Meet Our Staff
Rick Leonetti, Sr.
Founder & President of AHA Inc.
Rick was a former High School Baseball at Bishop McDevitt & Basketball Coach at Cardinal Dougherty for a combined twenty years.
He founded AHA Inc. in 2002 for the Council Rock North High School's Football & Cheerleading teams.
Rick worked in Respiratory Therapy at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia for ten years before moving onto Medical Sales for several different companies.
Rick has been married to Debbie since November 27, 1976 (a long time) and they have three sons, Rick Jr., Chris, and Brian, three wonderful daughters-in law, Sarah, Erin, and Ashley, four beautiful grandchildren, James, Avery, Delaney and Campbell Anne, plus two big, white fluffy grandpuppies, Taco and Waffles.
Secretary of AHA
Shannon spent 13 years as a Special Education teacher and has coached many different sports at multiple levels, including 4 years of high school girls basketball at Archbishop Wood and Conwell Egan. She joined AHA in 2012 and has loved every second since. She currently works as an Executive Physician Recruiter. Shannon spends her summers at the beach and a lot of her free time hiking with her chocolate lab, Luna. Shannon's family is very involved in AHA as well, especially her parents, MaryRita and Fran.
Vice President, AHA, Inc.
After 4 years serving with the US Army, Don has spent the last 42 years in the Telecom Industry in Field Operations.
He has been a member of AHA since 2002, joining Rick from the beginning.
Don has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sally, since 1979.
They have two sons, Jordan and Jeremy, two beautiful daughters-in-law, Amanda and Michelle, and 4 very active and happy grandchildren.
Treasurer of Athletes Helping Athletes, Inc.
Katie found her passion for AHA at the annual Baseball Fun Day back in 2013 while a junior at Archbishop Wood High School. Since then, she has not only volunteered at various events but has also founded the Athletes Helping Athletes Temple University Chapter in 2016. After graduating Temple University in 2018, Katie joined the AHA staff as Outreach Coordinator and then went on to serve the Executive Board as Treasurer in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach and hiking with friends & family. Katie says, "My love for AHA stems from not only the smiles on our athletes' faces, but also on our volunteers' faces. The impact AHA makes across the board is unmatched and truly incredible."
Steven F.X. Dowdell
Visual Communications for AHA
Former Global Marketing Communications Director for Covidien/Medtronics and GE Healthcare
MA in Corporate and Political Communications: Fairfield University.
Steve has been married to Mary Margaret since 1987 and they have three children: Erin, married to Chris, Emily, married to Daring and a son Seth. We have one beautiful grandson and, hopefully a few more in the future. Coincidentally, we also have two big, fluffy grandpuppies who go by Waffles & Taco. What a Small, Wonderful World, huh?
Social Media Coordinator/ZOOM Host
Cait first volunteered with AHA in her first year of high school in 2011. Since then, she's been involved in several capacities! Cait started the AHA club at Archbishop Wood High School in 2013, and it's still going strong! Cait has developed a passion for improving employment outcomes of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and currently works as the Director of the Philadelphia Chapter of Neurodiversity at Work, an organization committed to making Philadelphia a leader in inclusive hiring practices. Cait additionally holds a doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy and serves as the founder of Sensory Friendly Cities, a non-profit focused on improving sensory inclusivity of community spaces for people on the autism spectrum and others with sensory differences. Cait strongly believes in the mission of AHA and the impact that it has on so many lives, and is thrilled to be a part of the team moving AHA forward.
Fund Raising Coordinator
Mitch graduated from Fort Mill High School (SC) in 2014 where he played lacrosse and basketball. In 2018, he graduated from Duke University where he studied Sociology and played collegiate lacrosse. Soon after graduation, he moved up to Philadelphia and began volunteering with AHA.
Mitch loves the energy and positivity that both the athletes and volunteers bring to every event and decided to join the board in 2019 to help contribute more.
Mitch currently serves as fundraising coordinator to connect with organizations and individuals that align with the AHA mission.
Cyndi has been with AHA since 2007, when the program was embraced by the Council Rock North Varsity Girls Basketball team. She volunteered to run the program, and was invited onto the Board shortly after. AHA’s ability to bring people together and bridge the gap for inclusion is unparalleled. Cyndi says, “The joy and fulfillment I get from seeing athletes of all ages embrace and include our athletes is like no other.”
Cyndi is currently a Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Her entire family has been involved with AHA events over the years as well.
Honorary Captain Coordinator
Taylor graduated from Council Rock High School South in 2012. At CR South, she played volleyball, basketball, softball, and lacrosse. In 2008, she began volunteering for Athletes Helping Athletes and has been doing so ever since.
In 2016, Taylor graduated with her undergraduate degree from West Chester University with a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders and minors in Psychology and Linguistics.
In 2018, she graduated with her masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Bloomsburg University. She now works in the Pennsbury School District as a speech-language pathologist
Honorary Captain Coordinator
Jaimie started with AHA in around 2006-2007 and has been a board member since 2016. She was introduced to AHA through her younger brother, who has been one of our special athletes since the beginning. Jaimie graduated with her undergraduate and graduate degree in Special Education from West Chester University. Jaimie currently works as a special education teacher in the Neshaminy School District at Poquessing Middle School. Jaimie has a passion for sports as well; she coaches cheerleading and track at the middle school level. Jaimie's favorite AHA moment was when we got to bring a few of our families to meet Zack and Julie Ertz at the Maxwell Football Club Banquet!
Over a decade of Volunteering!
Erica was introduced to AHA during high school at Archbishop Wood, where she volunteered for events and started to grow her passion for AHA. She went on to receive her Rehab & Human Services degree at Penn State University from 2014-2018, where she was the treasurer of the AHA club during her junior year. The AHA community held a special place in her heart, so she continued volunteering during her graduate studies at Salus University where she received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2020. She is now an Occupational Therapist in Maryland, but continues to share her passion for Athletes Helping Athletes, and creating a broader acceptance for all!
Nikki first joined Athletes Helping Athletes in 2014 and quickly fell in love with the organization and athletes. She served as the president of the Nazareth Academy chapter from 2017-2018. Currently studying Accounting and Business Analytics at Fairfield University, Nikki has continued to volunteer for Athletes Helping Athletes, including helping to rebuild the new Athletes Helping Athletes website.
She looks forward to continuing to work with Athletes Helping Athletes in the years to come.