2017 Running USA Industry Conference


2017 Conference Speakers


Monday, February 27


Keynote Address


Jeff James - Disney Institute

Jeff James

VP and General Manager, Disney Institute

n his role at the Disney Institute, a business and professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company, James guides the organization in sharing business insights on a variety of leadership and experiential topics. Drawing on decades of success, James will share real-life stories, illustrations and insights from the diverse operations of the Disney organization and help attendees transform the way they think about their runners and customers - Read More













Race Camps

Attendees have three hours to attend three unique session on the topics of your choice and dive deep into discussion with industry peers.


Course Operations

Brian Lyons

VP, Race Operations, GO! St. Louis

Brian is a key member of the GO! St. Louis Staff.  In his nine years at GO!, he has been promoted to Race Director, and most recently to VP of Race Operations.  He has played a major role in the strategic growth of the organization.

Aaron Nemzer

Director of Events, DMSE

Aaron serves as the Director of Events at DMSE. His responsibilities include client relations, public safety agency relations, permitting and approval, and course operations, among others.





Troy Schooley

Vice President of Partnerships and Sales,

Troy Schooley joined P3R in 2013 and has doubled the size of the sponsorships portfolio across a series of events, including the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, GNC Live Well Liberty Mile and the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. Under his direction, his team has signed multi-year sponsorship renewals with national brandP3R

Matt Weiss

Senior Manager, US Marketing, Brooks

Matt Weiss is the Senior Manager of U.S. Marketing at Brooks Running company. In this role, Matt leads event marketing, retail marketing, Brooks’ flagship Trailhead store, and brand partnerships, all in the pursuit of inspiring runners by delivering Brooks’ Run Happy experience.



Technology: Platforms and Integration

Mike Coleman

CEO/President, TimingHQ

Mike Coleman is CEO/President of TimingHQ, a national timing and registration management company. Over the last 12 years, Mike has aided in the success of programs across all endurance sports, with an emphasis in the running community.  He currently serves as Vice President of the Running USA Board of Directors.

Dan Nagler - Motigo

Dan Nagler

Cofounder and CEO, 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. 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. 




















Technology: Advancing Email Marketing

Andy Reilly

President, RacePlace

In 2015 Andy became president of  RACEPLACE Inc, an endurance media company based out of San Diego, CA (EST 1985). Andy increased company sales by over 30% from 2015 - 2016 and improved website traffic by 50% from the previous year. He created RACEPLACE Marketing in  2016

Meslissa Christian

Senior Account Executive, imATHLETE

Melissa joined the imATHLETE team in 2013. Working closely with the company's major event clients helped her to gain insight and understanding of the unique marketing challenges events face.  From her current Account Executive role, she utilizes that knowledge to help events understand their data, their participant decision making and to maximize their growth potential




Technology: Social Media

Tim Murphy

Co-Founder, BibRave

Tim Murphy co-founded BibRave in late 2013, originally creating a place for runners to gather online and discuss the best races to run, the best gear to try, and the best nutrition to use. From there grew a large community of running bloggers, which BibRave uses to help races and brands reach more runners.

Jessica Murphy - Runner's World

Jessica Murphy

Managing Director, Runner's World

Jessica Murphy is Managing Director of Runner’s World Magazine. In this role, she is responsible for developing, evaluating and executing new business opportunities for the brand, including strategic partnerships, content marketing and new products, and event and training offers. Previously, Murphy served as Nike’s North America Digital Brand Director and is a a 12-time marathoner and two-time ultra-marathoner.






















Safety and Security

Sean Barus

Director, Operations Management, Chicago Event Management

Sean has been a CEM team member since 2000. He specializes in operations, logistics & vendor management

Elizabeth Vincenty

Race Director, Twin Cities in Motion

Elizabeth Vincenty is the Race Director for Twin Cities In Motion (TCM), managing the operations of the organization’s portfolio of road races, including the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.  As the race director, Elizabeth leads a team of staff and volunteer association members in the planning and execution of marathon weekend events which serves over 30,000 participants




Expo Management / Post-Event Experience

Kelly Blakely

GM of Sports Logistics and Event Management, RunDisney

As General Manager, Sports Logistics & Event Management, Kelly leads the teams responsible for planning and executing events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida, as well as runDisney endurance events held throughout Walt Disney World.

Janet Raugust

Creative Director, Chicago Event Management

Janet has been with Chicago Event Management for over 11 years and oversees design, marketing and communications. Chicago Event Management is an event production company based in Chicago and strives to create events that are unforgettable experiences for participants, spectators, and industry partners. 


Standing Out! Differentiating Your Event in a Crowded Marketplace


Sam Fiandaca

Founder, Brazen Racing


Sam Fiandaca co-founded Brazen Racing, a race production company in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on runners new to racing and trail running.  Sam has been the race director of 200+ races and has helped Brazen Racing become the most popular trail running series in California.

Mike Sohaskey

Co-Founder, RaceRaves

Mike is the co-founder of RaceRaves, the premier online reviews community for runners to share their race experiences and find their next challenge. Mike honed his creative and critical thinking skills as a research scientist, earning a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford.



Tuesday, February 28


Keynote Address

Leveraging a Personal Brand to Lead a Running Community - Dorie Clark will inspire attendees with her talk “Building Your Brand as a Leader,” touching on the importance of harnessing one’s personal brand to strengthen and grow a business, race and running community


Dorie Clark

Branding Expert

Clark, a distinguished author and speaker, consults some of the world’s leading organizations, including Google, Microsoft, the World Bank and the National Park Service. A New York City resident, she understands the value a road race brings to a community. In addition to Clark’s consulting and speaking, she is a best-selling author, including her most recent book Stand Out, which was ranked as the top leadership book by Inc. Magazine in 2015. Clark is a frequent contributor to TIME, the Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur and other publications, while serving as an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.



Idea Labs - Morning Session

Learn to improve your event, connect with runners and build your business to even greater heights with our assortment of Idea Labs. 


Tourism Partnerships and Community Relationships

Danny Bourgeois

Cofounder and Marketing Director

Louisiana Marathon/Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Danny Bourgeois is the co-founder and Marketing Director of the Louisiana Marathon and Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. Danny played a role in securing travel-tourism and health-fitness grants for both races as well as working with his partners to secure sponsorships. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, the running industry and enjoys participating as a member of the Running USA Planning Committee.


Brand and Image Update: A Case Study

Doug Thurston

Executive Director/Race Director

Big Sur International Marathon

Doug ecame race director and executive director of the Big Sur Marathon, a bucket-list event for marathoners around the world, in March of 2013. The organization is a $3 million non-profit that produces four major event weekends and an award-winning youth fitness program (Just Run!). Doug has been a full time race director and running journalist since 1984.


Charities and the Endurance Space: What Comes Next

Alison Tibbits

National Director of Endurance

Muscular Dystrophy Association


Alison has worked in the endurance fundraising space for 15 years. During this time, she has helped to create two nationwide endurance fundraising programs, the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program and most recently, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Team Momentum program, helping to raise nearly $45,000,000.



Optimizing Online Marketing

Andy Reilly

President, RacePlace

In 2015 Andy became president of  RACEPLACE Inc, an endurance media company based out of San Diego, CA (EST 1985). Andy increased company sales by over 30% from 2015 - 2016 and improved website traffic by 50% from the previous year. He created RACEPLACE Marketing in  2016


Business School: Driving Insights From Your Data


Alex Vander Hoeven

CEO, Race Roster

After completing his MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada, Alex teamed up with a group of high school friends to organize Rock the Road 10K, which then led to the founding of Race Roster - one of North America’s most popular running and cycling event registration companies.


The Connected Runner: Technology in the Sport

Panel discussion on the role of technology in running. Moderated by Running USA treasurer/race director and announcer Lonnie Somers.

David Lorsch

Vice President Strategy & Business Development. Strava

David Lorsch is Vice President Strategy & Business Development at Strava, the social network for athletes and a leading fitness technology company based in San Francisco. Strava is a global community of millions of runners, cyclists and triathletes, united by the camaraderie of sport.

Dan Nagler - Motigo

Dan Nagler

Cofounder and CEO, 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. 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. 

Niclas Kuipers

Director of Marketing, MYLAPS

Niclas is Director of Marketing at MYLAPS and Manager of the MYLAPS Experience Lab, where application and service concepts are developed and tested.


Andy Beckman

Director, Sales and Marketing, Garmin

Andy Beckman joined the Garmin team in 2008 and is the director for fitness sales and marketing for North America as well as director of Garmin’s retail store in Miami South Beach.






































Idea Labs - Afternoon Session


The Lowdown on Music Licensing

Creigh Kelley

President, BKB Ltd

Creigh, pronounced Cree, 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.

Dave Downey

Boulder County Communications

Starting his IT business in 1998, Dave Downey didn’t know the path would bring him into the event world. Boulder County Communications (BCC) is a full-service IT company that also does event production. Since 2006, BCC has provided audio, video, live streaming, temporary power, and IT services to events


Insurance 101: What do I REALLY need to buy?


Patrice Matamoros


Patrice Matamoros has served as the executive director of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. since 2008. As executive director, she successfully helped re-launch the Pittsburgh Marathon after a 5-year hiatus. Since 2009, the event has continued to grow from an organization with no sponsors, no runners, no staff and no volunteers to an event that now supports 18 staff members, 4,000 volunteers and 30,000+ runners.



Year After Year Runner Retention


Tanner Bell

Cofounder and President, 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.



Sponsorship Trends and Best Practices


Shan Riggs

ESP Properties/IEG

Shan is the V.P. of Business Development for ESP Properties (also known as IEG), the world’s leading sponsorship resource.  Shan helps clients maximize sponsorship revenue by approaching the marketplace with the right sponsorship strategies, packages, pricing and connections.


Building a Medical Plan for Any Event

Dr. Stu Weiss

CEO, Med Prep Group

Dr. Stuart Weiss is the founder of MedPrep Consulting Group and has over 35 years of experience in pediatrics, emergency medicine and disaster medicine and over a decade of experience in planning, training, exercising and education in areas related to disaster preparedness, hazardous materials, and the consequences of manmade and natural public health emergencies.

Chris Troyanos

Founder and President, Sports Medicine Consultants

Founder and President of SMC, Chris Troyanos is a successful entrepreneur who has served as the Medical Director and Coordinator for a number of athletic events. As the Medical Coordinator to the Boston Athletic Association, he was instrumental in developing the medical coverage plan for the 100th running of Boston Marathon.


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