Meet the Development and Outreach Team | LIRS
The Development and Outreach 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

Andrew G. Steele

As Vice President for Development and Outreach, Andrew G. Steele leads a dynamic team responsible for all development, fundraising 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.

Ruth Famini

Position: Senior Grants Manager
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!”

Brandy Freeman

Position: Donor Services Manager
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.’”

Julie F
Julie Fregetto

Position: Director for Prospect Development and Research
Specialty: Analytics and Moves Management

“I love making meaningful connections in the hopes of creating a better world. Data can provide important insights but it is relationships that matter most and caring for those around us.”

Kendra Hernandez

Position: Coordinator for Development and Outreach
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.”

Chelsey Johnson

Position: Network Organizer
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.”

Leah J
Leah Johnson

Position: Corporate and Foundation Relations Specialist
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.”

Beth Nelson Chase

Position: Senior Philanthropic Advisor
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.”

Whitney Palmer

Position: Program Manager for Outreach
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. ”

Bradley Stefan

Position: Prospect Research Data Analyst
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!”

Kristin Witte

Position: Director for Outreach
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. ”

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