Meet Our 2023 Fellows

mpu   |   June 15, 2023

It’s neither an easy nor a small feat to pick up the mantle and dig in for a road of hard work. For a community to grow and prosper, a solid foundation must be built first, and our Brickyard leaders aim to do just that. Following on the heels of our first-ever +MPU Fellowship in 2022, we are delighted to introduce our 2023 cohort for June 22-25 at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.

19 Fellows across 12 states will aim to start new Brickyard chapters in their area. They come from diverse backgrounds, including veterans and service-minded individuals. They lead with indomitable spirits and have the tenacity to inspire change in their local communities and bring together people who would not have had a chance to meet before.

We applaud and thank them for their journey and eagerly await what they will do next! If you want to know more about each Fellow, click on their profiles for their full bios.

+MPU’s 2023 class of Fellows on the road to becoming Brickyard leaders includes:

Headshot of Stacey Chavis, a Black woman wearing a red blouse.
Headshot of Stacey Chavis

Stacey Chavis (📍 Atlanta, GA) is the Managing Director of Campaigns Academy and also serves on the Junior Leagues of Georgia State Public Affairs Committee and the University of Georgia Black Alumni Leadership Council.

Headshot of Larry Danna, a white man with a grey beard wearing a suit
Headshot of Larry Danna

Larry Danna (📍 Lexington, KY) is a business owner committed to service, teaching business and civics to youth, and collaborates with global technology startups and more to provide advisory services.

Selfie of Matt Demobowski, a white man wearing a hat and backpack hiking a mountain
Photo of Matthew Dembowski

Matthew Dembowski (📍 New Orleans, LA) served for 8 years in the US Army and enjoys volunteering with nonprofits focused on climate change.

Photo of Sara Hunold, a white woman with long blonde hair standing in the grass in front of the beach
Headshot of Sara Hunold

Sara Hunold (📍 Osceola, IN) is a civics teacher and service-minded idealist who has volunteered with the Red Cross, Young Life, Team RWB & Team Rubicon, USO & Freedom’s Ring, and at an immigration and refugee center.

A headshot of Alice Garcia, a hispanic woman wearing a black suit jacket.
Headshot of Alice Garcia

Alice Garcia (📍 Shavano Park, TX) is an HR Strategist, owner of Real Property Management First Class, a strategic advisor for a sustainability startup, and a volunteer career coach with FourBlock, who has also served as an Army officer.

Black and white headshot of Ben Lyon, a white man with a beard and glasses.
Ben Lyon Headshot

Ben Lyon (📍 Boston, MA) is a Boy Scout at heart who has co-founded two startups, and an accelerator focused on promoting financial inclusion.

Black and white headshot of Sam LaNasa, a white man wearing a suit
Headshot of Samuel LaNasa

Sam LaNasa (📍 Morristown, NJ) served 7 years as a Ground Intelligence Officer in the US Marine Corps and is currently in the Middle Market Private Equity space.

Photo of Naiomi Lundman, a white middle aged woman with blonde hair wearing a light jacket outside
Headshot of Naiomi Lundman

Naiomi Lundman (📍 Cedarburg, WI) co-led a global humanitarian campaign, raising awareness among the maker community about pressing humanitarian needs, and is currently exploring the intersection of identity in deep conflicts while striving to facilitate positive shifts.

Headshot of Trip O'Connell, a white man wearing a veteran uniform
Headshot of Trip O’Connell

Trip O’Connell (📍 Austin, TX) is a 6-year Air Force veteran who has launched multiple F45 fitness locations, contributing to the development of the F45 Military Division that assists military members in transitioning to civilian life.

Portrait of Dami Olaoye, a Black man wearing glasses and a black shirt with his hands crossed.
Dami Olaoye headshot

Dami Olaoye (📍 Stockbridge, GA) is a combat medic veteran who provided crucial support to citizens and fellow soldiers in distress during COVID and is pursuing certifications in PMP and LSS Black Belt to enhance lives and establish accountable systems.

Headshot of a white, middle-aged man smiling in a checkered button up shirt
Headshot of Doug Seich

Doug Seich (📍 Belmont, CA) is an operations leader with a diverse background in the military and tech industry and currently leads an initiative focused on developing a supply chain strategy for Meta Reality Labs.

Headshot of Ryan Smither, a bald white man wearing a button up shirt with a white background.
Headshot of Ryan Smither

Ryan Smither (📍 Washington D.C.) is a self-described “public-interest lawyer” committed to justice leading him to establish his own law practice, dedicated to providing accessible legal services to those in need.

Headshot of Olyvia Troop, a Black woman wearing red lipstick and a white blouse
Headshot of Olyvia Troop

Olyvia Troop (📍 Aubrey, TX) is a Signing Agent business and a Property Management company owner with over 15 years of experience in customer service experience management, consulting, and community outreach and actively volunteers for committees, hosts training classes, and contributes to charitable works.

Headshot of a brown haired, white woman wearing a tshirt
Headshot of Katarina Young Vargas

Katarina Young Vargas (📍 Glen Rose, TX) is formerly a professional model from a family with a strong military background who found fulfillment through a past project called the Stack the Deck for Vets, contributed to initiatives supporting veterans, and coached Club Volleyball and volleyball at the YMCA.

A selfie of Keisha Washington, a middle ages Black woman wearing a tshirt with trees in the background.
Headshot of Keisha Washington

Keisha Washington (📍 Tallahassee, FL) is an Army Veteran with an extensive background working with government contractors and dedicating over 25 years to the Education System as a volunteer and mentor — actively serving on the boards of Warriors Restoration, Inclusion Café, and Women Veterans Unite.

Headshot of Steve Woll, a white middle aged man wearing sunglasses atop his head with a mountain in the background.
Steve Woll Headshot

Steve Woll (📍 Norfolk, VA) has an extensive naval career spanning 21 years, having served in the Navy and transitioning into becoming a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer later, and currently serves as the principal of the Little Creek Applied Science LLC.