Leadership and Board
Council Director: Jess Sparks
Clinical/School Counselor, Whitehall City Schools
Council Director Jessica Sparks has volunteered with Girls on the Run of Franklin County since the first season in the fall of 2008. Jessica has been a head coach for several seasons, board Secretary, and her active and dedicated involvement in all facets of the organization has naturally progressed into her leadership role as Council Director. The organization has experienced steady growth since 2008 and now reaches hundreds of girls per year in Franklin County. As a child and family therapist, Jessica knows the value and impact of her clinical knowledge of child social-emotional development and her focus on evidence based practices has on driving and accomplishing the organization’s mission of inspiring girls to be healthy, happy, and confident for life.
A runner since her teens, Jessica has completed 11 marathons, and is looking forward to joining the 50 States Marathon Club. The second part of her goal is to complete all 50 before she turns 50!
Hobbies: running, being outdoors with family and friends, and baking
Hometown: Arcanum, Ohio (moved to Columbus in 2002)
Favorite Local Race: Our own Girls on the Run 5k!
What attracted you to GOTR: In my work as a counselor, I see how important it is for women and girls to have healthy coping skills, which when utilized give them the best chances to experience positive mental, emotional, and physical development. Girls on the Run provides our volunteers, girls, and anyone that comes in contact with the program the opportunity to learn healthy living skills, feel increased confidence, and experience positive outcomes.
Board Chair: Amy Hiers
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office
Amy has been a member of the GOTR board since the formation of the council. She is actively involved in several of the Committees, as well as having volunteered as a head coach and assistant coach during various seasons. She brings strong legal and organizational skills to GOTR along with the passion and commitment to encourage girls to be girls on the run for life.
Hobbies: running, reading, and traveling
Hometown: Geneva, Ohio (moved to Columbus in 1995)
Favorite local race: Our own Girls on the Run 5k!
What attracted you to GOTR: When I read about the program, I immediately thought, “I wish this program had been around when I was a girl.” Girls face unique challenges growing up in a society that places far too much emphasis on outward beauty. GOTR’s message of health, empowerment, diversity, responsibility, and gratitude acts as a necessary and effective counter to the negative messages with which girls are bombarded and I wanted to be a part of spreading its message.
At Large: Kathy Hayden
Hometown: Syracuse, New York (moved to Columbus in 2005)
Favorite local race: Columbus Marathon (and our very own GOTR 5K race!)
What attracted me to GOTR: Empowering girls! I think it is so important to bolster girls’ confidence and teach them to follow their own dreams and to allow them to let their inner light shine. Plus, I love running so to put the two together is awesome!
Treasurer: Erica Geizer
Senior Associate, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Hometown: Chardon, Ohio (moved to Columbus in 2002 to attend Ohio State)
Favorite Local Race: Cap City Half Marathon (I have yet to experience our GOTR 5k!)
What attracted you to GOTR: I find the mission of the organization to be inspiring! I think it is critical that girls learn healthy life habits and self-confidence at an early age as it is more difficult to do so once bad habits have been established. I want to play my part in preparing the next generation of ladies for a successful future.
Director of Development: Jessica Rice
American Heart Association
Secretary: Leslie Hobbs
Director of Marketing, Ohio, Colliers International
Leslie joined as GOTR Board Secretary in 2012, where she brings an array of organizational and administrative skills to GOTR, as well as many years of public relations, marketing and corporate experience. Leslie is a strong believer in giving back to the area in which you live, and is adamant that the growth of a community is dependent on creating a generation that is confident and healthy.
Hobbies: reading, spending time with my family, Bengals football
Hometown: Cleveland, OH (moved to Columbus in 2007)
Favorite local race: Girls on the Run of Franklin County 5K!
What attracted me to GOTR: As the mother of four, it is my main mission to raise children that are empowered and healthy, and who feel as if they can be and do anything. Because other children, especially young girls, are not always given that opportunity, I feel like an awesome organization like GOTR can really fill that gap. I’m proud to be a part of a group of people who are so committed to growing the next generation of Columbus leaders and success stories!
Communications Director: Vacant
Volunteer Coordinator: Ami Hill
Homework Help Coord., MLK Branch-Columbus Metropolitan Library
She enjoys the outdoors, spending time in church, with the youth and exploring various community events. Ami volunteers as Girls on the Run of Franklin County Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator (2010). Ami loves to spend time with her family & friends and enjoys a really good laugh, especially one shared with her daughter, Lena.
Hobbies: Licensed Massage Therapist, reading, writing, public speaking, styling hair, and trying anything new (including food!)
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio (moved to Columbus in 2004)
Favorite local race: Girls on the Run of Franklin County’s 5k
What attracted me to GOTR: I was initially attracted to Girls on the Run’s commitment to girls at the most critical time of their pre-adolescent lives, resulting in confident, spirited and active young ladies. From there I’ve come to see and appreciate how this commitment awakens our community by offering opportunities for us to encourage and empower one another regardless; and to run into ”inspiration” and “gratitude” along the way…bonus!
Vice Chair: Jennifer Skinner
Director, Investor Relations, Cardinal Health
As an athlete herself, Jennifer believes in the power of athletics to inspire confidence, support a healthy mind and build a strong body. She is excited to work with the passionate volunteers and amazing girls at Girls on the Run. In addition, she has run three marathons, completed two Ironman triathlons, and countless Olympic distance triathlons.
Hobbies: triathlons, running, reading, and golfing
Hometown: Liberty, Missouri (moved to Columbus in 2002)
Favorite Local Race: Our very own Girls on the Run 5k!
What attracted you to GOTR: I have learned many life skills from my participation in team and individual sports. I love how Girls on the Run teaches these skills and makes a healthy lifestyle fun and exciting. I believe this program helps girls build confidence in themselves and develops the next generation of leaders.