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Meet Our Staff

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Shannon Brennan


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 all of her free time with her little boy Joey and chocolate lab, Luna.  Shannon's family is very involved in AHA as well and you will find most of them volunteering at every event. 


Jaimie Carr

Vice President & Honorary Captain Co-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'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!

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Maryrita Brennan


Maryrita has been on the staff of AHA for many years, most recently taking over the responsibilities of Treasurer.  She loves our events and interacting with all of our athletes. She also loves sharing AHA with her family, especially her 7 grandkids. 

Maryrita worked as an administrative assistant after raising her kids and lends her attention to detail to her role as treasurer. She is always accompanied by her other half, Fran, who also has a deep love of AHA.  When these two are not volunteering their time with AHA, they can be found on the beach in NW!

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Caitlin Russell


Cait first volunteered with AHA in her first year of high school in 2011. Since then, she's been involved in several capacities! She started the AHA club at Archbishop Wood High School in 2013, and it's still going strong! She has developed a passion for improving employment outcomes of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and currently works as the Executive Director of Neurodiversity Employment Network.

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. She 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. 


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?


Mitch Russell

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.

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Alyssa Gerold

Social Media & Sunshine Club Co-Coordinator

Alyssa began volunteering with AHA in her junior year of high school at Nazareth Academy in 2017. After graduating from Nazareth in 2019, she moved on to attend Temple University and joined the staff at AHA where she could not be more thrilled to be involved with this amazing organization! She graduated from Temple in 2023 with a Bachelors of Music in Music Education.

Alyssa is currently a Pre-K through 12th grade music teacher at a special needs school, while balancing several other jobs. Some of her favorite "side jobs" include running a summer music camp for students with special needs, directing theater and music at several schools, and private music lessons. 


Grace Needham

Social Media & Sunshine Club Co-Coordinator

Grace began volunteering with AHA her freshman year of high school in 2018. She then joined the e-board her junior year and was president of the AHA club at Council Rock North her senior year. From there she came back to join our adult staff as a junior member. Her responsibilities now include social media, sunshine club and zoom parties. 

Grace is currently attending Marymount University where she is majoring in special education and minoring in psychology. She enjoys the friendships she has created at AHA and continues to volunteer.


Angel McHugh

Social Media, Sunshine Club Co-Coordinator, & Web-Master

Angel began volunteering with Athletes Helping Athletes in her freshman year of high school at Archbishop Wood in 2017. After graduating in 2021 and moving on to attend Gwynedd Mercy University, she continued to volunteer at events and eventually joined our staff in May of 2023. 

Her time with the organization has influenced her career goals as she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and plans to focus her work in special needs communities..

Angel loves the environment and community of AHA and is thrilled to be a part of the staff. She looks forward to graduating from Gwynedd in 2026 and continuing to work with AHA.


Taylor Hunt

Honorary Captain Co-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

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Kalie Soulsby

College Honorary Captain Coordinator

Kalie joined Athletes Helping Athletes during high school at Nazareth Academy in 2016. She then went on to become to president of the AHA club at Bryn Athyn College, where she graduated in 2023 with a duel certification in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Now she is a 7th grade special education teacher at Murray Avenue Middle School in Lower Moreland.

After graduating Kalie wanted to continue her work with AHA in anyway she could.Now, she is the college honorary captain coordinator and is so grateful for the opportunity of getting to continue working with all the amazing individuals that apart of AHA.​


Don Lugg

Board Member

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.


Katie DeLuca

Board Member

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." 


Cyndi Pinto

Board Member

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.                                                                           


Erica Sheehan

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 continues to share her passion for Athletes Helping Athletes and creating a broader acceptance for all.

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