Girls on the Run International Staff Members

Elizabeth Kunz Chief Executive Officer

As a lifetime advocate for girls' and women's issues, Liz has always encouraged others to recognize the power they have to create and transform their own lives and the world at large.  Liz spent the first eleven years of her professional life in the corporate sector before transitioning to the non-profit sector in 1996.  It was while working at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte that Liz first met Girls on the Run founder Molly Barker.  The mission of Girls on the Run - inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident - profoundly resonated with Liz's personal mission and she started volunteering for the organization in 2002.  She served on the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005 and joined the staff as Chief Operating Officer in 2006. She has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Girls on the Run International since 2008, presiding over an incredible time of organizational growth. Liz brings significant expertise to Girls on the Run in setting strategic direction, leading change, and creating an appreciative culture of innovation and empowerment. 

Kathryn Thompson Chief Operating Officer

I joined Girls on the Run to follow my passion - inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident, and teaching them how to realize and value their personal strengths.  Since joining the organization, I am humbled and amazed by the wonderful women who put their individual talents to use furthering the organization’s mission, vision and values.  

Heather Blake Chief Financial Officer

Since joining Girls on the Run, I have truly learned what it means to lead with an open heart and how freeing it is to express joy, optimism and gratitude instead of hiding my feelings. I’m grateful to work with such a wonderful network of people whose passion is helping girls reach for their limitless potential.  

Theresa Miller Chief Engagement Officer

I am thrilled to be a member of the Girls on the Run team and to have the opportunity to share the Girls on the Run mission, vision and values with our current and future partners. This is an incredible organization that empowers women and girls, and it is a blessing to be able to make an impact on the lives of girls through my work. 

Lisa Luth Senior Vice President, Council Development

At Girls on the Run, we teach our girls the value of expressing gratitude daily.  This lesson is easy for me to put into practice when it comes to my work here at Girls on the Run.  I am so grateful to spend my time serving an organization that teaches girls to know and activate their limitless potential.  I am honored to be a part of a program that changes the landscape of how girls see themselves in the world.

Allison Riley Senior Vice President, Programming and Evaluation

Since joining Girls on the Run, I have been inspired to approach each day with an open heart and renewed passion for serving youth. I have learned that Girls on the Run is more than just a program or an organization – it is a network of strong and wonderful girls and women committed to making this world a better place. I am honored to be a part of something so much bigger than me!

Michelle Jackson-Holland Vice President of Human Resources

Working for Girls on the Run has taught me the importance of being intentional in my decision-making, valuing relationships, and the importance of making an impact, one girl at a time. It is amazing to be part of an organization that teaches not only our girls, but all of the adults involved, to lead a life with limitless possibilities. Joining the Girls on the Run team has made such an impact in my life – I have had the opportunity to join a network and meet amazing and remarkable women and girls who will shape the future of our world. 

Kate Forbes Vice President of Information Technology and Data Analytics

I am driven by a desire to contribute to an overall healthier society. To me that means approaching situations from both a position of strength as well as one of empathy. With Girls on the Run, I use my technical skills to support an entire network of individuals who work to fortify the next generation by ensuring its women have a voice to bring empathy to our most critical societal issues. How cool is that?

Mandy Murphy Vice President, Training and Development

I have learned so much about leading an authentic life from my work with Girls on the Run. It is truly a gift to work with an organization and with people who value and encourage individuals to show up fully and authentically in the world – just as we are  -- our perfectly, imperfect selves!

Juliellen Simpson-Vos Vice President of Council Development

Girls on the Run is this amazing space where courage, compassion and confidence is nurtured. When those three things come together, magic happens. It’s an honor to work for this organization and help support our councils in reaching their limitless potential so that through their good work all girls can reach theirs.

Liz Wian Vice President of Partnerships and Development

The GOTR spirit, unyielding commitment to our core values, and the remarkable people that serve this organization make Girls on the Run much more than a job.  It’s an honor to work alongside such passionate and visionary women and to cultivate relationships with others in the community that share our mission and values.  Every day I learn from the lessons we teach our girls and I am grateful for the opportunity to not only connect others to investing in Girls on the Run, but investing in myself as well.

Hillary Jarcik Director, Council Development, Western Region

Being part of an organization that inspires girls to be joyful, confident and healthy is a dream! The energy and spirit of Girls on the Run is contagious, and the lessons shared with the girls are a great reminder for all women – our potential is limitless! Helping councils on the west coast thrive, while embodying the values of this organization, has brought great joy to my life!


Bruni Valentin Director of Finance

I am so proud and honored to be a part of such a wonderful organization. Girls on the Run truly lives and breathes by their core values. I feel deeply inspired by the commitment of each member to help girls live authentically and with an open heart. This is so much more than a job, we are changing lives!


Christina Traband Director of Development

Since becoming part of Girls on the Run, I have learned a tremendous amount about being healthy, joyful and confident. These are important attributes for all girls to have in order to set them up for success. Being able to work for an organization that brings such positivity and critical lessons to girls is a blessing because these girls are our future.

Dana Williams Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy

I am inspired by the commitment of Girls on the Run to empower women and girls through building positivity, confidence and joy. This is an incredible team of passionate and talented individuals who are making an impact through furthering our mission, vision and values. I am extremely grateful to call this organization home.

Emma Best General Counsel

I am passionate about encouraging girls to have confidence in their ability to do anything they put their heart into, and running is a way to build trust in themselves physically and spiritually. I am grateful to be a part of an organization that encourages girls to be authentic and follow their dreams since as a mom of two, I know that is so important.  


Stephanie Galeotti Director of Program Development

After many years of volunteering for this incredible organization, I was elated to learn that I would finally land my dream job. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing and talented individuals who are passionate about inspiring girls to boldly pursue their dreams. Everything that Girls on the Run stands for—empowerment, intentionality, diversity, and compassion, just to name a few, are reflected in its community and congruent with my personal values. What a privilege, every single day. 

Sarah Richardson Director of Development

The reach and impact of Girls on the Run is truly awe-inspiring. I am proud to rally our community behind our programming and the amazing girls we serve. Together, we are creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential. 

Deb Chaplin Events Manager

I'm grateful to work for an organization that inspires girls to be their unique selves, and that teaches them to stand up for themselves and others. At the beginning and the end of the day, it is all for the girls.

Grace Weaver Donor Relations Manager

I am grateful to be a team member at Girls on the Run and value the program’s ability to empower girls to be bold, strong and confident. It is a joy to collaborate with a talented group of women who truly care about the mission and values of the organization.

Ivory Patten Training Manager

It is my complete joy to support the ongoing learning and development needs of our growing girl-power movement because as a mom, I am empowering my daughter to activate her own limitless potential daily.  Brenee Brown said, “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.”  What matters to me is that all girls are nurtured and given the space to become bold, intentional, fearless, and confident to ultimately change the world.


Jessica Willard Creative Services Manager

I am tremendously grateful to be a part of an organization which empowers girls to realize their inner strength and activate their limitless potential. Every day I have the privilege of collaborating with strong, supportive individuals who are effecting change in the lives of countless girls.

Jill Stelluto-Hall Merchandise Manager

Girls on the Run has taught me that everyone is a unique individual. No matter our differences we all have one thing in common - we are all connected through Girls on the Run. I am honored to work with an amazing group of women who are impacting the lives of girls nationwide everyday.

LaShelle Ralph Digital Marketing Manager

I love to encourage girls and woman of all ages to be the best version of themselves. Working with Girls on the Run allows me to help more girls to see their limitless potential.  I am grateful to be able to work alongside strong women who want to empower girls as they grow!

Lisa Keller Manager, Council Relations

Joining the organization has enabled me to see how Girls on the Run can empower girls to know they can achieve their greatest potential.

Michelle Scollins Partnerships Manager

The impact that Girls on the Run has on not only the girls we serve, but our partners, coaches and entire community is so inspiring.  I’m a strong believer that empowered women empower women and I’m thankful to be part of a mission-driven organization that does that every day.

Marybeth Williams Senior Grant Manager

Girls on the Run allows girls to not only find strength in themselves and their own individuality, but also strength in the relationships they have with one another. It is an honor to be part of an organization that promotes the empowerment of young girls and celebrates the sisterhood of all women.

Allie Rivas Grant Writer

I believe in being the person your younger self needed and Girls on the Run allows me to be exactly that. Coaching, interning, and now working with Girls on the Run has helped me grow into who I am today and I feel privileged to work for an organization that celebrates girl power with empowering colleagues. Girls on the Run's mission and values are so important for young girls - every girl deserves to activate her star power.

John Kramer Business Analyst

At Girls on the Run, I am moved daily by our organization’s mission, vision, and impact.  The work GOTR teams do is incredibly important and worthwhile.  The inspiration, guidance, and positive influence the Girls on the Run curriculum provides makes a difference in young girls’ lives.   Probably because I have daughters, and definitely because it is a right thing to do, these efforts are very compelling to me.  I am thrilled to be a part of it.


Sejla Palic Operations Data Analyst

As an analyst, I believe that the world can be described, understood, and made better by looking into consistent, verified data.  At Girls on the Run, we are using organization relevant data to improve our programs and uphold our core values. Investing in our youth makes the world a better place and I am grateful to be part of the team that goes above and beyond to support young girls, families, and communities.

Jennifer Walason Graphic Designer

Girls on the Run is an awe-inspiring organization to be a part of. I feel incredibly lucky that I am able to help further our mission of empowering girls by giving them the tools necessary to live joyful, healthy, and confident lives. It is a combination that encourages girls to become the best versions of themselves and grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

Megan Stout Graphic Designer, Marketing Associate

I am so grateful and proud to be a part of an organization that empowers girls to activate their limitless potential. Working at Girls on the Run allows me to be a part of something bigger than myself. It is truly a privilege to work for an organization whose mission I believe in and can help grow every day.


Nabeel Nasiru Tech & Operations Associate

I joined Girls on the Run because I believe that not only women should support and encourage women, but also men. By working for Girls on the Run, I get to be a part of something bigger than me every single day. I feel empowered to empower others! 

Bemotis Williams Business Systems Administrator

As a son, brother and husband; I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the amazing mission of empowering girls. Impacting the lives of girls is well worth every investment.


Emily Nergart Accounts Payable / Payroll Specialist

Girls on the Run is truly an amazing organization that inspires young women to achieve their limitless potential and excel at being healthy, strong and confident.  I am grateful to be part of an organization that has a positive impact on so many young lives.

Katlyn Patterson Accounts Receivable Coordinator

I am in awe of the mission of Girls on the Run and the people engaged in making it happen. Many young girls are in need of positivity, reassurance and happiness to lift their lives. It is endlessly inspiring to know I am part of an organization providing it. How could there possibly be a better reason to get up every morning?

Ashley Jackson HR Coordinator

It is truly an honor to work for Girls on the Run. I am grateful to serve an organization that encourages me to work and lead with an open heart. I was immediately drawn to the authentic commitment Girls on the Run has to enrich the lives of young girls. Working for the organization makes me feel valued, knowing that there are resources readily available to help me grow both professionally and personally.  I enjoy the ongoing challenge of evolving into the woman that I needed as a little girl, and I look forward to translating this through the work I do here!

Deborah Truesdale Office Coordinator

I’m excited to be a part of an organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. With the fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running, girls in our communities can learn to embrace who they are, can rise to the challenge, and change the world. I look forward to sharing with everyone I come in contact with the mission and vision of Girls on the Run.


Girls on the Run International Board of Directors

Kristin Lesher Board Chair; Washington, D.C.

Kristin Lesher is Executive Vice President, Head of East Region Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo. Kristin has over 20 years of investment banking experience and has has expertise across a number of industry sectors including consumer, industrial, technology, financial institutions, and business services.

Juli Marley Charlotte, NC

Juli Marley is a partner with Blue Point Capital Partners, LLC, a middle market private equity fund. Juli is responsible for Blue Point’s investing activities in the South East region and currently manages Blue Point’s investments in OrthoLite, Smith Cooper and US Drinks. Juli first joined Girls on the Run as a coach in 2002, where she experienced first-hand the empowerment and inclusion the program creates and has been supporter of the GOTR mission ever since.

Chris Cotton Charlotte, NC

Chris Cotton is a Principal at Summit Park and serves as the firm's financial operating partner. Chris has been working with the firm's investment team since 2010. Prior to joining Summit Park, Chris was a Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP where he provided attest and financial advisory services primarily to middle market companies in the consumer and industrial products industries. Prior to Deloitte, Chris spent 11 years at Arthur Andersen LLP where he rose to the rank of Senior Manager.

Jennifer Ebbitt Los Altos, CA

Jennifer Ebbitt is a Director at X, Google parent company Alphabet's moonshot factory where uncomfortably ambitious, world-changing new ideas such as self-driving cars, balloon-powered internet, and smart contact lenses are developed. Jennie manages the X Partnerships team and helps X projects make contact with the real world. She has nearly 20 years of business development experience in consumer technology, mobile, strategic partnerships, content and IP licensing.  Jennie enjoys lacing up her running shoes, volunteering at school with her four young children and is honored to be serving on the Board of Girls on the Run to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.

Rakesh Gopalan Charlotte, NC

Rakesh Gopalan is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP, an international law firm. Rakesh practices in the area of corporate transactions, focusing on complex technology deals, mergers and acquisitions and public company securities issuances and reporting requirements. He is actively involved with diversity & inclusion efforts within the legal community, including by co-founding Charlotte’s Asian bar association. Rakesh enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, is an avid guitarist and loves to travel. He is thrilled to be a part of Girls on the Run International and looks forward to having his daughter join Girls on the Run!

Kristin Kelley Atlanta, GA

Kristin serves as the Chief Digital Officer at The Intersect Group, offering talent resource solutions to organizations and professionals within Finance & Accounting, IT, and Digital Marketing Technology.

Heidi Levine New York, NY

Heidi Levine is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, a global law firm. Heidi’s legal practice focuses on product liability and mass tort litigation, typically in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She has significant experience in alternative dispute resolution, and represents life science companies in compliance counseling and global anti-corruption investigations. In 2011, The American Lawyer named Heidi to its "45 under 45" list of "The Top Young Women of the Amlaw 200." In 2014, Heidi was honored by NOW New York with its “Women of Power & Influence” Award. Heidi spends much of her “free” time on the advancement and promotion of women in the legal profession and enjoys mentoring many young professional women. She is thrilled to join the Board of GOTR to continue her mission of building confidence in our young women.

Sheila McGinley Bloomfield, CT

Sheila McGinley serves as President of Cigna's Industry Verticals businesses.  She is responsible for Cigna's solutions and services for local governments, schools and hospitals & health systems.  Sheila was the inaugural chair of the Cigna Women’s Colleague Resource Group.  This employee-led, company-sponsored group works to harnesses the capabilities of Cigna's female employees to build stronger connections with customers and communities and to grow women leaders.  Sheila has over 30 years of experience in health care, having served in diverse roles at Cigna including in network management and product development.

Sonali Rajan New York, NY

Sonali Rajan is an Assistant Professor of Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where she studies patterns of risk behavior among adolescent youth; environmental-level characteristics that influence health behaviors among urban youth and communities; and implements and evaluates school-based health education programs. In line with the approach of the “whole child”, her research embraces a comprehensive definition of “health”, recognizing that the synergy between multiple health issues and the surrounding environments together inform long-term outcomes. Sonali is a long-time Girls on the Run coach and volunteer and believes strongly in the value and mission of this beautiful program! Few things make her happier than spending time with her favorite 4th graders and she is so honored to serve as a board member and support GOTR's efforts at empowering young girls all across the country.  

Deborah Pleva Portland, OR

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.