Leadership & Staff

We are proud of the innovative and experienced team that works at Stand Together. Learn more about our team below!

Leadership

Evan Feinberg
Executive Director

As the executive director of Stand Together, Evan provides vision, enthusiasm, organizational leadership, and direction. Evan is an experienced leader in non-profit management and social welfare causes. He previously served as the president of Generation Opportunity, a Millennial advocacy organization, and in various roles on Capitol Hill.

Evan and his wife, Sarah, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, are active in the community and serve as hosts to an Afghan refugee family. Evan and Sarah live in Virginia with their three sons, Luke (5) and twin boys, Zack and Jake (1).

Lauren McCann
Executive Vice President

Lauren is executive vice president of Stand Together, where she leads operations, external relations, and partnership development. Lauren brings to Stand Together diverse experience as an accomplished senior executive working at the intersection of business, philanthropy, and stakeholder relations. Prior to joining Stand Together, Lauren served as vice president of strategic development for the National Association of Manufacturers.

Over the last decade, Lauren held several leadership positions in the non-profit sector in the areas of higher education, research, and mental health. Lauren lives in Virginia with her husband, Ryan, and daughter, Kaley.

Erin Keating
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Erin Keating is vice president, communications and marketing at Stand Together. She works as a part of the leadership team to develop and drive the communications and marketing strategy and vision. Prior to joining Stand Together, Erin spent just under a decade working with Audi overseeing both the experiential marketing department as well as product launches, Audi Sport, and the customer racing program.

Erin was born and raised in the Washington, DC, area. The daughter of interior designers that owned their own businesses, she was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug early starting a business at 10 years old. She went on to study business and marketing at Elon University before setting out to live in Denver, Atlanta, and Los Angeles gaining experience in the architecture and entertainment industries before starting her own agency in the DC area. Erin currently lives in Vienna with her husband, Cyril, and two children, Jude and Madison.

Sam Leyvas
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

As vice president of strategic partnerships, Sam leads Stand Together’s national capability responsible for identifying, supporting, and celebrating transformative community-based organizations working to break the cycle of poverty and help people improve their lives. Prior to joining Stand Together, he served as the CEO of First Things First, an Arizona-based early childhood development and health organization.

Sam earned his MBA from the Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona and has a professional interest in leadership, organizational development, and board governance. Outside the office, Sam enjoys traveling and exploring off the beaten path.

Declan Lynch
Vice President, Organization Development

Declan is a vice president at Stand Together, where he leads the organization development team. Declan’s team works with partner organizations to provide cutting-edge training and resources, and to apply best-in-class business practices to their organizational challenges. Prior to joining Stand Together, Declan was an executive at Booz Allen Hamilton where he led a large business market.

Declan is a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served with 1st Battalion 5th Marines before becoming a leadership instructor at The Basic School. Declan played collegiate soccer at Dartmouth College and later met his wife, Erin, while playing co-ed soccer. Declan and Erin live in Arlington, Virginia, with their rambunctious one-year-old daughter, Clara.

Team

Noel Augustine
Catalyst Marketing Manager, Marketing and Communications

Noel is the Catalyst Marketing Manager at Stand Together, where she manages and assists in the strategic direction of the marketing projects and training for Catalyst organizations. Her role includes understanding and learning the Catalyst brands and identifying shared story-telling opportunities to capture and produce emotionally engaging, uplifting stories through a variety of campaigns and mediums. Previously, Noel was the program associate and communications manager at Freedom Partners, where she assisted with donor communications and event planning.

Noel is proud to be a Kansas State Wildcat alumna, where she got her master’s degree in strategic communications. A self-proclaimed foodie and movie critic, Noel enjoys exploring the latest in cuisine and cinema with her husband, Grady. In her spare time, she dominates a number of intramural sports in the metro DC area.

Cassandra Burckhalter
Executive Assistant

Cassandra joined the Stand Together administrative services team in January 2017. Prior to joining Stand Together, Cassandra worked as a volunteer leadership and governance engagement program coordinator for a scientific association. She has extensive administrative experience working with senior executive management. Cassandra attended the University of Maryland University College, where she majored in government and politics. Outside of the office, Cassandra is a community leader and published author who enjoys helping others, traveling, and horseback riding.

Nick D’Antonio
Director, Strategic Partnerships

Nick joined Stand Together in May of 2016. As director of strategic partnerships, he is responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and managing venture philanthropy investments and working alongside organizations on their path to meaningful change.

Prior to joining Stand Together, Nick spent five years in workforce development with the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute. He also sat on the national steering committee of Manufacturing Day. Additionally, Nick previously served as a council member for The Working Learner Advisory Council of the ACT Foundation. Nick is a graduate of the Kogod School of Business at American University and a certified project management professional by the Project Management Institute.

In his spare time, Nick attempts to catch up to his girlfriend Emily’s marathon total and travel to all fifty states (45 complete).

Laura DeFrancesco Ross
Engagement Manager, Organization Development

Laura joined Stand Together as an engagement manager after a nine-year career in finance and professional services. Laura works with partner organizations to identify growth challenges and apply effective solutions that promote long-term sustainability. Her particular area of focus is vision alignment, talent development, and workforce planning. She also manages the educational content of the Catalyst Program to ensure the content creates value for each Catalyst.

In her most recent role, Laura was a management consultant and worked with clients on leadership development programs and organizational change initiatives. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies with a minor in mathematics from Fairfield University and a Master of Science from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Laura is a proud New England native originally from Stratford, Connecticut. She has worked and lived in Bangalore, Jerusalem, and Cholula, Mexico, and she has a passion for adventure travel photography, furniture makeovers, and baking. She and her husband, Jason, live in Springfield with their 2-year-old rescue pup named Carter and senior cat named Zohan.

Jamie D. Elder
Director, Strategic Partnerships

Jamie brings many years of cross-sector professional experience in government, business, and military to his role as director, strategic partnerships. Previously, Jamie served as the appointed director of urban development for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. His responsibilities on behalf of the Office of the Secretary included community outreach, economic development, and social education throughout the Milwaukee region.

Jamie enlisted in the United States Army after high school, serving as an Information Systems Operator-Analyst, and he started his first company at age 22 to begin his entrepreneurial trek. He has also served on various boards and councils focusing on criminal justice reform, youth education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Jamie is a currently a part-time student at Penn State University studying to complete his undergraduate degree in business. In his free time, Jamie enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

Tommy Fijacko
Engagement Manager, Organization Development

Tommy joined Stand Together as an engagement manager. In this role, Tommy manages a portfolio of partners and works as a primary contact on designing organizational development strategies. Tommy comes to Stand Together from LivingSocial, where he managed operations and operations strategy. He is a graduate of American University, where he majored in political science with a specialization in American government. Outside of the office, Tommy likes to read fiction, write, and explore the DC area with his wife, Samantha.

Esther Jentzen
Program Assistant, Stakeholder Relations

As the stakeholder relations program assistant, Esther identifies and analyzes potential new partners and drives process improvements to increase team effectiveness. Esther is a Michigan native and worked for the Michigan Attorney General prior to joining the Stand Together team. With a degree in music and communications and theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University, Esther has worked as a professional musical theater performer throughout the State of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys camping, climbing, hiking (anything to get outside!), the McDonald’s breakfast menu, and spending time with her 13 nieces and nephews.

Stacey Jones
Engagement Specialist

Stacey is an engagement specialist at Stand Together. As part of the organization development team, Stacey works with partner organizations to overcome business challenges so they can achieve increased growth and greater organizational impact.

Previously, Stacey was a strategy and performance management consultant at Herren Associates and a program manager at the Partnership for Public Service. She has spent her career working with a wide variety of Federal agencies on development program design and evaluation, event management, and leadership development initiatives. Stacey attended the University of San Francisco where she received a BA in international studies. She is currently a part-time student at the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, working to get her Master in Business Administration. As a Florida native, Stacey loves visiting the Sunshine State to see her family and spoil her three nephews. She also enjoys traveling, cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and hiking with her husband, Roy, and dog, Lusy.

Jocelyn Lybrand
Program Assistant, Stakeholder Relations

As a stakeholder relations program assistant, Jocelyn identifies and analyzes potential new partners and drives process improvements to increase team effectiveness. Jocelyn attended Texas A&M University where she majored in communication. Jocelyn is a native Texan, living and working in various cities throughout Texas prior to joining Stand Together. In 2016, she spent a month in Ireland and considered moving there permanently. In her spare time, she enjoys reading classic literature and spending time with her husband, Holmes.

Korey Mauer
Engagement Associate

As an engagement associate, Korey assists partners to overcome business challenges and achieve increased growth and organizational impact. Prior to this, he worked as an intern for the organization development team researching the nonprofit and venture philanthropy sectors.

Korey earned his BA in philosophy from Grove City College and his MA in philosophy from Western Michigan University, where he taught undergraduate classes. During the summers he kept busy running a small lawn-mowing business. In his spare time, Korey enjoys urban exploration with his wife Clarissa, reading just about anything, and following the shenanigans of the Detroit Lions.

Elizabeth Moyer
Content Manager, Marketing and Communications

Elizabeth, a lover of words and a stickler for grammar, is the content manager at Stand Together. She manages the content generation and distribution processes with a passion for touching others through powerful storytelling. Prior to joining Stand Together, Elizabeth launched and operated the publication and production processes at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

Elizabeth grew up in the sunshine state where her love for sand and salt water was born. A Tarheel at heart, she earned bachelor’s degrees in English and religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Elizabeth spends most of her leisure time with her husband, Will, investing in friendships, visiting family, exploring new restaurants, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Arif Nassery
Office Assistant

Arif Nassery joined Stand Together in May 2017. Prior to joining the Stand Together team, he worked as a sales consultant at Toyota. He also worked in various USAID projects as an advisor, procurement, logistics and operation specialist for over a decade. Arif earned his bachelor’s degree in literature from Kabul University. He loves to help people improve their lives. He lives in Virginia and in his spare time Arif enjoys being with his family, traveling, and exploring new places.

Parita Patel
Director, Strategic Partnerships

Parita serves Stand Together's community of partners and leaders in the Western United States. She provides counsel and support to Stand Together's stakeholders, enabling them to achieve transformative and sustainable change in their communities.

Over the past fifteen years she has held programmatic positions for private funding initiatives in Boston, New York, and India, as well as advised the corporate giving strategies of Fortune 100 companies through a philanthropic consulting firm. Prior to joining Stand Together, she served as a senior adviser and program officer to a federal program that provided competitive funding support to grow community solutions with evidence of effectiveness. Born in London and raised in New York City, Parita currently resides in Washington D.C.

Rachel Reese
Research Analyst

Rachel is a research analyst at Stand Together, where she conducts background research on potential Catalysts and develops educational materials on key focus areas and geographic contexts. Prior to coming to Stand Together, Rachel worked as a research associate at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom.

Rachel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in economics and Chinese and a minor in architecture. Before to moving to Washington, DC, she spent two years teaching high school algebra in St. Louis as a Teach for America corps member. Her experiences in the classroom motivated her to pursue a career working towards improving educational options and alleviating poverty. She subsequently pursued her master’s degree in economics at George Mason University as an MA Fellow at the Mercatus Center. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys yoga, finding the best bagels around, re-reading Harry Potter, and hiking with her dog, Wesley.

Anna Rivers
Director, Strategic Partnerships

Anna is a director of strategic partnerships at Stand Together, where she works to identify and build partnerships with high-impact organizations serving their community. Additionally, she manages the Catalyst Network alumni program focused on building a thriving network of organizations working to break the cycle of poverty.

Before joining Stand Together, Anna worked on health care policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in both research and program management. Anna received her master's degree in economics from George Mason University and her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Florida. In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading, searching for the best queso in the DC area, and spending time with her husband, Matt, and pup, Zoey.

Dana Sanford
Engagement Manager, Organization Development

Dana is an engagement manager at Stand Together. As part of the organization development team, Dana works with partner organizations to identify resources and solutions to their challenges.

Dana attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he majored in political science. He then went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Business Administration at Boston University. Prior to coming to Stand Together, he served as a Marine officer for seven years and as a civil servant for the Marine Corps the last four years. Dana is married with two young daughters (Molly, 6, and Paige, 3). In his spare time, he enjoys running, fishing, and reading.

Irene Smith
Operations Manager, Organization Development

As operations manager on the organization development team, Irene works to improve knowledge processes and bring consistency to all team projects. She helps bridge leadership strategic planning and tactical day-to-day actions of the team to improve engagements. Her personal focus is on business operations and developing a culture that makes work rewarding and fun.

Irene earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mary Washington and her master’s degree in law and public policy from Regent University. Irene hails from Lexington, Virginia, and considers the Blue Ridge Mountains home. She most enjoys spending time with her husband, Brandon, and finding ways to visit her many nephews and nieces as often as possible.

Kyle Smith
Senior Project Manager, Organization Development

Kyle is a senior project manager for Stand Together. As part of the organizational development team, he helps partners build their operations, infrastructure, and technology capabilities. Prior to joining Stand Together, Kyle led a technology team as the database architect for the Charles Koch Institute.

Kyle enjoys interesting problems and self-improvement kicks, and he has been accused of being ruthlessly competitive at board games.

Alexandra Stevens
Manager, Stakeholder Relations

As a development manager on the stakeholder relations team, Alex works closely with partners to drive donor engagement strategies, donor stewardship, and project coordination. Before joining Stand Together, Alex served on the Professional Talent Development team at the Charles Koch Institute, where she focused on program management and talent engagement across the country.

As a Georgia native, Alex is a proud Bulldawg and graduate of the University of Georgia where she received degrees in political science and international affairs. She is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in organizational development and knowledge management from George Mason University. In her spare time, you can find Alex running marathons, cycling centuries, playing sports, and adventuring the great outdoors with friends! (Stay tuned, per Lauren McCann’s persuasion, triathlon training is next!)

Lisa Vogt
Executive Assistant

Lisa joined Stand Together in May 2016 and supports Stand Together’s executive director, Evan Feinberg. She brings a variety of experience to the team, having previously worked for the federal government and also in retail sales and management. Lisa lives in Washington, DC, and, in her free time enjoys traveling and outdoor sports.

Laura Whitefield
Project Manager, Organization Development

Laura is a project manager on the organization development team where she works to support Stand Together’s Catalysts. A Texas native, Laura graduated from Oklahoma State University and quickly returned to Lone Star country to coordinate a state political race. She then spent half a decade building and growing the purchasing team at a major polyurethane manufacturer. After politics and plastics, she decided it was time for a change. She packed a U-Haul with the essentials — a guacamole cart, running shoes, and photos of her Frenchie — and moved to DC.