Race Director & President – Kate Radville
Kate is a Massachusetts native and avid open water swimmer. She has participated in several Charles River Swims, and she loves being its race director so that she can share her enthusiasm for the river and for open water swimming with the Boston community. Her open water adventures include swimming in the Hudson River and across Long Island Sound. When she isn’t swimming, she works as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Co-Founder / Vice President – Frans Lawaetz
This Virgin Island native has been playing on the Charles since moving to Boston in 2000 – usually on a windsurfer or sailboat or running alongside the river on the Esplanade. By his estimation he has, via windsurfing, been immersed in the Charles at least fifty times. His day job involves systems integration and network security.
Volunteer Coordinator – Sheryl Bierden
Sheryl is a lifelong competitive swimmer. Originally from Connecticut but a longtime Massachusetts resident, her interest in river swimming began in 1991 when she raced 25 kilometers in the Schuylkill River. When she isn’t swimming with Charles River Masters, Sheryl works as a Physical Therapist, volunteers for anything and everything, and brings her extraordinary ability to organize large groups of people to the Charles River Swim.
Safety Director – Pat Costello
Pat is from the land-locked mid-West and looks rather sheepish when trying to explain why he does not swim on a regular basis. A true believer in the mission to bring river swimming back to Boston, he is thrilled to support the community that has developed around the Charles River Swim. Pat splits his time between family, the global financial services industry and a number of local non-profits, including the Fuller Craft Museum and the Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Association.
Water Volunteer Coordinator – Jen Downing
A Seattle native, Jen spent her chlorinated childhood finding any additional excuse to be near water (ferry rides, canoeing, collecting shells and rocks on the beach). It took her moving East for college to discover the joys of competitive, open water swims. Always up for an adventure, she’s accompanied many friends on Channel training swims and serves as a lead volunteer and angel swimmer for the annual SAA Boston Harbor and Rhode Island events. Jen works in alumni affairs and development for Harvard Athletics, a very convenient role given that her office is adjacent to Blodgett Pool where she swims with Charles River Masters.
Board Member – Amy Whitesides
Amy moved to Boston in 2009 by way of Santa Cruz, California where she gained a love of ocean swimming, surfing, and an appreciation for banana slugs. She grew up swimming competitively in Salt Lake City, Utah and vacationed in the National Parks of the West. Reading Ed Abbey in the deserts of Utah instilled in her core values of environmental stewardship, positive mischief, and a commitment to ensuring public access to clean, healthy open spaces. She’s thrilled to promote these values via both the Charles River Swim Club and her day job as a landscape architect.
Co-Founder – Ulla Hester
Also not a Boston native, and thus not deterred by memories of the formerly dirty river water, Ulla came to Boston from Germany via California. After training in the Danube in Vienna, participating in the Alcatraz swim in San Francisco and swimming the Hudson River in New York City, the Charles River seemed like the logical next step. A swimmer, triathlete and chocolate lover in her spare time, she is an urban planner in her day job.