Who We Are

Running USA is a non-profit organization committed to the growth and success of the running industry. Our promise is to deliver quality education, exceptional industry content, valuable research and ample networking opportunities. We connect. We support. We educate. Running USA brings together an entire community. As the voice of endurance running, we’re all about connection and collaboration. Whether we’re connecting race organizers with sponsors, partners and athletes, or connecting our members with vital information and best practices, our goal is to raise the profile of running and help more people get more out of it.

What We Do

Our promise is to deliver quality education, exceptional industry content, valuable research and ample networking opportunities. We connect. We support. We educate. Running USA brings together an entire community.

The Team

Dawna Stone


Dawna is a mom of two kids, the author of ten books, a certified health coach, motivational speaker and successful entrepreneur. Prior to launching and selling the award-winning national magazine, Women’s Running, and the nation’s largest Women’s Half Marathon Series, Dawna was a financial analyst for Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley, a strategy consultant for Deloitte Consulting, senior vice president of operations at Active.com, President of PR*Nutrition and chief marketing officer for a $700 million publicly traded company.

Dawna appears regularly on television and has appeared on the Today show, Martha, MSNBC, and morning news programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. She was the host of “Health and Fitness Talk” on Sirius Satellite Radio and had her own segment on Fox News called “Healthy Living with Dawna Stone.” Dawna is a highly sought-after speaker and has done engagements for Chobani, Disney, American Heart Association, Wharton Business School, WE TV, PGA Tour, Super Bowl Leadership Forum and many more. In 2005 Dawna appeared on and won The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

Dawna has an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband, two kids and two dogs.

Email Dawna at dawna@runningusa.org

Christine Bowen

Chief Operating Officer

Christine has been fortunate to combine her operational expertise with her passion for the sport to develop a career path she loves along the way. When she’s not on the road at events around the world, she enjoys running and hiking herself. Having completed 8 marathons and 21 half marathons, these days she has been enjoying a more casual pace on the trails. In addition to her dedication to training, Christine travels often and immerses herself in local food and culture wherever she goes.

Email Christine at christine@runningusa.org.

Leah Etling

Director of Marketing and Communications

Leah has been part of the Running USA team since 2009, when she was recruited to join the organization due to her award-winning background in endurance sports journalism (APSE, CNPA). Today, she puts that experience to good use as managing editor and primary content producer for Race Director Magazine.

Leah holds a master’s degree from UC Berkeley and is a lifelong runner who loves seeing how the sport can change lives, create friendships and build community. She’s also a proud Marine Corps veteran spouse and aunt to two future track stars.

Email Leah at leah@runningusa.org.

Nicole Sparrow

Membership Development Director

Nicole has worked in varying capacities with Running USA since 2010 before officially joining the team full time in November 2021. Nicole’s background is in marketing and advertising, promotions and recruitment, and she served as Recruitment Manager for a global CRM firm for over 14 years.

Nicole has completed 14 marathons and dozens of half marathons. She’s a cofounder of the Instant Classic Trail Marathon in Richmond, VA, which raised funds the local Fisher House Foundation. She also served as a local coordinator for over 4 years with the Healthy Kids Running Series organization, which promotes the joy of running to young kids and families. She is a mom of two, and when she and her husband are not cheering for their boys from the sidelines of a soccer field, they’re running as many local races as they can.

Email Nicole at nicole@runningusa.org.

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)
General Manager, Meow Wolf

Alex Bennett is currently the Meow Wolf GM at the popular arts and entertainment attraction in Denver – showcasing large-scale immersive art installations and high-profile music encounters. As a former Director at the IRONMAN Group, Ventures Endurance and VP at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series – Alex enthusiastically stays tied to the endurance industry and the sport of running.

Alex Bennett has had the good fortune producing events and managing event/public venues for over 30 years from So Cal to Seattle to Denver and has had the privilege to work and manage such venues as Experience Music Project, KeyArena and Seattle Center and managed a large portfolio of events in the endurance industry with many companies.

Alex still runs – but not as fast or far (or as often) as he once did.

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

Director – (Term through June 2022)
President/Founder, imATHLETE

Jeff Matlow is President of imATHLETE.
In 2010, Jeff founded I Am Athlete, Inc, a leading provider of technology, database management, e-commerce and social networking solutions for the athletic market. Jeff guided the strategic growth and development of the organization as the company exceeded 400% yearly growth. imATHLETE was acquired by ENM Holdings in 2020. The acquisition created an exceptionally powerful registration, marketing and data platform for the events industry.

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. He is past president and secretary of the Running USA Board.

Jeff is a marathoner, Ironman triathlete and sports journalist.

Kyle McLaughlin

Board Vice President – (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 sport, 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)

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


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

Director – (Term through June 2023)
Executive Director, The Cowtown

Heidi Swartz is Executive Director of The Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas in its 44th year. With Heidi’s direction the event has nearly tripled in size since 2004, with over 25,000 participants and seven races taking place the last weekend in February. In 2006, she created The Cowtown Marathon’s associated non-profit, C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness), which in the past 12 years has provided over 430,000 pairs of running shoes to disadvantaged children along with greatly reduced entry fees for The Cowtown Kids 5K Run.

By bringing fitness awareness and running enthusiasm to local schools, Heidi – a runner, herself – is invested in making the City of Fort Worth a healthier place to live. She has served on the FitWorth board, the Mayor of Fort Worth’s healthy living initiative, serves on the Marketing Advisory Board for Visit Fort Worth and the board of the Fort Worth Sports Commission.

Heidi 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

Board President – (Director term through June 2023)

Matt West is the CEO at DMSE Sports, a leader in mass participatory event management and operations. Matt handles 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 serves as the Finish Line Manager for the B.A.A. Boston Marathon. Matt also manages the finish line at the ASICS Falmouth Road Race and serves on the board of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race. Matt also serves as Race Director for the lululemon San Diego 10K. He also handles all of the consultant planning, travel arrangements and logistics for DMSE’s events. In his spare time, Matt is the Operations Director for the Antarctica Marathon.

While DMSE’s events were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Matt served as the Vaccine Operations Director for CIC-Health. The CIC-Health team stood up 4 mass vaccination sites at historic and notable landmarks in Massachusetts including Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, the Hynes Convention Center and the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. Matt also lead the charge on over 300 pop-up clinics to bring vaccine to where people who needed it most were. The CIC-Health team along with it’s partner organizations, distributed over 1.3 million doses of vaccine in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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. He currently lives in Somerville, MA with his wife Sara and son Graham. Matt is a 2004 graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and is originally from Marshfield, Mass.

Tony Yamanaka

Board Secretary – (Director term through June 2023)
Brand Partnerships Director, BibRave

Tony Yamanaka was named Brand Partnerships Director at BibRave in 2021.

Previously, Tony served 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, where he produced and managed 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.