Gary & Karen Ballou
2016-2017 Region D Couple of the Year
On July 29th 2016, it was our honor to be selected as the 2016-2017 Great Lakes Region D Couple of the Year! We were honored by our selection and are humbled to be considered for International Couple of the Year in this wonderful family of friends.
We are not yet fortunate enough to be among the ranks of the “retired”. Gary owns his own property and casualty insurance agency and Karen is a registered dietitian and runs the family geologic and engineering business. We have 2 grown children and have recently been blessed with our first grandchild. Karen always has pictures. Just ask! We do still have our two rescued furry kids at home, Konan our Rottweiler and Ginger, our talkie cat.
We met in the seventh grade, were “high-school sweethearts” and were married in 1982. In the last few years, with an empty nest, we have been traveling, some on the motorcycle, some by other means. Gary has ridden over 100,000 safe miles throughout most of North America, including Mexico during the 2016 40 to Phoenix, 11 of the 13 Canadian provinces & territories, and all 50 US states, with Alaska reached just before Wing Ding in Billings last year.
We are on our third Gold Wing, a 2008 GL1800 with a Lehman trike conversion.
We joined GWRRA in 2005 and have become much more involved as time became available. In 2010, we both took the OCP; Gary became an Assistant Rider Educator and Karen became Motorist Awareness rep for Ohio Chapter B3. In 2014, Gary became Rider Educator for B3 and was honored to be named Ohio District Educator of the Year for 2015. Gary is a GWRRA University Certified Presenter for Rider Ed and Membership Enhancement and is also now an ITCP certified trainer. Karen is still our Chapter Motorist Awareness rep and is looking forward to the rollout of the new Motorist Awareness program. She may be taking on other jobs soon. We both maintain our Rider Ed Levels & CPR/MFA training. We stay connected to our home chapter, OH-B3, as we can.
We are very excited about our new roles in GWRRA and have enjoyed our travels within and outside our home Region. At WING DING 39 in Grapevine, we hope to respectably represent Region D as part of the International Couple of the Year selection process. What a fun, full year we have had. It’s all about the ride. Come & join us!
Please consider your
Chapter Couple of
the Year for next year's competition.