About our Structure
WJU leadership is comprised of both Elected and Appointed positions. Every two years in the fall, elections are conducted to establish the elected Officers (President and Vice President) and Trustees (8) who take office at the January Convention of the odd number year (i.e., 2019, 2021, 2023, etc.). The slate of candidates is determined by a volunteer Nominating Committee who seek candidates and establish the pool of nominees beginning after the January Convention (in the even numbered year, 2020, 2022, etc.).
In the Summer, the nominated candidates are announced. Ballots are provided to every member in good standing and they must be cast and returned no later than the due date. The results are tallied and announced, usually in the final issue of Circus Fanfare of that year.
At the January Meeting of the “Board,” the Secretary and the Treasurer are appointed, along with any other special positions that the Board deems appropriate. The Circus Fanfare Editor is an appointed position. Appointees do not have voting rights at Board meetings. Board meetings are prior to the start of the Annual Convention in January and Summer Meet, and at any other time as may be scheduled.
The Secretary is responsible for documenting all actions of the Board and providing Minutes that are complete and timely. The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the financial records of WJU consistent with all applicable laws, providing regular financial reports, and filing documents as required by law.
President – Nada Montgomery ▲
Nada is a flute and piccolo player from Independence, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She plays with the Lakeland Civic Band (a Sudler Silver Scroll award winner) and the Lakewood Hometown Band. Nada is also an accompanist at Lakeland Community College for the Civic Chorus and the Independence Middle School where her daughter is the choir director. A musical or two a year, and private students, help fill in her schedule. She has served on the Board of the Windjammers Unlimited. Nada is a Life member and former board member of ACB and became the ACB secretary in 1996. In 1997 she was awarded the ACB’s Leland A. Lillehaug President’s Award. She truly enjoys talking with and meeting community band people from around the country. Nada is married to Mike Montgomery. She is the mother of two grown daughters, Gretchen and Heidi, and is totally captivated by her grandsons, Nolan and Kyle.
Vice President – Don Covington ▲
Music and the circus have been recurring themes throughout piccolo player Don Covington’s life. At the suggestion of his college band director, he auditioned for the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC. While that position didn’t materialize, it still led to his entering the Navy where during flight-training he was the drum major and assistant director of the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate Band in Pensacola Florida. After earning his wings, he served as a naval aviator aboard Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, had tours in Washington, DC and was naval attaché at the American Embassy in Paris, France. He retired as a Captain after a 30-year military career. His second career was with the circus. During thirteen years with New York-based Big Apple Circus in administrative roles, including Company Manager, he and his family traveled the country full time with the show. Don is the past national president of Circus Fans Association of America and current president of Circus Historical Society. Don was on the executive committee for the World-Wide Circus Summit in 2015. Based in Coronado, California, he is currently a consultant to the circus industry. Don has been a Windjammer since 1973.
Secretary – Mike Montgomery ▲
Mike Montgomery became a Windjammer in 1987, generally playing low brass – euphonium, trombone or tuba – but can occasionally also be seen on trumpet. In 1993 he took on the dual officer role of Secretary/Treasurer for our organization. Those tasks were split effective January 1, 2008 and Mike has been the Windjammers Unlimited Secretary since then. As Secretary, Mike coordinates the membership database, membership announcements, dues collections and balloting. For a number of years he also hosted our January Convention. Mike was Manager – Major Divisional Computer Systems Projects for the Engine Group of Navistar International Corp. Mike has been a member of the Association of concert Bands since 1991 and has served two terms on its Board of Directors, and also serves as its Chief Information Officer.
Treasurer – Howard Habenicht ▲
Howard Habenicht has been Treasurer of Windjammers Unlimited since January 1, 2008. In 1983 he attended the Windjammers Summer Meet public concert in Naperville, IL which included former Ringling bandmaster Merle Evans and many Naperville band members. He was impressed by the music of the circus so joined WJU and attended his first Convention in January 1984, playing trumpet. Howard is a CPA and was with Ernst & Ernst for 19 years, the last 7 of which as a member of the firm’s Midwest Region Technical Committee. Following his time with the audit firm, he joined Vibro/Dynamics Corporation as Controller and Corporate Secretary. He was with the company 25 years, and was President and CFO for his last 7 years. Howard was a charter member (1958) of the West Suburban Concert Band in LaGrange, IL and has played with many groups. He has been a member of the Naperville Municipal Band since 1992 and was its Treasurer 1992-2005. He joined ACB in 1997 and was their Treasurer until 2016.
Trustee – Rod Everhart, Circus Fanfare Editor ▲
Rod Everhart, wears two hats as a Trustee and Circus Fanfare Editor. He has been a Windjammer since 1990, and the 2021 Convention will be his 50th Convention or Meet. He has been playing in the solo cornet section since 2003 and in the closing night dance band since 2007. Rod has served on the Windjammers board since January 2011, and Circus Fanfare Editor since the end of 2015. Rod’s enthusiasm for circus music has been evidenced in an “At the Circus” booklet he has published containing 22 pages of text about the history of music in the circus and melody lines for 20 circus-like compositions he created. He has done two radio programs as a guest, talking about historic circus music and using recordings as examples. He has also done a half dozen or more 30 to 60-minute programs on circus music history for organizations such as Rotary, Senior Groups and P.E.O., and in 2018 at Texas A&M’s “Circus Texas” event. Rod’s career was largely in financial and operations management for technology companies. From 2005 to 2020, he was on the board of directors for the software company Campus Management Corp.
Trustee – Lynette Garlan ▲
Lynette Garlan has been a Windjammer member since 2015. A Certified Public Accountant by trade, Lynette manages a theater company and orchestra, and a community band in Pittsburgh, PA. She is on several nonprofit boards. Lynette plays violin with three orchestras and euphonium with three community bands. In the past, Lynette hosted touring groups coming through the Pittsburgh area to perform. She was the host for our Windjammers Summer Meet held in Pittsburgh, PA, July 16-21, 2019.
Trustee – Chris Griffith ▲
Christine Griffith lives in Kalamazoo, MI where she teaches flute. She has a B.S. in Education from Southern Illinois University. Chris plays piccolo with the Kalamazoo Concert Band and is principal flutist with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia Orchestra. She and her husband, John, who plays euphonium, founded, manage and play in the “Ein Prosit” German Band. She is also a member of the West Michigan Flute Orchestra, Quintet a’ Vin (woodwind quintet), Kalamazoo Valley Community College Band, Marshall Rotary Band, Blue Lake International Adult Band, Association of Concert Bands , National Flute Association, and Windjammers Unlimited, where she has been a member since 2009. When not playing her flute or piccolo, Chris enjoys traveling and spending time with her seven grandsons and two granddaughters who live in Atlanta, GA; Las Vegas, NV; St. Paul, MN; and Park Slope, NY.
Trustee – Vicki Pinson ▲
Vicki Pinson taught high school band for thirty years in North Georgia. Under her direction, her bands consistently received superior ratings as well as two Citation of Excellence awards. She serves throughout the southeast as a band adjudicator and clinician. Vicki is an associate conductor and a member of the board of the Northwinds Symphonic Band in Gainesville, GA. She is currently Director of Bands at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. Vicki is also an adjunct Professor of Music at the University of North Georgia. Vicki has been a member of Windjammers since 2012 and has been a conductor of the band since 2013.
Trustee – Jim Roytz ▲
A percussionist, Jim Roytz has been a WJU member since 2008, and is a graduate of Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. Jim’s first teaching position was with the South Euclid-Lyndhurst, OH Schools, where he had a variety of duties including marching band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, choir, and general music. Nine years later, he felt a change was needed so he could focus solely on a high school music program. Brecksville-Broadview Heights, OH High School was his second position where he served as Director of Bands and Music Department Chairperson until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure at BBHHS he taught marching band, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, symphonic band, music theory, and music appreciation. In 1992, Jim founded the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Community Band, where he conducted until he and his trumpet-playing wife, Diane, moved to Florida in 2010. Jim and Diane perform with the Suncoast Concert Band, the Venice Concert Band, Windjammers, and a number of other musical groups.
Trustee – Joe Shearin ▲
Joe Shearin is a big fan of circus music despite never playing under a big top before discovering Windjammers. Grandson of an Italian-trained bandmaster, Joe began playing trombone in high school. He played at the University of Toronto, and at the University of Miami where he earned a degree in engineering. Equipped with a master’s in business (Purdue) and a love of aviation, he joined United Airlines for what would turn out to be a lifetime career. Joe and Susan, a fellow United employee and Windjammer clarinetist, raised two children in Chicago. After he retired as Director of Finance, they began allocating their time between Chicago and the family home in Miami, FL, with occasional grandkid-sitting in the northeast. Joe plays in many ensembles, including the Greater Miami Symphonic Band, Alhambra Symphony and Chop Shop Big Band. In Illinois, he plays in the Palatine Concert Band (past president), Waukegan Symphony, Judson Civic Orchestra, Barrington Brass Quintet (founder), La Banda Siciliana di Chicago, and Night Express Big Band. He particularly enjoys freelancing in pit bands for community musicals (600 lifetime performances, 130 productions.). Joe and Susan joined Windjammers in 2007 and try to never miss a meet.
Trustee – Norman Woodrick ▲
A bass clarinet player from Nashville, TN, Norman Woodrick has been a Windjammer since 1990. Norman has prepared the music folders for the January conventions since 2011 – 2019 and has selected the music in recent years. Norman also assists with the setup of the bands and rehearsal rooms. A native of Meridian, MS, Norman attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, received his bachelors and master’s degrees in instrumental music education, and was a high school band director in Louisiana during the 1970s. During this time, he also obtained a single-engine aircraft and earned his Private Pilot license. After band directing, Norman went back to his hometown of Meridian and worked at a local TV station as a studio and control room technician. In 1980, he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an air traffic control specialist and worked in various FAA locations for over 32 years of service. After retiring from the federal government in 2012, he moved back to Nashville where he is active in two community bands. He is a member of the National Band Association and the Association of Concert Bands. He regularly plays in the John Philip Sousa Foundation National Community Band, which meets at various locations around the country.
Trustee – April Zink ▲
April has been a member of Windjammers since 1989. She was Editor – Circus Fanfare from mid-2006 through mid-2015. While a college student, she toured over-the-road for six seasons with The Circus Kingdom as a trumpeter. During that time, they produced three CDs of circus music. As a member of Windjammers, April has been an advocate for building youth membership as well as inviting cross-over membership from the other circus fan organizations. She has organized Windjammer Circus and Concert Bands for the CFA Convention, where she is also a Trustee, and for the International Independent Showmen’s Association’s annual charity circuses.