About our Structure

WJU leadership is comprised of both Elected and Appointed positions. Every two years in the fall, elections are conducted to establish the elected Trustees (10) who take office at the January Convention of the odd number year (i.e., 2023, 2025, etc.). The slate of candidates is determined by a volunteer Nominating Committee who seek candidates and establish the pool of nominees beginning after the January Convention (in the even numbered year, 2024, 2026, etc.). Candidates serve four-year terms, staggered such that five will be chosen at each election.

In the Summer, the nominated candidates are announced. Ballots are provided to every member in good standing and they must be cast and returned no later than the due date, generally December 15. The results are tallied and announced via email and in the next issue of Circus Fanfare.

At the January Meeting of the “Board,” the Trustees will select from the ten Trustees, a President and a Vice President to serve two-year terms. Further, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Circus Fanfare Editor are appointed, along with any other special positions that the Board deems appropriate. Appointees do not have voting rights at Board meetings unless they are also elected Trustees. Board meetings are prior to the start of the Annual Convention in January and Summer Meet, and at other times as may be scheduled. The intent is for the Board to meet in person or remotely at least quarterly.

The Secretary is responsible for documenting all actions of the Board and providing minutes that are complete and timely. The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the financial records of WJU consistent with all applicable laws, providing regular financial reports, and filing documents as required by law.

President 2021-2023 – Don Covington – Trustee to 12/31/2024
WJU #119

Music and the circus have been recurring themes throughout piccolo player Don Covington’s life. At the suggestion of his college band director, he auditioned for the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC. While that position didn’t materialize, it still led to his entering the Navy where during flight-training he was the drum major and assistant director of the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate Band in Pensacola Florida. After earning his wings, he served as a naval aviator aboard Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, had tours in Washington, DC and was naval attaché at the American Embassy in Paris, France. He retired as a Captain after a 30-year military career. His second career was with the circus. During thirteen years with New York-based Big Apple Circus in administrative roles, including Company Manager, he and his family traveled the country full time with the show. Don is a past national president of the Circus Fans Association of America and also served as the president of the Circus Historical Society. Don was on the executive committee for the World-Wide Circus Summit in 2015. Based in Coronado, California, he is currently a consultant to the circus industry. Don has been a Windjammer since 1973.

Vice President 2021-2023 – Lynette Garlan – Trustee to 12/31/2026
WJU #3633

Lynette Garlan has been a Windjammer member since 2015. A Certified Public Accountant by trade, Lynette manages a theater company and orchestra, and a community band in Pittsburgh, PA. She is on several nonprofit boards. Lynette plays violin with three orchestras and euphonium with three community bands. In the past, Lynette hosted touring groups coming through the Pittsburgh area to perform. She was the host for our Windjammers Summer Meet held in Pittsburgh, PA, July 16-21, 2019 and chaired the host committee for the 2021 Virtual Convention. Lynette serves on the Webmaster Committee and is Chair – Giving & Development Committee.

Secretary – Joe Shearin – Trustee to 12/31/2026
WJU #3773

Joe Shearin is a big fan of circus music despite never playing under a big top before discovering Windjammers. Grandson of an Italian-trained bandmaster, Joe began playing trombone in high school. He played at the University of Toronto, and at the University of Miami where he earned a degree in engineering. Equipped with a master’s in business (Purdue) and a love of aviation, he joined United Airlines for what would turn out to be a lifetime career. Joe and Susan, a fellow United employee and Windjammer clarinetist, raised two children in Chicago. After he retired as Director of Finance, they began allocating their time between Chicago and the family home in Miami, FL, with occasional grandkid-sitting in the northeast. Joe plays in many ensembles, including the Greater Miami Symphonic Band, Alhambra Symphony and Chop Shop Big Band. In Illinois, he plays in the Palatine Concert Band (past president), Waukegan Symphony, Judson Civic Orchestra, Barrington Brass Quintet (founder), La Banda Siciliana di Chicago, and Night Express Big Band. He particularly enjoys freelancing in pit bands for community musicals (600 lifetime performances, 130 productions.). Joe and Susan joined Windjammers in 2007 and try to never miss a meet. Joe serves on the Webmaster Committee.

Treasurer – Howard Habenicht
WJU #766

Howard Habenicht has been Treasurer of Windjammers Unlimited since January 1, 2008. In 1983 he attended the Windjammers Summer Meet public concert in Naperville, IL which included former Ringling bandmaster Merle Evans and many Naperville band members. He was impressed by the music of the circus so joined WJU and attended his first Convention in January 1984, playing trumpet. Howard is a CPA and was with Ernst & Ernst for 19 years, the last 7 of which as a member of the firm’s Midwest Region Technical Committee. Following his time with the audit firm, he joined Vibro/Dynamics Corporation as Controller and Corporate Secretary. He was with the company 25 years, and was President and CFO for his last 7 years. Howard was a charter member (1958) of the West Suburban Concert Band in LaGrange, IL and has played with many groups. He has been a member of the Naperville Municipal Band since 1992 and was its Treasurer 1992-2005. He joined ACB in 1997 and was their Treasurer until 2016.

Rod Everhart, Circus Fanfare Editor
WJU #1351

Rod Everhart, has been a Windjammer since 1990, and has served three terms as Trustee and has been Circus Fanfare Editor since the end of 2015. He has been playing in the solo cornet section since 2003 and in the closing night dance bands since 2007. Rod’s enthusiasm for circus music has been evidenced in an “At the Circus” booklet he has published containing 22 pages of text about the history of music in the circus and melody lines for 20 circus-like compositions he created. He has done two radio programs as a guest, talking about historic circus music and using recordings as examples. He has also done a half dozen or more 30 to 60-minute programs on circus music history for organizations such as Rotary, Senior Groups and P.E.O., and in 2018 at Texas A&M’s “Circus Texas” event. He has brought a new level of excellence and full color too to Circus Fanfare as Windjammers Unlimited aims at preservation and education as well as performance.

Trustee – Teresa Cosenza – Term Expires 12/31/2024
WJU #3692

Teresa Cosenza has been a member of Windjammers Unlimited since 2018. She is a retired music educator having retired from West Geauga Local Schools in 2017 after 30 years of teaching. While at West Geauga Teresa taught Instrumental music from the 5th grade beginning program through high school. Her bands consistently received Superior ratings at Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) adjudicated events. Teresa has served as an adjudicator for OMEA for 30 years. In retirement she continues to serve as an adjudicator as well as serving as Coordinator of Performing Groups at the annual OMEA Professional Development Conference. She is also a free-lance musician performing as a piano accompanist for school choirs and instrumental soloists at recitals, festivals and competitions, as well as a trombonist in professional and community concert bands and ensembles. In addition, Teresa works for Prodigy Student Travel as a tour manager. She received her Bachelor of Music, Music Education from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Music, Music Education from The University of Akron. Besides playing trombone and conducting with Windjammers Unlimited, she has been a member and soloist with Lakeland Community College Civic Band and the Sounds of Sousa Band. She has performed in the Lakewood Hometown Band, W.D. Packard Concert Band and the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. Besides being a member of Ohio Music Education Association, Teresa is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Federation of Musicians Local 4. Honors and awards received include Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Kappa Lambda and, in 1986, Teresa was included in Outstanding Young Women of America. Teresa is Chair – Education Committee.

Trustee – Gerald Guilbeaux – Term Expires 12/31/2024
WJU #2002

A member of the Lafayette Concert Band since its inception in 1982, Gerald Guilbeaux has been the Conductor/Music Director of the band since 1993. He is also the founder and conductor of the Acadian Wind Symphony, a select wind ensemble which performs during the summer months and at special events. Under his direction, the Lafayette Concert Band became the 1999 recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, an international award recognizing excellence in adult community bands, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He has earned a national reputation as an advocate for the adult community music movement and is Past-President of the Association of Concert Bands. A member of Windjammers Unlimited since 1996, he has conducted the Circus Hall of Fame Band and is chair of the Conductor Committee of WJU. He has twice been awarded the Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association and received the Diploma of the Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Mr. Guilbeaux is an active guest conductor, serves on the Selection Committee for the Sudler Silver Scroll, is Vice-President/Treasurer of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and is the administrator and assistant conductor of the Sousa Foundation’s National Community Band. He was elected Chair of the Associate Member Committee of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of ABA. He is the proud father of three daughters, Amy, Lynn and Chrissy. Granddaughters, Carly and Cameryn O’Quain, Addison Thompson, Lily Bone and grandsons Lucien Bone IV and Mark and Henry Thompson add tremendous joy to his family life.

Trustee – Jay Kahn – Term Expires 12/31/2026
WJU #583

Jay Kahn is a native of Southern California. He has an M.A. degree in Music Education from the University of Iowa.  Before starting his teaching career in Iowa, Jay had the opportunity to play trombone with the 12-piece Circus Vargas Band under the direction of Jim Gibson during the 1977 “international” season. Jay now lives in Maquoketa, IA, where he has completed his 45th year of teaching, 42 of them as Director of the Maquoketa Middle School Bands. He programs circus related marches and “smears” with his students. In 1996, the NE Iowa Bandmasters Association presented him with the Phillip Sehmann Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 1999 he was named a Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. He has served as president of the NEIBA, and currently is co-editor of the Iowa Band History Project. Jay has directed Maquoketa’s Timber City Band since 1986.

Trustee – Marvin Manring – Term Expires 12/31/2026
WJU #3688

Marvin Manring of Stockton, MO served WJU as the site manager for the 2022Convention in Springfield, MO. He recently retired from public school teaching after 37 years as a high school band director. A native of Albany, MO, he attended Central Methodist College (now CMU) in Fayette, and played under the baton of longtime WJU member Keith House in both the college band and professional concert bands in Central Missouri. During his teaching career, his school bands received top awards at state assessments and athletic events. Manring and his wife Mary Anne joined WJU in 2018, and he conducted a session of the summer meet in Oskaloosa, IA, as well as a session at the Springfield meet. He also initiated an invitational session for area band directors in Springfield that resulted in eight new memberships.

Trustee – John Wetzel Term Expires 12/31/2026
WJU #949

John Wetzel lives in Columbia, MO, and has been a Windjammers member since 1986. He attended Central Methodist College (now CMU) in Fayette, MO, and studied under the tutelage of Keith House, a staunch advocate of traditional band and circus music. John was a member of the committee that hosted the WJU summer meet in 1990 and more recently served on the WJU board as Trustee followed by four years as Board President (2017-2020.) After 39 years John retired from the electrical supply business. He plays solo cornet, is a board member with the Columbia MO Community Band, lead trumpet with the “Memories” big band, and for many years played in the Kansas City American Legion Band under the direction of Keith House. John also plays utility trumpet with the Columbia Civic Orchestra and numerous German bands.

Trustee – Lisa Zemlock – Term Expires 12/31/2026
WJU #837

Lisa Zemlock has been a Windjammers member since 1985. She is a native of New Holstein, WI and earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1983 and completed her Master of Science degree in 1993, also from UW Oshkosh. She directed the middle school bands at Winneconne Community School District for 35 years, retiring in 2018. Lisa has served as the conductor of the Oshkosh VFW Band since 2012. She plays trumpet in the Appleton City Band, the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band, and the UW Fox Valley Concert Band. She also plays in several brass quintets and for musical pit orchestras. She has been a member of the National Band Association for 39 years and served several terms on the Board of Directors as a Middle School Band Representative. She served as the Wisconsin State Chairman for the National Band Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Concert Band Association and is President-Elect of the Wisconsin Bandmasters’ Association. Lisa is married to fellow Windjammer, Ron Olson, who plays euphonium. They have a son, RJ, who is a student at Ripon College.

Trustee – April Zink Term Expires 12/31/2024
WJU #1253

April Zink has been a member of Windjammers since 1989. She was Editor – Circus Fanfare from mid-2006 through mid-2015. While a college student, she toured over-the-road for six seasons with The Circus Kingdom as a trumpeter. During that time, they produced three CDs of circus music. As a member of Windjammers, April has been an advocate for building youth membership as well as inviting cross-over membership from the other circus fan organizations. She has organized Windjammer Circus and Concert Bands for the CFA Convention, where she is also a Trustee, and for the International Independent Showmen’s Association’s annual charity circuses. April is Chair – Membership Committee.