Our Team

Elizabeth Schumacher, JD
CEO
Elizabeth Schumacher has represented health care clients for 20 years, including international, national and state medical and specialty associations, regional and national academic medical and hospital systems, health insurers, long-term care, and the pharmaceutical industry. Liz has a unique ability to authentically engage strategic stakeholders and build comprehensive alliances and audiences, which is supported by her executive experience managing legislative and public relations, legal affairs, business planning, clinical research and health policy. Prior to Affinity Strategies, Liz was Executive Director of LUGPA, a national urology subspecialty association with over 2400 members. As senior legislative attorney for the American Medical Association, Liz managed nationwide health insurance public policy development and Affordable Care Act rulemaking. While at Pfizer, Liz developed and implemented strategic stakeholder engagement on key issues, including specialty tiers, access to medications, biologics, Medicare. Liz began her career at age 26 at the University of Wisconsin, where she was responsible for the third largest academic medical research budget in the United States. Recent speaking engagements include the American Association of Medical Society Executives, University of Wisconsin Law School, Chicago-Kent Law School, Federal Executives Institute, Ellevate, American Medical Association, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, URO GPO, American Society of Anesthesiologists and International Society of Musculoskeletal Imaging in Rheumatology. Liz is a third generation Badger and received her Law and Bachelors degrees at the University of Wisconsin. Liz enjoys cooking, baking, time with family and friends and walking her Olde English Bulldogge, Brit, in the woods.

Melissa Sprague
Senior Director of Brand and Strategic Market Initiatives

Melissa Sprague joins Affinity Strategies and Affinity Advocacy Partners as Senior Director, Brand and Strategic Market Initiatives. Melissa is a seasoned digital marketing leader with over 20 years of experience specializing in: e-commerce, digital product management, brand strategy, insights and acquisitions. She has helped brands effectively optimize and support all customer facing communication channels. In her role, Melissa helps Affinity Strategies and its partners in developing new new business development and digital engagement strategies.Melissa is a collaborative partner who rapidly builds credible and trusted relationships across an organization and she can be counted on to deliver results. She works closely with founders, senior management, external agencies and side-by-side with clients  to establish, lead and execute brand, marketing and revenue priorities. While at Citi Melissa was recognized for effective problem solving, identifying gaps, and creating new opportunities for improved customer benefits and solutions. While at Aerosoles Melissa created strategic partnerships to cultivate win/win value propositions.

Melissa resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Scott. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and travel. She received her degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Ivy Ahmed , MPH
Executive Director

Ivy Ahmed, MPH, MCHES is an Executive Director with Affinity Strategies and is based in our Washington DC location. Ivy oversees six individual state and constituent chapters of the American Physical Therapy Association. In her role, Ivy works hand in hand with the in-house APTA team, ensuring that all strategic plans, events, financial management and daily needs are met. Ivy has been a leader in the public health and nonprofit communities for more than 20 years. Much of her work has centered on developing and delivering educational and supportive programs throughout the oncology community. Prior to joining Affinity Strategies Ivy served as President & CEO of PCa Blue, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from prostate cancer through education and awareness. She led all aspects of the organization and worked with the organization’s national spokesman, GRAMMY® Award Winning Buddy Guy to connect the dots between prostate cancer and blues music. In addition, Ivy has served in leadership roles for ZERO, The End of Prostate Cancer, Cancer Support Community and Lockheed Martin. Ivy resides in Virginia.

 
Cayla Marconi
Executive Director
Cayla Marconi is an Executive Director with Affinity Strategies. She joined the team in 2016, and currently manages Affinity Strategies' orthopedic and health care fraternity clients. In addition to her association client work, Cayla also oversees training for all Account Directors and Client Coordinators, ensuring that every new member of our team understands the fundamentals of association management and how we do it the Affinity Strategies way. Cayla's sense of humor, hard work ethic and positive attitude bring great assets to the Affinity team and its clients. Prior to joining Affinity, Cayla was an Account Manager with a global logistics firm, where she managed global shipping, logistics and business development. Cayla received her degree from Western Illinois University. In her spare time, she helps foster rescue dogs and enjoys exercise and socializing with her friends and family.
Tina Naleway
Accounting and Operations Manager
Tina Naleway joined Affinity Strategies in 2014 and is the firm's Financial Director. In her role, Tina oversees all client bookkeeping and works closely with client Treasurers, Boards and Executive Directors to oversee all budget and financial management for each of our individual associations. Tina also works hand in hand with our external Certified Public Accountants firm, DHJJ, to oversee external financial reviews, audits, and all tax preparation matters. Tina can be counted on for her positive attitude, attention to detail and excellent customer service. Prior to joining Affinity, Tina was an Accounting Manager for two other Chicago area companies. In her free time, Tina enjoys time with her family and Church.
Stephany Oceguera
Creative Director

Stephany leads Affinity Strategies and Affinity Advocacy Partners' creative and editorial team and works with all of our clients. Her work encompasses branding/identity, publishing, email campaigns, and web design. Stephany studied graphic design at the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago, where she received her BFA in 2013. Prior to joining Affinity Strategies, Stephany worked for both in-house creative departments and has worked with Fortune 50 companies. Stephany's clients love her because her ideas are constantly fresh, she listens to her client's needs and is a key team player. She enjoys being a part of the Affinity Strategies team because it is always a positive environment and enjoys working with our clients. In her spare time she likes listening to music, dancing , and being outdoors .

Andrea Floros
Account Coordinator

Andrea Floros joins the Affinity Strategies team as an Account Coordinator. Prior to joining Affinity- Andrea managed a Chicago area health and fitness club and has worked in the health and wellness industries for nearly five years. In her role, Andrea works closely with our physical therapy clients to ensure that their daily administrative needs are met. Andrea also manages a community bicycle program.

Corinne Marconi
Meetings Coordinator
Corinne Marconi is a Meetings Coordinator at Affinity Strategies. Corinne joins the Affinity Strategies team with extensive experience in event planning and management. Prior to joining Affinity, Corinne was a Catering and Administration Manager for Kirkland and Ellis law firm, downtown Chicago. Corinne works with clients to ensure that their events exceed their expectations, including selection of food and beverage, meeting locations, event budgeting, forecasting, sales, and on site event management. She has expertise in corporate and nonprofit events, and has worked in catering and event management since 2012. Corinne is a graduate of Western Illinois University, where she received her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Amy Owens, A.M.
Executive Director
Amy Owens, A.M., joined Affinity Strategies in 2018 as Executive Director. Amy has an extensive background in advocacy and association management having represented state and national medical and allied health care associations for over a decade. While at the Illinois State Medical Society, Amy served as Legislative Director for six medical specialty state associations. She also simultaneously served as Executive Director for the 300-physician member Illinois Dermatological Society as well as the 1,300-physician member Illinois Psychiatric Society working directly with the Board of Directors within both societies to advance their respective strategic goals. In 2005, Amy joined the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) as Government Relations Manager where she organized a national grassroots advocacy effort on behalf of AMTA’s more than 60,000 members for the passage and preservation of massage therapy professional licensures in all fifty states. Amy provided leadership, counsel and training on all legal, regulatory and grievance matters of importance to the association. Amy is an entrepreneur as well. In 2017 she founded Home Retreat, an artisan and Fair Trade home décor and accessory gift shop located in Geneva, Illinois. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Spanish from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Service Administration with a concentration in Health Care Policy and Administration from the School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago. Amy lives in Geneva with her husband, their two wonderful children and dog Bailey. Amy enjoys reading, volunteering and spending time with her family.


Julie Naskrent
Account Director

Julie is an Account Director with Affinity Strategies. She is also a Registered and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant with over 5 years of administrative and healthcare experience. In her role as Account Director, Julie supports our clients with daily management needs, event coordination and governance support. Prior to joining Affinity, Julie worked in a medical clinic, where she served as a Clinic Manager as well as a direct health care provider. In addition to her administrative and clinical expertise, Julie is also a licensed esthetician. Julie shines every day with her positive attitude, attention to detail, great customer service and excellent organizational skills. Julie loves spending time with her family, friends, and pets as much as possible. Her favorite things include Starbucks, reading great books, and taking her dog, Sadie everywhere.

Geri Justinger
Director, Special Projects

Geri Justinger serves as a Director, Special Projects at Affinity Strategies. Geri takes pride in providing excellent customer service and loves making people look good. Geri supports our associations by implementing administrative systems, procedures, and policies and managing special projects. Geri is also a talented artist- whether it be fabric, upcycled clothing design, painting or sculpture, she enjoys creating beautiful and interesting things. Geri enjoys her family, cooking and scouring thrift shops.

Daniel Hawley
Digital Marketing and Creative Coordinator

Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Creative Coordinator with Affinity. Daniel has worked with the Affinity team since June, 2017, and is a graduate of Judson University. In his role, Daniel supports digital and graphic design projects. Whether it be logo development, event brochures and marketing materials, social media templates, or general association website updates, Daniel is ready to help his clients visual and digital engagement needs.   Daniel resides in Iowa, and loves exploring unique and creative solutions through his work, creating visual systems for users to interact with. He enjoys print, web and UI/UX design, and is always looking for new ways to challenge himself and his design process.

Kim Horvath, JD
Senior Director, Advocacy and Regulatory

Kim Horvath, JD, is Senior Director, Advocacy and Regulatory to Affinity Strategies. Kim works with our clients on bylaws, articles of incorporation, corporation updates, legal, government affairs and related advocacy issues. Prior to working with Affinity Strategies, Kim was a Senior Legislative Attorney at the American Medical Association, where she staffed the AMA Board of Directors and advised on several key issues, including scope of practice, antitrust, truth in advertising and other key issues. Kim served as Manager, Legislative Policy Development for the American Osteopathic Association as well. Kim received her Juris Doctorate law degree from DePaul University, Chicago. Kim resides in Naperville, Illinois with her three sons, husband and dog, Lilly.

 


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