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Communications Team Expands To Tell Your Stories

Feb 14, 2023 |

The Amputee Coalition Communications team’s purpose is to elevate the organization’s brand, grow our reach and audience engagement, and build awareness of the limb loss and limb difference community. The team promotes the reputation of the Amputee Coalition and tells our story and the stories of our community to all audiences through traditional media, social media, print publications, video, web, and interactive marketing. Learn more about each of the members of this department. 

Zaira Becerra, Social Media Specialist 

Social Media Specialist Zaira Becerra has extensive expertise in social media marketing strategies. She expands the reach of the Amputee Coalition by amplifying our stories. She joined us with a successful track record in brand engagement and awareness, working across various industries. Zaira is a California State University, Fullerton, graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a concentration in public relations.



Debbie Cavins, Web Developer

Debbie Cavins, web developer, is a self-taught jack-of-all-trades with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She provides website design, development, optimization, analytics, maintenance, and consultation services to private companies, nonprofits, marketing agencies, politicians, and more. She has worked with the Amputee Coalition since 1999. She plays an integral role in helping the Coalition achieve our mission to reach and empower everyone impacted by limb loss and limb difference.  




Jewel Connelly, Communications Specialist

Communications Specialist Jewel Connelly brings five years of professional experience in copy and content writing from the equestrian sports industry. Passionate about leveraging mission-driven communications to make an impact, she is committed to uplifting the voices of the limb loss and limb difference community and mobilizing change through compelling, evocative storytelling. Graduating from Stetson University, she holds a B.A. in communication and media studies. 




Mike Crist, Editor

Mike Crist, editor, is responsible for quality control and maintaining the Amputee Coalition’s voice consistently in all communications. He possesses more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor in journalism and with one of Pennsylvania’s most prominent communications agencies. For the Coalition, he takes a leading role in the production of InMotion magazine and the THRIVE blog. Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Ana-Maria Gutierrez, Senior Communications Manager 

Senior Communications Manager Ana-Maria Gutierrez has 20 years of experience in strategic communications, technology applications, graphic design, and social media, working to advocate for underserved populations, including children living with disabilities. She is responsible for assisting in the development of the strategy of all communications, including website, social media, public relations messages, and collateral pieces, to communicate our mission with consistency. She is working to ensure that the Amputee Coalition and the National Limb Loss Resource Center are seen as the primary source, disseminator, and conduit of information for people in our community. Working closely with the leadership team, she develops and executes communications strategies that enable the organization to reach our goals and further our mission.



Jerrica Thurman, Chief Strategy & Communications Officer 

Chief Strategy & Communications Officer Jerrica Thurman has worked as a marketing communications executive in nonprofits for over 20 years. Her background includes work in TV broadcasting, public relations, advertising, crisis communications, digital and print marketing communications, and social media. She is a writer and editor with more than 200 published articles. She completed undergraduate studies in communications at Oakwood University, and she received a master’s degree in communications management and a Certificate of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communications from Towson University, and an MBA from Frostburg State University. She also studied business in China at Hunan Normal University. Jerrica leads the team in achieving our vision to elevate the Amputee Coalition as the leading voice on limb loss and limb difference and to inspire positive change and support for amputees. 


Shannon Williams, Digital Media and Graphic Design Specialist 

Shannon Williams, digital media and graphic design specialist, possesses a wealth of experience in digital media marketing and graphic design. He is responsible for the development and design production of our creative print, social media, and web projects that create engagement and awareness for the limb loss and limb difference community. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University.