Local Staff Contacts
Atlanta, GA 30327
Meet Our Coaches
Team In Training provides a customized-training program and expert coaching, with participants who train with a local group of like-minded individuals for motivation and inspiration. All Team In Training coaches undergo an extensive training program and are certified for their particular sport. Team In Training Georgia Chapter is proud of its extensive staff of experienced coaches.
National and Georgia Chapter Coach: Tommy Owens, D.D.S.
Tommy has completed over 80 marathons and has been heavily involved with the local running community for years, acting as start coordinator for the Atlanta Marathon and the Peachtree Road Race and as the Director of Operations for the inaugural ING Georgia Marathon. Tommy was the original coach of the first Team In Training from Georgia at the 1992 New York City Marathon and since then maintains the position of TNT National Training Coordinator. Meaning, he coaches all the coaches for Team In Training (TNT) around the country. 2010 has been a stellar year for Tommy winning a number of awards for his service in the community, including the 11Alive Community Service Award, the J. Pollard Turman Alumni Service Award from Emory University and the Henry C. Forrest, Jr. "Person of Courage" Award. He has been with us since the beginning and devotes a lot of his time to TNT.
Coaches listed A to Z by last name:
North Fulton Coaching Assisstant: Kelly Berkemeir
Kelly has been involved with TNT since 2007 when she completed her first marathon, the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon. Kelly signed up with TNT after attedning an information meeting and since then has participated in several events, raised money for an incredible cause, met some of the most amazing people (including her husband), and learned a lot about blood cancers and the search for a cure that are made possible by the money raised through Team in Training.
Savannah Run/Walk Coach: Helen Anderson
Helen's first Team In Training event was the San Diego Marathon in 2011. Since then, Helen has completed three more half marathons with TNT, including the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah and Critz Tybee Run Fest events. She is enjoying her first year of coaching walkers and runners in Savannah and is currently training for the Nike Women?s Half Marathon in San Francisco.
Savannah Run/Walk Coach: Karin Best
After Karin's husband was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in January of 2006, a friend inspired Karin to participate in the Country Music Marathon with Team In Training. Since then, she has participated in a number of events with TNT and in 2013 earned her Triple Crown after cycling the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. She now coaches runners and walkers in the Savannah, GA area.
Atlanta Run Coach: Lynn Boland
Lynn joined TNT in 2005. She initially joined a team in order to get some help with her goal of running a marathon, and had no idea many years later she would still be running and raising funds for LLS. Since joining, Lynn has completed 5 marathons and numerous half marathons. Her goal as a coach is to help get YOU across the finish line while raising money to fight blood cancer.
Atlanta Coaching Assisstant: Yo Burstein
North Fulton Run Coach: Kristin Cleare
Kristin joined Team In Training in 2003 after moving to the Atlanta area. Although a seasoned runner, she saw TNT as a great opportunity to meet new people and put a purpose to her running. Kristin has participated in over 20 events with Team In Training, including many marathons, half marathons, an Olympic distance and Half Ironman triathlon, and completed her triple crown with the America's Most Beautiful Ride in Lake Tahoe. Kristin runs for her friends, her family, and her desire to find a cure!
Atlanta Run Coach: Jill Danieli
Jill joined Team In Training when her company, Coca-Cola participated in 2007. After her first event, her cousin was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma so she decided to join again as a mentor. She has completed several marathons and an Olympic distance triathlon with TNT. Her favorite TNT moment was the pasta party at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. She didn't realize how emotional and empowering it was going to be! Jill has met some amazing people during her TNT experience and feels extremely fortunate to have done so while contributing to the fight against blood cancers!
Atlanta Run Coach: Cruger Dunlap
Cruger first joined TNT in 2006 and soon became a veteran of many TNT events among them, Rock 'n' Roll San Diego, Nike Women's Marathon, Zurich Marathon, Country Music Marathon and more. When asked why he decided to coach for TNT, he says, "I am very honored that they asked me to become a coach. It is a chance to help others as I have been helped thru the training."
Atlanta Walk Coach: Regina Ehrhardt
Regina started with TNT in 2001 as a volunteer. After completing her first event, she became a mentor and coaching assistant. She has completed three marathons and four half marathons with TNT.
Gwinnett Run Coach: Ed Ferrell
Ed has completed more than 100 marathons and says that running marathons has proven to be the perfect excuse to travel to new locations. TNT is a family event for the Ferrells as Ed's wife, Marie, shares coaching duties for the Gwinnett team. In 2013, Ed is the coach for the inaugural TNT UltraTeam preparing for The North Face Endurance Challenge Georgia 50K.
Gwinnett Walk Coach: Marie Ferrell
Marie lost her sister to leukemia in 2006. This inspired Marie and her husband Ed to get involved with TNT. Now several marathons later, and after being a TNT participant, mentor and captain, Marie shares coaching duties with Ed as the walk coach for the Gwinnett team.
Savannah Run and Walk Coach: Tori Gurbisz
Tori comes to TNT after having received a brochure in the mail several years ago. She has completed several marathon events with TNT including the Mayor's Midnight Marathon in Alaska twice, as well as several races on her own. An employee of Fleet Feet in Savannah, Tori is anxious to share her knowledge with new TNT participants.
North Fulton Run Coach: Mark Hall
Mark joined TNT after seeing our signature purple shirts in many races. He was inspired by the runners to join the TEAM. Mark has been involved in running marathons for 12 years. Mark has participated in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Arizona.
Gwinnett Coaching Assistant: Beryl Otumfuor
Beryl was an avid everyday 10K runner during her college years in Pennsylvania. In spring 2008, her cousin was diagnosed with Lymphoma which inspired her to join TNT. She ran her first half marathon with Team in March 2009 and has been with TNT ever since. Beryl has completed many half marathons and the Walt Disney Marathon with TNT. As she says, "I couldn't have imagined running her first half and full marathons with any other organization than TNT because of the difference it makes in the lives of survivors, participants and their families."
Atlanta Run Coach: Gretchen Owens
Long-time TNT alumnus with over a dozen TNT events under her belt, Gretchen first became involved with TNT when inspired by her father, Tommy Owens, and also the loss of her sister to leukemia over 20 years ago. "After years of being involved with TNT and being a runner, I find a lot of joy in training others in the sport and sharing all that I've learned over the years. Being a part of helping others achieve something so monumental and for such an incredible cause keeps me inspired! I am proud to represent TNT and honored to be a Coach!"
Atlanta Walk Coach: Elaine Payne
For Elaine, TNT is a family affair. Her husband Dave is also a TNT coach with the cycling team. Elaine first joined TNT in 2000 and has completed 7 events with TNT, Bermuda full 2000, Vancouver half 2004, Phoenix half 2005, Hartsville Tri 2005, Nike half 2006, Tugaloo Tri 2007 and Kiawah half 2009. Elaine is mother to two wonderful children.
Cobb Coaching Assistant: Barbara Pennington
Atlanta Walk Coach: Kim Porter
North Fulton Run Coach: Fran Schefer
Fran has completed thirteen full and twelve half marathons with two of those being in Dublin, Ireland. Fran lost a friend to Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in 1999 and now his nephew is undergoing chemotherapy as a part of his treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) and making great progress. Fran comes back season after season, because he believes that until we find a cure, the race is not over!
Atlanta Run Asst. Coach: Sarah Scott
Sara's run 4 full marathons and 12 half marathons, many of them with Team in Training. Thanks to Team, she successfully completed 2 Olympic triathlons and will soon complete a Half Ironman. Her special connection to the LLS mission is through my mother-in-law, who passed away in March after many years of recovering from radiation treatments for the lymphoma that she battled.
Gwinnett Coaching Assistant: Bruce Scruggs
Atlanta Run Coach: Virginia Sharitz
Virginia has completed more than twenty marathons and one triathlon. After completing her first marathon in 1998 (Disney Marathon) she realized that even though she gained a sense of personal accomplishment and pride, she knew that her finish line experience was missing something. Two weeks later, Virginia joined TNT because she wanted to make a difference in someone else's life.
Atlanta Run Coach: Avi Stadler
Avi got involved with TNT after his brother and good friend participated in a few TNT events. He has since completed the Chicago Marathon, Atlanta Half Marathon and Zooma Half Marathon. He is extremely humbled and honored to have the opportunity to coach for TNT. He enjoys helping people work for a greater good and to stretch beyond themselves to achieve goals that prior to joining TNT seemed unattainable. Avi feels coaching TNT participants is the ultimate way to help people and to ensure that we raise as much money as possible to defeat blood cancers.
Atlanta Run Coach: Barb Stinson
Barb's first event with TNT was Big Sur Marathon in 2003 in honor of her mother who died of AML 20 years ago. Since then she has participated in and/or coached 12 TNT events. Barb is no stranger to motivating people, as she is a teacher and a track coach. Her passion, enthusiasm and experience are a natural fit with our mission when it comes to supporting and inspiring participants no matter their age or experience. "I continue to be in awe of the bonds that are formed and the lives that are transformed with each and every team I have been associated with the past nine years."
Cobb Run Coach: Heather Trainor
Heather is an experience runner, cyclist and triathlete having completed more then 25 events with TNT. Heather trains in honor of her grandmother, who had leukemia. In 2013, Heather was a member of the TNT IronTeam and competed in the Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Heather is also mom to three boys.
Atlanta Run Coach: Joe Watkins
Joe first joined Team In Training in 2001 for the Marine Corps Marathon. Since then, he has always enjoyed the great people who have done TNT and the cause that TNT supports. For Joe, TNT is a family affair, as his oldest daughter has also completed TNT events.
Gwinnett Run Coach: Beth Wilbanks
Beth has been with Team In Training for several years. She started as a participant in 2008 training for the Chicago Marathon; she said it was the best experience of her life! "I met so many wonderful people who have become life-long friends. We became a family bonded, by a mission to fight blood cancers." Since then, she has participated in many events and every one has been filled with lots of excitement and many accomplishments.
Atlanta Run Coach: Kimberly Williams
Kimberly first joined TNT in 2005 for the Nike Women's half marathon and has since participated in nine different TNT events. A four-time Boston Marathon finisher, Kimberly has been a participant, mentor, and captain for TNT so becoming a coach was a natural progression. "I am a teacher by nature and I love to run so putting the two together to help others achieve their goals to run a full or half marathon is something I love, But being able to achieve such a great personal accomplishment is made even more spectacular because we do it all in an effort to fight blood cancers." Kimberly is married to Ken Williams, also a TNT alumnus.
Atlanta Run Coach: Lisa Yother
Lisa has completed more than fifty marathons. During her first marathon for TNT (The Honolulu Marathon in 1998), she felt nauseous and wasn't sure that she could keep running. She looked down and saw the wristband she was wearing with her patient hero's name on it. Hers said, "mom." At that moment, she realized that watching someone she loved very much die from Leukemia was the most difficult thing she had ever done. She then knew that she could do anything if it helps find a cure for the disease, so no one else will suffer what her family went through.
Atlanta Run/Walk Coach: Bruce Zavodny
Bruce has been involved with TNT for over 10 years in many different capacities. Bruce is a certified coach in run and walk and is our resident expert in the combined run/walk program. He has also received advanced certification in nutrition and injury prevention. Bruce was the 1st GTS coordinator and has become our lead GTS coordinator who continues to be greatly involved in the development of training courses, schedules and maps. Bruce has also participated in events in every sport we offer and is a Triple Crown recipient.
Cycle Coach: Debbie Buckland
Debbie joined TNT in 2004 and was soon further inspired by her aunt who was diagnosed with CLL a year later. Debbie keeps coming back to help find a cure and make a difference and to have fun! She says she's met amazing people through the program.
Cycle Coach: Julian Cowart
LLS was a great resource to Julian when his wife was being treated for Hodgkin's disease in 2004-05. After her recovery, he felt TNT was a great way to combine his love of cycling and his debt of gratitude to LLS. Julian has completed multiple centuries with TNT and his wife has completed two half marathons with him as her cheerleader!
Cycle Coach: John Dapper
An avid cyclist since the age of 5, John has continued his passion well into adulthood with over 200 centuries under his belt and experience with various cycling events including multiday rides (BRAG), solo bike tours and racing in National Masters Cycling competitions. In 2011, John became an Ironman Finisher at Ironman Ariznoa as a member of the TNT IronTeam. John's favorite TNT moment is being at the finish line when TNT honored Heroes and participants come across.
Cycle Coach: Jane Eastham
Jane has been involved with Team In Training since 2004 when a neighbor gave her a brochure. Today, Jane is a veteran of countless TNT events in all of the offered sports and is a multi-Triple Crown award winner. In 2010, Jane became involved with the Georgia Chain Gang, a team participating in the Race Across America and raising funds for LLS, as co-crew chief. She is planning to race with the team in 2012. And in 2011, she finished Ironman Arizona with the TNT IronTeam.
Cycle Coach: Neil Fleming
Neil has completed a United States Cycling Federation (USCF) Masters Racing Course and is a licensed expert USCF coach for USA Cycling. Neil has been an avid cyclist for more than 40 years and has completed more than 80 centuries, more than a dozen of which have been with TNT.
Cycle Coaching Assisstant: Megan Lutz
Megan has been an active cyclist since 2005, and completed her first century with the TEAM in 2010 at the Wilson 100 in Senioa, GA. She completed my first marathon in March 2013, which was only possible with the support and guidance of TNT. Megan loves the camaraderie that develops over the season and watching people develop skills and confidence as they ride the farthest they've ever ridden each successive week. Seeing new participants and survivors cross the finish line always makes her a bundle of emotions.
Cycle Coaching Assisstant: Graham McCullough
Graham returns to coach his second season after many as participant and mentor. His first event was the 2009 Fletcher Flyer. Our resident mechanic and expert cartographer, Graham has long cycling experience both inside and outside of Team In Training. His deep knowledge of gear, wool, proper riding technique, and giving cancer the gas face are but some of the assets he will bring to bear. His maps, cue sheets, and dry wit will get you through every ride.
HIT Team Cycle Coach: David Payne
A cycling fanatic, David has been involved with TNT for over four years and has completed many events with the program. He has been cycling for 12-14 years on the road, mountain bikes, and cyclocross bikes. He enjoys spending time with his wife and raising his two children.
Cycle Coaching Assisstant: Kelli Robison
Kelli has completed more events than can be chronicled here, having earned her triple crown twice over since her first event in 2006. Both the conscience and logistician of the team, Kelli does more to keep us all sane and behaving than most of you will ever know. We are fortunate to have Kelli, a former mentor and GTR coordinator, returning to coach another season with the cycling team.
Triathlon Coach: Joanna Berentsen
Running to share her true passion with others, Joanna has come a long way to become a coach with TNT. After completing an Adventure Race with the program, Joanna was hooked on making a difference in the lives of others and sharing her passion for running along the way. Today, Joanna has completed numerous events with TNT and has earned her Triple Crown award. In 2011, she captain the new TNT IronTeam at the Ironman Arizona.
Triathlon Coach: Natalie Conte
Involved with TNT since 2004, Natalie has embraced training for marathons and triathlons and now wants to share the experience with others. No stranger to the cause, Natalie's 15 year old cousin was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, but thankfully he is now in remission.
Triathlon Coach: Darren Fagan
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Darren and his wife, Holland first became involved in Team In Training after his father passed away from Lymphoma in 2006. A TNT alumnus of various marathons and triathlons, Darren completed the Ironman Louisville in 2008. Darren's most memorable TNT moment was when a survivor thanked him for his efforts at the Nike Women's Marathon inspiration dinner.
Triathlon Coach: Michael Ferrara
Michael joined TNT 10 years ago as a good way to train for his first triathlon and now can?t imagine his life without it! After about 6 years of running marathons, Michael began competing in triathlons. He has completed several triathlons and run over ten marathons/half-marathons with the TNT. His most memorable TNT moments include crossing the finish line of his first marathon and triathlon, watching a participant cross the finish line for the first time after beating countless odds throughout the season, and meeting the Honored Heroes who help put life in perspective and provide the extra motivation to stay involved with TNT until a cure is found.
Triathlon Coach: Mike Gaw
Mike has been involved with TNT since 2002 and has been coaching since 2004. He is a USA Triathlon certified coach, and he has competed in nearly 100 triathlons throughout the world. Mike has completed 9 Ironman races in 8 countries on all 6 continents where they are contested, and he was the coach of the inaugural TNT Georgia Chapter IronTeam. Mike was drawn to TNT because of the mission and the chance to meet others wanting to help find a cure for blood cancers!
Triathlon Coach: Sarah Hackler
A swim coach for years, Sarah first joined TNT in 2005 to participate in the St. Anthony's Triathlon and she's been hooked ever since. Sarah has been a part of several TNT triathlon teams including St. Anthony?s, Gulf Coast, Pacific Grove, Tugaloo, Austin, Tri Latta, Chattanooga, and even joined the marathon team for the Nike Women?s Marathon. Sarah has been a TNT coach since 2007.
Triathlon Coach: Chris Hartley
Chris completed his first TNT event in the spring of 2007 and since has participated in 8 Team events including Georgia?s inaugural IronTeam. Professionally Chris is a project manager for a residential construction company. He lives in Doraville with his wife of 6 years and 2 year old daughter, and second child come September.
Triathlon Coach: Mark Helton
Mark has been a triathlete for more than 20 years with more than 100 races of all distances, including five Ironman events. Mark has been with TNT for over nine years and has coached 35 TNT events.
Triathlon Coach: Dave Hoeller
Dave first got involved with TNT as a participant in the spring 2004-05 season. It was his first triathlon and he?s been hooked every since! Dave began swimming competitively when he was 6 years old and continued through college. After college, he picked up cycling and soon after joined TNT for his first triathlon. Over the years, he has also been involved in the program as a mentor, coaching assistant and swim coach. Dave?s favorite moment of each TNT season is watching everyone cross the finish line with big smiles and full of emotion! He also has a personal connection to the mission. His dad was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia sixteen years ago, which reinforced his decision in joining TNT.
Triathlon Coach: Michael King
Michael has a deep connection to LLS' mission as he lost his father to Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia over 20 years ago and has a sister-in-law who is a blood cancer survivor. A 3X Ironman finisher, Michael has completed several triathlons of all distances, including finishing the 2011 Ironman Arizona with his wife, Nanci King. In 2013, Michael coached along with Mary Smith, the TNT IronTeam competing at Ironman Couer d'Alene.
Triathlon Coach: Andy Piazza
Inspired by his sister, a breast cancer survivor, Andy joined TNT to complete a triathlon and get over his fear of water. Now as a TNT coach, he helps others defeat their challenge with the swim portion of the triathlon. "Seeing the aquatically challenged triathletes overcome their fears, and conquer the water. It gets me every time."
Triathlon Coach: Beth Rolfsen
After a "Double Dog Dare", Beth Rolfsen joined TNT. After over a dozen events Beth is still with us! Beth has made TNT a family affair as well, completing the St. Anthony's Triathlon with her 80 year old mother for the past 5 years! Her Fundraising Motto is, "Think of it as the lottery...Ya can't win, if ya don't play!" In 2011, Beth was a member of the TNT IronTeam and finished the Ironman Arizona.
Triathlon Coach: Troy Rose
Troy signed up with TNT's first 'Summer' Triathlon Season in 2006 at the Philadelphia Triathlon. He said, "It was so much fun that I've done dozens of triathlons since then, including St. Anthony's, Pacific Grove, Augusta, Eleven Oconee, and IM Arizona." Tory and his wife (Tara) have been a part of TNT every year since 2006, and have made endurance events and fundraising for LLS a family affair. They support TNT in honor of both of his cancer-surviving parents. Go Team!
Triathlon Coach: Mary Smith Doyle
Mary, a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics, was first introduced to Team In Training in 1997 by a patient. Over the years, Mary has become a triple crown participant completing the marathon, triathlon and century ride. Mary loves to travel and has competed in Austria, Brazil and Switzerland. Mary coached the inaugural TNT IronTeam at the 2011 Ironman Arizona and the TNT IronTeam at the 2013 Ironman Couer d'Alene.
Triathlon Coach: Cameron Thomas
After Cameron?s mom developed and defeated breast cancer in 2006, Cameron decided he needed to give back so he joined TNT in 2009. Since that time Cameron has completed numerous TNT events that include 2 marathons, 1 olympic distance traithlon, 3 half ironmans and 2 Ironmans. Cameron has found TNT to be both rewarding, challenging and a time to meet great people with the same goals.
Sasha first joined Team In Training in 2009 for the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon. Since then, she has done five more triathlons with the TEAM including two Ironman 70.3 Augusta races. She has also done a number of events on her own and even qualified as a Top 25 at USAT Nationals. Sasha is currently working on her Doctorate of Chiropractic with Life University. When describing crossing the finish at her first TNT event, Sasha says, "It was such an incredible feeling to be apart of something that was more than a race. Looking around at all my friends, those that thought they couldn't do it and yet crossed the finish line, was so incredible."
Hike Coach: John Donaghy
John began his career with TNT as a participant on the 2006 Grand Canyon hike team, and is still with TNT six seasons and 5 events later! "Along the way I have made great friends, seen some of the most breathtaking places in America and had several life-defining moments, all while helping raise money to make a difference in the lives of others."
Hiking Coach: Rita Grayson
After receiving a TNT brochure in the mail, Rita realized that she could do something that she loved to do (hike) and give back to the community at the same time. Rita loves TNT because she has made lifelong friends through this program, which is something that lasts a lot longer than a day long hike in the Grand Canyon.