Staff

Esther Baker
Executive Director

Esther Baker, Executive Director, is a graduate of Michigan State University with a master’s degree in Communication from MSU and an MBA from the Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa. Originally from Detroit, MI, Esther started her career in radio news, and then worked for a number of years in communication, public relations, and program management at Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Iowa. She is delighted to join the Girls on the Run team!

Abbie Schneider
Program Manager (greater Johnson County area)

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Abbie has a background in leadership development, curriculum design and facilitation and nonprofit management. Abbie holds a master’s degree in education and human development from the George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from Elon University. She loves helping young people discover and grow their talents and is proud to be a member of the Girls on The Run Team.

Noreen Thurston
Program Manager (greater Linn County area)

Noreen Thurston lives in Cedar Rapids where she raises her two active young boys. Noreen graduated from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business with a BA in Marketing. After achieving success in her marketing careers, she left the corporate world after 15 years to pursue her dream of launching her own business, BinxBerry. Noreen coached GOTR for two seasons at Hiawatha Elementary before officially joining the team. She is thrilled to be part of the amazing work that the organization is doing to help young girls gain confidence in their lives. Noreen enjoys cooking, running, watching her boys’ activities and spending time with family!

Vicki Claussen
Development Specialist

Board of Directors

Kelly Teeselink
Chair

Kelly Teeselink grew up in northern Iowa and studied journalism and political science at the University of Iowa, where she now works as marketing coordinator for Recreational Services department. She first learned about Girls on the Run when she spotted a few people in brightly colored GOTR t-shirts at a local 5k and quickly became a volunteer coach. “Girls on the Run allows me to share the importance of being active with a generation of girls who are constantly bombarded with negative messages. I am thrilled to be apart of an organization that provides young girls the tools to live a confident and healthy lifestyle – something I wish I had at that age,” she says.

Katie Lanius
Vice Chair

Katie Lanius grew up in southern Illinois, near St. Louis. She studied accounting and political science at Valparaiso University, she is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law, and she earned a M.A. in teaching English as a Second Language from Arizona State University. Katie is an adjunct faculty member at Coe College and Kirkwood Community College and operates her own business, Sharpened Fluency. She started working with Girls on the Run as an assistant coach at Hiawatha Elementary and has continued to coach various teams. In her free time she enjoys swimming, reading, and volunteering in the Cedar Rapids community.

Chelsea Archibald
Secretary

Chelsea Archibald lives in Hiawatha with her husband, Rob and two girls, Alexis and Amelia. Chelsea is from the Cedar Rapids area and a graduate of the University of Iowa – Go Hawks!! Chelsea is an HR Manager at Transamerica and has been at Transamerica since 2005. She loves the mission of Girls on the Run and is excited to get involved in growing the Linn County presence. Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, getting outside, being active in the community and is awaiting the arrival of their third child.

Kelly Sittig
Treasurer

Kelly Wells Sittig is a mom to two outrageously beautiful souls, including a daughter who has benefited from the positive messages and influence of Girls on the Run. Kelly spends her work time at the Iowa Cancer Consortium communicating with Iowa citizens, professionals and cancer advocates about how we can all work together to make cancer less of a burden on our state. Kelly has degrees in public administration and music from the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Communicator in Public Health. Running, wellness and girl power are central in Kelly's life and why she finds the Girls on the Run mission so compelling.

Katie Buresh
At-Large Board Member

Katie Buresh lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Ryan, two girls, Lillian and Molly, and a big hairy dog named Dexter. Katie grew up in Keokuk, IA and graduated from the University of Iowa and the University of California-Hastings College of the Law. Katie has worked at McGladrey as a tax supervisor for the past 8 years. Katie is so excited that GOTREI expanded into Linn County last year. Katie has coached four seasons of GOTR at Johnson School of the Arts and is looking forward to starting a third. Katie enjoys reading, cooking, running, and spending time with her family.

Nick Bergus
At-Large Board Member

Nick Bergus loves running, and, as the parent of a young Girls on the Run runner, fell in love the program's message and mission. He grew up in Iowa City and, after earning his master's from the University of Iowa, now serves as communications director for the City of North Liberty, where he works with the community, media, staff, and elected officials to promote projects and programs and help the community connect with its local government. It's taken a quarter century, and marriage to an Iowa City native, but his conversion to Midwesterner is complete; he's accepted that walking tacos are pretty delicious.

Felisha Junge
At-Large Board Member

Felisha Junge is really excited to join Girls on the Run! It is a mission she is such an advocate for. With 2 younger girls of her own, she believes the confidence that Girls on the Run gives girls is remarkable and priceless. She is also a runner herself and got involved in the sport after having her second child. She works at the University of Iowa Credit Union and helps people with their lending needs when it comes to buying a home or refinancing. She enjoys her job and being with her family and friends.

Dan Vondra
At-Large Board Member

Dan Vondra is a practicing attorney in Iowa City, and the proud father of two active girls. Dan enjoys running, scuba diving, and combining those activities on family vacations -- so if he is away from the office, a good place to look for him would be running on trails in the woods, or at the bottom of an ocean. Dan grew up in Decorah, IA, and attended law school at the University of Iowa. Dan is excited to be part of the GOTR team so that he can help spread the program's positive mission in Eastern Iowa.

Colette Atkins
At-Large Board Member