About The Team
Committed to the Pan-Mass Challenge, PMC team members all have personal reasons for why they PMC. The professional team is made up of 11 full-time and one part-time staff, and is supported by a 14-person Volunteer Head Staff; a 12-person Board of Directors; an 11-person Advisory Board; 6,800 cyclists; 4,000 volunteers; 47 communities; 200 companies, which donate $5 million worth of merchandise and services; and more than 227,000 individuals who support PMC cyclists.
In addition to these roles, most PMC team members – professional and volunteer staff, board members, and advisory board members – are either previous or current PMC riders or volunteers.
"PMC has always been about hope, health and humanity and it has always been needed. In these times people want to be a part of something good and that makes a positive impact."
Founder / Executive Director
Billy Starr is the Founder and Executive Director of the Pan-Mass Challenge and is viewed as a true pioneer and visionary in the athletic fundraising space. In addition to his PMC leadership responsibilities, Billy is an active participant, riding and fundraising in his event each year since it began in 1980.
He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver, a master’s in education from Northeastern University and honorary degrees from Northeastern University, Babson College, Bay Path College and Salem State University. Billy remains an avid cyclist, skier, and racquet player, and has consulted on event programming throughout the country.
Chief Operating Officer & Business Development Officer
Jarrett Collins is the Chief Operating Officer, focused on organizational growth, operational efficiencies and innovation. Prior to joining the PMC full-time, Jarrett was intimately familiar with the organization as a 10 year rider.
Previous to the PMC, Jarrett spent the last five years traveling between the U.S. and East Africa to co-found and build a pioneering health sciences university with Partners In Health. He also has a deep business background and spent over 20 years supporting entrepreneurs as a venture capitalist based in Boston. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Jarrett resides in Wellesley with his wife and two children.
Chief Financial Officer
Michele Sommer is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the organization’s financial and administrative areas, with a focus on ensuring that the PMC continues as a model for efficiency and transparency in the nonprofit industry. Michele brings years of experience in finance, business management and international relations to her role.
Michele started her career at PwC where she rose to partner, working in auditing and international management. After leaving PwC, Michele pursued her passions as an entrepreneur, founding a handbag company that sold its products online and in retailers across the country. Her passion for the PMC is palpable – in addition to her professional role, she has completed the ride seven times, and her husband, Chet Geschickter, is a 21-year PMC rider.
Senior Vice President IT & Operations
David Hellman is Senior Vice President, IT and Operations for the Pan-Mass Challenge. He joined the organization full-time in 2000, after his 10thyear riding for the cause. His background in technology and commitment to impeccable customer service is reflected in the fundraising and logistical tools he has developed and implemented to improve the overall PMC rider and volunteer experience. In years past, David had been responsible for planning many practical aspects of the PMC, but now he’s delegated that control – busses, dumpsters, and even the porta-potties — to Glynn Hawley.
David’s career began in ski area management in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he leveraged his ski instructor experience with an affinity for software development to create the industry’s first ski school management system. He went from Director of Information Systems at Steamboat to VP of Commercial Operations at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado and also worked as VP of Operations for a Chicago department store chain prior to joining the PMC.
Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
Bill Alfano is the Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for the Pan-Mass Challenge. He brings strong experience in marketing, promotions, event management and social media to his role. Day-to-day, Bill manages the organization’s existing and prospective sponsor relationships, and has made an impact selling in key corporate sponsors. Bill also leads all PMC marketing, PR and social media efforts.
Prior to joining the PMC, Bill worked as event, promotion and marketing directors at various radio station clusters in Arizona, Connecticut, Texas and most recently, Boston, where he had the pleasure of running many nonprofit programs and fundraisers for The Jimmy Fund, Pan-Mass Challenge and other local charities. He is originally from Northford, CT and studied Communication at the University of Rhode Island. He now resides with his wife, daughter and dog Bruno in Sherborn, MA.
Director of Operations
Glynn Hawley is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Director of Operations. He joined the organization full time in 2004 after riding from 1997 to 2003. Glynn is responsible for planning and implementing most of what riders experience on PMC Weekend including logistics, transportation, and equipment, as well as all food and beverage.
Before his time with the PMC, Glynn worked as an operations manager at a local telecommunications company, as an outdoor guide and cross-country ski instructor, and as a security police officer in the U.S. Air Force. Glynn is a Boston College alum and currently lives in Natick, MA with his wife, children, and dog Rocco.
Sarah Mercurio Hall
Director of Creative, Events, and Merchandise
Sarah Mercurio Hall is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Director of Creative, Events, and Merchandise. She first volunteered in 2007 and joined the professional staff full-time in 2010.
Prior to her role with the PMC, Sarah worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art New England and MassArt. She is a graduate of Connecticut College, having earned degrees in both English and Art History.
Manager of Kids Rides and Volunteer Operations
Justine Darmanian is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Manager of Volunteer and Kids Rides Operations, managing over 4,000 PMC Volunteers as well as 25 PMC Kids Rides in communities across Massachusetts and New England. She first became involved with the organization while working as a resident camp counselor at Cape Cod Sea Camps, cheering on riders at Da’ Hedge.
Justine is a California native and graduate of Sonoma State University. She relocated to the Boston area following graduation, and currently resides in South Boston with her rescue puppy Luna. In her spare time, Justine coaches water polo at Needham High School and is known for her love of bagels and anything spicy.
Meredith Beaton Starr
Director of Stewardship and Liaison to DFCI
Meredith Beaton Starr is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Director of Stewardship and Liaison to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Meredith cultivates and enhances relationships with PMC donors, riders, volunteers, sponsors and advocates, actively engaging them in the organization year-round. She provides support and enables many to deepen their associations and commitment to the organization. Throughout her 30 years with the PMC, Meredith has worn many hats and made an impact in all aspects of the organization – from cycling and volunteering, to outreach, advocacy and development.
In addition to her role with the PMC, Meredith serves on the Advisory Board of the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Dana-Farber and is a member of the Jimmy Fund Visiting Committee. She has been practicing occupational therapy for more than 24 years in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and currently works part-time in the field at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Department. Meredith is a Tufts University alum, having earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the school.
Susan Doucet is Project Coordinator for the Pan-Mass Challenge, responsible for providing project leadership and quality assurance in IT, operations and communications. She also oversees the PMC Pedal Partner Program which pairs pediatric patients at the Jimmy Fund with PMC riders, teams and PMC Kids Rides.
Susan joined the professional staff in 2017 but had volunteered since 2008 after her dad began riding, and additionally rode four years. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Susan worked as a reporter at the Concord Monitor and as an associate editor at a start-up in Boston prior to joining the PMC.
Jessica Otto is a Fundraising Coordinator with the Pan-Mass Challenge. No stranger to the organization, Jessica first volunteered in 2010 thanks to their father Peter’s Dana-Farber oncologist. In 2014, Jessica began riding alongside Peter, who together have raised over $80,000 for the organization. Peter passed away from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 54 in July 2017.
Jessica lives with their partner and beloved dog in Rehoboth, MA.
Fiona Hannafin is a Fundraising Coordinator with the Pan-Mass Challenge, also supporting operations for the PMC Pedal Partner Program. Fiona’s involvement with the PMC started long before joining the organization full-time – in 2008, she and her brother organized the first ever out-of-state PMC Kids Ride in her hometown of Parkton, Maryland. Fiona also served as a PMC summer intern for two years, assisting with fundraising and logistics.
A recent Boston University graduate, Fiona previously worked as an exhibit guide at the National Aquarium and for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
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Volunteer Head Staff
The major PMC weekend hub sites are run by members of the Volunteer Head Staff. The Head Staff donates an incredible amount of time and energy to the event throughout the year.
Sturbridge and Patriot Place Co-Coordinator; Lodging Coordinator
Sturbridge and Patriot Place Co-Coordinator
Babson College Co-Coordinator
Babson College Co-Coordinator
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Co-Coordinator
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Co-Coordinator
Command Center Co-Coordinator
Command Center Co-Coordinator
Board of Directors
Formed in 1994, the board of directors provides fiduciary and strategic oversight to the organization.
Billy Starr, President
Founder and Executive Director, Pan-Mass Challenge
Robert Smith, Chairman
Managing Partner, Castanea Partners
Caren Deardorf, Secretary
Chief Commercial Officer, Magenta Therapeutics
Mike Ascione, TREasurer
Managing Director, Berkshire Partners
Managing Director, Bain Capital; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Executive Director, Albert Research Institute for White Matter and Cognition
Executive Vice President, Massachusetts Medical Society
President of Sports, Audacy, Inc.
Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP; Legal counsel to the board
Managing Director, General Catalyst
EVP Business Affairs, Boston Red Sox
Jeff Rimpas (ex-officio)
PMC Head Staff; Senior Engagement Manager, ELLKAY
Setti D. Warren
Executive Director, Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School
The PMC advisory board is a non-voting group that serves in an advisory capacity to the PMC Board of Directors. The advisory board is composed of 11 highly dedicated riders, sponsors and volunteers who will help spearhead continued growth and innovation for the organization. These individuals have demonstrated tremendous fundraising dedication, as well as a deep understanding of the PMC mission.
Philanthropist and Community Activist
President, '47 Brand
Director of Client Engagement, Brand Content Inc.
Co-Founder, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt
Marketing Director, Dragonfly
Managing Director, Charlesbank Capital Partners
Executive Vice President, MAPFRE, PMC Sponsor and Rider
Chief Talent Officer, Alletess Medical Laboratory
PMC Head Staff Member; Physician UMass Memorial Medical Center
PMC Chairman Emeritus
Executive Vice President / Social Impact and Executive Director, Red Sox Foundation, PMC Presenting Sponsor
PMC Treasurer Emeritus
Senior Vice President of Communications, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute