Meet the Alumni Governing Council 2022-23
Danny Adrien '96
Danny started at Potomac in 7th grade, and graduated in 1996 (yes, before email). During his six years at Potomac, Danny served as captain of the boys soccer team, captain of the track & field team, and was a founding member of The Magnificent Seven.
Today, Danny is an executive recruiter with Spencer Stuart, one of the world’s leading global executive search and leadership consulting firms, where he is a core member of the firm’s Private Equity and Financial Services practices. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Danny enjoyed a 15-year career in financial services, initially in Fixed Income Sales & Trading at Goldman Sachs in New York, and ultimately in Portfolio Management at Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles.
Danny graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Comparative Area Studies. He also holds an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and serves on the board of directors of the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network. Danny resides in Pasadena, CA with his wife and their two children.
Hamilton Brooks '18
Hamilton grew up in Lake Ridge, VA and attended Potomac from fifth grade through twelfth. He was a part of Student Government, serving as Potomac's Student Body President for the 2017-2018 school year. A graduated of New York University, Hamilton majored in history, with additional minors in Sociology and Social Cultural Analysis. He served as Field Director at Generation Vote NYU, the only student-led voting rights organization serving NYU's 27,000 undergraduate students. Within a year of its founding, this organization got Election Day off for all students in addition to an early voting polling site on campus. Hamilton also led social mobilization efforts for the 2020 election, looking to raise student turnout from 49 percent to at least 55 percent. An Institute for Responsible Citizenship scholar - the premier fellowship for African-American men in higher education, he has interned with the NAACP, ACLU, and a number of other social justice organizations. Hamilton plans to pursue a JD/Ph.D. dual-degree and aspired to become a college professor and voting rights organizer.
Rory Byrnes '01, President
Rory grew up in McLean and was a Potomac lifer along with his two older brothers, Carter '95 and Spencer '98. Following Potomac, Rory graduated with a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, where he was also a member of the varsity football team and the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. In 2012, Rory earned his M.B.A. from UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School with a concentration in real estate development.
Currently, Rory serves as a project manager at Rushmark Properties, a commercial real estate development and investment company headquartered in Falls Church, VA. Rory is also the principal and owner of Vici Investments, a local DC area real estate development company that he started in 2015. Prior to his current role, Rory spent three years as a development manager at CAS Riegler and worked in commercial real estate for Lincoln Property Company and at Cassidy & Pinkard in leasing, investment sales, and property management roles.
Rory has been a member of the Potomac AGC since 2013 and now lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Alexandra and son Declan.
Leonard "Skip" Calvert IV '01
Skip grew up in Old Town Alexandria, VA and attended Potomac from first grade through twelfth. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he majored in English and History, joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and completed four years of Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps commissioning as a naval officer in 2005 and a navy pilot in 2007.
Skip flew the Navy’s premier fighter aircraft, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, off the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, leading missions in support of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and as an instructor pilot training new F/A-18 pilots for combat. He finished 11 years of active duty service as a department head managing the personnel and operations of the Navy’s largest aviation squadron.
Moving back to Alexandria in 2016, Skip transitioned to the Naval Reserves flying the C-130 Hercules transport plane out of Andrews Air Force Base, MD where he provided intra-theatre logistical support throughout the world and was promoted to the rank of Commander. Also in 2016, he joined the corporate team at Alexandria's very own fast-casual better burger restaurant chain Five Guys as a Regional Construction Manager and was recently promoted to Vice President of Company Operations. In May 2019, Skip received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and currently resides in Falls Church, VA with his wife,Tori, and their son, Quinn.
Mariah Chappell '12
Mariah grew up in McLean, VA right up the street from campus, and graduated from Potomac in 2012 as a lifer. Her three sisters Lele, Lissie, and Helena also attended Potomac. Mariah earned a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Art History from Santa Clara University where she also served on the philanthropy committee of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Mariah is currently a creative executive at the Academy Award-winning production company Story Force Entertainment (credits include Spotlight and LuLaRich) where she runs development for the company’s scripted and unscripted projects. She previously worked at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles and at New Leaf Literary & Media in New York City.
Brendan Dwyer '15
Brendan grew up in Arlington and started at Potomac in the 6th grade along with his two younger siblings, Molly ’18 and Malachy ’20. After graduation, Brendan attended Wake Forest University where he received a degree in Business and Enterprise Management. At Wake, Brendan served as the president of the club volleyball team and worked in the intramural sports department.
Currently, Brendan lives in Washington, DC, and works as an analyst for JLL’s Law Firm Practice Group, which represents tenants - mainly AmLaw 200 law firms - in their leasing of office space around the world.
Jonique Elligan '85
Jonique has had an eclectic career spanning industries, roles, and both American coasts. After studying English at the University of Vermont, Jonique headed back to DC, where she worked for a Texas congressman during the Clinton administration. Next, she joined a government relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, where she developed her interest in global communications.
Since then, she has crafted communications strategy for Fortune 500 and technology companies during the dotcom boom at world-class public relations firms like Weber Shandwick and Allison & Partners. Jonique also ran internal communications departments at Merrill Lynch and Ralph Lauren. During a corporate hiatus, she became a certified yoga instructor and managed two large Brooklyn, NY studios for Yoga to the People.
Jonique currently lives in New York City and works at the Council on Foreign Relations, an academic think tank in corporate member business development.
Stephen Garibaldi '13
Stephen grew up in Arlington, VA and attended Potomac from first grade through twelfth along with his two younger sisters Sophia '15 and Nicole '20. After graduating, he received his B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and spent 2 years in Charlotte working at Jefferies in its real estate investment banking division. He moved back to DC in 2019 to join the Meridian Group, a Bethesda-based real estate owner, operator, and developer, where he focuses on financial analysis to support the acquisitions and asset management teams.
Shannon Gopaul Balser '01
Shannon is grew up in Washington, DC and attended Potomac along with her brothers Spencer '08 and Brandon '09. After Potomac, she graduated from Williams College with a BA in Economics and American Studies and a Master's in Public Health from Howard University.
Shannon serves as the Chronic Disease Division Chief for the DC Department of Health and oversees program strategy, development, and implementation. She also serves as the Chronic Disease Director for the District of Columbia. Shannon has over a decade of experience managing, implementing, and supporting clinical research in chronic and infectious diseases in Washington, DC and the surrounding metropolitan area.
Within the fields of clinical research and public health program management, Shannon has extensive experience in community engagement and addressing health disparities. Her passion for public health has been deeply rooted in addressing the needs of the underserved, from measuring the impact of the HIV pandemic on seasonal workers in Mozambique to the health inequities that plague the residents of DC’s Wards 7 and 8. Shannon lives in DC with her husband and daughter.
Kevin Havermann '14
After graduating, Kevin went on to receive a B.S. in business administration at Washington and Lee University. At W&L, he played four years on the Division III men’s varsity lacrosse team and was an active member of the Real Estate Society and 24, a student run organization committed to creating and promoting a united community of student-athletes. Kevin currently serves as an Associate at the Stream Realty Partners’ Washington, DC Office. His core responsibilities include working on the brokerage and acquisition teams with a focus on agency leasing, tenant representation, and identifying investment opportunities for the firm and its clients.
Erin Jackson '16
Erin grew up in Clinton, MD and joined the Potomac community as a 7th grader alongside her two younger siblings, Evan ‘17 and Eric ‘19. In the Upper School, Erin managed the boys varsity basketball team and was a yearbook editor. Upon graduating from Potomac, she attended St. John’s University for 3 years before transferring to Towson University. Erin completed her B.S. in Mass Communications at Towson in December of 2020. Having previously explored freelance brand marketing and communications, Erin decided to formalize her services. She formally launched, Elanae Consulting as a resource for small businesses looking to improve their digital footprint with social media planning and other strategic communications.
In her spare time, Erin enjoys yoga and meditation practices as well as spending free time with her family, friends, and dog named Luna.
Todd Langstaff '08
Todd grew up between DC and a sheep farm in Comus, MD. He started at Potomac in 4th grade, and his brothers Chris ’06 and Will ’15 followed shortly after. After nine years at Potomac and a gap year working and traveling internationally, he graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Environmental Studies concentrated on public policy and a minor in French.
Todd is on the Nonprofit and Social Impact teams at First Republic Bank, a full service financial institution that specializes in private banking and private business banking. He was previously an engagement manager at Copperfield Advisory, a communications and brand strategy consultancy. He is a director on the board of an international education nonprofit, Pestalozzi U.S. Children's Charity, and a co-founder of the new Panther Pride Alumni Network for Potomac’s LGBTQ+ alumni.
Todd lives in Manhattan with his college sweetheart turned fiancé, Sam.
Catherine Kahl Linskey '09, Vice President
Catherine grew up in Alexandria, VA and was a lifer at Potomac, as was her younger brother, Cameron ’12. After Potomac, Catherine attended Colby College, where she earned her degree in International Studies and was a member of the Colby Women’s Lacrosse team. Currently, Catherine works in for Global Impact, a nonprofit consulting group focusing specifically on corporate social responsibility, disaster relief, and employee assistance programming. Catherine and her husband, Mike, live in Old Town Alexandria. Over the last year, Catherine has also served as a Vestry Member at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Old Town, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the St. Paul's Episcopal Preschool.
Yabsra Maelaf '23, Student Body President
Yabsra, less formally known as Yabby, was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and joined the Potomac School in the sixth grade. She is now the leader of the Black Student Union, Empowering Women of Color club, and the TLC. She is a varsity squash player, manager of Varsity girls soccer and softball, and currently serving as President of the Student Body.
Some of her interests and hobbies include playing the viola, studying computer science, being with friends and family, supporting her teammates on the field, and occasionally playing chess. She looks forward to helping connect the alumni community with the current Potomac School community.
Gabriel Miller '16
After graduating from Potomac, Gabriel earned his B.S.A. in Entrepreneurship from High Point University in 2020. Gabriel recently joined MillerWalker Retail Real Estate in Washington, DC as a leasing associate. MillerWalker is the Washington, DC Metro area’s premier retail and restaurant brokerage firm representing both landlords and tenants in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Gabriel lives in DC and enjoys playing soccer and attending concerts.
Charlotte Morris '11
Charlotte grew up in McLean, VA and began attending Potomac in the ninth grade. After graduating, she attended the University of California Davis, where she was a member of the women’s lacrosse team and studied business. Charlotte remained in California following school, working and living in San Francisco as a Senior Associate at CloudMed Consulting. She has been back in the heart of DC for the past several years and is now heading up the Brokerage Partnerships team for Curbio, one of the leading Real Estate Prop Tech startups in the country.
In her free time, Charlotte is an associate board member of McLean Youth Lacrosse and coaches a 5th and 6th grade girls team. She loves to read, travel to the Delaware beaches, paint, and stay physically active. Some of her closest friends to this day are her Potomac classmates.
Adam Moses '14
Adam grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from the Potomac School as a lifer. The Moses family's affiliation with Potomac began long before Adam and his sisters - Sarah '08, Ali '11, and Grace '16 - were born. Adam's dad, David '76, attended Potomac and his grandmother, Carol Moses, was a former faculty member.
Following Potomac, Adam attended Dickinson College where he pursued a major in Political Science. Shortly after graduation, Adam worked on the Jennifer Wexton Campaign for Congress in Virginia's 10th Congressional District. After an exciting victory with the Wexton team, Adam joined the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence where he currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer.
Adam lives in Washington, DC with friends from college and is thrilled to continue his relationship with Potomac as a member of the Alumni Governing Council.
John Ohly '01
John and his sister, Jessica ’98, are from in McLean and were lifers at Potomac. After Potomac, John graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a B.A. in Diplomatic History. He was also a member of the sprint football team and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
John is currently the Senior Director of Strategy, Advocacy and Technology Policy for the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade association representing automobile manufacturers producing nearly 99 percent of cars and light trucks sold in the US, as well as suppliers, technology companies, and other value chain partners. John is responsible for advocacy and engagement with federal executive and legislative stakeholders related to vehicle technology and innovation.
Prior to his current position, John spent over a decade on Capitol Hill, where he served as a professional staff member on multiple committees in the House of Representatives. Most recently, he worked for the Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he was responsible for matters related to cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and national security, the Department of Energy, the automotive industry, professional sports, among other topics.
John lives in McLean with his wife, Kiley, and their two children, Jack who is a Potomac student and Charlotte.
Valerie Plesch '98
Valerie is an independent photojournalist, documentary photographer, and writer based in McLean, VA. From 2014-2019, she worked out of Pristina, Kosovo focusing on the aftermath of war as well as covering breaking news, human rights issues, religion, sports, politics, and culture. Her work has been published in various news outlets including The New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, Vice, Politico, and Open Society Foundations. In 2014, she reported from Afghanistan during the presidential election for USA Today and produced other feature stories for US outlets.
Before pursuing her passion for visual storytelling, Valerie worked for eight years at Chemonics International, an international development consulting company in Washington, DC that provides technical assistance to countries around the world on behalf of USAID. Her work took her to countries post-conflict and post-disaster including Afghanistan, where she lived from 2010-2011, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Haiti.
Valerie was a Potomac lifer with her older brother, Alejandro '91 and has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Colorado College and a master's degree in Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism.
Ben Schirmeier '23, Senior Class Representative
Born in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Ben joined Potomac in 9th grade. An active student in the senior class, he is a member of the Visual and Performing Arts - Music Concentration, a Varsity Tennis player, a Steward in the admissions office, a senior class representative, and a Writing Center Tutor at Potomac. In his free time, Ben enjoys spending time with his parents and brother, Cooper, a current 10th grader at Potomac, listening to music, backpacking, and rooting for the Washington Commanders.
Meaghan Kiernan Sparkman '05, Secretary
Meaghan attended Potomac from 9th through 12th grade and has strong family ties to the school. She met her husband Charles '05 at Potomac, and her sisters Kathleen Kiernan Harnden ’00 and Cara Kiernan Fallon ’03 and sister-in-law Paige Sparkman Goodwin ’02 are all alumnae. In addition, her eldest son Charlie is currently in 1st grade at Potomac.
Meaghan is the Director of Strategy for Premium Waters at Nestlé USA, bringing to life the long-term ambition of iconic brands including San Pellegrino, Perrier, Acqua Panna, and Essentia. Prior to this role, she served in various Marketing, Sales, and Strategy roles in addition to acting as Chief of Staff for two CEOs.
Following Potomac, Meaghan graduated with her B.A. from Wake Forest University, M.A. from the University of Virginia, and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. She resides in Falls Church, VA with Charles and their two young sons.
Sean Sullivan '02
Sean currently serves as Vice President at Boston Properties, where he leads real estate development projects across the Washington, DC metro area. Previously, he worked in San Francisco at the real estate private equity firm, Merlone Geier Partners, and prior to that he worked for three years as an international investment advisor at CBRE in Tokyo, Japan.
He entered Potomac in 7th grade and after graduation attended the University of Virginia, where he studied political science and history. Sean earned his M.B.A at UCLA Anderson School of Management.
He currently resides in McLean, VA his wife Tricia and their 3 children.
Natasha Urbany '14
Natasha grew up in McLean, VA and joined Potomac with her twin brother, Max, in 6th grade. After Potomac, she graduated from Columbia University where she majored in Political Science and French & Francophone Studies. While at Columbia, Natasha was selected as a Career Prep Fellow with Management Leadership for Tomorrow and served as the President of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. She also capitalized on the university's international connections and studied abroad in Paris and at the University of St. Andrews' honors program for International Relations.
Natasha is based in Washington, DC and currently works for Deloitte Consulting as a Human Capital Consultant where she guides technology, finance, healthcare, and energy clients as they adapt to the future of work and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused strategies and programs. Outside of her client work, Natasha is a leader within Deloitte's pro-bono consulting space where, she recently spearheaded the creation, piloting, and scaling of the firm's cross-functional skills-based volunteer program.
Natasha has maintained close relationships with her Potomac peers and regularly reunites with Track & Field alums for long runs and reunion trips.
Lauren Wackerle '12
Lauren grew up in Arlington, Virginia and attended Potomac from seventh through twelfth grade.
Following Potomac, she majored in Political Science and graduated from Yale with distinction in 2016.
While attending Yale, Lauren was a four-year member of the women’s varsity lacrosse team, served as an editor for the Yale Historical Review for seven semesters, and completed summer internships in the US Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committee. After graduation, Lauren worked for Morgan Stanley in New York for three years in the Global Capital Markets division, and enjoyed volunteering as President of the company’s Fresh Air Fund in NYC. She returned to the DC area and is currently an Assistant Vice President in the Financial Sponsors and Leveraged Finance group at MidCap Financial.
Lauren continues to enhance her alumni relationships and community involvement as a Board Member for the Yale Club of DC and is excited for the opportunity to engage with many former Potomac classmates and interesting graduates as an enthusiastic member of the AGC!
Stefanie Thomas '03, Board of Trustee Liaison
Stefanie is a venture investor at Impact America Fund. She joined the firm in 2015 and is particularly interested in the network effects that propel bootstrapped entrepreneurs, a focus inspired by her father who overcame tremendous challenges as a low-income business owner. Prior to joining Impact America Fund, she co-founded Quarterback Impact while also managing fund development for an impact investment evergreen project. In 2014, she led a 6,000-mile road trip across the U.S. to meet and work with entrepreneurs who are focused on making an impact in their local communities. She co-founded and is an advisor for Women Who Launch, an organization that fosters a gender equal entrepreneurial ecosystem and was recognized as an emerging voice of “Black Women VCs” by Fast Company.