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Northwest Fire Velo - Firefighters cycling for veterans & first responders.

Tom Sowards - Board President

Lieutenant Renton Regional Fire Authority, Age 53.

In 1987 I entered the Navy and served 5 years aboard the Battleship USS New Jersey BB-62 and the USS Implicit. I started my professional firefighting career in February of 1991. Promoted in 2016, to Lieutenant. I was mentored into the fire service by my two uncles in the Seattle Fire Department.

I was Married in 1988 to my best friend Traci who together we raised two great kids, Jessalynn, 29 and Cameron, 27. My Granddaughter Paisley is 9 months old and ready to give Jessalynn & Zac a taste of toddlerhood.

My cycling passion started from racing motocross as a kid and transferring to mountain bikes as an adult. That grew into over 25 years of racing both mountain and road bicycles which I now use to raise awareness to severely wounded veterans and first responders across the nation.

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Kevin McIntyre - Vice President of Riding

Lieutenant/Paramedic Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, Age 61.

I knew as a young boy I was destined for the fire service, as my father and uncle both
worked for Long Beach Fire-CA which was the department I started in 37 years ago. I have been with Central Pierce Fire & Rescue since 1993. Achieved rank of Assistant Chief (Training Division) 2015-2017.

Im married with 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren. Outside of work I serve in several ministries at my church and I serve on the board of directors for Tacoma/Pierce County Chaplaincy. I have been a 'recreational' cyclist since my teens, but it wasnt until I was in my 40s that I became passionate about cycling.

I raced competitively for almost 20 years when I felt the importance of giving back to the sport through fundraising for worthy causes. I feel blessed to be a part of NW Fire Velo and look forward to continued awareness for veterans and first responders.

My favorite saying is... 'You dont slow down because you get old, you get old because you slow down'.

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Rich Smith - Vice President of Sponsorships

Firefighter Bellevue Fire Dept.

I have been a professional firefighter for 20 years. I am married to a wonderful woman and have two kids. In my free time you can find me enjoying the spectacular Pacific Northwest outdoors or playing hockey.

Since I did not serve in the military, I have an opportunity to serve those that did and do. I enjoy the riding for a good cause and spending time on the road with my friends and meeting new people along the way.

Being part of NW Fire Velo is a privilege and an honor.

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Ellen Stephens - Secretary

I grew up in Tacoma and attended Central Washington University. I have degrees in Business Administration, Marketing and minor in Computer Science. I returned to school to get my Paralegal degree as well.

I started my marketing career in print media with a local newspaper and then moved to shopping centers for marketing and events. I worked at the largest shopping center in Washington State. I also spent time doing marketing and events for cable television working for TCI, AT&T and Comcast.

As a paralegal, I have worked for small firms and in the courtrooms for Municipal and Superior Courts. I married into the fire service.

My husband and I have a wonderful dog, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Ben. I love the outdoors, avid half marathon runner, cyclist and cooking for the fire station crews. I grew up in a family with parents who saw the value in the service industry and giving back to the community. And as a proud firefighter wife and wife of a veteran; NW Fire Velo is a great avenue to support our first responders and veterans.

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Dan Stephens - Treasurer

Firefighter Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, Age 50.

I joined the Navy after High School in 1988. I served 10 years in cryptology. I have been stationed all over the world to include USS Elliot in San Diego, Pensacola FL, Winter Harbor Main, Edzell Scotland and Washington DC area with my last assignment at NSA.

My interest in firefighting began as a Volunteer Firefighter in Maryland. I started my firefighting career with Fairfax County Fire & Rescue after my enlistment in 1998. I lateral transferred to Puyallup Fire & Rescue which became Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. This spring I will have 22 career years in the fire service with 18 years as a paramedic.

I am married with 3 kids and 3 grandkids. My wife and I like to spend time hiking, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing and camping with our dog.

My passion for cycling started as knee surgery rehabilitation. My first year cycling I rode over 4000 miles and completed the Seattle to Portland in one day.

NW Fire Velo is important to me because of my connection to both the fire service and the military.

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