I meant to write this last week, but it turns out Raceday/Carnival hangover is real and takes longer to recover from than your typical night out. There are few people that understand how large of an endeavor it is to put on an event such as Raceday and how many different heads this hydra has grown to include over the years, yet we continue to add more every year and it could not be done without the help of some amazing people around, behind, and in front of the scenes. This is not a complete list (since such a thing is probably not possible), but is as complete as I can make it.
Here we go…
Buggy Alumni Association
Starting with the obvious, our own all-volunteer team of officers did an amazing job this year and made my life very easy doing a whole lot of things that I can’t take credit for. In addition to their year-round contributions, all officers who attended Raceday also assisted in our day-of responsibilities donating some time to either the Finish-line timing, or running our tent at the top of the hill providing information, guides, books, and directing auction winners.
- Aileen Dinin – Our Newsletter Coordinator helped assemble, write, and gather articles for another fantastic Raceday Preview as well as putting together a great Season Kickoff continuing our newest form of alumni update & info mailers.
- Bryan Arsham – Our Treasurer joined us a little bit into the year and immediately jumped on board filling out the empty role. Having Bryan help keep track of our membership as well as set up and run the Auction this year including taking the lead on creating and setting up our Finals auction which went amazingly well for those people that were able to make it. Bryan also donated significant time during raceday by joining the women’s broadcast crew for the second time
- Krishan Taylor – Our new Webmaster picked up where we left off a few years ago, making impressive updates to this website making us properly secure, fixing up some of the log-in bugs, and most of all making us into a responsive site that works great on mobile with raceday tools that update instantaneously with times and schedules.
- Jeremy Tuttle – Our Vice President helps us make some major strides this year with gathering an alumni team contact list making our outreach much easier, as well as uncountable other tasks that I can’t think of like bringing coffee for those that arrived to the course early, or helping timing for sweepstakes, ect. On top of his regular officer duties, Jeremy also helped moderate this year’s alumni panel which I am kicking myself for not recording.
- Natalie McGuier – Our Reporting Lead and also Volunteer Coordinator for this year has been doing by far the most to keep me sane by taking over writing and coordination of the weekly Rolls Reports, where she has been crafting the posts, tracking rolls, compiling notes, and taking pictures for all of you. On top of that, this year she took on coordinating many of the additional volunteers we need for Raceday to run smoothly as well as reaching out to, and coordinating our Design Showcase Alumni Panelist:
- Conrad Zapanta
- Adam McCue
- Aiton Goldman
- Connor Hayes
- Danielle Quan
- Honorary & Emeritus BAA Members:
- Ethan Gladding – Ethan helped us in a wide variety of roles this year from regularly contributing to the Rolls Reports as well as being the graphic designer who helped us make our Raceday Guide and Preview look as good as their content. In addition, Ethan volunteered his time and voice to our Wednesday prediction show.
- Lou Conley – Now retired, Lou has been joining us for a number of Operations meetings and Rules Committee meetings providing insight on how the original rules were constructed and intent on the wording for context on why the races are run as they are.
- Ben Brown – In his spare time outside of being faculty at CMU, Ben created the speed trap device which he used to capture speed data provided to us live during the races.
- Tom Wood – No Raceday is complete without Tom’s incredible knowledge of buggy and impressive Friday afternoon presentation. Tom also helped us with info from rolls as well as some timing data as we approached the races.
Broadcast & Production Operations
- Commentators – Thanks to all of our volunteer commentators this year for providing quality reporting and analysis of the races for both the Men’sand Women’s races with special thanks to Will Weiner for once again joining us for the full broadcast on both days giving us the play-by-play action, moderating our discussions, and introducing our teams. Will also gave us his time for our Wednesday prediction show where he moderated the discussion.
- Women’s Analysts
- Aubrey Higginson
- Bryan Arsham
- Mike Darcy
- Men’s Analysts
- Andy Bordick
- Mark Estes
- Jack Kaplan
- Wednesday Prediction Show speakers
- Michelle Mirabella
- Ethan Gladding
- Hunter Rideout
- Radio Voice, Moderator, and Play by Play Extraordinaire
- Will Weiner
- Women’s Analysts
- Kiltie Band – As part of our opening ceremonies, a small group of very cold Kiltie kids joined us at the base of hill 1 to play the Alma Mater and National Anthem to help us kick off the races properly.
- WRCT – Continuing to provide us coverage through their radio station, WRCT handles mixing most (if not all) of the audio that goes into the broadcast as well as providing us space and time for our Wednesday night prediction show. Special thanks to Paige O’Riordan who coordinated with us and sweepstakes (and in particular put up with me) to provide quality sound from the starter, audience, and of course the commentators themselves.
- Viewpoint Production – Deserving of a special shout out this year, Viewpoint has been working with us for ~10 years ever since we added the first jumbotron to the course and this year provided extra equipment free of charge due to ever shrinking budgets combined with our desire to continue improving our coverage to you. Viewpoint, and in particular Ron Massung worked closely with cmuTV to plan out the camera locations, and incorporate the new graphical system integration that was used this year.
- cmuTV – A huge thanks as always to the cmuTV team this year and their continued efforts to improve on a great broadcast. Special thanks to Manny Lopez for coordinating cmuTV’s buggy production, and Ethan Bless-Wint for his incredible efforts putting together the new graphics and back-end system for this year. Additional thanks to alum Matt Gallabrese who is working to form the cmuTV alumni group and provided specific advice and mentoring for the students, as well as acting as the showrunner for the broadcast booth.
- Alumni House Staff – Lindie Droulia for her efforts organizing the reunion centric events and setting up Tom Wood’s presentation in the schedule; Laurel Furlow for her assistance coordinating with the other alumni events with assistance from Lauren Pontzer who took over at the last minute when Laurel left on maternity leave; Lynn DeFabio for getting our Saturday rush print of Raceday Guides through, and Maria Shoop for putting up with my constant requests for parking assistance in the weeks leading up to carnival; and all the others who helped coordinate all the ancillary amentities associated with Raceday and Buggy in general (KidZone, Donut tent, ect).
- Tim Leonard – The newest BAA liaison following Lindie helped immensely with his experience coming over from student life, helping us coordinate much of our spending and schedule set up for BAA specific events. Tim helped us throughout the year with all of our various events from homecoming, parents weekend, ect. while also working with several other alumni interest groups.
Sweepstakes and Race Operations
- Teams – While somewhat self-serving, the teams as a whole were generally very cooperative and got along well with each other providing for an incredibly smooth set of races for both Friday and Saturday.
- Linna Griffin – Head Judge – Linna was last year’s Safety Chair and returned to fill-in as head judge for Enosh who was unable to make it back
- Samantha Wong – Buggy Book Chair – Alongside driving for Apex, Sam organized and provided another great Buggy Book that was so popular it sold out for the first time in several years.
- Dave Singh – Design Competition Chair – While continuing to push and mechanic for Fringe, Dave coordinated another successful design competition and showcase for teams and alumni alike, providing us with a space to set up and hold our panel of alumni and student speakers.
- Elyce Milligan – Assistant Chair – Elyce, formerly with CIA and Atlas, was always on top of the roll count this year and frequently kept teams informed during rolls whenever there was confusion about the roll order and what was going on. She also organized and moderated several rule change discussions in the fall resulting in several modernization updates as well as overseeing the official inclusion of robotic teams to the by-laws as well as the optional follow-car update.
- Jasio Santillian – Safety Chair – Jasio, formerly with Apex, did a fantastic job keeping teams safe and up to code this year playing no small part in what was one of the most incident-free years of buggy in recent history. He also lent his voice and presence as the first emcee helping to coordinate the opening of the races possibly ever, something we hope set the standard for years to come.
- Camilla Xu – Chair – Camilla, formerly with SDC, has been by far, one of the most organized and coordinated chairs in recent history running efficient weekly meetings, and being decisive where needed balanced by her willingness to work with teams to solve issues during and outside of Rolls. She handled all comments with incredible professionalism and made real efforts to improve the sport of buggy as a whole with impact that should be continued as we march our way towards a century of races.
- Kaycee Palko – Staff Advisor – As the primary staff member, and possibly only person paid to directly work with buggy year-round, Kaycee continues to go above and beyond to keep the sport alive and handle all of the behind the scenes bureaucracy that’s associated with coordinating such an expansive event. From obtaining road closure permits and dealing with external parties from the City, Pittsburgh Police, Phipps, Schenley, and Park Mansions, though internal discussions with CMU Slice office, legal, budgeting, and CMU police, Kaycee does it all along with helping secure Raceday sponsors and required funding as well as finding and prepping the dozens of staff volunteers filling out positions as transition judges, Hill 1 timers, back-up timers, drivers, crowd control, and starter. And that is without including her advising of the sweepstakes committee in general structure and standard operations alongside her numerous other non-buggy responsibilities within the CMU Student Life and Activities office.
- Special staff shoutouts to:
- Tom Cooley who was this year’s starter for every race and gave us a consistent voice at the start line for all teams
- Holly Hippensteel who was this year’s lead truck driver providing all of our auction winners with a one-of-a-kind view of the races
…and to Members Like You!
Lastly, thanks to all of you who have donated to the BAA over the last several years. You may have noticed that these last two years, the BAA has been listed as an Official Race Sponsor as opposed to a supporting organization. That classification is not in anyway a nod to our work or support throughout the year. By donating to the BAA, you have directly helped support the massive undertaking that is this sport which we all love, covering the additional costs for equipment, and/or unexpected sponsorship shortfalls that arise. It literally would not be possible to put on a race and production of this magnitude without help from those of you who pay attention to this site on a regular basis and support our efforts year after year.
We here at BAA HQ were taking a much deserved break, but our excitement has already picked back up as we plan our summer projects and prep for the next round of officer elections.
… See you on the course!