Meet The Team
2023-2024 MI DIV Officers
The Michigan Division Board is elected by members at the Annual Meeting in June and serves a one-season term from August 1st through July 31st.
Beth Vance (she/her)
Beth Vance has been active in MI Division fencing for over 20 years, serving as Chair in 2004-2005, 2021-2022 and Vice Chair in the 2022-2023 season. Beth was on the 2013 Veteran World Women's Saber Team, and has taken first place in a Veteran Combined Saber NAC, and consistently finishes in the top 8 at Veteran NAC's and Summer Nationals. Beth trains at the Renaissance Fencing Club where she also serves as an assistant coach for the beginner, adult, and competitive youth saber program.
Laurie Lapp (she/her)
Laurie has been the Division Treasurer from 2019-2023, and sees fencing as a sport that can benefit the young and more mature in a multitude of ways. Laurie started fencing mid-life in 2012. Since this time she has obtained a rating in all three weapons, certification to referee in all three weapons, and has obtained Moniteur coaching status. You will find her at Traverse City Fencing Club in Traverse City, Michigan. Laurie works as a professional human resources consultant for small businesses and charter schools across the state of Michigan.
Gretchen Payne (she/her)
Gretchen is a proud fencing parent of two young, competitive foilists and an advocate for the power of sport in developing confidence, responsibility and team work. She is a parent-volunteer at Grand Rapids Fencing Academy (GRAFA), where she has experience organizing and running local club meets and regional tournaments. She also volunteers as a club manager at PASS FC soccer club, which has reinforced her belief in the power of coaching and competition in developing skills needed in any future path. When not at the fencing club or on the soccer field, Gretchen serves as Vice President of HR at Amway Corporation. She hopes to bring her passion for fencing and her ability to drive strategy and organization in complex situations to this role, serving as a parent advocate for fair play and competition.
Ceili Widmann (they/them)
Ceili is the President-elect and women's epee Captain for Michigan State University Club Fencing, where they have fenced for the last 8 years. Prior to moving to Michigan for college, they lived in Ashland, OR and fenced for SOFC/Rogue Fencing. They hold two bachelor's degrees from MSU and are a candidate for the M.A. in Arts & Cultural Management, focusing on sports rhetorics, fencing history, and nonprofit management. They hope to continue to build the division's communication strategy, online presence, and overall accessibility practices.