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Team & Leadership

Our Founders

Rob and Reece Scheer are the proud fathers of five children from the foster care system who arrived at their home with trash bags. Growing up in foster care himself, Rob remembered feeling disposable as a child carrying a trash bag to his foster home, and he wondered how this could still be happening 30 years later.

In 2013, the Scheer family set out on a mission to eliminate the use of trash bags in the foster care system and provide children entering the system with brand new essential and comfort items. To date, Comfort Cases has impacted over 150,000 children in the foster care system.

Rob is currently the CEO of Comfort Cases, traveling the country to share his story and advocate for youth in foster care. He published his memoir in 2018: A Forever Family: Fostering Change One Child at a Time. Reece cares for their five children at home. They live on a farm in Darnestown, MD with 2 cats, 2 dogs, a bird, 3 goats, several chickens and ducks, and a pig named Penelope.

Board of Directors

Mike Coleman

President

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Mike Coleman

President

Mike Coleman is a real estate entrepreneur who passionately reinvests the profits from his business into youth programs and non-profits in the Philadelphia and Baltimore areas. He personally mentors several local youths as they transition from foster care into their adult lives.

Aimee Debrandt

Secretary

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Aimee Debrandt

Secretary

Aimee DeBrandt is Chief Operating Officer of Healthy Back Brand Holdings, LLC, a multi-state specialty retailer that provides solutions for those with back and neck pain. Aimee lives with her husband and two children in Kensington, Maryland.

Meakin Bennett

Treasurer

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Meakin Bennett

Treasurer

Meakin Bennett is a financial services executive with over 15 years of experience leading large organizations through significant change management programs and transformative strategy implementations, while controlling risk and driving budgets in a competitive market. She is a veteran of the United States Navy and lives with her husband and three children on a farm in Darnestown, Maryland.

Carlos Lamadrid

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Carlos Lamadrid

Carlos Lamadrid

Carlos Lamadrid is the President and Founder of HLC Partners, a firm providing strategic consulting on brand building, team building and change management. Carlos was a “Big” for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America and a tutor for High School Harlem Tutors for almost a decade. He is very committed to helping all children, especially those who often need the most support, those entering the foster care system.

Bill Lynch

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Bill Lynch

Bill Lynch

Bill Lynch is a proud Father, Husband, Grandfather, and U.S. Air Force Veteran. Bill has a passion for process improvements and has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. As the co-Founder of a Project Management Consultation Firm (ProChain Solutions, Inc.), Founding Member of The National Women’s Soccer League, and co-Owner of Washington D.C.’s Women’s Professional Soccer Team, The Washington Spirit, Bill has had a direct, positive impact on thousands of lives. Bill joined Comfort Cases to help make an impact and improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable youth.

Lauren Degnon

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Lauren Degnon

Lauren Degnon

Laura Degnon, CAE, is President and CEO of Degnon Associates, an accredited association management company serving medical, health and scientific professional associations. Laura resides in Rockville, MD with her fiancée, six of their seven children and their Labradoodle.

Elizabeth Luke

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Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth Luke

Elizabeth Luke is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. A true trailblazer in the public relations industry, in 2020 Business Insider highlighted her as one of the top, up and coming public relations professionals in technology communications. Current the Communications Lead at Pinterest, she previously worked at Twitter. Elizabeth is committed to our Mission of eliminating trash bags throughout the foster care system.

Our Team

Aleks Schiff

Aleks Schiff

Director of Operations and Programing

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Aleks Schiff

Aleks Schiff

Director of Operations and Programing

Aleks and her family have been volunteers and supporters of Comfort Cases since 2014 when they met Rob and Reece in their community and heard Rob’s story! And now she is bringing over 27 years of executive level experience in business development, digital and traditional marketing, operations, and management to Comfort Cases as the Director of Operations. Aleks provides a vast range of skillsets which will assist Comfort Cases in growing and reaching their business goals in support of their mission!

Barrie Carr

Barrie Carr

Community Engagement Coordinator

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Barrie Carr

Barrie Carr

Community Engagement Coordinator

Barrie first became involved with Comfort Cases in 2014 when her son Miles was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah with the requirement to participate in a meaningful social action project. Her entire family soon learned Comfort Cases was more than just a project. It became their mission and they joined forces with Comfort Cases to provide dignity, hope and love to youth entering the foster care system. In addition to managing the Founder’s busy schedule filled with speaking engagements, media interviews and corporate events, Barrie now oversees the logistics of all off-site events, including school events, faith-based events, birthday celebrations, nonprofit fairs and major corporate engagements. She also serves as the point person and liaison for all partnerships and special initiatives.

Patricia Blake

Donor Relations Specialist

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Patricia Blake

Donor Relations Specialist

Trish has been a supporter of Comfort Cases since 2014 and sat on the Board until November of 2016. In 2020, she joined the team officially as an employee. In her professional career, Trish managed HR systems, vast reporting, and many data management and migration projects using programs such as PeopleSoft. She stepped away from her professional career for several years to raise her two boys and is now back in the game managing our donation platforms, mechanizing, and our donor appreciation program!

Jennifer Whitman

Inventory Manager

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Jennifer Whitman

Jennifer Whitman

Inventory Manager

Jenn is a long-time volunteer and supporter of Comfort Cases. In 2019, she officially joined our staff as our Inventory Manager. Jenn is a former MCPS teacher who is passionate about supporting youth in our community. She also owns and runs Whitman Summer Camp along with her husband. The Whitman Family is actively involved in Comfort Cases and has helped to co-found the Comfort Cases Club at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. Jenn loves watching the community come together to support youth in foster care.

Blaise Strandquist

Shipping Manager

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Blaise Strandquist

Blaise Strandquist

Shipping Manager

Blaise is a military retiree who has been a member of the Comfort Cases team since March of 2019 as the Shipping Manager, ensuring the much-needed cases get to agencies across the country in a timely manner. He also manages our vast volunteers during the day by prioritizing the tasks needed to be completed each day. He is the backbone of keeping the Production Suite running smoothly. He and his wife live in Silver Spring, MD where their teenage son and daughter work hard to keep their cupboards bare. His hobbies include hiking, camping and genealogy.

Michelle Hawkins

Accounts Assistant