Four Seeking SLW Board Seats

Seven Lakes West Candidates from Left: Jim Christner, Karen Frost, Gerald (Gerry) Tryhane and Rita Wanser

Special to The Insider

The election of new board members for Seven Lakes West Landowners Association is underway with ballots being mailed to homeowners as of Feb. 1.

Two candidate forums were held in January, one on Zoom on Jan. 18 and the other an in-person meet-and-greet on Jan. 22 at the Community Center. 

Ballots must be returned by March 14, and election results will be announced on March 17 at 2 p.m. during the association’s annual meeting. Ballots must be returned in the printed envelope provided. They may be mailed or deposited in a locked ballot box at the SLW office during normal business hours. 

Four candidates are running for two open board seats. All candidates were invited by the Seven Lakes Insider to submit profiles, including candidate statements of no more than 150 words. This unofficial forum supplements the election processes. The candidates’ submitted statements were only edited for clarity.

Candidates running for the Seven Lakes Landowners Association (SLLA) on the North and South side will be featured in March. 

Jim Christner

Residency: I have been a resident in Seven Lakes West for 14 years. A very good friend that I served with in Vietnam lives on the North side. He started inviting us here in the early 90s. My wife and I fell in love with the lake and surrounding area.

Occupation: I was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army (21 years) and then worked for a defense contractor for 25 years.

Community Service: I was the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the search, selection and transition of the new HOA management company for SLWLA. In that role, I have had very close contact with the board and most of the associated committees. Many of the skills learned in the U.S. Army and corporate arena have served me well while assisting the SLWLA board and transition to a more strategic HOA management company solution.

Candidate Statement: We have a beautiful community here at Seven Lakes West. Our “small town” is very diverse and is composed of over 1,400 custom homes that range in value from $350,000 to $2.5 million. Approximately 40 new homes are built each year. I particularly like the demographics here at Seven Lakes West. A huge attraction is our beautiful lake, which serves as the crown jewel. As a candidate, my primary goal is to serve and assist the board with “common sense” and responsible governance. Just as important is maintaining sound, rational fiduciary responsibility for all members. With the lake/dam, roads and gated security requiring substantial portions of our budget, innovative and resourceful financial solutions are necessary as the community continues to grow. In short, I would like to be part of that solution and believe I have the background to assist in accomplishing this daunting task.

Karen Frost

Residency: I have lived in Seven Lakes West for two years. The beauty of the lake and having so many amenities is what drew my husband and me to this community when his job moved us here. I enjoy walking, playing disc golf, boating, biking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Occupation: I am currently retired. My previous work experience is in human resources, sales, marketing and management with Eastman Kodak Co. prior to being a stay-at-home mom.

Community Service: As a member of the Events Committee I have assisted on numerous occasions, such as helping to plan, organize and bring to fruition the Lake Auman 5k. I have assisted with the neighborhood newcomers meeting. I organized a weekly walking club. I am a member of the Night Owls Book Club, which has provided an opportunity to host these events. Simply helping my neighbors when there is a need is what brings me great joy.

Candidate Statement: We live in a beautiful community which I appreciate more each day. I truly love the diversity, not only in amenities and activities, but as well in the community makeup. From young families who have just moved in to retired couples who have lived here many years, we have a wide variety of interests, resources and desires among our residents. We need not only to maintain our current infrastructure and amenities, but moreover plan for growth and expansion of new interests, sporting activities and community needs. The power and voice of our community must be among the committees and the input from the volunteers who serve on them, being responsive to the community as whole. As a board member, I intend to fully listen to and consider the advice of committees, communicate fully to the community on a timely basis, and ensure to consider the best interests of all members.

Gerald (Gerry) Tryhane

Residency: Sharon and I moved from South Lake Tahoe in June 2021 to avoid the fires and snow, and enjoy year-round recreation. Our children and grandchildren live between here and Australia, so wherever we live we travel to visit them. We love the neighborhood and are fortunate to have great neighbors.

Occupation: I am a retired CPA, CFO and professor of accounting and business with four years in public accounting (Ernst and Young), 32 years in newspaper publishing and 10 years in education. 

Community Service: I am currently in my first year of Finance Committee, also serving as co-chair. I helped coordinate the preparation of the 2024-2025 SLWLA Budget. In lieu of serving on every committee, my experience is that if you want to understand an organization, understand its finances. Also, before moving here, I was the past president and treasurer of Bentley Square HOA (100+ units) and board member and treasurer of Concept Sierra HOA (30+ units).

Candidate Statement: I am interested in serving on the board to both bring my financial training and experience to our planning process and to help celebrate what a great community we live in. While we have a lot of depth on our current board, I believe we’re lacking in what I would call nuts and bolts financial operating experience. In other words, I have built annual budgets, five-year plans and then helped evaluate and approve projects to make sure they return the benefits promised. There are three things on which I would like to focus. One, holding accountable our new HOA management company (which I’m pleased with so far). Two, to continue to repair and maintain our existing roads and culverts and, lastly, three, to make sure our reserves are adequate given the dam and any unexpected replacements or repairs we would be faced with in the future to existing facilities.

Rita Wanser

Residency: My husband and I moved to Seven Lakes West (SLW) in the summer of 2020. After visiting other locations, we chose SLW for the lake and other amenities, community size, the mixture of younger families and retirees and hospitality of members during our tour of the community.

Occupation: Currently, I am a semi-retired consultant for pharmaceutical, consumer and nutritional healthcare care companies, to investigate and support the safety and efficacy profiles of their products.

Community Service: I have been on the Communications Committee for three years, and currently serve as co-chair and as one of three weekly newsletter publishers. I routinely volunteer for multiple community events (Oktoberfest, Xmas Party set up, 5K run, Polar Plunge, assist at Concert series and Newcomers Events). I enjoy doing my part to help make events happen.

Candidate Statement: We love the diversity of the community age demographics, the number of ways to meet people, the healthy lifestyle, and choices of amenities, clubs, and events. As an avid community volunteer, I can think of no greater way to serve our community than as a board member. There are short term and long-term pressing matters for SLW. The sharing of key information, timeliness, appropriate detailed communications, and easy accessibility of communications with the community must change. We need to prioritize and implement actions that address the aging infrastructure needs, growth and changing demographics of our community and assure a responsible budget. My wish for SLW is that community members accept that we all have varying ideas, and therefore need thoughtful consensus and acceptance, to make good things happen and bring some peace to the community.