Meet Our Executive Team

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Jonathan Beckham

Chief Information Officer

Jonathan Beckham guides the discovery of solutions that balance innovation, technical agility and business savvy to support the organization’s mission, goals and values. He is responsible for organizing, driving and creating the framework for successful execution and development of IT innovation and strategy.

Gina Lynch

Chief Operating Officer

Gina Lynch is responsible for leading multiple teams whose primary focus is to serve Step Up For Student’s scholarship families, schools and providers. Gina’s priority is to make sure that the “voice of the customer” is heard and that it is used to drive improvements across the scholarship programs under administration.

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Joe Pfountz

Chief Financial Officer

Joe Pfountz leads the team that oversees Step Up For Students’ accounting, finance, treasury, risk management and knowledge management functions and ensures the highest level of fiscal accountability and transparency at Step Up For Students and the programs it administers.

Lesley Searcy

Chief External Relations Officer

For over 20 years, Lesley has provided transformational, executive leadership to large scale nonprofits. At Step Up for Students, Lesley leads the fundraising, policy, and state partnership teams. Her experience in aligning boards, donors, employees, and communities to a mission has helped to build strong, outcome-based nonprofits. 


Alissa Randall

Chief Marketing Officer

Alissa leads the Marketing department, where she oversees a team responsible for promotion, community outreach, content development and student recruitment. Prior to joining Step Up, Alissa spent a decade in key account strategy and development, most recently as a director at Cox Target Media. 

Anne White

Chief Administrative Officer

Anne White provides leadership support for our human resources, organizational and professional development teams as well as our compliance, risk management and purchasing functions. She has been with Step Up since 2010.  Previously, she served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for scholarship operations and employee resources.

Anne Francis

Vice President, Development

Anne Francis began working for Step Up For Students in 2010 and has held multiple roles within the Development Department. In her current role as Vice President, she is responsible for driving and executing strategies to secure philanthropic and tax-credited contributions.

Jill LaRose

Vice President for Leadership Development

Jill LaRose is the Vice President for Leadership Development. She is responsible for helping SUFS leaders operationalize our two core cultural values–everyone is an asset, and every event is an improvement opportunity–by promoting stronger cognitive and emotional management skills across the organization.

Carol Macedonia

Vice President, Office of Student Learning

Carol Thomas leads a team that oversees the process development intended to assist schools and families in establishing and maintaining collaborative partnerships that ensure the academic, social and emotional success of every child; while at the same time, upholding the belief that the ultimate responsibility for the education of the child resides with the parent. 

JillIan Metz

Vice President, Development

Jillian joined Step Up For Students in 2006 as the communications specialist. During her tenure with Step Up For Students, Jillian has also worked as the marketing and events manager, and joined the development team in 2011 where she currently serves as vice president. Jillian received her bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in business from the University of Florida.