Board of Directors

Your CopperDog Board of Directors

Board Chair - Doug Harrer (2024 Assistant Race Director)

Past Asst. Race Director & Calumet Director

Doug Harrer, was born and raised in Mundelein Illinois. He and his parents moved to Upper Peninsula in 1990 after vacationing here for a few years. Doug is the District Manager with Ferrellgas. Doug is also a trustee of the Calumet Village. He really enjoys everything that he does in the community.

In the beginning years as the race was being put together, the Calumet Village Council was asked to put a representative on the Copperdog board. Doug, being Doug, said he would do it. He really thought that it would be great for businesses in the community during the slow part of the year. Little did he know what it would really do for our area. Soon, Doug learned the basics of mushing and planning a race. His interest and enthusiasm grew as the race got closer. Doug was one of Calumet’s firsts hookers. He is very proud to be the first hooker. The part of the race that really led Doug to commit to the race was working road crossings. When he saw that first team go through the crossing he knew he wanted to do more with the race, that is when he stepped up. In 2010 Doug was the clear choice to Chair the Copperdog 150 board. Doug’s insight, patience, experience, big heart, and temperament made him the clear and perfect choice for the position. Doug is able to bring everyone together. He is known for taking the time to listen and understand everyone’s points of views.

Doug also served as the Asst. Race Director back in March of 2011. Doug played a big part in establishing the infrastructure and processes of Copperdog that would make it successful and sustainable for the many years to come. As fresh faces were added to the board, Doug was re-elected as the Chair. He worked many hours with new people to build new committees that would be vital to the race. Doug has stepped back a bit but he has not stepped away in these past few years. He still knows the answer to every question and knows this race like the back of his hand. Doug does not like to be given the credit he truly deserves but he helps makes this race what it is. Doug believes that between the beautiful terrain of the Keweenaw Peninsula, the dedication of mushers to their sport, and the ongoing support of local business, the CopperDog 150 will be one of the most prestigious sled-dog races in the Midwest. Doug is honored and humbled to say he’s been a part of the adventure since day one. One thing only the people that really know Doug is that he is a really big hearted guy. He is a dedicated husband to his wife Amy of almost 20 years. He has two kids, Sadie and Maddie. Between work, being a trustee on the Calumet Village, and a major part of Copperdog he still is the best husband a father. He has a kind heart and his wife and kids are so proud of everything he does. He really is one of the hidden but main faces of Copperdog 150 and we do not know what we would do without him.

Vice Chair - Jon Koskiniemi

Jon Koskiniemi was born and raised in Laurium. He works at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and has been the Laurium Village Treasurer since 2002. Jon is one of our longest serving board members. We are quite fortunate that Jon agreed to serve as Vice Chair.

Jon has been a volunteer to the CopperDog 150 every year since the inception of the race. After being a dog handler for the first race Jon knew he was hooked. If you have attended a race then you probably have seen him in action.

Over the years, Jon has worn many hats: manning road crossings, building snow fence, helping with Kid’s rides, organizing the Pasty Luncheon, musher parking, working the starts releasing teams to the shot, helping obtain sponsorships, being the coordinator for the Awards Banquet, catering the community appreciation night, race planning, and helping with the CopperDog for kids event at the Rozsa Center.

Secretary - Kelly Probst (2024 Race Director)

Kelly is a Milwaukee native with deep roots in the Keweenaw dating all the way back to the late 1800’s. Kelly’s family spent every summer in Eagle Harbor, which is where she met her husband, Rich. In 2000 she moved to Eagle Harbor and left city life behind.

Kelly has been involved with the CD in one way or another for 14 years, largely as a dog handler in Eagle Harbor for many years. In 2018 she became involved with race planning and took over as the Check Point Coordinator in Eagle Harbor. As Checkpoint Coordinator Kelly was approached by Doug Harrer to consider a position on the CopperDog Board, which she accepted in the fall of 2019. Shortly after she accepted the position of Secretary on the Executive Board. Kelly also took over land permissions from long time board member, Walt Kiiskila, a beast of a job. In 2021 she stepped into the Assistant Race Director position for two years alongside her brother, Race Director John Bryant. Kelly has moved into the Race Director Position for 2024.

CopperDog is a family affair for Team Probst. Kelly’s husband, Rich, is on the Timing Team, working closely with Kiko, as Lieutenant Timer. Her kids can be seen dog handling, bag checking, and working with the VFD as part of road crossing safety.

Doug King - Treasurer

Doug King joined the Copper Dog board of directors as treasurer in February of 2021.
Doug was born in Grand Rapids, Mi and raised in Sparta, Mi. Upon graduation from high school, he attended and graduated from Northern Michigan University in elementary education. While a
student at NMU he met Beth Coltman, a graduate of Calumet High School. Beth introduced Doug to her beloved Copper Country, or as she calls it, “God’s Country”. He and Beth married after graduation and moved to lower Michigan. After living in lower Michigan for eight years
Doug accepted a teaching position just south of Atlanta, GA. Doug and Beth taught school in Georgia for many years before retiring. After living in Georgia for 31 years, Doug and Beth moved to “God’s Country” in September 2019, and now reside about 100 yards from her childhood home in Laurium.
Doug and Beth have three married daughters and ten grandchildren.

Becky Bean - one of our local mushers

Becky Bean joined the board of directors this year. She provides the voice of an experienced musher who has participated in the CopperDog since its inception. Becky is bringing valuable perspective to help improve the CopperDog for spectators and mushers.

Joni Bennett - Sponsorship Director

Joni Bennett has been involved with mushing longer than we should say out of politeness. She has been a board member for three years now. Joni, despite having relocated to Florida to be near her beloved NASA launch center where she was once employed, has been doing an incredible job communicating with and supporting our valuable sponsors as our Sponsorship Director.

Kora Johnson - 2024 Vet Check Coordinator

Kora was born and raised in the Keweenaw and grew up watching the CopperDog from behind the snow fencing. Now into her college era at MTU, she is excited to work on the other side of the fencing. Kora joined the board of directors this year and is learning the ropes of race planning as she goes. She has worn a variety of bibs over the last couple years in different leadership roles.

Kora hits up the nordic ski trails whenever she can in the winter, and backpacks in the offseason. She is a violinist who plays in a variety of recording bands across Michigan. When she’s not doing homework or out in the snow, you’ll find her on stage or in a recording studio. Kora is working towards her environmental engineering degree and maintaining her wilderness first responser training.

Jim Northey - IT/AV Coordinator

Jim and his wife Sonia Goltz and their family have lived in the Copper Country for 26 years. He brings a wealth of IT experience to the organization gained from his career developing financial technology standards and solutions for exchanges, brokerages, and trading firms. Jim is now the CTO of CalcGuard Technologies, Inc. a Michigan based provider of financial technology to major brokerages and investment managers globally. Jim also serves on the boards of directors of Keweenaw Financial Corporation, The Angel Mission, Keweenaw Land Trust, and FIX Protocol Ltd.

Jim and Sonia have worked crossings on day three of the race in the recent past and also have helped with taking down the fencing and banners at the race start/finish in downtown Calumet

If you have any website issues or questions please send us an email to IT Support


Tony Shepeard - Trail Boss

Tony Shepeard joined the CopperDog board of directors in 2023 after serving nearly the entire history of the race as a member of the trail crew and for the past several years as our Trail Boss.

Kiko de Melo e Silva - 2024 Assistant Director and Chief Timer

Kiko only saw snow for the first time as a teenager. Dog sled racing?!? Think Disney movies.

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Kiko first arrived in the United States at age 15 in 1987 and the Copper Country in 1990 to attend Michigan Technological University… twice. Since then, the Copper Country has been home to this research engineer working for the department of civil & environmental engineering at his Alma matter.

A strongly believer in community involvement, hard-work, and parties, volunteering for the first CopperDog 150 was a no-brainer (being gently led to help with race timing however was a “no-brains”). But taking ownership and having a “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” attitude, the first race was a feat and the second race better yet.

We are extremely fortunate that after many years of participating in race planning and board meetings, Kiko has joined the CopperDog board of directors.

Kiko has contributed greatly to the integrity and professionalism of CopperDog by continually developing and evolving the philosophy and technology by official race timing. Kiko designed and continues to develop a timing application that leverages the latest Google Sheets technologies to accurately record start and finish times, calculate statistics and standings instantly, and communicate all data to a central database in real-time for officials and fans. Kiko’s accomplishments with race timing are nothing short of amazing.

He has lived with dogs, cats, cows, horses, chickens, pigs, birds, some fish, an iguana, and a sheep. He is also good with numbers, pointing, and he can yell really loud. Kiko is strongly committed to making this regional event involving many peoples, cultures, and communities a sustainable success – he does not take his participation as Chief Timer and the race’s positive impact on local people and places lightly. To Kiko, a hopeless romantic, the CopperDog 150 brings the Copper Country alive as if it were a time machine going back to the thriving copper mining days of over 100 years ago.

Kiko lives with his wife and two kids in Calumet and the rest is history…or at least lots of snow. Look for him in his orange mining hat, light and all. Portuguese spoken.

Krissy Kovachich Tepsa - Volunteer Director and Musher Liaison and Vendor Coordinator and Banquets

Krissy has been volunteering for Copper Dog since year one.  Krissy continues in her multiple roles as the primary contact for volunteers in addition to her responsibilities as the primary contact for our mushers in her role as Musher Liaison. She started out dog handling and working at several different crossings. Since 2015 she has been the Vet Check Leader at River Valley Bank. In 2016 she added the role of Vet Check Leader in Copper Harbor.

This list doesn’t begin to cover all the aspects of the race in which Krissy participates.

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