linda and John Dyer, Barcelona, Spain 2023, Puerto Rico International Race, Head Coach USA Paradragon Lonnie Homenuk, Arizona 2023 and Thailand August, 2023 Academic Preparation Masters in Arts, Political Science– Brooklyn College, New York Juris Doctorate Degree, JD Northern Virginia Law School, Alexandria, Virginia Mediation Credentials, Brown & Associates, New York Bachelor of Science, School of Arts and Sciences, Evangel University, Missouri Majors: Government Concentration: Public Administration Minor(s): Journalism and Theology United States Navy, Aviation Jet Specialist – Naval Air Station, China – Lake, CA, (NAS) Military Training Center, Millington, Tennessee Membership for Professional Bodies At – Large Delegate of the National Association for Veterans Program Administrators, (NAVPA), Washington, D.C. Pi Gamma Mu, International Social Science Honor Society Pi Delta Phi – International Legal Honor Society

On 1 December, members that have an open State Director, you will be receiving two separate links: (1) General Election (President, Treasurer, Membership Director, and AT Large Directors) and (2) Your State Director Ballot. The Election Process will run from 1 – 14 December. Please keep an eye out for the email with Election Ballot Link(s). If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Paluszek (SRDBA Secretary) at barbpaluszek@outlook or 352-661-0878.