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

Please check back soon for Ellen’s bio.


Allyson Kuentz

Coordinator of Events & Foundation Programs

As the daughter of a family physician, Allyson was always interested in helping people. While her path didn’t take her into medicine, her passion for helping people has directed her career into the non-profit sector. Graduating from Otterbein College in 2009 with a degree in Public Relations and Organizational Communications, Allyson has focused her career in event planning for non-profits; working with organizations including COSI, TEDxColumbus, and The Ohio State University.

Allyson recently completed her MBA at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and joined the team at the OAFP. She is looking forward to bringing her passion and creativity to OAFP programs and events.

When she’s not in the office, you can find Allyson on the dance floor. She currently competes in American rhythm and American smooth ballroom dance as well as west coast swing. Or, you will find her in a stadium cheering on her beloved Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Cleveland Indians.


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 enjoys 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 her younger daughter to guitar lessons, Emily is an avid reader of civil war and paranormal fiction.


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 20 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.