Heather Blake, Chief Financial Officer, Girls on the Run HQ Heather joined the Girls on the Run International team in 2013 after serving as the organization’s auditor for two years. As a CPA, she specialized in the nonprofit, construction and manufacturing industries with a primary focus on financial statement audits and financial process improvement consulting. She graduated with a Master of Science in Accountancy from UNC-Wilmington. Heather is thrilled that she is able to utilize her expertise to advance the mission of Girls on the Run!
Kathleen Cannon, Program Director, Girls on the Run Twin Cities
Kathleen enjoys people, problem-solving and seeking out creative ways to work "smarter not harder," both personally and professionally. As Program Director since 2014, she has helped Girls on the Run Twin Cities grow from a staff of 2 to a staff of 8, and from 200 girls to 3,400 girls each season. She is particularly proud of her role in developing a mandatory (and fun) returning coach training each season, launching Camp GOTR in 2018, and building a sustainable, inclusive program team and infrastructure. Before joining GOTR Twin Cities, she was the executive director of the Eastern Iowa council. Previously, Kathleen worked as an attorney and mediator. Outside of GOTR, you can find her chasing her husband and 3 kids around, trying to keep up with her goldendoodle, cheering for the Minnesota Lynx and/or chatting about her new favorite podcast.
Amy Cooper Collier, Executive Director/Co-Founder, Girls on the Run Michiana Amy joyfully serves as a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Girls on the Run Michiana, serving five counties in north-central Indiana. Launched in 2010, GOTR Michiana now serves over 1,000 girls each spring. A native Hoosier and a Notre Dame grad (and an extra in the movie Rudy!), Amy also holds a graduate degree Human Development and Family Studies. Her professional experience includes work as a middle school teacher, high school choir director, family therapist, rock climbing and challenge ropes course instructor and home educator of her two tween/teen children. Before settling back home in Indiana, she and her partner Brian lived in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Michigan. Amy is a lifelong learner, yoga practitioner and nature-lover. She strives to lead with joy, authenticity and a whole lot of self-compassion.
Leah Eustace, President, Blue Canoe Philanthropy
Leah is an idea-generator and strategic thinker with an extensive fundraising background. Over the past 25 years, she has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for organizations around the world. After many years as a practitioner, Leah now works as a consultant to the non-profit sector. She partners with her clients to help tell powerful stories through cases for support, legacy giving and annual campaigns. She has a particular interest in strategic planning and ‘looking under the hood’ of fundraising programs to help tune up revenue-generation activities and build stronger donor relationships. Leah’s volunteer work is extensive; she is the Vice Chair of Professional Development for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Board, the Immediate Past Chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada, a member of the ACFRE Credentialing Board and a founding board member of AFP Canada.
Tanya Frazee, Development Manager, Girls on the Run Atlanta
Tanya has worked part-time at Girls on the Run of Atlanta for four years. The only staff member devoted solely to development, her focus is on grants, fundraising events and all types of individual giving. As with many development professionals, fundraising is a second career that she fell into - happily - and it has allowed her to put her dusty English degree to good use writing grants! In her spare time, coaching a Girls on the Run team, as well as sitting on the board and the grant-making committee of two other local nonprofits, both inform her professional life and are personally fulfilling. She lives with her amazing 13-year-old daughter, her husband, and their dog named Larry, who is the very best boy.
Mariana Folco, LSW, Assistant National Director, Training, Up2Us Sports
Mariana facilitates trauma-informed training and professional development opportunities for coaches, teachers and youth development professionals in Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Mariana is a licensed social worker and native Spanish-speaker from Argentina. Prior to her work at Up2Us Sports, she worked with Latino populations as a bilingual domestic violence counselor and as a legal service coordinator with unaccompanied immigrant youth from Central. Mariana has also been a rowing coach for over 10 years at the high school, collegiate and masters levels.
Joan Garry, Principal, Joan Garry Consulting
Joan began her career in 1981 as part of the management team that launched MTV, followed by another successful eight-year tenure as an executive at Showtime Networks. In 1997, Garry was named the executive director of GLAAD, one of the largest gay rights organizations in the U.S. After her eight-year run at GLAAD, Garry built on her expertise and became a successful political fundraiser, co-chairing the LGBT Finance Committee for the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign. She brings all her experience to her work as the Principal of Joan Garry Consulting, a boutique firm that helps nonprofits across a wide variety of sectors to untangle strategic knots enabling them to have a clearer path in pursuit of their missions. From executive coaching to strategy engagements to crisis management, Joan works with organizations across a variety of sectors – independent schools, social justice, illness-based organizations and LGBT advocacy.
Dr. Mimi Hull, PhD, Corporate Psychologist/Owner, Hull and Associates Dr. Hull is a fully licensed psychologist who specializes in working with organizations. She is a national speaker and trainer who helps organizations effectively develop leaders and build boards and teams while reducing conflict and stress. Her speaking and training programs include board development, working with volunteers, staff development, team building, communication, strategic planning and understanding personalities by using both DISC and/or MBTI. She is also a familiar voice in Central Florida from her long-running radio program on workplace issues and her regular appearances on FOX TV. Dr. Hull earned her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a doctoral minor in Management and her master’s in counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Florida at Gainesville. Her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology was earned from Syracuse University and she holds many assessment certifications and licenses.
Michelle Jackson-Holland, MPA, PHR, Vice President of Human Resources, Girls on the Run HQ
Michelle Jackson-Holland, MPA is the Vice President of Human Resources for GOTRI. Michelle joined the Girls on the Run organization in 2010 and served five years as the Operations Director, overseeing the organization’s legal, risk, compliance and human resource functions. After earning her master’s in Public Administration, concentrating in Nonprofit Management from UNC Charlotte and spending several years in corporate recruiting and talent acquisition, Michelle was thrilled to return to the Girls on the Run organization in 2017. In her current role, Michelle oversees the talent acquisition and human resource functions of GOTRI and provides human resource and employee relations expertise to councils.
Colleen Kelly Howard, Executive Director, Girls on the Run Philadelphia
Colleen has been the executive director for Girls on the Run Philadelphia since June 2014. Prior to leading the organization, which she had previously supported as a volunteer coach, Howard spent time working at the National Gallery of Art, the American Association of Museums and in the telecom industry for Sprint PCS. Most recently, Howard focused her efforts on volunteer positions, which gave her additional time to spend with her three young daughters. She has served as a committee member for Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Every Family Party, and is active in the parents’ association for her children’s school, where she recently served as the board president. In addition to her work with Girls on the Run, Colleen advocates on behalf of women and girls as a Vision 2020 Delegate. Colleen is a graduate of Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and holds an M.A. in Art History from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Theresa Miller, Chief Engagement Officer, Girls on the Run HQ
Theresa leads the organization’s fund development and brand strategy. With over 17 years of nonprofit experience, Theresa is passionate about tying vision to strategies for achievement, and has been a key player in the creation, launch and success of innovative fundraising and staff development programs that have yielded high revenue growth.
Deborah Pleva, MBA, Owner of Pleva Consulting, Girls on the Run HQ Board of Directors
Deborah is a communications consultant based in Portland, Oregon, with experience in public relations, crisis communications, social media, event management and community relations. She represents local, regional and national clients including Smartwool, REI Outessa, Naturebridge, Leatherman, Portland Farmers Market and Burgerville. Before consulting, Deborah worked for women’s retailer Lucy Activewear, Inc. She spent five years literally running around the Czech Republic working for the Prague International Marathon and the Czech Olympic Committee. Deborah earned her MBA through a joint program with the Czech Management Center and the University of Pittsburgh. She has a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University’s top-rated Medill School of Journalism.
Michael Reale, President/Chief Executive Officer, RacePlanner
Michael co-founded Exit Row Solutions, Inc. in 2001 and over the last 18 years has helped non-profit organizations across the United States, Canada and Asia utilize technology to meet their organizational missions. Michael and his wife, Janine, also founded an organization called Run for Food, which organizes 5K fundraising events that benefit the less fortunate in our communities.
Allison Riley, PhD, MSW, Senior Vice President of Programming and Evaluation, Girls on the Run HQ
After beginning her career as a mental health counselor working with girls in a residential treatment facility, Allie was drawn to strategies and programs that prioritize positive youth development. She believes in the pivotal role that sports and physical activity can play in youth development when contexts are intentionally designed. Allie earned her PhD in social work with a specialization in positive youth development in social settings from Ohio State University (OSU) and also holds a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in clinical practices with children and youth from OSU, a master’s degree in kinesiology from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia. With over ten years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating physical activity-based positive youth development programs, Allie now oversees the development and delivery of all programming and training at Girls on the Run to ensure maximum impact.
Paula M. Riley, Board Member, Girls on the Run Philadelphia Paula is a Communications Consultant who empowers businesses and individuals to articulate value. She supports businesses with strategy, messaging, and communications. Paula also teaches business communications courses at Drexel University and St. Joseph's University. A fun person who empowers others to use language strategically, she holds a MS in Organizational Science/Human Resources from Villanova University and a BA in English from University at Albany. Paula was a founding partner of a SAP solutions firm and a solutions consultant for multiple industries. She has also been a recruiter, employee relations representative and manager of human resources. Paula has written 700+ articles featuring businesses, individuals and community organizations. GOTR Philadelphia was first introduced to Paula when her daughter, then 11, participated in the program. Paula has been a GOTR-Philadelphia Board Member for two years. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.
Sara Rimm-Kaufman, PhD, Professor of Education, University of Virginia
Dr. Rimm-Kaufman is a Professor of Education at the University of Virginia where she has been conducting research on social and emotional learning for 20 years as director of the UVA Social Development Lab. Her research examines the evidence base for programs such as the Responsive Classroom Approach, Connect Science, Leading Together, EL Education and others. She publishes her work extensively and has received numerous grants and awards for her work. At the University, she leads graduate programs in Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science, mentors graduate students, and teaches undergraduate students, including those planning on becoming teachers. Rimm-Kaufman is a proud mother of two (Sam, age 21 & Davida, age 18) and enjoys weekly volunteer work with GOTR. She loves listening to the wisdom of the girls!
La Sarmiento, Mindfulness Teacher and Body/Energy Worker La has been practicing Vipassana meditation and has been a member of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) since 1998. In September 2012, La graduated from the Community Dharma Leadership IV program sponsored by Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. Since 2005, La has been the leader of the IMCW Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Sangha and the IMCW People of Color Sangha. Between 2011 and 2016, La also has co-led the DC Monthly Teen Sangha and has been a teacher of mindfulness for Inward Bound Mindfulness Education teen retreats, LGBTIQ Retreat at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY, the Young Adults Retreat at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is a mentor for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. La has been a body/energy worker in private practice since 1992 and resides with their life partner Wendy and their two Cairn Terrier rescues, Annabel and MacGregor, in Towson, MD.
Steven Screen, Co-Founder/Creative Director, Better Fundraising Steven is the co-founder of Better Fundraising and has been fundraising for 25 years. In the first half of his career, he focused on direct mail, TV and radio for national nonprofits. For the second half, he's been bringing best practices from well-established organizations to younger non-profits. Steven is a past winner of Fundraising Success' "Direct Mail Package of the Year" Award, is co-host of the "Fundraising Is Beautiful" podcast with Jeff Brooks, and is the inventor of the "Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat" fundraising rhythm. His goal is to radically increase the fundraising capacity of small-to medium-sized nonprofits.
Jennifer Speak, Chief Operating Officer, RacePlanner
Jennifer joined RacePlanner in 2003 and has been implementing software for the majority of her professional career. She excels at helping organizations benefit from better tools and processes and enjoys supporting GOTR councils with their use of RacePlanner, as well as the GOTR website. She loves Girls on the Run and will be coaching for her 5th season in spring 2019.
Annie Taff, Director of Programming, Girls on the Run South Central Wisconsin
Annie joined Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin in December 2017 as Director of Programming. In her role, Annie is responsible for strategic council growth and oversight of all program and volunteer related activities. Rich in nonprofit service experience, Annie volunteered with AmeriCorps and served as Director of Volunteer Services for the American Red Cross before joining Girls on the Run. Annie is a strategic thinker who thrives in a fast-paced, collaborative team environment. As a former GOTR coach, Annie understands firsthand the power of our curriculum, and our responsibility to help girls build strong confidence and character.
Alexis Terry, MBA, Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion, ASAE (The Center for Association Leadership) Alexis is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership. Her main responsibility is to develop and facilitate a strategic, organization-wide initiative to ensure that ASAE & The Center represents a diverse and inclusive organizational model for the association community and to support the membership in their efforts to embed such practices into their own organizations. Prior to joining ASAE & The Center, Alexis held a variety of roles at BoardSource, a national nonprofit dedicated to advancing the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service, based in Washington, DC. Alexis is the author of BoardSource’s 2008 Next Generation and Governance Findings Report and served as project manager of BoardSource’s Diversity and Next Generation Initiative, a multiyear effort designed to reach and prepare diverse, next generation leaders for board service. A graduate of Pepperdine University, Alexis holds a degree in communication and a certificate in nonprofit management. She is currently pursuing an executive certificate in diversity strategy from Georgetown University.
Susan Thaxton, Executive Director, Girls on the Run Greater Chesapeake Susan has been involved with Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake since 2006 in a variety of roles: coach, board member, and Executive Director since 2016. Susan has diverse professional experience, from being a non-profit strategy consultant, to managing a production line in an auto assembly plant, to serving as a naval officer. She has worked with numerous with non-profit staffs and boards in the development and implementation of strategic plans. Susan holds a B.A. from Villanova University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters (GOTR alumnae!).
Kathryn Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, Girls on the Run HQ Kathryn Thompson joined Girls on the Run International in January 2013. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Kathryn works with the organization on a variety of strategic opportunities and challenges so that we can continue to serve girls with our quality programs. She particularly enjoys working directly with the councils, helping build sustainable organizations. Prior to Girls on the Run, Kathryn spent over 20 years with companies in the consumer products industry serving in a variety of senior-level positions in Marketing, Strategy, and Finance.
Dana Williams, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy, Girls on the Run HQ In her role, Dana guides Girls on the Run's communications, marketing and merchandise initiatives. Dana spent 10 years working in the advertising and digital marketing space before aligning her passion for positive youth development and her marketing experience at Girls on the Run. Dana is committed to driving results through innovative and measurable strategies that align with the organization’s mission and core values.
Megan Wolfe, Executive Director/Founder, Girls on the Run Snohomish County
Megan earned her B.A. in Urban Geography and her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Washington. A series of unfulfilling jobs led her to pursue career opportunities she was more passionate about. She swam competitively through college and that led her to seek out organizations using sports to empower girls. After two years volunteering as a coach, running buddy and Solemate with another GOTR council, she decided to start a Girls on the Run council for Snohomish County, Washington where she lives. Girls on the Run of Snohomish County launched in the fall of 2015 and has reached nearly 1,000 girls in the first three years. Megan spends her free time being goofy and active with her kids, Bruce, 8, and Dale, 5 and her husband, Jim. She loves to run at her happy pace whenever she gets the chance.
Sarah Yohe, Development Director, Girls on the Run Lancaster
Sarah has been the Development Director at Girls on the Run of Lancaster for the past three years. Originally from Fredericton, NB, Canada, Sarah moved to Philadelphia in 1998 - where she met her husband. The two moved to Denver, CO for a few years and then back to PA to be closer to family. She lives in Lancaster with her husband, son and daughter. Sarah has a BA in Psychology & English and a post graduate IT degree. After 16 years as a Systems Analyst in the IT industry, Sarah made a much needed career change and hasn't looked back!