Our Team

Mitch Thrower [co-chairman]

Mitch Thrower is a financier, entrepreneur, author and a 22X Ironman triathlete

He is the Founder and Chairman of Events.com, the leading provider of cloud-based applications for event and participant management that includes Activity Registration, Ticketing, Affinity Management, Content Management, Business Analytics, and Customer Outreach.

The Events.com global event portal publishes millions of events from thousands of venues worldwide accessible through mobile and social channels. Events.com provides highly adaptable, accessible and reliable applications to manage, market and monetize an event or activity.

Thrower also serves as Chairman of The La Jolla Foundation, a 501c3 foundation whose primary initiative is Project Active, providing funding, mentoring, encouragement and education to areas of world tension. Specifically — sending sports equipment to children in war zones.

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Amanda Grant [co-chairman]

Amanda Grant is a former Data Sales Specialist at Bloomberg, focusing on tailoring unique solutions to clients’ needs. Grant has assisted senior reps with generating more than $16 million in revenue annually. Leading client seminars and presenting to large audiences at Bloomberg, Grant is a skilled presenter and public speaker. Prior to Bloomberg, Grant worked at Wachovia Securities in financial consulting. During this time, she created sales and marketing techniques for helping financial consultants increase production by 35%. As a freelance journalist, Grant has a deep passion for writing and telling stories. She has interviewed several well-known media personalities, and continues to write and publish articles in national publications. Grant is also an avid believer in health and fitness. A swimmer and a runner, she is currently training for her first half marathon. She also enjoys yoga, adventure travel and interactive technology. Born and raised in Michigan, Grant resides in New York City and La Jolla, CA. She has a degree in English Literature and a specialization in Business Law from Michigan State University, where she was actively involved with community outreach programs and served as President of her sorority, Alpha Phi. She was also a member of the MSU Honors College.

Steven E. Gintowt

After a successful corporate career, Steve Gintowt is directing his leadership and financial skills to humanitarian efforts – serving as Co-Chairman for Project Active. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors for one of Pennsylvania’s largest nursing homes and as Treasurer of two separate political action committees advocating quality healthcare for the elderly. Currently Managing Director and CFO of Triathlete Magazine, Steve’s 26-year career includes co-founding Active Europe Networks Ltd and Senior Executive positions with Gemplus (living and managing in France), Unisys, Ericsson, and General Electric. He holds a 1998 Executive MBA from Duke University and a BA in Economics & Business from Lafayette College, where he was also captain of the varsity fencing team. Still a sports enthusiast, Steve has participated in numerous triathlons and running events, including the 1993 Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii.

Annie Ulatoski

Annie Ulatoski is an intern from the University of San Diego. Majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in international business, Annie joins us equipped with knowledge, enthusiasm and a genuine aspiration to improve the world. After participating in a mission trip to Africa with her church from Pleasanton, CA, she became inspired to make a difference in the world of poverty and distress. Armed with a passion for philanthropic efforts, Annie’s responsibilities include creating and maintaining foreign and local relationships, encouraging contributions to the projects’ missions, and providing enthusiastic support to enhance the success of the organization’s efforts.

In the fall of 2007, Annie participated in a community service project known as “The USD Thanksgiving House.” This experience gave her the opportunity to act as the project management team leader for the landscaping division. The project required a sincere commitment to the client and fellow team members. The 2007 USD Thanksgiving House was a huge success, giving new life to a deserving member of the Linda Vista community.

Landen Buckley

As a writer and aspiring entrepreneur with a focus on global social change, Landen Buckley has become involved with the La Jolla Foundation’s humanitarian team, coordinating projects both domestic and abroad. Originally from Kaneohe, Hawaii, Landen relocated to San Diego, California, to pursue a degree in literature from the University of San Diego. Landen has given assistance to the SAY San
Diego Adopt-a-Family program and the Junior Seau Foundation, among others, in order to improve the quality of life in the local community. As an alumnus of USD and Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, Landen continues to have a strong allegiance to the academic community, although his focus has shifted towards humanitarian aid in the nonprofit sector.

Lori Menna

Born and raised in Phildaelphia, Lori Menna attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia and also School of Visual Arts in New York City. She moved to San Diego to pursue a career in the arts and graphic design. She is now the Creative Director for Project Active, among many other projects.

Jonathan Spalter

Jonathan Spalter is the CEO of Snocap, Inc.. Spalter has held senior management roles at the media and entertainment group Vivendi Universal, based in its global headquarters in Paris, France. He was Executive VP in charge of business development and strategy at Vivendi Universal Net, the group’s internet subsidiary, where he focused on digital distribution of the group’s music, publishing, and film assets, and on mobile internet services in the US and European markets. He also was appointed CEO of Atmedica Worldwide, SA and led the division to market leadership in Asia and Europe. He was promoted to serve as group Senior Vice President coordinating the company’s regulatory and corporate affairs teams worldwide, and developing anti-piracy initiatives in key markets globally. Spalter previously was confirmed by the US Senate to serve as CIO and Associate Director at the US Information Agency, responsible for global technology at the Agency’s 180 office in 140 countries worldwide. USIA managed the US government’s global broadcast, internet, communications, and publishing operations, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. Spalter started his career with the international investment and trade advisory firm Multinational Strategies, Inc, in New York. He has also held various production and editorial roles in broadcast and cable, including a position as foreign affairs reporter at PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and as a producer of cable’s The Monitor Channel.

Spalter took a leave of absence from the private sector to serve at the White House during the Clinton/Gore Administration, where he was a Director on the National Security Council staff, a senior appointee at the Pentagon, and international affairs spokesman and chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. Spalter, 41 years old, was awarded the White House Hammer Award for innovation and excellence in management, and has been named as a Kellogg Foundation National Fellow, a member and Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has lectured and published widely on technology and the internet, economics, and international affairs. He co-founded and serves on the Board of Liberty Mobile LLC, and has held Board seats at Active Europe Network, LLC, and Marketo SA, and has also been a member of the Executive Committees of Havas Medimedia, SA., and Vivendi Universal Net, SA. Spalter graduated from Harvard College with high honors, and received the Masters of Philosophy in International Relations at Cambridge University. He and his wife Carrie Goux live in San Francisco, CA and Edgartown, MA with their two daughters.

Christian Riggs

Design team manager for the Active Network, Christian Riggs is a successful graphic designer with more than 10 years of industry experience. Riggs has worked with large corporations such as Nokia, Timex, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever designing conceptual pieces and web sites. Mr. Riggs also has extensive experience and knowledge in the process of online advertising and print design and the development of brand identity. Riggs continues to demonstrate exceptional skills in the management of creative teams consisting of designers, web developers, photographers, and writers. Prior to working with the Active Network, Christian was Production manager for Phone Directories Co., a large independent telephone directory publisher. He studied design and graphic arts at Ricks College in Idaho and Brigham Young University in Utah. Riggs is a proud father of three wonderful daughters, and enjoys spending time with his family, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

Timothy Carlson

Timothy Carlson is a newspaper, magazine and book writer and photographer who co-wrote with Bill Katovsky Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq – an oral history which was awarded the 2004 Goldsmith Book Prize by the Joan Shorenstein Center for Media, Government and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Carlson was an avid surfer, golfer, football player and state championship sprint relay runner at Seabreeze High School. While at Harvard College, he served on the Harvard Crimson as a writer and photographer — his photographs of the student occupation of University Hall at Harvard were published in Life Magazine and pictures of his photographic essay of Daytona Beach were exhibited at the Fogg Art Museum and at the Carpenter Center. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies.

As a freelance photographer, Carlson took pictures for many publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Time, the London Sunday Observer, Forbes, Parade, Esquire and Vanity Fair. As a freelance writer, he wrote for the New Times, The Boston Phoenix, The Real Paper, Boston Magazine, Harvard Magazine, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. His assignments in the 1970s included the Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona and Daytona 200 motorcycle road races, the Democratic and Republican Conventions and presidential elections, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the World Series, and professional golf and tennis. From 1978-89, he worked as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, writing style, sports, magazine, book reviews, and hard news. From 1989 to 1994, he worked for the Los Angeles bureau of TV Guide magazine, writing a dozen cover stories. Since then, he shifted to specialize in covering endurance sports, especially triathlon, serving as a senior editor at Triathlete and Winning magazines where he was happy to work with and begin a lifelong friendship with Mitch Thrower. Since 1999, he served first as editor, then senior correspondent, of Inside Triathlon magazine in Boulder, Colorado, covering races in Brazil, Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, including the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Throughout his career, Carlson has maintained his love affair with sport. From 1982 through 1992, he finished the famed Baja 1000 five times and the Baja 500 once as a member of a team of motorcyclists, surviving a 1990 crash where he was airlifted from coastal Baja suffering from 11 broken ribs, a collarbone broken in two places and a partially collapsed lung. He also finished the point-to-point Barstow to Vegas and Check Chase classics several times. From 1992 to the present, he took up triathlon and running, finishing six half Ironman triathlons and 10 marathons, qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 1998 and 1999.

In the spring of 2003, long time friend and editor Bill Katovsky enlisted Carlson to help him report and write Embedded, a selection of 60 interviews with journalists, photographers, translators, drivers, fixers and public affairs officers involved in the war in Iraq. Carlson flew to the Middle East just after the conclusion of the ground war in mid-April and talked to men and women on the front lines in Qatar, Kuwait and Baghdad, including a noteworthy interview with John Burns of the New York Times.

Carlson is of course most proud of his daughter Amy, an Ultraman pace runner and high school volleyball co-captain (1a district champions), who is now a fine arts-drama major at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.

Brittany Catton

Brittany Catton grew up in San Diego, California and Weston, Connecticut. In High School she was a scholar athlete for Swimming and Tennis. She was active in her local church and youth group and was awarded a college scholarship as well as a trip to see the Pope in New York City. She is currently a junior at the University of San Diego. An International Relations Major with a Minor in Leadership, she is currently on a combination of seven private awards and scholarships. Fascinated by the human side of politics, her goal is to make a concrete, tangible difference in the World. She has worked in the past as an award-winning grant writer for the Port of San Diego, as well as a volunteer manager for the 2003 Superbowl. She is currently a paid campaign staffer for a candidate for mayor of San Diego. She is also pursuing her second passion of Health Care with Catherine Mateja, of Scripps Hospital, La Jolla on instituting social programs such as a dinner delivery service for patient’s families from local restaurants.

Dr. Andrew Baldwin

Dr. Andrew Baldwin is a surgery resident at the Naval Hospital San Diego. Andy completed his medical training at the University of California San Francisco. While at UCSF he served as President of the medical school student body for two years, and was a member of the Chancellor’s advisory board. He excelled at triathlon during his time in San Francisco, qualifying for Ironman Hawaii and in the process raising over ten thousand dollars for pancreatic cancer research in honor of his late uncle, who died from the disease. Andy also raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, through his participation in Team in Training. He also led the UCSF Cancer center team at the Bay to Breakers, raising thousands of dollars for the research center. LT Baldwin did his undergraduate training at Duke University, where he earned a degree in Genetics and graduated Magna Cum Laude. In addition to being on a full Navy scholarship, he also was a two-year letter winner on the Men’s Swim Team, a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and completed a pre-med curriculum. He spent time overseas during these years with the Navy and study abroad, traveling throughout Europe, South America, the Persian Gulf, and the South Pacific. Andy grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was active in school and athletics from an early age. The All-American swimmer and high school valedictorian was named ESPN’s National Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1995. He is a two-time All-American triathlete, and a sub-10 hour Hawaii Ironman finisher. Andy tries to lead a balanced lifestyle as a physician, an athlete, a family man, and an active member of the community. He strives to help others and is rarely seen without a smile on his face.

Kathleen Ruffle

Kathleen Ruffle is an East Coast Native, born in Laconia, New Hampshire. Since graduating from University of New Hampshire in 1993, she has lived and traveled all over the world. After receiving her BA in English Literature, Kathleen entered the Peace Corps, and spent two years as an English teacher in Botswana, Southern Africa. As soon as her feet touched the red soil of the country’s Kalahari Desert, she knew experiencing other cultures was going to be a part of her future.

Following the Peace Corps, she went on to travel to South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mauritius, Togo, and finally Thailand. Through these adventures, Kathleen recognized her interests in teaching English to speakers of other languages. (TESOL) and obtained her MA in TESOL at Teachers College, Columbia University. Kathleen took Masters coursework in the evenings while teaching full time at a public school in the South Bronx. During her four years there she recognized the desperate need for afterschool programs, specifically athletic programs, for the students to participate in. Her students didn’t have the opportunity to run out their frustrations, or work as a team to score a goal. Thus, Kathleen found funding for the first track and field team, an all-girls athletic club, and a middle school outdoor education program. These programs became an integral part of the students lives, and are still in place today.

Kathleen relocated this past year to San Francisco, and continued working both as an ESL teacher and after school program developer. Creating athletic programs for youth gives Kathleen energy, as athletics have always been an essential part of her own life. She played field hockey for University of New Hampshire Division I team, has completed six marathons, four half-ironman triathlons and is currently training for her first Ironman. Kathleen loves living on the West Coast (the New England winters started to get to her) and looks forward to working with the Project Active team!

David Perleberg

As an active outdoor enthusiast, David Perleberg hails from the colorful foothills surrounding Golden, Colorado. At an early age, David was greatly involved in many competitive sports, cultural programs, and philanthropic organizations. In juggling Elite soccer, competitive swimming, and downhill ski racing with Boy Scouts, church groups, and community service, David cultivated a true passion for helping others live meaningful, active lifestyles. Diagnosed with activity-induced asthma at an early age, David decided as a youth to take an active role in conquering his affliction by organizing free asthma screenings at local soccer tournaments in Colorado. With the help of volunteer physicians from the National College of Asthma and Immunology, David worked to help over 80 young athletes achieve peak competition through early testing and diagnosis. Drawing from this and many other early influences, David possesses a wide array of entrepreneurial interests and service-oriented goals. As a University of San Diego graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, David has studied, volunteered, and worked internationally through organizations such as the International Business Council and the University of San Diego Rotaract. While pursuing entrepreneurial ventures in Denver, Colorado, and serving as a Development Consultant for Thrower Ventures, in La Jolla, California, David is excited to help promote the expansion of Project Active on domestic and international levels.

Leonard Ward

Leonard Ward is VP of Operations for La Jolla Foundation, running the Project Active initiative and spearheading some of its early successes. Leonard is a recruiter with Bespoke Partners, a retained executive search firm in San Diego, CA, serving private equity portfolio companies. Previously, Leonard was a recruiter with The Lancer Group, a premier retained executive search firm in La Jolla, CA. He is the former Director of Intellectual Property for SkinIt.com, an entertainment marketing company, as well as a former Director of Operations for the international subsidiary of The Active Network. Leonard holds a JD/MBA from The University of San Diego. While in law school, he worked for several law firms, contributing documentation and managing the case file for a million-dollar wrongful death suit against major manufacturer as well as a suits involving the California Highway Patrol, the SEC, and more. Leonard spent several years in military intelligence. He was trained in Korean language and culture at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. Leonard is a San Diego native, and lives there with his wife, Jessica. Leonard holds a B.S. in Information Systems from BYU-Hawaii.