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.
William R. Brown, CPA, is the owner of The Brown Group which provides financial management consultation services. Bill is a former Chairman of the Virginia Beach Community Services Board and former member of the Virginia Beach Minority Business Council. He has served on many not-for-profit boards and is still active with non-profit entities.
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.
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.
Virginia Diezel is an internationally acclaimed artist and owner of Ginny Diezel Studios. She is a community activist and passionate advocate for the needs of youth and the dispossessed.
Russell J. Held is Vice President of Economic Development for the Port of Virginia. Russell is also a board member of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems, Virginia Economic Developers Association and Virginia Beach Vision, as well as serving as a CIVIC Scholars mentor. Russell brings fund raising, promotion and public speaking experience to the TWC Board.
Donald V. Jellig is a sought-after independent business consultant. Don retired from his position as Vice President of Sentara Health Care and has served as the Chair of the Community Services Board and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. He is a past Chair of the Virginia Beach Development Authority. Don brings years of executive experience to his role as Chair of TWC’s Board of Directors.
Kathleen Kaurup joined the staff of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children as the Director of Philanthropy in October, 2017. She has years of fundraising experience for a variety of organizations including Girl Scouts and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington College, is a graduate of LEAD Peninsula, and enjoys volunteering with youth serving organizations.
Joanie 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.
Penny Sanchez is the Executive Director of ARDX Foundation. ARDX Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has a mission of “Shining a Light on Mental Wellness” and a vision to provide our community with opportunities to recognize the signs and help transcend the stigma surrounding mental health for women, their families and for the next generation. Penny has been on the TWC board since 2011, and is a graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. Also serves on the board at the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment, and serves on the TCC Women’s Advisory Council. Penny enjoys reading, spending time with family and playing golf. Previously she has served on the Trinity College Board of Trustees, President of the National Alumni Association for Trinity College and was the Board VP for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
Nancy 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.
Ninah Pearson is the board liaison with Virginia Beach Human Services. She is a social worker in Virginia Beach working with foster care youth.
Tom 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.
Harvest 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.
YOUTH SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Michele Duncan has an A.S in Social Sciences at Tidewater Community College and is a graduate with distinction from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Human Services. Michele completed her internship at the Together We Can Foundation during the 2016 spring semester. She also volunteers with Youth For Understanding as an Area Representative for international exchange students.
SMART TRANSITIONS INSTRUCTOR
Eve Dohse has a B.A. in Communication from the University of South Carolina and a M.S. in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is currently working on her BSN at Sentara college of Health sciences. She has been a part of TWC since 2015. Eve has firsthand knowledge of the obstacles that at-risk youth face- she herself grew up in foster care. She works part time at Sentara Leigh in Norfolk and looks forward to continuing her contribution to her community as a nurse and TWC instructor.
SMART TRANSITIONS INSTRUCTOR
Jeremy Rodden has a BA in English Writing & Religion from La Salle University in Philadelphia and an MA in Education from Holy Family University, also in Philadelphia. He worked in retail management for nearly a decade before becoming a teacher in Philadelphia. Since relocating to Virginia in 2010, he has been a stay-at-home father of three and is a published author. He also volunteers with the City of Chesapeake as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children.
EQUINE YOUTH CHALLENGE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Kelly Crockett is a storyteller who has presented storytelling programs and workshops in schools across Virginia. She is also a lifelong horsewoman who volunteers as program director and instructor for the Equine Youth Challenge program she helped create.