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The RRCA is the oldest and largest organization in the US dedicated to distance running.

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Staff Bios

Jean Knaack is the Executive Director of the Road Runners Club of America where she has served in the role since 2005, bringing over fifteen years of nonprofit management experience to the position. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition. She earned a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from George Mason University. She regularly counsels running club and event leaders around the country on various topics of importance to the running community. Through her work with the RRCA she is a fitness advocate promoting running as healthy exercise and a competitive sport on a national scale. She served on the coordinating committee that developed the first National Physical Activity Plan for the United States. She has experience managing the financial operations of organizations ranging in size from $100,000 to $10 million. Jean has extensive skills in organizational and financial development, board and member relations, and program planning and implementation. She is an avid runner and has completed several marathons and countless road races and triathlons. She was a finisher at the inaugural Ironman Louisville race in 2007 and finished Ironman France in 2009 and Ironman Coeur D’Alen in 2010. She is the proud mother of two young children and she has been married to Jim Knaack for seventeen years.

David Morgan is the Membership Coordinator for the RRCA. Morgan is an Annapolis, Maryland native who graduated from Millersville University in 2010 with an undergraduate degree in Communications. Before taking the Membership Coordinator position with the RRCA, David was working at a local charity that helped bring impoverished families off the streets and into new homes. An avid Washington sports fan, David tries to get to every football and hockey game that he can. Morgan is responsible for responding to all general membership and insurance inquiries from running clubs and running events.  He coordinates the day-to-day interface with RRCA members (clubs, events, individuals, coaches, and corporate supporters).  He counsels prospective members on proper membership classification, fees, insurance coverage, and benefits.  He counsels new members on how to correctly form a nonprofit organization and other membership issues that need special attention.  Morgan is responsible for maintaining the nonprofit group list with the IRS and providing members with letters verifying their exempt status. He maintains records for all members in the group by reviewing, scanning and filing bylaws and sharing copies with members as requested.  Morgan manages the annual renewal process including reviewing applications for accuracy, following-up with late payments, maintaining the online database, roster submission and initiating renewal notices.

Andy Smith is the Program Coordinator for the RRCA.  He comes to the RRCA from The Washington Post, where he served as a Community Editor, working to develop strategies and programs to improve the paper’s local internet presence. He has a strong interest in digital communications, social media, and web analytics and works hard to stay on top of the latest trends in each field.  Smith has a background in sports communications, spending four years in Media Relations for the University of Pittsburgh’s Athletic Department in his hometown, where he authored profiles on future NFL players Dorin Dickerson, LaRod Stephens-Howling and LeSean McCoy. He earned his master’s degree at Georgetown in 2009 in Communication, Culture and Technology and his undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY in American Culture.  He is responsible for coordinating all activities related to RRCA programs including Championship events, Kids Run the Nation Program, Runner Friendly Community, National Awards, RUN@WORK Day, Race Director Certification, and much more.

Randy Accetta is an accomplished educator and runner that brings a wealth of experience to the RRCA coaching program.  He is the Communications Mentor for the top-ranked McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, where he has twice received Teacher of the Year honors.  Additionally, he has co-authored two continuing education courses on how to coach runners, and he has written running-based articles that have been published in Running Times, Runners World and the New York Times.  Randy is the current RRCA State Representative for Arizona and is the immediate past president of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners.  A former 2:19 marathoner who competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Randy has a long history of coaching runners, including as the Program Director for Craftsbury Running Camps, the Arizona Coach for Team in Training, and The Workout Group in Tucson, Arizona. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), Randy credits his fellow Wesleyan alumni as inspiring him.  Randy Accetta, Ph.D. has been hired as the Director of Coaching Education, tasked with updating and expanding the RRCA Coaching Certification program.  Please refer to the coaching information pages about instructions for scheduling courses.

Brent Ayer is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program. has been active in the sport of running for over 40 years. He served on the RRCA Board of Directors from 1987 to 1990 as Treasurer and again from 2004 to 2008 as Eastern Region Director. He was also on the Kids Run the Nation Grant Selection Committee in 2007 and was given a special President’s Award for Service in 1991 and again in 2006. He was a founding member of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club while still in college. He was their club president from 2000-2003. Brent is an RRCA Certified Coach and holds USATF Level I & Level II coaching certifications. For the last eight years, he has coached the Frederick Striders Youth Track & Field Club. Ten years ago, he launched the Hood College Cross Country program followed by the Track & Field team.  He has been recognized as a Maryland AAU Track Outstanding Coach in 2004 and as the Hood College Coach of the Year in 2005. Brent holds an MBA and served as Finance Administrator to seven different members of the United States House of Representatives where he has worked for over 30 years.

Bobby Gessler, MD is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program. (Bio and photo coming soon)

Cari Setzler, DVM is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Aquinas College while earning All-American Honors 8 times and was national runner up in the indoor 1000 meters. Cari then continued on to Michigan State University where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. She is also a certified level II USATF endurance coach and is certified in running mechanics through Newton Running. In 2010, she co-founded Fast Finish coaching where she has helped athletes ranging from the first time 5k runner to the Olympic trials hopeful reach their goals. Cari also directs the Health Bridge Road Runners and is the assistant girls track and field coach at Johnsburg High School. She has practiced small animal medicine at The Animal Hospital of McHenry since 2004, while managing The Running Depot in Crystal Lake, IL. Cari and her husband Chris, dog Balin, Cats Peek, Annie, and horse Cascade now live in Wonder Lake IL. In her spare time Cari enjoys using her ham radio license (N8LIG) and is a weather spotter, and continues to train and compete in the Chicago Area Runner’s Association circuit and in national level USATF and USAT events.


Dorothy Commock joined the RRCA in 2001 and celebrated her 10th year with the organization in 2011. She has had the unique experience of working on all locations three locations of the RRCA national office from the first office in Old Town Alexandria, VA to Columbia, MD to our current location in Arlington, VA. Like all staff, Dorothy wears many hats for the RRCA. She is the voice of the national office as she routes phone calls to the appropriate staff person and assists members with questions. She ensures the office is well organized and well stocked, including our bottomless jar of M&M‘s. She manages the event calendar on the website, assists with important accounting and fundraising functions, fulfills online orders for Kids Run the Nation materials, circulates all RRCA Championship supplies to event hosts, and much more.

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