Closer By The Mile

The Pan-Mass Challenge, presented by the Boston Red Sox Foundation and New Balance, is the nation's original fundraising bike-a-thon, and today raises more money for charity than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. A model of fundraising efficiency, since 2007 the PMC has donated 100% of every rider-raised dollar directly to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The PMC is so well-known in cycling and fundraising circles, that each year people travel from around the world to participate. Thousands of riders and volunteers have lost loved ones to the disease, still more ride in honor of those in treatment, and over 600 PMC riders and volunteers are cancer survivors. The camaraderie shared by riders, volunteers, and supporters is so strong that even the doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute join their patients as teammates, riding toward a unified goal.

Since its 1980 inception, the PMC has contributed $547 million to lifesaving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. For more facts and figures, see the PMC Fact Sheet

The Organization

The PMC is a model of efficiency for all non-profit events. The professional team is made up of nine full time and one part time staff; a 14-person volunteer coordinating staff; a 12-person Board of Trustees; 6,000 cyclists; 4,000 volunteers; 46 communities; 200 companies, which donate $5 million worth of merchandise and services; and more than 275,000 individuals who sponsor PMC cyclists.

The PMC Staff

  • Founder/Executive Director: Billy Starr
  • Senior Vice President: David Hellman
  • Director of Marketing & Sponsorship: Bill Alfano
  • Director of Provisions & Logistics: Glynn Hawley
  • Director of Volunteers & Special Events: Sarah Mercurio Hall
  • Director of Finance & Administration: Michele Sommer
  • Director of Fundraising & Pedal Partner Coordinator: Alison Rush
  • Kids Rides Manager & Fundraising Coordinator: Justine Darmanian
  • Director of Stewardship: Meredith Beaton Starr
  • Communication Coordinator & The Resolution by PMC Program Coordinator: Nicaela Chinnaswamy

PMC Professional Staff

The PMC has a management team composed of nine full-time and one part-time professional staff members who work year round at the PMC headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts.

Billy Starr                                                                                                                
Founder / Executive Director
Phone: 781-343-4004
Twitter: @starrpmc

Before starting the PMC, Starr was a reporter for newspapers in Massachusetts and Colorado, worked in public relations, and was the squash coach at Babson College. He received his BA from the University of Denver in 1973, a Masters in Education from Northeastern University in 1978, an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Babson College in 1998, honorary degree from Bay Path College in 2008; and an honorary degree, Salem State University, 2014. An avid cyclist, skier, and racquet player, Starr has ridden in his own event for all 37 years. Starr lives with his wife, Meredith, and daughters, Hannah and Sophia. Starr consults on event programming throughout the country.

Glynn Hawley
Director of Provisions & Logistics
Phone: 781-343-4026 

Glynn first became involved with the PMC in 1995 and rode for 9 years prior to joining the Professional Staff in 2004. As Director of Provisions, it is Glynn's responsibility to provide riders with ample food and beverages. He also coordinates transportation for riders and their gear. Prior to joining the staff, Glynn was an operations manager for a local telecommunications company, an outdoor guide and cross country ski instructor and a security police officer in the U.S. Air Force. Glynn is a graduate of Boston College and lives in Natick with his wife and children.

David Hellman
Senior Vice President
Phone: 781-343-4040
Twitter: @dhellman

David Hellman is a 27 year PMC alumnus, first riding in 1990. At that time he was living in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Over the next ten years David's career took him from Steamboat Springs to Durango, CO and then Chicago. During his tenure in Colorado he was Director of Information Systems & Administrative Services at the Steamboat Ski Resort. He went on to become Vice President of Commercial Operations at Durango Mountain Resort in Durango Colorado. David's expertise with technology and customer service operations is evident in the way our riders and volunteers can now use the PMC website and MyPMC to manage their fundraising and logistics. David is also responsible for less technical aspects of the weekend even though he has given up direct control of buses, dumpsters and even Porta-Potties to Glynn Hawley.

Bill Alfano
Director of Marketing & Sponsorship
Phone: 781-343-4022
Twitter: @BillAlfano

Bill Alfano comes to the PMC with experience in marketing, promotions, event management and social media. Bill started his marketing career in 1992 with Starter Sportswear in New Haven, CT where he was an on-field Marketing Rep. In 1997 he started his career in media as an Event Director in Phoenix for a radio station cluster. He moved back to CT to work for Clear Channel's Hartford and New Haven radio groups as a Promotion Director. He then moved to Dallas where he was the Director of Marketing for Clear Chanel Dallas. In 2006 Bill moved to Boston as the Director of Marketing for Entercom Boston, with the brands WAAF, WEEI and WRKO. During the years Bill has worked with and run many non-profit programs and fundraisers with his radio stations including The Jimmy Fund, Pan-Mass Challenge and other local charities. Bill himself is a three year PMC volunteer. He is originally from Northford, CT and studied Communication at the University of Rhode Island. He now resides with his wife in Natick, MA.

Michele Sommer
Director of Finance & Administration
Phone: 781-343-4021

Michele Sommer comes to the PMC with experience in finance, business management and international relations. Michele started her career at the financial firm PwC where she rose to become a partner, working in auditing and international operations. After leaving PwC, Michele sought out a creative enterprise and founded a handbag company that would sell more than 30,000 bags online and in retailers across the country. During that time she was active in fundraising and development at her children's school. She has had a long relationship with the PMC. Her husband, Chet Geschickter, is a 16-year PMC rider and Michele has completed the ride seven times. In her PMC role, Michele oversees the financial aspects of the PMC and work to ensure that the organization continues as a model for efficiency in the nonprofit industry. Michele, her husband and their three children live in Brookline.

Sarah Mercurio Hall
Director of Volunteers & Special Events
Phone: 781-343-4015

Sarah first became involved with the PMC in 2007 as a member of her father's cheering squad and as a volunteer. After earning degrees in both English and Art History from Connecticut College in 2004 Sarah began her career in New York City. Previous to joining the PMC professional staff in June of 2010, Sarah worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art New England, and MassArt. Sarah currently resides in Boston's South Boston neighborhood, and when not in the office can be found skiing or hiking with her family in their home state of New Hampshire. 

Alison Rush
Director of Fundraising & Pedal Partner Coordinator
Phone: 781-343-4016

Alison Rush joined the PMC professional staff in March 2012. A graduate of Boston College, Alison previously worked at a private special education school in Dorchester as a middle and high school history teacher.  As the Director of Fundraising, Alison supports riders in their fundraising efforts, assists with donor relations, oversees registration and helps with event planning. She also facilitates the Pedal Partner program where PMC teams and riders are matched up with and ride in honor of Jimmy Fund Clinic patients. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and baking. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband.

Justine Darmanian
Kids Rides Manager & Fundraising Coordinator
Phone: 781-343-4012

Starting off as the PMC's first Winter Intern in January 2013, Justine became full-time in May 2013. Before that she had been cheering on riders at Da' Hedge while being a resident camp counselor at Cape Cod Sea Camps. A California native, she relocated to the Boston area after graduating from Sonoma State University in 2012. As the Fundraising Coordinator, Justine will be helping with fundraising processes and social media. She is also the PMC's Kids Rides Manager leading volunteer coordinators from over 30 different towns across Massachusetts and New England in hosting their own mini PMC rides for children ages 2-15. Justine loves a good bagel, anything spicy, brunch, and Trader Joes. She lives in Boston.

Meredith Beaton Starr
Director of Stewardship

In her 28 years with the PMC, Meredith has been involved in all aspects of the PMC, from cycling and volunteering to outreach, advocacy and development. In her current role, Meredith cultivates and enhances relationships with PMC donors, riders, volunteers, sponsors and advocates, keeping them engaged year-round in the PMC. She provides support and enables many to deepen their associations with the organization. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is a member of the Jimmy Fund Visiting Committee. Meredith has been practicing occupational therapy for more than 24 years in inpatient and outpatient settings and currently works part-time as an occupational therapist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Integrative Medicine Department. Meredith earned her Bachelor's of Science and Master's Degree at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Nicaela Chinnaswamy
Communication Coordinator and The Resolution by PMC Program Coordinator 
Phone: 781-343-4011

Nicaela first became involved in the PMC as a volunteer in 2008, and she joined the PMC office as an intern in May 2011. After three summers of interning and eight years as a PMC volunteer, Nicaela joined Professional Staff in June 2015 right after graduating from Boston College. A certified spin-instructor and avid runner, Nicaela can often be found running trails in Needham or taking spin classes around Boston. Nicaela is excited to run The Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2017. As a Communication Coordinator and Program Coordinator, Nicaela works to develop and implement events to recruit new participants and increase the PMC's annual gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Kelley of Cone Communications
Phone: 617-939-8371

Volunteer Head Staff

The major hub sites and key volunteer crews are run by members of the Volunteer Head Staff on PMC weekend. The Head Staff donate much time and energy to the event throughout the year and the PMC is most grateful for their many talents.

  • Susan Brogan: Sturbridge and Patriot Place Co-Coordinator
  • Wil Carroll: Co-Coordinator, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Bourne
  • Anthony Polcari: Co-Coordinator, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Bourne
  • Allan Eyden: Road Coordinator
  • Shaun Keefe: Provincetown Co-Coordinator
  • Susan Pesaturo: Provincetown Co-Coordinator
  • Jack Mowatt: Mechanical Co-Coordinator
  • Kyle Mowatt: Mechanical Co-Coordinator
  • Mathew McGuiness: Sturbridge and Patriot Place Co-Coordinator
  • Justin O'Connor: Emergency Communications Coordinator
  • Jeff Rimpas: Wellesley Co-Coordinator
  • BJ Tynan: Medical Coordinator
  • Les Laputz: Wellesley Co-Coordinator

Board of Trustees

Formed in 1994, the trustees have fiduciary responsibilities that include: determining the annual donation to the Jimmy Fund, salary reviews, budget reviews and vendor contracts exceeding $25,000.

  • Billy Starr: Founder and Executive Director, Pan-Mass Challenge
  • David Fialkow, Chairman: Managing Director, General Catalyst, Boston, MA
  • Todd Langton: Consultant, TGL Associates, Newton, MA
  • Josh Bekenstein: Managing Director, Bain Capital, Boston, MA
  • Allan Eyden: Fixed Operations Director, Bonnell Motors,Inc.
  • Lois Cornell: Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, Tufts Health Plan
  • Robert D'Angelo: President, Twin Enterprises
  • Caren Deardorf: Marketing Director Biogen
  • Mike Dee: Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Padres, San Diego, CA
  • Alan Einhorn: Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, Boston, MA
  • John Gilula: EVP Business Affairs, Boston Red Sox
  • James Shulman: Chief Credit Officer, Boston Private Financial Holdings, Boston, MA
  • Steven Singer: Senior Vice President of Communications, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
  • Robert Smith: Managing Partner, Castanea Partners, Newton, MA