Boilermaker and National Distance Running Hall of Fame Announce New Executive Director
June 15 , 2007 (Utica, N.Y.) – The National Distance Running Hall of Fame and the Boilermaker Road Race, Inc. announce that Sam Constantino is named executive director, a newly created position for the organization. Constantino brings more than 12 years of experience, focused on sales, strategy, management, business communication and finance, to the organization. "We conducted a national search and found the ideal candidate in our own community,"Earle Reed, co-founder of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and founder of the Boilermaker Road Race, said. "Sam not only brings to this organization a strong business background, but he is also a distance running enthusiast who has a successful non-profit track record. This is a combination that will allow the Boilermaker to continue its run as the biggest and best 15K in the country and will lead to the execution of both short and long term strategy for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame."
As executive director, Constantino will be responsible for supervision of Boilermaker staff, property and events, including the largest 15K in the U.S., in addition to grant writing, establishing and nurturing sponsor relationships, and implementing the strategic plan for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. The position of executive director was created by Reed and the board of directors to increase awareness and support for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and to implement a strategy that includes reaching a the nation-wide community of runners. "When we created the Hall, we wanted to bring recognition to both the sport of distance running and the athletes who accomplished so much. Now, the time is right to not only have a museum to honor the athletes and the sport, but also to further develop this resource for the 40 million runners in the U.S. We’re looking forward to some exciting years ahead."
Constantino has twelve years of professional experience including acting as director of global business partner development for ParTech, Inc., a $200 million, publicly traded company, and co-founder and executive vice president of Par Finance. His non-profit experience includes founding the Utica, NY Chapter of the Youth Lifeline Foundation, a nationally recognized, free youth football camp that brings in NFL players to teach student athletes football and life lessons for three days during the summer. He was responsible for successfully raising enough funds to support the camp in its inaugural year. He also served as co-chair of the local United Way Adirondack Club, and has been coaching first time marathoners for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for seven years.
According to Constantino, he owes his passion for the sport of distance running to the Boilermaker. "I ran my first road race, the Boilermaker 15K, in 1998," Constantino said. "At that time, I wasn’t a runner. That experience was so powerful and so positive, I was instantly addicted." Since 1998, Constantino has run 17 marathons, one ultra-marathon and every Boilermaker 15K. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Not only do I have the chance to support the sport that I love, but I also get to give back to our community. I am thrilled to have the chance to help others get healthy and develop an appreciation for distance running."
The first initiative that Constantino will undertake is education. "There is a wealth of knowledge that the race director, Boilermaker staff, our dedicated Boilermaker volunteers and sponsors have. For now, my job is to learn everything I can about the race and the community of runners that the Hall was developed to inspire and support. I look forward to meeting everyone on the team and learning more about the expectations of our runners, volunteers, sponsors and spectators."
The current Boilermaker race director, Robert Ingalls, will be retiring from his position after the 2007 race. "Bob has had a successful run with the Boilermaker," Reed said. "During his tenure, we have seen an increase in runners, participation in surrounding events and sponsor support. We plan to use the momentum that Bob and his team built for the race, and parlay that into increased national exposure for the race and the Hall."
The nation’s largest 15K road race in its 30th year, the Boilermaker is the premier event of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame’s annual Hall of Fame Weekend. The race consistently attracts elite runners from all over the world, including Olympians and world record holders, and features distance running’s most enthusiastic fans, as well as the sport’s best post-race party, hosted at The Matt Brewing Company.
The National Distance Running Hall of Fame was established on July 11, 1998 to honor the athletes who have lent their names and achievements to defining the sport of distance running, and whose accomplishments have brought the sport the fame and recognition it deserves. The Hall houses historic displays and nostalgia designed to inspire and awe and serves as the recognized venue where the sport’s greatest stories can be retold. The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is located in historic Mohawk Valley at 114 Genesee Street, Utica, New York. For more information, go to http://www.distancerunning.com or http://www.boilermaker.com.