Staff

Deirdre Flaherty

Deirdre Flaherty

President

Before joining Appleseed in September 2017, Deirdre Flaherty was a co-founder of StoneTurn. Over the course of her career, Ms. Flaherty has been involved in a variety of forensic accounting matters, including investigations on behalf of Special Committees formed by Board of Directors, named directors and officers, and senior management. Prior to co-founding StoneTurn, Ms. Flaherty was with Deloitte, where she worked on behalf of the firm’s National Office to incorporate forensic accounting methodologies into the audit approach.

Email Deirdre

Karyn Cassella

Karyn Cassella

Operations Manager

Karyn joined Appleseed in November 2015 with more than twenty-five years experience in nonprofit and program management. Most recently, Karyn managed a portfolio of 70 faith-based partners in the Catholic Volunteer Network AmeriCorps program, backed by a federal grant. With the award-winning Community of Hope, Karyn was responsible for programming for individuals and families experiencing housing instability, including: financial literacy, medical case management, parenting support, mentoring and academic enrichment. She has served on several nonprofit boards, helped to develop teen leadership programs and is an established leader in volunteer management and service-learning. Karyn earned her M.A. and B.A. from American University, where she built their ranked Community Service Center. She is currently an adjunct professor in Human Services and Social Justice at George Washington University.

Email Karyn

 

Annette LoVoi

Annette LoVoi

Director, Financial Access and Asset Building Program

Annette LoVoi was selected in 1996 as the first Executive Director of Texas Appleseed, a position she held for 10 years. Under her leadership, Texas Appleseed spearheaded the passage of indigent defense reform, hailed as the most important reform of its kind in 25 years, as well as the design of the immigrant access to financial institutions project that has evolved into one of National Appleseed’s signature projects. Annette was previously appointed by the Governor of Texas as the State’s first Ombudsman to execute projects leading to policy and management change in government practice. She also represented the State Comptroller in the final implementation of what was then the largest government benefits electronic transfer program in the United States. Annette holds a Master of Public Affairs and was the commencement speaker at her 1980 graduation from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

Email Annette

Elisa Ortiz

Elisa Ortiz

Director of Network Collaboration

Elisa Ortiz joined Appleseed in December 2016 with 15 years of experience developing and leading advocacy campaigns, organizing and facilitating social justice coalitions, and leading project teams. She has worked in a variety of movements including tobacco control, transportation equity, low income housing, and reproductive rights. Most recently, she worked at Justice at Stake as the Deputy Director of State Affairs working with state partners, outreaching to new constituencies, and managing the annual conference of the judicial selection reform community. In addition to her work, Elisa also volunteers her time with Homeward Trails animal rescue organization and with Standing Up for Racial Justice, Northern Virginia chapter. When she’s not working or volunteering, you can find Elisa digging in her tiny garden, taking long walks with her husband and their dog, or playing softball.

Email Elisa

Angel Rutter, Tanya Thomas, Karina Donayre

Interns

Angel Rutter is a Senior at the George Washington University majoring in Human Services and Social Justice. She was drawn to Appleseed in September 2017 because of a passion for advocacy and a desire to learn about non-profit management. Angel is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a gender-inclusive community service fraternity that serves the wider D.C. community. Her favorite service partner is Free Minds Book Club, an organization that empowers incarcerated youth through creative expression and outreach programs. Angel also loves playing video games and winning first place in Mario Kart.

Tanya Thomas is a Junior at the George Washington University studying Human Services and Social Justice and minoring in Creative Writing and Sociology. She was attracted to Appleseed in January 2018 because of her strong interest in community action, organizing, and non-profit management. She has also worked and volunteered with A Wider Circle, Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC), Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE), and Kid Power Inc. Tanya loves nature, poetry, and exercising.

Karina Donayre is a Junior at Illinois College majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Spanish. She partnered with Appleseed through the Washington Center Spring 2018 Program for her interest in non-profit work, human rights, and immigration advocacy. She has previously worked with CARE, a non-profit organization that empowers women around the world. Her involvement at her college extends from leading Nuestra Casa, a Hispanic student union, interning at the Leadership Department, and creating The Hidden Project: Dreamers’ Stories, a play based on interviews with DACA students. During her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar, ukulele, skateboarding, and journaling.