Staff

Ellen Carver
Executive Director
- ellen@gotrshr.org

Ellen holds a MA in Education Administration and Social Policy from Harvard University, a BA in French and Business from Sweet Briar College, and numerous certifications in youth leadership, team building, and school reform. She has worked with students for 30 years. Her scope of professional interests ranges from non-profit organizational advancement to youth empowerment. Of the many professional hats she has worn, her most inspirational experiences have been in leading students on domestic and international service-based learning projects. Ellen has co-authored a youth leadership curriculum for at risk high school students, and served on multiple non-profit boards. Ellen is balancing her administrative role by serving as a GOTR Coach. She is committed to work and play that promotes access to education, healthcare, nutrition and housing for all peoples, and is humbled by the power of young girls who are voices for social change. You can reach Ellen at ellen@gotrshr.org

Meg Forsberg
Director of Marketing & Communications
- meg@gotrshr.org

Meg earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a special emphasis in Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University. Throughout college, she worked as Classified Advertising Manager for STYLE Weekly, a division of Landmark Communications. After an internship at The Martin Agency she joined Virginia Logos, Inc. as Sales Manager for the state's interstate logo sign program. She spent a few years at World Investor Link in Interactive Media & Business Development before moving to Norfolk in 2000. Trader Publishing, now Dominion Enterprises, is where Meg landed for 4 years working in several divisions. First as General Manager for Yacht Trader Magazine, then Marketing Manager at For Rent Media Group and lastly as National Marketing Director for Harmon Media Group. The next ten years were spent at Chartway Federal Credit Union's corporate office as a Marketing Manager and later as Director of Business Development. She is excited to join GOTRSHR as she has been actively involved in the Hampton Roads community since 2000. Meg moved to the area with her husband, Clay, a native of Norfolk. They enjoy spending time with their two dogs, hearing live music, plus going to the beach with friends and family. Meg can be reached at 757-724-1874.

Lauren Logan
Program Director for Virginia Beach
- lauren@gotrshr.org

A true local, Lauren grew up, and continues to live, in Virginia Beach. She is an alumna of Mary Baldwin College, a women's college, where she earned a BA in Business Administration. At Mary Baldwin she was the captain of the Swim and Lacrosse teams. Upon graduating, Lauren began her career as a consultant with various companies, including IBM. Longing to be involved in the sports world, she returned to school earning a Master’s in Sports Administration from Old Dominion University. Currently, Lauren coaches girl’s lacrosse, is an avid runner, and participates in several local races. She was so impressed with the power of GOTR when her identical twin daughters participated in the 2014 season that she now coaches her daughters’ team. Giving girls the tools needed to be healthy, strong, independent women is her top priority. In her “free” time, Lauren enjoys spending time relaxing on the beach with her family and friends. Lauren can be reached at 757-343-1191 or lauren@gotrsh.org

Yazmin McZorn-Hines
Program Director for Norfolk and Hampton
- yazmin@gotrshr.org

Yazmin McZorn-Hines was first introduced to GOTR after her sister became a volunteer coach, and recommended she sign up as a Running Buddy. Her enthusiasm for health education, wellness, and community outreach started when Yazmin was a young, happy, Navy brat running around her neighborhood in California. She earned her B.S. in Community Health, from the State University of New York. Her undergraduate internship with the Navy brought her to Virginia Beach, where she has worked in health education and prevention. Yazmin is a dedicated volunteer with Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps and an active runner with Hampton Roads Runners. She is pursuing a Masters degree in Health Education and Promotion. She is excited to promote the same positive messaging to GOTR girls as she does to her younger sister (10.) Her passion is empowering people to improve their lives, through overall health behavior awareness. In her free time, you can find her road or beach running, working out in the bay area of Chick’s Beach, volunteering, singing, teaching herself to play guitar, and supporting local eateries. You can reached Yazmin at 757-828-7905 or yazmin@gotrshr.org

Erin Highton
Program Director for Growth Cities
- erin@gotrshr.org

Erin Highton manages the peninsula and western Tidewater region for the council. Erin was born and raised in Virginia Beach, attended Mary Washington College and earned B.A. in studio art. While in college, she achieved All-American field hockey honors. She went on to attend Old Dominion University and earned PreK-8 teaching certification. Erin taught third and fourth grade at Providence Elementary and was awarded Teacher of the Year. Erin started a Girls on the Run team at Providence Elementary after watching her daughter, Olivia, grow from participating in GOTR at her school. The fall of 2016 will be her 6th year coaching. She served as a SoleMate for 2 seasons. When Erin is not participating with Girls on the Run she is spending time with her husband, Will and their kids - Olivia, 14 and Jack, 3. Our program "growth cities" include: Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, York County, Williamsburg, Isle of Wight and other neighboring growth cities. Erin can be reached at 757-560-8217 or erin@gotrshr.org

Board of Directors

Theresa Ceniccola
Board Chair

Theresa learned about Girls on the Run in 2010 when she started coaching her daughter’s team. After three years, her daughter moved on to middle school and Theresa just couldn’t let go of GOTR. So she joined the board where she gets to spread sparkle and joy as the social media manager. Theresa has successfully run a home based business as a freelance writer, communications professional and marketing consultant for more than 20 years. She considers herself blessed to make a living doing what she loves while putting family first. As the president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she encourages and equips entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses that support their values. Theresa works from her home office in Virginia Beach, VA, where she enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and their three children. She is also a volunteer with the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, St. John the Apostle Church and Destination Imagination. When she’s not working or driving kids around town, she can be found running, biking, writing in her journal or eating sushi.

Kimberly Denton
Board Vice Chair

Kimberly became involved with GOTR in 2013 when she volunteered to coach her daughters’ team. She and her daughters had such a great time forging new friendships, she continued to coach for three more seasons! As a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty, Kimberly coordinates the company’s annual charity event and is proud to know the proceeds benefit GOTR. She is passionate about watching the program grow as it helps young girls build self-esteem and strength, while creating lifelong memories. She has seen firsthand how GOTR empowers its participants! Kimberly graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management. When she’s not making realty dreams a reality, you can find her enjoying life and laughing with family and friends!

Emily Robbins
Treasurer

Emily became interested in GOTR while pregnant with her daughter. The positive message and essential programming was important to her as she thought about what it takes to raise a daughter. Emily received a Bachelor's of Arts from James Madison University in 2002. She has been in the banking and finance industry for over 10 years. She earned her Professional Financial Planner Certificate from Old Dominion University in 2007. She currently holds a Series 7 and 66 registration as well as personal insurance licenses for life, health, long term care and disability insurance. Emily is an Account Vice President with Virginia Asset Group, a local financial advisement firm. She places an emphasis on working with individual investors, small business owners and retirement plans. Emily enjoys helping clients achieve their financial goals and she provides the personal attention all clients deserve. She is an active board member of the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation and Norfolk Court Appointed Special Advocates. Emily lives in Chesapeake with her husband, Michael and their two children, William and Lily.

Edmarie Leatherman
Secretary

Edmarie lived her early years in Puerto Rico and moved to Norfolk just before starting grade school. She ran her first race in 2013 and it quickly became a love affair, crossing the finish line of countless races including 9 half marathons. Edmarie received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University, but chose a different path entering the financial industry in 2008. Just recently, Edmarie decided to pursue a second Bachelor degree at ODU’s Strome College of Business. In 2015 Edmarie took a leap of faith and left a management position at Wells Fargo for a new career with Capital Group. Through Capital, Edmarie has competed and won Speech Contests through Toastmasters and joined the Board of Girls on the Run. Edmarie has a passion for female empowerment. Being the mother to two young girls, the message of confidence and positivity is a constant theme in her household, and GOTR personifies that perfectly. Edmarie spends her free time supporting her husband, Brent, as a law enforcement wife and running races with her daughters Avery and Charlie.

Paula Rogers
Board Member

An entrepreneur at heart, Paula is passionate about diversity, empowerment and social inclusion. She was introduced to GOTR in March of 2017 and decided to bring her professional expertise to help inspire young girls to be confident and to maintain a positive and healthy self-image. As the founder of a professional management and consulting firm, Paula has found a unique opportunity to use her expertise in strategic planning and business development to both serve the community in which she lives but to also provide an outlet for her daughters to experience positive social interactions. Paula is a two-time graduate of Old Dominion University, holding a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Paula lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and two girls (8 and 13). She is also obsessed with couponing (YES, it’s a real thing!) and will probably recruit you to start saving money as well.

Amy Walton
Board Member

Amy first learned of Girls on the Run when a former staff member became involved with the organization. As a former runner, (now a committed power walker), weight lifter, and yogi), she became interested in GOTR's mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident with running as a key part of the curriculum. A magna cum laude graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Amy has been an educator, writer, speaker, and non profit director of development. She has served as president of several local organizations, including Virginia Beach Toastmasters, Great Neck Middle School PTA, and South Hampton Roads Museums Forum and as Vice-Chair of others, such as Virginia Beach Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities. A certified life coach, Joy Restoration (grief) coach, and women's retreat coach, Amy now pours her passions into her own practice. Amy Walton Coaching, working with women to help them become the best versions of themselves they can possibly be. She is excited to be a part of GOTR to help girls embrace their beautiful, unique selves and to make healthy choices a lifelong commitment. Amy is proud mom of two sons, an Army major and an Apple Genius/musician. She also has three beautiful (she's slightly biased!) granddaughters. In her free time she enjoys working out, exploring new places, reading and writing, and hearing people's life stories.

Hobie Ritzel
Board Member

Hobie Ritzel is Director of Marketing for Cox Communications and has worked there for 13 years. He has a B.B.A. in Marketing from Radford University and an M.B.A. from Georgia Southern University. Hobie is an avid runner, having started this hobby with the Mount Trashmore 5K in 1996 and going up to longer races as his abilities and confidence grew. After a 10 mile race in the 1999, he promised he would never run that far again. The next day he decided to training for a half marathon, because “it’s just a little bit further”. Since that fateful day he has run more than 30 half marathons and three marathons. He is the President of the Witchduck Civic League, and serves on the Advisory Council for the Radford University College of Business & Economics. He is also a Running Ambassador for J&A Racing and a 2015 graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. Hobie has four grown daughters and believes that developing one’s self esteem early in life is an important part of a happy and successful life. He has two dogs who think his food preparation skills are beyond reproach and a cat that is indifferent to his commands.

Janet Mercadante
Board Member

Janet has been a financial advisor for over 25 years, she is a Senior Vice President with BB&T Scott & Stringfellow. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from the University of Rochester, and has lived in Virginia Beach for close to 30 years. Janet has always been a believer in girl power! Her mom was a well-respected financial journalist and author, and her dad used to tell her, "don't marry brain surgeon, BE a brain surgeon!" Janet thinks that the Girls on the Run vision is a critical one, especially in our current culture, and is gratified to be able to be a part of such a phenomenal organization!

EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS

Mary McChesney
Emeritus Board Member

Mary grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and moved to Virginia Beach in the late 90's. She ran her first 5k at 8 years old, was a North Carolina state-level cross country competitor in High School, and has completed many races over the last 30 years including 3 half marathons. Mary attended Old Dominion University for Journalism and Communications. She is currently with The Virginian-Pilot in marketing and audience development. Prior to that Mary was a corporate trainer and manager in the hotel and hospitality business. Mary has served on the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce Board, The Downtown 100, The United Way Young Leaders Society Council (past chair) and has been a member of many other non-profit committees and volunteer groups throughout Hampton Roads. In addition to her work with Girls on The Run she currently sits on the board of directors for the Women's Leadership Council of the United Way. When not working or volunteering Mary loves to spend time with family and friends. She is an avid reader and a beach lover. She also loves to be in the garden and find any excuse to throw a party. Mary currently lives in Norfolk with her husband, Erich and her 14 year old Daughter, Hannah, who is a GOTR Alum and can now easily beat her mom in a 5k.

Jo Ann Coauette
Emeritus Board Member

Jo Ann started coaching GOTR at Holland Elementary School in 2009. Due to the positive impact it had on many girls, as well as herself, Jo Ann joined the Board of Directors. She has been with Virginia Beach City Public Schools for 14 years. Her passion is nurturing children into being successful academically, as well as instilling a sense of pride and self-confidence from within. A transplant from New York, she lives with her husband in Virginia Beach. She has two daughters, one granddaughter, and two step-children. Jo Ann is looking forward to running a GOTR 5K with her granddaughter in the upcoming years ahead.

Jen Edwards
Emeritus Board Member

Jen Edwards serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for ADS Inc, the world’s largest provider of tactical & operations equipment and solutions to the US DOD. Prior to ADS, Jen has over seen HR in the telecom, internet, and fashion industries. She started her career in HR on Wall Street. As a mother of a GOTR girl, Jen is extremely proud to be a part of the Board and help grow the program to reach more girls both here in Hampton Roads. She believes that fitness breeds confidence and confidence creates long term success. In addition to working with GOTR, Jen is active in Hampton Roads community through the ADS Mission Give Back program. She is a graduate of the University of Florida. Go Gators!

Mandy McCall
Emeritus Board Member