Meet your JDRF Ride Coaches for Team SOCO!


The JDRF Ride isn’t just about cycling—it’s a global community with an ongoing commitment to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). No matter where you live, how you choose to ride or how far you go, you’ll be surrounded by the T1D community—fellow riders, coaches, friends and family, cheering you on at every milestone. JDRF Ride is for all cyclists – beginner or experienced – who share a commitment to JDRF’s mission. Throughout the season, we’ll offer a variety of ways for you to engage with the JDRF community. Register to join Team SOCO in 2024!

Team SOCO is excited to introduce our 2024 JDRF Ride to Cure Coaches! Coaches organize and lead group rides designed to prepare you to meet your fundraising-focused cycling goals. They will offer local team riding opportunities in a safe, fun and well-coordinated manner that are respectful to all levels of cyclists during the season to empower your fundraising towards JDRF mission.

If you have any questions about registering or joining us this season please feel free to reach out directly to one of our Ride Coaches, or our JDRF Staff- Kelsey Boeckermann –

2024 SOCO Coaches

Petra Vester

Hometown: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Current Residence: Cincinnati, Ohio

Married for 35 years  to Russ, 3 children and 3 big dogs!

Work: The CEO of The Vester Family!

JDRF connection: my daughter Hannah, 29 years old, diagnosed at 16. I have done 21 rides! I started riding in 2012. My first ride was with Hannah in La Crosse, WI. Hannah and I completed 10 rides together.

I began coaching in 2016. My favorite ride is any ride I get to attend! In 2024 I will be riding in La Crosse and Coeur d’Alene. I also plan on helping our chapter host an amazing My Ride.

Contact info: 513-235-8682


Keirsten Welch                   

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Partner to Kevin 24 years, 3-Kids: Alexandria (25), Twins Kyra & Makenna (21)

Work: Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Works at NovoNordisk in cardiovascular division, dedicated NovoNordisk JDRF coach

JDRF Connections:  My daughters, Ali diagnosed in 2001 and Kyra diagnosed in 2019 as well as all the patients I have worked with in my past career.   My other daughter, Makenna is also Type 1, stage 1 as am I. Full bio here.

Contact Info:  614-352-8348


John Dallman

Hometown: Born Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Raised Upper Peninsula, MI

Current Residence: Cincinnati, OH since 1978

Retired.  Married.  Two grown children.

Work: Founder Member of DBGC, Inc. A general contracting firm.

No Immediate Connection to T1d

First JDRF Ride: 2004  Asheville, NC. Coach since 2006; Former National Coach. Member of National Ride Advisory Council. 50 National Rides to Date/A number of National Committees.

Favorite Ride:  Wherever Riders/Volunteers/Staff Show The Love

2024 Destination: Coeur d’Alene, ID

Contact Info: (513) 515-1499 (Please Note:  I do not text)


Jason Litke

Hometown:  Greenville, OH

Current Residence: Jamestown, OH

Married to my wife Melissa.  We have 2 kids, Hannah (19) and Isaac (16) and I went to school at the University of Dayton. Works at International Paper.

JDRF Connection: My daughter Hannah and all of the T1Ds and their families that I have met over the years. Full Bio here.

JDRF Ride History: LaCrosse – 6 times, Burlington – 2 times, Amelia Island 1 time, Grand Rapids 1 time, My Ride – twice including doing the Ohio to Erie Trail

My JDRF Rides in 2024: LaCrosse, and Amelia Island

Contact Info: (937)768-5025


Eileen Maloney

Hometown:  Columbus, Ohio

Current Residence: Kettering, Ohio (Dayton)

John DeFluri and I have been married for almost 33 years. Although we met and lived in the DC area we have lived in Kettering, Ohio since marriage. We have 2 adult children; Neal is 29 and getting married this year; and Rose (28) is a wood-fired potter (ceramics) living in Chicago. I attended The Ohio State University and completed a travel certification at The Boyd School in Pittsburgh, PA.

Work: University of Dayton 15+ years and currently act as the Sr. Administrative Assistant in the Department of Political Science

JDRF Connection: None until I discovered the Team on a Young’s Ice Cream Charity Bike Tour. Full bio here.

JDRF Ride History: 9 National rides – This will be my 10th.

My JDRF Rides in 2024:Death Valley (and maybe Amelia Island)

Contact Info: 937-409-6076


Owen Wyss

Hometown:  Bucyrus, OH

Current Residence:  Columbus, OH

1 child, Sydney, and married to Natalie (Columbus Ride Committee Chair);  Wright State University;  True passions:  Cars, Lake Life;  Forced passions:  bourbon, golf, sporting clays, long distance shooting

Where you work:  CFO for Miles-McClellan Construction Company

JDRF Connection:  Corporate/none when this started, now too many to count.

JDRF Ride History:  2 x AI, 2 x GR, 1 x My Ride (COVID)

Ride to Cure Journey:  Ran out of other volunteering opportunities in JDRF.  🙂

Contact; (614) 725-7592 (cell; text preferred)


Orest Melnyk

Hometown:  Lived in the Cincinnati area most of my life on both sides of the river

Current Residence:  Southgate, Kentucky.

In 2012, I decided to start riding a bike consistently after ‘retiring’ from being a high school soccer referee. My 15 minutes of fame include having my picture in Fortune magazine, meeting a former US president. and knowing the exiled president of a foreign country.

Work: Paycor.

JDRF Connection: My good friend  was diagnosed with T1D when we were freshmen in high school and had been involved in the ride program since its beginning.

Ride History: My first national ride, and favorite ride to date, was at Death Valley in 2013. I have been on 10 national rides so far. I enjoy the camaraderie this chapter has a history of and look forward to coaching at the newest venue in Idaho in 2024.

Contact Info: 513 257 5770


Elaine Lynch

Hometown: born and raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area

Current Residence: living in Cincinnati OH

I have one daughter who is 20 and attends UC. I attended George Mason University for undergrad (BA in Fine Arts and Art History) and New Mexico State University (MFA in painting, drawing, and critical theory in art)

Work: Currently work as a paraeducator for students on the autism spectrum at Cardinal Pacelli School in Mount Lookout

JDRF Connection: It begins with meeting and riding with Petra Vester through the 50W cycling groups. After a few years of riding together, and donating to her own JDRF rides for Hannah, meeting other local JDRF riders (through her), I decided to officially register myself. While I have no direct connection to type 1, it has become a passionate cause for me. I have witnessed first hand how advancements have helped and assisted those with whom I have become close to, whether fellow riders or their family members.

Ride History: My first ride was My Ride in 2021, followed by Amelia Island in 2022, and Grand Rapids in 2023. My favorite ride this far has been Grand Rapid. This year, I am signed up to ride/coach in Coeur d’Alene ID, as well as La Crosse WI.

Contact Info: