Meet the dedicated staff of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
Steve Schwab is a national leader and voice for the nation’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers and their families. He has closely advised senior leaders in every sector, addressed audiences across the country, and testified before Congress about the challenges faced by America’s military caregivers and how our nation can do more to support these incredible Hidden Heroes.
As CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Steve spearheads the country’s preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring military and veteran caregivers. Previously, as Executive Director, Steve led the Foundation’s staff, programs, development, and partnerships, managing the launch of the Hidden Heroes campaign, establishing the Hidden Heroes Cities program, and successfully championing the expansion of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to caregivers of every war era. In 2018, Steve led the Foundation’s inaugural signature fundraising event, Heroes and History Makers: An Evening with Elizabeth and Bob Dole.
Steve also chairs the Board of Directors of PsychArmor, the nation’s premier non-profit for providing free education and support for all Americans to engage effectively with the military community. Previously, Steve was head of external affairs for the National Cathedral, overseeing fundraising, marketing, and communications.
Steve came to the Washington, DC area after serving in three senior leadership roles in his hometown of Rochester, NY. He was Vice President for Development at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra after serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Rochester, NY Mayor Robert J. Duffy and just prior as head of corporate development and relations for Rochester Institute of Technology. Steve started his career in New York City where he first worked in politics and then served subsequently as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Development for the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce.
Chief of Staff
Pavel Sullivan serves as the Chief of Staff for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where he oversees day to day operations, financial accounting and reporting, as well as the Foundation’s donor cultivation and stewardship programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Pavel was the Associate Director of Annual Giving & Donor Relations for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Rochester, NY, where he oversaw its multi-million dollar Annual Campaign. As a fundraiser for The YMCA of Greater Rochester’s Invest in Youth Campaign, he helped the YMCA raise over $2 million for the first time in its 160 year history. In 2011, Pavel was named the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter Chamberlain Scholar, receiving a full scholarship to attend the 2012 AFP International Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Pavel graduated with distinction from the renowned Eastman School of Music, with a degree in Piano/Music Education.
Vice President of Operations
In his role as Vice President of Operations, Neil Sumilas oversees the Foundation’s G&A functions, day-to-day operations, financial and budget management, as well as the Foundation’s overall strategic planning. Neil is an experienced non-profit professional having served as Vice President for Planning and Management at the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) prior to joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. He has also served as a consultant focusing primarily on programmatic and management issues unique to non-profits.
Previously, Neil also served as Managing Director of the German Marshall Fund after spending more than a decade working on their leadership development programs focused on young professionals. Currently, Neil currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Atlas Corps, an international network of social sector leaders and organizations based in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Finance & Audit Committee for the United Philanthropy Forum. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Georgetown University, and resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.
Rashi Venkataraman Romanoff
Vice President for Programs & Partnerships
Rashi Venkataraman Romanoff serves as the Vice President for Programs and Partnerships for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she oversees all programs and is steering new strategic partnerships to enhance the Foundation’s reach and resources. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Rashi worked at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) as their Executive Director for Prevention and Population Health. In this role, she led programs, activities, and industry-wide initiatives related to prevention, wellness, and public health and launched AHIP’s strategy to address the social determinants of health.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Rashi is an experienced health care professional with a demonstrated history of working in the public and private sectors. From 2010 to 2017, Rashi worked at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), starting as a Presidential Management Fellow and eventually serving as the Director of Operations for the VA Center for Strategic Partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for directing collaborative projects valued at more than $150 million to better serve our nation’s Veterans and their families. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Rashi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Public Policy and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Policy & Management. She is also the previous recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship (2008) and Presidential Management Fellowship (2010).
Director of Development
Kirsten Feyling serves as the Director of Development for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she oversees the development of key Foundation partnerships and ongoing engagement with supporters and stakeholders. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kirsten lead the communication and fundraising teams as the Senior Director of Integrated Marketing at SOS Children’s Villages. Over the past two decades, Kirsten has supported the development, stewardship and communications efforts of local, national and international organizations.
Kirsten graduated cum laude from Willamette University with a focus on studio art and economics. Kirsten comes to the Foundation with a deep passion for service and caregivers, having previously supported individuals and families fighting serious illnesses in Washington DC. As a wife to a U.S. Army veteran, and a member of a multi-generational military family, Kirsten has seen the transformative power of service and is honored to support this critical mission.
Director of Communications
Austin Courtney serves as the Director of Communications, overseeing the Foundation’s internal/external media relations, marketing, social media, advertising, and digital efforts. She previously served as the manager of the Hidden Heroes Cities program and worked with towns, cities, counties, and states across the nation to launch grassroots initiatives to increase awareness and support for their local military caregivers. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Austin was an Associate Account Executive at Susan Davis International Public Relations firm in Washington D.C. and interned with the University of Virginia sports publication, TheSabre.com.
A native of Clifton, Virginia, Austin graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a degree in Media Studies and minor in Religious Studies.
Director of Programs
Coleton is the Director of Programs for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in Washington, DC, where he primarily manages the Campaign for Inclusive Care and other prominent campaign programs and initiatives for military and veteran caregivers. Before joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Coleton was a Campaign Manager at the Center for American Progress (CAP) where he oversaw and managed rapid response advocacy campaigns on a wide range of prominent issues. Prior to CAP, Coleton worked alongside former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, on gun violence and suicide prevention efforts across the country. Other previous experience includes Quorum Analytics, a top public affairs software company based in Washington DC and the Naval History & Heritage Command.
A native of Longview, Texas, Coleton graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Political Science and Business.
Manager of City and Community Initiatives
Yazmin Alfonso serves as the Manager of City and Community Initiatives for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she oversees the Hidden Heroes Cities and Counties Program.
Yazmin comes to the Foundation from Chiefs for Change where she worked as an Events and Development Associate; the organization led by bold and innovative district and state education Chiefs serving in bipartisan administrations. In Yazmin’s prior non-profit experience, she worked for Equal Justice Works as an Events and Operations Specialist; the organization creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. Prior to that, Yazmin’s experience in Washington, DC began as a Senate Press Intern for Florida Senator Bill Nelson in 2012.
Yazmin comes to the foundation with a deep passion for veterans affairs as she grew up in the halls of the VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida, surrounded by heroes where her mother served as a Nurse for 33 years. As a young child, she organized countless events at the VA hospital and continued giving back throughout high school.
Yazmin Alfonso holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Cincinnati and a Master Degrees in Communication and Media Studies from Walden University. Additionally, Yazmin obtained her Political Communication Certification from American University.
Jennifer Smith Mackinday
Social Media Advisor, Dole Caregiver Fellow Alumna
Jennifer Smith Mackinday is an award-winning author, military caregiver for her brother, James, and the proud mother of a United States Marine. She is a graduate of Indiana University and spent over twenty years working in advertising, marketing, and public relations. In 2009, Jennifer co-authored Friends for Life: Strangers Brought Together by the War in Iraq, which received the Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer Awards for Legacy Non Fiction.
Jennifer was selected as a 2014 Dole Caregiver Fellow for Indiana. She is also a national spokesperson and public speaker on the Warriors Speak® team for Wounded Warrior Project, and is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Daughters of the American Revolution and Boy Scouts of America. A proud recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work with Soldiers’ Angels, The Herald-Times recognized Jennifer as an ‘Everyday Hero.’ She has also been honored with the Girls’ Inc. Strong, Smart, and Bold Award.
Hidden Heroes Caregiver Community Program Coordinator
Shaina Purser serves as the Hidden Heroes Caregiver Community Program Coordinator for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she acts as the Foundation’s point of contact for military & veteran caregivers in the HHCC online community. Shaina is pursuing an MSW at the University of Southern California, specializing in Social Change & Innovation and Military Social Work. She is a passionate advocate for past and present members of our nation’s military and their families. Shaina has utilized her caregiver experience to become a strong champion for raising awareness of issues impacting both military families and individuals with special needs.
As wife to a U.S. Army veteran, she has seen the synergistic influence of peer communities and is honored to support this critical mission. Shaina hopes to provide much-needed encouragement and support to caregivers and their families.
Fellows Program Manager, Dole Caregiver Fellow Alumna
Elizabeth Rotenberry, Liz, is a military caregiver for her husband, a USMC Wounded Warrior of Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran. As an Elizabeth Dole Fellow Alumna, Liz works to advocate not only for herself and her family, but for all Military and Veteran Caregivers. Liz joined the Elizabeth Dole Foundation as their Caregiver Community Program Coordinator and is now the Foundation’s Fellows Program Manager.
Prior to becoming a military caregiver, Liz graduated from the University of Delaware with a BAS in Art and Art History. Liz worked in the architectural field as a designer for schools, medical, offices to government and military facilities, including the test sites on Proving Grounds in Arizona. The work Liz experienced with the Proving Grounds in Arizona provided an eye opening experience to what our Military train for in real life theater every day. Liz is honored to have been a part of the training and implementation of the Joint Experimentation Range Complex. It is important for Liz to represent not only the Veteran but especially the Caregiver.
Manager of Policy and Programs
Molly Ramsey serves as the Manager of Policy and Programs for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. In that capacity, she helps facilitate the implementation of the programs and initiatives of the Foundation, specifically supporting the management of the Impact Forum, the Hidden Heroes Fund, and the policy and advocacy work of the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Molly worked at Hiring Our Heroes, George Washington University, and the VA’s Office of Patient Advocacy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In these roles, she has been able to gain knowledge and insight to the different challenges of the military and veteran community.
Molly came to the Washington, DC area from South Carolina where she grew up in a National Guard family. Her father served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan while she and her mom managed the family farm. Molly graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Anthropology and Social Welfare in 2015. Following her education at the University of Alabama, Molly went on to George Washington University to earn a Master’s in Legal Institutions and Theory and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in 2017.
Roxana Delgado, Ph.D.
Research Advisor, Campaign For Inclusive Care, Dole Caregiver Fellow Alumna
Roxana Delgado, PhD, is a health scientist and the wife of US Army retired Sergeant First Class Victor L. Medina. SFC (Ret.) Medina, a combat wounded Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, was wounded in Iraq on June 29, 2009. He sustained a moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in long-lasting physical and cognitive disabilities. Since his injuries, the couple decided to reach beyond their own struggles and stand up for others, a mission that would eventually result in Congressional recognition for their efforts to help improve the system of care for TBI. The couple identified gaps in TBI identification, diagnosis and treatment, which they brought to the attention of military and civilian leadership to help shape new military healthcare policies.
Dr. Delgado is active in the military and veteran caregiver community and is a 2015 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow Alumna representing the State of Texas. Dr. Delgado co-authored the “The Caregivers’ Companion” book and is currently an Assistant Professor and Associate Deputy Director, Military & Veteran Family Initiatives, at the Military Health Institute and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Texas Health San Antonio.
Lauryn Cantrell serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she assists with executing and monitoring communication strategies. Prior to joining the Foundation, Lauryn was a consultant for the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies and held many media relations-focused internships within Washington, D.C., including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington Life Magazine, and the Office of Senator Martha McSally.
A Northern Virginia native, Lauryn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Mason University where she double majored in Government & International Politics and Communications, and minored in Art History. As the daughter of a U.S. Navy veteran, and a member of a multi-generation military family, Lauryn hopes to be a resource for caregivers. She looks forward to telling hidden heroes’ stories, ensuring the brave people who serve in the shadows receive the recognition they deserve.
Brandon serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, aiding the team’s varied needs. He helps ensure the office is running smoothly by overseeing scheduling requests, processing billing information, and completing other essential daily tasks. He also works to support the incredible Dole Caregiver Fellows. Brandon is very excited to be a part of the Foundation and work with all of the Military Caregivers serving as Hidden Heroes across the country.
Just a kid from Akron, Brandon comes to Washington DC from the great state of Ohio. He has a degree in Public Management, Leadership, and Policy from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University with minors in Peace Studies, History and South Asia Studies. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Brandon interned in DC at the OSU Federal Relations Office and served as an Account Coordinator at CoverMyMeds.
Laura Blyler serves as the Development Associate for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she supports the efforts to engage and steward the organization’s supporters and stakeholders.
Laura joins the foundation with ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector focusing on fellowship program management and community engagement. Most recently she was the Fellowships Alumni Manager at the Social Science Research Council and prior to that, a Program Manager at the American Association of University Women. Laura is committed to volunteering in her community and she currently serves on the board of directors for the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area as the Vice President of Young Professionals.
Laura graduated with a degree in International Relations from American University. She comes to the Foundation with a passion for supporting military families, because she grew up in a multi-generational military family, and her husband currently serves as a Major in the United States Air Force.
Bailey serves as the Program Coordinator for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she assists in the day-to-day administration of the Foundation’s programs. Additionally, she works on overall program planning and supports a wide range of different Foundation programs that aim to impact the lives of military & veteran caregivers nationwide. Prior to working at the Foundation, Bailey received her Master of Arts in American Government from Georgetown University. During her studies, Bailey worked for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, she handled issues regarding mental health, women’s health, and congressional oversight.
Originally from Northern Virginia, She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American Studies, as well as a double minor in National Security Studies and Spanish.
Magen serves as the Events Coordinator for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she assists in the planning and implementation of all internal and external events for the Foundation. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Magen worked at Amazon as a Recruitment Coordinator on the Worldwide Operations Military Recruitment Team, an Events Associate at Hilton on the Campus Recruitment Team and interned with The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Foundation.
Magen comes to the Washington, DC area from Sweet Home Alabama where she graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Marketing and double minor in Advertising and Psychology.