530.477.9700 info@bsmtri.org

Committee Members

The passionate people behind the scenes that volunteer their time to make it all happen.

Meet the Event Director
Nancy Avilla

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I have been a Nevada County resident since 1990. Although since childhood, I spent many summer weekends playing in Deer Creek. My first involvement with the Barbara Schmidt Millar “Celebration of Life” Women’s Triathlon began in 1999 as a participant. Cathy Anderson Meyers invited me to join the event. Of course I thought she was crazy for asking, but I turned around and used Cathy’s same persuasive tactic and begged one of my sisters to also participate. Together we trained for our 1st, but not last, triathlon. Once there, with my husband cheering me on, I realized the extent of this event and quickly volunteered my services.

As a 29 year PG&E employee I have had many opportunities to be involved in various community events. However, the BSM Tri soon held a special place in my heart. Whether you are a participant, a volunteer, or both, you can’t help but notice the wonderful, positive energy surrounding the day’s activities. Even though the BSM Tri promotes health and well being for women of all ages, the financial support provided through scholarships and our local Breast Imaging Center can’t go unnoticed. We truly live in an amazing community and I’m proud to be such an integral part of it.

Although I never met Barbara, her inspiration to her friends and family (Cathy, Lindsay, Viki, Karen…) has added inspiration to our community. I have life long memories from each of the events: Pink bathing caps huddled together on the boat ramp, crossing the finish line hand in hand, camaraderie, new friends, involving family and friends, sharing laughter, sharing tears… Being thanked by strangers for helping to make a difference.

Meet the FOUNDER and Scholarship Committee Member
Cathy Anderson-Meyers


After moving to Chicago Park with my husband, Geno, in 1982, we decided the best way to meet people was to join the Nevada County Adult Volleyball Recreation League. It was certainly the right decision for us because those folks became truly good friends over the years. I met Barb and Lindsay and Viki and Cindy and Carol and Lennie and Ellen and Sandy and………as you can see the list is endless.

I did my first Danskin Women’s Sprint Triathlon when Barb became ill. When I talked about doing a triathlon in her honor with Lindsay and Viki and some others we all decided it was a good idea. We were all athletes to some degree and figured if she could battle cancer so hard we could certainly go out and swim a half mile, ride 11 miles on our bikes, and run 3 miles. She thought it was a wonderful idea too…and encouraged us all to go for it.

That day, October 1, 1995, started the event that has become one of Nevada County’s premier athletic events, and a major fund raiser for the SNMH Breast Imaging Center and the Barbara Schmidt Millar Memorial Scholarship. It draws women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels to challenge themselves to do something for the first time. Then, in many cases, they come back again for more. It has become a life changing event for many.
I am proud to be affiliated with this event, all the Team Leaders, volunteers, and sponsors who make it happen each year.

Meet Barbara’s Sister and Scholarship Committee Member
Karen Schmidt Ling

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I have known Barbara all my life…sharing many days, nights, laughter, tears, memories and treasured moments with her…she was my little sister! I miss her, dearly, but I am so proud and amazed at how the Celebration of Life Triathlon has evolved in her memory. Barb would have been so humble and thankful to all who have been involved over the years with their countless hours of dedication and steadfast support. It has truly been a Community effort to support the health and fitness of the women of Nevada County! I’m an R.N. who has lived and worked around the World and returned to my roots in Grass Valley, living with my Yellow Lab, Ellie, in Alta Sierra.

Meet Barbara’s Mother
Shirley Schmidt

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Barbara was my youngest child. We moved here from the Bay Area in 1963. During WWII I was a Navy Wave Link Trainer Operator stationed at Fort Lauderdale Florida naval air station. I met my husband, Don, a naval aviator, there and we were married in 1946 and moved to Burlingame. During that time Don and I were the first married couple to graduate from San Mateo Junior College. Unfortunately Don died in 2006. I cannot believe the impact the triathlon in Barbara’s name has had in this area. Barbara would have been amazed . Barbara’s sister Karen, and my grandson Stewart Millar have been involved in the event every year since the early days.

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (SNMHF) Executive Director
Kimberly Parker

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While Kimberly actively works on many types of Hospital projects including the recent Sierra Nevada Diagnostic Center and expansion of Sierra Nevada Cancer Center, last year the Foundation raised over $100,000 for Project Pink, a campaign to further breast care in western Nevada County through the purchase of Faxitron equipment used during lumpectomies. Funding also provided blanket warming cabinets for the comfort of our breast patients.

Professionally, Kimberly has been honored as the Fundraising Executive of the Year for Northern California. She is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). Service minded, she is a member of Rotary, on the board for the Center of Nonprofit Leadership, and is a member of Leave A Legacy. She also serves on numerous local committees and task forces. Past service includes serving on the board of the Placer County SPCA, as president, of Volunteers of America, as vice-president on the California Consultancy for Arts Education board, as president of the Association of Professional Fundraisers board, and as a board member of the Planned Giving Forum. She is also a graduate of both the Nevada County and Sacramento County Leadership Institute Programs.

Meet our Sponsorship Coordinator
Evans Phelps

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I have lived in Nevada City for 25 years, raised my children here and enjoyed all the outdoor activities of our area. I never knew Barbara, but my mother had breast cancer and I have been a strong supporter of mammograms ever since then. For the past 13 years I have been a proud competitor in the triathlon. I have encouraged, or harassed as some of my friends may call it, many women to get out there and try it. My business, The Outside Inn, has been a sponsor of the event for many years as well.

My goal is to continue to participate in the event for many years to come, even though I am now a grandmother of two small boys. I hope to continue to encourage other women to enter the triathlon. I have found nothing more satisfying than accomplishing the triathlon and I treasure the camaraderie of the other women involved. what a treat and to have it benefit a great cause as well makes it even sweeter. Now I am joining the board to help Cathy with the organizational side of the event. I hope to see you all out there at the lake.

Meet a Scholarship Committee Member
Viki Brake

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As with Lindsay and Cathy, I met Barbara through the Nevada County Volleyball Association. Barbara and I were pregnant at the same time, and when our sons were young we were in a “Moms and Tots” hiking group together. My son Casey, and her son Stewart were good buddies. I helped raise Stewart after Barb passed away, since he was not yet five years old. The boys had many fun times after school playing on the same baseball teams, swim lessons, and vacations together.

For the triathlon I have had many jobs, including on-site training, official “sweep” athlete, steering committee member, and many behind-the-scenes responsibilities. Right now my favorite job is being on the committee that chooses the scholarship recipients. I enjoy meeting the scholars and their mothers at our annual award’s breakfast. Barbara would be so honored.

Meet our T-Shirt Coordinator and Scholarship Committee Member
Lindsay Kremple

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I met Barbara in 1981, when she moved back to Grass Valley after college. She was marrying a friend of mine from high school in Southern California. Barbara and I played volleyball together where we met Cathy Anderson-Meyers. When Barbara became ill we, along with some other friends, planned a triathlon in her honor. I have been fortunate enough to have participated in 11 of the 16 Celebration of Life Triathlons. I am the type of person who lacks any real discipline when it comes to exercise. If it’s not fun, I won’t do it. Every summer around July, I start my version of training for the tri, always keeping it fun! My favorite part of this event is the camaraderie of all of these different types of woman who participate. Young and old, athletic and couch potatoes, fit and out-of shape, come together for their varying reasons and share a great day.

Meet our Assistant Director & Volunteer Coordinator
Michelle Harris

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The Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon gives back to the community in so many ways. It not only helps raise awareness to the advantages of early detection of breast cancer, it provides assistance to women in need, encourages young girls in our community pursuing careers in the medical field through it’s annual scholarships, and inspires women of all ages to live a healthier lifestyle through fitness.

As the BSMtri Assistant Director and Volunteer Coordinator, I have the profound pleasure of working with the many volunteers that generously give their time and energy to support this event. Many of these volunteers are men supporting a mother, daughter, sister, wife, or friend. The support and encouragement is beyond touching. In addition to serving on the BSMtri board, I serve on the Vestry of my church, and co-manage/own a local manufacturing facility. It is an honor to be a part of such a charitable organization that celebrates life and the community we live in!

Meet our Raffle Coordinator
Judy DeMaranville

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I moved to Nevada City in 1974 and grew up in Cascade Shores. I spent many of my summer days swimming in the refreshing waters of Scotts Flat Lake. So, when a friend asked me to be her swimmer in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon in 2000, I wholeheartedly answered, “Yes”. The event not only sounded like fun, but I knew it was for a great cause. Since then, I have participated each year along with many of my friends and family.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer which shined a whole new beacon of light on this event. More than ever, I understood the need to raise money to provide mammograms for people in our community.  Now, as a Steering Committee Member, I oversee the raffle portion of the event.  With over 50 raffle items donated each year, I am continually reminded of how supportive and generous the local businesses and individuals are who live in our community.

Committee Member
Dawn Zydonis

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I first competed in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon in 2003.  I must say that the energizing feeling that overcomes you when you run across that finish line is beyond words! I am constantly amazed at how many people in our community support this event and volunteer their time on race day.  I did not know Barbara, but having met her family and friends I am confident that her life was a life worth celebrating.

Like most other people, my life has been affected by breast cancer. I am honored, as a BSMtri Committee Member, to be able to assist with putting this event together each year. I know that this event is helping women in our community to receive the screenings and care they need to help fight breast cancer.

Meet our Website/Communications Coordinator
Brett Bentley

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info coming soon ~


Meet our Event Expo Coordinator
Jamie Zydonis


I’ve been a member of this community for the past 35 years. I have been a volunteer fire fighter/EMT for the City of Nevada City and a volunteer EMT for the BMX bike races. I helped my friend Nancy with the Relay for Life booth for 4 years and I have worked for Network Real Estate for the past 10 years.When Nancy asked my 10 year old daughter to help her pass out t-shirts at the BSM Event Expo, she knew I would have to be the chaperone. The next thing I knew, eleven years had passed and I was still volunteering and my duties had increased. I have taken over the duties of coordinating the Event Expo while my daughter coordinates the participant t-shirt table and has become a Swim Angel.

The 1st time I participated as a triathlete I was very nervous about the swim. But the other participants, the Swim Angels and the kayakers all gave me the confidence I needed to complete the swim and make my way to the finish line. I am a 11 year volunteer and an 10 year participant.

I think volunteering is a huge part of our community. I wish everybody would take the time to volunteer for local organizations that help benefit our community. Never did I dream that I would be involved in an event that would directly affect my family. Early detection is more important than we sometimes want to admit. I’m grateful to this event and I look forward to staying involved for many years to come.

Meet our Athlete Bag Coordinator
Shanin Martin-Ybarrondo

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I have had the pleasure of participating in this amazing event for over a decade. I’ve been a sponsor, printed the t-shirts, walked the 5k, biked as part of a team, and in 2008 completed the entire event as a triathlete. Never in a million years would I have imaged I could accomplish such a feat. From start to finish every person associated with this event supported and cheered for me. I’ve been in the community since 1992. I am a huge baseball fan (Go Giants!) and have played softball since high school. My husband and I play co-ed slow pitch every Friday night. We’ve recently become lake kayakers and try to get out and hike new areas each year. I finally made it to the top of the Sierra Buttes last summer.

Shortly after the 2008 event at age 38 my doctor sent me to the Diagnostic Imaging Center at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for my first mammogram. I was a little nervous knowing my doctor had a concern, but when I walked in, the staff assured me I would be taken care of and they could help me with the cost because they had a program that funded those without insurance. The funding provided by the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon allowed me to walk in and walk out without stress or a large debt! This was my first interaction with a preventative mammogram and although the doctor assured me everything was fine, it made me aware of those who do not participate in preventative care and that the unthinkable can happen. I didn’t personally know Barbara, but my son whet to school with her son Stewart. I was aware of how her life had touched so many people. What truly amazed me was how her life touched my life and continued to do so for many years.

Now 43, again my life seems to have come full circle. This past year I’ve found a new career and home at the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. I’m blessed to bring my talents, passion and enthusiasm to an organization that is part of something bigger and strives to make a difference in this world every day. It’s only fitting I would now have the honor of being on the Barbara Schmidt Millar Steering Committee.