Board Election Candidates

Board Election Candidate Updates:  2021/2022

The following members have accepted their nominations to participate in the BOD elections. These roles are responsible for the viability of the organization and must oversee the main areas of a successful operation

Director Candidates

Kathryn Blaszynski

I am very excited for the opportunity to volunteer my time and efforts to such an awesome gym.  I was involved competitively in gymnastics until high school when my body forced me to retire. Although I could no longer compete in gymnastics, I was always heavily involved in sports specifically tennis and played college volleyball. I have been a board member for the past 5 years at the Welland Tennis Club responsible for Junior Memberships.  My passion to compete and push myself still exists today in my love of distance running/racing. I believe that gymnastics and sports are extremely important for kids, and provide a multitude of benefits that cannot be matched or learned elsewhere. This is why it is so easy and important for me to volunteer whatever time and expertise I have. I am also the President and one of the co-founders of my neighbourhood group comprised of 150 neighbours and building.


Cindy Pfeffer

 Hi! My name is Cindy Pfeffer.

 When my son started gymnastics over 10 years ago, I had no idea how much it would teach him. While he can now do skills that I’m awed by, it’s not really about gymnastics.

 Instead, it’s about the life lessons he has learned that will serve him well as he grows into a young man – regardless of whether he continues to be a gymnast. Things like, 

  • success tastes sweeter after hard work
  • being part of a team is better than going it alone
  • coping with disappointment while watching others succeed
  • when you fall you’ve got to dust yourself off and try it again (and again, and again.)

These are lessons that all children should have an opportunity to learn.

 That’s why I’m running to be a member of the Gymnastics Energy Board of Directors. I want to use my skills to ensure the gym remains strong for years to come, so that Niagara’s girls and boys can continue to benefit from the lessons gymnastics teaches. 

The COVID-19 has challenged the gym over the last two years – in ways that no one could have predicted. While we aren’t back to normal yet, I believe the future of the gym is bright. With a dedicated team in place, we can come out of the pandemic stronger than ever. 

If elected to the board, I would bring:

  • A commitment to transparency and accountability
  • Dedication to help grow and expand programs

In addition, I have professional experience in

  • Managing diverse teams
  • Recruitment, hiring and terminations
  • Staff training and development
  • Internal and external communication

Melissa Surman

 “Hello my name is Melissa Surman. I’ve been a gym mom for the last 7 years. My daughter’s name is Ashley and she is currently in the WAG program under Alexa and Amy. 

I have been working for the YMCA as a RECE for the last 26 years and help run our family business “Surman Grove”. 

I feel I can offer my years of experience dealing with families and help advocate for the children in the gym.”

MAG Candidates

Cindy Pfeffer – see above


Tara Beceval

I have been part of the Gymnastics Energy family for over seven years and have served three Board of Directors terms as MAG parent rep. 

I am very passionate about the success of the gym and have been dedicated to serving on the board. Through hardwork, collaboration and sheer will, the Board has seen the gym through some very challenging years and we are now ready to rebuild and grow again.

My professional skills in nursing has been helpful in supporting the gym’s evolution of pandemic health and safety, ensuring Niagara Region Health protocols are in place and being a resource to coaches and staff.    

During the past year of pandemic challenges, I have taken on the tasks managing the MAG program in the absence of a MAG head coach and Executive Director.  Much work remains in terms of rebuilding post Covid and I am excited about the future for Energy’s MAG program. I am committed to serve another term on the board in order to see the gym and particularly MAG through the next year of rebuilding. 

WAG Candidates

Kathryn Blaszynski–bio above

Melissa Surman–bio above


Claire Shove

 My name is Claire Shove, I am the parent of Addison, Arlo and Anniyah who are all apart of the Gymnastic’s Energy family. I am a full time Social Worker in Healthcare and also teach at McMaster University. I am a beginner gardener that I am sharing with our girls. They have a deep love for gymnastics and I am excited to support their passion and bare witness to everyone’s hard work.


Lisa Laffin

 “I am the mom of a current WAG athlete, but have had 2 girls and 1 son participate at Gymnastics Energy in some capacity over the last 14 years. I’ve been a member of the volunteer committee in the past so I understand the commitment involved in taking on this role. I also spend quite a bit of time at the gym because I genuinely love the sport. I’ll be a valuable member to the board as the WAG representative as I truly care about the gym and its athletes. I try to look at both sides of every situation and consider myself a problem solver. I look forward to the year ahead and hope for a very successful re-opening of Gymnastics Energy.”