Achilles Connecticut Executive Board & Leadership Team

Erin Spaulding, President & Athlete   president@achillesct.org

Erin Spaulding is the President of the Achilles Connecticut Chapter, a position she has held since 2013.

She joined Achilles in 2012 as an athlete, following a traumatic brain, neck and shoulder injury she sustained in 2010. A life-long athlete, Erin was an avid runner and triathlete at the time of her accident. She used her determination as an athlete in her recovery at Gaylord Hospital, re-learning how to coordinate her walking-and later running. Joining Gaylord’s Adaptive Sports Association and Achilles gave her back that piece of her life which she thought was gone forever. She became the President of the Connecticut Chapter to pay it forward to other individuals facing similar adversity.

Her story and accomplishments with Achilles International have been featured in local media here in CT, in the Cigna GO YOU! campaign (The Road Home), and Runner’s World Magazine (June 2013). In 2015 she was named to the Aiello Inspiration Team for the Eversource Hartford Marathon.  Erin was also a finalist in Nike’s ‘Nominate Your Nike’, and a recipient of the Frederick DeLuca Community Service award.

A graduate of Boston College (BA) and Boston University’s Wheelock College (MS), Erin worked professionally as a child life specialist in hospitals in Boston and Connecticut for prior to joining Achilles International. She is active in her community, and volunteers her time and professional expertise with various boards and organizations.

Erin and her husband Michael live on the Shoreline with their three children, Katie, Caroline and Conor, and are all die-hard Red Sox and Patriots fans!

Nicole Schreier, Vice President-Operations  membership@achillesct.org

Nicole Schreier is the Vice President of Operations for the Achilles Connecticut Chapter. Nicole started with Achilles as a guide, and has progressively become more active in volunteering “off-road”, first by volunteering for the H&P Race Committee in 2017, and then taking on the role of Training & Official Charity Volunteer Coordinator in 2018 prior to joining the Executive Board. Nicole works as a Compliance Analyst in the insurance industry and brings her strong organizational and procedural skills to the team. In her free time, you can find her doing Crossfit, running, cooking and spending time with her husband, Brian, and her daughter, Charlotte.

Nicole’s motto: Teamwork makes the dream work!

Rebecca Cooperman, Co-Vice President- Outreach outreach@achillesct.org

After being inspired by spending many years as a sighted guide and assistant with Lighthouse International (Lighthouse Guild), Rebecca became involved with Achilles Connecticut. Rebecca’s passion for running has furthered her desire and enthusiasm for our mission at Achilles, and she will be looking forward to continued race participation.

Rebecca works as a Sales Director at Seeking Alpha, a large, crowd-sourced financial platform that curates content from a network of financial advisors, investors and industry experts. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, working out and live music. Rebecca lives in Stamford with her husband, Scott Glucksman, who works as an athletic trainer at Ridgefield High School. Also residing in their household are two beagles, Bailey and Buford, who are also excited to become part of the Achilles Fur Family.

Tiffany Studer, Co-Vice President- Outreach outreach@achillesct.org

Tiffany Studer joined Achilles in 2015 as an athlete. At the time she was interested in the racing opportunities and training partnerships the chapter provided in order to prepare for a triathlon she was competing in through Gaylord Sports Association. The first race Tiffany ever participated in using adaptive equipment was the inaugural Achilles Hope and Possibility® presented by Cigna in 2016. Since then, Tiffany has grown increasingly active in the chapter, participating in race distances from 5k to full marathons. Tiffany uses a hand cycle or push rim, depending on the race, and also loves to swim. She works as a second-grade teacher and part-time tax preparer. In her free time she cuddles her two orange kitties, and dreams big for her next adventure.

Dale Reese, Director of Campus Outreach
dreese@achillesct.org

Dale serves as the Director of Campus Outreach, working with student athletes in high schools and colleges around the state. He joined the Achilles Connecticut Leadership Team after watching his wife, Maddie, run her first race with Achilles as a guide. He was moved by the images of the guides and runners working together with grit and joy.

After meeting Maddie his freshman year in college, they got married shortly after graduating in 2017. Dale competed in three sports throughout high school, and continued his soccer career at the collegiate level. They love their families, the outdoors, traveling to see friends, and volunteering with their church. Dale spends most of his road races trying to catch up to Maddie. He is currently a CPA working at a big four accounting firm.

Darin Meder, Co-Treasurer   treasurer@achillesct.org

Darin Meder joined Achilles CT in 2018, after being impressed by their
outreach and leadership. His first encounter with the organization was
through his volunteer work with the Madison Jaycees at their annual
Madison Triathlon.

An avid volunteer for many organizations and events over the years, starting in high school and continuing during his days at UCONN and well after, Darin looks forward to contributing to the Achilles team and organization. As a lifelong lover of soccer, he continues to be involved in his kid’s teams both as coach and manager, as well as one daughter’s dance and acting pursuits. He also foolishly puts his old body through the motions on the soccer field as well, competing in a men’s league for the past 20 years.

Darin looks forward to hanging with friends, laughing as much as possible, and tries to live by the motto, “When the Sun is Shining, I Feel Obligated to Play Outside.”  He lives in Guilford, CT, and cherishes living vicariously through his amazing three children, Tatum, Natalie, and Blake.

Jo-Anne Rankin, Co-Treasurer   treasurer@achillesct.org

Jo-Anne started running when her daughter – as a freshman on her high
school cross-country team – challenged her to run the Manchester Road Race one Thanksgiving. Since that first race, Jo-Anne has gone on
to complete over 10 marathons and is still going strong. When she retired in 2015, Jo-Anne made it a goal to become a more active volunteer … Achilles was a natural way of combining her love of running with her desire to give back. Jo-Anne joined Achilles in 2016 as a guide, and in 2018 increased her involvement by becoming co-treasurer.

Jo-Anne and her husband John live on Bolton Lake in Vernon, CT. If you
can’t find Jo-Anne on the roads running or biking, check the lake for her on her paddleboard.

Patrick Turek, Secretary   secretary@achillesct.org

Patrick joined Achilles Connecticut in 2018, being inspired by Achilles athletes, who he repeatedly saw competing with their teams in events across Connecticut.

Helping others and running are at the core of Patrick’s professional and personal passions. Patrick’s career is focused in healthcare and safety where he currently serves as an Emergency Management Director for a Connecticut healthcare system. He previously held positions as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), instructor, and project leader for an emergency preparedness program for people with disabilities, access and functional needs.

He is an avid runner, spending the last 15 years running for pleasure but also in pursuit of pushing himself beyond his limits. From road races to the trails, Patrick enjoys long distances from 5k to ultra marathons. Patrick enjoys the way running allows him to be outside, stay healthy, and think. He loves to share this passion with others. With a dream and a positive attitude anything is possible.

Patrick and his wife, Melissa, reside in Southington.

Jo Bennett, Director of Development & Marketing  development@achillesct.org

Jo is an award-winning writer and digital marketing strategist who has played pivotal roles in numerous successful product launches in the corporate world. She joined the Connecticut Chapter as a guide, and in 2016 became Board Secretary. In 2018, she transitioned in a consulting position to become our Chapter’s Director of Development and Marketing.

In addition to securing event sponsors and donors, her role with the Connecticut Chapter includes oversight of marketing, communications and branding. A runner since her teens, her first touch with the intersection of running and disability was in college, when she helped rally support for a campus race in honor of a fellow field hockey teammate who had been diagnosed with lupus.

Her favorite quote: “I don’t know if running adds years to your life, but I know it adds life to your years.”

Jo lives in Norwalk, CT, with her husband, Jeff, and a couple of kitties who rule the house.

Advisory Board Members

Laura Boogaert- Connecticut Radio Information System (CRIS Radio)

Katie Joly- Program Manager, Gaylord Hospital Sports Association

Chaz Koch– Connecticut Sports & Fitness, soundRUNNER

Chris Love- Ex-officio Achilles CT Board

Ryan McKeen-General Counsel Pro Bono, Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC

Beth Shluger- CEO/Executive Director, Hartford Marathon Foundation

Coordinators

Margaret Rorrio– Event Coordinator (events@achillesct.org)

Lyly Hin- Membership Coordinator (membership@achillesct.org )

Nina Bryant- Registration Coordinator (registration@achillesct.org )

Marketing Team

Pamela Frost– Social Media Coordinator

Mike Feinberg– Webmaster

Taylor Benedum– Marketing Coordinator/Designer