Executive Director & CEO
Besa Pinchotti is Chief Executive Officer of the National Military Family Association (NMFA) where she leads the team in supporting and enhancing the quality of life for every military family. Drawn to NMFA’s mission to serve the families who stand beside the uniform, Besa has served in several leadership positions at the Association since 2013.
Besa is an award-winning journalist and marketer whose passion for our military began during her time as a reporter and television news anchor. From Jacksonville, North Carolina to Austin, Texas and Eastern Europe, her assignments opened her eyes to the military experience for service members and their families. She covered post-9/11 deployments, war casualties and highly contentious Congressional hearings about the unanticipated impacts of military life, including the lasting effects of toxic exposure on our military bases.
She has co-chaired The Military Coalition’s Communication Committee, representing 35 organizations advocating for service members, veterans, and their families. A nationally recognized champion of military families, she has spoken on behalf of military families at events and to the press around the country and internationally. Besa was named a Military Spouse Influencer to Watch by Military Spouse Magazine in 2021. Under her tenure, NMFA launched a Research and Insights department to better understand the military family experience, expanded our Operation Purple programming, and brought Bloom: Empowering the Military Teen into the NMFA family.
To amplify NMFA’s work for military families, she also met with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, who wanted to publicly thank America’s military families for their sacrifices in ensuring the country’s freedom and independence. While in Eastern Europe, Besa was also honored with the Elena Gjika award for her philanthropic work and the Madeline Albright award for her support of military families in the United States and freedom abroad.
During the five years Besa spent reporting on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, she met her husband, a now-retired Marine Corps veteran and started their own military family.
Besa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Business minor. She also received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she focused her degree on the social, scientific, and humanistic dimensions of today’s world.
Besa lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and their three children.
Director of Administration and Human Resources
Jacqueline joins NMFA after 20 years of public service with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she oversaw financial management, people operations, administration, and planning for three divisions. She is a passionate champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Jacqueline chaired the Hispanic Employee Resource Group and also supported the establishment of the first Veteran’s Employee Resource Group while at the Fed.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jacqueline comes from a family with a long and proud tradition of serving in the military, including her father who served in the Navy during the Korean War. She spent several years working with former military who were transitioning into the civilian job market and continues to support the community through the Veteran Mentor Network.
Jacqueline earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from University of Maryland Global Campus, and is a SHRM – Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP). She currently resides in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Vel is an Army Brat, Air Force Veteran, Ragnarian, and Master Resilience Trainer (MRT) with more than 17 years supporting and advocating on behalf of active-duty service-members, spouses, veterans, wounded warriors, DOD civilians, and the families of our fallen heroes. She is skilled in executive support, team building, facilitation, and setting organizational priorities.
Vel is honored to continue serving and supporting the military community with National Military Family Association.
A few activities that “spark joy” for Vel include salsa dancing, yoga, self-help books, paddle-boarding, and hiking with her 13-year-old son. The goal is to hike El Camino de Santiago in Spain together on one of their mother-son trips.
Programs + Research Assistant
Elena Ashburn started working at NMFA in 2022 as a Programs and Research Assistant. An active-duty military brat, Elena co-founded Bloom: Empowering the Military Teen in 2020 with her best friend after a particularly difficult PCS. Bloom is a website for military teens, bymilitary teens, and it has articles, videos, and art all about the life of a military-connected child. As outreach coordinator, she oversees and executes all the social media content for Bloom, and she also acts as an editor-in-chief for the blog of over 200 articles. Articles she wrote for Bloom have reached thousands of readers, including both the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of
Defense. She has been featured in publications such as People Magazine and Military Times for her work, collaborated on research and projects with organizations like Blue Star Families and the National Military Family Association, and been contacted by government bodies such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Education concerning her advocacy and research.
She is also the 2022 Military Child of the Year of the Army and is a first-year at the University of Florida studying Political Science
Programs + Research Assistant
Matthew has held many random titles throughout his life, from Student Body President to Shakespeare Troupe videographer to Token Asian, but Programs & Research Assistant at the National Military Family Association is definitely one of his favorites. Matthew previously collaborated with NMFA as the co-founder and co-director of Bloom: Empowering the Military Teen, and helped facilitate the development of the joint NMFA-Bloom Military Teen Experience Report and the Field Guide to the Military Teen.
As a lifelong Army brat, Matthew has lived in seven different states and most recently completed three years in South Korea, where he graduated from high school and became an expert (not really) on midnight video calls and wacky time zone conversions. In his free time, you can probably find him practicing percussion, reading a good book, composing scores on GarageBand, or editing a travel video. Matthew is excited to help out at NMFA for a short time before heading off to Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) to study music education in the heart of Music City.
Director of Development
To support or become a sponsor, email Lyndy Rohe at email@example.com
Deputy Director of Development
Joining NMFA as the Foundation Relations Manager is a dream come true for Stephanie. This opportunity bridges her passion for supporting non-profits with part of her personal life as a military spouse. Stephanie has worked in various sectors of the non-profit field for more than 13 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Monmouth University, and is committed to advocating for military families. In her non-existent free time, she enjoys reading all kinds of books, baking tasty treats, and spending time with her active duty Coast Guard husband and 2 children exploring their newest duty station location (state #5 in 12 years).
Susan E. Neyman
Senior Development Officer
Susan joins National Military Family Association with a passion for serving the needs of others through a twenty-year career in the non-profit field, including experience in fundraising and executive leadership for causes including cancer support, Alzheimer’s, ALS, developmental disabilities, and performing arts. She was integral in helping raise over $1B for the University of Arkansas’ “Campaign for the 21st Century”. She holds BSBA in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas, an MBA from the Walton College of Business, and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration.
Neyman hails from northwest Arkansas, where she resides with her husband, a Navy veteran. She proudly raised three daughters, and a son, who is active duty in the Navy. She carves out time to enjoy fly fishing, live theater, bicycling, strength training, repurposing furniture, and cheering on her beloved Arkansas Razorbacks.
Grant Relations Officer
Shanna earned her B.A. in Human Services and Social Justice from The George Washington University and is currently working toward an M.S. in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, their dogs Hoover and Glory, and shelves brimming with mystery novels.
Development and Database Coordinator
Debbie brings to NMFA many years of experience in nonprofit development, primarily in donor relations and database administration. She is proud to have been born in Annapolis, Maryland, while her Navy officer father served on the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy. Debbie grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts. After college, she moved to Texas where she earned a Master of Arts in Communication while working at her first job in the nonprofit sector for an organization that produced inspirational radio and television programs. Aside from a three-year “detour” teaching high school speech and drama, Debbie’s career path has led her to development positions at various nonprofits advocating for missions and causes she personally could endorse. Debbie is delighted to support military families through her role at NMFA.
Outside of work, Debbie is active in her church where she sings in the choir. She enjoys walking scenic trails, exploring historic sites and museums, and planning trips and traveling. Debbie and her husband, David, live in Northern Virginia.
Nathalia brings passion for education, commitment to military families, and 15 years of nonprofit experience to NMFA. She is a graduate of the University of Houston, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
In addition to her job at NMFA, Nathalia sits on the Board of Directors for Abundant Life Foundation, volunteers with her local Parent Teacher Association and Little League, and provides nonprofit management consulting to local nonprofits.
Nathalia is a proud Army wife, and mother of two.
Government Relations Director
Kelly became in the Government Relations Director of the National Military Family Association in 2015. In this role, she leads the Association’s advocacy for the families of the eight Uniformed Services and monitors the range of issues relevant to their quality of life. She began her work with the Association in 2007 as a Government Relations Deputy Director and served as Outreach Coordinator in 2014.
Kelly has represented military families on several committees and task forces for offices and agencies of the Department of Defense (DoD) and military services. She is co-chair of The Military Coalition (TMC), an organization of 34 military-related associations. She is also co-chair of TMC’s Survivor Committee. In 2008-2011, she represented NMFA on the first DoD Military Family Readiness Council.
Prior to joining NMFA, Kelly worked to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs as the chief of staff of CONNECT and the chief of staff of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.
A Navy spouse for 27 years, Ms. Hruska has served in various volunteer leadership positions in civilian and military community organizations including COMPASS mentor, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, The Girl Scouts, and Navy Spouses Clubs. She was also appointed to the City Commission on Children and Youth by the Corpus Christi City Council.
Kelly is a recipient of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in recognition of her work on behalf of service members and their families at Navy Region Center Singapore.
A Pennsylvania native, Kelly earned her B.A. in Political Science from La Salle University and a Masters of Public Administration from Shippensburg University. Ms. Hruska and her husband, Captain Jim Hruska, USN (Ret) reside in Annandale, Virginia with their daughter, Emily.
Government Relations Senior Deputy Director
Eileen Huck became Deputy Director in the Government Relations Department in October, 2012 after previously holding positions in the Youth Initiatives and Development Departments. In her role as Government Relations Deputy Director, Eileen monitors issues relevant to the quality of life of families of the uniformed services. Her primary area of focus is health care, to include the Military Health System, TRICARE, and behavioral health care. In this capacity, she serves as the co-chair of The Military Coalition’s (TMC) Health Care Committee and as the Association’s representative on the TRICARE for Kids Coalition. Eileen also handles issues related to wounded warriors and military caregivers. She is a former co-chair of the TMC Personnel Committee and Awards Committee and served as an ex officio member of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3). She has been recognized for her work advocating on behalf of military-connected children by the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) and the Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA).
Prior to joining the Association, Eileen volunteered as a case worker with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in Mayport, Florida and served as adviser to the USS HALYBURTON Family Readiness Group. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Georgetown University and served two tours overseas as a Foreign Service officer. A Navy spouse, Eileen has lived in Virginia, California, Florida, and Rhode Island. She currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, CAPT Michael Huck USN (ret) and their two children.
Government Relations Deputy Director
David joined the National Military Family Association in 2021. He is particularly passionate about advocating for military spouse employment and education, having left his previous 14-year career to follow his service member spouse.
Prior to joining the Association, David served as a diplomat in the New Zealand foreign service, with postings in Indonesia, Chile, and as Deputy Consul General in Honolulu, Hawaii – where he collaborated with military leaders and Five Eyes partners at US Indo-Pacific Command on strategic international security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
David holds a law degree (LLB) and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He speaks Spanish and Indonesian. David and his active duty Army husband currently reside in Arlington, VA. David enjoys choral singing, yoga, cycling, and live theater.
Government Relations Deputy Director
Caitlin joined the National Military Family Association as Deputy Director in 2022. She has a passion advocating for military families. Caitlin monitors issues relevant to the quality of life of families of the uniformed services. Her focus is on children’s education, child care, youth/teens, defense resale, and voting. As an Army brat, she comes from a family with several generations of servicemembers dating back to the American Revolution.
Prior to working for NMFA, Caitlin served as Associate Director at the Military Officers Association of America covering issues pertaining to the Uniformed Services. She successfully advocated for legislation which expanded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps and addressed several other needs to be on par with the other services. She has also served as Secretary of The Military Coalition (TMC) and volunteered with the World War I Centennial Commission, an organization dedicated to building a national monument in Washington, D.C. for servicemembers from the first world war.
Caitlin is a proud alum of George Mason University. She currently resides in Westminster, MD with her significant other. She has a variety of hobbies including gardening, Krav Maga self-defense, and is an avid reader of fiction books.
Director of Marketing
Kim has spent 20 years working with the National Military Family Association. Her passion is using technology to inform and empower military families. Working for NMFA is not just a job; it is an opportunity to connect with military families at a higher level. Kim enjoys every facet of digital communication, marketing, web design and translating analytics into opportunity.
Deputy Director of Marketing
Shannon joined NMFA in 2013 after a stroke of good luck from a Chinese fortune cookie. She’s worked with military families since 2009, and has been recognized for her efforts supporting the service members, families, and leadership of the Presidential Helicopter squadron (Marine One) and the US Navy Blue Angels. Shannon is a diehard Florida State University alum, loves taking pictures of her dog, and will perform a one-woman version of “Hamilton” for whoever will listen.
Bryan joins the NMFA team nearly two decades of web development experience. He built his first website when he was 16 and hasn’t looked back. Bryan has evolved from taking apart VCR’s to building large enterprise solutions, in fact, his favorite hobby is code! Bryan is a Green Bay Packers and Anaheim Angels fan who also loves camping, video games and watching movies. He is married with three wonderful kids who hate his dad jokes.
Enas is a lover of all things design! She joins NMFA with the hopes of using her design skills to impact military families in a meaningful way. Her design approach to all projects includes research, searching for inspiration, creating a template layout…and coffee! While she has lived in Gainesville, Florida for more than 10 years, she is originally Sudanese & was born in Shendi, Sudan. She received both an Associates of Art & Associates of Science degree from Santa Fe College, followed by a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art & Technology from the University of Florida. Go Gators!
On a mission to only work with entities that serve others, Melissa is excited to bring a vast professional background to NMFA and use her skills to help spread the word about NMFAs programs to military families in need. Melissa is also co-owner of an End of Life support business that helps the dying and grieving process loss and transition. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys gaming with her husband, unnecessarily rearranging the house with her daughter, and sitting in sun beams.
Angela Sablan Tenorio
Born on an island yet bred for the world. From a humble upbringing on the island of Guam to years of education, fundraising, legal and nonprofit work on the U.S. mainland, Angela has never stopped trying to do her bit of selfless service. She comes to NMFA with no shortage of military service men and women in her life. Her grandfather, father, husband, two brothers, brother-in-law, and numerous uncles and cousins have served or currently serve in every branch of our Armed Forces. Naturally, getting to use her degree in Journalism and Media Studies to forge relationships with military families is a no-brainer, and she is pleased to get to do it on the national stage with NMFA. If you don’t find Angela typing away on her MacBook, iMac, or iPad (she’s an Apple fangirl), you’ll find her exploring the outdoors with her active duty Army husband and two kids. She loves ice coffee, beach outings, traveling, and crime shows. Fun fact: She can go toe to toe on trivia related to pop culture, Downton Abbey, or Golden Girls.
Military Family Programs
Director of Military Family Programs
Becca began her career teaching in the South Bronx and has spent the last thirteen years channeling her passion for transformational learning and growth into action for schools, nonprofits, and social impact startups across the country. She is honored to support the incredible NMFA program staff in developing, implementing, and delivering programming serving military children, spouses, and families.
Becca is a proud daughter of a Marine, and gratefully celebrates the service of her brother and father (both USMC), her sister-in-law (Army), her cousin (Air Force) and every family member that has supported them in their service and many deployments and moves. Becca is consistently amazed at the courage, resourcefulness, and determination of military spouses, like her mother, Ann. Known by her wonderful niblings as “Auntie Becca,” she lives in Connecticut, and supports disaster preparedness with the local Community Emergency Response Team.
Program Manager, Operation Purple Program
Natalie was born at Fort Meade Hospital to military parents, so she says marrying a military man was inevitable. They have a college-bound daughter and a dog that will never leave home. Natalie’s position involves researching questions from and providing information to military members and their dependents. Friends and family always ask her to research things for them because she enjoys learning new things and educating others. Natalie loves being a part of our Association because of our passion for military families.
Program Manager, Operation Purple Program
Growing up in a military community, Chelsea has seen first hand the daily sacrifices and dedication each military family makes to support their loved one in uniform. She is honored to serve military families and give back respite and love through our Operation Purple camps. Chelsea lives in Seattle, WA with her husband Mack. Together, they own a jazz piano school where they teach the rich history and technique of jazz piano to adults around the country! When she isn’t supporting military families and the arts, Chelsea can be found in the mountains with friends or cuddled up with a good book.
Program Manager, Operation Purple Program
While taking time off from her career to raise her children, Christy found fulfillment volunteering—particularly supporting military families. After volunteering for NMFA for the past six years, Christy is excited to transition to staff member! She loves traveling and all outdoor activities. She hold a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from Mary Washington College and is married to an active duty Coast Guardsman. Together, they have PCS’d five times!
Program Manager, Scholarships
Julie joins the team with tons of military life experience. She’s the daughter of a Marine and has been married to her Air Force spouse for 23 years. In those 23 years, her military family has moved 10 times, even spending 4.5 years in Germany. Despite her many moves, she remains committed to volunteering—giving her time to Girl Scouts troops, swim teams, Air Force Spouse Clubs, even recruiting others to volunteer their time, too. Julie hails from North Carolina, graduated from NC State University, and is a proud Carolina Panthers fan.
Military Family Programs Coordinator
With 25 years as a military kid and counting, Jaimee brings her diverse array of experiences to the Military Family Programs team. She has lived all over the world, including Japan, the Netherlands, and every submariner kid’s favorite, Groton. Throughout the years, Jaimee has been steadfast in her dedication to service of others, and is delighted to take that dedication to the next level with NMFA. When she isn’t working, she enjoys powerlifting, teaching her dog Misty silly tricks, gardening, and studying meteorology.
Director of Outreach
Once upon a time, Raleigh was a journalist… but then she logged into Facebook, got distracted, and became a social media geek. She’s passionate about public relations, social media, and the power of social technologies to build authentic relationships that lift up a community. Raleigh holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. She and her husband, a Marine Corps Officer, have three small children, a dog, and more moving stickers stuck on their furniture than they can count.
Digital Audience Manager
Luke has always followed his passion for writing and using narrative to make change happen. This led him from journalism, to social media, to communications, and back to social media again. He comes to NMFA with appreciation and admiration for military families and the sacrifices they make. Luke loves all things geek—fantasy, video games, superheroes, and Dungeons and Dragons—and says he’s one of the most open people you’ll ever meet. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a Liberal Arts degree and lives in Maryland with his boyfriend of nearly four years.
Social Media Consultant
Hannah is a born and bred military brat with a passion for sharing the stories of military families like her own. Shortly after she graduated from Messiah University with degrees in English and Communication, her dad retired from the Army and she had to surrender her military ID, prompting a low-key identity crisis. In an effort to stay connected to her military roots, she joined the NMFA team with the hope of building and supporting relationships within the military community. Hannah lives with her husband (a Navy brat—enough said) in Germany where they work with military middle and high school teens through Club Beyond (Young Life Military).
Research + Insights
Director of Research + Insights
Dr. Crystal Lewis is a published author and communication expert with experience in multiple fields. She has worked in higher education institutions for over 15 years in teaching and advising roles as well as curriculum design. She has 10 years of experience as a grant and proposal writer for initiatives including: housing for the mentally-ill homeless population, work programs for the disabled, youth educational programming, and the fight to end America’s opioid epidemic.
Crystal is an active-duty Navy spouse with two children. She is also an NMFA Scholarship recipient who enjoys yoga, hiking, and reading. She also loves coffee, tacos, and spending time with her spouse, kids (who are best friends), and pets: a German Shorthaired Pointer named Birdie, and a Siamese cat named Yuki Tsuki San (they are not friends).
Research and Insights Manager
Aspen loves science and military families. She says science fills her brain, but supporting military families fills her heart. She’s an Army spouse of 15 years, mom of two kids, and loves supporting and empowering other women in the military community to promote family readiness. Aspen earned bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Health Sciences and was a molecular biology researcher and a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist before joining the NMFA team. Fun fact: Aspen is a self-proclaimed “knower of random facts.” Anyone need a trivia teammate?