Tony Crews is a transplanted South African to the Reno area, Nevada, USA for the last 20 years. What brought him here? Initially Gold and precious metals mining consulting. What keeps him here? The "golden dram" and lore of the finest malt tasting club in the west.
Bruce Douglas: Co-founder of club with son in law Paul Lenz. Professor and Director Emeritus of the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research at the University of Nevada, Reno. Has sampled more than 95 different malts from over 55 distinct distilleries along with 5 vatted malts. Visited Scotland with his wife Mary once (not nearly often enough) and made tours of the Talisker and Glenfiddich. distilleries. His interest in Single Malt Scotch whisky dates from the mid 1980's and he strongly favors malts from the islands of Isla, Skye, and Orkney.
Larry Engstrom: riginally from central California, teaches trumpet and jazz at the University of Nevada, Reno. Served as Director of the Reno Jazz Festival for 25 years and was founding Director of the university’s School of the Arts (2004-2011). Earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Texas. Formerly a performer with the Collective (five CD recordings) and many other northern Nevada music ensembles, he has more recently become interested in musical composition. Loves to play and watch sports, especially baseball, but since age has caught up with him, golf has become his game of choice. He is very much enjoying learning about and tasting a wide variety of single malts.
Scott Faulkner, born in 1968, Scott has served as Executive Director of the Reno Chamber Orchestra since 2001 ( www.renochamberorchestra.org), and plays string bass in the Orchestra. Since 1996, Mr. Faulkner has been Principal Double Bassist of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. He plays a 1735 Hornsteiner Mittenwald, an instrument passed down to him by his uncle Stan Fletcher. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Nevada, Reno, respectively. In 2002 Scott was named by the Nevada Business Journal one of the state's top ten business executives under the age of 40. He currently chairs the committees of both the American Symphony Orchestra League's Group 6 executive directors (orchestras with budgets c. $500,000 to $1M) and "Made in America"--the largest commissioning consortium in the history of American orchestras ( www.fordmadeinamerica.com). An avid record collector, he has over 9,000 LPs and CDs. He plays baseball with his brothers-in-law every weekend, and what this light hitting outfielder lacks at the plate he more than makes up for in fielding deficiency. Scott is happily married to Andrea Lenz (sister of SMSToR Sergent at Arms Paul Q. and Chair of the UNR department of music and dance). They have a neurotic but friendly English Springer Spaniel named Blake, 4 terrific daughters from Andrea's previous marriages, and a 4 year old granddaughter named Evelyn who is empirically the most beautiful child in the world. He has been to Scotland 3 times, and thinks they did a great job in naming the country. Scott loves smokey Islay's best of all, but has room in his heart for most single malts.
Paul Q. Lenz: Co-founder of SMSToR. Father of the other founder's grand-daughter, Madeline. Freelance trumpet player in Reno for 25 years. Principal trumpet player of the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestras and Harrah's Club. Avid tournament archer. Won State champ 7 times. Bow hunter and baseball player. Likes all good single malts- especially the Isla malts. Favorite so far is Laphroaig 30 year old.
Manos Maragakis: Born in Greece in 1957 he graduated with a Civil Engineering undergraduate degree in1980 from the National Technical University of Athens. He was admitted by Caltech where he obtained his M.S. degree in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1984. He then joined the University of Nevada Reno, where he currently is the Dean of Engineering.
Gunne Rostrup is from Norway and has lived in Reno since 1997. He has a Computer Science degree from the UK, and works for the School District and runs a local software business. He has enjoyed single malts for many years and among his favorites are Laphroaig and Lagavulin. He enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing.
Raj Siddharthan is a Professor of Civil Engineering at UNR and has been a member of the club since the inception. He is originally from Sri Lanka and is used to eating spicy foods and therefore, his assessment of the various qualities of the single malts sometimes reflect different perspective. This has at times resulted in a spread in the rating of the whiskies. The club views this as a positive aspect relative to the group's overall rating.
Christoph Wittmann is originally from New Jersey and is a dual national (US/German). He holds degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Delaware, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. After developing software for air-traffic-control systems and the DoD, he joined AMS to help build their European telecommunications division. That's where he began enjoying drams of Islay single malts while jetting between various European locations. He's also an avid hiker, typically booking 4000 vertical feet or more a week in the dusty hills of the northern Sierras.
Brian Pasalaqua is a doctor ......
Leonard Neidhold: Originally from Alaska, Leonard Neidhold is a music educator for the Washoe County School District and the University of Nevada Reno, and a freelance trombonist in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area. A devoted husband and father of two, he enjoys fly fishing and downhill skiing, as well as performing and listening to jazz and classical music.
Phillip Ruder teaches violin, chamber music, conducts the orchestra, and performs in the Argenta Quartet at the University of Nevada, Reno. Having held the position of Concertmaster with orchestras in New Orleans, Dallas, and Santa Fe , Mr. Ruder came to the University of Nevada in 1994, after serving as Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for 21 years. Since 1981, he has been Concertmaster and frequent soloist at the Sun River, Oregon Music Festival and has taught and performed regularly at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music festival, and the Grand Tetons Music Festival, and recently performed Music from Angel Fire. Mr. Ruder is currently the Concertmaster for both the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic.
Bob Pickup, Emeritus Member; Reno, Nevada. Is the Managing Director of Global Research Supply, LLC. which supplies goods to the Medical Research Industry. Bob is a Business Administration & Marketing graduate of Virginia Tech (B.S. 1971). He discovered Single Malts in 1982 when introduced to Glenmorangie. Then he discovered Laphroaig which became his favorite. Through the "Club", he has been introduced to many single malts, and now his current favorite is Lagavulin.
Bill Hobson, Emeritus Member; CEO of Charles River Laboratories' Discovery and Development Division (an international company providing drug development services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries), Ph.D. in physiology from Cornell, B.S. in Animal Science from Colorado State University. Member of numerous corporate boards and government advisory panels. Grew up on a cattle ranch and still has plenty of cow shit on his boots. He is retired now and lives in Durango, Colorado.