Candidates for the Executive Committee Positions
Open This Year
Sheldon C. Hamblin: candidate for Executive Secretary
I am the incumbent executive secretary, having served since November of 2009. I compete as a soloist in grade 2 piping. My start in piping came from the Brian Boru Pipe Band on Cape Cod, where I served for 6 years as treasurer, assisting the board of directors in reaching their financial goals and helping the band achieve their dream of competing in the All Ireland Competitions, not once, but twice. I moved up the operations ranks to the pipe major’s position where I served for four years and brought the band from grade 5 to grade 4.I took a short time off from bands to concentrate on solo work, but am now the pipe major of the Highland Light Scottish Pipe Band on Cape Cod.
In my other life…I have served as president of the Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, (a statewide association of 500 fire prevention officers) having served in that position for two years. Prior to that I served as vice president, and as treasurer for 10 years before that. I retired as Deputy Fire Chief for the Town of Mashpee, Massachusetts after serving 38 years in the fire service.
My education ranges from associates degrees in liberal arts and fire science to a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management. A graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, MD, included many management courses.
I have a true interest in our organization, as well as the time and ability to serve in the capacity of Executive Secretary. I ask for your support and vote to continue working with the executive committee to move forward with our efforts to serve our membership.
Jim Engle: candidate for Executive Secretary
Hello Fellow EUSPBA Members, my name is Jim Engle, and I’m announcing my candidacy for the position of EUSPBA Executive Secretary.
I am currently a piper, drummer, and drum major with the Mohawk Valley Frasers and a member of EUSPA’s Judging Panel as a drum major judge. I feel that my experiences as a soloist and band member along with my administrative experiences in both the pipe band world and professional career provide me with a unique skill set for the executive secretary position.
I know many of you through my position as Director of Piping and
Drumming of the Central New York Scottish Games, a position I have held for nearly 40 years. I served for 12 years as president of the Games at which time I was a founding member of the Association of Scottish Games and Festivals and the Association’s treasurer. My work life included time in the federal government and U.S. Army. The bulk of my career was spent as an English professor. I recently retire from my position at Morrisville State College of the State University of New York. Along with my decades long tenure as a department chairman, and the occasional foray into deanship, I gathered valuable administrative experience with United University Professions, the state wide union for the University’s faculty and professionals. I served for 16 years
as Vice President of Academics at the Morrisville Chapter and then three terms as President. During these years of service I was tasked with solving the problems of individual members not unlike the issues confronting EUSPBA members.
I spent multiple years on the state wide Executive Board, holding committee chairmanships and leading legislative outreach, much of which I continue to do. Even my volunteer service has helped prepare me for the position of Executive Secretary, most notably my years as Vice President of Program for the Hiawatha-Seaway Council of the Boy Scouts of America where I oversaw all training and advancement programs.
The position of Executive Secretary requires a person of many talents. I feel my enthusiasm, knowledge of the pipe band world, and proven administrative experience provide me with the tools to succeed in this position. I humbly ask for your support and vote.
Matthew Wood: candidate for Treasurer
This year I will be running again to serve as treasurer of the EUSPBA.
Pipe Band Experience: I have been playing pipes for approximately 34 years having played with CuChullain Pipe Band, St Columcille UGPB, and Rory O’Moore Pipes and Drums under the instruction of mostly Joe McGonigal. In this time period, I have seen many changes in the bagpiping world. I have been involved with these three bands at the Grade 5, Grade 4 and Grade 3 levels. Eight years ago I started a solo career taking individual lessons with Jim Stack and getting upgraded to Grade 3 solos. Although my professional career has taken me away from Solo piping I am hopeful to resume soon. Six years ago I was asked to resurrect the Northwest New Jersey Bagpipe competition and we
have had significant growth over the past three years, adding solos this year. I have also been involved with instructing local bands; Rory O’Moore School of Pipes and Drums, Saint Ann’s of Hampton, Columcille School of Piping and Drumming and the Police Pipes and Drums of Morris County.
Professionally: I have managed multiple sites along the East Coast for a large worldwide corporation. I am responsible for operations, management of personnel, technical needs, profit and loss, engineering and sales.
As the Treasurer: my continued goals would be to offer individuals an
experienced voice in profit and loss statements and experienced management of the organization’s funds. I would also seek to pursue new and challenging competition avenues outside of the traditional format of Irish Feis’s and Scottish Festivals. While our past is of vital importance in such a traditional art form, we must be mindful of the present and seek to enhance and improve to meet the current times. I would also look to get additional EUSPBA support of member bands and soloists making the trek abroad to represent us at events such as the World Pipe Band Championships, the North American Championships and the
World Solo Drumming Championships. Success at events such as these
showcases our organization as a whole and helps to improve OUR members, not just within the bands that make the trip, but among all of the bands in our organization that they have contact with.
John V. Mauritz: candidate for Officer at Large
Born September 28th, 1945 in Mt Vernon N.Y.
Married to Catherine E. Mauritz for 51 years, blessed with 2 children and enjoy 4 grand children. Graduated from Eastchester H.S., Farmingdale C C, Long Island N.Y. and Flight Safety International for Primary and Commercial aviation flight training.
I proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968 as a troop logistics specialist and was honorably discharged with the rank of E-5. I was Involved in primary flight instruction, corporate aviation and worked closely with the FAA in their initial flight training programs for over 27 years. After aviation and nearing retirement, I invested in and retired from the retail gasoline industry. After full retirement, Cathy and I moved to Mystic CT in 2003. Over the years I’ve been involved in long distance running and enjoy off shore sailing from Mystic to the
Caribbean and along the New England Coast.
The lure of the pipes brought me to the Mystic Highland Pipe Band in 2005. In addition to an enjoyable period as a line piper I was elected to the position of president for 5 years and then Pipe Major for 4 Years. My areas of responsibility were event planning, band logistics and all corporate communications required to maintain the band as a 501-C3. After being elected to the Pipe Majors position; a student pipe section was organized and I enjoy working as their instructor to this day. I am currently competing in the Northeast division of the EUSPBA, as Grade 3 piper. Most recently the Mystic Highland Pipe Band along with the Manchester band hosted The Ct. Pipe and Drum Clinic, which will
undoubtedly continue for many years to come.
Brendan O’Reilly: candidate for Officer at Large
My name is Brendan O’Reilly and I’m running for the Officer-at-Large position on the Executive Committee. I have served as the Northeast (NE) Branch Chair for the last two years and as NE Branch Secretary for the five years prior. It has been my pleasure to work with all of the different bands and our members during this time frame. If elected, it is my intention to continue to introduce technology into the EUSPBA’s processes, further expand our partnership with contest organizers, and finally achieve the goal of having ‘contest results’ published at the end of each games.
Here’s my PB background:
Currently, I’m a member of Firefighter McPadden’s gr 4 PB. I began pipe band snare drumming in the mid-90s and have played with a variety of grade 3, 4, and 5 bands since. Initially, I started with a street band called Tri-County Pipes and Drums in Bergen, NJ, under the tutelage of Norman White. He was a great ol’ character with plenty of drumming knowledge, as well as war stories. After Norm retired, I studied under Dave Wonsey. Then, I got the ‘competition bug’ and joined Monaghan’s grade 5 band, under Martin Duffy. After Monaghan, I was lead tip for Putnam Sheriff’s gr4 PB, under a new instructor, Jim Coughlin
from NYPD. Then, I had the chance to play with Mohawk Valley Fraser’s grade 3 & 4 bands with Norm MacLeod, Tony Rashid, and Tom Foote. Then, it was on to Ulster’s grade 5, where two of my daughters, played tenor with their grade 3 band, under Derek Cooper. The camaraderie and competition over the years has been a great time.
Some other details:
My wife and I have three daughters. In my professional life, I’m a Network Engineer and Vice President for Citigroup, where I design, test, and publish global standards for ‘Application Networking’. I have a MBA from Fordham University. My abilities to work with people and navigate bureaucratic challenges are valuable skills, which I hope to bring to the EC “Officer at Large” position. Hopefully, with your help, I will get the opportunity.
Al McMullin: candidate for Officer at Large
My name is Al McMullin and I feel I can bring a truly unique, broad base of experience to the current executive committee. Very briefly:
My musical piping “calling” arrived when I was just shy of my eleventh birthday in 1962. After working my way through the “age” ranks (amateur categories had not yet been established). I enjoyed a rather rewarding professional solo piping career, highlighted by becoming the very first American to qualify via the Silver Medal route for the Piobaireachd Society’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting
in Inverness, Scotland. In 1990, I was admitted to and remain a current member of the EUSPBA piping judges’ panel.
My administrative EUSPBA “calling” came in 1974. Over the ensuing years I have successfully served in just about every EUSPBA administrative and musical position. To mention a few: two terms as EUSPBA president, multiple terms as music board chair, multiple terms as chair of the Southern Branch. And even a very short stint as the association’s newsletter editor.
With this extensive background of prior service, you might wonder why I would want to continue serving the EUSPBA?
Firstly, I believe my experience and sincere interest in the future of the EUSPBA will be a good “fit” as the EUSPBA continues to ponder the challenges of effectively communicating to its membership.
The EUSPBA has grown far beyond its original purpose, both administratively and musically. 40 years ago EUSPBA membership was so small our annual general meeting regularly and consistently had enough attendees to meet minimum quorum requirements.
This explosive growth of piping and drumming, particularly outside the
“original” mid-Atlantic area, has impacted what we do and how we do it.
If elected, I will work with the executive committee to improve communication, transparency and efficiency.
Secondly, since I am retired, I have plenty of time to devote to the EUSPBA.
TheEUSPBA has come a long way since its inception in 1964. If elected I will do my very best to make it even better.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would be honored if you gave me the chance to serve the EUSPBA again by voting for me, Al McMullin, for officer at large.