The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) honors Metro DC’s Finest, a group of the city’s most accomplished men and women who show exemplary leadership, are active in their communities and excel in their professions. Each honoree has committed to participate in a 16-week long awareness and fundraising campaign for the CFF. Read on to learn more about the 17 nominees who comprise the 2016 class of Metro DC’s Finest, and meet them in person on October 5 at the Breathe Easy Bash on K Street. Visit ww.finest.cff.org to learn more about the upcoming event.
David Azer is a senior systems analyst at Geico, supporting the IT development of renter’s insurance. He has approximately 10 years of IT management consulting experience, with a bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s from Johns Hopkins. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer on Capitol Hill with his coed team, running long-distance and supporting his local church. He is participating in DC’s Finest because it provides an opportunity to raise public awareness about a genetic disease while financially supporting the foundation’s mission.
James Brosnan works as an IT project manager at Booz Allen Hamilton. He graduated from Emory University with a major in political science, and enjoys participating in different social sports around DC including dodgeball, soccer, kickball and softball, and playing with his dogs. He got involved with the DC’s Finest program after he was inspired by coworkers who participate yearly in the Xtreme Hike to benefit the CFF.
Robb Dooling moved to DC from Nebraska in 2014 to work as a software engineer at Geico. After visiting all 91 Metro stations and 385+ Capital Bikeshare stations, he still loves exploring the city, absorbing its history and volunteering for causes such as the CFF. Dooling was born profoundly deaf and is fluent in both American sign language (ASL) and English. He also writes questions for ASL Trivia DC, and would enjoy hearing your favorite trivia facts on any topic.
Ryan Fox is a system engineer with Raytheon. He recently left active-duty Air Force and is now in the Air Force Reserves. He loves backpacking and is currently section hiking the Appalachian Trail with a fellow Eagle Scout. He is enrolling in George Washington’s masters of engineering program for cybersecurity next fall. He is participating in DC’s Finest to expand his methods of helping the cause, and because of his family ties to cystic fibrosis.
Ileana Alamo Garay
Ileana Alamo Garay is an integrated media manager for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. She studied public relations and business administration, and completed her certification in project management. She is considering pursuing a master’s degree at Georgetown University. She is heavily involved with professional nonprofit organization Prospanica, and manages their events, social media and marketing communications.
Johnny Garcia is the regional advisor to the vice president of the south region for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), where he advises the vice president and oversees the implementation of the company’s enterprise strategies across nine states. As a leader in the community, he has been selected by the DC mayor to serve as a commissioner for the Office on Latino Affairs’ Latino Community Development Commission. A Washington native, Garcia earned a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of the District of Columbia and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. During his spare time, he likes to travel to learn and experience new cultures and their people, as well as spend quality time with family and friends.
Melanie Goff is a senior advisor for the National Journal Membership. She graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor of arts in political science and a minor in political communication in 2012. She is a native of Columbia, Md. and currently lives in Crystal City, Va.
Spencer is a grassroots and PAC manager for the U.S. Travel Association. He graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame, and moved to the nation’s capital to work on political campaigns. He’s a native of Kentucky who has wanted to get involved with the CFF for some time, as he grew up with a close family friend who had cystic fibrosis.
Lisa-Marie Kelly earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Salisbury University. She currently works as a relationship manager for The Meltzer Group, a prominent insurance brokerage specializing in strategic insurance placement. Her role encompasses her passion for helping others by assisting business owners in selecting the best benefit options to minimize risk, retain employees and increase productivity. Kelly is highly active in the community through programs including Big Brothers Big Sisters, N Street Village and the Rotary Club. Her father was a warrior and sufferer of cystic fibrosis, and after his death in 2014, she has been increasingly committed to promoting awareness. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking and exploring all DC has to offer.
Sergio Leon is a 2009 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a dual degree in finance and economics. Upon graduation, he joined Deloitte & Touche and later, Volkswagen Group of America. In his current role as a manager in the statistical modeling group, Leon provides expert knowledge in statistical modeling techniques to business unit leaders throughout the company. He enjoys golfing and traveling the world with his wife. In addition, over the past few years, he has developed an affinity for mountain biking. On most weekends, you can find him riding his fat-tire mountain bike on several of Northern Virginia’s single-track trails.
Christian Mullins was born and raised in King of Prussia, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia. He currently resides in Bethesda, Md. and is a senior sales executive for Marriott International. He is grateful to be recognized as a 2016 DC’s Finest honoree. Christian’s younger sister has cystic fibrosis, so this disease has had a big impact on his family for the last 23 years. He grew up watching his parents be actively involved in the CFF’s Delaware Valley chapter, and it has inspired him to follow suit when he recently moved to the DC area. Mullins would like to say “thank you” to his friends and family who have continued to support his fundraising efforts to one day make “CF” stand for “cure found.”
Amanda Murphy has over 10 years of experience in communications consulting. She has successfully managed communications and change management teams, and crafted communications strategies to manage stakeholder expectations. Following her graduation from Boston College, Murphy worked on the production of a major network television pilot and as an assistant to an award-winning movie producer. She also served as deputy field director on a presidential campaign in the Virginia-coordinated campaign office. Additionally, she serves on the planning committee of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Tennis Gala.
Korey graduated from Rider University in 2007. Over his 10-year career at Walgreens, he has worked in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, DC and now currently in Rockville, Md. As a newlywed, Paff enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, golfing, watching any Philadelphia sports team, and grilling.
Allison Primack, a CF sister, moved to DC five years ago from California to obtain her master’s in public policy at George Washington University. She currently works at M Powered Strategies, a change management consulting firm where she has helped federal clients in six federal agencies communicate and manage projects more effectively, while also managing the company’s sales operations. Primack has participated in CFF’s Great Strides walk regularly since her sister, Robyn, was born, and has led her own teams with Robyn in San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and DC since 2009. In her free time, she likes to travel to new places both domestically and internationally, as well as explore new places in DC – especially restaurants.
Heidi graduated cum laude from Rowan University, with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and minors in advertising and psychology. After graduation, she interned with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s DC chapter, and then went on to work for their national headquarters. She currently works in the foundation’s fundraising operations department as a fundraising operations supervisor. In her free time, she likes to travel, cook and run with her golden retriever, Tuck.
Matthew Shannon is a research analyst for CEB, a best practice insight and technology company based in Rosslyn, Va., where he focuses on management best practices in corporate finance. A District resident since 2014, Shannon has been an active part of the community through his involvement with local volunteer and nonprofit organizations, including For Love of Children, City Blossoms and DC Central Kitchen. As an avid runner, he knows the vital importance of the respiratory system for living an active lifestyle. He first started raising money and awareness for cystic fibrosis in 2005 by participating in Bishop O’Connell High School’s Superdance, and is continuing that effort this year in memory of a college friend who had cystic fibrosis.
Jenny Vince currently works for global public relations firm H+K Strategies, providing strategic communications counsel and media relations for clients in technology, energy, healthcare and retail. As a native Washingtonian, Jenny was drawn back to the city after graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an Italian studies minor from a semester abroad in Rome. She has a passion for animals, yoga and all things travel. Whether it’s paddle boarding on the Chesapeake with her Yorkshire pup Remington, jumping off cliffs in Capri, scuba diving in the Caymans or skydiving anywhere, Jenny lives by the motto, “Work hard, play hard.”
To donate or learn more about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visitwww.finest.cff.org or contact Beatrice Santacroce at email@example.com.
Professional headshots: Rodney Choice