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Race Volunteer Leadership

The CopperDog 150 would not be possible with the incredible community support and the incredible number of volunteers that come together each year.

This year's leadership is shown below. Maybe next year you can be part of the leadership team that serves the CopperDog150 race, our dog teams and mushers, our volunteers (including you?), and visitors that enjoy the awe inspiring experience of seeing sled dog teams up close and in action.

Click Here To Find Your Volunteer Opportunity!

posted on 1/30/2018 10:04 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Merchandise - Rob Greenhoe

Rob has been a long term volunteer starting with the very first running of the CopperDog150. Rob is a member of the CopperDog Board of Directors and has been responsible for merchandise for several years.. Wearing many hats, Rob also helps ensure that our sponsors are properly represented and publicized. In addition to these many roles, Rob, his wife, and his daughter still find time to work crossings during the race!

posted on 1/1/2018 1:41 AM by Erin Barnett | permalink | Back to Top

Secretary of the Board - Regina Alleman

Regina moved from Alaska to Michigan in 2013 and found her way “Home” to the Keweenaw in 2016. She volunteered for her first CopperDog two months after moving to the area and was instantly hooked. Regina has attended various dog mushing events, including the famed Yukon Quest between Fairbanks, AK and Whitehorse, Yukon, and describes the CopperDog150 as her favorite race. She has volunteered in various capacities for the CopperDog150 and is our newest Board Member and also serving as Secretary of The Board this year.

Regina is an Registered Nurse at Copper Country Mental Health. She is also an artist and her art work can be viewed at various gallery's in Houghton and Calumet. She lives off grid in a tiny cabin on 15 wooded acres.

Regina has a love of all things wild and has lived in the mountains of Arizona, California, Idaho and Alaska, including living in a remote bush cabin in the Brooks Range of Alaska. The beauty of Lake Superior, the wilderness areas of the Upper Pennisula and the amazing people of the Keweenaw inspire her to call this “The Last Best Place” in the USA.

posted on 11/5/2018 10:34 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Banquets - 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 pleased to continue his service as a member of the Board of Directors.

Jon has been a volunteer to the CopperDog150 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.

posted on 1/1/2018 1:50 AM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Sponsorship - Walt Kiiskila

Walt is a long time volunteer to the CopperDog 150 and a member of the Board of Directors. Walt has worn many hats over the years. He is leading sponsorships this year.

posted on 1/1/2018 1:44 AM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

About Main Street Calumet

Main Street Calumet

Main Street Calumet was founded in 2003 as a result of community interest in historic preservation spurred by the presence of Keweenaw National Historical Park (est. 1992). Our program is a small part of a much larger group of Main Street Programs across the country. We follow guidelines laid out by the National Main Street program to find ensure our program is a success. Over the past 14 years Main Street Calumet has created multiple events such as Pasty Fest, Copper Dog 150, the Red Jacket Jamboree and hosted a variety of community programs such as small business seminars and the Main Street Calumet Farmer's Market.

The Main Street Calumet Mission

The mission of Main Street Calumet is to guide the revitalization of an exciting and vibrant historic downtown district that is attractive to residents and visitors. In the process the program will forge partnerships, foster development of community leaders, and facilitate the rehabilitation/restoration of its buildings and spaces to be occupied by an economically successful mix of business services and residents.

The Main Street Calumet Vision

The vision of Main Street Calumet is to become the community where people most want to visit and live. Healthy commercial and residential districts will satisfy the needs of a diverse population and interests while continuing to express the local copper mining heritage through preservation, education, and cultural events.

Contact Main Street Calumet

Leah Polzien, Executive Director
Telephone: (906) 337-6246

posted on 12/26/2017 11:30 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Marketing and IT Support - Jim Northey

Jim and his wife Sonia Goltz and their family have lived in the Copper Country for 21 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 also serves as the contact person for Contemplative Outreach in the UP of Michigan and is an adjunct instructor of finance at Michigan Tech.

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.

Jim is enjoying working with Todd Brassard, using the system Todd created for large scale event management.

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

posted on 12/24/2017 12:32 AM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Musher Liaison and Adopt a Musher - Krissy Kovachich

Krissy has been volunteering for Copper Dog since year one. 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 year her responsibilities have expanded to being part of the Sponsorship Committee, Musher Liaison, and assisting with the Volunteer Coordinator position.

posted on 12/21/2017 9:27 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Race Adviser / Web Support - Todd Brassard

past Executive Director
past Race Director
past Marketing Director
past Technical Director

Todd Brassard is part engineer, part musician, part designer and a community activist who loves planning amazing events like the CopperDog 150 and PJ Olsson's Rock Camp.

For his day job, Todd is VP/COO at Calumet Electronics, a world-leader in the fabrication of high-performance printed circuit boards. Todd also works alongside his wife, Jessie Brassard, on various video and web projects side projects via Brassard Media. Jessie is a design guru and responsible for creation and evolution of the CopperDog 150 logo and much of CopperDog's strong branding elements.

Todd was introduced to the sport of mushing when he was recruited by Adam Johnson of Brockit and Karyn Olsson of the Upper Peninsula Marketing Department to produce a promotional video for Brewery Creek Racing.

Todd fell victim to charm of the dogs and the beauty of the sport.  In 2009, 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 (

Todd joined the CopperDog Board and soon found himself working very closely with the CopperDog 150's founding Race Director, Brian Tiura.  Tiura was an inspiring leader for Todd and the newbie race planners. His "press on regardless" attitude demonstrated the conviction necessary to plan and execute such a large event.

Todd assumed the role of Race Director for 2011 when Tiura moved to Alaska. In this new role he imparted what he had learned from Brian, introduced some of his own ideas, and worked closely with other very smart people who really loved the event.

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 developed an online volunteer system to make it easier for volunteers to get involved race weekend.

Todd has served in various roles over the last few years and has stepped up to the role of Race Director for the 2015 race. Todd motto is "Happy healthy dogs, happy healthy mushers", which has recently been revised to include "Happy healthy volunteers!"

posted on 11/12/2014 5:05 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Volunteer Director - Brian Donnelly

Brian grew up in the Oskar Bay area and graduated from Houghton High School in 1996. He then moved downstate and attended Grand Valley State University, earning a BBA in Finance in 2001 and an MBA in 2010. After 16 years in Grand Rapids, Brian was excited to move back to the Copper Country, where he works as a Financial Advisor with Superior National Bank and Trust.

Brian brings plenty of event planning experience to the CopperDog team. During his years in Grand Rapids he was an active volunteer with the Grand Rapids Jaycees, including two terms on the Board of Directors. Brian is a founding member of Keweenaw Young Professionals, is currently the President of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance.

Brian and his wife, Darcy, love life in the U.P., where winter is truly winter. “The best way to fight off the winter doldrums is to just embrace the weather and enjoy it” he says. Brian has served 4 years as Volunteer Director, and is grateful for all of the wonderful people he has met through working with the race.

posted on 12/17/2012 3:10 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Race Dates through 2020

The CopperDog Board of Directors pleased to announce official race dates from 2017 through 2020, selected in collaboration with the UPSDA (UP200 & Midnight Run).

Official Race Dates:

  • 2017: March 3 — 5
  • 2018: March 2 — 4
  • 2019: March 1 — 3
  • 2020: February 28 — March 1
posted on 4/28/2014 6:45 PM by Jeff Foss | permalink | Back to Top

Chief Communications - Bill LaBell

Bill moved to the small U.P. town of Allouez from Southeast Michigan in 1992. He is the owner / mechanic of Quincy Hill Auto Repair. He has been a amateur radio operator (Ham) since 2008.

On most Sundays in the summer time he can be found at the Houghton County Historical Society running their 1915 Steam Locomotive.  He is also the Vice President/Treasurer of the Keweenaw County Repeater Association, Inc..

He has been with the CopperDog since its first year, where he worked radio at a road crossing and then the finish. The second year he assisted at net control and then ran it for the 2012 and 2013 races. Net control is the communications center and also where social media updates take place during the race.

For the 2014 race, his responsibilities will include running net control, recruiting and assigning radio volunteers. Radio operators consist of amateur radio operators (Hams) and local firemen.  A radio operator's responsibilities are to report crossing times and most important to relay all safety communications.

posted on 12/17/2012 3:10 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Graphics Design - Amber Voght

Amber is a graduate of Michigan Tech and is employed at Itiviti Group AB where she is responsible for technical documentation. Amber previously was the head of marketing for The LaSalle Technology Group, LLC, which was acquired by Itiviti in 2015. Amber grew up in Houghton, Michigan and is an avid outdoor person and adventurer. She and her family regularly volunteer for the CopperDog 150.

posted on 1/20/2018 12:26 AM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Our Mission

To develop charitable, educational and benevolent activities dedicated to the enrichment, development, and vitality of communities, natural resources and trail systems in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula through world-class events, creating informational and educational opportunities, encouraging national recognition, specifically with respect to advancing national and international sled dog sports including sled dog racing and an understanding of the historic role of sled dogs in a natural environment.

posted on 9/23/2012 10:31 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

What Is CopperDog?

Hey! Let’s organize a sled dog race!

That’s what a small group of people said in 2009, and from that initial idea the CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled dog races were born.

Both races usually run the first weekend in March. The CopperDog 150 features teams of ten dogs and covers 150 miles in three days, while the CopperDog 40 features teams of six dogs and covers approximately forty miles in one day. The CopperDog 150 caps at thirty teams and the CopperDog 40 caps at fifteen teams. Which means … the first weekend in March finds 350+ dogs racing through Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

The CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 are organized by CopperDog, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization located in Calumet, Michigan, a small town in the middle of the Keweenaw Peninsula – a narrow finger of land on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that juts into the middle of Lake Superior.  With an average annual snowfall of 241 inches it’s the perfect place for … well, a sled dog race.

Since its beginning the CopperDog races have attracted mushers from around the world. While many mushers come from the Midwest, each race usually has several Canadian mushers competing – and in 2011 and 2012 a musher from South Africa competed.

CopperDog is definitely a labor of love. It is an entirely volunteer operation, with more than 500 volunteers helping to put the race on. Local residents help mushers with their dogs, provide housing, and oversee trail crossings. Local police and fire departments volunteer their time to man all highway crossings and ensure the safety of all volunteers and participants. On its business end, CopperDog, Inc. is run by an unpaid volunteer board of directors.

CopperDog is more than just two sled dog races. In addition to promoting community vitality through sled dog racing, CopperDog strives to provide education on the history and sport of sled dog racing. Numerous public events – such as classroom visits, volunteer training, “Meet the Dogs” events, and free sled dog rides - are held throughout the year.

CopperDog is always looking for new volunteers. If you’d like to work with a great group of people and be part of one of the MOST FUN winter events you’ll ever see, please contact us. We can’t do it without you!

posted on 9/23/2012 9:38 PM by Lesley DuTemple | permalink | Back to Top

Board of Directors

Brad King, Chair

Walt Kiiskila, Treasurer

Regina Alleman, Secretary

Rob Greenhoe, Board Member

Jon Koskiniemi, Board Member

Kim Pici, Board Member

Ken Stigers, Board Member

Contact Us

CopperDog, Inc.
P.O. Box 384
Calumet, MI 49913
MICS# 48044

Jeff Foss
Race Director

John Bryant
Asst. Race Director

Jamie Thyrion
Resource Director

Tony Laidlaw
Community Director

Brian Isaksson
Trail Director

Brian Donnelly
Volunteer Director

Krissy Kovachich
Musher Liaison and Adopt a Musher

Website Support

Copyright (C) 2009 - 2018 Todd Brassard. All rights reserved.