Archived news releases


In less than a year, Martin Chaffee, a leadership consultant from Clarkston, Mich., has gone from sedentary to serious runner, now training for a half marathon after having run 5-, 8- and 10-kilometer races.

He has done it using an eight-step model for positive change—of any personal or organizational kind—that he will present Friday, Feb. 24, at a Bluffton University workshop with his son Andy, a Bluffton senior and distance runner on its cross country and track teams.

Offered in keeping with Bluffton’s 2011-12 civic engagement theme, "Public Health: Promoting Wellness for Self and Community," the workshop is free and open to the public—runners and others—from 6:30-8 p.m. in Centennial Hall’s Stutzman Lecture Hall. Titled "Couch to May Day: Where Running Can Take You," the event will conclude with Andy Chaffee’s distribution of a 10-week physical fitness program designed to carry prospective runners to completion of Bluffton’s four-mile May Day run on May 5.

The younger Chaffee, an accounting and business administration major, is currently following a fitness regimen of his own as he trains for this year’s Ironman Lake Placid on July 22. He began 36 weeks of intense training last November, covering 80-100 combined miles of swimming, biking and running each week and at least 3,240 total miles by the day of the triathlon. The endurance test comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile marathon.

Since starting his training, Chaffee has set personal-record times in the indoor 3,000-meter run (9:37, also a Bluffton record); mile (4:49); and 5,000 meters (16:46).

Martin Chaffee has begun following his son’s lead with the guidance of the eight-step model for change developed by John Kotter, a professor emeritus of leadership at Harvard Business School. During the workshop, Chaffee will share his journey and lead participants through a process of self-reflection that will help them identify their "burning platform," pinpoint possible obstacles and plan recruitment of a supportive "coalition."

Chaffee has been a leadership consultant for school administrators in Oakland County, Michigan, for the last seven years. He designs programs for the leaders of roughly 400 schools in the Detroit metropolitan area and works with a group of consultants that helps schools develop a culture of continuous improvement. Chaffee, who has 17 years of experience as a school administrator, has also designed and facilitated a small-group development program at his church.

"Even if you are not interested in jogging or running, this workshop will help you in your profession, at church and at home—wherever you are called upon to institute positive change," said Julia Szabo, Bluffton’s director of alumni relations and annual giving.


Bluffton public relations, 2/9/12