Global Team of 261 Fearless

261 Fearless Inc. Board of Directors

Kathrine Switzer, Chairperson & Co-Founder

Kathrine is the Board Chair and co-founder of the non-profit 261 Fearless Inc and the woman running clubs. She was the first woman to officially register and run the Boston Marathon in 1967. Because she was a woman, she was attacked in the race by an angry official who tried to rip off her bib number (#261). She finished anyway and then led the drive to make the women's marathon an official Olympic event in 1984. Now, 58% of all runners in the USA are women. To celebrate this social revolution and the 50th anniversary of her legendary run, Switzer ran the Boston Marathon again in 2017, at age 70. This run inspired women around the world.

Edith Zuschmann, CEO, President & Co-Founder

She is in charge of the global 261 Club network and global communication and outreach. A nationally ranked swimmer-turned-distance runner in her native Austria, Edith drives the passion to support women globally to find the joy and power in being active. She is a nationally certified athletic and running coach focusing on young athletes and women and continues also as a lecturer of sports marketing at the University of Applied Sciences, Wiener Neustadt, Austria, where she also received her master’s degree in business consultancy and leadership. Edith is a frequent contributor to European running, health, women’s and business publications.

A serious-looking gentleman in a dark suit and glasses stands in front of a light-coloured wall, an image that radiates professionalism and self-confidence for 261 Fearless

Horst von Bohlen, Board Member & Director of 261 Education program

He is responsible for the Education of all 261 Coaches and Master-Coaches globally. He is also a photographer and videographer for 261 Fearless Inc. After studying Electrical Engineering, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Horst worked many years in psychophysiological research with the focus on chronic pain, biofeedback and biomechanics. As the managing director he was in charge of Psychosomatic Hospitals in Germany and Austria. Since his youth Horst runs and deals intensively with biomechanics and running technique. As responsible for further education in a large Austrian physiotherapy company, Horst develops health programs for different companies and training institutes.

Barry Lites, Secretary of the board & Legal Counsel

Barry Lites, Esq. (Harvard Law School ’86) is the owner and principal attorney of Law Offices of Barry D. Lites, LLP, a New York-based law firm with offices in Huntington, Long Island and midtown Manhattan. Barry received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Firm specializes in corporate law, real estate finance, real estate development and leasing, construction, asset-based lending and transactions in the health care space.
The Firm’s clients include the MTA, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and Empire State Development, along with many private sector business owners, real estate investors, not-for-profit corporations and faith-based institutions.
Prior to the formation of his law firm in 2010, Barry was the chief executive officer of TradeCard Middle East, Inc., the Middle Eastern affiliate of US-based trade and trade finance online platform. AS CEO, Barry was based in Bahrain and oversaw operations in the six GCC countries as well as North Africa.
Currently, Barry serves on the board of commissioners of the Huntington Housing Authority, an agency of HUD whose mission is to develop and manage affordable housing in the Huntington community. Barry is also chairman and co-founder of the Huntington African American Museum and a member of the board of Moonjumpers, Inc. an organization supporting veterans and child welfare causes.
Since 2010, Barry has been an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra Law School, teaching an International Business course. He is also a frequent panelist and lecturer on issues such as business acquisition and real estate investment.
Barry has lived in Lloyd Harbor, New York since 1999 with his wife, Leigh Ann Hutchinson, M.D., a Long Island-based cardiologist, their four children and two dogs.

Howard Lipset, Treasurer & Accountant

Global 261 Fearless Inc. Team

Anna Bassett, Master Coach Education Coordinator

What do you enjoy about your work?

I enjoy the connection with amazing women from all over the world, who all share the same values of health and wellbeing through movement. I am lucky to have a role that complements my day job of working to improve health and fitness in our communities through education, and I appreciate the opportunity for more learning myself.

How do you spend your free time?

I love taking long walks with my partner and my dog. NZ has an amazing network of tracks and huts throughout the country, so I do a multiday “tramp” whenever I can - otherwise shorter local walks keep me going. I also love to paddle board, kayak, swim, dive, ski, mountain bike….. too many things and not enough time, usually! I also sing in a choir, love to cook and am happy pottering in the garden on a sunny day.

What is your favorite sport?


Currently ocean swimming. I am lucky enough to live close to a great swimming beach and I have met an awesome bunch of swimming buddies since moving here. There is always someone to swim with and I try and swim three or four times a week, all year round. Although I do wear a wetsuit for longer winter swims, I’m also a big fan of cold water immersion so do at least one 15minute swim a week “bareback”. It makes you feel so good! Does drinking good coffee afterwards count as a sport, too?!

Christina Mayer-Ritzer, Communication Manager & Club Network Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I love working in an international team! Even though we’re spread across four countries, the atmosphere within the team is motivating, inspiring and supportive. Apart from the wonderful people within 261 Fearless, I am very grateful that I can use all the languages I’ve learned for 261 Fearless and translate, interpret, write texts, present,… Other cultures and languages are my passion and I can use it every day!

How do you spend your free time?

Running, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing – I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities with my partner or with my family here in Austria. When I’m not moving, I love reading books (again in different languages), strolling through the city, enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant and, of course, travelling whenever I can.

What is your favourite workout?

Running – it might sound like a cliché, but that’s actually my favourite exercise. I love running on my own, feeling the repetitive movement and allowing my mind and thoughts to wander. However, I also love running with other people and have interesting conversations on the way – the conversation just flows much more easily, and you discover things you’d never thought about the other person.

A young woman in a purple "261 Fearless" T-shirt stands confidently in the shade of green trees

Jonida Vaso, Club Network Project Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I am grateful that I am able to apply my passion and knowledge about projects, processes and continuous improvement in a global organization with a powerful mission and vision about women's empowerment. What I like most about my work is connecting with like-minded women from all over the world and joining efforts, energy and desire to contribute to empowering women globally, promoting a healthy lifestyle and positivity.

How do you spend you free time?

In my free time, I love to spend time with my boys doing a lot of different activities, talking and actively listening to them. I enjoy long walks in nature and coffee with my husband, reading and cooking. Social running with my 261 Club is something I also cherish a lot.

Who is your role model?

A role model for me is a woman who challenges the status quo, get out of her comfort zone and tries to improve her life in many different ways. I am inspired by women who try their best to move forward, are courageous and do not fear obstacles or challenges.

Dr. Juliet McGrattan, Senior Education Program Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I feel privileged that I can combine my love of running and passion to get women active with my experience as a doctor. I love writing, speaking and translating science into everyday language. I really enjoy meeting women from different countries and understanding how 261 Fearless can help them to improve the health of women in their local communities.

How do you spend your free time?

When I get free time I cherish it. You can usually find me running with my dog, at a ballet class or teaching my three children to bake.

Who is your role model?

The women around me who strive to be better and never give up are my role models. Despite busy lives, tragedies and sometimes hardship, they keep going with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. 

Karolien Jordens, Senior Communication Manager

What do you like most about your work?

Working for 261 represents everything I am passionate about in life.
It allows me to work in an international environment where women really support each other and everyone is encouraged to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle. In addition, this job allows me to use my language and communication skills by engaging with our members from all over the world through various social media platforms.

How do you spend your free time?

I try to be active as much as I can and you’ll mostly find me out running, cycling, swimming or hiking. I do occasionally enjoy a quiet moment on the sofa too, either to watch a film or read a book, usually with Cyril the cat on my lap.

Who is your role model?

I don’t have one specific role model but I have a lot of respect for all the women who have stood up for women’s rights, who have broken down boundaries and have paved the way for all the women of today, making it easier for them to follow their dreams and live their lives however they want. We aren’t quite where we should or could be yet, but thanks to those women we are making progress.

Kim Chaffee, Administration & Communication Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I love working for an organization with a powerful and positive mission. The world can feel like a divided place but 261 Fearless is all about coming together, to lift each other up and cheer each other on, to make a difference in the lives of women all over the world.

How do you spend your free time?

My family and I love learning and being active so when we have free time we usually spend it either at a museum, taking in a show at the theatre, or exploring the outdoors in some way. Luckily, we live close to the ocean, the mountains, and the city so we have many wonderful options open to us every day.

What’s your favorite workout?

I love boot camp styled workouts that incorporate both strength training/weight lifting and running. Mixing it up makes the workout a bit more intense but the variety also makes the time fly by. I leave boot camp workouts feeling strong and energized.

Lori Fox, Application Manager

What do you like most about your work?

What I like most about my work is being with and meeting amazing women from around the world! As as international group we share the same mission of improving women’s health and making a difference in their lives. Watching women realize their strength and self worth is such a privilege. Working with the dedicated team at 261 has been life changing!

How do you spend your free time?

I am a voracious reader. Whenever I am in a new town my first stop is always the local book-store! I also love running. It allows me the freedom to put everything in my life on pause and enjoy being in the moment. Running definitely puts me in a better head space, even after a a crummy run!

Who do you run with?

Usually I run with a core group of women who have become my running family. The best part of those runs is meeting for coffee afterwards!  I also run with the women in my 261 club. When I am not with friends I also enjoy my solo runs.

Marlene Prosch, Senior Operation Manager & Application Manager

What do you like most about your work?

The thing I love most about my job is empowering women to become fearless and to show them that it's worth the effort of stepping out of their comfort zone. It's great to see their joy when they achieve it! And I am thankful to be able to work on an international team with fearless women that are role models for others.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend my free time mostly with my daughter. We draw, read books or watch movies. I try to do sports several times a week (running, cycling, HIIT) and in some weeks I manage, in others I don't ;-)

What´s your favorite sport or game to play?

Running is definitely my favorite sport! I can forget about my everyday routine or think of a solution for a problem. One of my favorite running games that we play at our meet run is the polar bear game (followed by toilet tag!). It's fun to watch the members play - especially when they're trying to remember whether they are polar bears or penguins! That's great fun!

Marlies Hirschbeck, Senior Education Program Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I love working with inspiring women all over the world. Everyone is motivated and ready for new adventures at 261. The 261 Fearless Inc. Team is full of great women who support each other and this is what I love about working with and for 261.

How do you spend your free time?

I am addicted to sports. I am a triathlete and alpinist. That means, I am outside all the time. I love running, biking, swimming, skimountaineering, climbing and all the other stuff that has to do with outdoor sports. I’m also a sports science student and I spend my free time reading papers and books about it.

Who is your role model?

My role model is not only one person, but every woman who follows her dreams and goes all in. I love seeing women who are good at doing what they love. For example our CEO Edith who manages not only this organization but is also a great sportswoman, women’s sport scientists all over the world who have to prove themselves in a world ruled by men, sportswomen who are striving to become the best version of themselves. There are so many inspiring women all around the world and everyone of them is my own little role model.

A woman with a beaming smile and brightly coloured powder on her face, a vibrant image that conveys joy and celebration at a 261 Fearless event

Yasmin Gabriel, Social Media Manager

What do you like most about your work?

I feel honored to be a part of a future driven team that strives for development! Furthermore, I have always been a very active person, therefore working in an environment were all colleagues share this passion means a lot to me. In addition, this job gives me the opportunity to meet people from all around the world and gain further insight into cultures that I may not be as familiar with.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend most of my free time training, since I am part of a martial arts national team (Qwan Ki Do). If I am not doing that, I like to spend time going kayaking, climbing, hiking, running or doing anything else that involves movement and the outdoors. When I do just want to relax, I like to spend time with friends and family.

What’s your favorite sport or game to play?

My favorite sport has to be Qwan Ki Do. Qwan Ki Do is a type of Kung Fu, and I have been practicing it since I was six years old. On the other hand, I also really enjoy kayaking and running.

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