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CAF Staff

Challenged Athletes Foundation® couldn't be where it is today without the passion and dedication of its devoted staff. They fuel and execute Board of Director's vision with vigor and drive, making CAF one of the most progressive and unique 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations on the planet.

Ken Wheatley: Chief Executive Officer

Virginia Tinley: Senior Director of Philanthropy

Nancy Reynolds: Senior Director of Business Development

Chelle Struve: Director of Marketing

Paul Abelman: Director of Finance

Doug Olson: Northeast Senior Director of Development

Dawna Callahan: Director of Programs

Nico Marcolongo: Senior Manager of Operation Rebound

Julia Duggan: Senior Special Events Manager

Kim Rohr: Office Manager

Jamie Goodwick: Creative Manager

Carlos Escaba: Senior Marketing and PR Manager

Michelle Spacciapolli: Marketing Manager

Travis Ricks: Senior Programs Manager and Athlete Relations

Lauren Ram:  Programs Coordinator

Patrick Lawrence:  Programs Manager

Jennifer Rose: Senior Development Manager

Joanna McGowan: Special Events Manager

Mohamed Gerrbi: Salesforce CRM Data Manager

Jason Karavidas: Business Development Manager

James Sa: Communications Coordinator

Carolyne Chen: Programs Coordinator

Jayme Jarvis: Administrative Coordinator

Zephyr Flowers: Financial Analyst


KEN WHEATLEY

KEN WHEATLEY: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Ken Wheatley joins the CAF team after holding numerous leadership roles. He retired as a Senior Vice President with Sony Electronics after a 24-year career, and prior to that he was an FBI Special Agent. He’s a 1995 LEAD San Diego graduate and has served on a number of Boards and international advisory groups, such as the Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club, Chairman and President of the Mid-County Transportation Management Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, International Organization of Standards in Geneva, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and President of the International Security Management Association. Most recently, he served for four years, as the Co-Director for the California Chapter of the Washington DC-based Lung Cancer Alliance nonprofit.

Wheatley graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Master’s degree from Webster University and received his undergraduate degree from Florida International University. He’s also attended senior executive education programs with the Harvard JFK School of Government, University of Michigan Business School, and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. For recreation Ken loves to play racquetball and hike.

VIRGINIA TINLEY

VIRGINIA TINLEY: SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY

Virginia was the first employee hired by CAF in 1998 to provide infrastructure and leadership to an organization that was rapidly growing. She has overseen the growth of corporate relationships; grant writing, staff development and strategic planning. She also has been the driving force behind elevating the crown jewel of CAF, the San Diego Triathlon Challenge to a first class event.

NANCY REYNOLDS

NANCY REYNOLDS: SENIOR DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Nancy joined CAF in the spring of 2009. Her education and background is in finance and business development and she previously was an entrepreneur with her own business where she worked with many of the finest retailers and companies in the nation. She has an enormous passion to help others and is an avid runner, cyclist and part-time swimmer.

CHELLE STRUVE

CHELLE STRUVE: DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

After being inspired by the CAF mission at SDTC, Chelle was thrilled to join the team in 2014. She brings many years of advertising, marketing and corporate communications experience in industries ranging from nonprofit to transportation, hospitality, healthcare and environmental. She takes full advantage of living in sunny San Diego and enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, running, water sports and especially beachside yoga.

PAUL ABELMAN

PAUL ABELMAN: DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Paul joined CAF two years ago. A Chartered Accountant of South Africa, Paul had an international career with a Fortune 100 consumer products manufacturer in Hong Kong and China in various financial and management roles. He has mentored personnel and been a leader on cross functional teams which have driven growth and business simplification. He also has experience with small to medium size business start-ups and change management in the healthcare and professional services industries. Paul is passionate about CAF’s mission and, new to San Diego, enjoys the wonderful outdoor weather, walking and riding his bike.

DOUG OLSON

DOUG OLSON: NORTHEAST SENIOR DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Doug is the Senior Development Director, Northeast Region based in NYC. He has an 18-year career in non-profit development and leadership at leading national and regional charities, such as Hearing Health Foundation, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association. His expertise is in annual giving, major giving and planned giving. Doug lives in Northern NJ with his wife and two kids. He is an avid tennis player, golfer, skier and runner.

DAWNA CALLAHAN

DAWNA CALLAHAN: DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS

Dawna brings to CAF 20+ years of experience in the adaptive sport industry in a variety of roles, most recently as the Manager of Outreach and Development with U.S. Paralympics. As a 4x Boston Marathon finisher, Dawna enjoys wheelchair racing as well as skiing in the winter. She has a Master's degree in Recreation Management from San Jose State University and also completed graduate studies in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State. After living around the Rocky Mountains in CO for the past 15 years, she’s back living in her native California enjoying the warm sunshine.

NICO MARCOLONGO

NICO MARCOLONGO: SENIOR MANAGER OF OPERATION REBOUND

Nico joined CAF in the spring of 2008 after 14 years of service as a United States Marine Corps Officer. He is a veteran of the Iraq conflict and brings with him over 8 years of fundraising and event experience to benefit challenged military athletes. Nico is dedicated to supporting the rehabilitative needs of our troops and will lead CAF's effort to mentor and provide post-rehabilitation support to American service members who have suffered permanent physical injuries in recent conflicts.

JULIA DUGGAN

JULIA DUGGAN: SENIOR SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGER

Julia began working at CAF in the fall of 2013 as the manager of cycling events including CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge. She brings with her over 8 years of event planning and fundraising experience and a love of both logistics and working with people. Julia enjoys all things outdoors including hiking, biking, kayaking and running.

KIM ROHR: OFFICE MANAGER

Kim’s first involvement with CAF was in 2009 as the community relations manager with Sony Electronics. She joined the staff in the summer of 2014. Kim brings over 15 years of experience working with nonprofits, volunteer management, and expo coordinating. Kim has a love for supporting nonprofits and helping others. She has sat on several boards and helped with their fundraising and event needs. In her spare time she enjoys anything outdoors- walking her dogs, hiking, beach camping and spending time with her boys. Her enthusiasm, strong work ethic and passion for helping others make her a great addition to the CAF team!

JAMIE GOODWICK: CREATIVE MANAGER

Passionate about athletics and giving back, Jamie was proud to join CAF in early 2015. Jamie’s experience in digital marketing was gained as a leader in several collegiate clubs and organizations, as well as his previous position with a family-owned apparel brand where he designed and distributed all print and digital marketing materials. Jamie is an active member in several San Diego based run clubs and enjoys playing with his two dogs Hawk and Lambeau.

CARLOS ESCABA: SENIOR MARKETING & PR MANAGER

Carlos is an avid surfer, traveler and loves food. After moving to San Diego from his birth place in Mexico City, he graduated from UCLA, and then joined the New Media team at FUEL TV. From there he went to work in marketing at FOX Deportes and most recently at the International Surfing Association, where he led successful global media campaigns. He is excited help fulfill CAF's mission by empowering athletes with physical challenges globally while putting a smile on their face.

MICHELLE SPACCIAPOLLI: MARKETING MANAGER

Michelle joined the CAF team in July 2015 bringing non-profit experience in digital marketing, branding, and fundraising. She is a San Diego native who played collegiate soccer at Boston College and Pepperdine University. Michelle is excited to combine her passion for sports and serving others to support the CAF mission.

TRAVIS RICKS

TRAVIS RICKS: SENIOR PROGRAMS MANAGER AND ATHLETE RELATIONS

An above-knee amputee challenged athlete, Travis started with CAF as a volunteer and mentor in 2004. Now Travis coordinates the Catch a Rising Star workshops, grant evaluations, athlete relations and community outreach. He likes to stay active through participation in snowboarding and triathlon events.

LAUREN RAM: PROGRAMS COORDINATOR

Following her younger brother's left leg amputation and subsequent running leg grant from CAF, Lauren started volunteering for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in 2009. Lauren began interning for the Programs Department once she started college, helping with Catch a Rising Star clinics, Project N.Ex.T. development, marketing, and athlete relations,with her favorite event being SDTC. Lauren graduated UCLA in June of 2015 after working for the UCLA Athletics Department in Marketing and Game Day Operations, and was hired by CAF's Programs Department in July 2015. Lauren is excited to continue to help families like hers, and to carry on the CAF legacy.

PATRICK LAWRENCE: PROGRAMS MANAGER

After several years of work in healthcare and recreation, Patrick earned a Master’s Degree in athletic training from the University of Central Oklahoma. This lead to a position with the US National Sitting Volleyball Teams and a love for adaptive sports. After moving with his family to San Diego in 2014, he continued to volunteer in adaptive sports and to work with USA Volleyball in hopes of finding a place working with challenged athletes. He has been with CAF only a short time, but is very excited to be a part of the team. He loves running and spending time with his family.

JENNIFER ROSE

JENNIFER ROSE: SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Jennifer joined CAF in the spring of 2005 bringing with her several years of non-profit experience in the athletic industry. She is a valuable addition in assisting with special events, program coordination, and communication. Her go-getter attitude and smile are contagious to the whole team.

JOANNA MCGOWARN

JOANNA MCGOWAN: SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGER

Joanna was introduced to CAF in 2001 by co-founder, Rick Kozlowski. As Event Coordinator at KOZ Events, she worked alongside Rick to produce the annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) fundraiser for three years. In 2004, Joanna joined CAF as Fundraising & Donor Relations Manager – a perfect fit that combined her special event experience from Scripps Health, love for CAF and B.S. in Management from Babson College. Joanna transitioned to a contractor role in 2007 and for the next nine years served in various capacities to support CAF. In 2015, she led the data migration project to move CAF to a new CRM platform and in January 2016, returnedfull-time as Special Events Manager. Joannaloves all things outdoors and her favorite spots include running the trails at San Elijo Lagoon and beach nights at Seaside.

MOHAMED GERRBI

MOHAMED GERRBI: SALESFORCE CRM DATA MANAGER

Prior to joining Challenged Athletes Foundation, Mo was Salesforce Administrator/Analyst for Politico, a leading political-journalism organization that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally. Mo is a Certified Salesforce Administrator, and with previous experienceshas the unique skill set of both selling and process improvement experience, and has a understanding of the challenges involved with CRM/System implementation, integration and adoption. Mo enjoys staying active including hiking, snowboarding, surfing and playing sports.

JASON KARAVIDAS: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Jason joined the CAF team in 2014 bringing with him over 6 years of experience in non-profit development and campaign management, event planning and corporate recruiting. He is a native Southern Californian and a passionate athlete and competitor. Jason represented Team USA in the 2014 Duathlon Age Group World Championships and tries his best in the water as a triathlete.

JAMES SA: COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Quadriplegic adaptive athlete James Sa began his involvement with CAF in 2012 as a volunteer and eventual mentor after a successful involvement with Project N.Ex.T. James was hired full time in 2015 and works in Business Development as a grant writer and content writer. He also speaks to various philanthropic groups, schools, and sponsors on the tremendous positive impact CAF has on adaptive athletes. James plays Wheelchair Rugby with San Diego Sharp Edge and also enjoys reading, trying new food, and being a giant comic book nerd.

CAROLYNE CHEN: PROGRAMS COORDINATOR

Carolyne started interning at CAF in August 2014 in the Business Development department and was instantly hooked on CAF’s mission and values after working her first SDTC. As an avid runner, she loved seeing the positive impact athleticism had on individuals. Previous to CAF, Carolyne began her non-profit career interest with the National Student Leadership Program, where she worked as the Program Director, creating multiple ten-day conferences for high school students interested in medicine and healthcare. Carolyne officially joined the CAF staff in the Programs department in September 2015, bringing her passion for active lifestyles, experience in non-profit programming, and love for CAF!

JAYME JARVIS

JAYME JARVIS: ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Jayme joined the CAF team in July 2012, shortly after graduating from Chapman University with a degree in Communication Studies. A native San Diegan, she grew up playing competitive sports and was recruited to play college softball at Chapman. Jayme has a passion for serving others and giving back to the community, which is why she loves working at CAF. She is very involved with her church, and in her spare time, you are likely to find her at a country music concert or a Chargers football game. Jayme is a team player and is always ready to lend a helping hand to those who need it, making her a great asset to the CAF team!

ZEPHYR FLOWERS

ZEPHYR FLOWERS: FINANCIAL ANALYST

Zephyr Fletcher Flowers has been working at CAF as the staff accountant since January 2015. She is a bookkeeping professional with fifteen years of accounting, administration, and consulting experience working and volunteering for several non-profit organizations and private sector action sports companies.She is a disciplined runner, avid triathlete, action sports enthusiast, and inspirational 9-year Indoor Cycling Instructor for the Paul Ecke YMCA and Bay Club of Carmel Valley. Her passion, diligence, and enthusiasm for endurance and action sports is directly reflected in her work ethic at CAF.