Ksenia Gonchar – President
Ksenia Gonchar, (nee Smetanenko) was born in Moscow, Russia, to academic parents. She is a former professional figure skater, married to professional NHL hockey player Sergei Gonchar. Ksenia and Sergei met at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. They now live in Dallas, TX with their two daughters, where Ksenia works as a figure skating coach.
Ksenia lost her mother to breast cancer when she was a child. Shortly thereafter, a close relative became handicapped after a car accident. This succession of personal tragedies opened her eyes to the plight of handicapped orphans. After years of working on fundraisers for various causes, she is excited to pursue her next chapter of charity work through the efforts of her own foundation, one which fights passionately for the well-being of orphaned and handicapped children.
Lena McMahan – Chief Executive Officer
Lena McMahan was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. As a teenager, Lena moved to Germany with her family. Upon graduating from high school, Lena decided to pursue her college education in the US. In 2003, she graduated with high honors from Iona College in New York, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. After a brief career in the hedge fund industry, Lena found success as an entrepreneur, founding a modeling agency and events management company in Dubai, UAE. She managed the company until family obligations led her to return to the US two years later.
Once back in the US, Lena met Ksenia Gonchar and found that they had a shared vision: to leave a legacy of positive influence on children worldwide through financial, educational, medical and developmental support. To date, the Big Dreams Children's Foundation has helped children in the U.S., Argentina, and Russia.