Good Morning,
How are we already halfway through 2020? We have officially spent more time this year in a pandemic than not. From the bottom of my heart I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. Time is flying by and HOW we spend that time has changed; we are all establishing new norms. Uncertainty has truly become apart of that norm, however, the one thing that is for certain: WE ARE ONE TEAM AND ONE FAMILY. TEAM IS FOREVER!

As a team we have been leveraging our strength as a team and family. We have been having team meetings to actively bring in our newcomers (WE HAVE 21!!) and integrate them into our culture. We have been discussing and planning for the future and most importantly leaning on one another as a team through this pandemic. Throughout June we had alumni guests talk with the team on various topics. Major thanks to: Julian Dooley, Dana Labrie, Dave Guinther, Bob Pleban, Jim Kandrac, Kevin Harrod, Lochlainn O’Haimhirgin, Chad Nance, Graham Thoreson, Steve Grove, and Alex Lewis for being a part of our team meetings!

What were our team meeting topics?

Mental Health : We had an amazing team meeting where Julian presented on mental health, mindfulness, and stress. He taught key strategies such as meditation and answered questions from the team such as performance anxiety.
Expectations (of self and of teammates):  There is so much uncertainty right now about our season. Most of our kids don’t have access to a pool, and that’s okay! What is our strength? Sense of team and family. So this meeting was about what does it truly mean to be a teammate for life? Our alumni are so connected to their memories, to this team, and our university…who better to help lead that conversation than our alumni! Most of you aren’t training for anything right now, but are Viking Proud!

Leadership & Followership

What does it mean to be successful as a team?
What have the big takeaways been? Our current team LOVES meeting our alumni. Hearing your story, where you’ve been and where you are now. They LOVE seeing your love for our program and CSU. They LOVE hearing about that time we beat Notre Dame, or learning about our past record holders (That Dana held 10 school records and is in our hall of fame), and hearing stories that they can relate to now (Like Jim Kandrac always being the last one out of the locker room and never having a hair out of place - LOL).

Our alumni have shared how impressed they are by the young men and women in our current program! They truly are amazing humans. What has the big takeaway lesson been from all of this? It is okay to have a bad day, you are not alone, we are VIKING STRONG. As a team, we will hold each other accountable by being supportive and understanding.

If you would like to be apart of our team meetings, or have an idea for a team topic please don’t hesitate to email or give me a call/text!

First ever Alumni Spotlight:
This Spring I was privileged to begin hosting Zoom Alumni Happy Hours and it was evident that our Vikings truly are teammates for life. It was wonderful to witness our alumni interact with one another as though they swam together just yesterday (even if they never even swam together)! We celebrated babies being born: Congratulations to Heidi & Tony Pavlosky on the birth of their baby girl Ruby and to Travis & Shannon Lombardozzi on their baby girl Mia Marie!

Congratulations to Rob Stauch on being named the Executive Chef downtown at what used to be Parker’s. (I’m seeing an alumni reunion in our future!). Recent graduate Lauren Frank got hired as a Junior Sales Associate at PolicyGenius and will begin at the end of July.

I’d like to highlight 3 of our alumni I have gotten to know at a much deeper level the past couple of months as we worked together for the team meetings. I am so proud of how amazing our alumni are! My hope is to bring our alumni together in ways ya’ll have never been brought together before.

·        Bob Pleban, swimming for Wally, was the 50 yard Free Penn-Ohio Conference Champion in 1976, NCAA DI National Qualifier, and 1978 team captain. He graduated in '79, joined the US Navy in 1980, and qualified as a P-3 aircraft Naval Flight Officer, Mission Commander. He founded the RPI Group, Inc. in 2001 and has been the President/CEO of this company for 19 years.

·        Jim Kandrac, swam under Busbey and Wally in 1979 & 1980, graduated in ’83 in Marketing, Founded UCG Technologies in 1987 after 1.5 years at IBM Corp. Owner of UCG Technologies, UCG Technologies Canada, and Contract Guardian, Inc. Currently serves on the CSU Foundation Board of Directors and the CSU Investment Committee.

·        Dana Labrie, swam 1990-94, studied Marketing and received MBA in International Business. Was team captain and assistant coach. Owns own website maintenance and consulting business and loves working from her lake-front home in a remote part of Canada. Inducted into the Cleveland State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

As the current head coach I truly believe that I am here to serve YOU. If I can connect our alumni to one another, connect ya’ll to our current program I will. If you can help connect me to our past I would appreciate that as well. My next newsletter will highlight our 21 newcomers.

Stay Healthy, be Well, and GO VIKES!
Hannah Burandt
Cell Phone: 216.386.8067
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