About the Couple of the Year Program

The Couple of the Year program, which is managed by the Member Enhancement Division, was started in 1988 as a way to recognize Members by selecting a couple that represents the best qualities and ideals of GWRRA and its Members. The program starts at the Chapter level with Chapter Couple of the Year, and then through a selection process, Couples of the Year at the District, Region and National levels are selected and recognized. The Couples of the Year normally serve for one year. At the National level, the term International Couple of the Year is used because the selection at that level includes Region Couples of the Year from both the U.S. and Canada.

There seem to be some misconceptions about the Couple of the Year program. The Couple of the Year award is primarily intended to give recognition, at the chapter level, to a particular couple, and is usually decided by a committee comprised of members from that chapter.

While the Couple of the Year award is initially awarded at the chapter level, it is possible for a Chapter Couple of the Year to compete at District, Region and International levels. However, it is not mandatory. Some of the larger districts in the United States compete for a District Couple of the Year, but this is not the case for districts in Region K. For Region K, a selection for Couple of the Year is held annually at the Region K rally known as Rendezvous, which is normally held in August. Winners of the Region are expected to compete at the GWRRA International Rally, Wing Ding, held in early July the following year.

At the District, Regional, and International levels, there are specific guidelines that Couples of the Year should follow. For additional information, please refer to the International Membership Enhancement Division website and the GWRRA Officer Guidebook.

  • 2015 - 2016
  • 2014 - 2015
  • 2011 - 2012
  • 2009 - 2010
  • 2008 - 2009
  • 2007 - 2008
  • 2006 - 2007
  • 2005 - 2006

2015 - 2016 Couple of the Year: Mark & Teresa Fleury

Mark & Teresa

Teresa and I have been married coming up to 25 years this year. We have 3 grown children, Rebecca, Kayleigh and Zachary. I was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. Teresa was born in Toronto and moved to Brampton at the age of seven.

We are both still working full time. When we are not at work, family and GWRRA is the place where our time is focused.

When we are not out riding, we are teaching Rider Ed. Seminars, Leadership Training Seminars, Membership Enhancement Seminars or doing a Medic First Aid Course and an occasional OCP Course.

We joined GWRRA in 2007. We became the Rider Educator’s in 2010 and became Seminar Presenters in 2011 (now known as University Trainers). In 2012 we became Assistant Chapter Directors, and became Chapter Directors in 2014. We then that same year, became OCP Certified Instructors and Medic First Aid Instructors. In June of 2015, I also became a Senior University Trainer.

In 2015 we became Chapter Y’s Couple Of The Year, as well as becoming Region K’s Couple Of the Year for 2015-2016.

We will be competing at Wing Ding 2016 for the International Couple of the Year Competition.

And as they say the rest is history.

Mark & Teresa Fleury

2014 - 2015 Couple of the Year: Francois and Chantal Seguin

Francois & Chantal

We are Parents of 2 lovely children 1 daughter Jessica and 1 son Jean-Francois. Francois was born and raised on a milking farm, retired from Milking in 1994, Chantal was born and raised in business, grocery store, restaurant, gas station We are both still working full time. And find a nice balance between our activities it’s fun when the children all join in as well.

We love to participate with as many GWRRA gathering and Events since 2006 We both had many different motorcycle but all of them were Honda’s Today we both drive an F6B Goldwing that we enjoy alot.

Since 2006 we have held position in our chapter as secretary, newsletter editors, Directors, Seminar presenter and PLP Facilitators.

We are both Level 4 and enjoy all aspect of GWRRA MEP, LTP and REP Outside of GWRRA We have been scout leaders since 1991 and still enjoying the outing and activities with the groups. We also participate with the duck festival a local festival in our community.

We are happy to be part of the big GWRRA family and can’t wait to go to Wing Ding in 2015.

Francois & Chantel Seguin

2014 / 2015 Region K
Couple of the year

2011 - 2012 Couple of the Year: Alain and Suzie Mainville

Alain & Suzie

We are Alain and Suzie Mainville. We have 3 children: 2 sons and a daughter. We live on a farm in St-Isidore about 70 kilometres East of Ottawa, Ontario.

Alain was raised on a dairy farm. He operated his own farm for the last 35 years. Last December we sold the dairy operations to our neighbour. We remain in the agricultural field and we will continue growing corn, soybeans and wheat on our land.

Suzie was also raised on a dairy farm. She worked at the federal government for 12 years and then stayed home raising the kids after we were married. She helped on the farm with the feeding and milking of the cows. While performing her duties, she participated in the boys’ hockey team. Over the years Suzie was involved in church committees and in the school council as treasury/secretary. Currently she is helping the Breakfast Club.

Alain was also involved in the agricultural committees. He was on the Board of Direction to implement the Hay Co-op. He was director and then president of the Co-op St-Isidore. He was also member of the Knights of Columbus and the International Optimist Club.

We purchased our Goldwing motorcycle in 2004 and then became members of GWRRA. Since then we have been active members of our chapter ON-F. We are involved in the chapter life, group rides as ride coordinator and secretary.

We have also taken numerous courses over the years. We believe in riding in group safely, having fun and enjoying friendships. We visited regions in Quebec and Ontario provinces and a few states such as Florida, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

We adhere to and promote the GWRRA values. As individuals it helped us gain confidence in ourselves while meeting people in different chapters. We are pleased to represent the Region K in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Our moto is Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge.

Alain and Suzie Mainville
St-Isidore, Ontario
Chapter ON-F
Region K Couple of the Year 2011-12

2009 - 2010 Couple of the Year: Barry and Carolyn Heinmiller

Barry & Carolyn

We are Barry and Carolyn Heinmiller. We live on a farm near the town of Palmerston, which is located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario. We are proud to say that we have four children: three sons and a daughter. We are also blessed with five grandchildren.

Barry has been a farmer all his life: raising beef cattle and operating a farrow-to-finish hog business. In his spare time he has also cashed cropped, essentially growing corn, wheat and soybeans. Fourteen years ago, we downsized our farming operation, and supplemented our livelihood by becoming school bus drivers for the local Board of Education.

Carolyn began her working life as a hair dresser, and then became a real estate agent for seventeen years. As the demands of being a farmer's wife prevailed, Carolyn decided to relinquish the duties as an agent, by trading in this vocation to eventually become a domestic engineer, and as mentioned, fulfill the obligations as a school bus driver.

Over the past several years, Carolyn has been involved in church work, minor hockey, curling club, and the agricultural society, to name a few community endeavors. She is currently an avid member of Sweet Adeline International.

Barry's interests within the community have been similar, if not equally involved. He has been very active in curling, minor hockey, church work; not to mention, he has pursued several accomplishments with Lion's Club International, Wellington County Pork Producers, and with the local agricultural society.

Motorcycling has played a big part in our lives getting together at the onset. In 1994, after a lot of consideration and soul searching, we purchased our very first Honda Goldwing. Shortly after that, we became members of GWRRA.

This series of events drastically changed our lives, to say the least. We are proud that we have become actively involved in local chapter life, group rides, and dinner socials. In fact, we became Assistant District Directors, and were the founders of our chapter's exclusive fundraiser. Over the course of six year, this commitment and pursuit has enabled our Chapter to earn bronze sponsor honors for the London Children's Health Centre. Yet the educational component of safe riding has never slipped our minds. Partaking in riding courses, seminars, and other worthwhile safety practices have, by the end of the day, unquestionably made us much safer motorcyclists. Since joining the Association we have logged well over 350,000 kilometers (or 200,000 miles) on our motorcycle. To our overwhelming enthusiasm, we have traveled all across Canada and the United States, and more importantly, have been welcomed into many, many homes. Truly, the motto of 'Friends, Fun and Fellowship' has been upheld in our lives, especially in regard to the wonderful friendships that have been created within our own lives, thanks to GWRRA.

As a testament based on our magnificent experiences with this great organization, GWRRA, all we can say to the members, is to get involved and be active! If you do, the incredible rewards will all be yours to enjoy!

Barry and Carolyn Heinmiller
Region K Couple of the Year 2009-2010

2008 - 2009 Couple of the Year: Nicole Lafontaine and Pierre Hunter

Pierre & Nicole


2007 - 2008 Couple of the Year: Marina and Terry Christoff

Our journey began as a middle age dream and a life long desire to own and ride a motorcycle. After basic rider training and careful analysis, we decided that a classic Gold Wing GL1200A would fulfill our needs and meet our budget.

Fortunately for us, this motorcycle opened up a whole new world of opportunities for friends, fun, and adventure. We joined the local chapter ON-E (Kitchener) of GWRRA so that we could learn to ride safely. Subsequently, we purchased and restored a 2000 GL1500A that we are currently riding and obtained a permanent motorcycle license.

Chapter life involved us in many activities including leadership seminars, workshops, rider education, drill team, socials, monthly meetings, and especially travel. Trips led us to experience Wing Dings and Rallies, and to explore much of the USA and Canada on a motorcycle. We were now hooked on GWRRA.

Our participation in Chapter E events led us to being selected as the Chapter Couple of the Year, then we were also selected by the Region at Rendezvous 2007 in St. Thomas, Ontario. We are having a wonderful time visiting and meeting members throughout the organization. We encourage each of you to get involved in your chapter and GWRRA. You too will be suitably rewarded with Friends for Fun, Safety, and Knowledge.

We are respectfully,

Marina and Terry Christoff
Region K Couple of the Year 2007-2008

2006 - 2007 Couple of the Year: Glenn and Iona Schantz

Glenn and Iona have been riding for over 25 years, and have been members of Gold Wing Road Riders Association since 1985. Iona and Glenn reside in New Dundee in south-western Ontario, and associate with Chapter E in Kitchener-Waterloo.

In their own words...

In the spring of 1985 we acquired our first Gold Wing, an '83 GL1100 Interstate with full fairing and bags, but no radio, intercom or CB. We also took out a membership in GWRRA. How did we get to this point?

Fifteen years earlier, we had two teenage sons interested in motorcycles and the money from their first jobs went to buying bikes. At that time we had a dairy herd, and not much spare time, but we did take our sons' bikes out for the occasional ride.

We enjoyed it very much. In 1982, when our youngest son took over the dairy farm, we found it a little easier to get away and thought if we were ever going to get a bike, now was the time. At the ages of 54 and 50, we bought a 400cc Honda street bike with a windshield but not much else.

We rode it around home, and liked the freedom of riding through the countryside. Our first long trip was to Owen Sound, taking backroads all the way, and stopping every half hour. It may have taken us a little longer than driving in the car, but we liked the ride on the bike so much more.

Our neighbours at the time, much younger than us, both had motorcycles, one an '82 Wing and the other a 900cc touring bike. They always liked to ride, and, of course, go for coffee. When the call came from them to go out, we were always ready and eager to go. Once again, we thoroughly enjoyed biking around. At that point, it was obvious we were serious about this - we were hooked!

At this time we felt the need to move up to a bigger bike, and looked at an '83 GL650 Silver Wing. This looked good to us. Our friend advised us that we had better buy a Gold Wing as he was sure we would end up with one eventually. So, off we went to the local dealer who was also a GWRRA member. We were talked into buying our '83 Gold Wing. This was a big commitment on our part. After a few months we began to feel more comfortable on this much bigger bike.

We didn't know a lot about riding, and we wanted to ride safely so we took the motorcycle course at Conestoga College, a local community college. We learned a lot about handling motorcycles and riding safely, gaining much confidence.

A friend who had an '84 Gold Wing contacted us, and told us about a GWRRA meeting in Woodstock. We attended the meeting, and we were impressed with the organization's values and goals. We decided to go ahead and join.

A chapter was established, Area Representative (now known as a Chapter Director) selected, and we were on our way. Although we were interested in full participation, we had other commitments, including being active as leaders in our church. We were also heavily involved with farm-related and community based organizations. We did participate in chapter meetings, although unable to attend all the Sunday meetings. And, we did promote the Association to potential members, sold 50-50 tickets, set up for parties, bought awards, and manned check points on observation runs. We have attended eight Wing Ding events, the Michigan State Rally, and several events at the Warren, Pennsylvania chapters.

On our own we have traveled on our bike to many places including Alaska, and both Canada and the USA from coast to coast. We also toured Mexico with Skip Mosecura. Over the years we have owned six motorcycles including five Gold Wings, and traveled over 350,000 kilometres.

We have also taken CPR and emergency first aid through our involvement in farm-related organizations. We are Lifetime Members of the GWRRA. We have been married for 54 years, have five children, and nine grandchildren.

Glenn and Iona Shantz
New Dundee, Ontario
Chapter ON-E (Kitchener-Waterloo),
Region K Couple of the Year 2006 - 2007

2005 - 2006 Couple of the Year: Larry and Janice Chisholm

We are very honoured and proud to represent Region ‘K’ as your Couple of the Year for 2005 - 2006. In addition, we are the Membership Enhancement Division (MED) coordinators for Region ‘K’. As we travel around the Region, we are promoting the activities and programs of Region ‘K’ and also the various programs and activities offered by the individual chapters.  In this respect, we view our role as ambassadors for G.W.R.R.A., the Region and the chapters we represent.

In May 2002 we joined G.W.R.R.A. and have taken an active role in our home chapter, Chapter ‘S’ in London, Ontario.  We are the proud owners of a 2001 illusion red GL1800. During the last 4 years, we have ridden over 93,000 km. Our motorcycle adventures have taken us all over Ontario, Quebec, and into the states of New York, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. In 2002 we trailered our motorcycle to Alberta and spent three weeks riding the roads of Alberta and the interior of British Columbia.

Motorcycle rallies such as Wing Ding, Americade and our Region Rallies (Welland, Milton, Limoges) have been exciting and a great opportunity to meet many new people, develop friendships and share adventures.

We are retired educators from the Thames Valley District School Board in London, Ontario. Larry was a teacher and administrator. Janice was a classroom teacher and learning support / school resource teacher. We continue to be active in the community. Larry is a member of the Hyde Park and District Lions Club and has been a member of Lions International for 30 years. Janice volunteers with the Thames Valley Children’s Centre Auxiliary, a group that assists young people with physical and communication challenges.

At times, our family and friends think we’re a little “crazy” when we take off on our motorcycle adventures. However, they support us completely. Our sons, Darren and Ryan, are married and are teachers themselves.

Our motorcycle adventures and opportunities to visit and socialize with G.W.R.R.A. members in a variety of chapters have enabled us to realize just how small the world really is and how much of a family we really are. We appreciate the opportunity that has been presented to us to represent Region ’K’ and look forward to meeting everyone.

For us, this is an incredible journey and we invite all the members of Region ‘K’ to join us on this journey.

Larry and Janice Chisholm
London, Ontario
Region 'K' (Central Canada) - Couple of the Year '05 - '06