Alex Landberg, Interim Executive Director
Alex has been coaching and managing youth sports programs for 16 years, focusing on creating positive environments in which youth can feel safe and thrive. He is part of the National Training Team for We Coach and Up2Us Sports, and serves on the junior board at America SCORES Chicago. Alex ran track at California State University, Chico where he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and also attended the Nonprofit Management Program at Northeastern University in Boston. Alex has been with Chicago Run since 2011.
Colleen Hentschel, Office & Finance Manager
Colleen grew up in Michigan and attended Indiana University. She graduated with a degree in Kinesiology with minors in Business and Music and later earned her Master of Arts in Teaching. Upon graduating, Colleen interned at NBC in corporate fitness and then worked in various corporate fitness centers presenting health seminars and developing health initiatives, personal training, and instructing spinning, kickboxing, and various group exercise classes while training for and running two half marathons. After volunteering with By the Hand, an afterschool tutoring program in Cabrini Green, Colleen felt inspired to join TFA in 2009 as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Healthy Lifestyles teacher on the south side of Chicago and has since then, co-coached Girls on Track and continued in the classroom as both a preschool and 2nd grade teacher. Colleen loves living in Chicago and exploring its many amazing restaurants, spending time with her family, and traveling the world.
Lauren Shirk, Communications and Creative Design Manager
Lauren was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Ohio State University in 2010, she spent a year in London attaining her Master’s degree in Art Business. She moved to Chicago in 2012 to work at a fine art auction house. She realized her interest in non-profit work while volunteering for a community-based organization on the North West side of Chicago. Lauren participated in several high school sports and has continued to keep up an active lifestyle, running several races in Chicago. She completed her first marathon in 2017 as a member of Team Chicago Run. Lauren is passionate about Chicago Run's mission, and enjoys being able to combine her creative design and fundraising experience with her enthusiasm for fitness. She is also the marketing chair for the Urban Gateways Associate Board. Lauren lives in Bucktown and enjoys hiking, yoga, and traveling.
Casey Fennell, Marathon Charity Team Coordinator
Casey was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She attended DePaul University for two years where she developed a love for running and the city of Chicago. She finished her undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Urban Studies. After graduating, Casey moved back to Chicago and spent the past five years working at local nonprofit organizations, including Chicago Run and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. She just completed her third marathon and is an RRCA certified running coach. She enjoys supporting the runners of Team Chicago Run as they train for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon while giving back to Chicago youth. Casey is currently pursuing her MSW at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She lives in Lincoln Square and enjoys running, yoga, and reading.
Kim Lutz, Grants Manager
Kim grew up in Chicago’s southern suburbs. She attended the University of Illinois where she studied political science and earned her masters degree in human services administration from the Spertus Institute in Chicago. She enjoys running, walking, yoga and cooking healthy meals. Kim lives in the Northcenter neighborhood of Chicago with her family.
Crystal Hassinger, Program Director
Crystal grew up near St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in Sport Management and an emphasis in Business Development. Crystal has spent her career working in sport related industries with a focus on using sport as a tool for youth to develop social and emotional learning skills. She joined Chicago Run as Program Director in 2017, after spending more than three years with the Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. With the Chicago Fire Foundation, Crystal played an intricate role in expanding programming by 150%, establishing a young professionals board, and assisting the Foundation in winning multiple grants and awards such as the Beyond Sport, Sport Team of the Year. Crystal has always been passionate about sports and has a strong belief that skills and lessons learned through sport translate into the classroom and real-life settings. She grew up a runner, participating in both cross country and track and field and has finished two Chicago marathons. In her free time, Crystal enjoys being active outdoors, volunteering, and exploring new local restaurants.
Ryan Greguske, L.A.C.E. Up! and Running Mates Program Manager
Ryan grew up in Germantown, WI, a suburb to the northwest of Milwaukee. After high school he went on to attend the University of Minnesota and earn a degree in Physiology. At the U of M, Ryan developed a true love for helping various Minneapolis/St. Paul communities by participating in non-profit work, volunteering, and student organizations. In addition, Ryan enjoyed coaching youth basketball and discovered that seeing kids develop their skills on and off the court is a really amazing feeling. Ryan lives in Lincoln Park and enjoys his free time by running, playing hockey and basketball, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Rashada Anderson, Up2Us Coach
Rashada was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where she attended Sheboygan South
High school. After high school, she went on to attend Concordia University of Chicago earning a
Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Coaching. During her time at CUC she was on the woman’s NCAA Division III Track and Field Team where she competed as a Sprinter. She is currently the boys head high jump and assistant sprints coach at Oak Park River Forest High School. Rashada has always been passionate about Track and Field and loves being a coach. She is also excited to be a part of the Chicago Run team and to be working with youth throughout Chicago. Rashada loves coffee, rollerblading, and spending time with family and friends.
Erin McIntosh, Up2Us Coach
Erin was born in Oak Park, IL and attended Oak Park River Forest High School where she ran Cross Country and Track for all 4 years. She went on to study Sociology/Anthropology and Spanish at St. Olaf College and had the opportunity to study abroad in both Ecuador and Spain while there. She continued to foster her love for running on the St. Olaf NCAA DIII Cross Country and Track teams. Throughout her time in college, Erin was the president of Supporting Special Needs Club, played Ultimate Frisbee, and worked with immigrant families through the Community School initiative. She is excited to be on the Chicago Run team to work on developing positive, effective, and sustainable habits in the youth of the city. Erin is still living in Oak Park and enjoys riding her bike, going to farmers markets, and dancing to fun music.
Jose Saldaña, Up2Us Half-Time Coach
Jose was born and raised in the Little Village neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. He attended Little Village High School where he was involved with Soccer, Track and Field, and Cross Country. After high school, he attended Malcolm X college where he earned his Associate in Arts degree in Business and Economics. While at Malcolm X, he ran on the Cross Country team and made it to Nationals. Now, Jose is pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. His passion for exercise and sports led him to join the Chicago Run team where he hopes to encourage children to run and live a healthier lifestyle. Jose is especially thrilled to be able to give back to the community he grew up in through Chicago Run.
Matthew Champa, Chicago Run Part-Time Coach
Matthew is a USATF and RRCA certified running coach and holds MA, Ed.M degrees in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. He is a Certified Wellness Coach with over 15 years of counseling/advising experience. He founded Strides: Wellness and Run Coaching in early 2017 to support people with their health and wellness. When he’s not coaching clients, he can be found at Nike Running Bucktown where he works as a NRC Pacer and Community Champion. Coach Matthew is an accomplished marathon/ultramarathon runner and an active member of the running community which includes coaching, pacing, event planning and product testing.
Christian Ureña, Chicago Run Part-Time Coach
Christian was born and raised in Chicago where he attended UIC College Prep. After graduating he started school at The University of Michigan where he is currently studying Movement Science in the School of Kinesiology. He hopes to eventually get his DPT and help injured athletes get back to health. He first got involved with Chicago Run back in 4th grade when he attended C.I.C.S. Bucktown Elementary. He has remained involved with the organization and is currently on the Marathon Charity Team for his second year
Derrick Norman, Junior Coach & LACE Up! Participant
Derrick was born and raised in the Austin community of Chicago. He hopes to become a lawyer one day, but is an athlete at heart. Derrick, now a Junior in High School, started with Chicago Run in 6th grade as a Running Mates participant and has a strong passion for helping kids. During the summer, Derrick is excited to use this passion for athletics and helping kids as a Chicago Run Coach.
Martin Garcia – Junior Coach & LACE Up! Participant
Martin lives in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. He has lived there his entire life and chose to go to Infinity Math, Science, and Technology high-school over some selective enrollment schools so he could stay close to home and contribute to his home community. Martin, now a Sophomore in High School, started with Chicago Run in 8th grade as a Running Mates participant. Being a self-starter, Martin was critical to bringing the Running Mates program to Infinity, the first high-school to be involved in that program. While Martin didn’t grow up as a runner, he now is very passionate about the sport & believes in the power of running to open many paths and opportunities in life. With his vast experience & knowledge, Martin is excited to help others accomplish their goals & inspire them as a Chicago Run Coach.
Celeste Pedroza – Junior Coach & LACE Up! Participant
Celeste has been involved with the Chicago Run program for more than 5 years. Now a Sophomore at Nobel Street, Celeste began her involvement with Chicago Run at CICS Bucktown as a Running Mates participant. Running has been an important aspect in her life, as it helps her think and relieve stress. Celeste is a very social person, and enjoys dancing & listening to music in her free time. By being a Chicago Run Coach, Celeste hopes to build strong relationships with others in order to make them better runners & encourage them to push themselves and never give up.
David Flores – Junior Coach & LACE Up! Participant
David Flores comes from an immigrant family, who migrated to Chicago. David has been a Chicago Run participant since the organization began in 2008. David, now a Senior at Lane Tech, was a participant in both the Runners and Running Mates programs while an elementary student at CICS Bucktown. In his free time, David is very interested in visual arts & fashion design. He hopes to combat social injustices and spread peace & love through his innovative art projects. David is also very passionate about helping youth and he views coaching as a means to give back to younger runners that were in his shoes before.