Meet the Team

Catyn Piver-Blum

Catyn has never been one to turn down a challenge. She grew up an athlete, a performer, and an explorer -- always looking for the next big adventure. It was this sense of wonder and curiosity that led her to degrees in both marketing and economic development, and has since then led her all over the world.

 

Catyn splits her time between the health and wellness community, the medical start up space, and the incredible world of non profit, focusing on bettering the lives of everyone she comes in contact with. She has a neverending interest in people's stories, and works tirelessly to better understand, uplift and support her community and those around her.

 

For Catyn, The Courage Campaign represents a true sense of that community and understanding, and a willingness to inspire, listen to

 

and empower the next generation.

 

Catyn represents Boston through and through. A Dorchester resident, and a proud supporter of the Boston Bruins, in her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her dogs (she has three), watering her plants (she has way more than three), and watching Jeopardy.

Chief Financial Officer

James Lamb

James W. Lamb has spent more than 15 years as an investment analyst professional in Boston, specializing in identifying emerging growth companies across myriad industries.  He graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Engineering Sciences and has held the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation since 2008.

 

James' experience as a senior equity analyst and portfolio manager has provided a wealth of knowledge about what it takes to successfully transform a small organization ito a much larger one, and he aims to apply these principles to help guide The Courage Campaign along its growth journey.

 

His appreciation for education was instilled early on by his parents, both of whom served as teachers for 30 years.  A brief opportunity to volunteer as a teaching assistant in college solidified his passion for the incredible reward and responsibility of teaching, and it sparked a dream to one day become an educator himself.

 

By combining his financial expertise, love of teaching, and understanding of how entities scale, James hopes to provide valuable counsel to The Courage Campaign.  He says, "I am deeply honored to be a part of this team and its unique mission centered around empowering and amplifying students.

Director - Marketing and Community Outreach

Kadeja Gaines-Roy

Kadeja has deep experience within two of the most iconic, influential brands in the world who have provided a profound personal connection between their mission and the consumers they serve. Currently, Kadeja is responsible for leading the Global Converse integrated business planning strategy to deliver excellence across an ever-transforming, digitally-led landscape. She also is a member of the Converse Diviersity Council—an Executive-Level council driving long-term oversight, inpt and accountability across the global Converse D&I strategy. Proir to her current role, Kadeja has directed small to medium teams throughout several functions within Retail across Converse and Target Corporation. 

Throughout her career, Kadeja has received global recognition and acclaim for her ability to lead and drive results through the enterprise. In 2019, she received the Nike Milestone Award, recognizing her significant impact on the North America Retail business within and outside of the scope of her role. Within Target Corporation, Kadeja has been consistently recognized and honored, winning multiple national awards for her ability to lead a team through large initiatives and strategic priorities. Corporately, she is a sought-after speaker, delivering motivation across keynote moments in forums such as the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and within Harvard Business School. 

Kadeja drives to inspire, influence and coach throughout the enterprise and strives to be an example of this ambition in her personal life as well. She has appeared in the Boston Globe, podcasts, panels and other mediums sharing her expertise on the retail industry, inclusion, race and wellness.  She has served as a leading fitness trainer in two “Best of Boston” award-winning studios and has built a brand, following and a platform founded on strength, sustainable results and body positivity. The Boston fitness industry is highly competitive and through her deep expertise, Kadeja achieves success through a continuous evolution of her approach to keep her growing client base engaged and challenged. This personal dimension grows Kadeja’s ability to authentically motivate, lead through unique environments and drive accountability across collections of individuals which further enhances her performance within her corporate career.

Kadeja’s global experience closely relates to her personal foundation, having spent most of her childhood across Europe, primarily in Germany. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a recipient of the University of Notre Dame Leadership Award and the Hipp-Beeler Scholarship in recognition of her large leadership impact across the Notre Dame student body. While at Notre Dame, Kadeja has further enhanced her global perspective severing as an Executive Officer of the Student International Business Council and the Student Body Treasurer. Lastly, Kadeja is an alumni of the Harvard Business School through the Program for Leadership Development—an alternative MBA program dedicated to accelerating the careers of high potential leaders. She also a member of the 2020 cohort of the Boston Future Leaders Program within the Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Director - Strategy and Operations

Ashley Mitchell

CEO & Co-Founder

It would be easy to say that Ashley was born to lead, but in actuality, her leadership has blossomed through constant evolution; extracting lessons from life’s challenges, victories and ambiguity, while staying relentlessly focused on one thing – how does she help those around her become the best versions of themselves? 

As the daughter of a professional boxer, All-American track athlete, theatre major, fitness professional, educator, and social justice advocate, Ashley has had the unique opportunity to experience a myriad of physical and mental training philosophies along with real world challenges that served as critical catalysts for introspection and growth. Throughout her life, she has consistently shown the ability to dissect self-limiting beliefs and trauma to summon grit, fortitude, and creativity.

While studying for her MFA in Acting at Brown University, Ashley suffered a concussion which changed the course of her life and helped her assess and apply her true why: to use movement as a way to make the world a better place. Over the course of the next three years, Ashley was an elite trainer at some of the world’s large boutique fitness studios. There, she earned a reputation as someone who could serve up some of the most intense, high-energy classes in the fitness space, but also understand and influence the collective behaviors of those around her with empathy, instinct and unapologetic candor.


In 2018, Ashley and her husband Mark co-founded The Courage Campaign, a nonprofit whose mission is to leverage movement and the power of intention to redefine one’s relationship with fear to attain new levels of personal empowerment. They work with students and teachers alike on the topics of courage, resilience, and inclusivity, as well as raising money and awareness for students in under-resourced schools. 

When asked about her teaching (and life) philosophy, she says it can be summed up in two quotes; the first is her own: “You can rest, but you can’t quit.” The other, a favorite from graduate school by Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

Mark Bernardo

VP & Co-Founder

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Mark Bernardo is an experienced executive with over 30 years in the corporate world and a track record of inspiring high performing teams. His expertise spans roles in Engineering, Services, Support and General Management serving various Fortune 500 companies in industries including Food & Beverage, Life Sciences, and Energy. In this capacity, Mark has developed a passionate, inclusive leadership style that is earmarked by his ability to create spaces where co-workers and customers alike feel safe, respected, and seen.  

 

Mark complemented his corporate capabilities by simultaneously spending 25 years teaching various forms of Martial Arts; helping his students find their individual strengths while managing their fears. His coaching style honors both traditional Japanese philosophies and modern-day techniques believing, “history is for learning, not for living.”

 

Influenced by his years of inspiring teams and teaching people how to use their body to strengthen their mind, he is most passionate about the work he and his partner Ashley are doing with youth in Massachusetts through The Courage Campaign. Helping BIPOC students find agency and confidence while coping with systemic racism in education is not only essential, but immediate.  

 

Whether coaching, leading a team, or working on TCC, Mark fundamentally believes in each human as an individual. He says, “Our environments shape who we are, and by acknowledging each person’s gifts and unique background, we can expand our capacity for empathy and compassion.”