OAFP Staff


lauren heberling

Communications Coordinator

Lauren is a 2019 graduate from Otterbein University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Health Communications with a minor in Dance. If you asked Lauren what she wanted to be when she was little, she would have said a Broadway star. She has always had a passion for storytelling and making people smile. She is excited to utilize her passions at the Academy by sharing and celebrating the life-changing work of Ohio’s family physicians.

While in school, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Spain which fed into her love of art and travel. In her free time, Lauren loves to watch movies, try new restaurants around Columbus, and take dance classes.


Erin Jech

Director of Education

With more than 20,000 pictures currently in her camera roll, it’s safe to say Erin is a master of capturing moments and inspiration. This passionate skill for capturing the intricacies of life are emulated in her work at the Academy.

Erin has gone from planning events to managing technology and serving as the quality improvement module “guru” – happily assisting members with their board certification requirements and always finding a solution to any problem that may arise. Next, Erin will explore creative ways to highlight Ohio’s family physicians and the work of the OAFP through video.

Having experienced nearly every major “life event” during her 14 years with the OAFP – getting engaged to her high school sweetheart, building her first home, and welcoming two kiddos into the world – it’s safe to say the OAFP is very much a part of Erin’s family.

When she’s not helping members navigate the module world, or shopping to support her sneaker addiction, Erin can be found on the soccer sideline cheering on her daughter or bug hunting with her rambunctious toddler.


Ellen Kreider

Financial Coordinator

Ellen has degrees in education and public policy and additional coursework in accounting. She has spent most of her working life doing non-profit bookkeeping and accounting. She worked for the OAFP for 15 years until 2010. Retiring early, she planned to spend time with her husband in a family business. That, sadly, did not last long, as he succumbed to cancer in 2012. Ellen greatly enjoyed her previous time at the OAFP and was very happy to return when the opportunity arose in 2018. Ellen’s greatest joys are her daughter and son-in-law who live in California and her dog, Fig.


Caitlin Laudeman

Coordinator of Events and Foundation Programs

A recent transplant from Illinois, Caitlin brings with her event management experience gained as an event coordinator at the BOS Convention Center and an event management intern with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. Although she will miss getting to see WWE Live, Caitlin is thrilled to utilize her organizational and project management skills to support the OAFP and OAFP Foundation in advocating for and advancing the specialty of family medicine in Ohio.

As a new Columbus resident, Caitlin is enjoying all Cbus has to offer! Attending Blue Jackets games, biking on trails, and trying new Jeni’s ice cream flavors are some of her favorite things so far.


Kate Mahler, CAE

Deputy Executive Vice President

When Kate was a freshman in college, she told her Dad that she wanted a career where she could help people, find inspiration, be creative, and remain authentic to her roots. Little did Kate know that the aims she idealized as a dreamy-eyed 19 year-old would be realized at the OAFP – a location just down the street from her childhood home.

With over 13 years of Academy experience, Kate provides a practical yet fun approach to association management and strategic leadership. Encouraged by the quote made famous by Steve Jobs, Kate believes that “the only way to do great work, is to love what you do.”

Kate is married to her high school sweetheart of over 18 years and the proud mama of a precocious, school-aged son. She cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Columbus Bluejackets, and the true heroes of primary care – Ohio’s family physicians.


Kaitlin McGuffie

Director of Foundation & Strategic Programs

As the oldest of five siblings, Kaitlin was born to be an organizer. Always with a positive attitude and a smile on her face, Kaitlin‘s enthusiastic and detail-oriented approach to work mirrors the skills she learned leading her brood of siblings.

Since 2010, Kaitlin has supported family physicians through continuing medical education events, quality improvement activities, and programs designed to reignite member passion for the specialty. She is currently focused on finding ways to address physician burnout and improve physician well-being.

Wearing her Foundation hat, Kaitlin loves to discover creative ways to inspire medical students to choose a career in family medicine and innovative approaches to support residents through their transition to practice.

A small town, country girl at heart, Kaitlin has embraced the “big city” feel Columbus offers. She enjoys visiting local breweries with her husband and friends and is having a blast reliving all of her childhood memories with her young daughter.


Emily Pavoni

Director of Membership

First hired as the Academy’s secretary in 1999, Emily now manages the Academy’s database, website, and e-communications. Her attention to detail and willingness to learn new skills makes Emily an invaluable member of the OAFP team. Emily truly enjoys helping others and her work at the OAFP affords her the opportunity to support the unique needs of family physicians. With her pulse on the most current issues facing the Academy, everyone knows that you talk to Emily. And here is a bonus – Emily is the friendly, helpful voice that you hear when calling the OAFP!

Emily, her husband, and two beautiful daughters reside in an active, rural community and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with country living. In her spare time, when she isn’t watching her older daughter play basketball or taking walks with her younger daughter and their Siberian Husky Willow, Emily is an avid reader of paranormal fiction and civil war history.


Ann Spicer

Executive Vice President

After 17 years in various positions with the Ohio House of Representatives, Ann brought her advocacy experience and management skills to the OAFP and the OAFP Foundation. Shortly after her arrival, a battery of tests administered by a career counselor revealed her most suitable, best choice of professions – being a family physician. Ann knew at that point she was in the right place – working with family physicians and advocating for family medicine – and over 25 years later, she still feels that way.

Forever the English major, Ann loves to write and has never read an article, speech, or press statement that couldn’t benefit from a few edits. An avid reader of history, Ann loves visiting presidential libraries, politics, ice cream, cheering for the Buckeyes and Cavaliers, and being a grandma.