Our Team

Our multicultural and multilingual team is based in the Washington, D.C. region and New York City. We are engaged and connected in our communities, committed to each other, our clients, and the leaders we meet every day.

Prior to LeaderFit, our team brings deep experience in the philanthropic, private, and nonprofit sectors and working across a wide range of social and racial justice initiatives and organizations.

Our LeaderFit team brings extensive experience from the nonprofit, philanthropic, and private sectors

Shaina Amaya

Vice President

Shaina Amaya is a Vice President at LeaderFit based in Washington, DC, where she leads national executive searches for high-impact nonprofits and philanthropic organizations and serves on the firm’s leadership team. Shaina has been an integral part of building LeaderFit’s presence over the past 10 years and is passionate about partnering with clients to build more diverse and inclusive leadership teams.

Shaina brings more than 20 years of experience in executive search, organizational development, and philanthropic consulting from both the nonprofit and private sectors. At LeaderFit, Shaina’s portfolio has spanned both national and regionally focused executive searches for nonprofits and philanthropic organizations addressing a wide variety of racial and social justice issues. She has enjoyed her work with a diverse mix of clients in her time at LeaderFit, including Unidos, Democracy Fund, Didlake, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), and National Homelessness Law Center. She is proud of her track record as a trusted advisor to boards, executive leadership teams, and leaders looking to make an executive transition.

Shaina began her career at Unitus, a microfinance investor working with women small business owners in India and Mexico. This experience sparked her interest in community-driven solutions to poverty and systemic inequities. Prior to joining LeaderFit, Shaina was a Vice President of Operations at the Endeavor Group, a boutique philanthropic advisory firm for high net worth individuals and celebrities, where she was instrumental in building out the team and leading of the firm’s finance and operations functions.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she lives in Virginia with her family. Shaina earned a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University in Spanish and Latin American Studies. A passionate advocate for education and inclusion for people with disabilities, Shaina is proud to serve as the President of the Board of Directors at the Stafford Education Foundation. An outdoor enthusiast and proud baseball/softball mom, Shaina enjoys spending her spare time in nature with her family and watching her kids play ball.

Whitney Beecham

Vice President

Whitney Gusby Beecham (she/her) is a passionate mission-driven executive recruiter and social justice advocate. As a Vice President, she serves as a trusted thought partner to Boards and senior nonprofit leaders and ensures candidates are stewarded through the search process with respect, transparency, and empathy. Since joining LeaderFit in 2020, she has led searches within the legal services, access to justice, policy advocacy, health equity, workforce development, and social and economic empowerment spaces.

Whitney Beecham

She believes cultivating deep, trust-based relationships and expanding opportunities for historically marginalized and under-resourced communities are the building blocks to creating a more equitable society. For more than 15 years, she’s dedicated her time and talents to these beliefs, first through her grassroots work as a Field Associate and Manager of Executive Operations at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and later as a Senior Associate of Global Development at Teach For All, where she supported stewardship of more than two dozen educational equity funders throughout the world.

Whitney earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University, completed graduate coursework in Urban Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park, and earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University’s School of Continuing Education. She was also a Leadership Greater Washington 2022 Rising Leader cohort member. Whitney currently serves on the Board of Directors for Thrive DC, a nonprofit that empowers individuals to overcome homelessness and achieve lasting self-sufficiency.

Whitney is a proud Georgia peach, hailing from Savannah, but claims Washington, D.C., as her adopted hometown. As a diplomatic trailing spouse, she has called Hong Kong and Mexico City her homes away from home and will soon take on a new adventure in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In her spare time, she enjoys eating her way through the global culinary scene, making travel memories with her husband, family, and friends, and snapping candid pictures of her incredible daughters, Bailee and Brooklyn.

Annie Linehan Czerwinski

Partner

Annie is a Partner at LeaderFit, where she leads firm strategy and growth, oversees the LeaderFit team and operations, and focuses on CEO and Executive Director searches across a variety of issue areas, including health care, policy and advocacy, philanthropy, and youth development. She believes the most successful searches result when Search Committees and Boards of Directors share power with staff and key stakeholders, authentically including a variety of voices typically excluded from executive decision-making. Annie also believes deeply in providing an environment for all candidates that centers respect, kindness, and timely communication, ensuring the interview process is human-centered and as transparent as possible.
Annie Czerwinski

Annie joined LeaderFit in 2011 after 10 years at the CityBridge Foundation as a Program Officer and Program Director. At CityBridge, she designed an experiential curriculum to equip corporate leaders for effective nonprofit Board leadership and subsequently helped match more than 100 leaders with Boards of Directors. She also spent nearly two years in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, partnering with the St. Bernard Parish Unified School District on special projects to help rebuild the administration, staff, and students’ sense of place after their school and community were destroyed. Prior to her time at CityBridge, Annie spent two years in marketing at The Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board. She began her career at the Capital Area Community Food Bank as an AmeriCorps volunteer after spending one year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a Rotary International Research Scholar focused on how successful citizen-led groups built effective social justice movements. Annie also brings experience with Mary House in Washington, DC, providing a safe haven to immigrant and refugee women and children.

Annie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, where she worked in the office of International Student Affairs and studied abroad in Santiago, Chile. She also has a Masters of Arts from Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, where she later served on the Alumni Board and is involved with the Georgetown University Women’s Alliance.

Originally from Wisconsin, Annie is a long-time resident of Washington, D.C., and is an engaged and active Ward 4 DCPS parent and community member. She serves on the Emeritus Board of the Higher Achievement Program after serving three terms on the Board of Directors, her last as Vice Chair. Annie brings five years of experience as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and three years of leadership with the DC Soccer Club as a Travel Team Manager. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights, gun violence prevention, and health and wellness, and is an avid Washington Spirit fan. Annie enjoys reading and long hikes in Rock Creek Park with her husband, son, daughter, and 3-year-old Vizsla.

Karelle Fonteneau

Senior Director

Karelle Fonteneau is a Senior Director based in New York City who specializes in executive search work for mission-driven organizations. Karelle joined the team at LeaderFit after six years in nonprofit legal services and a brief stint in law school. She is passionate about the role talent acquisition can play in systemic change across the nonprofit sector and disrupting white supremacy in the workplace.
Karelle Fonteneau
At LeaderFit, her portfolio has concentrated on law and policy organizations that center access to justice, criminal legal system reform, gender equity, and restorative justice practices. She is a creative and strategic thinker who is driven to improve internal systems and processes, as well as a detail-oriented project manager. Karelle believes that the diverse perspectives and approaches we bring to the work are ultimately what strengthen our team, and she is proud to work for LeaderFit—a women-owned and women-led search firm. Prior to joining LeaderFit, Karelle was a Paralegal at the Immigrant Defense Project, where she supported casework through their national hotline. She also helped develop resources for individuals and communities navigating the criminal and immigration legal systems in the United States in partnership with advocacy groups and community stakeholders. Before IDP, Karelle was a Legal Advocate at The Bronx Defenders, where she worked with noncitizens facing deportation through the first universal representation program for detained immigrants in New York City. Born in Miami to a Cuban mother and a French father, Karelle grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and calls New York home. She speaks fluent Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Karelle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology from Yale University and is currently pursuing an Organizational Behavior Graduate Certificate from Harvard University. In her spare time, she is an avid yogi and reader who can usually be found walking her dog around Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Ayann Johnson Holloway

Vice President

Ayann, who joined LeaderFit in 2020, is a seasoned executive recruiter and trusted advisor with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. In her role, she plays a pivotal role in guiding clients through the intricacies of the executive search process, overseeing client engagement, sourcing top-tier executive candidates, stewarding candidates, conducting thoughtful interviews, and meticulously checking candidate references. Ayann has successfully led numerous searches, contributing to the growth and success of organizations such as the Meyer Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. Passionate about creating access and opportunities, Ayann excels in matching exceptional executives with mission-driven organizations.

Ayann Johnson Holloway

Before joining LeaderFit, Ayann played pivotal roles at the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Her responsibilities spanned various areas, such as overseeing the Foundation’s operations, including governance, IT management, CEO support, and handling special projects. Preceding her tenure at the Foundation, Ayann served as an executive assistant at the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Ayann, originally from Texas and residing in the Washington, D.C., region for over 25 years, is an avid traveler with a penchant for exploring diverse cultures, including extended visits to Ghana, Colombia, South America, and various international destinations such as Paris, London, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Caribbean. Notably, a significant part of her adolescence was spent living in Ghana, profoundly shaping her executive perspective and global worldview. Beyond her professional endeavors, Ayann is a passionate foodie who relishes indulging in brunches, lunches, and dinners with her husband and friends. Adding to her diverse interests, she is also an enthusiastic sports fan, particularly supporting basketball and football, ardently believing in the Dallas Cowboys’ potential Super Bowl victory next year.

Ayann holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit and Association Management from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ayann shares her life with her husband, whom she met during their time at Hampton University in Upper Marlboro, MD. Together with their adult son, who also resides in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and their beloved dog Bella, a delightful Cavapoo affectionately referred to as the “Covid dog,” they form a close-knit family.

Katie McNerney

Founder & Partner

Katie is passionate about helping nonprofits achieve greater impact by strengthening and diversifying their leadership teams. That was the impetus for creating LeaderFit in 2009. In the 15 years since, Katie has enjoyed partnering with the executive teams and boards of mission-driven organizations, guiding them to develop and implement customized talent strategies to meet their unique needs.

Katie McNerney

Before LeaderFit, Katie advised high net worth individuals to develop philanthropy strategies and partnerships, often responding to urgent international humanitarian crises. She witnessed first-hand the critical importance of having the right leadership and team to maximize impact.  Katie’s early career included management consulting, client engagement, research, and marketing roles at Monitor (now Deloitte), Community Wealth Partners, eBay, and Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner). Katie also co-founded the nonprofit EdFuel to increase top leadership talent for the education sector.

Katie earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was president of the university’s highest honor society. She is a proud Washingtonian and has served on the Boards of Fair Chance, Georgetown Visitation, and the Verbena Foundation. She also volunteers with Girls on the Run, mentors Praxis nonprofit fellows, and advocates for animal rescue and adoption. Katie is an avid woodturner and recently walked the Camino de Santiago.

Sabine Teyssier

Senior Associate

Sabine Teyssier (she/her) is a Senior Associate at LeaderFit, where she is excited to connect with and be inspired by thoughtful leaders working in tandem with their communities to make impact. Sabine has been lucky to work with incredible LeaderFit client organizations working towards trans liberation, health equity, and Native sovereignty.
Sabine Teyssier
The throughline in Sabine’s work has been centering and honoring those leading from the margins. Coming most recently from direct legal services, Sabine is looking forward to applying this same framework to the non-profit sector as whole, ensuring that folks with traditionally underrepresented identities are reflected in leadership positions, and given the appropriate tools to thrive while there. As the daughter of Iranian immigrants, raised in California and now residing in Brooklyn, Sabine has been working in and learning from the immigrant justice space for over 10 years. Most recently, Sabine was a Senior Legal Advocate within The New York Family Unity Project at The Bronx Defenders, where she worked with her undocumented clients to defend against detention and deportation. Sabine graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Politics and a minor in Public Policy and Management. Her favorite semester was spent abroad in Accra, Ghana, where she studied documentary filmmaking. Sabine spends her time thinking about how to have hard conversations, and how fruitful they can be! She speaks Spanish, French, and Farsi.

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