Staff & Board | Helping Athlete Causes & Sports Philanthropy

Staff

Headshot of CEO Ivan Blumberg.

Ivan Blumberg

Chief Executive Officer

Ivan has represented athletes for the majority of his career, starting with Proserv, Inc. in 1983. At Proserv, Ivan’s clients included Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Arthur Ashe, Yannick Noah, and various other professional athletes. Ivan served as the General Counsel and Managing Director of ProServ and was a member of the Board. After ProServ was acquired by SFX/Clear Channel, Ivan became the President of Athlete Representation and managed the representation of over 750 athletes in nine sports.

Prior to becoming the CEO of Athletes for Hope, Ivan served as a senior consultant to SFX Sports and represented Andre Agassi. In addition, Ivan serves on the Board of the Andre Agassi Foundation, serves on the Board and as the volunteer Vice-Chairman of Hope and a Home, a charitable organization in the District of Columbia for at-risk families. Ivan is a 1980 graduate of Hobart College and a 1983 graduate of Washington University School of Law.

Jason Belinkie | Chief Operating Officer | Athletes for Hope

Jason Belinkie

Chief Operating Officer

Jason oversees the day-to-day management of AFH and key strategic partnerships. Jason joined Athletes for Hope on the first day it opened its doors and has played a pivotal role in a multitude of areas within the organization.

Jason coaches cross country and track at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, and serves on the boards of Hope for Henry and the University of Pennsylvania Track & Field Team. He is also the author of a children’s book, Little Moments, which was inspired by his children. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education.

Chris Wyttenbach | Vice President | Athletes for Hope

Chris Wyttenbach

Vice President

Chris works with professional, Olympic and college athletes to help them discover their charitable passions and guide them on their personal philanthropic journeys. Chris joined Athletes for Hope in 2009 and has helped hundreds of athletes connect to charitable causes throughout the United States and increase sports philanthropy.

Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Legal Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. Shortly after graduating, Chris joined the United States Peace Corps, where he served for two years as a youth development volunteer at a small community center in Central Morocco. Upon his return to Wisconsin, Chris dedicated his time to non-profit organizations in the Madison area, such as the Boys and Girls Club and The Wisconsin Early Autism Project. In the fall of 2006, Chris enrolled in the Trinity Fellowship Graduate Program at Marquette University and began his tenure with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee.

Suzanne Potts LMSW, MPH | National Director, AFH University

Suzanne Potts LMSW, MPH

National Director, AFH University

Suzanne oversees the AFH University program, which educates college athletes about smart philanthropy and connects them to charitable opportunities across various communities. Suzanne was most recently the Executive Director for the Autism Society of Texas. She serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin School of Social Work and is Faculty at the George Washington University Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program.

Suzanne is a graduate of San Diego State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She also received dual Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health and is a Licensed Masters Social Worker.

Headshot of Erin Bess, Director of Development

Erin Bess

Director of Development

Erin serves as the point person for Athletes for Hope’s fundraising efforts. She works closely with the AFH staff, board of directors, and key stakeholders in scaling the development program. She also oversees all special events and activities, including the annual gala.

Prior to joining Athletes for Hope, Erin worked in the development offices at The University of Notre Dame, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Project Lead The Way. Erin’s passion for fundraising started while attending Purdue University when she became involved in Dance Marathon, a national fundraising effort that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Headshot of Taylor Ancell, Senior Manager, Advocacy

Taylor Ancell

Senior Manager

Taylor Ancell joined the AFH team in 2016 and has played a number of roles including implementing large-scale education programs, managing hundreds of athlete connections and working with partners around the globe to advance philanthropic causes.

As Senior Manager of Global Programs and Events at AFH, Ancell is responsible for connecting Olympic, Paralympic, Professional, and University athletes to global initiatives and opportunities. She oversees projects in Africa focused on advancing gender equality as well as international exchange programs. In this role, Ancell has also been responsible for co-leading the first ever Equality Summit at the 2019 FIFA World Cup in Lyon, France which brought together 150 of the most influential thought-leaders and change makers in women’s football.

Ancell received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Sport Communication with a focus in broadcasting.

Kenya Warren-Hollins, MPA | Program Manager, AFH University

Kenya Warren-Hollins, MPA

Program Manager, AFH University

Kenya works closely with college athletes in her role with the AFH University Program. As Program Manager, Kenya helps LSU & Southern University varsity athletes discover and connect with charitable opportunities in the Baton Rouge community.

Prior to joining Athletes for Hope, Kenya has been committed to public service as she serves as a regional recruitment manager for City Year. Kenya graduated from Southern University and A&M College with a bachelor in biological sciences and a master of public administration. Her passion for service began during her reign as Miss Southern University 2010-2011. She served as Executive Director of Up ‘Til Dawn, a St. Jude Children’s Hospital collegiate fundraising endeavor and a Girl Scouts outreach leader.

Headshot of Kylie Reeves, Digital Marketing Manager

Kylie Reeves

Digital Marketing & Media Manager

Kylie manages all digital, content and marketing activations for AFH and is responsible for leading strategy across the organization’s digital ecosystem. Kylie joined AFH in February 2021 and brings a deep level of passion and unique experience to the position, having experienced a variety of media and marketing roles in the sports, healthcare and non-profit worlds.

Originally from Durham, NC, Kylie was a member of the Women’s Soccer team at Haverford College and graduated with a degree in Economics in 2014. She currently coaches elementary school soccer through Boston Scores.

kreeves@athletesforhope.org

Connect with Kylie on LinkedIn.

Megan Oyster Headshot, Community Outreach Coordinator

Megan Oyster

Community Outreach Coordinator

Megan currently plays professional soccer for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League. At the start of her pro soccer career, Megan had the opportunity to give back through an event coordinated by Athletes for Hope.

After partaking in multiple visits set up by AFH, Megan felt inspired to guide other professional and Olympic athletes on their philanthropic journeys too. Megan now works with AFH to connect athletes around the country to charitable opportunities.

Megan graduated from UCLA in 2014 with a degree in Sociology.

Denise Kamyuka Headshot, community outreach coordinator

Denise Kamyuka

Community Outreach Coordinator

Denise, originally from Botswana, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sports Management and Leadership (with a collaboration in Global Health) at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her research focus is on social entrepreneurship in sport, postcolonial-feminist methodologies, and health promotion. She obtained her Master’s in Sports Management from St. John’s University in New York while interning for UNICEF USA’s Sports Partnerships. She went on to work as a community liaison, athlete representative, and project manager for Millennium Sports Management Group. Denise also served on the junior board of Kids in the Game (a sports youth development organization in New York) and helped establish St. John’s University’s Institute of Interdisciplinary Sport Research.

Denise currently serves on various anti-racism committees and holds the office of Racial Equity and Inclusion Commissioner for Western University’s Society of Graduate Students. In her role with AFH, Denise works to connect athletes around the country to charitable opportunities.

Alayah Hightower | Howard University Campus Liaison, AFH University

Alayah Hightower

Howard University Campus Liaison, AFH University

Alayah works closely with the college athletes from Howard University in her role as AFH University Campus Liaison. She communicates with the head coaches as well as designated team leads for all varsity teams to coordinate different workshops and community service opportunities.

While Alayah is working with AFH, she is getting her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Howard University. She will eventually be a two-time alum as she just graduated in May 2020 with a Chemical Engineering degree. Throughout her time at Howard, she has played on the Women’s Soccer and Lacrosse and will continue to do so for the 2021-2022 school year.

Marta Ribeiro | Graphic Design Consultant

Marta Ribeiro

Graphic Design Consultant

Marta is a freelance graphic/web designer with over 20 years of experience. Passionate in her work, she creates well organized, beautiful visuals that communicate clearly and effectively. She has been involved with Athletes for Hope since its founding in 2007, having designed their logo, and has since continued her involvement through a variety of design projects.

Marta enjoys long distance running in her spare time & firmly believes in the power of sport to unite and inspire. She graduated from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (B.F.A. in Graphic Design).

Meredith Norris

AFH University Intern, MSU

Meredith is in her first year as a graduate student at Michigan State University, where she also completed her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She exhausted her eligibility as a volleyball student-athlete in the spring of 2021. As a student-athlete, Meredith was an active member in SAAC as an executive board member, Athletes for Hope as the volleyball team lead, and a captain of the MSU volleyball program. Daughter of Robert and Nicole Norris, Meredith is originally from Corunna, Michigan and has one younger sister, Elizabeth.

Sophia Hoelzel

AFH University Intern, UCLA

Sophia is going into her third season on the cross country and track and field teams at UCLA. She is currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Communication. She grew up with her parents, Cyndi and Greg, and my brother, Luke, in Santa Clarita, California.

Shanvanth Arnipalli, AFH Intern

Shanvanth Arnipalli

AFH University Intern, OSU

Shanvanth is a fourth year-student athlete at OSU on the fencing team. He is majoring in Environmental Science with a specialization in Water Science. His lab research work focuses on biomedical nutrition and developmental psychology.

Annelise Corona headshot, AFH U intern

Annelise Corona

AFH University Intern, Southern University

Annelise Corona is entering her third year at Southern University, she is  a Junior College Transfer from Trinity Valley Community College. This is her fifth year playing college softball due to the 2020 season being canceled because of COVID. Originally from El Paso, Tx. She is the only child to her parents Richard and Belinda Corona. She is extremely excited about Athletes For Hope especially since she is a Rehabilitation Major, and plans on continuing onto her Master’s Degree this Spring in Mental Health Counseling. She is also excited to be representing Southern University and cannot wait to get involved with the community.

Headshot of Alahna Sabbahkan, AFH U intern

Alahna Sabbahkan

AFH University Intern, UVA

Alahna Sabbakhan is a third year middle-distance track and field athlete at the University of Virginia. Originally from Washington, DC, she has been running track for around 14 years .Now she is studying kinesiology at UVA’s School of Education and Human Development. With her experience from volunteering and service immersion trips, she is looking forward to connecting UVA athletics with service opportunities and getting more involved in the community herself.

Headshot of Ruth Axton, AFH U intern

Ruth Axton

AFH University Intern, Georgetown