Staff

Susan Thaxton
Executive Director

Susan has been involved with Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake since 2006, first as a coach, then as a board member and board president, and now as Executive Director. She is passionate about the program and truly believes that all girls need this powerful, life-changing experience to help them navigate the often challenging time of female adolescence. Susan has diverse professional experience, from being a non-profit strategy consultant, to managing a production line in an auto assembly plant, to serving as a naval officer. Susan lives in Annapolis with her husband, Mickey, and her two daughters, Katie and Pippa. She holds a BA from Villanova University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Laura Pfundstein
Program Director
- laura@gotrchesapeake.org

Laura Pfundstein is our trusted Program Director, working now at Girls on the Run Greater Chesapeake since 2011. Laura is passionate about food and fitness and enjoys sharing her knowledge with young girls, empowering them to be strong woman.

Board of Directors

Kristen Cooper
Board Chair

Kristen was introduced to Girls on the Run in 2014 when her then third grader participated in the inaugural team at her elementary school. Immediately Kristen fell in love with the program, seeing how effectively it integrates socialization, confidence-building and individual and team development with health and fitness as a backdrop. Kristen joined the board in the spring of 2014, with her eyes set on the potential growth in Baltimore. Kristen is the owner of Leap Day Media, a firm that offers advertising sales outsourcing for a variety of publications, mainly in the Arts & Education fields. Prior to launching Leap Day Media, she led advertising sales teams at The Baltimore Sun, The Examiner, and was most recently the Publisher of Baltimore Style Magazine. Kristen earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Loyola College in Maryland, began her sales career with Black & Decker. A Connecticut native who moved to Baltimore over 15 years ago, Kristen now lives in Lutherville with her husband and two daughters. Although her favorite activity away from work is spending time with her family, she is also an avid runner and triathlete.

Kathy Burk
Board Member

Jallon Croskey
Board Member

With over 20 years of experience in public education, Jallon has worked in elementary through high school grades as a teacher, full-time mentor, leader, and administrator. After working for several years at the elementary and middle school level, Jallon accepted a fellowship with the KIPP Foundation. In partnership with the KIPP, she founded one of the first charter schools in the state of Maryland. After her time at KIPP, she supported the recruitment and selection of aspiring principals with New Leaders for New Schools in Baltimore. Additionally, Jallon served as the Director of three schools of choice and also served as the primary instructional leader of a college preparatory, public boarding school. Jallon has worked as an educational consultant to a variety of organizations and schools, facilitating professional development sessions, coaching principals, and serving on teams to evaluate teacher preparation programs. Currently, she is the Chief Academic Officer at KIPP Baltimore, Inc. Jallon has earned a BA in Sociology and Elementary Education from The College of William and Mary and a graduate degree from George Washington University in Education Administration. Jallon’s experience with Girls on the Run started when she brought the program to one of her schools, relating to the mission to inspire girls to be healthy and confident. She has served on the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run for the Greater Chesapeake since 2016. Jallon and her family live in Anne Arundel County, where she spends time volunteering at her children’s school and with their sporting events.

Michelle Damareck
Board Member

Michelle first got involved with GOTRGC when she was selected to sit on a committee focused on the council’s expansion into Baltimore. After she took on the role of ‘running buddy’ at her first 5k and cheered a spirited and adorable 4th grader to the finish line, Michelle was hooked and experienced firsthand the transformative nature of GOTR. She went on to join the board in January 2016 and hit the ground running, contributing to the organization’s 10th anniversary celebration events.   Michelle is Founder and Owner of Run of Show Event Management, LLC, a corporate event management company, where she works with select clients to help them seamlessly manage their internal and external events that take place around the country.     Michelle, a native Long Islander, has called the Baltimore area home for over 18 years and is passionate about giving back to the community where she lives works and plays. She has served on the Board of Jewish Volunteer Connection, is actively engaged with her children’s school and helps guide her children to find ways to give back to the community as well.   Michelle lives in Baltimore County with her husband and two children. A Towson University graduate, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, focusing on fitness and eating at new restaurants. 

Cheryl Fries
Board Member

Cheryl started volunteering for GOTRGC 5ks in 2014 and joined the Board in early 2015. She will be contributing to GOTR programming and leveraging resources and best practices from GOTR International. Outside of her board work for GOTRGC, Cheryl is currently a Senior Officer for Knowledge Management & Learning for International Medical Corps. She previously focused on business development, program management, and communications activities for international development organizations. Cheryl received her M.A. from American University in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs, a joint program between the Department of Philosophy and the School for International Service. She participants in local races throughout the year and is part of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County’s RACE Team. Cheryl also enjoys hiking, thrifting, and antiquing with her husband and dog.

Joshua Jacobs
Board Member

Josh became involved with GOTR a few years ago when he volunteered with his 6 year old daughter at their local 5k as course marshals. They were so impressed by the transformative nature of the program, he decided to get involved and his daughter decided to race! An avid outdoorsman, he runs, hikes, cycles and paddles with his kids whenever they’ll go with him and is especially proud of getting his daughter running. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He worked in investment banking for Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in New York before joining Kaiser Permanente, where he held a number of roles. He is currently the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Decision Support at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.

Colleen Jordan
Board Treasurer

Colleen became involved with Girls on the Run in the fall of 2007.  She has a Bachelors of Science from Towson University, a Masters of Business from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.  She is the business manager for a local school and the mother of 2 daughters and a son.  She enjoys running, working out, and attending various activities that involve her children.  Girls on the Run has taught her daughters as well as other girls how to gain self confidence while learning a lifetime skill – running.

Lori Ruff
Board Member

Lori became involved in Girls on the Run in the Fall of 2007 while her twin girls were attending the School of the Incarnation. The program was so inspirational and Lori was glad to be able to engage her daughters. She was a head coach for three years and has recently become a board member.  She graduated from James Madison University and has worked in the IT field for 25 years and is now involved in volunteering for numerous organizations.  She thoroughly loves running and tries to participate in many local races throughout the year.

Karen Sentiments
Board Member

Karen Sentementes is a Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner at Legg Mason Global Asset Management. Karen joined Legg Mason in June 1999. Prior to her role as a Business Partner, she has had a varied career in HR, having served as Talent Acquisition Manager and Employee Benefits Manager, among other roles. She has a B.A. from Loyola University Maryland and a M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, she was honored by the Maryland Daily Record as a Leading Woman under 40. Karen has served on the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run for the Greater Chesapeake since 2016. Much of her prior volunteer work has focused on strengthening organizations that mentor youth. She also volunteers for Legg Mason’s mentoring program with Patterson High School, a program of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and has served on a committee for Higher Achievement Baltimore. Karen and her husband, Gus, have lived in Baltimore City since 2000 and love their adopted city. She is an avid runner, reader, foodie, and a mother of three.

Taren Stanton
Board Member

Taren first became involved with Girls on the Run in 2014 through a board matching program. She was eager to get involved with an organization that was dedicated to mentoring and inspiring young girls and incorporated her love of health and outdoor activities. Joining the board of Girls on the Run was the perfect fit for Taren! She loves being a part of Girls on the Run and looks forwards to helping the program expand into the Baltimore area. Taren is an attorney at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP in Baltimore, Maryland where her practice focuses on defending companies in commercial litigation and employment law matters. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and her law degree from the University Of Baltimore School Of Law. Taren is active in the Baltimore legal community and enjoys participating in local community service events. She also enjoys running, working out, and spending time with her husband and family.