Ambassadors

2018 - 2019 All Community Events Ambassadors

Mandi Florip

Mandi began running in middle school and never stopped. As a high school and college cheerleader, running was the exact athletic counterpart to keep her fitness levels high. An Illinois licensed attorney, Mandi is currently the Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League, a council of government representing 42 municipalities in Lake County. An avid weekend race warrior, Mandi tries to run 2-3 races each month from Milwaukee to Chicago and loves the opportunity to be a member of the All Community Events Ambassador Team.

Christy Stroud

Christy never considered herself a runner (in fact, she hated running) until she ran her first 5k in 2010 and got hooked on that race high. She’s been running and racing ever since, but running looks different these days as she is often running with her two young sons in the stroller. Christy loves being able to show her boys the importance of exercise and taking care of yourself. A former book publicist, Christy is now a stay-at-home mom also working part-time in the youth services department at her local library. She is excited about the opportunity to be an All Community Events Ambassador.

Jen DeFranco

Jen began regularly running at age 39 when she challenged herself to complete a half marathon for her 40th birthday.  Seven years later, she’s still running and loving every mile! She won’t lie – with age comes its own challenges – but she has worked through those when needed and feels she’s a better athlete after being forced to work through recovery after unexpected injury.  As a registered travel agent with Magical Vacation Planner, Jen loves to travel, and when she can, she loves to combine her travel and running with a great run-cation. As a wife, mother of 2 teens, and dog mom to 2 wacky Goldendoodles, running keeps her sane and that’s always good!  Jen is excited about the opportunity to be a member of the All Community Events Ambassador Team and looks forward to a great year of racing and community partnership. 

Rosalyn Cooper

Rosalyn began running 4 years ago after being inspired watching her sister in law run the Chicago Marathon.  Since then, Rosalyn has completed almost 20 half marathons and 6 full marathons, the most recent of which got her a Boston Qualifying time.  Rosalyn and her husband are raising their three young daughters in a Chicago suburb, whom are at almost every race.  As a family they love being outdoors, the Chicago Bears and St Louis Cardinals, and summer vacations to Lake Placid, NY. 

Denise Dougherty

Denise was a sprinter on her college track team. Being a competitive figure skater for 16 years, running was a good cardio exercise for skating. She really fell in love with running while training for her first half marathon 3 years ago. She is a licensed professional counselor/ mental health counselor, however currently, she’s an office manager for a small business. She is also back in school for Event & Wedding Planning management with the intent to start her own business. Becoming a certified running coach and a health & fitness coach is on the agenda for the near future. March through November, you can find Denise trying to get in as many races as possible all over the U.S.   She is excited about the opportunity to be an ambassador at All Community Events. 

Chris Dean

Chris didn’t find running as an outlet till about 6 years ago when he got sucked into training for the Disney Marathon weekend marathon 2012. While training for a half marathon, and his wife for her first marathon, it became contagious. Chris has since run 24 half marathons & 3 Chicago Marathons. He is a daily runner (with NO treadmill miles) and hit a 195 day run streak earlier this year. Chris is married with a family of 3 children, 2 in elementary school and 1 grown and in the Air Force active duty in Alaska currently. Chris works as a Service Director for a global medical device company & may be seen sneaking out of work to get a run in for his “daily meditation”, on a regular basis. 

Wendy Rivard

Wendy is a lifelong Chicago-area resident and a runner for over 25 years. Wendy is the veteran of 4 marathons and many half marathons. She shares her running and fitness adventures on her blog Taking the Long Way Home. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but has not stopped moving. She also enjoys yoga, CrossFit, cycling, SUP, kayaking, and waterskiing. Off the road, she is a married mom of 2 grown boys and a pediatric nurse practitioner with Advocate Medical Group. 

 

Mark Walker

I did run some long distance track back in high school. But haven’t taken up running again until the last 3.5 years.  I belong to several run clubs (Prairie State Road Runners (PSRR), Inwood Run Club (IRC), Channahon-Minooka Run Club (CMRC), DNA Run Club (DNARC).  DNA is the local run store I go to.  I am an ambassador for their store.  I run 30 to 40 races a year with my girlfriend (my running partner in crime).  We have a quest to run a 1/2 marathon in every state.  At the moment we have 9 states completed.  Next year we are slated to add at least 6 more states.  Out off all the distances, my favorite by far is the 1/2 marathon. I have run the Chicago marathon (2017). This year I am supporting fellow runners by volunteering at the start corrals. Generally I run 5 times a week and cross train at least one day. Outside of running, I work in IT as a software developer.  I have 2 kids, both boys (ages 7 and 9).  Both play soccer, baseball, and basketball.  I coach each of their sports for both divisions all year round.

Krista Volk

Krista grew up playing soccer, where she was the goalkeeper since she hated running!  Back then it was punishment and today it is her go to.  In 2010, she started running more to relieve stress, and to become healthier.  She ran the Chicago Marathon in 2011 and has done ten marathons since then.  She started doing triathlons for a change of pace, and completed the Louisville Ironman in 2016.  Krista is a new mom to 8-week-old Cody and is in her twelfth year of teaching middle school math in Libertyville.   Krista tries to run 1-2 big races a year with a lot of little ones in between and she is very excited to be a part of the All Community Events Ambassador Team!

Kevin Fox


Kevin started running in 2007 when he and his cousin, neither of whom had been runners, committed to doing the Chicago Marathon in 2008. Because it seemed impossible. 15 months later? Yes! His first organized race was the 2007 Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park and he’ll never forget the feeling of finishing that first 10K. Kevin is a theatre actor, director and writer based in Chicago, and he loves thinking about plays and loved ones while running. Now doing between 10-15 races per year in Chicagoland and his hometown of Asheville NC, Kevin is thrilled to be an ambassador for All Community Events!

Alice Henry

Alice is now gearing up for her 3rd Chicago marathon.
After college, Alice started running as a means to lose a few pounds. She started going to Bally’s health club and running on the treadmill… then running on the indoor track….and then outside for some fresh air. Outdoor running opened up a brand new, unlimited world to her. She was hooked.
In 2002, Alice challenged herself. She signed up for the Chicago Marathon, her first race ever. She trained alone, and finished. Her motto with everything in life is this….if you prepare, you can do ANYTHING.
When not training for a marathon, you can catch her outside or on a treadmill 3-4 days a week year-round, just to have fun, stay in shape, or to manage stressful days on the job in Accounting. Her teenage son also enjoys running, so Alice is hoping that he continues the legacy. To be chosen as an Ambassador for All Community Events is an extreme honor for her!!

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca began running just over 2 years ago to improve her health. Since then, she has run Long Beach Marathon, Naperville Trails Half Marathon twice, Deer Park 5k and 10k and is racing both Chicago and New York City Marathons this fall! She loves to share her passion of running with her family, friends, and her community. Rebecca is excited to join the All Community Events Ambassador Team!