Todd came on with FLOC as the Program Coordinator in the summer of 2008. Most recently, Todd attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where he finished his graduate studies with a M.S. in Experiential Education. Prior to that experience, Todd worked for the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education as a facilitator and Conference Program Assistant in New Hampshire. Born and raised in Indiana, Todd attended Anderson University where he completed his B.A. in Marketing, but later on realized that working outdoors with people of all ages was where he needed to be, so he started down a path of outdoor exploration that has landed him here with FLOC Outdoors. Most recently, Todd was named the Director of the Outdoor Education Center. Todd is very excited about the rapidly spreading community involvement through Jefferson County and is delighted to be a part of this inaugural half marathon.
Rob Stull joined FLOC in 2006 and is currently serving as the Outreach Coordinator for The Outdoor Education Center. Rob graduated from Frederick Community College with an A.S. in Park Management and Shepherd College with a BS in Environmental Studies. Rob originally grew up in the Harpers Ferry area, where he spent his free time on the rivers and trails of the eastern panhandle. He has worked for River and Trail Outfitters as a guide and instructor as well as the West Virginia DNR as an environmental educator. Additionally, Rob taught environmental science and outdoor recreation at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, VA. Rob currently lives in Thomas, WV with his wife Shannon and their daughter Delaney.
Mark Cucuzzella MD
Mark is the Race Director of Freedom's Run is excited to make its themes of Health and Hertiage a year round series of events. In two years Freedom's Run has become the largest running event in the state of West Virginia and the impact has been a growing community of runners and trails and gardens at elementary schools.
Mark is the lead in for a community initiative called “Wild and Wonderful Trails for Every Child” which aims to halt the epidemic of childhood obesity as well as a new collaboration with the National Park Service called "Park Prescriptions". He is the father of two young children who love to explore and play in the outdoors. For his efforts he has been awarded the West Virginia University Deans Award for Community Service, and was a finalist for both the prestigious Hartzog Award for National Park Volunteerism and for the State of West Virginia Governor’s Award for Community Service.
Mark also recently opened Two Rivers Treads- A Center for Natural Running and Walking in his hometown of Shepherdstown WV (pop 3000) where he lives with his wife and 2 children. The citizens of this small community are now learning the benefits of barefoot and flat footwear. (www.trtreads.org)
Matt and Laura Knott
Start/Finish Site and Post Event Hosts
Matt and Laura Knott are the owners of River Riders. Matt started as a raft guide there in 1994, and they purchased the business in 1998. Both are 1996 graduates of Shepherd University. Matt is the general manager of River Riders and Laura has many responsibilities at River Riders including their vacation rental, and she is also a substitute teacher for Jefferson County Schools. In an effort to get kids outside and enjoying nature, River Riders hosts weekly Outdoor Adventure Camps for local children.
Matt and Laura are also excited to announce the grand opening of the Harpers Ferry Zip Line Canopy Tour on the Potomac River in conjunction with this event on May 12, 2012. They enjoy running together and have run 4 marathons and one half along with various other races and relays. Matt and Laura live in Harpers Ferry with their children and are very excited to be the host of the Historic Half.
Lois is Chair of the Two Rivers Heritage Partnership (www.tworiversheritage.org) which is working to raise awareness of the underlying history and culture of the region. Our mission is to preserve the region's natural and historic resources while improving the quality of life which contributes to the sustainable economy of our area. She has been active in community development projects both here in Jefferson County and while serving in five foreign service communities abroad. After a 13 year career working with IT and public relations at a research firm in Rockville Md. she moved to Shepherdstown in 2001. Since then she has been involved in non-profit organizing and community development projects. As a co-founder of Freedoms Run she has promoted the event partnership of health and heritage throughout this region, West Virginia and the nation.
Community Lead Harpers Ferry
Karan is a Bronze Sponsor of the Run who is involved in planning a fun-filled festival in Harpers Ferry following the Run. With a doctorate degree in education and 40 years of experience as a professional educator, Karan is convinced that the best way to educate people of all ages about the value of health and heritage is to get them involved in wholesome, healthy, historical entertainment --- such as marathons in the Harpers Ferry area. As the owner of a historic inn (circa 1840) and resident in Lower Town (the living history village of Harpers Ferry), Karan is working locally to preserve, protect, and promote the unique history and geography of Harpers Ferry. She is grateful for the opportunity to support the work of Dr. Mark and his marathon teams, whose incredible accomplishments are an inspiration and encouragement for people to “do what is right...” and to “not grow weary of doing good...”
Bobbi Blok is a highly motivated senior executive in the nonprofit field with demonstrated achievements in early childhood education, family development, community outreach and the arts. She was Executive Director of the Washington Child Development Council for over twenty-five years. She has been involved in networking public/private ventures, helping develop public policy, working with nonprofit Boards, designing public relation campaigns and coordinating volunteer efforts. She is an award winning playwright and her plays have been showcased at the Kennedy Center and the National Theatre.
In 2003 Bobbi moved to Harpers Ferry, part-time. While helping on the Jefferson County Campaign for Change she witnessed first hand that there were definite needs in the Eastern Panhandle relating to the quality of life for young children and families. She decided to move to WV full-time in 2009 and focus her talents in helping to improve and promote positive support services in Jefferson County and the Eastern Panhandle. She greatly appreciates having the opportunity to volunteer and help coordinate the KIDS’ FUN Run for the 2010 Freedom’s Run.
Laura Bergmann is currently working as an exercise therapist at Capitol Rehab and a personal trainer and aerobic instructor for Gold's Gym. She also assists Dr. Cucuzzella in gait analysis and injury prevention clinics at Two River Treads in Shepherdstown. She studied Kinesiology and Dance at Shenandoah University and is currently working on her Masters in Exercise Science with a post master certificate in Performance Enhancement. She is currently a sponsored tri/duathlete working on becoming All American and a World Championship title. Her goal is to help her community embrace a healthy and active lifestyle while experiencing the joys this beautiful landscape has to offer. Laura currently lives in Charles Town, WV with her husband Sean Leonard and puppy Emma.
If you want to be a part of this great event please help support your community with your time and applause as a volunteer. Volunteers are the most important part of any race and your help would be greatly appreciated!
Katie joined FLOC as a Senior Naturalist in 2009. Born and raised in Berryville, VA, Katie was thrilled to hear about a program such as the Outdoor Education Center so close to home. She graduated from James Madison University earning her B.S. in Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy. Although Katie loves health and nutrition, her true passion lies in education and the outdoors. During college, Katie worked as a ski/ snowboard instructor at Massanutten Ski Resort, as well kept very involved with the Adventure Program at JMU. After she graduated, Katie signed on to be the programming VISTA for the OEC in September of 2009. Completing her year of service, Katie accepted a full time position at the center as the OEC Assistant.
Logistics and Route
Patrick is a local runner and outdoor enthusiast whose passions include trail running, climbing, mountain biking, and paddling. Patrick has a Bachelors Degree in Construction Management and is completing his MBA this spring at WVU. Originally from Michigan, he relocated to Harpers Ferry in 2002 and is a self declared ambassador of all things Harpers Ferry and West Virginia. “Everything I love to do I can do right here from my back door. This place is awesome! Harpers Ferry has an extensive trail network that is like no other. This race showcases a small portion of what the Town and Park has to offer! It is my hope that runners will return with their families and kids and enjoy these awesome natural resources.”
Charles Town Business and Community Fitness
Kathy grew up in nearby Great Falls, Virginia but she and her husband, Andrew, moved to Charles Town after living near Austin, Texas and in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to being a mother of four young children, Kathy owns Skippers Downtown Dips and Deli, a deli/ice cream shop/paint your own pottery studio in downtown Charles Town. She is now one of the leaders behind the continued resurgence of downtown Charles Town. In addition to her restaurant, she serves on a downtown merchant's committee that aims to improve the downtown district, she is a board member for the Jefferson County Arts and Humanities Alliance, and a PTO board member for two elementary schools. One of Kathy's projects is the annual Race for Recess 5k to support physical education at local elementary schools. The Race, which will be held on May 12, 2012, meanders along Charles Town's beautiful streets, showing off some of the many great things Charles Town has to offer. Kathy received her BS in Accounting from the College of William and Mary and her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jeff and Sheri Fiolek
Jeff and Sheri are both school teachers. Jeff teaches middle school Health and Physical Education, Sheri teaches Art at Page Jackson Elementary and looks forward to working with the school's Running Club. Both have completed races ranging from 5K's to 100K's to 48 hour Adventure Races. When they are not chasing around their active 4-yr old and Kid's Run participant Jackson they can often be found on the AT, towpath, and local trails day or night running and biking. We hope to see you out there too!
Website dude, and runner.