Executive Director

Ryan Wegman


Formerly a wine buyer for Whole Foods Market, he has managed two distinguished wine retailers in Washington, DC and was director of PR/communications and operations for a trade association, The French Wine Society.  He began his career as the associate wine buyer and specialist for Dean and Deluca of Georgetown and is certified through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London. Most recently, he was the VP of Assets and Development for Sherry’s Wine and Spirits in Woodley Park and Hop, Cask, & Barrel in Georgetown. He lives in Woodley Park.

Of note:

Mayoral appointee and Commissioner for the MLK Holiday for the District of Columbia; Embassy of the UK, 'British Embassy Wine Society', Wine Educator; Embassy of France, "France VS. The World" Wine Competition, Founder & Official Judge; Maryland Governor's Cup Wine Competition, Official Judge; Fox 5 WTTG (DC Metro), Consulting Guest; American University's Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, guest educator; National Concierge Association, guest educator; American Cancer Society, Community Development, Northeast Region, consultant

Board of Directors

Lynn Mento, FONZ
Executive Director


Lynn Mento serves as Executive Director of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in its mission to save species. FONZ operates membership, events, guest services, concessions, camps/classes/parties, and the education and volunteer programs for the Smithsonian's National Zoo, and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.As Executive Director of FONZ, Lynn directs all operations of this multifaceted organization and partners closely with the Zoo leadership to provide support for the Zoo's and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's critical species preservation and animal care work. She leads a staff of more than 300 full-time and seasonal employees—as well as 1,500 devoted volunteers—who help bring awe-inspiring experiences to life for FONZ members and more than 2 million guests annually.Lynn brings more than 30 years of marketing and adverting experience to FONZ, having held leadership positions at marketing and advertising agencies in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and New York City. Prior to her work at the Zoo, Lynn oversaw membership and member engagement at AARP for eight years.Lynn graduated from Muhlenberg College. She lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Philip, her son, Max, and has a daughter, Veronica, who lives in New York City. Lynn also serves as vice chair of Capital Caring, a large, nonprofit hospice. 

David Desantis, TTR Sotheby's
Managing Partner



David DeSantis has been a Partner and Managing Broker at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty since 2007. Before joining TTR, David served in several senior roles in residential development, sales and management. Prior to entering the field of real estate, David spent over a decade in public service and advocacy on housing, consumer and technology issues, including an executive position at the Federal Trade Commission during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Although focused primarily on residential real estate in Washington DC and surrounding communities, David is often asked to list historic or architecturally significant properties throughout the Mid-Atlantic. He has listed and sold the mountain retreat of U.S. President Herbert Hoover and recorded the highest ever sale prices for farms and single family homes in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. David and his team have a reputation for accurate pricing and a keen eye for design tips that ensure a quick sale.

Currently listed by Real Trends as one of the “Best Real Estate Agents in America,” David was named one of the top 250 real estate agents in the United States by volume in 2014. David has also been named one of the top 50 agents in the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and is often asked to speak to groups of international buyers and sellers.

A 30-year resident of Washington DC, David currently lives in Woodley Park. He has degrees from Hamilton College and Georgetown University. David chairs the board of the Sitar Center for the Arts, and serves on the boards of Friendship Place and the Rock Creek Conservancy and Woodley Park Main Street.

Yael Krigman, Baked By Yael


For 8 years, I worked at a large international law firm in Washington, DC. When I started, I was a legal assistant. When I left, I was an associate. In between I had a variety of different titles and roles, including that of Community Outreach Coordinator. I created my office's community service program and managed it throughout my tenure at the firm.  

In 2010, I started a small business called Baked by Yael, which specializes in cake pops, hand-rolled bagels, and other delicious baked goods. Baked by Yael's products are made from scratch and contain no preservatives.  

In November 2011, I left my law firm job to dedicate all of my time and attention to Baked by Yael. The past few months have been an extraordinary journey and I am very excited about the coming year, my first one as a full-time business owner. I have maintained my membership in the DC and Maryland Bars and continue to practice law on a pro bono basis. 

Mark Roche-Garland, Omni Shoreham, General Manager



 A dynamic hospitality veteran with years of experience and a proven track record of professional success in providing superior service and leadership, Roche-Garland will oversee the hotel"s operation and its 600 dedicated employees.Roche-Garland joins Omni Shoreham Hotel following 19 years with The Doyle Collection. During his tenure, he rose through the organization working in Ireland, England and Boston. Most recently, Roche-Garland served as general manager at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington D.C. During his career, Roche-Garland led critical redevelopment and repositioning efforts for Doyle Collection and was consistently recognized for his leadership and success effecting market share and top line revenue. Roche-Garland puts a strong focus on sales, marketing, revenue management and team. Roche-Garland is a graduate in business, hotel & catering management from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland. He is active in various industry and community organizations. 

Sam Dealey, Monument Communications, President



Sam is a veteran journalist and communications professional with extensive political, corporate and international experience. Based in Washington, DC, and servicing a global clientele, Sam actively leads Monument’s initiatives, deploying creative, ahead-of-the-curve strategies and offering real-time issues management to individual, corporate, non-profit and sovereign clients.

Prior to founding Monument, Sam was a partner at Qorvis Communications servicing its global accounts. Previously, he was an award-winning journalist – as Editor-in-Chief of The Washington Times; a foreign correspondent in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America for TIME, CNN, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and The New York Times; and as a political reporter and editor in Washington.


Sam has been a consultant to the United States Export-Import Bank and a foreign-policy advisor to numerous political campaigns, including presidential. He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a contributing editor to Reader’s Digest, and actively serves on the boards of several publications.

Sam has assembled and managed winning teams and coalitions across the globe. His efforts often bring together like-minded organizations, industries – and sometimes, most effectively, diverse and unexpected groups – to build binding advocacy interests.

Sam’s areas of expertise include: crisis communications & re-positioning, litigation support, legislative & regulatory strategy, political/advocacy campaign management, ally development, grassroots mobilization, on-site staffing & capacity building, new media communications, print/video content creation, ad development & placement, and media training.

Sam is from Dallas, Texas, and a graduate of Cornell University.

Board of Advisors

Scott Franklin


 JBG SMITH Properties -- Senior Vice President 

Sarah McCreary


Hamburger Gibson Creative -- VP of Production

Sally Dadisman


Nando's Peri-Peri USA -- Marketing Director

Umbi Singh


Nick Jessee


Jessica Wasserman


Carolyn Abbey


Rev. Jadon Hartsuff


Jeff Myers


Beth Webster