Mitch Thrower [co-chairman]

Mitch Thrower is an entrepreneur, financier, philanthropist, author and triathlete. Thrower is currently serving as founder and CEO of, a safety, marketing, membership and communications platform. Thrower also serves as Chairman of The La Jolla Foundation, a 501c3 foundation whose primary initiative is Project Active - which sends sports equipment to children in war zones. In 1997, he co-founded (The Active Network, Inc.) – a cloud based enterprise software, marketing and registration powerhouse which processes approximately 70 million annual transactions. He also launched as Co-Founder and CEO. This company licensed and operated Active’s business model in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thrower was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Triathlete Magazine, the world’s largest triathlon magazine where he also served as Chairman. He has competed in 20 Ironman Triathlons, including 11 World Championships. He is the only photo journalist to ever photograph and video the Ironman Triathlon World Championships while competing in the event.

Nick MacFalls

Nick MacFalls is the Founder and Director of From Our Feet (FoF); a program that collects, facilitates and distributes gently worn shoes to the impoverished, worldwide. Founded in 2001, From Our Feet was the California's Innovative Recycling Program of the Year in 2006. To date, FoF has facilitated the distribution over 25,000 pairs of shoes overseas, and has recycled at least another 8,000 pairs. From Our Feet's beneficiaries have included Project Active, Castlemont HS, Church Sports International , Chepkero Athletic Club (Kenya), and the Makumbi (Zimbabwe) and Hope (Kenya) orphanages.

Nick's vision is to encourage other individuals to start similar low cost programs in their communities, noting that From Our Feet is run out of his garage with little funding. As importantly, his goal is to foster cooperation with existing US and International shoe reuse programs to lessen shipping costs and increase the benefits and services partner organizations provide their beneficiaries. Nick's experiences at the World Military Games and interactions with African athletes were the catalyst for the creation of From Our Feet. Nick currently works as a quality and resources advisor at Onizuka Air Force Station. A 1995 United States Air Force Academy graduate, he was a three-time Western Athletic Conference Champion at 1500m/one-mile. As a post-collegiate, he ran for Santa Monica Track Club, the Nike Farm Team and the Air Force World Class Athlete Program, retiring with a personal best in the mile of 4:00.21 and three Armed Forces' championships.

Steven E. Gintowt [co-chairman]

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.

Janae Ely

Janae Ely is a native of San Diego, CA who enjoys traveling to many parts of the world. Traveling gives her the opportunity to study, learn and communicate in environments enriched by diversity, culture and knowledge. She is currently attending the University of San Diego, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Communication. During the summer of 2007, she studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico at ITESO University.

Janae stays involved on campus though the Ambassadors Club and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. In 2007 she was the Vice President of Marketing for the University of San Diego Ambassadors Club.

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.

Annie currently resides in La Jolla, California.

Alexis MacMillan

Summa Cum Laude BFA graduate from the University of Denver, Alexis MacMillan currently resides in La Jolla, California where she serves as Senior Vice President of Operations for Quantum Interactive. Originally from Colorado, MacMillan is an avid traveler, having pursued artistic endeavors while living abroad in Italy, Cuba, and globally through Semester at Sea.

Interested in philanthropy, MacMillan devotes time to various charitable enterprises, using her artistic ability to help raise funds for Families First and the National Kidney Foundation. MacMillan dually helps support other world-renowned non-profits such as Project Active, diffusing world tensions through sport.

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 non-profit sector.

Lori Menna

Lori was born and raised in Philadelphia. After receiving an Associates Degree in commercial art from Antonnelli Institute of Art & Photography, Lori decided to further her studies by attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

In 2001, Lori relocated to San Diego to pursue a career in art and graphic design. She began as an entry-level designer for Crittenden Communications located in Poway, CA. With her talent and skill, she was quickly promoted to a new position as Creative Director for, an online luxury magazine. She is currently the Creative Director for Quantum Interactive, located in La Jolla, CA.

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 at 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 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 was graduated from Harvard College with high honors, and received the M,Phil 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 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.

Lisa Marie Autenrieth

A Southern California native, Lisa Autenrieth is passionate about participatory sports. Active in her community and local athletic groups, Autenrieth was involved with (and played on) many sporting teams including; tennis, golf, soccer, basketball, softball, and surfing. She was also the captain of her high school cheerleading team. Autenrieth demonstrated her natural leadership capacity and initiative when she directed the YMCA after school activities for the Westlake Village community. Through this experience Autenrieth was able to creatively combine education, athletics and teamwork. Autenrieth has assisted with the launch and build out a small clothing company in San Diego, as manager, display designer, and purchaser. Autenrieth has traveled to 13 countries and brings a fresh international perspective to Project Active. Autenrieth is currently the Operations Manager in a managerial role at the European software and commerce service powerhouse, The Active Europe Network, Ltd. With significant start-up knowledge and experience, Autenrieth has also worked with the La Jolla Holding Group, LLC, with both operations and venture funding. With a strong personal foundation, Autenrieth continues to be a significant contributor to the Project Active team while working full time and pursuing a communications degree. She enjoys reading, traveling, art, music, being outdoors and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Reem Salem

As a University of San Diego intern, Reem Salem’s responsibilities include helping research, translating in Arabic and Chaldean, and establishing the Project Active website. Salem joins Project Active with excellent oral and written communication skills and a div ability to coordinate multiple projects and tasks. Earlier she was a sales associate at Nordstrom. She exceeded department sales quotas by increasing the sales volume while striving for customer satisfaction. She designed and arranged merchandising displays and utilized the knowledge of internal business quotas.

Salem’s parents were born in Iraq, but immigrated to the US due to religious persecution. She was born in Michigan and raised in San Diego. She is determined to help in alleviating the political and economic hostilities to peace through sports.

Salem is expected to graduate in May 2004 from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors of Business Administration emphasizing in marketing. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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 uncled 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 countryÕs 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 after school programs, specifically athletic programs, for the students to participate in. Her students didnÕt 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 was VP of Operations for La Jolla Foundation, running the Project Active initiative and spearheading some of its early successes. Leonard is Executive Recruiter for Vista Consulting Group, an arm of Vista Equity Partners, a premiere private equity firm specializing in software company investments. He manages executive search across the firm's portfolio. Previously, Leonard co-founded Bespoke Partners, a boutique 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, 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.