Meet the Development and Mobilization Team | LIRS
The Development and Mobilization team is here to help with any questions, comments, or concerns you have about giving to or getting involved with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. To learn more about how to give, visit our Donation Page
Vice President for Development and Mobilization

Andrew G. Steele

Coordinator for Development and Mobilization

Atefeh Hosseini

Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Beth Nelson Chase

Prospect Research Analyst

Bradley Stefan

Donor Services Manager

Brandy Freeman

Network Organizer

Chelsey Johnson

National Volunteer Action Coordinator

Christina Iwuagwu

Philanthropic Advisor

Katie Nemeth

Grants Coordinator

Kendra Hernandez

Director for Mobilization and Faith Relations

Kristin Witte

Corporate and Foundation Relations Specialist

Leah Johnson

Philanthropic Advisor

Nassir Ahmad

Senior Grants Manager

Ruth Famini

Leadership Giving Officer

Valerie Kurka

Program Officer for Mobilization

Whitney Palmer Lopez

Vice President for Development and Mobilization

Andrew G. Steele

As Vice President for Development and Mobilization, Andrew G. Steele leads a dynamic team responsible for all development, fundraising, church relations, and outreach efforts. Prior to joining LIRS, Andrew was the Assistant Vice President for Advancement & Director of Campaigns at his alma mater, Wittenberg University. Before serving in that capacity, Andrew was the Director for Global Mission Funding at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), overseeing $30+ million of revenue as part of a successful five-year, $250 million comprehensive campaign. An avid traveler, Andrew annually returns to South Africa and Lesotho where he once lived and co-founded BLOOM Africa, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Coordinator for Development and Mobilization

Atefeh Hosseini

From the heart of Asia, Afghanistan! A new American to be! I love people and nature – meeting new people, talking about new ideas while sitting in the middle of the woods or beside the beach is what brightens my soul!

Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Beth Nelson Chase

Specialty: Major Donor relations; Planned Giving; Major Donor Event Friend and Fundraising; Public Speaking

Phone
: 815-979-4628

“I am a performing artist in piano and choral direction and co-winemaker with my husband, John, at Cedar Creek Vines in Northern IL.”

Prospect Research Analyst

Bradley Stefan

Specialty: Constituent profiling and wealth analysis

“I currently live in Towson and have worked in the Baltimore area most of my life. I’ve been with LIRS since 2018 and absolutely love having a career devoted to helping the less fortunate!”

Donor Services Manager

Brandy Freeman

Specialty: Raiser’s Edge

“Isaiah 41:10 NKJV: ‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Network Organizer

Chelsey Johnson

 Specialty: Strategy, Mobilizing, and Network Development

“As a life-long Lutheran, I love the Lutheran traditions of 1) speaking out against systems that take advantage of folks on the margins and 2) potlucks. My go-to potluck recipe is a whipped cream fruit salad, a classic among my fellow Minnesota natives.”

National Volunteer Action Coordinator

Christina Iwuagwu

“I believe relationships open the doors to heart change and systemic transformation. I believe food should be delicious, exercise should be fun, and kind words should never be kept to yourself.”

Philanthropic Advisor

Katie Nemeth

Specialty: Major gifts; public speaking

Phone: 734-558-4468

“Learning from others, storytelling, building strong connections across generations, faiths, and communities: these are a few of my favorite things! When I’m not fundraising, you can find me practicing yoga and gardening on my rooftop in Brooklyn, NY.”

Grants Coordinator

Kendra Hernandez

Specialty: Administrative support and networking

“Native to Southern New Mexico, I love hiking, spending time in the sun, and ample amounts of coffee. I enjoy hearing other people’s unique stories as well as serving the communities around us.”

Director for Mobilization and Faith Relations

Kristin Witte

Specialty: Strategy and Diplomacy

“I am a native Marylander who is deeply in love with her husband Andy and our precocious 6-year old daughter Kyra. Stemming from my father reading me Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I love mysteries and solving puzzles. I bake when stressed, adore live theater, and I am a high-maintenance eater. ”

Corporate and Foundation Relations Specialist

Leah Johnson

Specialty: Private Grants Management

“I love building connections with people and growing relationships. In my spare time, you’ll find me planning out my next trip abroad.”

Philanthropic Advisor

Nassir Ahmad

My name is Nassir Ahmad. I was born in Afghanistan. I’ve been in the United States for 14 years. I was a Combat Interpreter and Cultural Advisor with the US military in Afghanistan and in the United States for twelve years. I am a Pashto and Dari linguistic professional with 12 + years of experience as a case manager/housing coordinator and legal and cultural orientation interpreter with both the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Lutheran Immigration Refugee Service (LIRS).

Senior Grants Manager

Ruth Famini

Specialty: Government funding proposals

“A transplanted New Yorker, I now call Maryland my home. I love music, cats, and horses…and of course my adorable grandchildren!”

Leadership Giving Officer

Valerie Kurka

 Specialty: Donor Engagement, Mid-level giving, Learning

More than ten years in nonprofit organizations, working with refugees and asylees, living abroad, and learning from others inform my contributions to this creative team! I am inspired everyday by those LIRS serves.

Program Officer for Mobilization

Whitney Palmer Lopez

Specialty: Program management and community engagement

“I’m a native Southern Californian living in Charm City, Baltimore! Most of my plans revolve around what I’m eating next; I love trying new foods and exploring the diversity of the world through cuisine. ”

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay up to date with everything going on at LIRS.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.