The second annual The Next Evolution presented by Events.com takes place Wednesday, June 29 - Thursday, June 30 in Denver, Colorado, hosted at the Grand Hyatt Denver. This year's schedule is filled with running industry thought leaders. Check out their bios:
Veteran Endurance Marketer - Abraham
Peter Abraham helps purpose-driven organizations tell their stories. Through his experience with entrepreneurship, content creation, and technology, Peter’s developed a unique point of view that encourages business to be a force for positive change in the community. Peter served as Chief Marketing Officer & Creative Director at the Los Angeles Marathon from 2008-2011. Prior to that he founded the Santa Monica Classic 5K/10K in 2006.
President & Co-Founder - Ragnar Relay Series
Tanner Bell is the Co-Founder and President of Ragnar. Ragnar began in 2004 as a single overnight running relay race with 262 participants. Today, more than 120,000 runners participate annually in 17 road relay races and 18 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. Tanner played a major role in raising growth capital from Dolphin Capital Group in 2006, and White Road Investments (Clif Bar) and Partnership Capital Growth in 2013. 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. Tanner lives in Kaysville, Utah with his fantastic wife Kristin and 4 ridiculously cute children. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and skier (snow and water). And, he believes it is never too early or late to become a Ragnarian.
Race Director - BolderBOULDER
I have run, worked and/or volunteered for every race since its creation in 1979 and had the opportunity to be involved in every aspect of the operation over the past 38 years. I have served as the Race Director for BolderBOULDER since June 1998, and an Assistant Race Director from May 1990 to June 1998. My favorite memory of the BolderBOULDER is watching Frank Shorter win the race in 1981.
Marketing Director - The Louisiana Marathon
Danny Bourgeois is the Co-Founder and Marketing Director of The Louisiana Marathon and New Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. Louisiana Marathon began in 2012 as first step in having the state recognized as the running capital of the south. Since then we have grown by 20-30% each year because we offer a unique reason to run, our Finish Festival! It's a typical Louisiana bash with lots of great music and food. We even have a vegan village to complete the offering. We're social. It's in our DNA and running is becoming a part of our state's story because we collaborate with all facets of the sport in the state.
Account Supervisor – MKTG
Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2009, I’ve built a career in the sponsorship and experiential marketing world. Across two separate agencies, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of brands including US Army Racing, NASCAR, & Nike and across most major sports. Currently, I manage the DICK’S Sporting Goods relationship as well as oversee all international work for Gatorade.
VP of Product Development - The Color Run
John Connors is the VP of Product Development for The Color Run. The Color Run is the originator of the 5k paint race genre. Since 2011, The Color Run has hosted events for more than 5 million participants worldwide. John has been with the company from the start.
President - BKB, Ltd.
Creigh is one of nation’s most popular and recognizable announcers, having been the voice of many of the largest triathlon and running events in the U.S. and abroad for the past 33 years. He has done radio and TV color commentary at local and national events, including the Giant Race (SF Giants) in Arizona during Spring training, the Half Marathon Championships, World Triathlon Championships, Chicago Marathon, Columbus Marathon, the Summer Olympics in Sydney, and the PRRO Championships.
North American Business Development - iRewind
Don has been involved with multiple event technology startups over the past 15 years, including Brightroom, RaceIT, RaceHQ, and iRewind. He is skilled in bridging the gap between development teams and less-technical stakeholders including race organizers, sponsors, and participants with the goal of ensuring a continuously improving the event experience for all.
Co-Founder - Motigo
Dan is a co-founder and CEO of the Denver based startup Motigo, an innovative mobile app that delivers personalized audio content to runners and athletes during their activities. Motigo uniquely connects, engages and entertains today's connected athletes to provide moments of inspiration and empowerment, truly transforming the event experience for all. Prior to Motigo, Dan spent 12+ years heading up business development and strategy for leading e-commerce companies Shutterfly, 1-800-Flowers.com, and others. ?
VP of Events - The Color Run
Kent Phippen is the VP of Events at Bigsley Event House/The Color Run. He's a member of the first year team that built The Color Run into a Global Phenomenon. Before joining the team at The Color Run, Kent was a Senior Race Director at Ragnar Events where he directed their flagship event the Wasatch Back and managed other important events across the country. He's a proud father of 5 and resides in Farmington Utah.
Director of Sponsorship - P3R
Troy Schooley joined P3R in 2013 as the Director of Sponsorship and oversees all sponsorships and business partnerships for P3R’s year-round calendar of events and programs, including the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, GNC Live Well Liberty Mile and the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. In his role, he works with major national brands including Dick’s Sporting Goods, FedEx Ground and GNC Live Well. Prior to P3R, Troy spent over 10 years as national account manager at ESPN Radio, Westwood One, and Clear Channel. A native of Western Pennsylvania, Troy is a graduate of Robert Morris University, where he received a degree in sports management.
VP of Events - Human Movement
Colorado raised but well traveled. I have worked in the event industry for almost 10 years now. At Human Movement we produce triathlons, mud runs, obstacle runs, 5ks, beer festivals....the list goes on and on! I have had the opportunity to work with many other companies in our industry including but not limited to The Color Run, Living Social, Tough Mudder & Spartan Race. Through a short stint at EPS-Doublet I was able to work with marketing agencies that support our sponsors, other event companies, race companies & more. I recently just took a new position with Human Movement as VP of Events. In the next few years you will see Human Movement's focus steer towards growing mountain resort events.
Our MC and Moderator
What does venture capital, CPA, investment banking, logistics, radio, race directing, announcing/hosting, timing/scoring, and entrepreneur all have in common? Well that would be Lonnie Somers. A true wanderlust who is always learning, Lonnie started working for fortune 500 companies and then moved into venture capital/investment banking working in various executive capacities and eventually as a partner. They say kids change your life, well Lonnie’s did. After his twin daughter were saved via in-utero surgery, he started a national 5K series and international non-profit (Fetal Health Foundation and The Great Candy Run). The foundation is the only of its kind supporting more than 50,000 families a year with support and awareness around fetal syndromes. The charity event, The Great Candy Run Denver edition, was grown from few hundred to over 6000, making it one of the largest timed 5K’s in his home state. From his love of running and a certain respected mentor in the industry (Creigh Kelley), Lonnie jumped into the sport full time with a national timing/scoring and consulting company working with over 100 events a year. In addition, Lonnie is a professional announcer and host for many programs and events nationally. Lonnie has also served as both treasurer and as a board member for Running USA for several years. Education wise, Lonnie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a BS in Accounting. His current entrepreneur project includes the launch of RunningDenver.com all part of the RunningUniverse network.