BOARD CHAIR

Cindy A. Curtis retired as Deputy City Manager for Virginia Beach after spending 33 years in municipal governments across Virginia. Cindy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College. She studied urban and regional planning at the graduate level at Virginia Tech. Cindy also serves as a board member of the Virginia Parks and Recreation Foundation, Hampton Roads United Way Campaign Committee and the Hospice House of South Hampton Roads. Cindy passionately believes that through servant leadership we can make a difference in our community!

BOARD VICE CHAIR

Jennifer Duffy is Senior Vice President of investments at Blue Ocean Wealth Advisors of Raymond James. She is a former board member of the Virginia Higher Education Tuition and Trust Authority and is active in many community organizations and projects. She is a coach for Bank On, the Mayor of Virginia Beach’s financial fitness program.

BOARD SECRETARY/TREASURER

Donna S. Morris is Executive Vice President for Reinvent Hampton Roads. Donna is a Past Chair of the Virginia Beach Community Services board and currently serves on the Virginia Beach Social Services Advisory Board. She brings decades of professional and volunteer experience to her role on the Executive Board for the Foundation.

BOARD MEMBER

Barbara A. Brinson formerly served as the Youth Opportunities Coordinator for the city of Virginia Beach. She is a former board member of Tidewater Youth Services Commission and served many years on the Opportunity Inc., Workforce Development Board Youth Services Council. Barbara’s experience in facilitating collaborative relationships and partnerships among diverse stakeholders will support her role as a TWC board member.

BOARD MEMBER

Michelle Link is the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Maximus, Inc. She is responsible for leading the global Human Resources organization – including Talent Acquisition, Workforce Solutions, Organizational Development, HR Information Systems, Total Rewards, and Change Management. Ms. Link is an accomplished human resources executive with over 30 years of experience in national and international organizations across healthcare, call center, and gov con industries.

Before joining MAXIMUS in 2020, Ms. Link was the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at ADS, Inc., a leading solutions provider for all branches of the U.S. military; federal, state, and local government organizations; first responders; foreign governments; and the defense industry.

She has also held leadership roles in HR at PRA Group, BCBS of Tennessee, AMERIGROUP, CIGNA, and Corning.

Ms. Link holds a B.A. degree in Communications from Stonehill College and an M.A. in Human Resources Management from Ohio University.

BOARD MEMBER

William R. BrownMelissa “Mel” Goodrich is the Vice President and Chief People Officer of Healthcare Delivery for Sentara Healthcare Mel is a seasoned Human Resources Executive with more than 30 years of experience working in the healthcare, retail, and workforce staffing industries. In 2020, Mel joined Sentara Healthcare, one of the largest health systems in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and among the top 20 largest not-for-profit integrated health systems in the country, with 30,000 employees, 12 hospitals in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, and the Sentara Health Plans division which serves more than 1.2 million members in Virginia and Florida. As a strong business leader who drives accountability and results through talent, transparency, and collaboration, Mel oversees the human resource activities across all Sentara hospitals, Sentara Medical Group, Sentara Enterprises, and the Sentara corporate departments of finance and community outreach. Mel is a trusted advisor to senior leaders and aligns the Human Resources Business Partner function to the broader Human Resources and organizational strategic goals.
Her expertise as a Co-Active trained executive coach and her background in workforce planning and organizational development, has been instrumental in improving retention and enhancing engagement.

BOARD MEMBER

 

Archie L Simmons, CPA, is a Virginia Beach native with more than 20 years of experience working in the accounting field across multiple industries.  After graduating from William and Mary, Archie spent 15 years in public accounting with KPMG including two of those years in New Zealand.  He currently serves as the CFO of Hoffman Beverage and has been involved with various not-for-profit organizations throughout his career including 7 years on the board of Volunteer Hampton Roads and 3 years serving as the Treasurer for Galilee Episcopal Church.

BOARD MEMBER

Rich Johnson is a Senior Vice President with Wells Fargo’s Middle-Market Banking team.  He resides in Virginia Beach with his wife, Lindsay, and their two children, Philip and Phoebe.  Rich graduated from The University of Maryland in 2007 with a degree in Finance.  In his free time, Rich enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams, playing golf and watching The New York Giants.

BOARD MEMBER

 Martha McClees, a lifelong resident of Virginia Beach,  is the Executive Director of Virginia Beach Vision, Inc., a nonpartisan, issue-oriented business organization.  Having previously served as the Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator for the City of Suffolk and as the Vice President for Governmental Affairs for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, she provides a long working affiliation with elected officials, area business and community leaders. Backed by 35 years in non-profit administration, Martha is versed in volunteer coordination, issues management, community advocacy and Board development.    Martha serves as a City Council appointee to the VB 2040 – Community Coalition.  She recently concluded Council appointed terms on the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission and the Social Services Advisory Board on which she served as chairperson.  Martha recently returned to the Board of Directors of the Together We Can Foundation, having previously served on its founding board.  Additionally, she currently serves on the boards of the Future of Hampton Roads, the Hampton Roads Chamber – VB Division Board, the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival – Executive Committee, the ViBe Cultural District Board, the Zeiders’ American Dream Theater Board, and the Virginia Musical Theatre Board. With specific relation to community organizing, Martha served part-time as the Executive Director for Light Rail Now, Inc. and oversaw the marketing, volunteer outreach and campaign financing activities.

BOARD MEMBER

Joanie NeedhamJoanie Needham has been in the Banking Industry for over 40 years in Hampton Roads with the most recent 20 years in the Business and Commercial Lending arena. She has served on several committees of various organizations over the years. She is delighted to be an active board member of Together We Can Foundation and looks forward to working toward the goal of helping to educate and inform our community about the plight of disconnected youth and the work of this wonderful and worthwhile organization.

BOARD MEMBER

Donna Siller is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in many clinical and administrative compacities in Virginia Beach over the past 40 years. She has masters degree in social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Donna is committed to serving the needs of  youth in our community. Over the years, she worked at the City of Virginia Beach Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as well as Southeastern Virginia Health System, a family practice serving the uninsured and underinsured. Donna  currently provides psychotherapy in a private practice.

BOARD MEMBER

Cassandra Thompson is a customer-focused and highly influential leader, with more than 20 years of progressive Human Resources leadership experience in healthcare, media, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, education, publishing, aviation and transportation.  Demonstrated success aligning Human Resources strategies to business goals and developing critical talent to deliver business results and improve processes and systems. Cassandra is currently a Human Resources Business Partner at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

BOARD MEMBER

 The Honorable Winship C. Tower (Ret.) is a former Judge and Chief Judge for the City of Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, she brings a solid commitment to the welfare of vulnerable youth. Ms. Tower is a graduate of Hollins University and the The University of Virginia School of Law. She was a former partner and Past Chair of The Family Law Practice Group at Kaufman and Canoles, P.C. She is a Certified Mediator for the Supreme Court of Virgina and currently works for The McCammon Group. 

BOARD MEMBER

Nancy M. WelchNancy M. Welch M.D., has served as a public health director in Virginia since 1976. Currently, she is the Director of the Chesapeake Health Department and the Interim Director of Western Tidewater Health District. She received her B.S. at Lynchburg College, Degree in Medicine at Duke University and M.B.A. at Old Dominion University. Her Pediatric Residency and Masters of Health Administration were at the University of Colorado. She is board certified in both Pediatrics and Public Health/ Preventive Medicine; Dr. Welch is also a Retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Dr. Welch’s book, “Healing Emotional Wounds: A Story of Overcoming the Long Hard Road to Recovery from Abuse and Abandonment,” was recently published and chronicles the story of her adoption of two Ukrainian children and their struggles to overcome emotional and behavioral challenges.

BOARD MEMBER

Ninah PearsonNinah Pearson is the board liaison with Virginia Beach Human Services. She is a social worker in Virginia Beach working with foster care youth.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tom CrockettTom Crockett has served as the Executive Director of the Together We Can Foundation since 2010, bringing a lifetime of experience in education and at-risk youth populations. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Old Dominion University and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community college and taught at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia for five years in the 1980’s. In 1990, Tom left teaching to work as an arts and education consultant to the Polaroid Corporation. He helped develop an innovative national business-to-education marketing partnership that became known as the Polaroid Education Program. Tom also served as an education programming consultant for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, USA Today, and Walmart and ran an innovative arts-based mentoring program for teens in Norfolk City called Art Quest. From 2004 to 2009, he served as the Associate Director and then Executive Director for Young Audiences of Virginia—using innovative arts programming to solve educational and social challenges. He is an avid photographer and a published author and shares three children with his wife, Kelly.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Katie Peters is an educator with several years’ experience working as the Community & Family Outreach Coordinator for two school districts in Wisconsin which included overseeing extensive school and community grants, teaching parenting programs, overseeing the AmeriCorps program, serving on many community boards, and collaborating closely with local programs such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club. Katie helped at risk families by providing community resources that were vital in their daily living needs. During this time, she planned and hosted many successful community events to continuously improve communication and openness around arising concerns in the area.  Katie served as the United Way Chair in 2017 helping fundraise and promote the program while showing its immediate need in the community. Katie also worked as the Project SEARCH program coordinator ensuring challenged students were placed into work rotations in the community where their skills were utilized. This often led to employment for these students. This involved collaboration with several community organizations, businesses and schools. After moving to Virginia in 2019, Katie taught children virtually from home and eventually started substitute teaching in the schoolhouse. Her passion is serving others and making a positive impact on those around her. She enjoys spending her time with her husband and two children whether it is traveling or just hanging out at home.

PROGRAM CONSULTANT

Harvest BellanteHarvest Bellante has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.F.A. in film and television production from Chapman University with advanced studies in training and educational technology and non-profit management. In California, Harvest worked as an Intervention Specialist for 4th and 5th grade in the Tustin Unified School District. She spent her summers managing a youth camp—Pirates’ Cove Beach Camp—where 55 youth, ages 4-13, spent their summers in the sun and sand every day. Since moving to Virginia in 2009, she has continued her work with local youth at Together We Can Foundation and she teaches Filmmaking and Screenwriting at ODU. With over a decade of experience as TWC’s Program Director and Instructor, Harvest segued into a college teaching position at High Point University in North Carolina, but still does consulting work with TWC around programming.

SMART TRANSITIONS PROGRAM MANAGER

Heather Fine is our new full-time staff member on loan from the Barry Robinson Center. She has a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University. Heather has been a public school educator for the past seven years, teaching mostly 10th and 12th grade English and AP Literature & Composition. During her time as an educator, she served as a high school debate coach and pageant choreographer. An avid reader and literacy advocate, Heather is also a content curator for a local independent bookshop and serves on the Virginia Readers’ Choice Selection Committee for the Virginia State Literacy Association.

 

SMART TRANSITIONS PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR

Charmion Mone’t Anderson is a native of the Hampton Roads area and has lived in all 7 cities at different times throughout her life. At the age of 9 years old she knew she wanted to be a Social Worker.  In working towards this goal, she started a Babysitting business with 5 families that she provided services for during the summer months, at the age of 12.  When she was 15 years-old she became a Volunteer with the Newport News Department of Human Services, Childcare Unit. In 1999 she landed her first position as an In-Home Counselor and Mentor with Family Redirection, LLC before graduating from Norfolk State University, where she received a B. A. in Social Worker in May 2000.  Over the past 25 years she has worked in Family Preservation, Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Intake Services for Prince George’ s County Department of Social Services in Landover, Maryland, Newport News Department of Human Services, and Norfolk Department of Human Services. Her greatest accomplishments were reuniting foster care youth with their biological families and training successful foster parents that aided in this process. Charmion returned to school and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University in 2013, and a Certification in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Capella University in 2017. In 2022 Charmion changed careers to education and began working with University Instructors, LLC in Norfolk Public Schools as an Instructor/Tutor for high school and middle school students to bridge the gap in learning loss experienced by the COVID pandemic. Charmion is truly committed to giving back and uplifting the Hampton Roads communities by empowering people to create positive changes.

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