Back when life was easy and articles were flowing, I wrote an article that introduced Christy Kingsmill and Michael Testa as the Midwest Region’s 2017 Chair and Vice-Chair. Christy and Mike are amazing leaders who will strive to improve Team Midwest, but their work cannot be done without the help of a few more people on the executive board.
Each year the Midwest Region holds elections for their executive board and committee positions during the captains meeting at Winter Conference. This year, Team Midwest elected many skiers to new positions after some amazing members made the tough decision to step down. We continue board introductions with the returning Treasurer and Webmaster, and newly-elected Secretary.
Treasurer — Jim Aksamit
Jim Axe is an incredible asset to the Midwest Region. Christy Kingsmill, Chairperson of the MCWSA, says Jim “knows the ins and outs of the inner workings of the MCWSA, especially the financial aspect, and every year finds a new way to make things easier for everyone involved”! Axe is originally from Rochester, Minnesota, but somehow found his way to the Badgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he majored in neurobiology. Now he is hanging around Denver, Colorado, with Tucker Johnson and having a grand old time. Axe plans to become some sort of healthcare provider in the future. When he isn’t on the water, he likes to keep busy playing sports outdoors, hockey (Minnesota, eh?) and board games.
Jim first started snow skiing up in Northern Wisconsin, but didn’t start 3-event skiing until his junior year of college. After watching the ski team movie “Ski Dock”, his love for the sport was taken to a whole new level and he’s been hooked ever since! Between the Toga Party at Conferences in Wilmington, and the notorious Iowa State Gelande Quaff, Axe loves the sport and spending time with the best people around. In fact, his tip for any new skier is to soak up the ski experience and get involved because”these people will be some of your best mates for rest of your existence”.
Team Midwest is lucky to have Axe covering finances. Mike Testa was impressed with the job Axe has done in the past and says he “handled the position like a boss” and is looking forward to another great year working with Jim, as well as “defeating Jim in the upcoming battle royale over Christy’s heart”. No matter who wins Christy over, Jim as won over Team Midwest with his awesome math skills and we look forward to another productive season.
Webmaster (mcwsa.org) — Michael Newth
Michael Newth, or Uncle Newth as Team Midwest fondly calls him, is one of those classic guys who’s always at the collegiate ski tournaments, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. “Newth has been a great asset since day 1”, Mike Testa says. Aside from helping Christy with all of her technology questions, she said he stepped up to the plate “as a voting member for Team Midwest this year at the national meeting and went to Nationals to take care of all our kids when I had a wedding.”
Newth is from a small-town in Kansas, but where he actually went to school is still in question. He always seems to be hanging around the teams from Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. His official resume claims he received a Journalism and Mass Communications Degree at Kansas State. He’s now living the dream working at USA Water Ski HQ in Florida, a tie-in that both Christy and Testa are excited about for Team Midwest. When he’s not working on webmaster things, Newth enjoys photography, camping, being outdoors, and dreaming about water ski.
Newth’s first taste of waterskiing is similar to many skiers in the Midwest. His family spent time at the lake where he learned to wakeboard, kneeboard and do other water sports. He first heard about 3-event skiing from his older sister who was part of K-State’s team, so when he got to college it was a no-brainer to join. Since then water ski literally became a part of his life. His wise tip for young skiers is just to “Get on the water! It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing skier, what makes collegiate fun is the shared goal of having fun on the water. We’re all just about getting on the lake, working on our skills, and enjoying life together”. Team Midwest is super excited to have Newth on the board for another year, and hopefully many more!
Secretary — Margaret Silhasek
Last but certainly not least, Team Midwest Secretary–me! You may have read about me as the Great Plains Conference Secretary, but I am excited to take on this new position. Mike Testa says I’ve already shown a lot of promise (thanks Testa!) and that “she’s taken her position by the horns (or the handle?), and has really gone above and beyond what we’ve expected of her so far.” He also claims I’m down for an ice or a good Team Midwest chant, but I’d have to say he’s 1 for 2 on that claim.
I’m originally from Byron, Minnesota, so taking vacations up North to “the lake” was a normal summer for me. I learned how to combo ski, but didn’t know how to 3-event until finding my way to the University of Nebraska Water Ski Team. From that moment, I fell in love with the culture of waterskiing. The sport has given me so many opportunities to better myself both on and off the water. I would tell any new water skier to take these different opportunities and run. In addition to improving your skills, learn how to judge or safety, run for an executive position on your team, and just get to know everything about waterskiing and how it runs. I’m incredibly excited to take on this position as secretary for the Midwest Collegiate Water Ski Association because it gives me the chance to learn all about the different teams in Team Midwest and in the United States!
Christy sums it up for us three: “All three bring a LOVE for the sport, especially collegiate which is huge for taking on these volunteer positions!”