Kathleen Koch, Founder & Executive Director

Kathleen Koch spent most of her career as a journalist, starting as a reporter on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and ending as a Peabody Award-winning network television White House correspondent. She left the news business in 2009 and wrote Rising from Katrina, the prize-winning bestseller about the recovery of her Bay St. Louis, Mississippi hometown from Hurricane Katrina. Koch led a nationwide letter-writing campaign to encourage the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan before turning her attention to aiding in disasters at home by creating LeadersLink. In her spare time, she serves as chair of the Howard County Maryland Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD).

Myrna P. Daramy, Technology Advisor

Myrna P. Daramy is the Co-Founder of Mezzohead Media Corporation, a web application firm and the CEO of Myrna Daramy, LLC. digital marketing strategy company. She has spent her career deep in the world of digital analytics, strategic branding, technology management, and SEO with over 13 years of experience working with luxury brands in the bridal and lifestyle industries.

Advisory Board

Claire DeMatteis, Advisory Board Member

Claire DeMatteis is a temporary special assistant to the governor of Delaware. Prior to that, she was Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Affinity Health Plan, Inc. DeMatteis was also previously Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Privacy Officer at Catalina Marketing and Catalina Health. She served for ten years as senior counsel to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden.

Ted Ellis, Advisory Board Member

Ted Ellis retired in 2020 after 24 years as mayor of Bluffton, Indiana, making him one of the state’s longest-serving mayors. He served as president of the National League of Cities and treasurer of United Cities and Local Governments. Ellis is past president of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, which gave him the Russell Lloyd Award for “outstanding contributions to local government.”