ONA Leadership

About Susan

President and Founder

Susan is originally from Egg Harbor, WI, and is a 2017 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Leadership and Business Administration. At 18 years old she felt compelled to take charge and make a difference in the lives of service men and women in inspiration of her father. Sgt. Donald Fochs of the United States Marine Corps served in the Vietnam War and is 100% permanently disabled. She made it her mission to create an organization which exists in the ope that no one feels alone during and after deployment, and once they are back home.

Susan is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy and Administration at Northwestern University and works as an Account Executive for a content marketing firm in Madison, Wisconsin.

About MeKenzie

Vice President and Director of New York Operations

MeKenzie is a native of Oshkosh, WI.  As a 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, she majored in International Studies and French with focus on Global Health, African Studies, and European Studies. The daughter of 23-year US Army veteran, Sergeant First Class Gary Lund, she understands the service and sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 Gary was deployed to Fort Benning, GA. It was while during that time that MeKenzie’s family truly experienced and appreciated the love and support of the community around them. It is that kind of support she hopes to pass along to those who serve in our country’s military through Operation Not Alone. MeKenzie now resides in Buffalo, New York where she works as  the Lead Community Engagement Specialist for Girl Scouts of Western New York and hopes to carry along the mission and vision of Operation Not Alone.


About Jennifer

Director of Donor Relations

Jennifer Schmidt is joining the Operation Not Alone Board as our Director of Donor Relations. Jennifer first learned about ONA when she met Susan Fochs, CEO, through the Miss America Organization. In 2018, when Jennifer’s sister was serving in the United States Army overseas, she saw firsthand ONA’s mission at work. Her sister received a personalized #carepackage just in time for her birthday and Thanksgiving, which reminded her during such a difficult time that, although she couldn’t celebrate with family and friends, she was not alone. 

Jennifer has recent experience working as the Associate Manager of Donor Relations for the American Diabetes Association. She is so excited to share her expertise in nonprofit fundraising with the ONA team and help grow our impact!

About Nathan

Director of Marketing and Advertisement

Nathan is originally from Peshtigo, WI. He is currently a Junior at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point majoring in Professional Communication and double minoring in Business and Psychology. He first met Susan, ONA Founder and President, in 2016 with the Wisconsin Leadership Seminars (WILS), a non-profit that instills leadership skills and volunteerism in high school students. Since then, he has volunteered with ONA and felt inspired by their mission and the passion their leadership team shows. He is passionate about leadership and helping others, and dedicates himself to our vision. Nathan has family and friends in the Army and National Guard and he hopes to inspire others to learn about the service of our active duty service members as well as the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans.

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