Staff Directory


7852 Walker Drive · Suite 375 · Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: 1-888-ASK-NVFC (275-6832) Fax: 202-887-5291 Email: nvfcoffice@nvfc.org

Heather Schafer, CAE

Chief Executive Officer
Extension 110
hschafer@nvfc.org

Heather joined the Council in 1993 and has always had a passion for nonprofit organizations that help others. As the executive director/CEO since 1994, she manages all internal and external operations and plays an integral role in developing strategic vision for the organization. She previously worked for the chief of staff during the Clinton administration and for FEMA during Hurricane Andrew.

A graduate of Ohio State University, Heather also has her master’s degree in nonprofit and association management from the University of Maryland and holds the Certified Association Executive credential from the American Society of Association Executives. As a supporter of giving back to her community and the fire service, Heather is a member of the Odenton (MD) Volunteer Fire Company. You may also find Heather in her free time doing what she loves – kayaking somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay and spending time with family and friends.


Sarah Lee, CAE

Deputy Chief Executive
Extension 114
slee@nvfc.org

Growing up in a fire service family, Sarah developed a strong affinity for those who give back to their community. Combined with her 15-year dedication to the nonprofit sector – serving most in the fire and emergency services – Sarah found her calling at the NVFC in 2005. As deputy CEO, Sarah has a hand in all the organization’s operations, from membership to programs, and loves the sense of community and giving back her position provides.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, Sarah has a master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit management and is credentialed as a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives. In her spare time, Sarah can be found planning her family’s next camping adventure, volunteering in her community, or at the gym.


David Finger

Chief of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Extension 112
dfinger@nvfc.org

Dave has always had a strong interest in politics and followed that passion all the way to Capitol Hill, working for Representative Nick Smith and for the House Committee on Science before joining the NVFC in 2005. He is the contact point for anything related to legislative, regulatory, and standards issues. Dave serves as the NVFC’s liaison with Congress and federal agencies and advises the board and membership on governmental matters.

An alumnus of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in political economy, Dave also has a master’s degree in legislative affairs from The George Washington University.


Kimberly Quiros

Chief of Communications
Extension 119
kimberly@nvfc.org

Want to learn more about the NVFC’s programs and initiatives? Kimberly can help! She is the voice behind the NVFC’s newsletter, web sites, social media, advertising, and other outreach endeavors. She also fields media inquiries and is the organization’s primary editor. Her work communicating the NVFC’s messages puts her at the forefront of many of the NVFC’s initiatives, helping create campaigns involving health and safety, recruitment and retention, and much more.

Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary with a major in history – and her love of history, culture, and the arts makes her an avid traveler, frequent museum visitor, and fan of live performances. She received her master’s degree in public communications from American University and worked at a newspaper in Newport News, VA, and at another DC-based nonprofit before joining the NVFC in 2006.


Alyssa Dara

Membership Manager
Extension 123
adara@nvfc.org

Alyssa is the membership manager for the NVFC, so she makes sure all the members are taken care of. Whether it’s helping someone join or renew their membership, mailing a membership card, or working with state fire associations, she is there to help with any membership inquiry. She also brings with her marketing and communications experience as a communications specialist for multiple trade associations.

You can call her the “membership manager” at home, too. She makes sure all the members in her family – husband, toddler, two dogs, and cat – are taken care of as well. Her bachelor’s degree in political science and her passion for politics has allowed her to intern at Capitol Hill and campaign for several political candidates. Her other passion is animals, and she loves being a foster mom to dogs in need of a second chance.


Meg Goldberg

Engagement Manager
Extension 117
meg@nvfc.org

Meg gets asked frequently – “What is an engagement manager and what do you do?” Never short on words, she responds by saying that she gets to work with NVFC’s corporate members, partners, and supporters and connects them to the great benefits and marketing opportunities the NVFC offers such as affiliation, meeting sponsorships, specialized campaigns, and…. okay, okay we get it! Her fear of snakes is right up there with public speaking, which makes planning and running the NVFC’s spring and fall board meetings a piece of cake.

She brings with her 17 years of not-for-profit association marketing and event management experience, in addition to being known as the “Church Lady” of a large church and having the distinction of “sailor in another life” at a conference management company. One of her proudest achievements – other than being a mom to three girls and surviving – is hiking down into and back up the Grand Canyon.


Lorraine Higgins

Office Manager/Executive Assistant
Extension 110
LHiggins@nvfc.org

A native of the Maryland/DC area, Lorraine is the glue that keeps the NVFC office running, provides administrative support for the NVFC team, and handles all general inquiries. She also manages the correspondence and condolences for every firefighter who falls in the line of duty.

Her background as a legal secretary makes her an expert in multitasking and the flow of paperwork. Always ready to hit the water in her kayak, Lorraine is an avid bowler and hopes to one day study falconry.


Matt Piechocki

Program Manager
Extension 116
matt@nvfc.org

Matt has worked in and around the fire and emergency response community for the last 18 years. In 2003 he achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter in his hometown of Baltimore, MD. Although that pursuit was cut short due to injury, Matt’s continued interest and passion for the fire service brought him to the NVFC in 2018. Matt is the primary contact for the Make Me A Firefighter campaign and training opportunities and will be managing the NVFC online community, Volunteer Voices.

Away from work, Matt enjoys renovating his home and property in the rolling hills of rural Maryland with his wife and two daughters (the dogs and chickens only offer vocal support). Always ready for an outdoor adventure, the Piechocki family takes frequent trips to Western Maryland or North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where days are filled with fishing and evenings around a campfire.


Lori Shirley

Program Manager
lshirley@nvfc.org

Lori started her career with the NVFC in 2006. She dedicates her time working on both corporate and federal partnerships and is the point of contact for many of the NVFC’s programs, including the Wildland Fire Assessment Program, the National Junior Firefighter Program, Fire Corps, the Globe Gear Giveaway, and more! Lori’s volunteer roots in the fire and emergency services date back to her time at the University of the Ozarks, where she served at the grassroots level as the Fire Corps team leader for Johnson County Rural Fire District #1 in Clarksville, AR (her home state), while earning her degree in marketing.

When Lori isn’t managing the world, she enjoys hanging out with the loves of her life: two rowdy kiddos, a husband, and their dog – which she considers her first child. She loves the outdoors and you will often find her hiking or camping with the family. She also has a passion for sports and roots for all Cleveland sports teams, and of course, the Arkansas Razorbacks – Woo Pig Sooie!