Todd Brassard: Mentor from The Copperdog

“I love how this article portrays a huge learning curve, hard work, and some good old stick-with-it-ness. So thankful that Todd has been showing us the sled dogging ropes!”—Josh Brindle

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Todd Brassard is a computer programmer at Calumet Electronics, a printed circuit board manufacturing company, and owner, along side his wife Jessie, of Brassard Media, a video production and web design business. Todd was introduced to the sport of mushing when he was recruited to produce a promotional video for Brewery Creek Racing, a kennel operated by musher Truman Obermeyer.

As many do, Todd fell victim to charm of the dogs and the beauty of the sport. When he learned of a sled-dog race being organized for the Keweenaw, he volunteered his services (web programming) and his wife’s talent (graphic design) and put together a web site for the event (www.copperdog150.com).

Todd was asked to join the Board of Directors and soon found himself working very closely with the CopperDog 150’s founding Race Director, Brian Tiura. Tiura was an inspiring leader for Todd who taught him the ins and outs of mushing and sled-dog racing. Although the first annual event was extremely demanding on everyone’s time and energy, Todd very much enjoyed the payoff of a great event despite tough weather conditions.

When the Brian Tiura and family moved to Alaska, Todd was left in the unexpected position of knowing more than most about organizing and planning the CopperDog 150. Seeing few options, Todd was nervous and excited to take on the role of Race Director. In this new role he imparted what he had learned from Brian, introduced some of his own ideas, and worked closely with other people like himself who really loved the event. With so many good people pulling together, the second annual CopperDog 150 was a great success, especially with the favorable weather conditions.

With one race under his belt, an amazing core planning team, and growing community buy-in, Todd focused on upping the “production value” of the CopperDog 150 in 2011/2012 by planning an ESPN worthy Friday night start, improving hospitality for the growing numbers of fans, and setting a more relaxed schedule for mushers and their dog teams. He also used is program skills to great an online volunteer registration system to make it easier for the volunteers to get involved on race weekend. Todd worked closely with Asst. Race Director Meredith LaBaue who would move on to assume the Race Director position.

In August of 2012, the CopperDog Club became CopperDog, Inc., its own 501(C)3 non-profit organization and assume the position of Executive Director as part of the reorganization. Todd continues to work very closely with the race planning committee, but is also focusing other non-race activities that will help grow and sustain the CopperDog 150.

Todd motto is “Happy healthy dogs, happy healthy mushers!”
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