Two individuals recently accepted invitations from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) to join the non-profit’s volunteer board of directors. The two newest members to join the working board are Bridget Franek, a U.S. Olympian and civic development professional based in Eugene, Oregon and Rico Tesio of Ft. Meyers, Florida, who co-founded Blue Strike Environmental, a community engagement and sustainability consultancy.
“I was excited to be invited to the Board of Directors for the Council for Responsible Sport. Our world faces significant challenges and we all have to work together if we want to see things change for the positive. I have lived my whole life through the lens of sport and I believe very strongly in its influence in society. I am honored to get this opportunity to help move the needle towards a more responsible, sustainable world” said Franek.
Franek grew up on a small farm in rural Ohio and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at Penn State University where she was a 10-time NCAA Division 1 All-American in Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track. After graduation she placed in the top 3 spots at the US National Championship in the women’s steeplechase event, she represented USA in the IAAF World Championships in 2009 and 2011. In 2012, she qualified for the London Olympic Games where she made it into the finals and placed 14th.
Franek then earned an MBA from the University of Oregon in Sports Marketing. Her last major race was the US Olympic Trials in 2016, where she placed 6th. Following her own athletic career, she moved back to Northeast Ohio to coach women’s Cross Country and Track at the University of Akron. She now works in a community development role with the Eugene Civic Alliance in Eugene, Oregon.
Rico Tesio has over 15 years of experience working in event operations and has led sustainability programs at multiple PGA TOUR events and marathons. This experience provides an intimate knowledge of high-level organizational commitment and budget restrictions placed on sustainability programs. Most recently, Rico served as a Sustainability Consultant for the Sacramento Running Association and assisted them in being recognized by the Green Sports Alliance as a 2018 Innovator of the Year. A native of Oklahoma, Rico holds a degree from Oklahoma State University.
“I joined the board for the opportunity to work alongside respected leaders in the responsible sport movement. I believe that sports are the perfect platform to inspire positive change in our environment and our communities. I'm looking forward to championing the Council during my term” said Tesio in a statement.
Franek and Tesio were formally confirmed to the board at its September directors meeting, expanding the group from seven to nine members that span the sports and sustainability fields in the private and public sectors. They participated at the Council’s annual leadership retreat in November.