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DEI Advisory Council

Our Purpose

Develop strategies and recommendations to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture within Sports Backers and its programs and events to inspire active living in the Richmond region.

In early 2021, Sports Backers created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council. This group of stakeholders will support the organization in consistently and intentionally focusing on all issues related to organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Sports Backers Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council is made up of individuals representing all of the major Sports Backers stakeholder groups, including, but not limited to Bike Walk RVA Champions, President’s Council Members, Board of Directors, Kids Run RVA Coaches, Fitness Warrior Instructors, Sports Backers Ambassadors, and Event Volunteers. There will be at least two Sports Backers staff members on the council at all times.

The founding group will outline expectations for committee member participation, as well as the initial goals and objectives that the committee will work on during the first year. We look forward to highlighting the important work achieved by our council as we move forward.

Council Members

Katherine O’Donnell
Sports Backers Board Member
Executive Vice President, Richmond Region Tourism

Ricky Martin
Sports Backers Fitness Warriors Lead Trainer
Owner, Fit-to-Go

Angela Hayes
Sports Backers Fitness Warrior
SVP, Diversity and Inclusion, Brodeur Partners

Cheryl Groce-Wright
Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team Head Coach
Founder & CEO, Kaleidoscope Collaborative RVA LLC

Maribel Castañeda
Sports Backers President’s Council Member
Director of Appointments and Director of Latino Outreach, Office of the Governor of Virginia

Ram Pai
Sports Backers Ambassador
President, IHR Inc.

Stephanie Kirksey
Sports Backers Event Volunteer
COO – Installment Lending at Capital One

Laura Pho
Sports Backers Bike Walk RVA Champion
Senior-Counsel Expert, National Labor Relations Board

Will Dixon
Chief Administrative Office, Sports Backers

Mara George
Event Production Coordinator, Sports Backers

Dion Ellis
Graphic Designer, Sports Backers

Jacki Quinlan
Director of Youth Programs, Sports Backers