Meet Mike Winters

CARA Board of Director Member & Chicago Runner

Rockford native, Mike Winters, started running seven years ago and has logged almost 100 running related events! His next goal is qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Mike is a father to both his son Carter, and dog Major, as well as husband to his wife Nicole, whom he met in college. The happy family currently lives in Bloomington.

Mike is one of the newest members of the CARA Board of Directors. He hopes to bring his experience as VP of Business Banking Market Manager with Fifth Third Bank, as well as working in the start-up industry, to the table in his new role with CARA.

1) What most excites you about being a new CARA board member?

I’m excited for the opportunity to broaden the overall reach of the program, heighten my personal involvement and look back on this opportunity knowing I made significant contributions to CARA and the running community. It’s exciting to partner with a professional board that all bring unique backgrounds and experiences, which will collectively unify as we work towards one common objective: the betterment of Chicagoland running. I see this role as an opportunity to improve lives, build unity, and community through running.

2) Why did you want to be on the CARA board?

I look at this organization, not as it is, however, as it can be. Prior to CARA, I solely ran on my own. Over the past few years since joining, I have been pushed to achieve more, run extra miles after I would’ve stopped, and run faster to pace with a group of more experienced athletes that knew I could do better. Similarly, I would like to think I’ve provided that experience to others. That said, I see this as an opportunity for personal growth however am confident that I’ll bring ideas, experience and wherewithal to make meaningful, long-term contributions to improve the organization.

3) Why is running and training important to you?

Every day running is a competition with yourself to improve and see how good you can be. Goals can be set, achieved, and surpassed regularly and improvement can be constant and noticeable. I love the predictable nature of the sport, knowing if you push yourself and train, results will be achieved, and personal milestones can be set to prompt further action. Running is controllable, hassle free, inexpensive and provides a new way to encounter unique experiences while working towards a greater objective of healthy living and personal accomplishment.

4) What do you hope to bring to the CARA board as one of its newest members?

As a creative thinker and thought leader, I’m excited to leverage my personal and professional experience to help broaden the reach of CARA in the Chicago community. As a leader in the financial service community, I have not only developed a strong financial acumen, but have also worked in emerging, redeveloping, turnaround, and start up markets over the past twelve years. In my role, I work with a number of companies in varying industries serving as a consultant and advisor with daily priorities which include, however are not limited to, client advocacy, team building, business development, and marketing. While this opportunity with CARA is unique, I hope to leverage my prior experience to bring change, energy, and excitement as we utilize the unique skills of each team member to create further awareness in the community.

5) What does the Chicago running community mean to you?

The Chicago running community is a vast band of unique and diversified communities from the lakefront and rivers trails, the expansive park network, historical neighborhoods, monumental sites, and through the hills of northwest Chicago. There’s no better way to enjoy the city than by foot, and the Chicago running community provides that opportunity while training and experiencing countless new adventures. Chicago is highly competitive with endless opportunity. Within reach there are a large number of communities that are vastly different, however have proven the ability to operate as one through running. In Chicago, you never have to look very far to find your next unique memorable running experience.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the running community.

To find out more about the Board of Directors click here!