Our Team

Our Team

Our Leadership

Our Team - Our Founder, Sam Beard image

Sam Beard

Our Founder and President

Sam Beard, a social entrepreneur and public servant, has dedicated his life to making a difference in the world, serving eight U.S. Presidents and creating the Jefferson Awards. He founded GIFT CONNECT in 2021.

Judith Otter

Executive Director and COO

Judith Otter is an accomplished nonprofit executive with 12 years of experience & expertise in helping non-profit visionaries to build, strengthen, scale and sustain their organizations.

“Sam Beard is one of the ripples of hope that Bobby believed were the power of people to advance justice and peace.”

Ethel Kennedy

Board of Directors

Our Team - Chairman, Mark Holden image

Mark Holden


Mark Holden is a successful entrepreneur, musician, and international recording artist who has founded and operated several companies in a diverse career spanning four decades. He is an advocate for creating values-based businesses that make a difference. Mark believes that true success is measured by how many lives we impact. 

Our Team - Vice President, Olivia Soleil image

Olivia Soleil

Vice President

Olivia was born in the Republic of the Congo. She is an artist, life coach, mindfulness practitioner, hypnosis practitioner and a Reiki Master. She also served as a Member of the Governor’s Delaware Interfaith Council.

Our Team - Vice President, Antonio Tijerino image

Antonio Tijerino

Vice President

Toni Tijerino is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, social impact and culture through innovation and leadership. HHF is recognized by The White House, US Congress, Fortune 500 companies, other nonprofits and the Government of Mexico.

Our Team - Vice President, Stellar Mengele image

Stellar Mengele

Vice President

Stellar Mengele is a gospel music artist, career woman, businesswoman, wife and mother. Born and raised in Kitui County, Stellar began her music career in 2003 and currently serves as the GIFT CONNECT 0-5 Ambassador in Kenya.

Our Team - Vice President, Rika Yoshikawa image

Rika Yoshikawa


Rika has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Gakushuin and a Master’s degree in Child Development from Michigan State University. Rika currently serves as a deputy chair for Byakko, Vice President of May Peace Prevail on Earth International, and Goi Peace Foundation following her family tradition of spreading peace and divine spark beyond race and religion.

Our Team - Member, Suzanne Hall image

Suzanne Hall


Experienced Founder and Chief Executive Officer with a strong focus on creating businesses that promote wellbeing on all levels. A demonstrated history of working in both the positive psychology and well-being software industry with the Be Intent Technology platform.

Our Team - Vice President, Emeka Igwe image

Emeka Igwe


Emeka is the managing partner at The Igwe Firm, a law firm that specializes in civil rights and personal injury law. Emeka is also a Major in the Delaware National Guard. He has served on several Boards including the United Way of Delaware. Emeka is, most importantly, the father of two young children and he is passionate about Birth to 3 and early childhood development.

Our Team - Member, Doug Lambert image

Doug Lambert


Doug Lambert is a Global Good entrepreneur. His work is purposed to change philanthropy worldwide through an evolutionary & disruptive nonprofit e-platform.

Our Team - Member, Beth Waller image

Beth Waller


Beth Medved Waller is a successful realtor in Virginia, having earned recognition as a top producer locally, regionally and nationally. She is also the founder of WHAT MATTERS, a 501(c)3 dedicated to efforts in community building, outreach and wellness, with a special emphasis on video-based storytelling and creating replicable fundraising models for non-profits.

Our Team

Global Director, Brett Lectenberg, image


Global Director

Global Director, Liz Gibbs image

Liz Gibbs

Global Director

ShEIla Neff

Executive Administrator

Kathi Way

Delaware Consultant

Consultant/Production, Rupert image

Rupert Hitzig


Global Ambassador, Stellar Mengele image

Stellar Mengele

Global Ambassador

Sue St. Laurent

Delaware Consultant