Meet our team

 

Athletes Without Frontiers (AWF) has established a global community of socially-conscious endurance athletes who support charity through perseverance in sports. As their inaugural charity partner, AWF seeks to make history with WISER and support a new generation of women scholars in East Africa through education, health and economic empowerment.


Racers

 

ERIC WETLAUFER

Lives in:  Toronto, CA; Boston, MA, USA

Eric has been a successful institutional investor for over 30 years, and currently the Senior Managing Director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Eric has been a passionate cyclist and endurance athlete for decades, having competed in several dozen triathlons and long-distance cycling events in the US and Canada, as well as watching many of the great cycling Tour events around the world.  In the past two years, Eric has completed multiple cycling stage events, yet sees RAAM as an event that will not only challenge him physically, but offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his home country in a manner rarely experienced. 

 “As an American cyclist, the RAAM has always intrigued me.  The course, the history and the athletes all tell a compelling story – one I want to be able to share with my friends and family.

“To complete this event as a founding member of Athletes Without Frontiers, and support such a worthy not-for-profit organization such as WISER adds to the special nature of this adventure.  The leadership exhibited by WISER to empower girls is an extraordinary example of the potential for humanitarian impact deserving of our unselfish support.  I am excited to support their work raising funds and spreading the word of their truly special work.”

ERIK EDHOLM

Lives in: Stockholm, Sweden

Erik has spent his career in Finance and money management, and is the co-founder and Managing Partner of RAM Rational Asset Management in Stockholm.

Erik has been an active distance runner and basketball player since childhood, and has dedicated his athletic focus to cycling and cross-country skiing since 2006, following a serious knee injury.  Over the past decade, Erik has completed multiple endurance cycling and skiing events including the Vätterundan 300K bike race and Marcialonga 70K ski race).

“WISER is an overwhelmingly successful organization that makes a real difference for girls where support is most needed.  To support WISER through Athletes Without Frontiers is a privilege that I intend to pursue to the maximum of my capabiltiies.”

JAN BECH ANDERSEN

Lives in: Weybridge, United Kingdom

Jan has spent over 20 years as an executive in the shipping industry and is currently the Founder and CEO of the investment and advisory firm Voluntas, which focuses on innovative investment opportunities with a social impact.

Jan was a former division football/soccer player in Denmark, and has participated in multiple endurance events throughout his lifetime including marathons, triathlons and several cycling events including La Marmotte in France.

“I am so impressed with WISER’s commitment to social empowerment of girls in Kenya.  I look forward to helping AWF channel the drive of endurance athletes everywhere to join this important cause.”

MARC MICEK

Lives in: Chicago, IL, USA

Marc is a technology executive with 20 years of experience in Business Development, and works as a Senior Director in Strategic Alliances with SAP.

A co-founder of Athletes Without Frontiers, Marc has had a long-standing passion for endurance athletics, having completed multiple New York and San Francisco marathons as well as several Sprint, Olympic and ½ Ironman triathlons over the past 15 years. The 2016 Race Across America event will be Marc’s first ultra-cycling event, and he is relishing the opportunity to challenge himself while starting-up Athletes Without Frontiers and supporting WISER.

“I am delighted to be part of a multi-national team of talented athletes and professionals who are dedicated to representing our sponsors and contributing to a great humanitarian organization. I support the mission of WISER, and am committed establishing AWF as a lasting fundraising initiative which connects athletes to charitable organizations who share the common belief that endurance, perseverance, and an environment that supports achievement can profoundly impact an individual’s chance to succeed in life.”

MARIE HJORTH

Lives in: Copenhagen, Denmark

Marie has spent her career in the medical device and investments industries with Coloplast, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the BLQ Group.

Marie is perhaps the most decorated endurance athlete on Team AWF, completing 17 marathons, nearly a dozen triathlons including Ironman competitions in Barcelona and Copenhagen, and multiple other ultra-distance events throughout Europe and the Middle East. With a strong background in endurance sport, Marie relishes the opportunity to lead the Athletes Without Frontiers in the 2016 RAAM event

“As an endurance athlete, I have a number of times been asked the question; how do you get through the race and does it hurt?” Yes, it hurts! But the great privilege of having chosen the challenge myself is that I know, pain is temporary and quitting is forever.

For people less fortunate, quitting is not an option - the girls in Muhuru Bay in Kenya are facing a lifetime of challenges requiring a different level of endurance. We, together with Wiser, can make a difference for many girls by providing education and healthcare and thereby assisting them in their personal endurance race.”

“Being a founding member of AWF is an honor for me. Taking on the challenge of RAAM with a dream team while supporting Wiser and the girls in Muhuru Bay will be the greatest achievement of my sporting career. It will be an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

TOBIAS GEHRKE

Lives in: Geneva, Switzerland

Tobias is the leading force behind Athletes Without Frontiers, having co-founded the organization following a successful 20-year career in Investment Banking with Goldman Sachs, Merril Lynch and Citadel.

Tobias has been an athlete his entire life, including competing as a division football/soccer player in Denmark, and participating in multiple marathons.  He switched from running to cycling in 2010 as a result of complications from two knee reconstruction surgeries and is eagerly anticipating leading AWF in the 2016 RAAM race.

“Competing in RAAM has been a goal of mine for the past 5 years, and I am excited and honored to be a part of a team dedicated to fundraising for great humanitarian organizations such as WISER.  I am in awe of the amazing work WISER does by improving health, education and empowerment for underprivileged girls.  As a member of Athletes Without Frontiers, I am excited to provide meaningful support to one of the most dynamic and courageous humanitarian aid organizations around today.”

THOMAS ANDERSEN

Lives in: Geneva, Switzerland

Thomas has spent over 20 years in the global oil trading industry including major oil companies and investment banks.  He is currently the global head of crude trading for Litasco.

Thomas has been a competitive athlete his entire life as both a member of the Danish National Youth badminton team and a recreational cyclist in Denmark, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore.  He looks forward to embarking on the adventure of Race Across America as a founding member of Athletes Without Frontiers.

“It is an honor to represent Athletes Without Frontiers and spearhead a new source of funds for organizations such as WISER…funds that I know will be put to very good use in areas of the world that are in serious need for their help and support.”

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Thomas GUNNARSSON

Lives in:Trelleborg, Sweden

Thomas has spent 20 years in management consulting and investment management with a focus on pension funds and investment companies.

Thomas has always been an active sportsman with no boundaries to his athletic pursuits.  Growing up, he competed in 10m Air Pistol and Greco Roman Wrestling, before switching his focus to squash and golf.  In 2014, he found his “true love” of endurance racing – starting with triathlons, and now adding cycling to the mix through his participation in RAAM. In two years, Thomas has completed a variety of long-distance endurance events including Ironman triathlons, marathons, 300k bike races and 6k open water swims. 

“As the Arabian proverb goes, ‘he who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything’.  WISER and WISER School’s staff do a tremendously important job and really make a difference to their students by changing the trajectory of their lives and providing an opportunity to broaden their horizons and prepare for a great future.  It is an honour for me to be a part of their work as a member of Athletes Without Frontiers.”

Crew

Crew Chief - Sid Micek

Charity Advisor - Andrew Cunningham

The AWF Charity Program will be designed and implemented by Andrew Cunningham.  Over the last 10 years, Andy has emerged as a global leader in advancing access to quality education through innovation for the most marginalized children. He has worked for UNICEF, the World Bank, Washington DC Public Schools, The International Education Funders Group, World Learning, Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation and is currently the Education Officer for the Aga Khan Foundation. For more information on Andy’s background please visit http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/about-us/directory/andrew-jc-cunningham/

For more information on The AWF Charity Program please contact Andrew Cunningham at andy.j.cunningham@gmail.com.

Social Media Lead - Rob Stamm

AWF’s social media and photography content will be lead by Rob Stamm. Rob is an established photographer in New York City who aims to capture unique images from vantage points that most would not dare to venture towards. 

While Rob pursues his Bachelors degree in Business, and anticipates to graduate in June, he will immediately pursue a Masters in Global Leadership. Rob continues to balance work, entrepreneurial desires, and opportunities to do good for others. In the past Rob has raised money for Special Olympics, rebuilt a school in Costa Rica, and has participated in events such as Relay for Life and charity runs for MS.

“I am passionate about travel, photography, and participating in something bigger than myself. I could not be more excited to take on the journey of RAAM with AWF. This will surely be an event to remember that will have a lifelong impact on my life and hopefully lives around the world.”

To follow along with Robs journey, check him out on Instagram @Robstamm14 or www.robstammphotography.com.

Social Media Lead - Devan Trammel 

Web Design - Francesca Chiamulera / Cody McClintock