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

Jay Holder

Executive Director

Jay comes to Running USA after eight years at Atlanta Track Club, most recently serving as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the non-profit. In his role, Jay oversaw all marketing efforts, public relations, social media, membership, brand and merchandise. A former TV news producer, Jay has served as a track and field media operations and broadcast consultant for the last two summer Olympic Games and works annually with major road races and track meets around the country to provide media and broadcast services. Jay has a journalism degree from the State University of New York at Oswego where he was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. He has completed 14 marathons including 5 Boston Marathons and he has done the Rim to Rim to Rim run in the Grand Canyon. Jay lives in Atlanta with his wife Lauren, an Episcopal priest and their children Charlie and Lucy Rae.

Michael Clemons

Director of Operations

Michael Clemons (he/him) has over 10 years of industry experience working running events around the country. Along with owning and operating his own race management company, the Louisville Running Company, he has worked operations for many US road races including the 2022 World Athletics Championships, Chicago Marathon (where he currently serves as Finish Line Manager), New York City Marathon, Houston Marathon, and the US Marathon Olympic Team Trials. Michael is also a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of Louisville, studying Educational Leadership and Organizational Development with a concentration in Sport Administration. His research focus is on the running industry, focusing on why people run, why running organizations and events do what they do, and how the industry can be more inclusive to all.

Nancy Brandon

Director of Membership and Sponsorship

Nancy brings a wealth of experience in customer service, communications, and creative event development to her role. Notably, she spent nine years at the Army Ten-Miler, where she led marketing, advertising, public relations, brand and customer service efforts for the race. Her involvement extended to the sponsorship and expo teams, showcasing her commitment to crafting the optimal runner experience for every participant.

Though she describes herself as a “wannabe” runner, Nancy’s recent discovery of the perfect orthotics signals her determination to shed that label and she aims to complete a full marathon.

She holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from St. Ambrose University. Nancy lives in Atlanta with her rescue mutt, Missy.

Questions about membership or sponsorship? Reach out to Nancy at membership@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 standout background in endurance sports journalism (award-winner from Associated Press Sports Editors, California Newspaper Publishers Association). Today, she puts that experience to use as the primary content producer for the organization.

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 living in Bend, Oregon and aunt to two future track stars, Mercer and Rowan.

Email Leah at leah@runningusa.org.

Board of Directors

Amy Begley

Director – (USATF seat)
USATF Director for Long Distance Running Programs

Amy Begley is the USATF Director for Long Distance Running Programs. As an elite athlete, she was a 2008 Olympian in the 10,000 meters. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in exercise science and biomechanics. At Arkansas she was an NCAA Outdoor, 16-time SEC Champion and a 15-time All American. Begley has served as assistant distance coach for Team USATF at the 2018 U20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland and at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She volunteered with USATF Committees from 2008-2023., including serving on the USATF Board of Directions from 2021-2023.

Donna Finney

Director – (Term through June 2026)
Director, Volunteer Operations, NYRR

Donna Finney is the Director, Volunteer Operations at New York Road Runners with over 10 years experience in managing volunteer programs in the US, including Ronald McDonald House of New York, United Services Organization and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Quoted for her work in volunteer management best practice in the Volunteer Management Journal; Donna specializes in volunteer recruitment and appreciation and uses that experience and passion for volunteerism in supporting the future volunteer leaders of the running industry. Donna is an active volunteer herself in the NYC area with several organizations; a runner with a local team and continues to chase the Boston unicorn.

Brandon Hough

Director – (Term through June 2025)
Executive Director, Homegrown National Park

Brandon is the current Executive Director of Homegrown National Park and is the owner of the Advanced Running Project.

He previously served as the director of the U.S. Air Force Marathon & U.S. Space Force T-Minus 10-Miler. During his tenure at the Air Force Marathon, Brandon’s efforts led to significant growth in sponsorships, revenues, staff, and partnerships. He was 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.

Michael Iser

Director – (Term through June 2026)
Vice President and Practice Leader, Associated Agencies

Since 1977, Michael has served as a Vice President of Associated Insurance and Risk Management Advisors. Areas of specialty include nonprofit organizations, religious institutions, retail jewelers, and personal risk management. Michael started the Race and Special Events Practice Group in 2013; providing education, consultation services and developing insurance programs for events of all sizes, from World Marathon Events to local 5K’s. A graduate of Drake University, Michael works with his clients to build a shared vision of their business.

Chris Joffe

Director – (Term through June 2026)
Founder & CEO, Joffe Emergency Services

Chris Joffe is the Founder and CEO of Joffe Emergency Services, a company wholly dedicated to – and leader in – school safety programs, event safety, and emergency preparedness.

Chris has spent his career dedicated to making the world safer, and over the past decade, he and his team have worked with thousands of schools and events across the country to provide training, consultation, and support.

Chris studied paramedicine at UCLA and earned his Master’s in Technology, Business, and Integrated Design at the University of Southern California (USC). Chris stays sane by running marathons and enjoys reading, horseback riding, and aviation.

Tina Muir

Director – (Term through June 2026)
Founder and CEO, Running For Real

Tina Muir is the founder and CEO of Running for Real, host of the award-winning podcast of the same name and co-host of Running Realized, a mother of two, and a former elite runner for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. An ardent environmentalist, she has worked with the United Nations and the New York and Chicago marathons on sustainability initiatives. Tina was the first elite athlete to openly discuss having amenorrhea and has become an advocate for others suffering from RED-S. Tina’s second book, Becoming a Sustainable Runner will be published in August, 2023, coauthored with Zoe Rom.

Photo credit: Hannan Abdikadir

Meghan Najera

Board Treasurer – (Term through June 2026)
Co-Owner, RunFAR Racing Services

Meghan serves as Co-Owner of RunFAR Racing Services, Inc., based in Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. RunFAR is a full-service timing, and results company managing data and finish lines for over 200 events annually in and outside of Texas. Alongside her husband, Raul, Meghan leads the production side of RunFAR. She works with the largest events in Texas and surrounding states. Meghan has been an integral part of expanding RunFAR’s portfolio of customers and building partnerships. In addition, Meghan serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Taya and Chris Kyle Family – Service Marriage Strong Foundation. The Foundation supports the Service Marriage through impactful, researched-backed programs. Meghan holds a Master’s 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 and non-profits has been life-long, first as a swimmer and volunteer and now as a marathoner and COO. Her focus has evolved into the growth of the running industry by supporting our youngest runner with kids events up through middle and high school cross country and encouraging all non-profits to recognize the impact they have for generations. 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.

Michael Nishi

Secretary – (Term through June 2025)
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.

Matthew Stone

Director – (Term through June 2026)
Product Manager, TeamSnap

Matt brings over 15 years of experience in the endurance industry working in a variety of roles and organizations. Matt’s background is anchored in over 10 years in Olympic and Paralympic sports before moving into the sports technology sector. Matt also has experience as an endurance athlete and as event manager and timer when he owned and operated a local timing company in the Midwest.

Kathleen Titus

President – (Term through June 2025)
Owner/Race Director, All Fitness Events

Kathleen is the Owner/Race Director of All Fitness Events, which she founded ten 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.