Executive Staff Bios

Jack Staph - Executive Race Director

Jack Staph

Jack Staph is the president of the Cleveland Marathon, Inc., owner of the Cleveland Marathon. He is also the Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Mr. Staph is an attorney and counselor in private practice in Pepper Pike, Ohio, specializing in corporate, business and antitrust law. He is also a private investor and an executive in several companies throughout the country. Staph was named to the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 for meritorious service to the sports community. He has also been elected to the 2012 Running USA Board of Directors for a two-year term.

From 1972 to 1997, he served as senior vice president, secretary and general counsel for Revco, D.S., Inc. in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Mr. Staph has been involved with the Cleveland Marathon as Race Chairman since its inception. He has completed seven marathons.


Ralph Staph - Race Director

Ralph Staph

Ralph Staph is the vice president of the Cleveland Marathon, Inc. and Race Director for the Cleveland Marathon. He has an extensive background in marketing research. He has experience in the automotive, consumer electronics, Internet, health care, music and entertainment and financial industries.

He previously worked as a project director for MORPACE, International in its Irvine, CA office. Before MORPACE, Mr. Staph worked for CDNOW.com in Fort Washington, PA, as a Marketing Information Analyst.

Mr. Staph has been involved with the Cleveland Marathon since 1989 as a volunteer and a consultant.


Darla Hudson - Event Coordinator

Darla Hudson

Darla Hudson's position with the Cleveland Marathon consists of two primary roles. First, she is Executive Assistant to Jack Staph, overseeing and managing general office procedures. Darla is also Event Coordinator for the Cleveland Marathon, assisting with vendor account management, sponsorships, permits, VIP coordination and marketing efforts.

Prior to her position with the Cleveland Marathon, Darla worked at NCS Healthcare as Compliance Administrator handling state licensing and permits for existing and new pharmacies.

Darla has been with the Cleveland Marathon since 2002.


Joan Freese - Director of Runner Services and Communications

Joan Freese

Joan Freese assists with all aspects of pre and post-race planning and task execution including registration management, sponsorship fulfillment, volunteer recruitment, runners services and coordination and marketing efforts.

Previously, Joan worked as a Program Coordinator for the Cleveland Foundation in the Civic Affairs/Neighborhood Development Department as well as assist with Special Grantmaking Initiatives including the Neighborhood Connections program. She previously worked in various fields including advertising, healthcare and entertainment.

She has been with the Cleveland Marathon since 2006.


Kayla Henderson - Event Coordinator

Kayla Henderson

Kayla Henderson joined the Cleveland Marathon team in November of 2015 as Event Coordinator. She assists with marketing coordination, social media management, charity program coordination, volunteer recruitment and registration management.

Prior to joining Cleveland Marathon she worked as a Race Manager for Hermes Sports & Events.

Kayla is a graduate from the University of Mount Union with a degree in Sport Business.