Our Team

Mary Ellen Sprenkel
Chief Executive Officer

Mary Ellen Sprenkel has been a long-time champion for youth. Mary Ellen came to The Corps Network in March of 2008 as Director of Government Relations. She was promoted to Vice President of External Affairs in 2011 and then appointed Interim CEO in May of 2012, prior to being selected as the CEO in October of 2012. During her tenure, Service and Conservation Corps have become better known programs to lawmakers and policymakers throughout the federal government. Legislation that would expand and bolster youth programs including Service and Conservation Corps has been routinely introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Under Mary Ellen’s leadership, in 2010 more than $63 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects were granted to Service and Conservation Corps throughout the country by 15 federal agencies. These projects provided youth with jobs and service opportunities while connecting them to public lands including national parks and forests. More recently, Mary Ellen has served as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee tasked with providing recommendations to federal land management agencies on how to implement a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.

In addition to her productive time at The Corps Network, she has ten years of Capitol Hill experience, including two years on the House Committee on Education and Labor handling postsecondary education, training, and life-long learning programs. She also worked for Representatives Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). Before joining The Corps Network, Mary Ellen was Vice President of Government Relations at the Education Finance Council, the national trade association for nonprofit and state based student loan providers. Prior to that, she spent two years as the Assistant to the President of the University of Montana.

Contact Mary Ellen Sprenkel

Marie Walker
Chief Operating Officer

Marie Walker joined The Corps Network in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer. She previously served as the Director of Programs and Development for the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia (CCCWV).

During her 15 years with CCCWV, Marie was involved in the development and implementation of several innovative programs, including the first Brownfields Job Training Program in West Virginia, and the Office of Surface Mining’s VISTA team, which provides leadership and community-building capacity to coal mining counties in eight Appalachian states. Marie also oversaw CCCWV Youth and Development department, which employs disadvantaged young people throughout West Virginia. In 2013, as a member of CCCWV’s senior management team, Marie helped organize and managed the oversight of 352 service projects that occurred in the span of 5 as part of the Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative. The projects took place in 9 southern West Virginia counties and on National Park Service property. Over 1,700 local volunteers participated, as well as over 30,000 Boy Scouts of America Troops from across the country, and 16 teams of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members. The Initiative generated over 319,000 service hours during the 5 day period.

Marie has served on the board of directors for several organizations, including NASCC (National Association of Service and Conservation Corps); WV Development HUB; Harpers Ferry Job Center Community Council; American Cancer Society; and Main Street Martinsburg. She currently serves as a board member for OSM/VISTA Teams, and as a member of the Service Year Advisory Committee.

Marie holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Sociology, as well as MPA in Public Administration. She studied at Concord University, Old Dominion University, and West Virginia University. Go Mountain Lions, Monarchs, and Mountaineers!

In her spare time, Marie enjoys playing nine holes of golf, listening to great jazz music, and watching college football.

Contact Marie Walker

Lael Bialek
Program Coordinator

Lael assists with the management of grants at The Corps Network.

She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During college, Lael spent a summer working on a trail crew with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) in Colorado.

After graduation, Lael moved to Bellingham, Washington to work for Washington Conservation Corps (WCC). As a WCC crew member, Lael worked on Salmon habitat restoration projects with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA). The following year, Lael continued her work with NSEA, as Volunteer Coordinator, through the Washington Service Corps (WSC). After her term with the WSC, Lael worked at REI in Bellingham as a Banker and Customer Service Specialist.

Lael enjoys running, eating carrots, waking up early, playing board games, singing along to top 40 hits, and exploring the outdoors on foot.

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Michelle DiMeglio
Youth Program Assistant

As Youth Program Management Assistant through a partnership with the National Park Service, Michelle will work with parks to expand opportunities for Corpsmembers, strengthen partnerships between Corps programs and the NPS, and measure the effectiveness of Corps programs. Michelle is based in the National Park Service Northeast Regional Office in Philadelphia.

Michelle has worked extensively within Corps programs. She started with SCA in 2009, as a Corpsmember on a backcountry trail crew on the Pacific Crest Trail in California, and as a ranger intern in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Inspired by these experiences, she continued her Corps work as a Crew Leader for the Southwest Conservation Corps (2010), and as both a Crew Leader and field coordinator for the Maine Conservation Corps (2010-2014). 

Michelle has previously worked as an environmental engineer and an organic farmer. In her free time she enjoys gardening, running, hiking, and playing guitar.

John Hosey
Program Director, Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative

John Hosey joined The Corps Network staff in December of 2013 as the Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative (GCRI) Director of Development. In 2012, he completed his M.A. in Human Services (Counseling) and also holds a M.Div. degree (Pastoral Counseling) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Anthropology and Biblical Studies from Criswell College.

His current responsibilities include identifying and engaging government and non-governmental partners to develop a local environmental restoration workforce opportunities for youth and veterans. The focus of the GCRI Program is to provide a trained and qualified local workforce that will participate in and contribute to conservation and restoration projects in the five state gulf region associated with the BP Oil Spill Restore Act.

These programs will provide resources and support for starting programs that are focused on at risk community members and veterans. The programs will provide ecological and environmental restoration training and leadership development components. In the end, the goal is to assist local communities to produce long term Corps resources that provide conservation/restoration skills based jobs and education for young adults and veterans.

In his previous assignments he served as Director of United Way’s Volunteer South Mississippi, Board President for the South Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and Mental Health Response Director for MS Interfaith Disaster Task Force. He was actively involved in disaster response and community development projects related to expanding volunteerism across the state and building collaborative partnerships to address both current and future needs related to improving community resiliency and disaster response and recovery efforts.

Since 2007, John has assisted in regional research projects with several universities.  As a result he has co-published several articles and served as both Investigator and Co-Investigator on grants related to these projects.  These programs focused on collaborative community partnership development, disaster mental health interventions and crisis response efforts following disasters (e.g., hurricane Katrina, Gustav and Gulf Oil Spill).  He is also currently serving as a member of the Gulf Coast Center for Resiliency Advisory Board and the MS Gulf Coast Regional Planning Sub-Committee on Resiliency.

John enjoys the recreational and sports events offered along the Gulf Coast. When he is not working he enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hiking and exploring historical sites.

Contact John Hosey

Theresa Precia
Assistant to the President and Office Manager

Theresa has well over 25 years supporting C-level executives in the nonprofit sector of the Metropolitan area.

As Assistant to the President and Office Manager, Theresa provides C-level executive administrative support to the President/ CEO, Vice President and Director of Finance and Administration. Her duties include managing calendars and workload, compiling materials for meetings, meeting planning and routing information among the Management Team. She also provides general office support for The Corps Network's Washington, DC office team.

Theresa holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, numerous continuing educational training certificates and a DC License and Bonded Notary. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, listening to smooth jazz and visiting the Caribbean Islands.

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Emilie Rafal
Data and Evaluation Coordinator

Emilie Rafal joined The Corps Network in May 2012 as the Data and Evaluation Coordinator. In this role, Emilie is responsible for implementing and managing a data collection system that will allow individual Corps and TCN to track programmatic elements and outcomes.

Prior to joining The Corps Network, Emilie supported out of school time programming for middle school youth at Higher Achievement Baltimore, where she managed the data collection databases, supported development, and assisted with recruitment.

Emilie graduated from the College of William & Mary (Tribe Pride!) with a BA in both Psychology and Women’s Studies. She is currently attending the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University, pursuing a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in Program Evaluation. When she has time outside of work and school, she enjoys taking her Corgi mix on hikes and cooking vegetarian feasts.

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Capri St. Vil
Director of Education and Workforce Development

Capri St. Vil joined the Corps Network in 2012 to work on the Post-Secondary Success Education Initiative, which was funded by Open Society and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Capri has over 25 years of experience in education in New York City, Seattle, and DC working early on in Adult Education. For seven years she taught high school English. It was there that she was selected to work collaboratively with IBM and the reading department to introduce educational technology with a program called P.A.L.S (Principle of Alphabet Literacy System) into the remedial high school reading program. She successfully wrote a grant with a member of the science department, where they introduced the first Macintosh SE computers in teaching HyperCard to the student population.

She went on to teach Media Studies/Cultural Studies for ten years at Seattle Central Community College, where she was introduced to the concept of “Coordinated Studies/Learning Communities,” which is a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to higher education. She was selected to teach the Intercultural Communication course for international students, among students primarily from Japan, Taiwan, China, and Indonesia at Seattle Central Community College. Capri served four years as a Core Faculty Member and then the Director of Student Life and Disability Services at Antioch University Seattle. Capri has developed college-level and high school-level curricula.

Prior to joining the Corps Network, she was in NYC at Federation Employment Guidance Services (FEGS) in their Education and Youth Division where she developed the education program for their now signature Bronx program (serving over 400 young people a year) that works primarily with foster care youth. 

Capri has a BFA in Television Production and her MA in Educational Technology and Instructional Design from New York University.

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Bobby Tillett 
Member Services Coordinator

As the Member Affairs Coordinator, Bobby works closely with The Corps Network membership to promote and strengthen our mission and build relationships between member organizations and TCN staff to inform interested parties about TCN initiatives. Bobby also supports the mobilization and outreach strategies of the Government Relations team.

Prior to working at The Corps Network, Bobby completed two AmeriCorps terms-of-service with the Montana Conservation Corps as both a crewmember and a crewleader. He served on a backcountry wilderness trails crew as well as a roving habitat restoration crew. Bobby also worked as the Government Relations Intern at The Corps Network where he assisted both Directors of Government Relations as well as provided logistical support for the Public Lands Service Coalition.

Bobby graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a BA in International Affairs. Outside of work, he enjoys running, documentaries on Netflix, and watching the Wizards and Nationals.


Hannah Traverse
Communications Manager

As the Communications Manager, Hannah develops and produces written, graphic and video content. She also helps manage The Corps Network’s website and social media accounts. Hannah was the lead author of the book Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America's Service and Conservation Corps.

Hannah received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While in college, Hannah volunteered at the National Air and Space Museum, and volunteered in DC Public Schools through DC Reads (a tutoring program) and Prime Movers (a journalism education program). She also spent a semester interning with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and spent over a year interning and writing for Street Sense; a DC-based newspaper focused on raising awareness about homelessness.

Hannah enjoys warm jackets, houseplants and figs. 

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Leslie Wilkoff
Director of AmeriCorps Education Award Program

Leslie began with the Human Environment Center in 1984 and transitioned to The Corps Network when it was created in 1985. Since she began, Leslie has planned numerous conferences, designed and edited a quarterly newsletter and directed member services. Leslie has taken on almost every responsibility possible at one time or another, and has become one of the most knowledgeable leaders in the Corps Movement, sought out for her wisdom, command of Corps history, and expertise in AmeriCorps programs and initiatives.

Leslie Wilkoff leads The Corps Network's AmeriCorps Education Award Program (EAP) and created TCN's AmeriCorps Program Manual as well as a document on non-traditional uses for AmeriCorps Education Award (scholarship). She also ensures compliance and provides technical assistance to TCN Subgrantees in Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) AmeriCorps grants.

Throughout her tenure Leslie has developed a cache of tools for national service and youth development programs and has emerged as one of the leaders of the EAP serving on numerous working groups for CNCS. She also provides training to Subgrantees for the eGrants Portal on-line member management system, AmeriCorps Compliance and other aspects for running a successful, compliant program. In addition, she worked with Willis to develop The Corps Network's Health Insurance Plan for Corpsmembers and AmeriCorps members.

Contact Leslie Wilkoff


Tyler Wilson
Director of Government Relations

As Director of Government Relations for The Corps Network, Tyler focuses on developing and advocating legislative and policy initiatives for the Corps Network; providing analysis and tracking of Congress, the White House, and federal agencies; and working with advocacy organizations here in DC on improving the outlook for youth development and other issues for Corps. He also focuses on raising Corps’ federal and legislative profile, improving internal government relations operations, representing The Corps Network publicly, and developing new Corps initiatives on education and workforce development, along with other key Corps issue areas.

As a native Iowan, Tyler has long had a love of politics and policy and volunteered on political campaigns and organizations in college. He has 8 years of experience working for a Member of Congress from the State of Iowa and on Congressional and Presidential campaigns. For 6 years in Congress, he managed a wide-range of issues including agriculture, education, energy and environment, financial services, housing, labor and workforce, national service, and transportation/infrastructure.

He worked with the House Education and Labor Committee and managed disaster recovery issues through the worst natural disaster in the Iowa’s history. Additionally he has drafted successful policy, legislation, and amendments related to education, energy and the environment, workforce, natural disasters, and transportation among others. He also has broad experience developing communications, public affairs, and press-related projects.

Tyler lives with his wife, twin boy and girl, and dog in DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He enjoys reading, music, movies, exercising, and all types of outdoor recreation. He has a BA in both Political Science and Communication Studies from the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, IA - Go Hawks!

Contact Tyler Wilson