Chairman & Founder
Ryan Jones, Yellowhammer's Chairman and Founder is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he received a BA in Political Science, and of George Washington University where he earned a Masters in Professional Studies. He has dedicated his life to serving others both through his work in the military and through years of community service with charitable organizations across the southeast and is always looking for another way to give back. When Ryan's not working to broaden the profile of Yellowhammer Social, he's broadening his horizons by collecting passport stamps traveling the globe.
Vice President of Communications
Stephanie Watson, Yellowhammer's Vice President of Communications, was raised as an Army brat and loved every minute! She lived all across the globe before settling in Virginia in 2000. Stephanie attended George Mason University and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Afterwards, she stayed close to her roots and worked at the Army Acquisition Support Center on Fort Belvoir for eight years. During her time with the Army, Stephanie earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, University College.
In October 2017, Stephanie accepted a position with the U.S. AbilityOne Commission as their Deputy Director of Program Management working with nonprofits to grow employment for the blind and significantly disabled. Seeing the impact her roles (at work and at Yellowhammer) have, has fueled her passion and dedication to helping others. In her free time, she loves to hike, dance, read, and travel: making photographs and experiencing new cultures around this amazing world.
Laura Carr, President of Yellowhammer Social, was born and raised in the United Kingdom to a Texan mother and British father. After graduating high school in England, Laura moved across the pond to Alabama where she attended Marion Military Institute and the University of Alabama to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Rounding out her PR skill set, she spent summers interning on Capitol Hill. After college, Laura moved to Denver, Colorado, as an Account Manager building relationships with Fortune 500 companies for a national recruiting agency.
Laura spent two years working in the halls of Congress where she served in the House of Representatives. Most recently Laura landed at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. When she’s not commanding DC, she’s plotting out her next adventure to add on to the 19 countries she’s had the pleasure to explore! Though a true citizen of the world, Laura uses her skills scouting talent; recruiting fellow southerners to join Yellowhammer Social; to give back to the one place we all call home.
Vice President of Operations
Alex Gargani, our Vice Presdient of Operations, hails from Dallas, Texas and is proud of it! After a period at Texas State University-San Marcos, he decided to enlist in the United States Air Force, which took him to Hawaii (with short stints in Colorado and Florida in between). In 2016, the Air Force brought him to Maryland, where he currently resides. When not helping out with Yellowhammer Social and actively working towards completing his degree in Homeland Security through the University of Maryland, University College, Alex enjoys taking in the scenery through hikes and local coffee shops and breweries.
Vice President of Strategy & Development - Birmingham
Jonathan Hester is our Vice President of Strategy and Development. A true son of the Yellowhammer State, Jonathan calls almost every mile of Northern Alabama home. While pursuing a degree in finance at Auburn University, he connected with fellow College Republicans and interned for Congressman Spencer Bachus, both of which cultivated his passion for politics. Following graduation, he accepted an internship with Congressman Steve Womack and made the move to Washington, D.C. After stints working in communications at the Black Rock Group and opposition research at America Rising, Jonathan was offered the position of Political Director with Governor Kay Ivey's campaign. He now spends his days driving through the rolling hills of Alabama with a determination to spread Yellowhammer Social back to the state from which it was born.
Vice President of Administration - Birmingham
Bree Pettigo, our Vice President of Administration hails from Southaven, Mississippi. Having grown up in the Hospitality State, she developed an affinity for talking and taking care of people. This passion led her to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Mississippi State University where she planned to foster a career in counseling. However, during her studies, she joined the Stennis Montgomery Association, a non-partisan politically driven organization, where she unearthed a love for politics. After 4 years in the organization and serving as President her senior term, Bree graduated and moved to Washington, D.C. During her tenure in our nation's Capitol she served as Texas Congressman, Henry Cuellar's, Executive Assistant, worked with producers across the southeast as the Manager of Government Affairs for USA Rice, and stayed in tune with the mental health field - chairing the advocacy committee for National Capitol Area Board of Directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Alex Morris, our Vice President, might hail from Atlanta, Georgia but you won't ever catch him cheering for the Dawgs. After graduating with degrees in both Public Relations and American Studies from The University of Alabama, he moved to our Nation's Capital to begin his career in public affairs. Morris champions any and all charitable causes, having served as Philanthropy Chair of his fraternity at Alabama when he wasn't busy cheering on the Tide. He currently works as a political fundraiser and business development consultant in DC.
Director of Policy &
Olivia Elder serves as the Director of Policy and Philanthropy. She grew up in Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana, and made the move up north to DC to attend The George Washington University. Olivia studied International Affairs with a concentration in Contemporary Societies and Cultures, focusing mainly on the role faith communities have on social movements. Currently, she works in the Criminal Justice Reform program at FWD.us and is active in the Interfaith Youth Core Alumni community. When she's not working, you can find Olivia taking dance classes, building fantasy sports teams, or desperately searching for authentic Mexican food.