Tanner Bell

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.

Brandon Hough

Director, USAF Marathon

Brandon serves as the director of the U.S. Air Force Marathon & U.S. Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler and is also the owner of the Advanced Running Project. During his tenure at the Air Force Marathon Brandon’s efforts have led to significant growth in sponsorships, revenues, staff, and partnerships, all of which led to the U.S. Space Force to charge him with creating and launching their inaugural event. His efforts have led him to being named a Dayton 40 under 40 and he is also a previous recipient of the Running USA Rising Star Award.

After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Economics, Brandon was a contracting officer in the U.S. Air Force. While on active duty he obtained a Master’s in Sports Administration from Xavier University at which point he transitioned into the running industry where he led the operations for Spectrum Sports Management, Inc. He is currently earning a Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University. A lifelong runner, Brandon enjoys the trials of miles and miles of trials as evidenced by his lifetime best of 2:33 in the marathon. In his free time he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife Dr. Ashley Hough who shares his passions for conservation, nature, and birds. Brandon and Ashley reside in Yellow Springs, Ohio with their son Hunter.

Jeff Matlow

CEO, By Title Only

Jeff is a successful entrepreneur and business leader. He has extensive experience with both non-profit and for-profit entities, including decades of work with National Governing Bodies.

Jeff has served on the Executive Team for the Running USA Board of Directors for 12 years, including stints as President and Secretary of the organization. Matlow is an active participant in the Strategic Planning Committee, Annual Conference Committee, Membership Committee and Technology/Data Committee. He also is the leader of the Data Insight Series, an educational, data driven webinar for the entire running industry. The Data Insight Series is Running USA’s most successful webinar series to date.

Jeff also served on the USA Triathlon Board of Directors, were he was elected Treasurer. In his role there, he created the organization’s rainy-day fund investment strategy, which saw greater than 40% growth through his tenure. He created and chaired USA Triathlon’s Marketing Committee, and participated in the technology committee. Matlow is responsible for conceptualizing and launching the online membership validation/purchasing platform and waiver management system, which has since become the technology standard for sports registration platforms.

Jeff is the founder and CEO of By Title Only, an organization that transforms leadership and accelerates growth for companies in transition. He also writes a popular newsletter focused on behaviors of successful leaders, delivered with a side dollop of humor.

Prior to By Title Only, Jeff was the founder and CEO of I Am Athlete, LLC., a leading provider of data management, marketing and registration solutions for the endurance market. I Am Athlete was acquired by Gannett Media (NYSE:GCI).

He began his career in the music industry where he worked with such artists as James Brown, Everclear and the Black Eyed Peas. He founded the record label, crank! which was subsequently acquired by the Universal Music Group.

Following that, Jeff created SG Marketing, an agency that developed product launch strategies for Fortune 500 companies including Citibank, Universal, Nike, Kellogg’s and Kraft. Upon selling that business to Alloy, Inc, Jeff became the company’s General Manager / SVP, overseeing a client list that included 60% of Fortune 500s.

In his spare time, Jeff is a journalist, runner, Ironman triathlete, craft-er and father of a 9-year old spitfire of a girl.

Michael Nishi

COO, Chicago Event Management

Michael Nishi is the Chief Operating Officer for Chicago Event Management. Nishi oversees the production of all events with a particular focus in event operations, emergency response and sustainability logistics. With his extensive operational knowledge, Michael was integral in guiding a local road race of 6,000 runners to a world-class event that saw over 45,700 marathon finishers in 2019.

In addition to his work on the Chicago Marathon, Michael is a driving force in increasing the exchange of ideas and best practices among events of all size and scope. Recognizing the unique issues of the endurance sports industry, Nishi founded the Race Management Program 12 years ago to offer event organizers an intimate forum to share ideas with one another. As an active leader in the running industry, he continues to advocate for greater safety and security not only for Chicago Event Management clients but also for events around the world. Michael is currently serving as Co-Chair on the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety & Security’s (NCS4) Marathon & Endurance Events Advisory Committee.

An avid runner and cyclist, Michael sits on the board of Girls on the Run Chicago and is a committee member at City Garden Pre-School in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. He and his wife Dona, and their two daughters, live in Chicago where they are active community members in their Little Italy neighborhood.

Kathleen Titus

Owner/Race Director, All Fitness Events

Kathleen is the Owner/Race Director of All Fitness Events, which she founded seven years ago. She also serves as Race Director for the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend.

Kathleen was a corporate executive for more than two decades before turning her passion for running and the fitness industry into a successful business. She has a strong passion for helping our industry grow and expand. Kathleen’s background in destination marketing has allowed her to help over 100 events from small to large improve their online presence through social media, e-commerce and web, and grow participation levels as a result.

Prior to being named Race Director for the Philadelphia Marathon in 2021, Kathleen worked with the event on its marketing, PR and elite athlete management. She is actively engaged with the city’s local running clubs and charities to meet and recruit athletes, including adaptive athletes and LGBTQ+ participants.

When she’s not helping events excel, Kathleen is a certified running coach, race director and yoga instructor.