Workshop Presenters & Panelists
Associate Facilitator, The Spark Mill
Chris Bennett is an associate facilitator with The Spark Mill and the pastor of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Goochland. He has more than a decade of experience leading, preaching and guiding all different sizes of congregations. Over his career, Chris has led dozens of training and planning sessions and has a passion for equipping leaders and empowering volunteers to use their gifts and abilities to make an impact in the world.
Betsy Bilharz, MPA
Director of Training and Program Quality, Virginia Mentoring Partnership
Betsy Bilharz, MPA, has served with the Virginia Mentoring Partnership since 2012. As the Director of Training and Program Quality, she is responsible for training development and coordination, provision of technical assistance, and implementation of quality assurance initiatives to improve the quality and capacity of mentoring programs. She develops and implements training for approximately 700 mentors and mentoring program staff annually. Betsy holds a Masters in Public Administration concentrating in Policy Analysis and Evaluation from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College.
Owner/CEO, Risk Alternatives, LLC
Risk Alternatives, located in Arlington, works with nonprofits and entrepreneurs to help them identify and address threats and opportunities, confront challenges, and build processes to achieve their goals. Ted has more than 25 years of experience counseling clients on risk management, compliance, governance, and complex business issues. Before founding Risk Alternatives, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to teaching, Ted served for more than 20 years with the Washington DC, office of the international law firm of Jones Day. He has lectured, presented, and consulted around the nation on risk management, board governance, civic engagement, ethics, and numerous other issues. Ted has published numerous articles on nonprofit risk management in publications like the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Risk Management Magazine, and CR Magazine. He received his B.A. in economics from Wake Forest University, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Community Networking Director, Peninsula Baptist Association
Charles serves as the Community Networking Director for the Peninsula Baptist Association (an association of 70 churches). He has been a radio talk show host, newspaper columnist, entrepreneur, community organizer, political consultant and served in various government positions in Maryland, Virginia, and with the federal government. Charles has presented on a variety of topics, including Minority Business Development and Effective Community Engagement, and Jobs For Life and the Church: Pathway To ReEntry. Today, he continues the fight for equality and social justice in Hampton Roads where he co-facilitates a monthly Pastor's and Community Dialogue on Racism, Poverty, and Violence, facilitates a Circle of Reconciliation for Mothers of Murdered Children, coordinates the Hampton Roads Jobs For Life Network, coordinates the Hampton Roads CCD Network and is involved in numerous activities to empower the disenfranchised and connect communities with churches and other resource groups/organizations. Additionally, he hosts a Radio Podcast called Front Porch Conversation on Justice.
Vanessa Di Leo
Child Care Program Consultant, Virginia Department of Social Services
Vanessa has more than 20 years of experience developing and delivering training for a variety of audiences. She has worked as a national consultant, grant writer, program evaluator, mentor, coach and quality assurance specialist at state and local levels, for nonprofit and government agencies, and the private sector. She has a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies and is a Society for Human Resources Management-Certified Professional.
Outreach Programs Coordinator, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
With a background in higher education and nonprofit work, Anne facilitates small and large group workshops on a variety of subjects including community service, social justice, and spirituality. Currently, she works with schools, corporate and nonprofit partners, to assist them in exploring ways to become more inclusive and equitable in order to be more successful in their mission.
Stephanie L. Glenn
Program Manager for HandsOn Greater Richmond, Community Foundation
Stephanie’s expertise expands across the nonprofit management spectrum assessing organizational need and capacity for volunteers, database management, risk management, strategic planning, and program evaluation. She has become an expert on baby boomer volunteers and volunteer best practices during her position as volunteer coordination with AARP Virginia. Stephanie is a sought after workshop facilitator for numerous state and local events. In addition to her many professional contributions, she is widely respected for her civic leadership. Stephanie has served on the board of directors for Urban League of Greater Richmond Young Professionals, GRAVA (Greater Richmond Association for Volunteer Administration), Women with Mission and Purpose Conference and many others. She received her Master of Public Administration degree in Nonprofit Management from Wright State University and a B.A. in Business from Wilberforce University. In 2014 Stephanie graduated from Richmond’s Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Program and in 2011 she received a Fundraising and Development certificate from the University of Richmond’s Institute of Philanthropy. As the Program Manager for HandsOn Greater Richmond, Stephanie is responsible for leading trainings and consultations with nonprofit organizations to strategize the best ways they can meet the needs of our community.
Coordinator for Community Service, Old Dominion University
As the Coordinator of Community Service at ODU, Amy-Leah collaborates with diverse community organizations and campus partners to identify and implement mutually beneficial service and civic engagement opportunities for students. In addition, she advises the Alternative Spring Break program, which immerses students in community-based service projects designed to heighten awareness of critical social issues and prepare them to be lifelong active citizens. Amy-Leah also advises multiple service-based student organizations, presents to various campus and community constituents on community engagement programming, and trains students service-leaders in topics such as group dynamics and reflection/discussion facilitation. She received her M.S. in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University and her B.A. from Rutgers University.
Owner, Debita Life Coach, LLC
Deborah is the Owner of Debita Life Coach, LLC, where she serves as a Life Coach and also works in human services. She has more than 25 years experience in the human services field as well as numerous years working in the volunteerism world. As a Life Coach, she provides services ranging from workshops to one-on-one sessions.
Volunteer Engagement Manager, Greater Richmond ARC
Alison has served as the Volunteer Engagement Manager with Greater Richmond ARC since September 2017. Prior to the ARC, she served in the same position for Virginia Supportive Housing (7 years) and the Children’s Museum of Richmond (6 years). She has a passion for connecting community volunteers to opportunities that serve and support vulnerable populations. Alison has served a total of seven years on the board of GRAVA (Greater Richmond Association for Volunteer Administration), including two years as president, four years as secretary, and one year as professional development chair. She earned her CVA (Certification in Volunteer Administration) in 2011; completed the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders program in 2012; received GRAVA’s Volunteer Administrator of the Year award; and presented numerous basic and advanced volunteer management workshops locally and regionally. At Virginia Supportive Housing, where she served as the Volunteer Resources Manager for seven years, she led the entire organization through the Service Enterprise Initiative certification process, which promotes excellence in volunteer engagement through best practices, leadership, and strategic capacity-building. She will be ARC’s team leader for this same process starting this year.
President/Chief Strategist, SK Consulting LLC
Sue is a business strategist for nonprofits with more than 30 years’ real-world experience helping nonprofits and member-based professional associations reach their highest potential. She specializes in building Board engagement, teaching how to tell a compelling story, creating effective volunteer programs, collaboratively guiding strategic direction and finding the power of possibilities. She is currently the resident story expert at the online fundraising site Asking Matters where she regularly blogs, leads webinars and online discussions. In May 2016 she produced The Alchemy of Storytelling Conference in Richmond, VA. She regularly leads workshops in the Central Virginia area including a workshop in 2018 at the Virginia Volunteer Conference on strengthening relationships through storytelling.
Mercedes N. Kirkland-Doyle
Managing Member, Mercedes Naomi D&I Consulting
Mercedes is a lover of life, family, and community engagement. She is a mother of two, Army Veteran, humanitarian, diversity and inclusion game changer and advocate for women’s rights. Mercedes is currently pursuing her Doctor of Management and holds a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland University College. Her certifications include mediation, EEOC investigation, Speed of Trust and many others. Her federal career consists of advocating for equality, resolving conflict and building bridges with other leaders and agencies as an Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management Specialist. Mercedes has developed strategic plans and implemented programs and initiatives that assisted towards the overall effort for building and cultivating an inclusive workforce through outreach, hiring, professional development, and retention of those identified as underrepresented. She has conducted 2,400 special trainings for senior leadership and total workforce, including Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance, Diversity and Inclusion, Civility and Unconscious Bias. Mercedes is the recipient of the 2018 Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Washington, DC area and Kappa Psi Chapter “Citizen of the Year” award recipient and several others. She has more than 17 years of federal experience, deeply rooted in logistics, acquisition, policy, human capital, training and development, equality, diversity, and inclusion. She is the founder of The Good News Community Kitchen (TGNCK), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to rebuild and strengthen communities by fighting hunger one meal at a time. TGNCK has been featured in The Washington Post, The Renewal Project, Rachael Ray’s “every day” Magazine and on The Rachael Ray Show.
President, Managing Communications
Susan has served Virginia businesses and nonprofits as a communications professional for more than 30 years. In addition to the past 16 years as owner of Managing Communications Consulting, she has served as Business Development/Marketing Director for Sentara Enterprises (health system); Internal Communications Manager for Cox Communications in Virginia, and Corporate Communications Director for the Mid-Atlantic region of USAA. Susan is SWAM Certified and has provided training throughout Virginia, for Gainesville, Florida Regional Utilities, and numerous industry association conferences throughout Virginia. She handles the volunteer programs, business development, and marketing for a STEM education nonprofit and has provided volunteer leadership for numerous charities and nonprofits.
Development Director, Safe Harbor
Mary’s passion is in connecting a donor’s interest, hopes, and dreams with the mission and needs of local non-profits. She has more than 15 years of experience leading the development efforts of both small and large local nonprofits. Currently, Mary is the Development Director at Safe Harbor where she is responsible for securing the annual funding. She also serves as an instructor for the Institute of Philanthropy-Fund Development Institute, where twice a year she presents a class on Building the Donor Pipeline. In addition, Mary serves as President of River City Express Network-the local chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. These experiences have helped her cultivate strong presenting and facilitation skills.
Amy Nisenson Consulting
Amy’s consulting expertise includes strategic planning, board development/governance work, board, and staff meeting facilitation, organizational development, and resource development. Her over 30 years as a senior philanthropy professional includes work on both sides of philanthropy- as a nonprofit executive and development professional and as a corporate and foundation grantmaker. Amy brings her unique experiences in both asking and giving along with strategic thinking, sensible fiscal management, effective communication and facilitation to her consulting work. Amy is also a Certified Governance Trainer with Board Source and is trained in nonprofit Board education.
Amanda Noell Stanley
CEO, DePaul Community Resources
In her role as CEO of DePaul Community Resources, Amanda creates environments where creativity and magic can happen. DePaul Community Resources opens doors to hope and belonging in homes and day centers across Virginia for clients all across their lifespan. They have also built the DePaul Garage – a space where staff and community partners come together to innovate next practices in human services. Prior to joining DePaul, Amanda was a small business owner based in Bedford. Her consulting business, TwoChair Solutions, focused on helping both public and private agencies move beyond their status quo. Amanda serves on the Centra Health System Board of Directors and is the chair of Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital Board of Directors. She is a founding board member of the Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Council and is a graduate of the 2014 Hollins University Batten Leadership Institute Cohort for change. Amanda is a panelist on Roanoke’s ‘Star Tank’, a local entrepreneurial investment summit. In 2015, Amanda was selected by Lynchburg Business Magazine and the Region 2000 Partnership as a “Top 20 under 40” for her contributions to the community and nonprofit sector. Amanda lives in Bedford with her husband of 16 years, two children, two dogs, and two cats. She enjoys her hobbies of reading, writing, running and fiddle-playing as much as she enjoys her nonprofit leadership gig.
Community Engagement/Membership Chair,Team RWB/Rotary International/Lions International
Tejas' career has always included service. From volunteering overseas in the US Peace Corps, to serving as a US Marine, to leading Logistics operations during natural disasters with the American Red Cross, he has held numerous roles of leadership that have placed him in immediate leadership roles. Leading groups of various sizes, he has had numerous experiences where he was thrust into a leadership role. He currently is a leader within various civic organizations that focus on community service and volunteerism always striving to embody the servant-leader philosophy and ethos. Tejas is a trained Life and Professional Coach who continues to gain proficiency in empathetic leadership. Focusing on constant communications and emotional intelligence, he has been able to share his style of leadership in various fields to include disaster management, veterans’ organizations, and education.
Heather Peck Dziewulski
Partner/Director of Clinical Development, The Resilience Network LLC
Heather is the Co-Founder and Director of Clinical Development for the Resilience Network, LLC. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who is a Board-Certified Diplomate at the national level in clinical social work. In her current role, Heather is focused on Workforce Compassion Fatigue and the best ways to mitigate the personal emotional risks staff take when working with high-risk populations. Heather served in a leadership role for local government in social services for seven years and served as a clinical consultant for many residential, outpatient and community-based programs across the nation. In these positions, she had the opportunity to facilitate group processes in the development of new programs and provided a great deal of training to both small and large groups of staff. Heather is a highly experienced trainer and speaker and has extensive experience presenting as a keynote at national and state level conferences.
Independent Grant Writer
Laurie has taught fundraising and related subjects for 24 years at the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond Institute of Philanthropy, and many others throughout Virginia. She has participated as a presenter at the Virginia Volunteerism Conference for the past several years. Alongside her teaching, Laurie has also been an independent grant writer in the Richmond region for the past 25 years, focusing primarily on nonprofits which service children, youth and families from low-income neighborhoods.
Special Projects Manager, Volunteer Fairfax
Susan has been a part of Volunteer Fairfax for almost 10 years. She began as a Volunteer Fairfax board member and joined the staff for a 5-week temporary assignment in 2011. As Volunteer Fairfax's Special Projects Manager, Susan currently leads the educational programs and the organization’s board matching program. She spent 21 years at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement in DC where she had a wide array of responsibilities including membership, communications, and nonprofit outreach and education. Susan founded The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management (now AIM Award) and the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman EXCEL Nonprofit Leadership Award. She is the author of numerous magazine and newsletter articles on nonprofit management and is a co-author of Winning Ways: Great Nonprofit Management Ideas from the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management (2001). Susan holds a B.S. in Consumer-Community Services from Michigan State University.
President, Acorn Group, LLC
Allison’s dedication to the nonprofit sector spans 30 years, through which she’s served in volunteer, board and staff capacities. In these roles, she helped establish several nonprofit organizations from the ground up, including the West Valley Child Crisis Center, that provides temporary shelter for victims of child abuse, and Family Promise, a temporary haven for homeless children and their families. During Allison’s 20-year corporate career she helped organizations like PETsMART, Merrill Lynch, and Drake International achieve significant strategic goals. She has traveled the world facilitating workshops and seminars to groups from 5-150 people. She became an expert presenter in the subjects of innovative problem solving, effective change management, and has earned a reputation for building effective teams and systems that get big results. Since 2005, Allison has used those skills and her personal commitment to service and strengthen mission-based organizations focusing on strategic planning and fundraising strategies. Allison formed Acorn Group in 2017 to help non-profits striving to reach their greatest potential. Acorn Group works with mid-size and emerging nonprofits to unleash the power of philanthropy to change the world.
Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.
CEO, Brighter Strategies
Liz, founder of Brighter Strategies, provides thought leadership and high-value organizational development consulting in support of a stronger social sector. She has provided training and consulting services in strategic planning, process improvement, and human capital development for over 170 nonprofits and associations and has facilitated over 25 Board of Director retreats. Liz has served on executive leadership teams in the nonprofit industry and has overseen the areas of strategy, organizational development, and performance. She has extensive experience in developing and managing all aspects of an organization’s quality and business improvement efforts; such as developing and administering programs, training and coaching employees, and facilitating organization-wide change. Liz has been a Baldrige examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a certified Standard of Excellence consultant. She is trained and experienced in delivering the Grove Consultants' Strategic Visioning, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, the Organizational Culture Inventory, and many others. In addition to managing the practice, Liz holds a faculty position at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she teaches in the Business Psychology department. Liz holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Organizational Sciences from The George Washington University, as well as a second master’s and Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She lives in Falls Church with her husband and two dogs.
Business Development Director, Red Orange Studio
Jolinda has been an adjunct instructor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Robertson School for Media & Culture for eight years. She is the current host of CreativeMornings Richmond, a local monthly creativity and inspiration event. Jolinda has contributed to three seasons of Coffee & Conversations, Red Orange Studio's outreach initiative to share free information and great content for clients and prospects.
President, JPS Consulting
With vast experience in the nonprofit sector, Jane has been providing consultation and training services to nonprofit organizations for more than twenty years. As the founding director of the Child Abuse Center of Hampton Roads, she forged regional relationships with 17 Virginia municipalities and expanded the Center’s services to more than 1,000 children each year. After the Center became part of the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Jane opened JPS Consulting. Her experience also includes a tenure as a national director for major gifts for the American Cancer Society. She is a past national chairman for campaign training for the United Jewish Appeal, a volunteer position which she held for three years. Jane has given keynote addresses, motivational speeches and training workshops throughout the US. Past clients include the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Susan G. Komen, the Virginia Association of Community Healthcare Centers, Habitat for Humanity and the Foodbank. Additionally, she was selected to present a workshop at the New Orleans International Conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in April 2018. Jane has an M.B.A., is a Certified Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is licensed to offer consulting services for the Standards for Excellence® program. Jane is married to Ed Stein. They have two grandchildren.
Principal Consultant, Knowledge Advisory Group
Trina, through the Principal of Knowledge Advisory Group, provides organizations with measurement, research, and evaluation services that inform planning and future organizational development. Trina’s methods examine the implementation and effectiveness of initiatives, programs, policies, and procedures. She has successfully applied these concepts and techniques in nonprofit, government, and business settings for over 20 years. Trina frequently serves as a guest speaker for professional meetings and conferences, sharing perspectives on the importance of measurement and evaluation in overall organizational health. She is a frequent instructor for Nonprofit Learning Point and a Nonprofit Standards for Excellence licensed consultant. Before founding the Knowledge Advisory Group in 2010, Trina served for seven years as the Vice President of Transformation Systems Inc. (TSI), an award-winning management consulting firm, providing measurement and evaluation services to a variety of clients across sectors. Her past experience also includes almost a decade of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia as Chief of the Evaluation Unit of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Criminal Justice Research Center. Trina received her professional training from Virginia Tech and is an active member of the American Evaluation Association, the Southeast Evaluation Association, and the Eastern Evaluation Research Society.
Bernadette Wright, Ph.D.
Director of Research & Evaluation, Meaningful Evidence
Bernadette has been involved in program evaluation and applied research for two decades. At Meaningful Evidence, she supports nonprofits to leverage research to demonstrate their impact and plan effective action, so they can make a bigger difference. Bernadette is also co-authoring a book for Sage Publications, Practical Mapping for Program Evaluation and Applied Research. She has facilitated discussion and activities at dozens of evaluation related workshops at local, national, and international events, such as a workshop at the 2018 American Evaluation Association Summer Evaluation Institute in Atlanta and November 2018, Survey Design Workshop at Foundation Center Northeast in Washington, DC. She earned her Ph.D. in public policy/program evaluation from the University of Maryland in 2002.