It’s probably been a while since you’ve seen HRD out on skates, and a lot is going on behind the scenes.  Some of the hardest work – that we don’t want to go unnoticed – has been done by the one and only Vena Schnytzel!  After a severe ankle injury, surgery, and yet another one coming up, Vena has still devoted countless hours of her time and energy to her fellow skaters and making HRD awesome.

Vena SchnytzelVena started skating back in October of 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.  She wasn’t just about the practices and scrimmages, but immediately jumped in to volunteer at different PR events, fundraisers, and other opportunities to help strengthen the league.  Now that she’s off-skates (temporarily!) Vena has actually increased her responsibilities by stepping up her already-impressive committee involvements and taking over as Bout Eligibility Coordinator (determining which skaters can skate in each upcoming bout by tracking how they meet all of their requirements).

Just for the pure jollies of it, Vena’s took her first stab at bout announcing at the “Big O” tournament up in Eugene, OR earlier this month – and she’s a natural!  Fellow skater PoiSIN CanDIE says she encouraged Vena to volunteer and told their captain about her natural talent – “I had personally heard her do a Jason impression and thought she would be fantastic,” says PoiSIN.  And fantastic she was – she kept the crowd entertained by following play-by-plays with ease, filling in the down time by making jokes and thanking sponsors.

Despite all the long hours Vena spends on derby, she’s worked long and hard as a student and now works as a professional analyst for the County’s Public Health Department.  She actually studied Spanish Literature in Spain and was able to travel to different parts of the world including China, Italy, Greece, and France (just to name a few!).

On the track, Vena’s teammates describe her as a great team player, always working hard to keep the pack together – but she’s not all business:  she’ll also be the first to smile at another skater coming off the track, regardless of the score.  “The most important thing to Vena is the teamwork and the sisterhood,” says PoiSIN.  She also knows how to balance work and play, and is always part of the life of our after-parties.  Her teammates appreciate her class, professionalism, but also her fabulous sense of humor.  “Her love for zombies is infectious!” adds PoiSIN.  The girl is just a total joy to be around, whether she’s on-skates, off-skates, or kicking back watching reality TV (an admitted Vena passion).

Derby, work, and even personal lives aside, Vena adds:  “I’ve always wanted a hot dog shooting gun, but I think those might be illegal since someone got an eye poked out with one.”  If you have a hot dog gun connection, please, comment on this post and make Vena’s day.

Thanks, Miss Schnytzel, for being you – and doing all that you do for HRD!  You are a total rock star.