About Strive: Get To Know Us

What We Do

At Strive we believe that how you lead matters, and we’re dedicated to spreading the power of character-driven leadership. We partner with young people and adults across the United States — in schools, athletic leagues and community organizations — to develop character leaders and build unique, conscious cultures. Our fundraising enables us to bring our leadership-development work to underserved communities.
In our programs we apply the rigor and grind of athletics to the development of the individual — digging deep and working hard, laughing often, refining the craft of our games, and uncovering new potential in each participant. We offer a research-based, customizable curriculum that begins with self-knowledge, moves into culture creation and ultimately instills the habit of rigorous leadership practice.

The Strive Values

What We Stand For...

Know thyself.
Know thyself is central to Strive’s philosophy; we practice what we preach.
Fill tanks.
We believe you grow leaders by building them up through an empowering, connected culture.
Brush it off and grow.
Taking a risk and failing is an amazing way to learn. We brush it off, get a little wiser, build resilience, and keep moving forward.
Be fair and honest.
Integrity is expected.
Choose Laughter.
Humor is an important part of Strive’s culture. We choose to take ourselves lightly, which allows others to do the same.
Stick with it.
This is hard work – whether you are committed to the lifelong practice of being a character-driven leader or committed to helping Strive grow to the next level. The Strive team is all in.
Find the best in yourself so you can inspire the best in those around you.
This value comes from Kevin Morgan, Strive’s founder. When we live by these values and better ourselves, the effect is contagious. A rising tide lifts all boats and we send our participants, as well as ourselves, into the world leading by example.

Meet Our Team

Andrea Valentine
Executive Director
Andrea Valentine
Executive Director

Andrea Valentine joined SportsChallenge after serving as President and Chief Operating Officer at Teaching Strategies. Andrea joined Teaching Strategies, the leading curriculum and assessment provider in the birth through Kindergarten market, in 2006 and was pivotal in guiding the long-term strategic plans and building the infrastructure and team needed to support the Company’s recent product investments and growth initiatives. In her role, Andrea oversaw product development, research, professional development, technology, marketing customer service, finance, accounting and human resources.

Prior to joining Teaching Strategies, Andrea held increasingly senior positions at MBNA America for 13 years. Managing large, complex budgets and responsible for the development and training of over 1,000 employees, Andrea played a leadership role across key operating areas of the company. Specifically, Andrea’s MBNA experience includes expense management, budgeting, forecasting, staffing model analysis, call center management, marketing, and audit and control. Andrea earned her B.A. from Haverford College in 1993 where she was a stalwart goalkeeper on her varsity field hockey team. Andrea now lives in Hockessin, Delaware with her husband and two children.  


Pam Herath
Director of Curriculum & Programming
Pam Herath
Director of Curriculum & Programming

Pam has a long and accomplished career as a high school coach, teacher and administrator. For 16 years, she was the athletic director at the Burke school in Washington, D.C., where she later served as dean of students and as an inaugural lead instructor in Burke’s nationally recognized Leadership Program.

Pam, a three-sport high school athlete, went to Radford University on scholarship, where she was a record-setting volleyball player. She earned her M.S. from James Madison University while serving as the graduate assistant to the athletic director.

Pam has been trained to teach yoga for athletes and is a certified instructor in both Kripalu and Vinyasa Flow. While Pam’s club rugby days are behind her, she still possesses a love of all sports, prefers no more than three people on a volleyball court, and continues to grow and compete as a triathlete, her newest passion.

Jeremy Edwards
Co-founder, Program Associate
Jeremy Edwards
Co-founder, Program Associate

Jeremy has built his career in leadership development, he has facilitated over 250 Strive Leadership Workshops for coaches, faculty, students and executives. He has presented at more than a dozen conferences throughout the United States.

Jeremy began his career as a collegiate basketball coach before returning to the hardwood to play for two years professionally in Europe. He then launched his career as a high school educator starting at the Edmund Burke School (DC) where he taught, coached, served as the Dean of Students, and directed the School’s Leadership Program. Jeremy co-founded SportsChallenge Leadership Academy (now Strive) in 1996 and took his career into nonprofit management when he became the Executive Director for six years.

In 2014 Jeremy returned to school-life by serving as the Assistant Headmaster for Student Life & Leadership at St. Andrew’s School, an independent boarding school in Middletown, DE. While at St. Andrew’s, Jeremy coached, taught, and ran both boys and girls dorms. Most importantly, he was able to build a new Leadership & Equitycourse — a class required of all new students.

A native of Washington, DC, Jeremy Edwards attended St. Albans School (DC) where he served as a Senior Prefect and captained the varsity baseball and basketball teams. Jeremy attended Haverford College (PA) where he played varsity baseball, captained the basketball team, and later served as the College’s Sports Information Director.

Jeremy earned a Master’s degree in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from Stanford University (CA). Aside from his daily challenge of parenting three boys under eight — Marcus, Austin, and Owen — Jeremy’s greatest passion lies in coaching. He has coached high school and college athletes in over 1,000 contests. Jeremy currently resides in Middletown, DE and he makes a mean Shrimp & Chicken Stir-Fry.

Raven Scott
Program Associate
Raven Scott
Program Associate

Raven first became involved with Strive in 2012 as a Leadership Development Fellow and since has spent 3 years as an administrator and culture creator at our flagship program, Sports Challenge.

Raven started her career in education as part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps in Jackson, Mississippi where she taught Government, Psychology, and Sociology, and coached varsity volleyball at a local high school. As part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps, she earned her Masters Degree from the University of Mississippi in Curriculum and Instruction. Raven continued her career in the classroom after becoming certified in teaching English as a second language and moving to Madrid, Spain.

After returning from Spain, Raven served for a season as the assistant volleyball coach at Millsaps College, her alma mater. Originally from Louisiana, but a lover of Mississippi, Raven was a 4 year letter winner with Millsaps College Volleyball with honors as Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All Conference, and 1st Team All-Academic. She graduated from Millsaps in 2013 with a degree in Anthroplogy.

Raven now lives in Wilmington, DE with her favorite creature, Ashton Carter - a hyperactive lab/blue heeler puppy.

Linda Schirmeister-Gess
Director of Development
Linda Schirmeister-Gess
Director of Development

Linda joined the Strive team full-time in December 2016. Her affiliation with the organization runs deep; as a student-athlete she attended the summer academy in the summer of 2005, and returned in a coaching capacity in 2010. She then went on to Co-Direct the girls soccer program for six years. Linda was also one of the inaugural National Coach Institute attendees, as well as a participant in many Strive leadership workshops. Schirmiester-Gess comes to Strive after an eight year college coaching career, most recently at Emory & Henry College (E&H), in Emory, VA.

During her time as a college soccer coach, Schirmiester-Gess also taught multiple leadership classes and and facilitated workshops within the institutions for whom she worked. These include semester long servant leadership based study abroad programs to South Africa, Guatemala, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally Schirmiester-Gess has been the keynote speaker, focusing on leadership development, at numerous events such as the Virginia Association of College Housing Conference (VACUHO), the E&H Honors Retreat, Wasp Welcome Orientation and the Emory & Henry Bridge Program. In the Spring of 2016 Linda spoke and addressed the leadership crises we are currently facing in society on the TedX stage at E&H.

Linda was a four year scholarship athlete at Slippery Rock University, where she earned a BS in Psychology in 2010. Inspired by her college coach and her Sports Challenge mentors, Linda developed a true passion for coaching, character development, and leadership education. This fueled her to pursure her Masters in Recreation & Sport SCiences with a concentration in Soccer Coaching through Ohio University in 2016. Linda resides in Wilmington, DE with her husband Michael, daughter Addison-Oakleigh, and their dog Zola.

Ainslie Rhoads
Marketing Manager
Ainslie Rhoads
Marketing Manager

Ainslie joined Strive as the Marketing Manager in May of 2017 after being inspired by the organization’s mission to spread character-driven leadership in emerging young athletes. Prior to Strive, she worked in Marketing for the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Ainslie graduated from Drexel University in 2016 with a degree in Sport Management including minors in Business Administration and Legal Studies. She spent three of her college years working with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Community Relations department, which cultivated her passion for non-profits and leadership development. Ainslie was a goalkeeper for Drexel’s Division I Field Hockey team and played internationally with the USA Women’s National Indoor team. She is currently a Site Director and Head Coach for the USA "Futures" Olympic Development Program. 

Her objective is to maintain a strategy-first, intentional focus that is centered on a curated audience and built to drive the organization’s mission and marketing objectives.

Ainslie resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania overlooking the historic Museum of Art. In her spare time, you can find her on the hockey pitch coaching with the Main Line "Mayhem" Field Hockey Club or relaxing on the dock of her family’s lake house in the breathtaking Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

Nora Reynolds
Operations Coordinator
Nora Reynolds
Operations Coordinator
Krista Bacchieri
Director of Operations
Krista Bacchieri
Director of Operations

Krista originally joined the Strive team in 2016 and stayed involved with the organization through her time in graduate school. Krista earned her Masters of Social Work from the School of Social Policy and Practice at University of Pennsylvania. Shortly after completing her degree, Krista joined Strive, full-time, in June 2018.

She spent the first year of her social work program interning at Walter Biddle Saul High School and her second year at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania’s Homeless Health Initiative. As a social worker, it is fitting that her favorite “Strive competency” is empathy, and that she often reminds her Strive team, as well as friends and family, to practice self-care.

Krista grew up in the Wilmington area and was a “lifer” at Sanford School. During her high school career at Sanford, she enjoyed playing Varsity tennis. At the age of four she started dancing at American Dance Academy, and at age twelve she became an original member of the studio’s competition team. She continued dancing at Muhlenberg College, graduating with a BA in Dance and English. As a member of the Muhlenberg Dance Association, she served as secretary of the board, danced in and choreographed for multiple concerts, performed in a community outreach improvisation group, and was selected by Muhlenberg staff to showcase her choreography at the American College Dance Festival.

After college she worked at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, starting as a dance specialist. During her three years there, she gained experience both in direct service and administrative work. It was through her time at the clubs that she found her passion in serving marginalized populations and advocating for social justice and equity.

Krista currently resides in Philadelphia. If she’s not home, you can likely find her at a Sixers game, Rehoboth Beach, or her brother’s home cuddling with his dog.

Board of Directors

Tom Arenberg


Lisa Danzig
Specialist Leader

Deloitte Consulting

Chloe Davis-Carden
Dean of Students

Match Charter Public School

Jonathan Debrich
Director, Municipal Capital Markets

Barclays Capital

Jon Fetterolf

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Jordan Forney
Vice President

Bernstein Private Wealth Management

Ian Goldberg
Chief Financial Officer

Flagpole Swim

David Joseph

America Scores LA

Anthuan Maybank
Olympic Gold Medalist,              Track & Field

Kevin Morgan

Chair, Founder- Strive
President- The Lon Foundation 

Eric Sivertsen
Vice-chair, Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Liberty Towers LLC

Andrea Valentine
Executive Director

Strive: How You Lead Matters

Board of Advisors

Chris Ballard

Senior Writer- Sports Illustrated

Josh Byrnes
Vice President of Baseball Operations

Los Angeles Dodgers

Amie Creagh

Deerfield Academy

Breon Dennis
Assistant Vice President
Community Outreach

Texas Rangers Baseball Club

Jeaney Garcia
Athletic Director

Punahou School (Hawaii)

Steve Gross
Founder & Executive Director

Project Joy

Clint Hurdle

Pittsburgh Pirates

Martin Jacobson 
Athletic Director

Martin Luther King High School (N.Y.)

Belle Koclanes
Women's Head Basketball Coach

Dartmouth College

Bridget Laird
Executive Director


Pete Mockaitus
Author & National Speaker on Leadership

Neil Phillips 
Founder & Director

Visible Men

Tad Roach

St. Andrew's School (Del.)

Tina Syer
Associate Director 

Positive Coaching Alliance

Aaron Wright 
Director, MMA Program

Ohio University

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