US Military Endurance Sports

USMES Staff

Bill Jacobus

Bill Jacobus

Founder, Chairman of the Board & Executive Director

Upon graduating from the US Air Force Academy, Lt Col (ret) Bill Jacobus accepted a Pilot Training slot.  Over the next 17 years, “Jocko” flew the F-16 as a Flight Lead, Instructor Pilot, Norwegian Exchange Pilot, and Mission Commander.  With over 2,000 hours, Bill retired from the AF Reserves in 2012.  Earning his Category 1 certification in 2007, Bill represented the US at the Military World Championships as an athlete in 2008 and as the Team Director in 2009.  That same year, Bill and USCG Senior Chief Petty Officer Sean Coleman co-founded the 501(c)3 non-profit American Servicemembers Amateur Sports Inc, the parent organization of USMES.

Jim Weinstein

Board of Directors Member

Dr. Jim Weinstein is a Board Certified Sports Dietitian with a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Connecticut and two Masters degrees in nutrition and business administration.  Jim has spent his career teaching the relationship between nutrition and performance, working with a diverse population of military members from new recruits to special operations forces to world-class athletes.  Jim is a Category 2 cyclist, coach, and is in his 22nd year of competition.  On 3 occasions, he raced in the team endurance event, Race Across America, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for US Military Endurance Sports.

Jeff Lesser

Jeffrey Lesser

Board of Directors Member

A second generation “Lesser” to serve his country, Jeffrey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in the 80’s and is a graduate of the Naval School of Music.  He is an avid road cyclist, often looking for the most challenging races to compete in.  Jeffrey has over 25 years of corporate experience in management, business development, merchandising, logistics, and asset disposition.  He recently opened up his own asset disposition firm in Stamford, Connecticut, called SJL Wholesale Group.  Additionally, Jeffrey is a graduate of the Behrend Institute for Leadership and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for US Military Endurance Sports.

Will Reynolds

Board of Directors Member

Will has always been an avid athlete, from cycling and water sports, which he picked up in scouting throughout his childhood, to intercollegiate Division-I gymnastics at West Point.  During his tenure in the Infantry, Will gravitated towards endurance sports racing, primarily in distance running races.  However, after being wounded in Iraq, Will returned first to the bike, shifting his competitive pursuits to cycling in the Para realm.  Will dedicates his day and volunteer work towards helping Service Members and Veterans in their transitional pursuits as a Manager within Deloitte’s Federal Healthcare Practice and as a supporter and leader of various non-profit organizations.

Wayne Dowd

Board of Directors Member

Wayne is a 22-year veteran of the US Navy who served with SEAL Team 2 as the lead sniper and regional survey team member.  While in the Navy, Wayne planned and conducted special operations missions in various locations worldwide, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Albania, and Kuwait, as well as supporting counter-narcotics operations with other government organizations.  Wayne served as the Chairman of the Board of Team4Mil, a non-profit organization that raised awareness of wounded veterans through its world record setting wounded and non-wounded teams in the Race Across America (RAAM) before merging that program with USMES in 2013.

Kathy Rakel

Secretary & Treasurer of the Board, Vice President of Finance & Human Resources

Kathy is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy.  As her first assignment in the military, she earned an MA in Near Eastern Studies, with an Arabic Language emphasis, from the University of Arizona.  Kathy worked in the Intelligence field before leaving the Air Force to focus on triathlon at the professional level–a sport she began pursuing while in grad school.  In 2010, Kathy became the first Air Force female to win the Armed Forces Triathlon Championship.  Having recently concluded her time spent competing as a professional triathlete, Kathy has shifted her attention to re-gaining fluency in Arabic and assists Arabic-speaking refugees in her spare time.

Ray Weeks

Vice President of Development

Ray is the former Vice President of Veterans Initiatives at Prudential Financial, a role he retired from in October 2014.  He is a Marine Veteran and professional with more than 35+ years of operational and leadership experience with Aspect Communications, CitiBank, Continental Airlines, Rockwell International, and the United States Military.  Ray received a BA from Washington State University in Business and Economics and was commissioned into the Marines that same year.  He served in the Fleet Marine Force as well as the Reserve Forces until his retirement from the Reserves in 1998.  Ray is a fitness enthusiast and competes as an amateur athlete in both road cycling and triathlon events/races.

Bethany Kelsey

Director of Wellness & Administrative Manager

Bethany earned her Masters Degree in Health Promotion from the University of Connecticut and her Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Northwestern.  Additionally, she holds multiple exercise and nutrition certifications.  Bethany became involved with military athletes on a volunteer basis in 2007, when she was asked to serve as the soigneur for the annual Air Force Academy cycling team camp.  Nine years later, with countless camps and four Race Across Americas under her belt, she now serves in an official capacity with USMES.  While Bethany’s athletic history includes running half marathons, her passion now lies in hiking the beautiful backcountry of Colorado.

Marie Sanchez

Director of Operations

Marie brings a highly successful competitive athletic background to USMES from winter biathlon.  She has leveraged the fitness carried over from winter biathlon into success while participating in running and cycling competitions.  Marie is a driven athlete who has developed a love for cycling and particularly enjoys the team tactics, camaraderie, and the physical and mental challenges associated with the sport.  Marie currently works as a Captain in the Army National Guard.  She recently earned her Masters degree in Analysis of Criminal Behavior and plans to further her studies in the near future with a PhD.

Chris Spurrier

Director of Club Programs & Logistics

Currently serving Active Duty with the NYANG, Chris has over 20 years of service in the USAF.  He deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, and Germany, and is currently serving a Homeland Defense mission.  With an extensive logistics background, Chris is USMES’ service course manager, as well as the Club Director and an active member in USMES’ Region 2.  A late adopter of endurance sports, Chris started running in 2010 to lose weight and within the first year completed a triathlon.  Several more triathlons and marathons later, as well as 90 pounds lighter, he focuses on cyclo-cross racing but can also be found on a mountain bike or at road cycling races.

Lynn Mattix

Member Outreach & Assist Manager

Lynn is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has a Masters of Science degree in Aeronautics and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Project Management.  She spent just over 9 years in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller and 3 years as a civilian contractor in ATC.  Lynn is a certified Personal and Group Fitness Instructor and a driver age-group athlete.  She was the 2015 Guam National Triathlon Champion, 5th overall female at the “Conquer the Wall” Adventure Marathon, and is currently an Ironman All-World Athlete.  Lynn is a military spouse and mom of two budding endurance athletes.

Mandy Midgett

Triathlon Team Manager & Camps Manager

Mandy retired from the Air Force in 2013 from the Joint Special Operations Command where she served on Staff as a Logistics Planner.  She has a BS in Social Psychology and a Masters Degree in Organizational Management.  Mandy became passionate about triathlon in 1995 while serving in Panama and was selected to compete on the Air Force triathlon team for two years.  After retiring, she decided to pursue her life passion of coaching and mentoring triathletes and earned her certification as a USA Triathlon certified coach.  Mandy continues to train and compete in triathlons because she loves the sport and the lifestyle.

Sam Curlee

Cycling Team Manager

Upon graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 2009, Sam was commissioned as a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer.  Sam has served on multiple destroyers and Air Craft carriers throughout his tenure in the Navy.  He started cycling competitively in 2007 after spending 2 years on the Naval Academy Swim and Dive Team.  During his senior year in college, Sam attended collegiate nationals for the team time trial, criterium, and road race.  Sam was asked to join US Military Endurance Sport as a development team rider in 2010 and has been a member of the organization since, currently serving as the Cycling Team manager.

Eric Haselby

Eric Haselby

Running Team Manager & Lead Wellness Mentor

Eric is an Active Duty Master Sergeant in the US Air Force.  A Munitions Specialist by trade, he has worked in Explosives Safety for several years and is currently stationed at Langley AFB, Virginia.  After completing a degree in Homeland Security, Eric went on to pursue his true passion and is currently attending graduate school for Sports and Health Sciences, with a concentration in Exercise Science and Human Performance.  Eric is a competitive endurance runner and recreational cyclist and is constantly working hard at improving in both areas.  Within the next year, he hopes to complete his first 100-mile ultra-marathon.  Eric plans to start his own coaching business after retirement.

Ron Flick

Adventure Racing Team Manager

Ron has been serving in the United States Army on Active Duty since 1999 and has been stationed in Washington, Japan, and currently at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.  Ron is a competitive Adventure and Expedition racer.  He enjoys numerous competitive endurance sports but is passionate about multi-day expedition racing.  In addition to leading the USMES Adventure Racing Team, Ron hopes to see the start line about 10 to 12 times this year and eventually race in the Adventure Racing Series World Championships.  Ron brings a wealth of experience and enjoys mentoring others in US Military Endurance Sports who are interested in adventure racing.

David Smith

Para-Athlete Program Manager

David comes to USMES after completing a distinguished term as a leading member of an adaptive reconditioning program serving wounded, ill, and injured service members.  There here resourcefully created a noteworthy elite para-athlete program that consistently produced military athletes of significant mention.  As a multi-sport coach, David is also an avid advocate of sport for all levels of ability and experience.  A competitive cyclist, he is also a pilot for visually impaired athletes in tandem racing.  David served in the US Marine Corps Infantry in the early nineties and then as a Combat Medic in Iraq with the US Army.

Dan Frost

Elite Program Manager

After gaining combat experience as a Navy EA-6B Flight Officer, Dan rose through the triathlon age-group ranks and became a pro triathlete late in his active-duty career.  When he retired from the Navy, he used his experience to coach active and deployed service members to succeed as triathletes.  Presently, Dan is a USA Triathlon Level II Endurance certified coach with MP Multisport in Fort Collins, Colorado.  He also officiates in the World Triathlon Series as a Level 2 Continental Technical Official with the International Triathlon Union.  Dan serves as the elected chairman of the USA Triathlon Rocky Mountain regional council.

Don Hettinger

Education & Information Manager

Don has served in the United States Air Force since 1998 as an aircraft maintainer and management on over 20 specialized aircraft in four major commands.  During his six-year term in Air Education Training Command (AETC), he accumulated over 7,000 instructional hours and achieved multiple education titles and awards, the most prominent of which was the AETC Master Instructor title.  Don also holds a BS in Occupational Education and several AS degrees in instructional systems development.  He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Education, and will continue on to a PhD.  He has competed as an amateur cross-country cyclist, but has shifted focus to road cycling and triathlon.

Jose Solis

Shopper & Member Buying Program Assistant

Jose Solis commissioned as a Military Intelligence Officer in 2010 through the Columbus State University (GA) Army ROTC program and served 6 years on active duty.  He now lives in Greenville, NC with his wife Jordan and five fur kids (2 dogs, 2 cats, and a horse).  Jose is pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree at East Carolina University with plans to become an Information and Computer Technology professional.  He is an avid competitive cyclist, racing on the Happy Tooth Racing team for 2017.  Jose represented the US Armed Forces Cycling Team in 2015 at the 6th CISM Military World Games in Mungyeong, Korea.

Tim Carls

Tim Carls

Creative Director

Tim began working with US Military Cycling in 2012, when his family hosted the team.  In 2013, he worked on rebranding to US Military Endurance Sports and has been fulfilling design requests from apparel to marketing materials ever since.  Tim graduated from UW-Parkside in 1992 with a B.F.A.  In 1996, he started Vernon Graphix, designing and producing custom vinyl graphics, partnering with club and pro cycling teams worldwide in 2009.  Tim was creative director and on BOD for ICC Superweek 2011/12.  He’s been with Design Partners in Racine, WI, for 15 years.  Tim has been an avid cyclist since he was a kid on the back of his mom’s bike.

US MILITARY ENDURANCE SPORTS