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.
Vice President of Operations
Pavel Sullivan serves as the Vice President of Operations 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.
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 Programs
Laurel Rodewald serves as the Director of Programs for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where she oversees several initiatives, including the Dole Caregiver Fellows program, the Impact Forum, the Foundation’s Annual National Convening, the Hidden Heroes Fund, and the Hidden Heroes Caregiver Community. She also heads up the Foundation’s Military and Veteran Caregiver Journey Map project, a collaboration with Philips and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which seeks to define the major milestones and decisions caregivers faces, thus creating a fuller picture of the caregiver continuum. Laurel also covers caregiver legislation and policy for the Foundation, focusing on the expansion of caregiver programs on a national, state, and local level.
Laurel came to the Washington DC area from Southern California, where she graduated cum laude in 2015 from Pepperdine University, with a degree in International Studies. A member of a multi-generational military family herself, Laurel’s grandmother serves as a veteran caregiver to Laurel’s grandfather, who served in the Navy in World War II.
Manager of Communications
Austin Courtney serves as the Manager of Communications, where she coordinates the Foundation’s web, email, and social media communications, as well as oversees the Hidden Heroes Cities program. Austin works closely with towns, cities, counties, and states across the nation, helping them launch grassroots initiatives to increase awareness and support services 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.
Manager of Campaign Programs
Coleton serves as the Manager of Campaign Programs for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, where he primarily manages the Campaign for Inclusive Care. 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 and her husband Captain Mark Kelly, advancing gun violence prevention advocacy campaigns across the country. His previous experience includes Quorum Analytics, a top public affairs software company based in Washington DC.
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 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.
As Administrative Coordinator, Emily Nelson supports Foundation staff on all fronts. She assists each program team within the Foundation and manages day-to-day operations including scheduling requests, finances, and other important logistics. Emily works closely with the Foundation’s Dole Caregiver Fellows to support them as they share their military and veteran caregiver stories. Prior to working at the Foundation, Emily served in the office of Senator Jeff Flake as a legislative correspondent and later as a legislative assistant handling issues such as energy, natural resources and agriculture.
Originally from Arizona, Emily made her way to D.C. after graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a BA in Communications and a minor in Family Studies.
Molly Ramsey serves as the Programs Coordinator 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.
Fellows Program Coordinator, 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 Coordinator.
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.
Hidden Heroes Caregiver Community Program Coordinator, Dole Caregiver Fellow Alumna
Jennifer 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 for Wounded Warrior Project, and 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.
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.
Project Manager, Campaign For Inclusive Care
Rachael Barrett has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working with domestic and international organizations, in the areas of health and mental health, healthcare delivery, community development, legal services, criminal justice, and advocacy. Throughout her career, she has been committed to working with entrepreneurial organizations focused on systemic change through education and advocacy. Rachael has worked as a fundraising consultant, and been engaged with a number of nonprofits in New York, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Her core expertise is in the development and execution of strategies to increase revenues from institutional donors (foundations, corporations, and government).
In addition to her consultancy, Rachael has also worked at nonprofits in New York City as fundraising staff, including senior-level positions with the International Rescue Committee’s Women’s Refugee Commission and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Rachael currently lives in Philadelphia, with her husband, Patrick Hayes. She is a graduate of Emerson College, where she received her B.S. in communications and has a MBA from the University of New Haven.