Leadership & Senior Staff

Lieutenant General Robert Ruark USMC (Ret.)

President & CEO

General Ruark joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2017.  Prior to that, he served 36 years in the Marine Corps, including command of the 1st Marine Logistics Group supporting combat operations in Iraq and later as Director of Logistics on the Joint Staff, which supported the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in his role as the principal military advisor to...

General Ruark joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2017.  Prior to that, he served 36 years in the Marine Corps, including command of the 1st Marine Logistics Group supporting combat operations in Iraq and later as Director of Logistics on the Joint Staff, which supported the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in his role as the principal military advisor to the President. In his current role as President and CEO of the Scholarship Foundation, LtGen Ruark attends multiple nationwide events each year, does media appearances to promote the Scholarship Foundation, and manages all business affairs.  He works closely with the Board of Directors to grow the endowment and scholarship programsand to secure the Scholarship Foundation’s strong strategic future.  LtGen Ruark resides in Arlington, VA with his wife, Christine, a Marine and Navy veteran, who is currently Physician Assistant at Andrews Air Force base, and their three dogs.  

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Colonel Steven Peterson USMC (Ret.)

Executive Vice President, Operations

Steven Peterson joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2012. Previously, he served for 24 years as a Marine Corps infantry officer, retiring as a Colonel. In his role as the Executive Vice President, Operations, Steven oversees several departments, including Operations (information technology and human resources), Finance and Accounting, Data Operations and Scholarship. His work includes establishing...

Steven Peterson joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2012. Previously, he served for 24 years as a Marine Corps infantry officer, retiring as a Colonel. In his role as the Executive Vice President, Operations, Steven oversees several departments, including Operations (information technology and human resources), Finance and Accounting, Data Operations and Scholarship. His work includes establishing long-term strategic direction and goals, directing the integrated operational activities of the Foundation ensuring the Foundation has financial strength and operating efficiency. In addition, he serves as the Corporate Secretary for all governance related matters.  Steven and his wife, Karen, reside with their two sons in Fairfax Station, VA.

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Lieutenant Colonel Ted Probert USMC (Ret.)

Executive Vice President, Development

Ted Probert joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2018. Serving in the Marine Corps Reserves for 21 years, he retired as a LtCol in 2014. Ted brings over 28 years of development experience to MCSF, highlighted by his time at Phillips Exeter Academy as both campaign director for The Exeter Initiatives, which raised $352 million, and...

Ted Probert joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2018. Serving in the Marine Corps Reserves for 21 years, he retired as a LtCol in 2014. Ted brings over 28 years of development experience to MCSF, highlighted by his time at Phillips Exeter Academy as both campaign director for The Exeter Initiatives, which raised $352 million, and the Director of Institutional Advancement. Currently the Executive Vice President, Development for the Scholarship Foundation, Ted leads the Events, Investor Relations, Communication and Development teams. A large focus of his work is achieving strategic goals through campaign initiatives, including launching the Honor and Education campaign, which aims to raise $225 million over seven years. Ted and his wife, Andi, reside in Alexandria, VA and have two children, Campbell and Tanner.

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Ashley Saville

Senior Philanthropic Officer

Ashley Saville joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in 2014 and currently serves as the Senior Philanthropic Officer. Ashley commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in August of 2009. After completing Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Logistics Officer Course, she deployed as a platoon commander to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support...

Ashley Saville joined the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in 2014 and currently serves as the Senior Philanthropic Officer. Ashley commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines in August of 2009. After completing Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Logistics Officer Course, she deployed as a platoon commander to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In this capacity, she led convoy operations throughout the area of operation. Her last duty station was Marine Barracks Washington where she served as the assistant logistics officer and ceremonial marcher.

After leaving active duty, Ashley joined the private sector where she leveraged her knowledge of logistics and leadership towards pharmaceutical sales as a representative at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. As the Senior Director of Development, she serves as a representative and fundraiser for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation with prospects, donors, and volunteer leadership.  She manages the Directors of Development across the nation, coordinates and develops initiatives for a portfolio of major gift prospects and manages development initiatives relating to corporations and partnership with the Chief Development Officer. Ashley currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her active-duty Marine Corps husband who will assume command of Recruiting Station Denver in July 2018 and their son Robert.

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Courtney Balson

Director of Investor Relations

Courtney Balson joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Courtney quickly became involved in assisting the Foundation in its stewardship efforts and was an integral part in establishing the Foundation’s dedicated Stewardship Department. As the Director of Investor Relations, Courtney is responsible for recognizing investors, cementing them...

Courtney Balson joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Courtney quickly became involved in assisting the Foundation in its stewardship efforts and was an integral part in establishing the Foundation’s dedicated Stewardship Department. As the Director of Investor Relations, Courtney is responsible for recognizing investors, cementing them to the mission, and advancing their long-term involvement with the Scholarship Foundation through a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship program. In addition, she is responsible for the oversight and execution of the Scholarship Foundation’s Fidelis Fund which supports the Scholarship Foundation’s mission-critical annual initiatives.  Courtney holds an undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Communication Studies and a Master’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University in Education. Courtney is dedicated to helping Marines and their families through the power of education and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with twin sons, Shane and Jackson.

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Dana Mills

Director of Communications

Dana joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2013 and quickly became involved in the development and execution of Scholarship Foundation messaging. She was promoted to Communications Manager in 2016, where she was responsible for maintaining and leveraging the Scholarship Foundation’s presence in areas of paid, earned, owned and shared media. In her current role as Director...

Dana joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2013 and quickly became involved in the development and execution of Scholarship Foundation messaging. She was promoted to Communications Manager in 2016, where she was responsible for maintaining and leveraging the Scholarship Foundation’s presence in areas of paid, earned, owned and shared media. In her current role as Director of Communications, Dana oversees all messaging for the Scholarship Foundation, elevates the Scholarship Foundation’s brand, and is passionate about building an engaged and supportive community of supporters nationwide. Dana holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and resides in Alexandria, VA.

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Jeanna Adams

Director, Scholarship Programs

Jeanna Adams joined the Scholarship Foundation in December 2010. During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Jeanna has developed and led programmatic strategies to achieve measurable results, and overseen the awarding of $36 million in scholarships and 11,000+ awards. A California native and a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jeanna brings a...

Jeanna Adams joined the Scholarship Foundation in December 2010. During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Jeanna has developed and led programmatic strategies to achieve measurable results, and overseen the awarding of $36 million in scholarships and 11,000+ awards. A California native and a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jeanna brings a background in non-profit development and growth strategies from her most recent position with the Neurosciences Institute, a non-profit brain research institute led by Nobel Laureate Gerald M. Edelman. An active member of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) since 2010, Jeanna currently serves on the Membership Committee and the Earned Revenue Committee for the Association. Jeanna and her husband, veteran Marine Corporal Dustin Adams, reside in Reno, Nevada.

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Rita H. Hsieh

Senior Director, Accounting and Finance

Rita joined the Scholarship Foundation in April 2011. She brings to the senior leadership team over twelve years of profit and non-profit accounting experience. Previously a Project Accountant for M.C. Dean, a design-build and systems integration corporation, she managed multiple construction projects, including $80 million budgeted for the recently developed Military Department Investigative Agencies Headquarters...

Rita joined the Scholarship Foundation in April 2011. She brings to the senior leadership team over twelve years of profit and non-profit accounting experience. Previously a Project Accountant for M.C. Dean, a design-build and systems integration corporation, she managed multiple construction projects, including $80 million budgeted for the recently developed Military Department Investigative Agencies Headquarters in Quantico, VA. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from Roanoke College and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from George Mason University. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband.

 

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Candice Thomas

Director, Data Operations and Integration

Candice Thomas joined the Scholarship Foundation in July of 2012 as a part of the Data Operations Department. As the Director, Data Operations and Integration, she is responsible for gift entry, donor communication, and streamlined reporting. Since her tenure at the organization, Candice has developed processes and procedures to ensure the integrity of the database...

Candice Thomas joined the Scholarship Foundation in July of 2012 as a part of the Data Operations Department. As the Director, Data Operations and Integration, she is responsible for gift entry, donor communication, and streamlined reporting. Since her tenure at the organization, Candice has developed processes and procedures to ensure the integrity of the database that support the overall goals and mission of the organization. Candice holds an undergraduate degree from Kentucky State University and a Master’s degree from Oakland University. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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Lea Fitzpatrick

Director, Development Strategy

Lea joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2010.  Her nonprofit career spans more than 15 years, including with the Development teams at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.  During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Lea has held several roles focused on event and major gift fundraising, and stewardship.  Currently,...

Lea joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2010.  Her nonprofit career spans more than 15 years, including with the Development teams at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.  During her time at the Scholarship Foundation, Lea has held several roles focused on event and major gift fundraising, and stewardship.  Currently, she serves as the Director, Development Strategy. In this role, Lea oversees the strategic direction of the major gifts fundraising team, including planned giving and the Rockmore Society. Much of her work is cross-departmental, coordinating with internal teams to support investors in achieving their philanthropic goals with the Scholarship Foundation. A graduate of Wake Forest University and a proud military spouse, Lea resides in Charlotte, NC with her two children and her husband, a Navy pilot currently serving in the Reserves.

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