Board of Directors

Susan Burton : President

Susan Burton

President

Susan first joined Girls on the Run as a coach in 2011, and was blown over by the enthusiasm and potential of every girl on the team. GOTR was clearly a positive, supportive group highly involved in the communities of the Seattle area, and Susan sought opportunities to become more involved in the organization. She soon after joined the Finance Committee, learning more about the strength of GOTR from a fiscal viewpoint, which is equally as impressive as the positive community impact. In this role, she led the budgeting process and improved reporting. Returning from a hiatus after having her second son, Susan was excited to join the board as of February 2017.

“The skills and lessons taught in Girls on the Run are applicable for all stages of life. This program reminds me to continually set goals, make healthy choices to support those goals, and prioritize.” With this mindset Susan has completed four half-marathons, biked Lake Washington several times, and is regularly looking for new ways to challenge herself, both physically and mentally (including joining the GOTR board!)

Susan has a background in hospitality, graduating from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration before working in the industry for 10 years. Susan most recently works for Starbucks as a National Account Executive. While originally from Vermont, she has lived in Seattle since 2005 and is proud to call Washington home.

Marilyn Albizo : Vice President

Marilyn Albizo

Vice President

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Marilyn actively participated in theatre arts and leadership afterschool programs such as Ballet Folklórico and Model United Nations (UN) but never saw any opportunities specifically targeting girls and/or promoting a healthy lifestyle. She never doubted her athletic capabilities but she also never had somebody challenge her physically by trying out a sport. Inspired by her dad’s passion and commitment to softball, she started running as an undergraduate student and took yoga as an elective sparking an interest in the transformative power of mindfulness, and the outdoors.

In 2014, she met Kerin Brasch through Seattle U’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership program and completed her practicum at GOTR by providing program evaluation consultation for their Heart & Sole middle-school age program. Thereafter, Marilyn was recruited to join the Board of Directors due to her wide-ranging background in youth development and concentrated commitment to empowering girls (of color). Intrigued by the curriculum, Marilyn also volunteered to Co-Coach the 2016 Spring Season of Heart & Sole at Washington MS to gain a better understanding of the program and girls’ needs.

Marilyn works as a 7th – 9th Grade Academic Counselor at Rainier Scholars and previously worked for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston, and interned at the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Marilyn graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Mexican American Studies and received her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. Marilyn enjoys taking spontaneous trail hikes, hot yoga (because it reminds her of that Texas heat), running, and playing co-ed soccer with her fiancé.

Jill Anderson :

Jill Anderson

Jill Anderson first learned of Girls on the Run in 2010 and she knew immediately she wanted to contribute to the goals of the organization. She joined the 5K Committee in 2011 and successfully led three consecutive 5Ks as a co-chair. Helping plan and execute the 5K races solidified her commitment to the tenants of GOTRPS. She joined Board in 2013, inspired by the growth of the organization over the last two years motivated by the endless possibilities for the future of GOTRPS.

A graduate of the University of Washington, Jill studied Law, Societies, and Justice and was also a Spanish major. Her courses there taught her the importance of community involvement and volunteering. Jill is a Commercialization Manager for new product launches at Starbucks Coffee Company. She enjoys all sorts of physical activity, including running, yoga and Cross Fit.

She strives to do her best for Girls on the Run because she wishes a program like this had existed when she was in elementary school. She believes positive self-image is the most important tool for young girls and women

Irena Netik :

Irena Netik

When Irena was eleven years old, her family emigrated from Czech Republic. They spent time in Austria before eventually settling in Canada. After college she moved to the US. During the many transitions and moves, she faced challenges such as learning a new language and connecting with new friends. Playing sports has always been central to her life and through sports she found community, friends and self-confidence. Sports broke down barriers and created a way to communicate even when she did not speak the language. Irena believes that the Girls on the Run program is perfectly positioned to empower girls and help them discover their passion and talent just like she has found hers through sports.

Irena works for Puget Sound Energy as the director of hydroelectric and wind resources. Her job takes her around Washington State visiting hydro and wind projects. Outside of the office, Irena can be found looking for mid-week adventures with her German Shepherd dog, Bella, and seeking the mountains on the weekends; skiing in the winter and hiking, biking, running in the summer.

Pamela Olsen :

Pamela Olsen

Pam was first introduced to Girls on the Run by her daughter, Nicole, who has a career in early education. There was an immediate desire to be involved with the organization because of its mission and goals. Having raised two successful children, Pam has a strong belief in the relationship between being physically active as kids and increased self-esteem as adults. Pam loves the outdoors, gym workouts, hiking and taking long walks with her husband, and Labrador Rudy.

Being in a leadership role in the grocery industry, Pam developed a women’s affinity group with the mission of developing future leaders. The connection of the women’s group and GOTR was an easy fit which led to QFC’s sponsorship. With the members of QFC’s women’s affinity group, Pam organized a group to volunteer at the 5Ks, was a Running Buddy and has volunteered at events with her son, daughter and husband. Pam was also a two-term Board President for GOTRPS.

Several years ago, Pam moved to Southern California to work for another Kroger Division as the Natural Foods Sales Manager.  When she returned to Seattle to be closer to her grown children and get back to the Pacific Northwest, one of her first calls was to see how she could get involved with Girls on the Run again. Pam is now consulting for manufacturers in the e-Commerce industry and enjoying time with her new three grand-babies.

Caroline Koplowitz :

Caroline Koplowitz

Caroline grew up as a swimmer and competed at the collegiate level through her undergraduate years at Emory University. Running was always a dreaded form of cross-training until adult life, when Caroline began to appreciate the mental clarity and competitive outlet that running provided. She attributes much of her success to the discipline and self-confidence that participation in sports fostered as a child.

Although she believed in the mission and vision of Girls of the Run from the get-go, observing a lesson on site solidified her commitment to furthering the values of the organization and she signed up to be a running buddy immediately. She looks forward to serving the organization to the best of her capacity, and her next season as a running buddy.

Caroline currently works at Amazon in Financial Reporting and previously worked for a public accounting firm in Seattle. She is a proud Seattle native and also volunteers for the Seattle Art Museum.

Joan Raymond :

Joan Raymond

Joan was introduced to Girls on the Run by friend, neighbor and fellow Board Member, Pam Olsen, in 2015. She attended the 2015 5K run at Magnuson Park, the 2015 Auction, and then participated as Volunteer Coordinator for the 2016 Auction.

These activities provided an opportunity to witness the strength and commitment of those supporting GOTR, and interact with the participants who have demonstrated personal growth and strength through this experience.

“I'm interested in supporting the great efforts of this organization in providing positive encouragement and support for young girls.   I have observed personally with my daughter and her friends, the impacts of such programs in creating self-confidence, ambition, and personal strength for elementary and middle school girls.”

Joan worked at Metro/King County for 30+ years and is now retired. The last 20 years were focused on financial system replacement project management - implementing new computer systems that impacted employee job responsibilities and tasks.  A key component of these implementations was change management and assisting employees/departments in understanding and incorporating new responsibilities and addressing system requirements with confidence.  With her retirement, Joan has been able to pursue community service opportunities including volunteering at a local Food Bank, serving as an Advisory Board member for a gifting Fund managed by the Seattle Foundation, and fundraising efforts for Outdoors For All, an organization that provides recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Jake Gustafson :

Jake Gustafson

Jake was first introduced to Girls on the Run in 2015 through his role as the Director of Community Outreach & Partnerships at Virginia Mason. After meeting with GOTR staff, he quickly wanted to experience a practice first hand. Jake spent an afternoon running around (sprinting would be more accurate; those girls are fast!) and seeing the curriculum in action and was hooked.

“Growing up an athlete and competing up through the collegiate level, I had the opportunity to experience the positive physical, emotional and social impacts that running and other sports can provide. I was also able to do so free from barriers to entry. I believe that this should be the case for anyone.

The disparity in accessibility and opportunity that exist in society today based on gender, race, sexuality, and social class are unacceptable. Not having faced any of those barriers myself, I feel it is imperative that individuals like me not only acknowledge they exist, but be moved to action to eliminate them. As the father of a young daughter, I see the power of this program and how it is foundational for these young ladies as the next generation of leaders, influencers, and innovators. I love the vision of GOTR where ‘we envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.’

I am both humbled and honored to be a member of this amazing Board for such a fantastic organization.”

Jake has a BS in Business Management from the United States Coast Guard Academy and his MBA from WGU of Washington. Jake is married to his wife, Kalyn, and they have two wonderful kids. He enjoys spending time with his family and getting out to golf when the weather is nice.

Kathleen Goodman :

Kathleen Goodman

Kathleen heard about Girls on the Run in 2001 from some college friends and decided to serve as a running buddy. Since then she's served as a running buddy, coach, practice partner, committee member, and Board member with both Girls on the Run Nashville and Girls on the Run Coastal Georgia. Kathleen's favorite memories from Girls on the Run were back in Nashville where she coached alongside some of the high school girls she worked with every day, one of whom had done Girls on the Run in 2007- Nashville's very first season. That particular GOTR girl, now a senior, had this to say about her experience: "I want you all to know how transformational this program is. The lessons I learned years ago are still with me today and I think of them when communicating with my teachers, family, and friends. You are a GOTR girl for life."

Kathleen received her M.Ed in Counseling from Vanderbilt University and now owns her own private practice in Seattle where she councils children and adolescents. A recent transplant to the PNW, Kathleen and her hubsnad, Brad love hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

Jia Yu :

Jia Yu

Jia grew up in Seattle attending school at Beacon Hill, Asa Mercer, Franklin, and University of Washington. She was first exposed to Girls on the Run when she moved to San Francisco in 2011. She wanted to give back to the community and do something she was passionate about… running and supporting girls! It was the perfect way to combine both. She became a coach at John Yehall Chin Elementary and volunteered as a running buddy at multiple races in SF.

So, when life brought her back to the Pacific Northwest she naturally gravitated to GOTR Puget Sound! She has since been a coach for Alki Elementary, a pacer supporting multiple schools including Asa Mercer (it was so cool for her to see the program in action at her old middle school), a Sole Mate, and now a board member. The core mission of the program mirrors her own core values. Helping girls build self-esteem, confidence, and develop the tools they’ll need to lead happy healthy lives are paramount to a better world. Her goal is to have this program available to all girls no matter their economic status and help create a world where quality will be possible for her nieces, goddaughter, and every girl.

Jia is a local entrepreneur starting her first business with her partner John Lioe. They own a product design company called LIOE Design based out of Seattle. Their goal is to create unique products that inspire people to thinking differently. In the past she have worn many hats for many different companies from Nordstrom to Siemens as a project manager to account manager. Her favorite aspect of any job is working with people and providing the best experience to her customers.

Some of her other passions include animal welfare, the performing arts, yoga, volunteer work and spend time with her family. She is a member of the Young Patron Circle with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She can also be found volunteering with the Seattle Humane Society (she loves to take the dogs out for runs on the weekends) and Seattle Shakespeare Company.

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