Directors and Advisors

Bhutan Olympic Committee

Bhutan Olympic Committee

The Bhutan Olympic Committee was created in November 1983. Bhutan participated for the first time in the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles wherein 6 Archers represented Bhutan in the Archery discipline. The Bhutan Olympic Committee is one of the 205 National Olympic Committees created by the Olympic Organization.



Scott Keenan

 Scott Keenan

Director of USA Marketing and Development

Scott Keenan was one of the longest serving Race Directors of any U.S. Marathon. As president of the North Shore Striders, a running club in Duluth, Minnesota, Keenan planned the first Grandma’s Marathon in 1977 for a field of 150 runners. Under his direction, the 26.2-mile race has grown into the fourteenth largest in the nation – as of 2013. With the addition of a half marathon and 5K, Grandma’s Marathon weekend now draws more than 17,000 thousand runners. In addition to growing the number of participants and events in Grandma’s Marathon’s portfolio, Scott created a sponsorship program for the event and auxiliary programs that generated over $1.1 million of cash and in-kind products and service annually resulting in $25 million of sponsorship revenue during his tenure with the organization.

After retiring from Grandma’s Marathon in 2013, Scott began a new chapter as an independent consultant for races and nonprofits through his company – Scott Keenan Consulting, Inc. In an effort to reach out and help even more businesses thrive, Scott Keenan Consulting has partnered with Race IT, one of the fastest growing online registration and fundraising platforms in endurance sports, to provide multi-day, onsite consulting services to businesses across the globe.

Scott has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Scott served in the Duluth Air National Guard from 1972 to 1977. He is a veteran runner who coached the men and women’s cross-country teams at the College of St. Scholastica from 1979 – 1990. Scott served on the Duluth City Council from 1992 – 1999, as well as president of the Duluth City Council in both 1995 and 1999. He also served as president of the Canal Park Business Association in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s non-profit certification program. Scott has served on numerous boards and commissions and is currently serving on the board and executive committee for Visit Duluth (Duluth’s Convention and Visitor Bureau). He and his wife, Carrie, reside in Duluth.

 www.scottkeenanconsulting.com


Päivi Luoma

Scandinavian Advisor

Päivi Luoma is an outdoor sport enthusiastic and experienced sports event organizer covering especially adventure racing, orienteering and trail running. In 2012 she organized an event for 17,000 runners as the Secretary General for the largest orienteering relay in the world. She has also put together several smaller events. She has valuable expertise in sport marketing and service design but does sustainable business consultancy as her daily job.

She is based in Helsinki, Finland, and shuttles to work by biking, running or skiing. As part of the trail running community, she is involved in organizing several great runs in the Helsinki region including Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon and Helsinki City Trail.

Päivi Luoma


Lane R. Ellis

Lane R. Ellis

Associate Director

Lane has over 33 years’ experience working with and writing about the Internet and has been running marathons for 20 years. In 1984 he started operating a computer bulletin board in Colorado, which has led him on a long and productive path working with the Internet and, since 1993, the Web.

Prior to joining the Sister Marathons Peace Initiative as Associate Director, Lane spent ten years as Lead Editor for prestigious social media, digital marketing and search engine conference firm Pubcon. Before Pubcon Lane worked in the Web development and engineering fields, beginning in the 1980s with Commodore Amiga software and hardware maker Progressive Peripherals and Software.

When he's not writing about and planning the next exotic marathon adventure, Lane enjoys distance running (11 marathons including two ultras so far), genealogical research, cross-country skate skiing, and spending time with his wonderful wife Julie Ahasay and their two cats in Duluth, Minnesota.

Lane R. Ellis


Claudia Hanisch

European Advisor

Working as a volunteer in an orphanage in rural Kenya 20 years ago, Claudia Hanisch from Freiberg, Germany, fell in love with the African continent and developed a passion for travelling. Immerging in different cultures and exploring nature in combination with outdoor sports has since become a style of life. For Claudia, there is no better and more intimate way to get to know a country and its people than by running, cycling, skiing, kayaking, sailing or dog sledging it. She finished more than 300 marathons, ultras, fun runs, triathlons, cycling and skiing races within the last nine years and has been female marathon champion of the German state of Saxony several times. As member of the Freiberg triathlon club, she helps with the organization of running events for runners of all levels, including handicapped persons and refugees.

So when the opportunity to join the running retreat with ultra-running legend Scott Jurek in Bhutan arose, she didn’t hesitate to register. It became a trip of a lifetime: Running through the stunning landscapes of the “happiest country on Earth”, getting a deep insight into the Buddhist culture and sustainable lifestyle of the Bhutanese people and meeting lots of inspiring and passionate runners from all over the world. In order to spread the word about those enriching experiences among runners from even more countries, Claudia joined the Sister Marathons Peace Initiative.

After earning a master’s degree in French and Spanish, political science, science of communication and Latin American studies from universities in Germany and France, Claudia worked as a freelance journalist and French teacher. Whilst working as an interpreter for a humanitarian project in West African Mali, she first came in touch with solar energy technology and developed another passion - for renewable energies. Since 2008, Claudia works as a PR manager for a big German-American solar company and has returned to Africa for solar projects several times.

Claudia Hanisch


Bethany Betzler

Bethany Betzler

Community Outreach Advisor

Bethany has served in leadership roles in the design, media, and cultural industries for the past 11 years. She received her bachelors in art at Columbia College Chicago and earned a masters in entrepreneurship at University of the Arts London, where she researched the impacts of the creative industries on cities and neighborhoods. Her career has led to a diversity of experiences, with most of her work focused on economic development, user experience, brand strategy, writing, and producing for print media and film. Beyond her professional work, Bethany also volunteers as an organizer for CreativeMornings (a monthly speaker series), and as an advocate for community development in her neighborhood. Her heart is in travel and trail-running.

Bethany Betzler


— OUR AMBASSADORS —


Jessica Malone

Jessica Malone

Sister Marathons Peace Initiative Ambassador

I am a hydrogeologist for an environmental consulting firm and have been running marathons and ultras since I was 17 years old. In 2014, I became a running ambassador for the maternal health non-profit organization Every Mother Counts. Since then, I have been running marathons as a way to raise funds to help stop preventable deaths during pregnancy and childbirth. In March 2017, I ran the Bhutan International Marathon with Sister Marathons Peace Initiative and had an amazing time on the trip. I am thrilled to represent Sister Marathons Peace Initiative as a running ambassador and look forward to helping more runners get involved with the organization in the future.

Jessica Malone


Ross Spencer

Sister Marathons Peace Initiative Ambassador

Passionate about ultra-marathoning and endurance pursuits. Experiencing many aspects of spirituality through travel and cultural exposure with running and meditation. Relentless desire to help others walk (or run) their own path.

Ross Spencer


Pamela Lauroff

Sister Marathons Peace Initiative Ambassador

Pam hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is an avid marathoner having completed 48 marathons, on all seven continents. She is a member of the Marathon Maniacs, The Official 7 Continents Marathon, 1/2 Marathon & Ultra Club, 50 States Marathon Club, and The Seven Continents Club. Outside of running, Pam works in sales for a contract food manufacturer. She also enjoys supporting her alma mater Michigan State University, competing in triathlons, biking, and traveling around the world. Pam joined Sisters Marathons Peace Initiative for its inaugural trip to Bhutan.

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