Council Director Jessica Sparks, LPCC, LSC, volunteered with Girls on the Run of Franklin County since the first season in the fall of 2008-July 2015. Jessica head coached for several seasons, volunteered as Board Secretary, and her active and dedicated involvement in all facets of the organization naturally progressed into her leadership role as full time Council Director. The organization has experienced steady growth since 2008 and now reaches thousands of girls per year in Franklin County. As a school and clinical counselor, Jessica knows the value and impact of her practical 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 16 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.
Development Director Kate Quinn joined the Girls on the Run staff in May of 2016. Kate is a former non-profit Administrative Director, having run the administrative functions and operations for five locations of a non-profit in Ohio. Before her non-profit career, Kate worked as a political fundraiser and was also the COO of a small law firm in Columbus.
While not a runner, Kate loves to be outdoors with her family. She enjoys taking adventure walks with her kids, playing at the park, swimming, and finding any excuse to get out of the house and into the world.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Kate is a strong supporter of local businesses, charities, and all things Central Ohio. When she’s not raising money for Girls on the Run or volunteering, Kate enjoys small amounts of alone time and loads of family time with her husband and two, soon to be three, young children.
Hobbies: Allergy friendly cooking, yoga, walking, and spending quality time with family
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Our own Girls on the Run 5k! The energy and spirit at our race is amazing!
What attracted you to GOTR: As a woman and also the mother of a young girl, the mission of Girls on the Run is one that is very near and dear to my heart. I love that we work with young girls to boost their self-esteem and show them that they can achieve their goals no matter how big or small. I have also had first-hand experience with kids in foster care and the criminal justice system, which showed me that kids from all walks of life need programs like ours. I love that Girls on the Run is a program for all girls, no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background may be.
Program Coordinator Torre Summers is a strong believer in giving back and supporting others in her community. She has been a strong hand and voice on several boards and committees all striving to educate, support and care for others.
Her background also includes working with children, building their faith and love for themselves as well as their community. These two pieces lead her to Girls on the Run. She was introduced to the program through her now 11 year old daughter who as of Spring 2015 has finished 3 seasons as a participant and 1 season as a JR Coach.
Torre has never been a runner, tennis and dance have been her areas of strength and passion. When she agreed to run the Girls on the Run 5k with her daughter, training began as did her love for running. Now an avid runner she has found a new strength and passion. She has now completed many 5k's as well as 2 Quarter Marathons (several of the 5k's she has run with her daughter) and her first Half Marathon! Running that Half Marathon as a part of the Girls on the Run Franklin County Sole Mate team! It is through that first experience with Girls on the Run that this is all happening.
Torre hopes that she cannot only be a role model for her daughter as well as her son, but for girls everywhere that at any age they can find their limitless potential!
Hobbies: Running, yoga, tennis, decorating, memory making with friends and family
Hometown: Upper Arlington, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Our own Girls on the Run 5k! That is where it all started! and Cap City Half Marathon
What attracted you to GOTR: Crossing the Girls on the Run 5k finish line with my daughter was such a powerful experience. We supported, encouraged and pushed each other through the entire race. We ran together and finished together. Experiencing that end accomplishment was extremely rewarding. Seeing her face beaming with pride was why I wanted to be involved with Girls on the Run. I know that my daughter and all the girls within the program received so many priceless gifts over that season. How could I not want to be involved in giving those gifts?! I am so very proud and honored to be a part of an organization that is striving to build strong, happy, confident and healthy young ladies.
Marketing and Public Relations Chair
Dawn is marketing director at Ologie, an 85-person branding agency in Columbus, Ohio.
With a solid journalism and PR background and a keen eye for detail, she has excelled in both corporate and agency public relations environments for the past 20+ years. Dawn has collaborated with agency leaders to set industry agendas, establish thought leadership, launch new agency offerings, and navigate PR obstacles.
Dawn has managed the marketing and public relations efforts for inVentiv Communications and GSW, where she was responsible for handling the publicity, branding, and marketing needs of one of the most award-winning healthcare agencies in the world including Agency of the Year.
At Ologie, she is responsible for the agency’s marketing and PR strategy, while building and managing relationships with key influencers and decision makers. An avid brand advocate, passionate trend watcher and buzz creator, she is an accomplished media relations expert with story placements in Ad Age, Adweek, Communication Arts, Med Ad News, PharmaVoice, DTC Perspectives, Medical, Marketing and Media, Pharmaceutical Executive, PM360.
Dawn graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Hobbies: Working out, volunteering
Hometown: Bellaire, Ohio
Favorite local race: Komen Race for the Cure
What attracted you to GOTR: I've always been active. A runner and just about anything else that involves physical activity. It started as a passion and then became a way to relieve stress. I've also been lucky enough to mentor many young girls and women over the years. I realized I had a lot to offer in that way so when I saw that GOTR offered both, it was a no-brainer.
Ashley Weaver is Director Operations & Performance Transformation at American Electric Power. The group is responsible for identifying process improvement opportunities; capturing best practices and building capabilities throughout the company; and developing a strategic roadmap to tie culture and performance within the company. Previously Ashley held various positions including Generation project manager, Fuel procurement manager, and Transmission program manager at AEP.
Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s of business administration. She is graduate of the Leadership Columbus program, a board member of WaterFire Columbus, and a member of the Miami University Engineering Advisory Council.
What attracted me to GOTR: I have a personal passion for supporting young girls and letting them know they can do and be anything they want in life. I am a mother of twin first grade girls and I will never forget when they were four years old and met Kathy Sullivan, the first female astronaut in space and WaterFire Columbus board chair, and one of my girls said “I didn’t know women went to space too!” There are many girls who can benefit from a supportive safe environment to deal with growing up and becoming a young woman. I believe providing them the tools to learn to be a strong women will benefit them tremendously in their future.
Senior Legal Counsel, DHL Global Business Services
Allison joined the GOTR Board as an at-large member in the spring of 2015. She serves on the marketing committee. Allison is a lifelong runner who has always been passionate about supporting causes that uplift women and girls. That passion has grown in recent years as she has welcomed two young daughters who serve as her jogging stroller running buddies. Allison brings sound legal judgment and her passion for organization to the Board. She is proud to be serving GOTR girls throughout Central Ohio.
Hobbies: Running, book club, and chasing after her little ones
Hometown: North Canton, Ohio
Favorite Race: Flying Pig Marathon
What attracted you to GOTR: I was drawn to GOTR because I started running when I was 13 and it was a tremendous difference maker in my life. I want all girls (including my daughters) to enjoy the many benefits running gave me as a girl, including a self-esteem boost, knowledge regarding healthy eating and exercise, and positive relationships with other girls.
Board Member At Large
Pam Snow became an At Large Member on the the Board in 2016.
Currently, she is a Realtor with HER Realtors. She helps her clients buy and sell personal real estate and investment property. She has a strong background in Sales, Marketing, New Product Development and Contract Negotiation. She earned her Bachelors in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.
Pam first started as an Assistant Coach for GOTR in 2014 as an excuse to run, but found much more when the program began and became part of the board in 2016. She is excited to promote the ideals that GOTR foster. The message GOTR shares is something every girl needs to know and she wants to help share.
She is proud of the 1 full marathon she ran for the Train to End Stroke Program, the 10 1/2 marathons and countless 5ks she has ran.
Hobbies: Playing Volleyball, Running, Gardening and hanging out with her husband and two kids.
Hometown: Westerville, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Girls on the Run 5k
What attracted you to GOTR: The GOTR program helps girls understand that is OK to be strong, confident and smart. It is imperative to for girls to learn these traits and how to use them for good. There is so much excitement and fun with this group, it is hard not to like it!
Sarah Chambers serves as an at-large member of the GOTR Board and a member of the Events and Finance Committees. In her day job, she is an attorney for Thompson Hine LLP in its Corporate Transactions and Securities practice group. In addition to the GOTR Board, Sarah also serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio division of the March of Dimes.
Hobbies: Spending as much time with her family as possible, reading, OSU football, and obsessing about (but rarely ever doing) home remodeling/redecorating.
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Favorite Local Race: Girls on the Run 5K!
What attracted you to GOTR: The GOTR mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident resonated deeply with Sarah as that is everything a parent wants for their child and everything she wants for her young daughter. She also knows that is no easy task in the world we are living in today where girls face challenges we never imagined years ago. The GOTR program uses such a unique way of combining sports to teach valuable life lessons that have a transformative effect on the girls. Sarah is very proud to be a part of Girls on the Run of Franklin County!
Staff Attorney, Franklin County Probate Court
Mary joined the board as the Development Chair in 2016. She has worked in Columbus in both law and higher education for several years. Mary currently serves as a staff attorney for the Franklin County Probate Court. She is also an active supporter and volunteer for her alma maters, Capital University Law School and the College of Wooster. Along with her legal background, Mary brings skills to the GOTR board from previous experience with other non-profit boards, including event planning, fundraising, grant writing, and donor cultivation.
Hobbies: running, golfing, biking, supporting my kids (Ethan & Maggie) in their activities, and traveling with my soon-t0-be husband, Mike
Hometown: Kettering, OH (moved to Columbus in 2002)
Favorite local race: Cap City and the GOTR 5k.
What attracted you to GOTR: I learned about GOTR the same way I discover many great things: because my daughter, Maggie got involved! I was so impressed as a mom to hear what my daughter was learning and understanding through the GOTR curriculum in her after-school running program. Maggie gained confidence as a runner and athlete, which is a strength that has endured well past her GOTR season. She insists on continuing her involvement with GOTR 5Ks as a proud alumna, and is thrilled that her mom is a member of the board. I am honored to assist in bringing GOTR to as many girls in central Ohio as possible!
Jena is the Director of Marketing + Communications for The Charles Penzone Salons. She manages the Company's brand identities and leads the strategy behind all company campaigns, promotions, PR, social media and events. Jena joined The Charles Penzone team in 2007 and has held roles as Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Team Leader and Associate Director of Marketing + Communications. She is a graduate of Miami University with a major in Strategic Communications and a minor in Marketing.
Jena joined GOTRFC as a running buddy, then served as assistant coach before taking on the Event Coordinator position in 2014. Since then, Jena has led up the amazing committee of volunteers who make our 5K and LunaFest fundraising events possible.
Hobbies: running marathons, yoga, baking, spending time with my husband, Ryan, and our chocolate lab, Roscoe.
Hometown: Mansfield, Ohio (moved to Columbus in 2007)
Favorite Local Race: Our Girls on the Run 5k, of course!
What Attracted You To GOTR: After moving to Columbus, I was looking for an outlet to get involved to truly give back to the community. I enjoy running, and so when I met Jess at a a networking event, the rest was history. Having coached, I see the impact this program can have on young girls. Helping girls realize their limitless potential and develop confidence at a young age is so important. I'm so happy that my involvement with GOTR helps achieve that mission.
Shereen joined the Girls On The Run board in 2016. She has worked for OhioHealth since 2010, most recently serving as Vice President of Human Resources. Shereen has experience and passion for talent management, engagement and inclusion, organizational effectiveness, leadership development, and talent acquisition. Shereen received her Bachelor’s Degree from E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and Master's degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Management from New York University.
Hobbies: running, cooking, attending sporting events of her three children, Hakeem, Emran, and Iman and traveling with her husband Brandon.
Hometown: Findlay, Ohio (Moved to Columbus from Michigan in 2010)
Favorite local race: OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon
What attracted you to GOTR: “I was truly inspired by the mission, vision and values of Girls On The Run. I have a 13 year old daughter and truly believe in the importance of girls understanding their role in taking care of themselves and one another both emotionally and physically. I have a personal passion for developing women in leadership and believe Girls on the Run is an outstanding way to support our future female leaders.”
Board Member At Large
Vice President, Marketing, Chase
Sara joined the GOTR Board as an at-large member in the spring of 2016. She brings a diverse background based on her marketing career experience at Chase as well as L Brands. In addition, she is passionate about fitness and the positive, fun outcomes that can be achieved. Sara played soccer at Otterbein College and has since continued her active pursuits. She has completed an ironman, 4 marathons, cycled 100-miles in Pelotonia 3 times and participated in numerous triathlons and road races. She is excited to apply her skills and passion to help empower and inspire the younger generation.
Hobbies: running, triathlons, traveling, spending time with family
Hometown: Westerville, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Ohio State Ross Heart Hospital TriFit Challenge Triathlon and GOTR 5k
What attracted you to GOTR:
As a mom of two young girls and lifelong athlete, my core values are closely aligned with the mission and vision of GOTR. I have a strong desire to invest in the future generation by applying my skills to help equip young girls to lead a confident and healthy life.
Board Member At Large
Jessica joined the board of Girls On The Run of Franklin County in 2016 as an at-large member after being introduced to the organization through a current board member and running partner. Jessica works as a Contract Administration Supervisor with the Department of Medicaid where she has over 10 years of experience.
With a background in marketing, business operations, and contract compliance for non-profit and state government agencies, Jessica is excited to use her experience to assist with GOTR mission. Jessica is a strong believer in continuing athletics in order to maintain a healthy body and mind. Girls On The Run’s mission directly aligns with her beliefs, as she loves to empower girls to strive to be strong, happy, kind, healthy and confident.
Hobbies: Running, cross fit and weight training, swimming, spending time with her daughters, husband, family and friends.
Hometown: Ottawa, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Girls On The Run and Run Like a Girl 5k
What attracted you to GOTR: “The mission and the 5k events are what attracted me to GOTR. Running is a tool that I used to build my strength and confidence to attain goals and live a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, I noticed my daughters are more receptive to messages I am trying to teach them when we are engaged in an activity together. GOTR is such a unique program that incorporates lessons that nurture the heart, mind, and physical health of young ladies.”
Director, Strategic Finance, 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.
Corporate Controller at Thirty-One Gifts
Sara joined GOTR as the Board Treasurer in the fall of 2016. She started her career in public accounting with KPMG and has been with Thirty-One Gifts since 2010. Sara graduated from The Ohio State University and subsequently obtained her CPA. Sara first volunteered with GOTR during the spring of 2016 and quickly wanted to find a way to further support the organization. She is eager to use her accounting background to help further the growth of GOTR of Franklin County.
Hobbies: Spending time with family, travelling, relaxing at the lake, working puzzles
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Favorite Local Race: Girls on the Run 5k
What attracted you to GOTR? I have always had a passion for giving back and in particular, helping girls develop confidence and independence. When I first learned about GOTR, I immediately knew it would be a great match as the mission and vision align so closely with my personal values. I am thrilled to be part of an organization that has a proven program to positively impact girls with tangible benefits!