Our Team

Military Families Serving Military Families

Blue Star Families is run by military families and for military families.  At our core, we are a member-driven group with representatives located at or near 70 bases around the world.  To help support this amazing community, we have a dynamic National Leadership team made of spouses, veterans and other family members of active duty, national guardsmen, reservists and veterans serving in all branches of our military all around the country. Meet our team. 

Executive Team

Communications

Development

Programs

Research & Policy          

Membership

Board of Directors         

Advisory Board

Executive Team

Kathy Roth-Douquet is Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer, a military family advocate, author, attorney, and former government official. She has prior service in government, in the White House and Department of Defense, where she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Kathy is a commentator on patriotism, civil-military affairs, the value of service, and the experience of military families. She has appeared on the Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, NPR, and has been a frequent contributed to USA Today, and is a frequent public speaker. She is an author, most notably of "AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes From Military Service and How it Hurts Our Country" (Collins, 2006). She is also a practicing attorney.  She is a military spouse of 16 years, four deployments, and 8 moves.  She lives with her husband and two children in Stuttgart, Germany. kathy@bluestarfam.org

Mark Smith is Blue Star Families Executive Director and brings 30 years of unique experience in the military, business and the nonprofit arena to the organization.  Mark has a B.A. from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in strategic studies and economics from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. As an Army officer, Mark led forward deployed units in the U.S. and Germany and served as special assistant to former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, GEN (Ret) John R. Galvin. Smith served as Assistant Professor of International Relations and National Security Studies at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point in addition to senior positions in a number of leading non-profit organizations including Outward Bound, The Philanthropy Roundtable, Operation Homefront, and Veterans Innovation Center. msmith@bluestarfam.org (Photo at right courtesy DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

Noeleen Tillman is Managing Director at Blue Star Families. Ms. Tillman is the organization’s executive point of contact for outreach to senior leadership at the Department of Defense, Congress, the White House, and private sector organizations. Ms. Tillman leads our partnership and funding efforts, along with providing strategic oversight on high-profile initiatives.  Ms. Tillman has held senior positions in the public and private sector and started her own consulting firm. She has authored a number of reports, white papers, and guidance documents and is a noted speaker on corporate responsibility. Ms. Tillman has a degree in Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude from Temple University.  She is the proud military spouse of a recently retired 26 year USAF officer, who along with theirtwo children reside in San Diego. ntillman@bluestarfam.org

Communications Team

Operation Honor Corps Patty ShinsekiStephanie Himel-Nelson, Esq. is the Director of Communications and a co-founder of Blue Star Families. Ms. Himel-Nelson oversees the communications team and is responsible for developing and implementing the organization's public relations, marketing, media and social media strategies. She is Blue Star Families' chief point of contact for the media. Stephanie is an attorney and writer with expertise in online outreach and community development. Ms. Himel-Nelson received her Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University where she was the Executive Notes Editor for the International Law Review. She grew up as an Air Force brat and married a Navy man, who recently retired after 20 years of service on active duty and in the reserves. stephanie@bluestarfam.org

AnnaMaria White serves as the Public Relations Manager for Blue Star Families, overseeing media relations and local media outreach, press release development and distribution. She is a co-founder of the organization and also contributes to the overall communications strategy. A Marine Corps spouse, AnnaMaria recently founded a communications firm, White Star Communications, based on her more then ten years of experience in marketing and public relations in the entertainment, military and political arenas.  She lives in Southern California, while her husband is stationed in Okinawa, Japan. amwhite@bluestarfam.org

Molly Blake is the Managing Editor for Blue Star Families, responsible for online content, newsletters, blog posts and other written work.  The Marine Corps spouse joined the BSF team in 2010.  Molly brings an extensive journalism background to BSF and has written for The New York Times AtWar Blog, CNN, Inc.com, USAA Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine and other publications. Her husband, LtCol Peter Blake, recently retired after 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. They live in Palo Alto, CA where LtCol Blake (ret) attends an Executive MBA program. The Blake's have two daughters. molly@bluestarfam.org

Jenelle Hatzung is the Social Media Manager for Blue Star Families. Since 2009 when she first began blogging Hatzung discovered her passion for the social media market. Since then, Jen has managed the social media presence for an extensive list of clients during which time she also worked & volunteered for various military organizations.  She manages the non-profit's national social media outreach, developing and coordinating online support and activities for military families and civilians. Jen has a B.A. in Political Science for the University of California, Riverside. Jenelle and her husband were honored in Washington DC as the 2011 Navy Family of the Year. jhatzung@bluestarfam.org

Development Team

Pamela Stokes Eggleston, MBA, RYT is the  Director of External Affairs and a co-founder  of Blue Star Families. Possessing a comprehensive background in grant development, she is responsible for fundraising, grant preparation, donor relations cultivation and outreach. Pamela is caregiver to her husband, a retired Army wounded warrior and Purple Heart recipient, and a certified Pranakriya™ 200-hour yoga instructor. pamela@bluestarfam.org

Liz Boring is the Development Manager for Blue Star Families, responsible for managing the fundraising activities of the organization.  A proud Marine Corps spouse, Liz joined the BSF team in 2012.  She has a degree in Mathematics from Villanova University and brings to BSF 5 years of experience in fundraising for educational institutions.  She and her husband, Captain John Boring, USMC, currently reside in San Diego. lboring@bluestarfam.org

Programs Team

Sheri Robey-Lapan serves as the Senior Director of Programs for Blue Star Families. Sheri has primary responsibility for the development, planning, oversight and execution of all programs including Operation Appreciate, Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Blue Star Theatres, Operation Honor Corps and Cards, Milkidz Club, as well as other special projects including suicide prevention and health and wellness programs for military service members, families and veterans. As a local to the D.C. metro area, she also engages regularly with DoD, White House and leaders in the VSO community.  Sheri is married to Colonel David Lapan, USMC, and has one child, Katherine (Kiki). sheri@bluestarfam.org

Sheila Stevens is the Deputy Director of Programs for Blue Star Families, responsible for overseeing the operations and implementation of Books on Bases, Operation Appreciation, MilKidz Club, Operation Honor Corps, Special Projects and Warehouse Management. Sheila is an experienced executive in military family affairs. Sheila grew up in a military family; her father is a retired Navy officer. Years of deployments and moves helped her transition from Navy daughter to Navy spouse. She is a strong leader with a history of success planning and executing military family events. She continues to work with non-profit organizations developing and managing programs for military members and their families, including veterans. Sheila and her husband, Captain Mark Stevens, USN, are stationed in Jacksonville, FL with their two children.  sstevens@bluestarfam.org

Laura Roberts is the Blue Star Arts Program Manager, overseeing the Blue Star Museum and Theatres programs. She holds a Masters of Arts in Museum Studies from George Washington University. Laura has over 5 years of project management experience in non-profit, arts, and chapter-based membership organizations, including positions at the Musical Instrument Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. During her first year as an Army wife, Laura and her husband lived apart due to career conflicts. In order to join a military support community during their separation, Laura started volunteering with Blue Star Families in Washington, DC. She recently moved to Fort Drum, NY to join her husband, and is incredibly enthusiastic about supporting and growing the Blue Star Arts programs. lroberts@bluestarfam.org

Research

Deborah Bradbard, Ph.D., is the Acting Director of Research and Policy and is responsible for continuing to expand Blue Star Families research and policy work - focusing on mental health issues impacting military families. Dr. Bradbard received her B.S in Psychology from the University of Florida and her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from Auburn University where she also completed specialized coursework and clinical training in marriage and family therapy. She is married to Captain Herbert Carmen, USN and has two daughters ages 8 and 10. dbradbard@bluestarfam.org

Membership Team

Megan Glynn is the Director of Membership and Volunteer Outreach.  The Air National Guard Spouse began volunteering with BSF in May 2011 and officially joined the Membership team in August 2012. Megan will be integral in defining BSF’s strategic plan to grow our membership base. She will also be launching the new Corporate Fellowship program as the organization strives to further develop its volunteers and provide them with opportunities both within BSF and in Corporate America.  Megan, her husband and her four boys currently live just north of Los Angeles. Her husband works part-time at the Channel Islands Air National Guard base.  megan@bluestarfam.org

Jennifer Wilder is the Deputy Director of Membership at Blue Star Families.  An Air Force spouse for 18 years, she has dedicated extensive professional and volunteer time in support of military families and military children’s pursuit of higher education.   She has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, and brings two decades of experience in marketing, communications, development and volunteer management in the higher education, government and corporate sectors.   Her work in these areas has earned many national industry awards, including a Daily Points of Light award from the Points of Light Institute.  Today Jennifer lives in Washington, DC with her husband, David, and two sons.  jwilder@bluestarfam.org

Kelly Henry is the Deputy Director for Volunteer Outreach. She began volunteering with Blue Star Families in March 2012 as the Fort Bragg Chapter Director and joined the membership team in June 2013. Kelly is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, receiving her commission in 1984. Following retirement from the Navy, she completed a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University. Kelly has been an active community volunteer and was most recently recognized for this work by U.S. Senator Kay Hagan. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Fayetteville, NC and are the parents of two daughters and two sons. khenry@bluestarfam.org

 


BSF Board of Directors

BSF Friends And Advisors