Press Release, General

American Federation for Children Announces New Team Members

The American Federation for Children is pleased to announce the addition and elevation of five team members within the organization. Lindsey Rust has been promoted to the position of Director of Operations, Christy Riggins has been promoted to the position of Georgia State Director, and Benita Gardner has been promoted to Finance Manager.
AFC is also pleased to announce new additions to our team. Elizabeth BeShears joins as Director of State Communications Strategy, Rebekah Bydlak joins as Associate Director of Communications and Coalitions, and Bill Phillips joins as Senior Director of Charter Policy and School Choice Advocacy.
Statement from Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation of Children:
“The mission and ambitious goals of our organization require passionate individuals who wake up every day ready to fight to give families K-12 educational options. Well-funded special interests are working hard to maintain the status quo, and we continue to build a world-class team to fight back for families. I couldn’t be more excited to have Benita, Christy, and Lindsey in their new roles, while also making these excellent new additions of Elizabeth, Rebekah, and Bill to our team.”
Lindsey Rust, formerly Senior Director of State Investments, will become AFC’s Director of Operations, where she will focus on organizational planning efforts and operational support with AFC as we continue to grow.
Formerly a field director, Christy Riggins is taking on a new role as Georgia State Director, where she will oversee AFC’s ongoing activities in the state – including implementation, advocacy, and political work, furthering our longtime commitment to supporting choices in Georgia.
Benita Gardner, formerly Senior Accountant, will take on a broader leadership role overseeing our internal financial processes and reporting for our growing team.
Elizabeth BeShears was previously the Director of Strategic Content with Americans for Prosperity and the owner of BeShears Solutions, LLC, bringing the experience of developing communications and content strategies for political campaigns, non-profits, and small businesses. A beneficiary of school choice herself, Elizabeth is an alumna of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.
Rebekah Bydlak joins us from the Institute for Justice where she oversaw educational choice and other grassroots policy initiatives as Activism Manager. Previously, she began her career in nonprofit management with the Institute for Spending Reform. Rebekah’s education was also built on choice, having been homeschooled and then dual-enrolled before earning a master’s in political science and public administration.
Bill Phillips previously worked in the charter sector for over twenty years, including his latest stint leading state advocacy projects for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In his new role, Bill will be heading up AFC’s national charter policy and advocacy strategy, while also overseeing state-based advocacy and electoral work in Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Ohio, and South Carolina.


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