Mark E. Brown, CEO

A man at miracle flights

Mark E. Brown currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Miracle Flights and brings with him an extensive background in philanthropy work, marketing, communications, public policy and government affairs.

His past leadership includes Chief Executive Officer of Mark Brown Communications, Zen Entertainment and Partner and President of R&R Partners, an advertising, marketing and public relations corporation. Brown also served as Executive Vice President of The Howard Hughes Corporation and Executive Vice President of Station Casino.

Brown began his career as a senior legislative assistant for former Nevada Senator Chic Hecht overseeing the Senator’s Banking and Energy Committee assignments

Mark has an extensive background in nonprofit activities, chairing numerous organizations and raising millions in external fundraising. He also managed all philanthropic donations for both the Howard Hughes Corporation and Station Casinos where he directed contributions exceeding $40 million throughout Nevada and the western United States. Brown also led the effort to raise over $25 million dollars as the multi-year chair of the Clark County School Growth Committee.

In addition, Brown was a founding member of Service 1st Bank of Nevada, valued in 2010 around $210 million. Brown currently serves as a member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.

Vanessa Moreno, Director of Operations

A happy lady

Vanessa Moreno is the Director of Operations at Miracle Flights overseeing internal operations of the organization, including Flight Operations and Outreach & Development. She joined Miracle Flights in 2006 and has played a key role in the transition and growth of Miracle Flights. Always looking for professional advancement she has been certified in Nonprofit Management and Human Resources from UNLV.  She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, and all things pop culture (ask her about any of the Real Housewives).

Robert Sanchez, Vice President of Operations

Man at miracle flights

Robert Sanchez is the Vice President of Operations and leads the development and flight department teams at Miracle Flights. He spent the last 12 years gaining valuable leadership experience in the corporate, start-up, and nonprofit sectors. Before Miracle Flights he was Senior Campaign Manager for Light The Night at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia in 2006. He is a Las Vegas local, and when not at work he can be found walking his dog or at spending some valuable time with his family.

Linda Bridges, VP of Marketing and Communications

Linda Bridges, M.A. is the vice president of marketing and communications for Miracle Flights. In this role, Bridges directs all strategic marketing, communications, and community relations efforts in order to increase brand awareness, donor engagement, and community support locally and nationwide. 
Prior to joining Miracle Flights, Bridges developed and implemented strategic marketing and media objectives as the public information office – strategic marketing for the City of North Las Vegas. Bridges was the first person appointed to this role and positioned North Las Vegas as a national leader in new job creation and economic diversification. In her previous role as chief communications officer for the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, Bridges led creative strategy, development of internal and external communications, PR and media engagement, and the rollout of strategic marketing programs.
Bridges was honored as a 2021 Vegas Inc. 40 Under 40 Honoree and named the 2020 “Rising Star” Woman of Distinction from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Southern Nevada. Bridges holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Arts in marketing from Webster University in St. Louis. 

Rebecca Boyce, Director of Flight Operations

Rebecca Boyce has been the Director of Flight Operations since 2006, overseeing all flight department functions. She is responsible for all aspects of the flight department, including personal contact with families, researching and booking flights, changing flights to meet family/physician needs, maintaining the flight database, and development of existing and new programs. She also works directly with the airlines that provide support to Miracle Flights through donated tickets.

Jessica Cardenas, Flight Specialist

A lady with black dress

Jessica Cardenas is a Flight Specialist, assisting in all aspects of the Flight Operations department including reviewing flight request applications, direct outreach with families, researching and booking flights, compiling and standardizing children’s stories, and more. Born in California, she considers herself a Nevadan having moved to the area at age 4. Jessica’s bubbly personality lights up the office and is on full display when watching her husband’s city league soccer team with their two daughters (she also played at her high school). A lover of good food, one of her favorite past times is cooking fry bread…and finishing it off with powdered sugar before finishing it off with the family.

Melanie Marcano, Resource Development Manager

A woman in black dress

Melanie Marcano is the Resource Development Manager at Miracle Flights, assisting in identifying, defining and developing funding sources to support existing and planned program activities. She has an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Business Administration from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. Born in Roswell, NM, she is a believer in aliens! Melanie loves reading the classics and making memories with her family.

Kathy Roller, Director of Events

A lady with brown dress

Kathy Roller is the Director of Events at Miracle Flights, working with community supporters to increase awareness and develop long lasting relationships that help expand and continue the mission of Miracle Flights. She has a B.S. in Business and Finance and previous work and volunteer experience with multiple non-profits. Having three boys, she is an experienced juggler, master of negotiations and chief cereal pourer at all breakfast meetings.

Cassandra Castanino, Events Coordinator

Cassandra Castanino is the Events Coordinator at Miracle Flights, working with community supporters to increase awareness and develop long lasting relationships that help expand and continue the mission of Miracle Flights. She has an Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts. Coming from a culinary driven background she has 20 plus years of experience in event coordinating and planning. She enjoys traveling with her husband and taking her two huskies for long walks.

Dona Krystosek, RN, Family Advocate

a lady at miracle flights

Dona Krystosek is the Family Advocate. She joined Miracle Flights in November 2016. Dona served six years active duty in the United States Air Force. After being honorably discharged, she went on to finish her nursing degree. Her nursing career consisted of providing specialized care to newborns in the nursery until the birth of her son. Dona knows firsthand the feeling of HOPE she felt when she found Miracle Flights during a 2 am internet search trying to find a way to get her son to the out-of-state medical care he needed. She still tears up at the joy she felt when she found Miracle Flights. She joins the team with eagerness and excitement to help other families find their way. Although Dona is a registered nurse by trade, she is a writer and researcher at heart. She has learned a lot over the past 10 years as the mom to a special needs child. She loves to help other children get to the out-of-state medical care they need to live longer healthier lives. Dona enjoys traveling, fishing, boating and just hanging out with her family. She lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.