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About Us


Colorado Balloon Classic
328 Bonfoy Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
719-471-4833719-471-4833 Office
719-471-7303 Fax
email: balloonclassic@balloonclassic.com
The Colorado Balloon Classic is recognized by the State of Colorado as a certified "DBE"
(Disadvantaged Business Enterprise).

Mission: The Colorado Balloon Classic is an annual hot air balloon event held for the purpose of
bringing the community together, improving the quality of life, drawing regional, national and
international tourists, while showcasing our city and ultimately impacting the economic growth of our city.

Goals: To provide free family entertainment, and to raise money and awareness for non-profits
and charities. Click here to see a list of those organizations.

Board of Directors



Patsy Buchwald
President and CEO

Patsy has been involved with the Balloon Classic since 1986 and has served as the President/CEO since 1996. She was awarded the 2011 Small Business Heroes Award, was inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009, awarded the prestigious Athena Award, selected as Small Business Person of the Year and has served on numerous Board of Directors including the Airport Advisory Commission. She is a fixed wing pilot and a member of Pikes Peak 99s. She enjoys time with her grandchildren, hiking, community involvement and travel.


Brian Buchwald
Board of Directors

Brian has been with the Classic since 1986. As Patsy's son, Brian has sold programs, helped with crew training and the field layout. He served in the US Army Ranger Unit, US Army National Guard and as a Loadmaster for Air Force C-130 Reserve Unit. He is currently works for FED EX and Signature flight Supprt Group in Denver, has one son, enjoys jeeping, four-wheeling, camping, and traveling.








Peggy Ferron
Board of Directors

Peggy has been involved with ballooning since 1988 and still loves to crew. She has served as the President of BSOPP (Ballooning Society of Pikes Peak) and as a Board Member of the LTA Colorado Safety Seminar. She has held the previous positions as a Leadership Team Member, Official Souvenir Program Publisher and on the Management Team of the Colorado Balloon Classic


Dawn Walker
Board of Directors

Dawn got involved by being a crew member in 1984, became a Leadership Team Member and joined the Board in 1996. Dawn, previously a Systems Engineer in the Aerospace Industry, as an award winning Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics who lives in Boulder City, Nevada. She is married to Dean Leas, is a licensed fixed wing pilot, and enjoys jeeping, hiking, biking and reading.





Consultants, Leadership Team and Staff



Marvin Baber
Chief Launch Director


Marvin has been involved with the Classic since 1997. He has served as a crew member and held various Launch Director positions. He is a retired Air Force CMSgt and works as a Systems Engineer supporting the Air Force. He is married to Millie and has one son, Sean, who is currently serving in the Air Force, and one grandchild. He enjoys traveling, sports and the outdoors.


Millie Baber
Projects Manager


Millie has been involved with the Classic since 1997. She has been a crew member and Launch Director and joined the Balloon Classic Leadership Team in 2006. She is married to Marvin and has one son, Sean, who is currently serving in the Air Force and one grandchild. Cruising and traveling the world, Scouting, the outdoors and her Siamese cats make up her list of enjoyments.


David Begin
Land Owner Relations and

David joined the Leadership Team in May 2013 but he was not new to the Classic.  He was a balloon pilot at the Classic for 5 years.  Both his car wash business and his iTopit stores became sponsors in 2012. David, who is originally from New Mexico, is married, has two sons, loves fly fishing and hunting in Alaska.



Donna Campanelli
Lead Announcer
and Webmaster

Donna joined the Team in 2010 but she is no stranger to balloons. She crewed often when she lived back east and is the previous Newsletter Letter Editor for the Ballooning Society of Pikes Peak. She is a very successful business women who runs two businesses and goes to school full-time. She loves the warm weather and being outdoors.  She is very organized, detail oriented, and admits she is a workaholic!



Jennifer Corbin-Carson
Merchandise Coordinator


Jennifer first joined the Team in 2009 as an Assistant Merchandise Coordinator. She stepped down in 2010 due to personal reasons but was able to rejoin in 2011 as Merchandise Coordinator. She is married, has one daughter and one son, two dogs, one cat, and loves to hike and ride motorcycles. She is perfect for this position because she is a visionary and she loves to shop!


Chip Coughlin
Crew Director
and IT Support

Chip joined the Classic in 2003 as an Executive Assistant and was promoted in 2004 to the Leadership Team in charge of Crew Training, Crew Database and Crew Assignments. Chip loves to chase and crew. He is the "IT Department" in charge of the computers for the Balloon Classic. Chip is retired from the US Air Force. He is married and has three sons and two daughters.

Terza Eckholm

Terza Ekholm
Stage Manager

Terza joined the Classic Leadership Team in 2014 but had been crewing at the Classic and other balloon events for many years.  She has lived in Colorado Springs since 1976, is married with children.  She is a Gratitude Coach and a contemporary artist who loves outdoor activities, hiking, and trail running.  She speaks Russian and Spanish.


Dean Leas
Consultant and
Safety Officer

Dean became involved in ballooning in 1985 when he crewed with a balloon chase team, joined the Classic in 1993 and designed our office database. He is a Certified Flight Instructor, a former military pilot, an aerospace engineer, a defense contractor, owns D&D Consulting, and is based in Las Vegas, NV. He is married to Dawn Walker and enjoys jeeping, off-roading, canoeing, mountain biking and motorcycling.

Amy Lozano

Amy Lozano
Stage Manager


Amy joined the Leadership Team in 2013 but has been involved with ballooning as a crew member for many years.  She loves scrapbooking, is an avid runner and an Infant Supervisor at a very popular local day care facility.  She and her husband have 2 dogs, 2 cats and are expecting their first child in the summer of 2014.

Andrew Meikle
Field Office Manager


Andrew joined the Leadership Team in 2012 to manage the Field Office and assist on the Announcer's Stage. He is very active in school, sports, is currently working on his Boy Scout Eagle Project and volunteers at his church. He has strong leadership skills, loves robotics, is an avid reader as well as very creative.



Doug Meikle
Assistant Chief
Launch Director

Doug joined the Team as a Volunteer Launch Director in 2008. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Launch Director in 2010. His skills include organizing and attention to details. He is semi-retired but also volunteers for Boy Scouts, Home Owners Association Board of Directors and School District 49’s Gifted Education Committee and numerous positions at his church. He is married with two very active sons.

Denise Noble
Volunteer Coordinator and
Social Media

Denise joined the Classic as an Event Photographer in 2011 and was recruited to the Leadership Team to assist with Social Media updates during the 2012 event. She stepped up again in the fall of 2012 to also be come the Volunteer Coordinator. She is very organized, creative, enjoys the administrative side of the event. When she has extra time, she is a Genealogy Researcher for FindaGrave.com.


Arthur Porter, Esq.
Legal Advisor

Arthur, who has practiced law in Colorado since 1983, who specializes in small business representation. He has been involved with the Classic since 2002 and serves as the legal advisor on all matters for the Colorado Balloon Classic as well as assist in drafting contracts and letters for the Classic. He enjoys his family,racing vintage cars, boating and traveling.


Peggy Sansome
Concession Liaison

Peggy joined the Classic in 2009 as an Assistant and was promoted in 2010 to the Leadership level. She has one son, loves quilting, refinishing furniture, gardening, and chasing balloons. Her strongest skill is organizing and is always up for a challenge to learn something new. She is very involved with the local balloon club and brings an impression level of energy to the team


Todd Saucier
  Field Manager

Todd joined the Leadership Team in the spring of 2013.  Todd and his company, A Better View, have been sponsors of the Classic since 2009. He is the lead member of a great group of volunteers that sets up and manages our event site.  He has 2 children, loves Air Force Football and air shows.

Craig Shutt
Official Photographer

Craig joined the Team as an Event Photographer in 2008, was promoted to Lead Photographer in 2010 and became one of our Official Photographers in 2011. He is charge of a group of Volunteer Event Photographers tasked with capturing the history of the event. Craig, who is married to Dusty Shutt, is an Information Technology Specialist with the Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.

 

Dusty Shutt
Design Production Manager

Dusty joined the Team in 2007. She designs and publishes the “Official Souvenir Program” for the Classic. She works with students at Pikes Peak Community College to create the “Official Event Poster” each year. She is active in the local balloon club and is a published photographer. She and her husband, Craig, moved to Colorado Springs from Illinois. She loves hiking, arts and crafts.



Ken Tadolini
Weather

Ken joined the Leadership Team in 2006. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1988 and his first event that year was the Colorado Balloon Classic. He received his Commercial Certificate in 1990, owns Rocky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Repair Station, and operates a hot air balloon ride business. He was previously a race car builder and driver. Ken enjoys flying balloons all over the world.

 

Alumni
(Former Leadership Team Members who are still very active with the event)

Jessica Klarer: Office Support

Mike Schwarz:  All around "Go-To-Guy"

Sharron Ruesewald:  Office and Registration Support

Brian Wilson:  Field Set Up


updated 01/25/14