Sue Payne, Chair
Director of Community Outreach and Membership, Atlanta Track Club
Sue is the Atlanta Track Club director responsible for membership, community partnerships and training programs. She served as the track club's Interim Executive Director in 2013-2014. Among her responsibilities, Sue develops strategic partnerships in the community to create and inspire an active and healthy Atlanta.
Prior to joining the Atlanta Track Club, Sue served as the Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Atlanta. Connected to the Atlanta running community and the non-profit community, Sue has focused on supporting health and fitness as well as a whole-person approach to wellness. Sue has worked in non-profits throughout her career, including Habitat for Humanity in New York City as well as serving in community organization leadership roles. Sue is an active runner who enjoys group runs and competes primarily in marathons and half-marathons. Sue and her family live in Morningside.
“Back on My Feet demonstrates what a community can accomplish through dedication, personal connection and the power of running. Through my involvement with various developmental sports programs, training programs and the running community, I have seen the positive impact that activities like running can create. I am inspired by the way Back on My Feet leverages that transformational power to help people change their lives.”
Ramona Howland, Vice Chair
Director of Human Resources, Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Ramona began her career with Marriott in the select service arena and held leadership roles within the CFRST brands before transitioning to Human Resources in 2000. During her 19 years with Marriott International, Ramona has enjoyed a variety of experiences within the company’s various hotels, including the Renaissance, Fairfield Inn, Courtyard and the JW Marriott brand. She has held positions within the in operations as an Assistant General Manager, Guest Care Manager, General Manager and Full Service Director of Room Operations before returning to the role of Market Director of Human Resources in 2007. She and her team have accumulated many awards including most recently the region’s HR Excellence Nomination for 2012 and 2013.
Ramona earned her degree in International Relations in 1992. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA and enjoys spending time with her daughter Lauren.
Fred Blankenship- Honorary Board Member
Fred joined WSB-TV in 2007. Before coming to Atlanta he worked six years at San Diego's KGTV as a reporter and weekend anchor. In San Diego, Fred won awards for stories on drug prevention and community outreach. Before KAKE, Blankenship worked at KRON in San Francisco where he was a part of a team that received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for the documentary "About Race", a study of cultural and social behaviors of different ethnic groups. Fred has been a member of the National Association of Black Journalist and also a member of the National Press Photographers Association.
A Los Angeles native, he received his degree from the University of San Francisco. Fred is happily married and is the proud father of two children, a boy and girl.
“Over the past few years I have personally seen how Back on Feet has changed the lives of several people who just needed an opportunity and someone to believe in them. Back on My Feet is that belief system. I look forward to learning how to better serve our members and getting the word out about this fantastic organization.”
Treasury Process Controller, UPS
Eli is the Treasury Process Controller at UPS. In his role he is responsible for the processes and systems used to manage UPS Treasury operations. During his 13 year career with UPS, he has worked in various finance and accounting positions specializing in process improvement, systems management, and financial forecasting. Eli earned a MBA from Georgia State University with a concentration in IT Consulting and a BBA from the University of Georgia in Management Information Systems. He and his wife, Brooke, live in Sandy Springs, Georgia with their two daughters Emily and Robin.
“For months after hearing about Back on My Feet I made excuses not to try it out: It’s too early. I’m too busy. It’s too inconvenient. When I finally joined Team Gateway for a run on November 20th, 2013 my excuses changed to a reason: It’s too important. My perception of homelessness and my privileges were forever shifted. Since that morning, I have gained a second family who loves and supports each other unconditionally as we run the race of life together.”
Managing Director- Accenture
Kara is a Managing Director at Accenture. She is part of the Financial Services Technology organization. Being with Accenture for over 20 years, she has managed large, complex, global engagements that span multiple technologies. Kara also serves in a local leadership role as the Accenture Atlanta Office People Lead focusing on improving employee engagement for the office of 2000+ employees. She has strong ties to the local Atlanta community including being an alumna of Leadership Atlanta and being active in Corporate Citizenship activities.
Kara grew up in Atlanta. She graduated summa cum laude from Furman University with a B.S. in Mathematics. She is an avid runner and enjoys running throughout Atlanta as well as in other places throughout the world.
“Back on My Feet has made a large impact on the homeless in Atlanta. Growing up playing sports (mostly tennis) and then picking up running as an adult, I have seen how sports and physical activity empower individuals. I look forward to continuing and expanding the influence Back on My Feet has within the Atlanta community through the great activity of running.”
Fowler brings with him strong leadership skills and a great passion for teamwork. He began his Marriott career more than 14 years ago as a front office intern at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina and has immense knowledge of the leading brand in the hospitality industry.
In 2006, Fowler accepted the opening Front Desk Manager position at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel in Florida. He then moved to Georgia in 2007 after being named the Assistant Front Office Manager at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center. Fowler was promoted to Front Office Manager at the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta in 2008.
Fowler took on a new challenge in 2009 when he accepted the position of Rooms Operations Manager at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center/Emory Area. In this role he oversaw the front office, service desk, housekeeping and laundry operations, night audit, gift shop, transportation, concierge lounge and lost and found operations.
Serving as the Front Office Manager at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis beginning in 2011, Fowler has engaged his associates to put a consistent focus on guest satisfaction. In 2012, he was awarded the Manager of the Year Award at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis as well as the E.D.G.E. (Excellence in Delivering the Guest Experience) Award from Marriott International.
Transitioning to Marriott Select Brands as General Manager of the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South in July of 2014, Fowler led the hotel to record numbers in all areas of the balanced scorecard during his tenure. Fowler transitioned into his current role of General Manager at the Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/Georgia Tech in 2015, and he led the hotel through a full hotel renovation and repositioning that concluded in March of 2017.
Fowler finds passion not only in his work but in roles as a husband and father. He has been married to his wife, Erin, for more than ten years and they have two children. In his free time, Fowler loves playing golf, spending time with his family and supporting his alma mater, Florida State University.
Managing Director- Accenture
Tom Gould is a Managing Director with Accenture and is responsible for the financial performance of its North American Financial Services practice. Throughout his 20+ year career with Accenture, Tom has also worked closely with some of their largest client teams and senior leadership in their Products practice and in areas of acquisitions and commercial operations. Tom graduated from Binghamton University with an MBA in Finance and from Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Alpharetta, Georgia with their son Ryan and daughter Sarah.
“When I was first introduced to Back on My Feet, it was immediately clear how running enables those who seek a new beginning. Running starts with a few small steps, and then grows as personal goals are set and exceeded. We achieve through running things we never thought possible. It gives us energy and frees our mind. I’m excited to be part of this wonderful organization as it works with members to help them define and achieve a better personal future.”
Dionne joined Back on My Feet Atlanta’s Advisory Board in 2017. Dionne has an extensive philanthropic background including service to FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.
“I worked for many years for FareStart both in their corporate facility helping soon-to-be graduates with their cover letters and resumes as well as with mock interviews. On the weekends when students were off I volunteered in the FareStart kitchen to provide meals for the shelters. I truly believe in programs that allow homeless and disadvantaged the opportunity to regain a self-sustaining position in society.”
Dionne has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Nepal; AZAR, building education in Tanzania; LIVESTRONG, representing AT&T Mobility in competitive events nationwide; Making Memories, helping to raise money to grant last wishes for terminally ill breast cancer patients; Housing Hope, repair and maintenance work on transitional housing sites for recovering homeless; and Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center, advocating for Sexual Assault Survivors & focusing on suicide prevention.
Dionne’s other interests include traveling internationally with her husband regularly. They also love to scuba dive, rock climb, road bike and ride motorcycles. She has also completed several half marathons, triathlons and obstacle course events such as Tough Mudder.
Senior Manager, PwC
Jon is an Assurance Senior Manager with PwC's Atlanta office primarily focused on serving clients in the consumer industrial products and services industry, with an emphasis on manufacturing, distribution, metals, chemicals and retail and consumer. Jon has served a wide range of clients, including large multinational SEC registrants, large private companies and middle market companies. Prior to relocating to Atlanta in June 2010, Jon worked in PwC's Baltimore office from November 2000. Jon received his B.S. in Accounting from Elon University in North Carolina where he also played baseball. Outside of work Jon enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys watching, coaching and playing sports.
"While in Baltimore, BoMF launched a chapter, which I was drawn to based upon the mission of helping homelessness in a meaningful and measurable way. Serving on the Advisory Board in Baltimore made me really understand the importance of giving back to the community. When I moved to Atlanta I was thrilled about the opportunity to continue serving on the BoMF Advisory Board, Atlanta Chapter."
Director of National Accounts, Bimbo Bakeries USA
As Director of National Accounts with Bimbo Bakeries USA, Bart represents brands such as Thomas’ English Muffins and Bagels, Arnold Bread, Entenmann’s and Sara Lee fresh baked goods. Bart started his career with the BBU brands 17 years ago in the Northeast before relocating to North Carolina in 2004 for 5 years. In 2009, he moved to the Atlanta area with his wife and 3 children to lead the BBU National Account business in the Southeast market. He considers himself very fortunate to be part of a company with strong values and a commitment to the communities in which we operate. Through BBU, Bart was introduced to Back on My Feet with the launch of the Atlanta chapter, and since then he has stayed involved by participating in the 5k races with his family.
As an active runner, it was easy for me to recognize the positive impact which running (especially group running) can have on a person both physically and mentally. I am truly inspired by the work being done through Back on My Feet to help provide the needed tools and support for people to gain self esteem while striving for sustainable, self-sufficient living.