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 12 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.
Jarrett Collins is the Chief Executive Officer of the Pan-Mass Challenge, the nation’s single most successful athletic fundraising event, leading all aspects of the organization’s operations and its professional staff. He has been riding in the PMC since 2009 and joined the professional staff in 2019.
Prior to the PMC, Jarrett worked for Partners In Health, an international NGO, co-founding and operating their pioneering health sciences university in Rwanda, the University of Global Health Equity. Jarrett has deep experience in for-profit ventures, too, supporting entrepreneurs as an early stage technology investor for the first half of his career. He earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from Tufts University and his MBA from the University of Southern California.
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.
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
Bill Alfano is the Vice President of Marketing & 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.
Vice President of Technology & Digital Experience
Jennifer Schachter is the Vice President of Technology & Digital Experience for the PMC, focusing on advancing the technological strategy in support of the organization’s vision and mission. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in product management and product innovation spanning numerous industries from CAD/CAM to haptics, robotics, and health tech, Jennifer brings expertise in defining product vision and strategy, roadmap development, and applying design thinking to the user experience.
Jennifer’s curious nature makes her a lifelong learner and natural born problem solver who in her spare time is as comfortable out cycling on the road as she is rowing on the Charles River or operating power tools in home improvement projects. Jennifer is a native New Yorker who relocated to Boston over 20 years ago and currently lives in the South End.
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.
Director of Volunteer Operations & Kids Rides
Justine Darmanian is the Pan-Mass Challenge’s Director of Volunteer Operations & Kids Rides, 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 dog Luna. In her spare time, Justine enjoys reading 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 Manager for the Pan-Mass Challenge. She is responsible for providing project leadership and quality assurance in IT, operations and communications, and manages the PMC's websites and email communication.
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 a daily newspaper and as an associate editor at a start-up in Boston prior to joining the PMC.
Deana DeSilva is the Fundraising Manager for the PMC, leading all aspects of fundraising processing for the organization, as well as rider and donor support. In her role, Deana takes part in long range planning as well as production and analysis of PMC events.
Prior to the PMC, Deana was the Director of Operations, Salesforce/IT Systems Admin at Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF), where she supervised all aspects of data operations and migration, and served as the project manager for financial assistance grant processing. Deana is the previous owner of Get In Shape For Women, Easton, MA.
As a seasoned professional with experience in non-profit operations and programs and a passion for fundraising for cancer causes, having completed the Boston Marathon 7 times for DFCI and JAF, as well as numerous other rides, runs and walks for charity, Deana brings passion and drive to her role and the PMC’s mission to fight cancer.
Jessica Otto Guay
Jessica Otto Guay is the Fundraising Associate 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 husband, Derrin, and beloved dog, Charlie, in Rehoboth, MA.
Danielle Tata is the PMC’s Office Administrator, serving as the first point of contact of the organization. She also supports PMC fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and sponsors, playing an instrumental role in advancing the organization.
Prior to the PMC, Danielle was a middle school English teacher and the Lower School Dean of Students at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester, MA. Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Boston College and her Master’s degree at Pace University.
Danielle currently resides in Medfield, MA, and is dedicated to helping the PMC achieve its goals through her work at the organization.
Marketing & Sponsorship Coordinator
Katie Iwanowicz is the new Marketing & Sponsorship Coordinator for the PMC, supporting the organization's marketing, communications and sponsorship relationship development initiatives. Katie hails from Delmar, New York and graduated from Providence College in 2021.
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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.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Public Safety & Emergency Operations
Weekend Operations & Logistics
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
Mike Ascione, Chairman
Managing Director, Berkshire Partners
Caren Deardorf, Secretary
Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer, Editas Medicine
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
PMC Head Staff; Executive Director, Albert Research Institute for White Matter and Cognition
CEO, Pan-Mass Challenge
Executive Vice President, Massachusetts Medical Society
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
Vice President, TA Associates
Chairman and CEO, M&T Bank
Jeff Rimpas (ex-officio)
PMC Head Staff; Senior Engagement Manager, ELLKAY
Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Boston Red Sox; Executive Director, Red Sox Foundation
Managing Partner, Castanea Partners
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
Attorney, Ogletree, Deakins
Head of Global Sales, Litmus
Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program
President, '47 Brand
KELLY GROSS DOUGLAS
Managing Director, Brand Content
PMC Past CTO
Managing Director, Charlesbank Capital Partners
PMC Head Staff Member; Physician UMass Memorial Medical Center
Founder, Flame Bearers
PMC Chairman Emeritus
PMC Past Treasurer
Senior Communications Strategist
Consultant, Strategic Management Consulting
Director, Insurance Operations, MAPFRE