Dwayne Sattler, Executive Director

Dwayne joined CEF as Executive Director in April 2017. He leads the industry-focused nonprofit’s efforts to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s STEM workforce. 

Prior to joining CEF, Dwayne served as the Associate Vice President for Policy at The Ohio State University, Office of Research. In that role, he directed corporate and public-sector partnerships for the Ohio Technology Consortium securing funding for research and STEM education programming.

Dwayne previously led industry economic competitiveness, workforce talent and community social responsibility efforts through his own consulting firm, Network Government Relations, LLC and the development of national workforce policy as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Training.

Dwayne earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University and Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bowling Green State University.


Suzette (Bucher) Painter, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Engagement

Suzette joined CEF in August 2009. As the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Development, she works to plan, execute, and evaluate fundraising initiatives, donor relations, and the overall growth of support for CEF and the YBTC programs. Her favorite CEF event is the National YBTC Challenge, where she is able to meet with students and educators from all over the country to celebrate chemistry and the program’s success!

Suzette graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communication Studies. She enjoys attending sports events and is a huge fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the University of Maryland Basketball Team.





Lisette Gallegos, Senior Manager, STEM Content

As the STEM Content Senior Manager, Lis oversees the growth and development of STEM education content for the CEF’s signature You Be The Chemist  programs. Lis joined CEF in 2013, and prior, she worked as a teacher’s assistant and tutor for several chemistry programs at Cornell University. She was also an undergraduate researcher in a laboratory, focused on chemistry-driven methods in chemical biology.

Lis holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University. Her favorite teacher was her 11th grade chemistry teacher because he let the class make compounds that are used to flavor candy. Lis’s favorite element is Hydrogen – it’s #1!





Melanie Kadlic Meren, Communications Director

Melanie joined CEF in April 2018 to lead marketing, public relations, and communications to support partnerships that build the STEM workforce in local communities. Through promoting CEF’s You Be The Chemist programs, Melanie helps students in grades K-8 build a better world through the science of chemistry.

Melanie is a communications and education policy and programs professional with 20 years of experience promoting meaningful learning experiences and educational systems. Her career began at the U.S. Department of Education at the dawn of No Child Left Behind, in 2002, managing PreK-12 initiatives. She then spent over 10 years consulting with organizations nationwide that advocate for and provide programs to prepare students for careers and life. Currently, she volunteers in Fairfax County, VA, to support the community’s investment in public schools.

Melanie holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Albany, NY. As a child when visiting natural history museums, Melanie would write in a notebook the chemical formulas of rocks on display, with the intention of creating them at home.


Avery Keese, Manager, Outreach & Events

Avery joined CEF in August 2015. As Outreach & Events Manager, she is involved with event planning, outreach, and volunteer management for the You Be The Chemist Challenge. Before joining CEF, Avery worked with Community Foodworks, an organization that operates farmers markets in the Washington, D.C. area. She also served as a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps, a college access program in her home state of North Carolina.

Avery earned a BA in Political Science and a minor in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there Avery was also a tutor and teaching assistant, leading review sessions for introductory biology courses. She enjoys cheering on the Tar Heels in any sport, volunteering at the farmers market, and running around Washington!





Carolyne Banks, Coordinator, Outreach

Carolyne joined CEF in September 2016. As an Outreach Coordinator, she works on volunteer support, event planning, and outreach for the You Be The Chemist programs, with a focus on the Challenge. Prior to joining CEF, Carolyne worked as a legal assistant in the intellectual property department of a law firm.

Carolyne holds a Bachelor’s in Biological Science from Wellesley College. She is an avid, though not always successful, gardener.






Ellyn Schuette, Coordinator, Outreach

Ellyn joined CEF in October 2016 as an Outreach Coordinator.  In support of the You Be The Chemist programs and the Challenge, she is involved in volunteer support, event planning, and outreach.  Before joining CEF, Ellyn worked as a forensic scientist for nearly ten years, performing research at a national laboratory and analyzing trace evidence cases at state crime labs.  She also spent an inspiring year in informal STEM education at both a science museum and an educational consortium.

Ellyn earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Penn State University, and her Master’s in Forensic Science with a concentration in chemistry from Michigan State University. She enjoys attending community festivals in the greater-DC area. Ellyn also enjoys visiting museums and singing – but luckily not at the same time!