OAFP Staff


jessica gmerick

Finance Coordinator

Jessica came to the OAFP after a career in apparel sourcing and time as a stay-at-home mom to her three kids. She is looking forward to growing her depth of knowledge in yet another industry as she dips her toes back into the workforce.

When not at the OAFP, Jessica can be found transporting her kids to soccer, dance, volleyball, basketball, cheer, and classes at the local recreation center.  In her spare time, she loves to hang out with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and try out new restaurants in town.


lauren heberling

Communications Manager

Lauren earned her degree in public relations and health communications from Otterbein University. She is ecstatic to bring her passion of storytelling and uplifting primary care to her role as communications coordinator through the Academy’s quarterly magazine, The Ohio Family Physician, the management of its social media channels, the implementation of the annual OAFP Awards, and the promotion of OAFP programs and events.

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 enjoys trying new restaurants in Columbus, visiting the Metro Parks, and spending time with family and friends.


Erin Jech

Director of Education

With more than 60,000 pictures currently in her camera roll, it is 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.

Throughout her years at the OAFP, Erin has planned meetings and events, managed technology that assisted members with their board certification requirements, and served as video editor extraordinaire.

Having experienced nearly every major “life event” during her 19 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 at a CME event, or shopping to support her sneaker addiction, Erin can be found on the soccer sideline cheering on her daughter or throwing the football with her sports-loving son.


Caitlin Laudeman

Workforce Development Manager

Since 2020, Caitlin has supported the OAFP and its members through continuing medical education event planning, managing OAFP Foundation programming for medical students and family medicine residents, and coordinating fundraising activities for the Foundation. She looks forward to continuing her work with medical students and residents to grow the family medicine workforce, and collaborating with members in advocating for and advancing the specialty of family medicine in Ohio.

As a transplant from Illinois, Caitlin enjoys staying active with friends at November Project Scioto Mile, local run clubs, and book clubs. Hiking at Metro Parks and stopping by Jeni’s on walks in German Village are some of her favorite things to do in Columbus.


Kate Mahler, CAE

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 20 years of association management experience, Kate provides a practical yet collaborative approach to membership engagement 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 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

Deputy Executive Vice President

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 developing initiatives that support family physicians in earning valuable certification credit through the work they do every day; supporting members in all things board certification and quality improvement.

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 and exploring new parks with her husband and two young kiddos.


Emily Pavoni

Director of Member Engagement

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 a rural community and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with country living. In her spare time, when she isn’t getting updates from her oldest daughter in grad school or taking walks with her younger daughter and their Siberian Husky Willow, Emily is an avid reader of paranormal fiction and civil war history.


Kaela Springhetti

Advocacy Coordinator

Kaela is a Columbus, OH, native with an in-depth background in communication and management. While she is excited to bring her expertise and energy to the OAFP, she is most excited about becoming a part of the team and being a constant advocate and resource to the members.

Kaela is an avid lover of sports, family, and messing around in the kitchen hoping to find the next fun thing to bake.  More often than not, you will find her coaching high school and club lacrosse, enjoying a night of bocce with her family, or visiting a local metro park with her husband and dog Birdie.