The Leadership Team
Rod Dixon – President
A passion for running and healthy lifestyle led Dixon to create the Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation, an 8-10 week in-school running and nutrition education program that enables students to complete a full (26.2 mile) marathon by running approximately 3 miles per week. Students learn the value of good exercise and nutrition habits for healthy living and, best of all, they have fun. The program has grown to include 25,000 children annually in greater Los Angeles, 5,000 in Connecticut and 10,000 in New Zealand.
Dixon served as a special event consultant and coordinator for a variety of events around the world, including: LA Marathon, NY City Marathon, Boston Freedom Trail Road Race, Auckland Around the Bays race, Manufacturers Hanover Corporate Challenge and SF Bay to Breakers.
William Burgess – Chairman
Bill is a seasoned executive, experience-proven as a marketer, business manager and management consultant. Included among the 50 most influential people (2011) “non-profit organizer” of Litchfield County by Morris Media Group & Litchfield Magazine. LHFS awarded for Civic Improvement (The Garden Club of America 2008) and Conservation (The White Memorial Foundation 2010).
Bill has over 40 years of business management and management consulting experience. His areas of expertise include business strategy, consumer marketing and new business development. He has facilitated organization-change programs for executive teams of Fortune 100 corporations. Bill is a qualified expert witness in the U.S. Federal Court System for his expertise in consumer goods marketing and new business development.
Jim is the senior vice president for strategy, sales and marketing for the Meggitt PLC’s Equipment Group division.
Meggitt is traded on the London exchange (MGGT) and member of the FTSE100. It is a global, $2Billion, 10,000 employees, corporation that serves the aerospace, defense, energy and industrial markets. The Equipment Group division is a portfolio of international business that provides products and services.
In this role Duncan is also responsible for commercial matters and program management. Prior to this assignment he has served as the president and general manager of Meggitt businesses; Safety Systems and the Thermal Systems group. Jim has also served in other senior positions at Meggitt where he has been responsible for providing growth through acquisitions, technology and strategic business development.
Scott Davis is the executive director of Davis Sports Enterprises (DES). DES is a business group who’s focus is endurance sports. Businesses of the group include triathlon race management, sports training center, coaching and triathlon/cycling club.
As an athlete Davis is a top age group triathlete. In 2015 he has again qualified to race at the Kona, Hawaii 2016 Ironman World Championship. He is also a Mizuno run coach and brand ambassador.
His passions are in directing programs that have a strong community base and the development of children’s exercise and nutrition programs. Davis, along with his wife Kari, have managed Tri-Kid123 since 2000; a triathlon program for children ages 5 to 12 in Southern California and Park City / Salt Lake City, Utah.
Previously, Davis was a technical and business consultant to Racesox, a division of Twin City Knitting. He business acumen was developed from key executive positions at Stassi Cosmetics, Fleet Bank Boston and Morgan Stanley. At Stassi he was the CEO, the vice president banking and credit markets at Fleet Bank Boston, and vice president at Morgan Stanley. While working on Wall Street Davis’ was responsible for private client services, bond trading, and investment banking.
Lee Neckameyer – Chief Financial Officer
Lee is responsible for the preparation of all financial terms and compliance with tax filings of all 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation requirements.
Tom LaBonge is a member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the 4th district, serving from 2001 to 2015. He won a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of long-time council member John Ferraro. The district represents a wide diversity of incomes and neighborhoods. At the time he was in office, he was the Chairman of the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging committee, Vice Chairman of the Transportation Committee and the Ad Hoc River Committee, and member of the Trade, Commerce & Tourism Committee, and the Ad Hoc on Recovering Energy, Natural Resources & Economic Benefit from Waste for L.A. (RENEW LA) in the city of Los Angeles. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Prior to serving as councilman, LaBonge was Director of Community Relations at the Department of Water and Power, Special Assistant to Mayor Richard Riordan, and Chief Deputy to Council President John Ferraro. LaBonge is a lifelong advocate for Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation, which falls in his district.
Peter is a marketing specialist with years of experience creating compelling content for brands. He’s spent time both on the agency side and as a CMO, which gives him a unique point of view. Currently, his Abraham content marketing studio works with brands and agencies to create and distribute multi-channel stories that drive revenue.
Cathleen is a resident of Trumbull, CT and the mother of three children. As a Physical Therapist she has spent the last 20 years working with patients of all levels of disability. Cathleen is an active member of the town’s Parent Teacher Association. She has served as an elementary school PTA president and is currently the Chairperson of the Health and Wellness Committee.
As a lifelong runner she successfully brought Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON to her children’s elementary school.
One year later, approximately 600 children from five schools in the district participated in the KiDSMARATHON Final Mile Event held at the local high school. Cathleen’s favorite part of RDKM is seeing children running with smiles on their faces. Their smiles reflect the joy and pride that their accomplishment provides them.
Ken Itahara has been associated with Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation for over ten years serving as facilitator for several schools in the Inland Empire and the East San Gabriel Valley. Currently, he is working with the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in developing a pilot program for year-round after school running and nutritional education. Ken’s goal is to implement a healthy lifestyle program to school districts throughout Southern California, and he has been awarded a grant from Saucony Run For Good Foundation to combat childhood obesity. He is a founding director of the Inland Empire Running Club currently with over 500 members and is a certified USA Track & Field coach.
Macklin Chaffee – Web Development
Macklin is responsible for maintaining our new website. He works closely with Bill and Rod to ensure that the website displays up-to-date, well-organized content. Aside from his role within KiDSMARATHON, Macklin takes living a healthy and active lifestyle to the extreme! A stellar athlete, he competed at the USATF 1500m Championships three times and runs a 3:56 mile. He is currently between Boulder, CO and New Zealand, training to be the best he can be.
Macklin and Clay also own and developed FinalForms, the most powerful and intuitive personal assistant suite for Athletic Departments in US. The application streamlines departments, allowing coaches and staff to focus more time on the work that matters, teaching and guiding our kids!
Clay Burnett – Web Designer
Clay is the website designer… if you think this site looks cool, you have him to thank! He works with the Leadership Team and Macklin to coordinate the style and brand of the online presence. He enjoys mixing his passion for design with his passion for athletics. Clay is also a head cross country coach at Chagrin Falls High School in Chagrin Falls, Ohio as well as an accomplished miler himself, with a PR of 4:08.