Staff

Richard Traum, Ph.D.

President and Founder

Dick, an above the knee amputee began running in the mid-seventies. A business entrepreneur, with a successful computer applications company, Dick realized that he needed to do something about his sedentary lifestyle. He joined the West Side YMCA and found his passion. From a mile, he progressed to a five-mile race in Central Park.

Buoyed by his success, five months later, he ran his first marathon, and became the first amputee to run 26.2 miles. There was no looking back. In 1983, he founded the Achilles Track Club, currently known as Achilles International.

Dick has a BS, MBA, and Ph.D. from New York University and lives in Manhattan. He’s been married for 40+ years and has a married son and a granddaughter.

dicktraum@aol.com
212-354-0300 ext 301

 

Mary Bryant

Vice-President, and Founder of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans

Mary Bryant joined Achilles in 1997 when her oldest brother, paralyzed from the neck down, became the first man to complete the NYC Marathon without the use of arms or legs. She is a ten-time marathoner herself.

Besides her work with the Freedom Team, she is responsible for the growth and development of Achilles, including finding sponsors. Mary co-authored Success is a Team Effort and Go Achilles!. She is also an inspirational speaker, having been featured on several television programs including, NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight.

She was the 2009 kick-off speaker of the White House’s Wellness Seminars; she served as president of the New York Tri-State Chapter of the National Speakers Association, and she is on the Advisory Board of Evelyn Lauder’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Just One Break. She is also a consultant to America’s Athletes with Disabilities, and has worked with WE Media for the Paralympics in Sydney, Australia.

mbryant@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 302

 

Toby Tanser

Vice President and Race Director

Toby joined Achilles in 2001. He has served as guide, volunteer, and from 2005-2011 served as a board member. Toby also serves as race director for Achilles Hope & Possibility 5-Mile Race held each year in Central Park since 2002.
The founder and CEO of Shoe4Africa, Toby is a board member of New York Road Runners and sits on the advisory board for both the Armed Forces Foundation and Runner's World coaches board. An ambassador to Subway's Commit to Fit program, Toby founded the Kids Against Obesity fun run. Toby is head coach at NYC's largest club, the New York Flyers; Fashion Institute of Technology, and TeamLifeline charity. He has authored four books and, for many years, worked as a writer in the athletics media.

toby@tanser.org

 

Kathleen Bateman

Director, New York City Chapter

Kat joined the team in 2009 while running Achilles outreach programs in local NYC hospitals and rehabilitation centers.  She took over the paratriathlon team in the spring of 2010 and was promoted to Director of the New York Chapter in January 2011.

Prior to moving to New York in 2009, Kat pursued a double major in Liberal Arts and Exercise Physiology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a specialization in child development from SUNY Empire State College. Kat has over ten years experience working with special needs populations. She has worked as an exercise therapist for adults with severe physical disabilities, as an educator for children with autism and pervasive developmental disorders, and as program director at a center for adults and children with physical and cognitive impairments.  Her education, employment history and experience as a varsity athlete and coach combine to give her the expertise she utilizes in her multifaceted role at Achilles.

kbateman@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 311

Eleanor Cox

Director, Chapter Development

After ten years as Web site manager for a major New York book publisher, Ellie began building, maintaining, and marketing Web sites for not-for-profit organizations such as the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society as well as other business entities. She joined Achilles in 1996 as a volunteer guide and was so inspired by the determination of Achilles athletes, she ran the NYC Marathon in 2000. Ellie directed Achilles New York Chapter from Sept. 2009 through 2010 and assumed responsibility for chapter development in 2011. She has a BS in Media and Culture from SUNY/Empire State College as well as a Project Management Certificate from Baruch. When not tending to Achilles activities, she narrates the Great Gatsby Boat Tour in Port Washington, New York which she created in 2008. She takes great pride and pleasure in working with Achilles athletes, volunteers and chapter heads to further Achilles programs.

ecox@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 311

Sarah Green

Fundraising & Development Associate, Friedman Diabetes Institute Trainer, Office Manager

Sarah is the newest addition to the Achilles Staff.  She is a recent graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a BA in Psychology.  In school, she was involved in fundraising and event planning with her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and her love for the field grew from there.

At Achilles, she maintains the office operations including organization, tech support, and mailings.  She works on grantwriting and fundraising for Achilles Kids.  Her biggest accomplishment thus far is planning the Casino Night fundraiser in October.  Sarah proved to be a dynamic, flexible addition when she took on guide matching for the 2013 New York City Marathon.  She also runs the twice-weekly FDI workouts at Beth Israel Hospital.

Sarah is the youngest staff member and has been nicknamed the "young spring chicken."  She loves running, racing, and going to Achilles workouts to meet athletes and volunteers.  Sarah lives in New Jersey with her family and prides herself on being a "professional schlepper." 

sgreen@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 312

Genna Griffith

Director of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans

For the past 10 years, Genna has dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of our nation’s heroes. She began volunteering with the Achilles Freedom Team during her time as a performer in the USO in 2004 and due to her enthusiasm and devotion she evolved into a prominent role in the Achilles office.

Genna’s perseverance, deep knowledge, and understanding of the issues facing wounded veterans led her to establish the Achilles Marathon Tour. These sponsored weekend retreats have enabled over one thousand wounded veterans to run, walk, or handcycle in 16 prestigious mainstream races nationwide.  This program has been a catalyst for setting achievable goals early on in recovery so they may continue to lead a fulfilling life post injury. 

Genna has been tireless in her quest to raise awareness to meet the needs of those in the wounded veteran community. Her efforts have taken her through the halls of government and to the presidents of Fortune Five Hundred companies. But her heart lies with the men and women who sacrificed so much to protect this country.

Genna is a  graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. with a BA in Musical Theater and  is the 2012 Recipient of the American University Alumni Recognition Award.  She lives in NYC with her husband, Retired Cpt Marc Giammatteo, who was wounded while serving in Iraq in 2004. 

ggriffith@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 307

Russell Koplin

Director of Volunteers

Russell Koplin is a native New Yorker who has been involved with Achilles since her childhood where she began as a volunteer. She studied theater at Northwestern University where she earned a B.S. degree in Communications.

When she is not working on her acting career (Broadway/off-Broadway Theater, TV, and voice-overs for television and radio commercials), Russell helps with volunteer opportunities, guide matching for the NYC Marathon, website development, and an assortment of other responsibilities.

rkoplin@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 306

Megan Lombardo

Director of Development

Megan Wynne Lombardo is responsible for raising funds to support Achilles’ range of programs. Prior to Achilles, she was a program coordinator at The America Assembly, a nonpartisan public policy forum affiliated with Columbia University.

Megan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where she ran track and cross country. An avid runner, Megan’s fondest athletic memory is completing the ING NYC Marathon with fellow Achilles staff member Karen Lewis in 2008. She is proud to be part of an organization that brings athletic opportunities to athletes with different abilities.

mlombardo@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 304

 

Janet Patton

Director, Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans

Janet Patton joined the Achilles International team as a part-time staff member in August 2007, and after falling in love with the mission and the work, became a full-time employee in January 2011. She graduated from American University in Washington DC, with degrees in Public Communications and Music Theatre. Janet has a background in teaching young children, and is the passionate leader of the Achilles Kids weekend program in NYC. Also, the proud sister of a U.S. Navy veteran, Janet manages the Freedom Team and assists with the Marathon Tour. She is thrilled to be a part of the Achilles family and is inspired daily by the strength of the Achilles athletes and their courageous families.

jpatton@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 308

Gerle Shagdar

International Chapter Administrator, Accounting

Gerle Shagdar originally from Mongolia, joined Achilles as a volunteer to help two visually impaired Mongolian runners in 2001. From 2001-07, she was a volunteer helping the international chapters, particularly those in Eastern Europe, Chechnya, and Mongolia. Today, her main responsibilities include Achilles finances, NYC marathon registration, and runners’ accommodations. Gerle loves seeing how her work at Achilles directly helps people make their dreams come true.

gshagdar@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 309

Joe Traum

Director of Office Operations and Wheelchair Logistics

Joe has been working at Achilles International since 2000. Joe is the Director of Office Operations and the Achilles Handcycle Program. It includes purchasing and maintenance of handcycles for all Achilles divisions. He also runs the Achilles Kayak program.

jtraum@achillesinternational.org
212-354-0300 ext 300