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Founders

The following individuals have been instrumental in inaugurating and developing the World Baton Twirling Federation:

  • John Kirkendall/USA - Founding President
  • Jack Crum/USA - Founding Member/Organizer
  • Peppino Giamminola/Italy - Founding Member/Organizer - First Vice President of the WBTF/1978; WBTF Honorary Member
  • Aiko Takayama/Japan - Founding Member; WBTF Honorary Member
  • Jurgen Ernst/Germany - WBTF Treasurer (1983-1993); WBTF Honorary Member
  • Chet Jones/USA - instrumental in developing Compulsory Moves
  • Ann Bittenbender/USA - Chair of the Technical Committee (1979 to 1987)
  • George Walbridge/USA/Star Line Baton Company - Developer and Organizer
  • Ken Sasser/USA/International Teachers Institute - Organizer
  • Tom Veenendall/USA - World Record Book Editor (1985 to 1996)
  • Lynda Garland/Canada - WBTF President (1983 to 2008)
  • Star Line Baton Company Inc., President and CEO, Jack Crum/USA
  • Frances Whitley/USA – WBTF Technical Vice Chair (1992 to 2005)
  • Paola DeMarchi/Italy - WBTF Technical Chair (1992 - present)
  • Jackie Stewart/USA - WBTF Judges Chair (1992 - present)
  • Sandi Wiemers/USA - WBTF Vice President (2000-2008)  WBTF President (2008 - present)

The first World Baton Twirling Championships were held in Seattle, Washington in 1980. Renowned coaches of our early Gold Medalists, who had a vision and made that vision become a reality through the development of Freestyle are:

  • Jerry Alvarez
  • Ann Bittenbender
  • Cecelia Cruz McLean
  • Michael Cruz
  • Maureen Johnson
  • Chet Jones
  • Alan Kramer
  • Annette Odello
  • Maxine Papadopoulos
  • Bonnie Webber
  • Dale White
  • Frances Whitley

The W.B.T.F. introduced an “Honorary Member” Program in 1991. This prestigious award has been presented to the following individuals:

  • Peppino Giamminola, Italy
  • Aiko Takayama, Japan
  • Jurgen Ernst, Germany (deceased in 2002)
  • Jack Crum, USA
  • Pastor Noble Chet Jones, USA
  • Frances Whitley, USA
  • Lynda Garland, Canada
  • Jean-Claude Steiner, France
  • Maureen Johnson, Canada
  • John Kirkendall, USA