Meet the Staff
Polly Dawkins – Executive Director
Polly brings 25 years of for-profit and nonprofit experience to the Davis Phinney Foundation. That experience includes transforming a struggling UK-based organization into a multi-million dollar venture and, closer to home, leading a local fundraising chapter of an international literacy organization. Polly’s track record managing organizations responsibly and with transparency dovetails with her humanitarian worldview. She is committed to making wise use of the Foundation’s resources, enabling it to extend its reach while staying true to its mission. Polly holds an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in International Studies from Earlham College. She lives in Boulder with her husband and two children. Polly is an avid cyclist and indoor cycling instructor, a voracious reader and world traveler.
Elisabeth Geraci – Program Associate
Lis started with the Davis Phinney Foundation as a summer intern and joined the organization full-time in 2013 as a Program Associate. She brings to this role a close connection to the Parkinson’s community, a passion for adventure and a desire to make the world a better place. She works closely with the lead project manager on The Victory Summit symposia and supports the Executive Director and Science Advisory Board with the Foundation’s annual research grant award process. An East Coast native, Lis is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys triathlons, reading, traveling and spending time outdoors in the sunshine with her dog, Ellie Beyoncé.
Heather Hine – The Victory Summit® Program Manager
Heather joined the Foundation in 2013 to manage The Victory Summit symposia. Her present and past positions reflect her passion for empowering underserved populations and individuals facing life challenges. She brings local and international program management experience. Heather holds a MS in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and a BA in Speech Communication from Trinity University. Heather loves living at the base of Boulder’s foothills and enjoys reading, cooking with friends and traveling.
Lauren (Hunt) Kehn – Victory Crew ® Program Manager
A graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, Lauren brings a complementary mix of event coordinating, coaching and advising experience in her role as Victory Crew Program Manager for the Foundation’s grassroots fundraising program. She has a passion for people, enthusiasm for the Parkinson’s Tribe, and thrives on connecting communities. Lauren, her husband, and their kitty and dog reside in Raleigh, NC and love adventuring outdoors including skiing, running, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Cindy Landi – Office Manager
Cindy joined the Davis Phinney Foundation team in 2009. In addition to keeping the office running smoothly, she manages the Foundation’s database, volunteers and provides extensive event support for Victory Crew and The Victory Summit symposia. Cindy brings over 10 years nonprofit experience to the Foundation with past roles in donor relations, database management, development, bookkeeping and as an Executive and Board Assistant. Cindy is a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association and the National Notary Association.
Christa Lassen-Vogel – Director of Marketing
Christa brings 20+ years of experience in branding and integrated marketing, including in healthcare, medical device, technology and consumer packaged goods to her work at the Foundation. She is responsible for leading the Foundation’s brand strategy, marketing and communications, as well as for directing the Every Victory Counts and Living Well Challenge programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Christa developed national brands in strategic consulting and creative director roles. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from University of Denver Daniels College of Business. A childhood passion for riding as fast as possible and a college job in a bike shop laid the foundation for a love of all things cycling that endures today.
Ally Ley – Program Specialist
Ally joined the Foundation in the spring of 2011 to manage the Victory Crew program for grassroots fundraising. She then transitioned into managing The Victory Summit symposia series, planning successful events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Richmond, Virginia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ally began graduate studies in the fall of 2012, and continues her work with the Foundation part-time, lending her skills and experience as a program specialist. A Colorado native and graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, she enjoys spending her rare spare time with her husband, family, and friends.
Eileen Mullin-Gasteier – National Vice President of Development
Eileen joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2013 to oversee the strategic growth of development across the country and beyond. Eileen has successfully led multiple development operations through start-up and expansion. Her work to date has focused in the Chicago region, where much of her career has centered around high-impact education reform organizations. Eileen’s fundraising passion stems from the belief that great investments happen only through collaboration of innovative non-profits and engaged, empowered investors. Eileen received an MBA from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Psychology from the University of Dayton. A native of Cleveland, Ohio she has called Chicago home for 12 years. She and her husband have two young children.
Jessica Ozar – Grant Writer
Jessica joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2014 to contribute to the growth of development. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jessica lived in Israel, supporting a local nonprofit that focused on youth development, academic achievement, and cultural identity among Ethiopian Israeli youth. She has previously worked with refugee and immigrant communities in the US, and she has a passion for empowering people to advocate for their own well being. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Georgia. A Georgia native, Jessica lives in Denver with her partner. She loves being in the outdoors and especially enjoys star-gazing in the desert.
Anna Van Pelt – Program Specialist
Anna joined the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2014 to support the Every Victory Counts and Living Well Challenge programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Anna worked with communities and individuals to implement healthy eating and active living strategies. Anna has a passion for healthy living and empowering people to advocate for their own health and wellbeing. She holds a BS from Colorado State University and an MPH from the University of Colorado Denver. A Colorado native, Anna enjoys camping, skiing, cycling and traveling.