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Bio – Staff

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher, Communications Associate

RespectAbility Communications Associate Eric Ascher smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Eric Ascher, Communications Associate

Eric Ascher (he/him) is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. As the Communications Associate, he is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Director of Marketing and Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Apprentices. [continue reading…]

Jimmy Fremgen

Jimmy Fremgen, Manager of State Policy

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Jimmy Fremgen, Manager of State Policy

Jimmy Fremgen (he/him) is the Manager of State Policy at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. [continue reading…]

Vanni Le

Vanni Le, Entertainment Outreach Program Manager

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Vanni Le, Entertainment Outreach Program Manager

Vanni Le is the first-ever Entertainment Outreach Program Manager at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. She focuses on fighting stigmas by ensuring authentic representations of people with disabilities in film and television. Le brings brand strategy and program management experience from both the entertainment and nonprofit fields, having previously worked at the Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, March of Dimes, and most recently A+E Networks. [continue reading…]

Lesley Hennen

Lesley Hennen, Entertainment and News Media Associate

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Lesley Hennen, Entertainment and News Media Associate

Lesley Hennen (she/her) is the Entertainment and News Media Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. Hennen brings a professional background in Communications and PR, as well as expertise in script consulting and independent film production to the team at RespectAbility, where she works with key players in the Entertainment and News Media industries to promote more authentic representations of people with disabilities on-screen, as well as more inclusive working environments for people with disabilities behind the camera. [continue reading…]

Jacquill Moss

Jacquill Moss, Entertainment Media Program Coordinator

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Jacquill Moss, Entertainment Media Program Coordinator

Jacquill Moss is the Entertainment Media Program Coordinator at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

After being selected through RespectAbility as one of 10 participants of the WarnerMedia Access Early Career Bootcamp, Moss was recruited for the Entertainment Media Program Coordinator position. Born with nocturnal epilepsy, this position not only aligned with Moss’ diverse skillset but also his lived disability experience, passion for advocacy and evolving the narrative. Outside of RespectAbility, Moss works on bringing awareness to unhoused youth, mental health and foster children to support those in need.

In his spare time, Moss enjoys music production, freelance photography and videography. A huge fan of all aspects of cinema, Moss also volunteers yearly at the Sundance Film Festival and has worked with many high-profile brands and clients while serving as a freelance videographer.

[continue reading…]

Theresa Soares

Theresa Soares, Media Business Development Associate

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Theresa Soares, Media Business Development Associate

Theresa Soares is a Media Business Development Associate at RespectAbility, a diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and that advances policies and practices that empower disabled people to have a better future. She brings more than 10 years of experience in the news media and entertainment, corporate, and private philanthropy sectors where she has cultivated success in sourcing, strengthening, and growing business development and donor relationships.

Previously, Soares served as the Corporate Development Director for PBS in Central California, overseeing corporate development underwriting and sponsorships including notable collaborations with Ken Burn’s “Country Music,” Nature “American Spring Live,” and the National Sikh Campaign’s development of public service announcements.

Passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, Soares previously co-founded the Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC) at the National Center for Learning Disabilities where she participated as a mentor for young adults as they progressed through higher education and into the workforce.

Soares obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College, where she created a major titled “Business, Management, and Social Innovation.” Soares resides in California where she spends her free time exploring and hiking through National Parks or visiting her hometown of Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula.

Meet our Staff

Ian Cherutich

Ian Cherutich, Development Associate

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Ian Cherutich, Development Associate

Ian Cherutich is a nonprofit fundraising professional and serves as a Development Associate at RespectAbility, supporting the organization in raising funds to further its work of fighting stigmas, expanding opportunities and supporting the development of talented professionals with disabilities.

Cherutich has experience in both the disability and nonprofit fundraising space. As a Housing Intern in Legacy Counseling Center’s Homebase for Housing program, he wrote educational material meant to inform nonprofit professionals on how to best serve people experiencing homelessness who have HIV/AIDS. In his previous role as a Development Associate at Readers 2 Leaders, a children’s literacy nonprofit, Cherutich wrote applications for grant funding, managed the organization’s 2019 North Texas Giving Day fundraising drive, and performed other fundraising tasks as the organization surpassed one million dollars in annual revenue. [continue reading…]

Molly McConville

Molly McConville, Development Associate

Molly McConville smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Molly McConville, Development Associate

Molly McConville (she/her) is a Development Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. In her work, McConville is responsible for database management, prospect research, support in development operations, and event planning.

McConville graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. She participated in the RespectAbility National Leadership Program in Summer 2019 as a Public Policy and Employment Fellow. [continue reading…]

Donjeta Sahiti

Donjeta Sahiti, Special Assistant to the President

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Donjeta Sahiti, Special Assistant to the President

Donjeta Sahiti is the Special Assistant to the President at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Sahiti earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. She previously interned at Senator Cory Booker’s Office and for the nonprofit organization JESPY House. Her experiences have inspired her to enter the nonprofit field because it is where she feels she can make the greatest change in society moving forward. [continue reading…]

Jake Stimell

Jake Stimell, Speakers’ Bureau Associate

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Jake Stimell, Associate, Speakers Bureau & Jewish Inclusion

Jake Stimell is the first-ever Speakers’ Bureau Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

In his work, Stimell recruits, trains and places leaders with disabilities as speakers with the National Disability Speakers Bureau (NDSB). He connects talented speakers to organizations (nonprofits, corporations and educational institutions) seeking disability training. [continue reading…]

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