Helen Shin Yi
Co-Founder and President
Helen Shin Yi, Co-Founder and President
Helen is a seasoned IT professional with experience in the telecommunications industry. She has held positions in product management, marketing, and sales management at various telecommunications companies, including Sprint, France Telecom (formerly Global One), Cox Communications and Tata Communications. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards for achievement and outstanding performance. Helen received a B.S. degree in International Business from the University of Maryland-College Park, and a Masters in Information Systems in Telecommunications at Johns Hopkins University. Influenced by her grandmother’s story of helping hundreds of orphans during the Korean War and inspired by her own daughter’s giving spirit, Helen left her career in telecom to fulfill her passion to inspire children. She launched Touching Heart, an award winning non-profit dedicated to helping children experience the joy of giving to those in need. Helen’s personal passion centers on helping children who are less fortunate, believing that everyone has a giving heart and can make a difference.
Co-Founder and Board Member
Taylor Yi, Co-Founder and Board Member
Taylor is a college student who is passionate about helping children in need. She works with kids to make a difference for people in need and has raised funds for many charitable causes. She enjoys tennis, reading, and playing the piano. Taylor is a student at Boston University. She is dedicated to serving others and enjoys volunteering and working with young children.
Touching Heart Team
Allison Gallagher, Outreach Director
Allison grew up in Pensacola, Florida and moved to DC to work on Capitol Hill. After moving on to use her psychology and child development degree as Director of a non-profit focused on residential treatment centers for children, she stayed home with her small children for several years. During that time, she discovered a love of photography and began her own photography business, focusing on child portraiture and photography workshops for women. Allison has also been involved in community projects, becoming the President of her local PTA and starting the Book Nation Book Drive, collecting over 4,000 books for local children in need. Feeling called to become more involved in non-profits and giving back, Allison was thrilled to join Touching Heart. She lives in Leesburg with her husband, Steve and their two sons, Jack and Josh.
Christine Hancher, Finance Manager
Christine grew up in Northern VA and graduated from University of Maine with a Bachelor degree in Accounting and Finance. Over the past 16 years she has worked with GE Capital Consulting, National Wildlife Federation and Freddie Mac. Christine went from financial analysis and budgeting and moved to programming and modifying financial software such as PeopleSoft. After working for over 16 years she decided to stay home and raise her three kids. She now keeps herself busy by volunteering at her kids elementary school, with Girl Scouts and occasionally as a sports coach. She has always enjoyed helping others and is very glad to be a part of the Touching Heart Team.
Chief Development Officer
Ken Harvey, Chief Development Officer
Ken Harvey played football in the NFL of 11 years, and before that he attended the University of California at Berkeley for college. His journey was not the normal path and he realized that too much is given, much is required. Ken learned through experience that while the heart may be in the right place there is a proper ways of doing things. His mission, like the title, is that he wants to help Touching Heart make a difference. ” If I die only being known as a football player, then I have not done all that God has given me the talents to do.”
New York Chapter
Katrina Hennigan, New York Chapter
Katrina is from Bangor, Maine and moved to New York City over 13 years ago. She attended Simmons College and graduated with a Mathematics and Computer Science degree. She became a stay at home mother after having her children, Marissa and Roman. She has been involved with the New York Junior League for years and recently won committee of the year when she was the co-chair of Junior Junior League. She has lead numerous auctions for her children’s schools and has been actively involved in the PTA. She and her husband, Tom, enjoy traveling and spending time with their children.
Jackie Smith, Program Manager
Jackie is from the Philadelphia area and graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Communications. After graduating, Jackie worked in the field of Corporate Communications before settling down and staying home to raise her three children. Compassion and community service have always been important to Jackie and she found ways to thread it into every stage of her life by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, delivering food and clothing to the homeless in DC, volunteering at her children’s school, and supporting local community service efforts. She loves working for Touching Heart and inspiring today’s youth to have compassion in their hearts so they can make a positive impact on the world.
Board of Directors
Board Chairwoman and Secretary
Kimmy Huggins is a Northern Virginia native, and currently resides in Loudoun County with her husband and 3 daughters. She has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, and has also worked in sales and marketing, real estate, events, and fundraising. She is the co-founder of The Women of Loudoun County group, and over the years has used this platform to bring together the community to help many different charities and organizations. Kimmy was very interested in becoming more involved with Touching Heart as it combines her biggest passions, which are giving back, and spending time with her family.
Dr. Marina Amat
Dr. Marina Amat
Marina is the founder and president of AMATEA. She completed her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from American University, Washington, D.C., in 2005. She focused much of her research on people who have experienced the trauma of social and cultural displacement and the life story narratives they produce. For dissertation research, she worked in the refugee industry in the post-9/11 Washington Metropolitan Area, identifying “refugee scripts” and “refugee narratives” as vital sites to investigating the meanings behind the refugee concept as conceived among self-identified refugees. She has presented her research domestically and internationally.
Erik Boone is native Washingtonian who attended Gonzaga College High School, where he first delved into social service projects both locally and abroad. After attending Denison University, Mr. Boone went into the family business, Boone & Sons Jewelers, where he is the Vice President, a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) and a Senior Appraiser. Growing up in the jewelry business under his father David and grandfather French, Erik has been fully immersed in every aspect of the jewelry business for almost twenty years, and works mainly out of the McLean, Virginia location. Mr. Boone is also a member of HEROES INC., an organization whose mission is to support the families of fallen police, fire, and first responders in our area. Mr. Boone currently resides in Rockville, MD with his wife Karen and 4 children. He is an avid DC sports fan and loves visiting the Florida Keys with his family.
D.R. Carlson is the Vice President of Sales and Strategic Partnerships for Neovera, a managed services company that helps organizations securely move their information to the cloud. D.R. is also the President and Co-founder of Fuel, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide a relevant environment where men can explore aspects of life, purpose and faith. D.R. and his wife Jenny have been married for 15 years and have four children.
Terry Crews played six years in the NFL, with stints at the L.A. Rams, San Diego Chargers , Rhein Fire (NFL Europe-Germany), Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
Terry is a talented writer and artist. While in the NFL, he used his artistic talent to create portraits of other players. In 1996, Crews co-wrote and co-produced the independent feature film, “Young Boys Incorporated” (1996).
Crews retired from the NFL in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He has appeared in multiple movies and TV shows such as The Expendables, The Longest Yard, Everybody Hates Chris, The Family Crews and currently Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
A dedicated philanthropist, Terry prioritizes giving back to his community and to many charities. Terry has been married to his wife Rebecca since 1990, and the couple has five children and one grandchild.
Kamal Gill is the Founding and Managing Partner of the Zone – Family Entertainment Center and Sports Bar / Restaurant in Northern Virginia, which opened in 2014. Kamal is an expert in strategic planning, operations management, new concepts and development projects for hotels, conference centers, restaurants, bars and pubs and entertainment centers, with a guest satisfaction focus and a keen eye to the profit margin.
He is a highly experienced hospitality professional with over 25 + years in hotels, restaurants and food and beverage operations with world class standards.
Kamal’s work experience spans three continents – Asia, Africa & North America and he has worked and trained in prestigious Hospitality Brands like Kempinski, Taj, Oberoi’s, Intercontinental Hotels – Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn, Marriott, Hilton, Pizza Hut, and I.A.C.C.
Kamal has a Hospitality Management Bachelor’s Degree and has Management Certifications from Emory University, Atlanta and Holiday Inn Academy / IHG. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and Certified Food & Beverage Executive (CFBE) from AHLA. He has also trained at the California Sushi Academy – Venice Beach, French Pastry School – Chicago and at Paul Prudhomme’s, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans.
Paul M. Gurman, CPA has thirty six years of experience in public accounting. He started his career with large international accounting firms, which provided a board background in taxation and auditing. Mr. Gurman is the founder and managing partner of Gurman and Company, PLLC and oversees all practice areas and delivery of services. He also provides business planning services, merger and acquisition planning, tax planning and business growth consulting services. Mr. Gurman received his Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University. Mr. Gurman is a Viet Nam era veteran of the US Army, and was honorably discharged in May 1971. He is a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He has served on the board of directors for many civic and professional organizations throughout his career. Mr. Gurman currently is a member pf the Board of Directors of the Philippine-American Medical Mission of Mercy of Metropolitan Washington D.C., Inc. and Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Harry and Zoe Poole Foundation. Mr. Gurman lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia with his wife Jean and has three adult children.
Igor Tosic is currently serving as Senior Vice President of Architecture at Moody’s. Prior to his current role, he was Head of Enterprise Architecture and Head of Delivery for Thomson Reuters and prior that enterprise architect with the New York Times corporation.
Igor has over twenty years of experience in various information technology roles working closely with Architecture, Enterprise Risk, Audit, Product Development and other internal stakeholders across all lines of business, as well as external software and service providers. Igor holds a MS degree from Columbia University in Technology Management
Under Mr. Wiater’s leadership, Standard Solar has been named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for four consecutive years according to Inc. magazine, significantly expanding its commercial footprint and reinforcing its leadership positioning as the solar partner of choice. Mr. Wiater has an extensive background in executive management, operations and supply chain management in startup companies as well as established corporations. Previous positions included Executive Vice President at Peak Technologies, a global systems integration company, and Director of Operations for Radio Frequency Identification at Motorola (Symbol Technologies). Mr. Wiater earned a Masters of Business Administration degree and a Bachelors of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Greg brings years of technology experience to his role as VP of Partnerships and Alliances at Equinix. In his role, he collaborates with leading technology companies to build joint go-to-market partnerships and global alliances that focus on simplifying complex solution deployments and cloud enabled solution bundles. Additionally, Greg provides unique industry thought leadership by leveraging his experience and routinely consults with industry leaders, end users and leading technologists.Greg has been married to Barbara, who is the foundation of his success and happy life, for 19 years and has three amazing kids, Anna, Jack, and Grace. The Adgate family is focused on charitable work and volunteer efforts.
Dr. Manju Bewtra
Dr. Manju Bewtra
Dr. Manju Bewtra is founder and CEO of Creative Computing Solutions Inc. (CCSi), a full-service business solutions company dedicated exclusively to the federal government with an enviable track record of customer satisfaction. Dr. Bewtra managed a robust professional career with a meaningful family life and contribution to her community. After the sale of CCSi, Dr. Naren Bewtra (her husband) and Manju started a Donor Advised Fund to enable them to continue their philanthropic desires. Manju considers her most cherished accomplishment to be her 49-years of marriage, two children, and five grandchildren. She was a finalist for Heroines in Technology Awards 2011 Corporate Category, honoring D.C. area women who balance roles in technology with significant commitments to community service.
Ryan is President of Neovera Inc. He is responsible for developing and executing the company’s long-term growth strategies, business development activities and defining Neovera as a premier hosting/managed services company. Ryan was appointed VP and principal in 2004. Prior to his work at Neovera, Ryan has held various Sales/Business Development positions with Veritas Software, Compuware Corporation and Edge Technologies. With almost 20 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. Ryan has spent most of career focused on sales/business development and alliances. Ryan has a B.S. from University of Maryland at College Park and an MBA from George Washington University.
Byron is a telecoms industry veteran. Byron is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, as Chief Executive Officer at SEACOM, a leading pan-African data services provider. Byron is responsible for all of SEACOM’s “go to market” functions including sales, solution design, marketing, and product. Prior to that, Byron ran Tata Communications’ global service provider business for eight years based out of Hong Kong. Byron was instrumental in the growth of the then VSNL International into the global network provider that Tata Communications is today. Byron also worked at REACH, Level 3 and BT, focusing on growth in Asia and based out of Hong Kong.
Stacey is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. As Vice President of Direct Mail at America Online, she helped grow membership from 100,000 members in 1994 to over 27 million members in 2002. Stacey is passionate about using her business skills to help non-profit organizations grow. She also leads a Girl Scout troop, and served as the President of her local PTA for two years. Stacey was inspired by Touching Heart after her youngest daughter participated in a project to collect supplies for an orphanage in Kenya. Her daughter wrote a letter to the orphans there and they sent a picture back of a child from the orphanage holding up her daughter’s letter. This is just one example of how Touching Heart empowers children to make a difference in the world!
Darrell is best known as a former cornerback with the Washington Redskins. During his record-setting 20 year career with the team he came to be known and lovingly referred to as “Mr. Redskin.” His on field accomplishments include two Super Bowl victories, seven selections to the Pro Bowl, and four NFL Fastest Man competitions. Darrell met his wife of 29 years, Jewell in Washington, DC. The couple have three children who are all successful in their own right. As an avid businessman, Green owns and operates several businesses including Darrell Green Enterprises, Darrell Green Holdings, LLC and WalkFitHealth. Green is also well known for his work off the field as a proponent of education, service and moral development, he founded The Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation (DGYLF) in 1988 and continues to oversee its operations.
Anna is a Manager with Raffa’s managed accounting services department. She has over 18 years of public accounting experience. Anna joined the firm in 2003 and has served primarily the not-for-profit industry since then. Anna is responsible for multiple clients attending board and finance committee meetings, assisting in month-end closings, financial consolidation, financial analysis and reporting, audit and tax assistance, maintaining client’s internal control, managing cash flows, and identifying and re-engineering accounting functional areas to improve client’s financial output. She oversees several staff members in assisting with various clients work. Anna graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Elaine Espinola Keltz
Elaine is a speaker, spokesperson, and on-air media personality. She holds the title of Mrs. DC America 2015 and continues to promote her platform: Empowerment for Women through Entrepreneurship, a topic she feels is equally important for children. Elaine is the host and co-producer of episodes of the Comcast Cable TV show I’m Every Woman and is also the national podcast host for the Better Business Bureau. A strong advocate in the fight against human trafficking, Elaine is also a volunteer and spokesperson for the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative. With a professional background that includes eight years as a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, Elaine now serves as media spokesperson for various corporations and hosts on-air segments for DC Hot Spots, Jewelry Consumer News, Diversity and Inclusion TV and other various projects. Elaine is the Executive Director of Media SavvE, a company that helps small businesses enhance their branding and visibility through digital advertising. First and foremost, Elaine is wife, mother and strong community advocate.
Pam Rothenberg, General Counsel
Pam Rothenberg is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP where she practices in the areas of commercial real estate, business and entrepreneurship. In her real estate practice, she routinely handles the acquisition, financing and development of commercial office buildings, multifamily properties and large scale mixed-use developments. In her business practice, she represents entrepreneurs at all stages of their businesses life cycles, from start-ups to high growth companies.
Pam is a change agent and founded her firm’s Impact Business Group, leading a team of more than 40 firm professionals who provide a complement of strategic and legal services at the cutting edge of the rapidly growing Impact Economy. Their mission is to “Power Commerce in the Impact Economy.” The firm’s Impact clients range from large legacy businesses (that are integrating ESG factors and Impact into their core business operations) to high-growth entrepreneurial ventures, all of whom are seeking to “grow their competitive advantage with Impact.” Pam is driven by the notion that enterprises of all kinds can harness the positive power of businesses to both generate revenue and solve endemic social problems. In 2015, the firm’s Impact Business Group was short listed for a Financial Times Innovation award and in June of 2018, the firm’s Impact Business Group was part of a team that won the inaugural Grunin Prize for Innovation from NYU Law.
Pam serves on a number of boards, including the Advisory Board for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland and the Board of Directors for Shelters to Shutters, a non-profit organization that runs an innovative program providing mentorship for careers in multifamily property management, along with full-time employment and housing opportunities for individuals facing homelessness. She also serves on the Board of Governors for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness.
Pam received her B.A. from Tufts University; summa cum laude, and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Dave is the Executive Vice President & Americas Regional Head for Tata Communications, one of the major companies of the $100.9 billion Tata group. He manages Tata Communications’ regional operating strategy, business development initiatives and helps lead growth strategies for the Americas region. Dave has led Tata Communications’ regional growth since being hired as the first American employee in 2004. He has subsequently established the company’s significant presence in the U.S. market, and helped grow a customer base that includes large U.S.-based multinationals and global telecommunications carriers. Dave majored in Business Management and graduated with a B.B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1979. He is married with three sons and lives in Herndon, Virginia.
Urvi was first introduced to Touching Heart her freshman year of high school, where a local Kids on A Mission event inspired her to join the effort. The following year she co-coordinated a fun run at her high school under the Kids on A Mission program to raise money for shelter necessities for a Kenyan orphanage, and joined the Schools on a Mission club at her high school. Now a passionate and hardworking senior and junior board member for Touching Heart, she hopes to continue to serve many deserving domestic and international communities and spread Touching Heart’s message further into her Maryland community and her upcoming college campus. Apart from her service with Touching Heart, she has been dancing with her academy for eleven years and sings in her high school chamber choir and enjoys painting.
Diya Das is a freshman in Rock Ridge High and the Academies of Loudoun. She fell in love with Touching Heart since kindergarten when they collected coins as little kids, for an orphanage in Kenya. Since then she has been part of many events hosted by Touching Heart, every time her spirits soar while helping kids in need and she always wants to do more. Diya pioneered the Touching Heart club in Stone Hill Middle School and now in Academies of Loudoun. She is excited to be a part of Junior Board and be the Schools on a Mission specialist. Diya is passionate about mathematics and designing products that can help our community. In free time she loves to sing, paint, play piano and occasionally day-dream.
Haley Longfellow is a 16-year-old student at Oakton High School. She first got involved with Touching Heart in Middle School and has since founded a club at her school which she has been leading for the past couple of years. She would love to see other young individuals do the same as Touching Heart grows. Haley feels lucky to be involved in the incredible organization. She was the High School Schools on Mission Specialist on the Junior Board in 2017-18 and enjoyed helping plan Touching Heart’s Inaugural Family Gala.
Devin Host is a Senior at Flint Hill High School in Oakton Virginia. He is the current captain for the nationally recognized Advanced Aerial robotics team which competes in a collegiate level UAV competition. In his Junior year he led the team to 1st place in the nation, besting 75 collegiate teams such as Harvard, Cornell, and the US Naval Academy. As an employee for DZYNE technologies, a government contractor for Aerospace technology, Devin constructed multirotor vehicles and software tools to aid in the delivery of DOD and DARPA contracts. Devin’s passion for technology extends beyond drones and into cyberspace where he lead the Flint Hill Cybersecurity team to a finalist finish in the top 4% of teams in the Air Force’s CyberPatriot competition. Devin currently plays forward on Flint Hill’s championship varsity basketball team, which was ranked 3rd in the DMV region by the Washington Post.
Devin enjoys working with Touching Heart, and has done so for over 6 years. Devin took the Kids on a Mission fundraising to new heights 5 years ago when he and his team raised the largest amount ever at a Kids on a Mission event. He has also coached a high impact fundraising Kids on a Mission event and worked to help establish KOAM podcasts a few years ago. Never shying away from the chance to talk about the mission of Touching Heart, Devin has been interviewed on television and spoken at multiple Touching Heart events. He has previously served as President of the Junior board and is humbled to assume the position of Ambassador for the Junior Board for the 2019/2020 year.
Neha is a passionate and empathetic 16-year-old at TJHSST. Outside of school, she enjoys watching movies, traveling across the world with her family and relaxing by the pool. She first became involved with Touching Heart in sixth grade by organizing a Kids on a Mission 5K Run for a school in Liberia with her friends. Neha has known the Yi family since elementary school and heard about Touching Heart through word of mouth. One of Neha’s favorite aspects of Touching Heart is the Annual Golf Tournament, which she has volunteered at for the past couple of years. She was also the Secretary for Touching Heart’s Junior Board during 2017-18 and is looking for new ways to add and improve the position this upcoming year. Neha is excited to bring a young adult’s perspective into Touching Heart and is looking forward to creating a lasting impact on our community.
Schools on a Mission Specialist
Zara is an enthusiastic 15 year old that attends Broad Run High School and the Academy of Science at the Academies of Loudoun. She loves to play the violin in school and in Ashburn Youth Symphonic Orchestra. In her free time, she loves to read and watch movies. Zara got involved with Touching Heart in the past year and joined the Touching Heart Club at the Academies of Loudoun. Zara is also leading a Kids on a Mission Program to raise funds for a Children’s Cancer Home in Fortaleza, Brazil. She loves to help the community and regularly volunteers at soup kitchens, church camps and clothing drives. Zara is excited to be the Schools on a Mission Specialist for the Junior Board 2019-2020.
Kids on a Mission Specialist
Izzie Carson is thirteen years old and attends Rachel Carson Middle School. She is thrilled to be the Kids on a Mission Specialist for the 2019-2020. Izzie has been working with the Touching Heart after school program, Schools on a Mission, for 6 years now and is excited to be on the board. In her free time she loves to play lacrosse, volunteer, and hangout with friends.