Meet the people behind the words and the photos of SPORTS ‘N SPOKES.
Tom Fjerstad – Editor
Tom Fjerstad joined the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in 1990 after being injured while on active duty in the Navy. Tom served as the first president of the Minnesota chapter of PVA, and he was on the PVA National Board of Directors for over 20 years, taking on roles as the national vice president and national senior vice president before joining SPORTS `N SPOKES in 2014. Tom also acquired professional accreditations in parliamentary law.
Favorite wheelchair sport: Handcycling, because I used to race bicycles in Europe while serving in the Navy, and it allows me to continue enjoying something that was very important to me.
Why he loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: The thrill of bringing new and exciting information to the PVA membership. The historical importance the magazine has played in the lives of veterans with spinal-cord injury and disease since PVA’s inception in 1946.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? Absolutely! That way you make up for all the calories you’d be losing with mustard alone.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Of course it does! Without it a Hawaiian pizza would just be Canadian and what would that say about NAFTA?
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? If an object is important, I can research its history. Animals appear to have much more common sense than people, and I’d like to tap into that!
Sherri Shea – Operations Manager
Sherri Shea has been with SPORTS `N SPOKES for 40 years. She started working the front desk in 1978 when the office moved to Phoenix under Editor Cliff Crase. Ever since, Sherri has done almost every job in the office, including marketing, advertising, circulation and accounting. To this day, she is still answering your phone calls and helping out the wonderful readers.
Favorite wheelchair sport: I like wheelchair basketball because it was the first sport I saw in person.
Why she loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I like being in charge of the money – paying the bills, helping create our budget and doing the deposits.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? No, ketchup doesn’t make my list of favorite condiments!
Does pineapple belong on pizza? No, I like my pizza savory, not sweet.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? Talk to animals so I can have a conversation with my two cats instead of sounding like a crazy lady as I talk to them all the time.
Andy Nemann – Assistant Editor
Andy Nemann came to PVA Publications in 2011 after more than six years as an editor with the Gannett Magazine Group where he helped manage two national magazines and a trio of Florida travel publications. The Cincinnati native earned a BA in journalism from Northern Kentucky University and has more than 20 years of journalism experience, including writing for a national newswire and managing custom publishing projects for clients such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Western Athletic Conference and the University of Arizona.
Favorite wheelchair sport: Track and field. I like the simplicity of the competition such as who is the fastest or who can throw the longest, plus I was on the track team in high school.
Why he loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: The ability to be creative and having a job with a purpose of providing information to veterans and others with spinal-cord injury and disease.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? I don’t eat hot dogs. . .
Does pineapple belong on pizza? People can eat whatever they want any way they want.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? Talk to animals because it would be way more fun.
John Groth – Editorial Coordinator
John Groth has been with SPORTS ‘N SPOKES since 2013. John spent almost a decade working in the newspaper industry as a sports reporter/editor throughout the Midwest. He has earned honors and awards throughout his career, including a 2007 Hoosier State Press Association first-place Best Sports Event coverage award.
Favorite wheelchair sport: Wheelchair rugby. It’s got plenty of hard-hitting action, scoring and strategy involved.
Why he loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I enjoy telling people’s stories and getting to know veterans on a personal level. I also like feeling like I’m helping keep our magazine readers informed of different sports, events, news and innovations that may interest them or get them involved.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? Ketchup definitely does belong on hot dogs. It just tastes better with it. My colleague Christopher Di Virgilio would disagree with me.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Pineapple is good on pizza. I like Hawaiian pizza, so I’m down with it. Olives, however, do not belong on pizza – or anywhere.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? I’d rather be able to talk with animals – who doesn’t want to know what they think?!
Brittany Martin – Editorial Coordinator
Brittany Martin has been an editorial coordinator with SPORTS `N SPOKES since 2015. Prior to joining SPORTS `N SPOKES, Brittany honed her journalistic skills as a copy editor, page designer, web content editor and social media manager over 10 years in the newspaper industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2005, where she graduated summa cum laude with honors from the Barrett Honors College.
Favorite wheelchair sport: I really can’t pick just one! Downhill sit-skiing is fascinating to me since I recently started learning to ski. Trapshooting is just fun to watch, as I am also a shooter. I enjoy the action of wheelchair rugby, and I am always impressed by the determination and stamina of off-road handcyclists and wheelchair racers.
Why she loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: First and foremost, the people I have the opportunity to meet and interview. I love telling their stories. Second, I love that I’m always learning something new. The world of wheelchair sports is constantly changing and growing, and I’m excited every day that my job allows me to share it with others.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? It depends on what else is on it. If it’s a Chicago dog, absolutely not. If it’s just the tomatoes and onions, then please pass the ketchup!
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Yes! Canadian bacon, pineapple and jalapeños – you get the salty, the sweet and the heat.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? I’m not really sure I’d want to do either. But if I had some kind of super power, I’d want to be able to fly.
Ann Garvey – Art & Production Director
Ann Garvey is the Art & Production Director at SPORTS `N SPOKES. Ann earned her bachelor’s degree in speech therapy, but has always loved art. In 1987, a friend from SPORTS `N SPOKES asked her to fill in for her while she was on vacation, and 32 years later Ann is still here and loving it. She has worked all over the office as a receptionist, circulation coordinator and advertising/production assistant until she found her permanent position of Art & Production Director in 2006.
Why she loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I feel like I’m accomplishing something meaningful and worthwhile. It’s a force for good in serving our spinal-cord injury military community, it provides resources to improve people’s lives and it’s a positive environment to work in.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? YES! Along with mustard, pickle relish, etc.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Absolutely, if you put it with ham, chicken or barbecued chicken!
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? BOTH! I love learning the background of people, places and things (what brought them/it from point A to point B), BUT can you imagine the things you’d learn from being able to have conversation with animals (they have their own secret window into society and history).
Kerry Randolph – Production & Graphics
Kerry Randolph joined SPORTS `N SPOKES almost four years ago as the Production and Graphics. He came to SPORTS ‘N SPOKES with 20 years of experience in graphic design. Kerry is originally from New Mexico and is a Navy veteran.
Favorite wheelchair sport: Wheelchair rugby and basketball because they are aggressive sports and they are never boring.
Why he loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: Being a veteran myself, it’s rewarding to still serve and help other veterans and people in wheelchairs. It’s amazing to see what people in chairs can do. I love graphic design and I just want to create works of art in PN, our sister publication, and S’NS so people will be excited to see the next magazine.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? Ketchup for me only, I find mustard disgusting. Just simple ketchup!
Does pineapple belong on pizza? I love pineapple, but not on pizza. Pizza is mostly traditional for me – pepperoni, cheese and sausage is perfect.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? Knowledge is everything, but talking to animals is just unnatural. But it would be nice to understand them and to figure out why they do the things they do and how they feel.
Christopher Di Virgilio – Web Content Manager
Christopher Di Virgilio is the Web Content Manager and has been with SPORTS `N SPOKES for 10 years. Being a veteran himself, Christopher had knowledge of PVA and its long history of helping injured veterans. The Chicago native started as an intern to help launch the original S’NS website and cover sporting events and was shortly brought on full-time in his current role and has been loving it ever since.
Favorite wheelchair sport: When you see a sport through the lens of a camera, they all become exciting. I’m lost in the passion and determination the athletes show on their faces, and their energy helps inspire better ways for me to tell their stories. As for a favorite sport … the sport I’m shooting.
Why he loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I’ve always said that working in the web department is the best position at the magazine. I have the honor of being the voice of the publication and have the unique opportunity to meet our readers face-to-face on a personal level.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? NO, absolutely not. Only a charlatan would put ketchup on a hot dog.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? If you’re Don Ho perhaps or maybe if you’re hosting an accessible surfing event in Hawaii. And since you’re asking food questions, it’s sauce NOT gravy.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? Well, I already speak to animals and I’m not certain I want to know what I’ve touched. Ignorance is bliss, my friends.
Courtney Cooper – Web Content Coordinator
Courtney Cooper joined SPORTS `N SPOKES in 2017. The California native studied visual journalism at Brooks Institute, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Before moving to Phoenix, Courtney lived in New York, where she froze for a year while working for Business Insider as a writer and photojournalist. Telling stories has been her passion since she was a young girl, and sharing the stories through photos and videos is something Courtney has always dreamed of doing.
Favorite wheelchair sport: There’s so many to choose from! But it’s probably wheelchair motocross because watching athletes do tricks in their chairs and dropping into bowls makes my jaw drop.
Why she loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I really enjoy meeting and talking with all the athletes and telling their stories. Everyone has a different story, and being able to share those and showcase their talents and passions through photos is what I truly love to do.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? Absolutely! Because it’s delicious, obviously.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Pineapple on pizza is the best way to go! The sweet and savory is delicious.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? I would rather be able to talk with animals! I could have endless conversations with my dogs, who are my best friends. Oh, and they could tell me they love me back when I tell them I love them as I leave for work every morning!
Suzi Hubbard – Circulation Coordinator
Suzi Hubbard has been with SPORTS `N SPOKES for 22 years. Suzi was born and raised in Phoenix. She landed an interview after friends who worked in the office recommended her. After a quick 30-minute interview, Cliff Crase hired her, and she’s been here ever since.
Favorite wheelchair sport: I love wheelchair basketball because it moves quickly, and the players are always maneuvering. Never a dull moment.
Why she loves SPORTS `N SPOKES: I enjoy talking to the customers on the phone as well as in person at the events, although I don’t travel as much anymore. I also enjoy interactions with my co-workers. They are a fun bunch of people.
Does ketchup belong on hot dogs? It entirely depends on what other condiments are on the dog. If there is just mustard, then of course ketchup has to be there, too. But if you add some onions and relish, or chili, or sauerkraut, you should save your ketchup for the fries.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? Again, it depends on what else is on your pizza. Pineapple is the perfect complement to ham or Canadian bacon. But if you are going with Italian sausage, black olives, and sausage, you’d better keep that pineapple in your drink. It’s all about the combination of flavors for me.
Would you rather know the history of every object you touched or be able to talk to animals? Knowing the history of every object you touched might prove to be problematic. Some things are better left unknown. But I would love to be able to converse with animals, especially our pet dogs, Bella, Sophie and Abby. Maybe then I would find out who ate the last of the enchiladas.