Runner Profiles by Bob Slowpants

Friday
Oct042019

Jolie Cunningham - Conehead

Jolie is a native Georgian, born in Albany (Al-ban-ee as we say in the South) and graduated in 1982 from Deerfield Winsor High in Albany.  Her focus on physical education and health was a product of her parents.  Her father was a chiropractor and mother a Registered Nurse.  Jolie graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health, Recreation, and Physical Education.  Jolie attended UGA on an athletic scholarship where she ran cross country, indoor, and outdoor track in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference.

Jolie’s first foray into the real world was a position teaching Physical Education to K-6 students at Mount Zion Elementary School is Carrollton, GA for two years.  An opening for a track and field coach at the prestigious private Atlanta school Pace Academy lured Jolie to Atlanta and Pace Academy in 1991.    

Jolie felt so at home with the faculty of Pace Academy that she married one of the faculty members, Steve Cunningham.  Steve is a notable and acclaimed cross country and gymnastics coach in his own right, but that is another story for another time.  Jolie has received recognition as the Regional Coach of the Year in Cross Country in 2003, and numerous other honors for her outstanding program at Pace Academy.  She acknowledges her best experience was “attending an Olympic Development Training Center in California in 2002 with eight others 800-meter coaches.  Jolie’s proteges have earned eight individual state track titles and twelve cross country state awards during her tenure.  Jolie’s goal is for her students to “develop self-confidence and a lifelong love of fitness.  So much can be learned from athletics and being part of a team.”

Jolie’s hobbies include, but are not limited to, Steve, anything with Callie, running, reading, camping, pickleball, and travel.  Her favorite race was the Cave Spring 5K, and she likes any race at boundary waters in Douglas County.  She has two dogs, a cat, and a horse.  Steve’s biography at Pace Academy sites that he also has a “fish”, which Jolie does not list as a pet in her biography.

Steve and Jolie’s daughter, Callie, graduated from Pace Academy in 2014 and in 2013 was captain of the school state cross country champion team.  Callie also competed for the Georgia Southern Equestrian team while at Pace.  She currently is earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Georgia Southern University.  When Callie became ready to leave home, Jolie and Steve developed an appreciation for inanimate objects-mainly race cones.  They purchased the Kenny Duncan collection that was only available when Kenny followed his wife Kim to Massachusetts.  Jolie and Steve’s cones marking race sectors on roads can be readily identified by the trademark KD (Kenny Duncan) mark.  Steve likes the cones because as a man he appreciates objects that are well stacked.  Jolie likes the cones, besides the rental revenue that they earn, because that stay where they are stacked, do not talk back, and remain in place unless hit by a vehicle.    

Bob checking out from the back of the pack

Thursday
Aug152019

Tommy Dorminy - Running with Winners

The prodigious Dorminy family as well as Governor Brian Kemp are Winners. John and Ann Dorminy have a bumper crop-six children, home schooled and model adolescents.  Tommy explained to Bob Slowpants that Ann’s home schooling was not spoon-fed but largely based on projects that he had to research and complete to achieve credit.  This provided the initiative and self confidence exuded by him and his siblings.  They also learn many “MOOCs”, Massive Open Online Classes, often taught by important professors at major universities.  EdX.org and Courses.org offer some free classes such as Harvard’s Greek mythology that some of his family currently take.  The Dorminy system, home schooling from grades one through twelve has, to date, produced MIT and Baylor University graduates in sciences. The Dorminy siblings gain college admission and scholarships with homemade high school transcripts largely on the strength of their national level competition awards and their SAT test scores.  Tommy followed his older brother to Baylor, only to realize that it was not a good fit for him.  Besides studying his business and economics classes online, Tommy cheers for Arizona State University Sun Devils basketball team which is coached by a former Blue Devil player from this parents Duke University days.

The Dorminy tribe resides on a twenty-five-acre farm near McDonough, GA where his father is an Edward Jones investment advisor.  The children are expected to complete chores on the farm before their daily study routine.  Animals such as cattle, goats, and poultry are raised on the Dorminy spread. The family maintains several food plots that are safe zones or sanctuaries for birds, dogs, and other wildlife since they do not allow hunting on their farm property.  The size of the Dorminy family was apparent when Tommy confirmed that fourteen members, which included spouses of Tommy’s older brothers attended Thanksgiving lunch at their home in November.  I joked that mother Ann was cited by Henry County for not having a food service restaurant permit to serve that many individuals.

Tommy was very visible in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign as an intern on the election staff of Brain Kemp.  Duties included assembling and deploying campaign signs as well as door to door solicitation for his candidate.  After Governor Kemp’s successful election Tommy assisted in planning Appreciation Events for donors and campaign workers, assembling packets to be sent to donors, and planning inaugural events.  Tommy is now considering a post college career as a political consultant.  As a handsome well-spoken young man, he has a future in the political arena.  He intends to stay involved with state politics while continuing his “home schooled” college education. 

Tommy’s mind is as fast as his feet.  Tommy consistently places in the top three of a race, not just in his age group.  He has consistently placed at the top of the 15-19 male age group in Run and See Georgia, Black Bag, and Clover Glove race series.  His 5K times are in the low to sub twenty minutes range.  Father John, two sisters Becky and Suzie, and little brother Pi are frequent attendees at Athens area races and those in the southeast quadrant of Atlanta, south of I-285.  Tommy is still part of the Dorminy immediate family not withstanding that he now drives his own pick up truck to races as opposed to riding with John and the other three participating siblings.  As his father once told me, anytime the Dorminy family shows up at a race, the event is “financially successful”.  The Dorminys are truly winners. Many of the senior runners feel like we have had the pleasure of growing up with Tommy and his siblings over the years of racing.

Bob checking out from the back of the pack. Watch for the profile of Lisa Vaughn and the profile of Augusta’s Steve Strickland.

Wednesday
Jul312019

Doug Barber - Smoke and Mirrors

Doug grew up just north of the Classic City of Athens and attended Jackson County High School.  Doug’s mother was a payroll clerk for Superior Pants while his father excelled as a floral wholesaler.  After High School, Doug enrolled at the University of Georgia, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in marketing.  In the job market after graduation, a degree in marketing literally translated into a two-year assistant manager position at Wal-Mart. Doug rotated between Wal mart stores in Stone Mountain, Lawrenceville, and Athens.

Sensing Wal Mart was not his choice for a long-term career path, Doug accepted a position with Lorillard Tobacco.  Lorillard had deep inroads into southern tobacco usage with polished brands like Kool, Winston, and Salem.  Doug’s responsibility eventually grew to encompass over three hundred outlets in Northeast Georgia ranging from Athens to Augusta.  A good area sales manager’s reputation is intact if he can survive multiple mergers of his employer.  Lorillard merged with R.J. Reynolds in 2015 and the Lorillard sales force was transitioned later after another merger to Imperial Tobacco known as ITG Brands in the US.  Doug resiliently weathered the mergers and maintained his position due to superior results.  

The tobacco market mainstay is local convenience markets and chain fuel outlets like Racetrack. Considering shrinking demand due to smoking health concerns, Imperial Tobacco foresees the future market of their tobacco products as vapor types such as Blu Electronic cigarettes, cigars, and other vapor products filling the vacuum created in cigarette sales.

Doug began running to keep up with wife Rosie.  They reside in Nicholson, GA., population 1696 on the 2010 census.  Rosie and Doug were classmates in high school in the class of 1986.  They went separate ways after graduation but reconnected years later on Facebook in 2010.  They subsequently married in 2013. Keeping up with Rosie gave Doug a real incentive as well as getting out of a small town occasionally! Doug played football in high school and rethought exercise as Rosie became involved in running.  Doug finished second in the 45-49 male age group in Run and See Georgia, Black Bag, and Clover Glove race series in 2018.  His favorite race is the Hartwell Dam race.  Doug runs to stay in shape, because you never know what will happen in the tobacco market of the future.  Doug can tell what a difference running has made in his appearance and psychic when he looks in the mirror.  Often you will find Doug running behind Rosie to follow her shape!

Bob checking out from the back of the pack. Watch for the profile on Jolie Cunningham, and the profile of politically correct Tommy Dorminy.       

Wednesday
Feb132019

Kelli McGlennen Selman - Michael's Blue Light Special

Kelli was born in La Grange, located in northern Indiana. Not to be confused with the LaGrange in our fair state.  Indiana LaGrange was founded in 1846 and by the 2010 censuses had grown to a population of 2625.  Kelli’s father was the principal at the town middle school while her mother was a homemaker.  Kelli graduated from Prairie Heights High School in LaGrange.  After graduation, Kelli moved to Florida to assist her grandmother who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  While there, Kelli attended Clearwater Junior College while being a care giver for her grandmother.  After graduation, she moved once again, this time to Clarkesville, GA, where she continued her education at Piedmont College.  She graduated from there with a degree majoring in Special Education and Sociology.  After a failed marriage, Kelli found her student activities complicated by the burden of supporting herself and two young children. 

One day, while traveling through Clarkesville, Kelli was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.  She was a passenger at the time of the accident, and the result was a serious head trauma and a broken leg requiring a metal rod to be inserted.  She also sustained several other less serious injuries.  The right side of her brain was so damaged that consulting neurologists felt that she might never be able to care for herself again, much less participate in any athletic events or finish college.  Kelli stayed with her family in Florida for a full year while undergoing rehab for her brain injury.  Rehab consisted of retraining Kelli’s brain right side to execute tasks that the trauma had short-circuited.  After a tedious year, Kelli returned to Clarksville where she gained employment at the near-by Wal Mart in near-by Cornelia.  Although not completely recovered, she felt that most of her co-workers only had half a brain, hence she could be able to function at work.     

Wal Mart came to the rescue as Kelli worked full time there while attending Piedmont College.  After earning her degree, she continued her employment.  Versatile Kelli flourished at Wal Mart, rising to department supervisor of several lines of merchandise. Her favorite department was lingerie.  I presumed that she met her current husband Michael Selman while he was cruising the lingerie section of Wal Mart.  I was wrong!  Kelli did meet a close friend named Nancy Woods at church, who was likewise undergoing a painful divorce.  Nancy and Kelli could be observed running together warming up for Run and See races as well as Black Bag races in the Athens area.  They ran together constantly in Clarkesville during the week.  Kelli continued her career at Wal Mart for several years, and transferred to the location in Suwanee after she met Michael, then relocating to Alpharetta to be with him.  Her sons matured to their current ages-30 and 31 respectively.

Kelli met Michael Selman at a Frog Hop 5K in Athens in 2009.  She travelled there with Nancy and her new husband, Mark Kelley.  After the race, Kelli joined Michael for lunch but forgot to advise Nancy that she was not riding with her. Nancy was so pleased that Kelli had found an attractive male friend that she was not offended.  Michael and Kelli have been together ten years, having met the day after Valentine’s Day.  Kelli resigned from Wal Mart seven years ago.  Michael had found his Blue light Special in Kelli, and they both no longer needed Wal Mart.  Michael’s vocation is in consulting and training on medical software systems, which requires a lot of travel.  Kelli now works at Unique Sports full time, while putting in a few part-time hours at Big Peach Running Company in Alpharetta, where she worked full time for almost 7 years after leaving Wal-Mart.  Occasionally, she is able to travel with Michael.             

Needless to say, Kelli’s favorite race is the Frog Hop 5K, with Lanier Under the Lights in second place.  She has cut back participating in organized racing, having done between twenty to thirty in 2018.

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profile on Rosie Barber’s main squeeze husband Doug Barber, and the profile of Pace Academy track coach and keeper of Kenny Duncan’s cone collection Jolie Cunningham.

Tuesday
Feb122019

John Hale - Ink Your Message

John was born in Atlanta but like Sherman he did not stay long.  Johns father worked for Addressograph Multigraph (no he did not time races), in a position that required frequent relocation to Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.  John’s mother was a telephone operator, home maker, credit manager and a teacher’s assistant.  The latter position allowed her hours to conform to those of her children, where she could be home when they were also.

John in 1978John graduated from Boca Raton, Florida high school in 1984.  He recalls school days during the Cuban missile crisis where the students did drills hiding their heads under their desks, and evacuation drills.  After graduation, John worked for four years, realizing that his future was limited without an educational skill.  Tiring of the south, his parents were then residing in New Jersey as reverse carpetbaggers.  John attended community college for two years, then transferred to Rutgers University. Unknown to Bob Slowpants, Rutgers is the state university of New Jersey, this meant cheap tuition for John!  John applied himself resulting in a B.A. in Business Administration.  After graduation he embarked in a Master of Business Administration degree program, but lost interest in completing the program.  John discovered his true calling, acquiring several Microsoft Certifications and embarking on a career in Information Technology. 

John, May and KillerJohn’s next foray into the job market was a four-year stint with CUBY Systems, a computer store his father opened in Athens, Ga.  With the business succeeding in 1995, he finally asked his soulmate May, whom he met through friends at a party at Rutgers in 1991 to marry him.  John migrated to Cap Gemini Ernst Young, a British multinational big four accounting firm (that does not know how to spell Ernest), as a systems enginer.  John left the British firm for the Swiss firm ABB for a four-year contract position at their Athens location.  The name of the firm changed to Power Partners and John was offered a permanent position as Director of Information Systems which he excelled in for twenty-one years.  The firm was, as John described, “flatten” in 2018 resulting in his position being eliminated when purchased by venture capitalists.  John had the market skills to secure a follow-on position as the Manager of Business Applications for Northeast Georgia Health System.

John goes to the DarksideWhen John initially relocated to Georgia, he resided in Winder (People in the north call it Wind-er), later self-migrating to Jefferson.  John and May have two sons, Matthew (age 20), currently an Air Force ROTC student at Valdosta State and dreams of becoming a pilot.  Younger son Mark (age 13) is with his parents in Jefferson and is a member of the Robotics team.  John’s arms are covered with tattoos down to his wrists.  He explained that one arm is of religious symbols and the other devoted to his wife May.  The marriage is strong as John has no room left for additional tattoos unless they are on his back.  John is an accomplished runner, finishing first in his age 50-55 age group in most of his running forays.  John was active in school, playing several sports: baseball, football, MX racing, and swim teams.  John suffered an ACL injury in 2005 playing volleyball and did not begin running until 2008.  He was hampered with foot injury in 2010 and avoided stressing the injury until 2014 when he returned to running with a vengeance.  John completed one hundred and fifty races in 2017.  His retirement vision is to work at Disney World.  John’s favorite race is the Disney Half Marathon which he has competed in for three years.  John has competed the Disney Dopey challenge (48.6 race miles in 4 days), finished four sprint triathlons, and the Disney Marathon four times.  John enjoys spending time with the family when not working or running.  John acknowledges like many runners participates in Run and See Georgia, Black Bag, and Clover Glove race series for the comradery more than the accolades, which he earns.  John says “there is nothing enjoyable about running for me, except the friends that endure the misery with me”.        

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profile on Kelli Selman and the profile of Doug Barber.