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ESD Global Staff Members

Dawn Lindsey 

Chief Executive Officer

Dawn Lindsey is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s strategic plan. She has held a variety of roles throughout her career, including Chief Operations Officer with HOPE Community Development Corporation, Director of Real Estate Development with Intend Indiana, Deputy Executive Director for the Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation, Chief Operations Officer at Hi-Mark Construction Group and CEO of the South African Local Economic Development Network.

Sarah Stephens

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Stephens is responsible for enabling smooth execution of the organization’s strategic plan. Sarah has had a variety of career experiences including Early Intervention Services, Children and Family Services, Travel Management, Secondary Education, Music Education and Nonprofit Program Management.

Cassie Hitzman

Chief Programs Officer

Casandra (Cassie) has a deep passion for social justice. For all. She considers herself a warrior for compassion. A feminist and anti racist, she seeks to change the world by transformation. She has 25 plus years in martial arts and holds a 3rd degree black belt in both Tae Kwon Do, under Marjory Allingham and Shuri Te Ju Jutsu under Kyoshi Troy Price (which she currently pursues) and has extensively taught both.

Kim Rivers

Director of Programs and Continued Education

Kim Rivers holds a Masters of Social Work from Springfield College. She has taught Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) at Berkshire Community College since 2006. Kim participated in ESD Global’s instructor training program in 2018. She received her Self Defense Instructor Certification from National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) in 2019 and currently serves a member of their Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Adanma Nwokoma

Director of Communications

With two decades of expertise in policy research, advocacy, and community engagement, the distinguished career of Adanma Nwokoma has left an indelible mark on the landscape of communications and public service. Serving as an on-air personality dedicated to addressing pressing social issues, Adanma has consistently demonstrated a knack for fostering relationships and driving organizational growth, all while impeccably representing the ethos of the institutions under her stewardship.

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