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Running USA Board of Directors



Virginia Brophy Achman

Director - (Term through June 2022)
Executive Director, Twin Cities in Motion

A past president of the Running USA Board of Directors, Virginia Brophy Achman has served as head of Twin Cities in Motion since 1999. She has extensive experience in finance, race operations, and sponsorship negotiation. She is part of the planning committee for the National Marathon Safety and Security Summit, which focuses on participant and spectator safety at running events. Under her leadership, Twin Cities in Motion has been a committed sponsor of elite athlete development programs, and its marathon and 10 mile events have hosted multiple USA National Championships. Virginia continues to volunteer in support of Minnesota running events.




Tanner Bell
Director - (Term through June 2022)
Co-founder and CEO, Ragnar Relay

Tanner co-founded Ragnar in 2004 as a single overnight running relay race with 262 participants. Today, more than 100,000 runners participate annually in 15 road relay races and 11 trail relay races. Tanner has been instrumental in the growth of Ragnar and continues to play an integral role in establishing Ragnar as one of the premier brands in endurance sports. 

Among his many accolades, Utah Business Magazine named Tanner to their “Forty under 40” list in 2010 at the age of 29. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and enjoys speaking to high school and college students about his entrepreneurial adventures. As a member of Brigham Young University’s Associate Entrepreneur Founders Organization he volunteers as a mentor for student entrepreneurs. Tanner is well respected in the running event industry and often speaks at Running USA and other industry gatherings. 

 

Alex Bennett

 Director -  (Term through June 2023)

Sr. Regional Director, Northeast at IRONMAN Group/Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

Alex Bennett began producing events as a concert promoter nearly 30 years ago in LA and Seattle -  this eventually evolved into venue and facility management at both KeyArena and Seattle Center. As a City of Seattle employee he sat on the Special Events Committee to oversee citywide events.  Throughout it all, Alex was an avid marathon runner and when the opportunity arose in 2012 to be VP of Events at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, he jumped at the chance. Alex was also briefly the VP of Operations for Motiv Sports but eventually returned to the IRONMAN Group and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to oversee many endurance events in North America.

Alex still runs - but not as fast or far as he once did.




Tim Cole
Director -  (Term through June 2022)

Tim recently took endurance event producer Mascot Sports from conception to fruition as their VP Events, effectively launching and executing a series of events under the “Oakland Running Company” brand in his hometown of Oakland, CA. Most notably, Mascot’s Bay Bridge Half Marathon, the first event of its kind to traverse the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, reached national acclaim thanks to Tim’s winning delivery at the 2019 RUSA Conference Pitchfest competition, where he earned sponsorship from Brooks Running and Nuun Hydration. Tim has since presented to industry peers on topics like “Going Green/Going Clean” and “Adapt or Die: Millennial Marketing” to encourage and inspire progressive creativity in the running community. His infectious energy is fueled by an active lifestyle that prioritizes a diverse array of movement on the run, bike, and climbing wall!

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Donna Grogan

Director - (Term through June 2023)

Executive Director, American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Donna Grogan is Executive Director of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences,  a multidisciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system.

She previously served as Vice President, Development & Fundraising for the Lupus Foundation of America where she oversaw the fundraising strategy for the Foundation, which includes donor acquisition strategies and peer-to-peer fundraising events.

Donna ran her first marathon in 1996 in Honolulu as a member of Team In Training and became passionate about the sport of running. She was able to marry her love of charity and giving back with running and triathlon in her role at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) where she oversaw the growth and development of Team In Training for more than 16 years. In her role at LLS, she developed, managed and cultivated key relationships and negotiated contracts that drove lifetime revenue of over $500 million for cancer research. Donna also worked with many races and other nonprofits on how establish successful and mutually beneficial charity partner programs.

Donna is passionate about the sport of running and enjoys running 5ks and 10ks as well as group fitness classes at Orange Theory and yoga. She looks forward to using her skills to further encourage people of all ages to get engaged and realize their potential through running.


Stevie Jones
Director - (Term through June 2022)
Event Marketing Manager, Brooks Running

Stevie is the Event Marketing Manager at Brooks Running and leads a team responsible for strategic planning and execution of all Brooks-sponsored events in North America. In her role, Stevie manages all national partnerships with race organizations as well as the strategic representation of the Brooks brand at key events across the country. She has an extensive knowledge of the running industry having started her career selling shoes at the Brooks Outlet before taking on a marketing internship at Brooks. Following her internship, Stevie began a full-time position on the Brooks Event Marketing team and quickly moved into a leadership role.




Bryan Lively
Director - (Term through June 2023)

President and CEO, ACL Squared Consulting

Bryan Lively is the President and CEO of ACL Squared Consulting. ACL Squared Consulting provides business planning and expertise as well as fundraising coaching and strategies to help businesses and nonprofits alike grow and thrive to their full potential. ACL Squared Consulting is dynamic, innovative, results driven and ahead of the curve. Bryan works with charities, events, vendors and companies within the running community including being the Charity Director for the Detroit Marathon.

Bryan was formerly the Vice President of Sales & Customer Success at CrowdRise. CrowdRise is the platform that millions of people, charities, companies and celebrities use to give back. Bryan was instrumental in their growth to lead to a sale to GoFundMe.

Bryan prides himself on being balanced to truly enjoy everything life has to offer. Outside of the office, Bryan enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys running all distances as well as cycling and yoga.


Jeff Matlow

Board President (Director term through June 2022)

Founder and CEO of I Am Athlete

Jeff Matlow is the founder and CEO of I Am Athlete, Inc, a leading provider of technology, database management, e-commerce and social networking solutions for the athletic market. Jeff guides the strategic growth and development of the organization and has led the company towards exceeding 400% yearly growth since its inception. Previously, Jeff was an Executive Marketer, including stints as CEO of Crank! Marketing and General Manager / SVP of Alloy, Inc, where he oversaw the development of strategic initiatives for such organizations as Citibank, Universal, Nike, Kellogg’s and eBay.

Jeff was also a member of the USA Triathlon Board of Directors from 2006-09 where he served as Treasurer and led the Marketing and Technology Committees. His initiatives led to over 300% growth in USAT’s investments.

Jeff is a marathoner, Ironman triathlete and sports journalist.

 


Kyle McLaughlin

Director - (Term through June 2023)

CEO, Tough Mudder and Partner, Parachute Group

Kyle McLaughlin is the global CEO of Tough Mudder, one of the world’s most recognizable obstacle course brands, now a part of the Spartan Race group. He is also co-founder and partner at Parachute Group, a management consultancy serving the sports, events & entertainment industry with a specific focus on growth strategy and risk management.  Kyle is a recognized leader across the endurance industry, and a regular speaker and educator at industry events around the world. Joining Tough Mudder in 2018, Kyle led a transformative overhaul of the brand’s event product and internal operations across four owned and 20 licensed countries, driving double digit growth in group sales, sponsorship and customer satisfaction scores while dramatically improving overall profitability and facilitating the acquisition by Spartan. 

Prior to Tough Mudder & Parachute, Kyle spent six years at New York Road Runners leading a diverse portfolio of production, experiential and safety business units, and built NYRR’s safety and security program following Boston 2013. He previously served as a member of the NCS4 (National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security) Advisory Board from 2014-2018, and was the editor and a contributing author of their first edition Marathon Safety & Security Best Practices Guide. His other work credentials include years in experiential marketing agencies and the nonprofit sector. Kyle lives in Montclair, NJ with his wife, daughter and rescue pup, and can often be found out putting in miles on the local streets before sunrise. 

 

 

 

Meghan Najera

Director - (Term through June 2023)

Co-Owner, RunFAR Racing Services

Meghan serves as Co-Owner of RunFAR Racing Services, Inc. based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. RunFAR is a full service timing and results company managing data and finish lines for over 200 events a year in and outside of Texas. Alongside her husband Raul, Meghan leads the production side of RunFAR and works with the largest events in Texas including, Capital 10k, 3M Half Marathon, Austin Marathon, Dallas Marathon, Houston Half, and The Cowtown Marathon. Meghan has been an integral part of expanding RunFAR’s portfolio of customers and building partnerships. Meghan holds a Masters in Accounting from Baylor University and began her career in special events, sponsorship and later in new business growth for non-profits. Her passion for the endurance industry has been life-long, first as a swimmer and now as a marathoner. This has evolved into focusing on the growth of the running industry by supporting our youngest runner with kids events up through middle and high school cross country. In addition, Meghan strongly believes successful events are as strong as their weakest vendor relationship. She resides in Mansfield, Texas with her husband Raul and two kids. 

 

Troy Schooley
Director - (Term through June 2022)
CEO, P3R

Troy Schooley is CEO of P3R, the engine behind Pittsburgh's greatest races. He is also an established leader in the endurance sports industry, speaking at conferences throughout the country about the importance of partnerships in enhancing events and the runner experience. Since joining P3R in 2013, Troy has been an integral part of building and expanding the P3R brand. Additionally, he has more than doubled the size of the organization’s partnership portfolio across its entire series of events. As CEO, Troy is committed to bringing the best in running programs and products to the Steel City to Keep Pittsburgh Running.

Prior to P3R, Troy spent more than 10 years as a national account manager at ESPN Radio, Westwood One and Clear Channel. A native of Western Pennsylvania, Troy is a 2003 graduate of Robert Morris University and currently resides South Fayette Township with wife, Karla, and their three children.

 

 

Max Siegel

Director

CEO, USATF

Sports and entertainment executive Max Siegel became the fourth CEO of USA Track & Field on May 1, 2012. At USATF, Siegel quickly went to work on growing the USATF business. Since February, 2013, USATF has announced partnerships with The Hershey Company, Neustar, the University of Phoenix, Coach’s Eye, and a landmark deal with Nike.

Working in various executive capacities in the sports and entertainment fields over the last 20 years, Siegel’s track record has consistently been that of financial growth and competitive success.

He previously served as President of Global Operations at Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he sold tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship; and as Senior Vice President at Sony/BMG and as President of Zomba Gospel, Tommy Boy Gospel and Verity Records, where he led one of the most profitable divisions in the Sony BMG system. As a music executive, he increased top-line revenue and reduced expenses to yield unprecedented profit in the gospel industry. He also was part of the executive team overseeing the careers of stars such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Usher.

Lonnie Somers
Board Treasurer - (Director term through June 2022)
President, Hallucination Sports; Chairman and Founder, Fetal Hope Foundation

Lonnie has over 15 years of experience in producing, consulting, and timing/scoring mass participatory endurance sports events. He and his wife own and operate HAL Sports, a full event service company partnering with events small and large, from coast to coast bringing safety, integrity, and experience (to both events and participants).  Lonnie is also a recognized professional event announcer for many high-profile events both nationally and internationally. He credits Disney, a love of running and fitness, CPA and investment banking backgrounds, some radio time, and experience creating an international non-profit for developing his skill sets and attributed success in being involved with many hundreds of events.

Lonnie is also the Chairman and Founder of the Fetal Health Foundation, an organization he and his wife founded after fetal surgery saved their identical twin daughters. He created the successful national f/k/a Race for Fetal Hope 5K Run series. Before he began his work to bring everyone in the world into endurance sports, he held various positions and partnerships in venture capital and investment banking, to working with fortune 500 companies.  Fun fact, he loves 80’s trivia.



Heidi Swartz

Board Secretary - (Director term through June 2023)
Executive Director, The Cowtown

Heidi Swartz is Executive Director of The Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. In its 39th year with over 26,000 participants and six races over the last weekend in February, The Cowtown Marathon has nearly tripled in size since 2004 under Swartz's direction. In 2006, she created The Cowtown Marathon's associated non-profit organization, C.A.L.F. (Children's Activities for Life and Fitness), which provides over 5,000 disadvantaged children with greatly reduced entry in the race and free training equipment, including running shoes.

Actively involved in her city's health and prosperity, Swartz currently serves as secretary on the board of "FitWorth," the Mayor of Fort Worth's healthy living initiative, and the Marketing Advisory Board of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. Heidi Swartz is also a successful and in-demand consultant for other race events in the DFW area, acting as an expert in race management and producing multiple events throughout the year.

 

 

 

Matt West

Vice President - (Director term through June 2023)

CEO, DMSE

Matt West is the CEO at DMSE Sports, a leader in mass participatory event management and operations. Matt handles much of the day-to-day operations of DMSE. He is involved in every event, either via staffing, management or marketing. He also handles many government, client and vendor relations.
Currently, working with the BAA Operations Department, Matt is the event director of the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Half Marathon. He also serves as the Finish Line Manager for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. He also handles all of the consultant planning, travel arrangements and logistics for DMSE’s away events. In his spare time, Matt is the Operations Director for the Antarctica Marathon.
Matt joined DMSE in 2006 from the non-profit arts world, where he was the marketing manager for First Night Boston and worked for the Celebrity Series of Boston. A resident of Somerville, Mass., Matt is a 2004 graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and is originally from Marshfield, Mass.

 

Tony Yamanaka

Director - (Term through June 2023)

Vice President of Operations, Event Southwest

Tony Yamanaka serves as the Vice President of Operations for Event Southwest of Austin, Texas, a full-service event production company providing top-level event production & management for mass participation events. In this role, Tony produces and manages the execution of marquee projects for Event Southwest including the Dallas, Oklahoma, Houston and Chicago Marathons.
Tony holds a Master's in Marketing from the University of Edinburgh Business School in Scotland where he focused his post-graduate research on long-distance running and it's effects on the self-concept construct. Additionally, Tony was a member of a keynote panel at the 2018 Running USA industry conference in Austin, focusing on participant retention for the running industry.