Our board members have years of experience in their respective fields and bring varied skill sets to the organization. They secure resources and help shape program strategy to ensure Horton’s Kids’ sustainability. Many members are former or current volunteers, and two members are community representatives.
Allison Remsen, Chair
Allison Remsen is the Executive Director of Mobile Future, a coalition of technology and communications companies and non-profit organizations focused on continued investment and innovation in the wireless space. Remsen also spent several years as press secretary for House Democratic Whip David Bonior. After leaving Capitol Hill, she served as Vice President – Media Relations for the United States Telecom Association. She began her career working in government relations for the National Cable Television Association. Remsen is a long-time Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Germonique Ulmer, Vice-Chair
Germonique R. Ulmer is a seasoned communications professional, media relations trainer and organizer with experience working for national organizations and has served as a political appointee at the highest level of DC Government. She is currently the Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and sits on the volunteer boards of several DC nonprofits.
Peter Manos, Treasury
Peter Manos has shared overall responsibility for all management and investment activities of Arlington Capital Partners. Peter has over 17 years of private equity, public equity, and merger and acquisition transactional experience and he has closed on over $2 billion of transactions. At Arlington, Peter has been active in all areas of the Firm’s investment activities and has primary responsibility for the Firm’s aerospace/defense investments and primary shared responsibility for Arlington’s healthcare services investments.
Prior to joining Arlington in 2001, Peter’s private equity track record included The Carlyle Group, a Washington, DC-based global private equity firm with over $39 billion of committed capital under management, and Capitol Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm focused on technology, scale and infrastructure-intensive markets.
Peter has a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis on finance, which he earned from the Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of Stanford University.
Erik Olson, Secretary
Erik Olson is Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin, 3rd District). Erik joined Representative Kind’s congressional staff in January 2003 and in his current role, serves as the top strategic advisor for Representative Kind who is a member of the House Ways and Means and Natural Resources Committees and a vice chair of the New Democrat Coalition. Overseeing a staff of 15, Erik coordinates political, legislative and media strategy on an array of critical issues including health care, tax, trade, energy and agriculture.
Prior to joining Congressman Kind’s congressional staff, Erik spent 3 ½ years with Congressman Kind’s campaign, where he served as Campaign Manager.
Erik holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Erik was raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He is a long-time Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Dan Walsh, President
Dan Walsh is a Director of Governmental Affairs in Greenberg Traurig’s Washington, DC office. Prior to his private sector career, Mr. Walsh served nine years on Capitol Hill, including seven as legislative director to Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-MD). In 1997 he represented the moderate Republican Tuesday Group in House Republican leadership. Mr. Walsh has wide-ranging experience representing clients before Congress and was involved in public policy positioning, coalition-building, industry outreach, and media strategy. He is a former Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Missy Edwards, Vice President
Missy Edwards is currently President of Missy Edwards Strategies, LLC, a multi-disciplinary federal affairs firm. Prior to opening her own firm, she served as Senior Vice President at Clark & Weinstock.
Prior to Clark & Weinstock, Missy served as the Director of Development and Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 1998 and 2000 cycles. In 1997, Missy was also chief Senate Republican lobbyist for the American Medical Association (AMA).
Missy began her career in Washington as a policy adviser to Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) in the areas of heath care, energy/environment and appropriations.
Tim Trysla, Board Member
Timothy P. Trysla is a partner in the Health Care Group at Alston & Bird LLP. He has nearly twenty years of health care policy experience in the private sector, executive and legislative branches of government.
Mr. Trysla served as senior policy advisor to the administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition to advising the administrator on matters of Medicare and Medicaid policy, he worked as a liaison for CMS to the White House and Congress on Medicare reform and prescription drug coverage issues. He served as administrator-designee and speechmaker to large medical specialty and beneficiary groups and helps manage the development, passage and implementation the Medicare Part D program.
He is also a former Horton’s Kids’ volunteer.
Liz Dougherty, Board Member
Ms. Elizabeth Dougherty, a Member of the National Mediation Board since 2006, has twice served as Chairman: from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 and also from December 13, 2006 through June 30, 2007. She was nominated by President George W. Bush and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Prior to joining the Board, Ms. Dougherty served as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy at the White House, where she covered labor and transportation issues. Prior to that, she served as Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training. Earlier in her career, she was an Associate at Hogan & Hartson, practicing labor and employment law.
Ms. Dougherty received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her JD from the University of Virginia.
Sherrie Essix, Board Member
Bio coming soon.
Montae Franklin, Board Member
Montae Franklin has been involved in Horton’s Kids his entire life, first as a program participant and most recently as a volunteer. In May 2010, Montae graduated from Cesar Chavez High School and moved on to Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland where he is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During Horton’s Kids’ 2010 strategic planning, Montae provided valuable insight and constructive feedback as a focus group participant. Montae brings a unique perspective on how the decisions made at the board level will affect the lives of the children Horton’s Kids serves.
Matt Gelman, Board Member
Matt Gelman has over twenty years of policy and political experience in Washington, DC. As Senior Director of Congressional Affairs, Matt oversees Microsoft’s federal lobbying activities with the U.S. Congress and works closely with internal and external stakeholders on legislative and political matters that impact the company. In his capacity as head of Congressional Affairs, Matt manages a team of four senior Microsoft lobbyists who are responsible for driving the company’s day-to-day advocacy efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
Matt first became involved with Horton’s Kids in 1991 while working on Capitol Hill and has served on the Board of Directors for eight years, including one year as the chairman.
Juleanna Glover, Board Member
Juleanna Glover advises major corporate clients with high stakes public and government affairs challenges in a myriad and diverse range of issue areas. Ms. Glover has over twenty years experience working on some of the most important government policy debates, high profile political campaigns and corporate controversies in the U.S. and abroad.
Ms. Glover has served on the senior staffs of then President-elect George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential candidate Steve Forbes, and then Senator John Ashcroft. She advised Senator John McCain, in his bid for the White House, traveling with him throughout the 2008 presidential primary season.
Prior to joining The Ashcroft Group, LLC, she was a director at Clark and Weinstock, one of the most respected public and government affairs firms in the country.
Ms. Glover holds a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University and Bachelors degree in Political Science from Marymount University. She was also a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has completed extensive post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.
Alyssa Gowens, Board Member
Alyssa Gowens is the Judiciary Legislative Counsel for Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC). As Legislative Counsel, Alyssa manages a broad portfolio of Judiciary Committee issues with a special emphasis on copyright, trademark, patent, anti-trust and immigration law.
She joined the office of Rep. Mel Watt, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, as a Judiciary Legislative Assistant in 2007. In this role she was responsible for covering legislation arising under the House Judiciary Committee, including copyright law, criminal law, civil rights and civil liberties, election reform, immigration and border security. She also assumed responsibility for issues relating to labor and tort reform, in addition to being Rep. Watt’s liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus.
Alyssa was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated Spelman College in Atlanta, GA cum laude in 2002 and then attended Howard University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland and Washington, D.C. and is an active member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bar Associations.
Additionally, Alyssa has been an active Horton’s Kids’ volunteer since 2008. In 2011, she collaborated with Horton’s Kids’ staff and a fellow volunteer to create a discussion group specifically for girls in grades 5 through 12 who are enrolled in our programs.
Eric Hauser, Board Member
The founder and President of The Hauser Group, Inc., Eric Hauser has a distinguished reputation in the field of strategic public communications. His career combines an outstanding record of achievement with a deep-seated commitment to the public interest. Hauser launched the company – expressly dedicated to progressive causes – after more than a decade in politics, public relations consulting, and academia.
Hauser also served as the press secretary for Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential bid. As a member of the campaign’s inner circle, Hauser managed the national press operation and played a major role in shaping political and communications strategy. He also acted as chief spokesman for the campaign and was a frequent guest on national television talk shows.
Hauser worked for Bradley previously, serving as his Senate Communications Director from 1991-1995. This position capped a ten-year career on Capitol Hill where Hauser also worked as press secretary for three Members of Congress, including now-Senator Chuck Schumer.
Hauser graduated from Kenyon College in 1984 with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy.
Marc Lampkin, Board Member
As one of QGA’s lead Republican lobbyists and senior strategic advisors, Marc brings extensive experience in political campaigns, public policy and law to his work on behalf of QGA clients.
Marc is a veteran of the 2000 Bush for President campaign where he served as Deputy Campaign Manager, senior Bush-Cheney political operative at the 2000 Republican Convention, and leader of the recount efforts in various locations in Florida. Prior to the Bush campaign, Marc held a variety of senior positions with Republican Members of Congress including serving as General Counsel to then-House Republican Conference Chairman John Boehner (now House Minority Leader), Policy Director to the late Senator Paul Coverdell, and majority professional staff member to the House Education and Labor Committee.
Marc is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with an A.B. in Political Science and he earned his J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1991.
Gayle Manchin, Board Member
Gayle Manchin is from Charleston, West Virginia and is President-Elect of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE). She was also appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the FIPSE (Federal Improvement for Post Secondary Education) Board in 2010.
Gayle serves as Corresponding Secretary for the US Senate Spouses. She is also a member of the Spouses First Lady Luncheon Committee and the International Club III.
Gayle is married to Senator Joe Manchin, III; they are proud parents of 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Mary Ellen Matheson, Board Member
Mary Ellen Matheson is Vice President of Development at Meridian International Center and in this capacity oversees annual fundraising goals, strategies and tactics. She manages the Development staff in fundraising efforts, establishing, cultivating and maintaining contact with donors and new prospects including individual donors, corporations, and foundations. Mary Ellen has over 15 years of development, marketing or business development experience. Prior to joining Meridian, she was Director of Development at the D.C. offices of Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation where she oversaw and executed foundation, corporate and individual fundraising. She spent 8 years at Tiffany & Co. in New York managing Tiffany’s international expansion in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific markets.
Mary Ellen has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Virginia and M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business focused on International Business and Marketing.
John Pappas, Board Member
John Pappas has been engaged in high-level policy and political consulting in Washington, D.C., for the last ten years. As Poker Players Alliance executive director, he is responsible for overall operations management, strategic initiatives, membership communication/engagement and recruitment.
Prior to taking a full-time position at the Poker Players Alliance, he was a public affairs consultant for the Washington PR firm Dittus Communications. During his four years at Dittus, Pappas served as a media and policy advisor for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, start-up firms, trade associations and grassroots organizations like the PPA.
Pappas cut his teeth in Washington politics straight out of college. He worked for nearly six years with his hometown congressman, John Shadegg from Arizona. Pappas handled policy issues for the congressman, including e-commerce and homeland security. He also served as the congressman’s communications director and spokesperson, managing media strategy and press inquiries in Washington, DC and Arizona. In addition to his work on Capitol Hill, Pappas also worked on several congressional and state-wide political campaigns.
He is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Bernie Robinson, Board Member
Bernie Robinson is a partner of The Livingston Group, which provides comprehensive lobbying services in the USA and internationally. For TLG, Bernie leads the Cybersecurity and Financial Services & Tax practice groups and is a member of the Education, Health Care and Transportation TLG practice groups.
Hannah Simone, Board Member
Hannah Simone is the Senior Director of Political Affairs at the National Energy Institiute. At NEI, Ms. Simone Handles all political activities, including fundraisers and conventions, and lobbies on energy policy issues. Prior to joining NEI, Ms. Simone was with the Edison Electric Institute for nine and a half years. From 1992 – 1996, she served in the Clinton Administration in several capacities; from 1992 – 1994, she was the Deputy National Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee, where she coordinated fundraising events around the country with President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. From 1994 – 1996, she worked as a political appointee at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. At the CPSC she served as a Special Assistant to Chairman Ann Brown as well as in the office of Public Affairs to coordinate media efforts related to recall and public safety campaigns. A native of Beaumont, Texas, Ms. Simone began her career in the office of Congressman Jack Brooks (D-9-TX) in 1986. Ms. Simone serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Business Political Action Committees (NABPAC) and is the DC Finance Co-Chair for the Creative Coalition.
Tracey Schmitt, Board Member
Tracey Schmitt is currently the vice president of corporate communications for Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Rockville, Maryland which focuses on the development, manufacture and commercialization of vaccines and therapeutics to prevent and treat disease.
Schmitt has over a decade of experience in public relations and politics. Most recently, she served as the press secretary for Vice-Presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin and deputy communications director for the McCain ’08 presidential campaign, where she traveled with Palin, provided strategic counsel, and managed the traveling press corps. Schmitt started her political career in 1999 in Austin, Texas, where she coordinated national television appearances and interviews for surrogates of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign, the presidential debates, both the Republican and Democrat conventions, and the Florida Recount effort. Schmitt then went on to serve in the White House Office of Communications, before joining the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign as spokeswoman and regional press secretary. Following the 2004 campaign, Schmitt served as the national press secretary for the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee, where she crafted the messages and themes for the week long event and supervised the media relations for the operation. Following the Inauguration, Schmitt was appointed as the national press secretary for the Republican National Committee, where she was the primary spokeswoman from 2005-2007. She has appeared in various capacities on ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, participated in various national and regional radio interviews, and guest lectured at several universities, including Princeton and Brown.
Schmitt holds a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. In the fall of 2011, she completed a course in Corporate Social Responsibility at Harvard Business School.
Chip Stelljes, Board Member
Mr. Stelljes is the President, Chief Investment Officer, and a Director of The Gladstone Companies, leaders in private equity, debt, and real estate financing for companies in the lower end of the middle market. Prior to joining Gladstone, Mr. Stelljes was a General Partner of Camden Partners and Cahill, Warnock & Company, later stage private equity funds, where he directed investments in communications and business services. Previously, Mr. Stelljes served as a Managing Director and Partner of Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm focused on investments in communications and information technology, where he held initial responsibility for the raising the firm’s first institutional fund. From 1989 to 1997, Mr. Stelljes held various positions including Executive Vice President and Principal with Allied Capital Corporation and its affiliates. Mr. Stelljes also served as Executive Vice President of Business Mortgage Investors, a private mortgage REIT managed by Allied. Mr. Stelljes currently serves as a General Partner and Investment Committee Member of Patriot Capital, a private equity and mezzanine fund, is a Board Member of Intrepid Capital, a money management and mutual fund manager, and is an Advisory Board Member of FedCap Partners, a private equity fund focused on investments in government contractors. He is a former board member and regional president of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC). Mr. Stelljes received a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Virginia. He is a member of Capital for Children, a charity comprised of private equity individuals focused on at risk youths.
Rick Axthelm, Board Member
Rick Axthelm serves as the director of government and external affairs for Alpha Natural Resources, a leading global coal company. Prior to joining Alpha, Rick worked for nearly a decade as legislative director and in various other policy positions within the office of Wyoming’s lone U.S. Representative. He also spent two years as director of government affairs for America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. Rick began as a volunteer with Horton’s Kids in 2000 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2005.
Jeanne Wolak, Board Member
Jeanne Wolak was appointed Senior Director, Legislative/Regulatory Strategy in 2006, and prior to that served as Director, Federal Legislative Affairs for Southern Company since June 1998. Jeanne manages energy policy and electricity issues for Southern Company as well as coordinating strategy development for other key issues in the Washington office. She previously held the position of Washington Federal Affairs Representative for Central and South West Corporation, a Dallas-based electric utility.
Prior to Central and South West, Jeanne spent nine years on Capitol Hill. She was an aide to Rep. Rick Boucher where she advised him on matters pending before the Science, Space and Technology Committee. She then served as the legislative director and appropriations staff associate to Rep. Jim Chapman, where she managed energy, environmental and related appropriations issues for the Congressman.
Rick Lane, Board Member
Rick Lane is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for News Corporation. He is responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the Corporation’s public policy activities. Before joining News Corporation, Rick was the Director of Congressional Affairs focusing on E-Commerce and Internet public policy issues for the United States Chamber of Commerce. Prior to working at the Chamber, Rick was employed by the international law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (WG&M) as the Director of Legislative Affairs. From 1988 to 1993, he worked for U.S. Representative Joseph D. Early (D-MA) as an Associate Staff member to the House Appropriations Committee.
Rick’s background also includes creating the Modern Educational Technology Center (METEC) and CyberSports, Inc. METEC was an educational technology private-public partnership.
Rick has served in leadership positions on a variety of federal, state, local commissions and committees, including his participation as a member of the United States Trade Representative’s Joint Government-Private Sector Committee on Experts on Electronic Commerce (Joint E-Commerce Committee). He also served on the Federal Trade Commission’s Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security. At the local level Rick served as chairman of the Montgomery County Cable & Communications Advisory Committee (CCAC) working to develop the County’s cable and communications policy.