Michael Asante was born in Jamaica and migrated to the United States as a teenager to join his parents who had migrated many years earlier. He finished high school in Brooklyn, and upon graduation earned several degrees, including agronomy and natural science. Mr. Asante has done postgraduate studies in education, nonprofit management and international business, working as an educator in Virginia public schools in the field of environmental health and extensively in the field of lead poisoning prevention programs as a licensed lead based paint risk assessor.
Jeanie Barbrow was born in Detroit, Michigan, living there for four years before moving to Galax, Virginia, where she remained. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and administration from Virginia Polytechnic University as well as Liberty University. Ms. Barbrow has worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 41 years, starting as a county office clerk and working her way up to her current position as the Single-Family Housing Program Director for the state of Virginia. Ms. Barbrow has served in several leadership roles in the Virginia Association of Support Personnel and the Virginia Association of Credit Service and is a part-time ski instructor at the Winterplace Ski Resort.
Sabrina Blackett earned her degree in Urban Studies and Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University, going on to earn her master’s in public administration from Columbus State University in Ohio. Ms. Blackett currently serves as a program administrator at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in the division of community development. Ms. Blackett has administered the Virginia Individual Development Accounts (VIDA) program for several years, including through a program revamp that resulted in more than 600 new entrepreneurs, homeowners and college students across Virginia.
Tammy Breski earned her bachelor’s degree in forest engineering from the State University of New York through the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She has over 20 years of telecommunication experience and currently serves as a project manager at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in the office of broadband. In her capacity as a project manager, Ms. Breski is responsible for ensuring that program goals and objectives intended to extend broadband service to underserved areas, including through the management of last-mile broadband deployment projects funded through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
Joe Blevins has worked at every level of government in his 30 year career in public service, starting in the banking industry and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps before starting his career in community development and becoming a project manager at the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission. He joined the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in 1999, and currently serves as the program manager for the Abingdon Field Office, where he assists grantees with administering projects in the Community Development Block Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission and other various state-funded programs.
Kathi Boatright, GPC
Kathi Boatright has nearly 15 years of experience in grant writing, proposal development and project management for nonprofits, colleges and universities as well as units of government, having earned two degrees in geography and a Grant Professional Certification (GPC). Ms. Boatright has served as a community development specialist for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Abington Field Office since 2016, and is known by her coworkers as the “chief taco mapper,” and “keeper of the taco map.” In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in the mountains and valleys of Southwest Virginia with her bearded husband and two (not bearded) children.
Elizabeth Boehringer is a community development specialist for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, where she has served for the last twenty years overseeing projects in the Community Development Block Grant and Indoor Plumbing and Rehabilitation Loan programs.Prior to working for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ms. Boehringer worked for the City of Madison, Wisconsin as well as the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Valparaiso University and a masters in Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Blaire Buergler joined the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development as a community development specialist after relocating to the Richmond area amidst the global pandemic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public and urban affairs from Virginia Tech, and her master’s degree in organizational development and knowledge management from George Mason University. Having previously served as the assistant director of alumni relations at Middle Tennessee State University, she’s worked primarily in the nonprofit sector where she has had the opportunity to help various organizations become more sustainable through fundraising, outreach and capacity building. In her free time, Ms. Buergler enjoys exploring new places and spending time outdoors with loved ones, including her husband and dog, Brewski.
Ramona Chapman serves as a capacity development specialist and tribal liaison at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s office of policy and strategy development. Drawing from her 30 year career in community development and human services, Ms. Chapman manages state and federally funded programs and facilitates workshops covering topics such as organizational risk management, nonprofit board governance and leadership transition training planning. She earned a master’s degree in health sciences and higher education administration from James Madison University and in her down time serves on nonprofit boards and fosters her passion for agriculture and genealogical research.
Kelly Charapich has been with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development since 2017, where she began as an administrative assistant before becoming a community development specialist in the Abingdon Field Office in 2018. In her position, Ms. Charapich primarily works with Community Development Block Grants and Appalachian Regional Commission Grants. Her background is varied, including work in the mental health field and with non-profits. As a lifelong resident of Southwest Virginia, Kelly enjoys working with her localities and spending her off time exploring the communities of the state. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, journaling, crocheting and reading.
Jay Grant has served as deputy director of community development at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) since 2018, leading a team charged with carrying out community and economic development programs throughout the commonwealth. Mr. Grant previously served at DHCD as a policy analyst from 2007-2008 before working as a community planning and development representative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for just under ten years. Mr. Grant earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing management from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania, where he met his wife. In his down time, he enjoys gardening, kayaking, piano and coaching basketball.
Kelly Gill-Gordon has over 20 years of experience working in affordable housing, and currently serves as the director of grant programs and initiatives for Virginia Housing. In her position, she is responsible for directing and coordinating both consumer education programs and grant programs, ensuring that strategies and initiatives are implemented successfully. She works to expand the capacity of nonprofit partners through training, program development and grant opportunities.
Susan Hill serves as the lead hazard reduction program manager for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), having started her career at the agency working on the Weatherization Assistance Program. Ms. Hill was certified as a lead inspector and risk assessor in 2015 and as a building performance institute building analyst in 2013. She is passionate about the intersection of health, housing and sustainability, having also previously served as the executive director of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance.
Erica Holmes, MS
Erica Holmes, MS currently serves as the board president for the Virginia Association of Housing Counselors (VAHC), having been a member of VAHC for the past nine years, and serving three years on the executive board. Ms. Holmes is also employed with St. Joseph’s Villa, Flagler Housing and Homelessness Services as the Director of the Housing Resource Center in Petersburg, Virginia. Over the past ten years, she has served the homeless population in various capacities, working with the chronically homeless mentally ill population, the medically vulnerable homeless population, families and veterans. She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Strayer University and her master’s degree in human services program administration from Post University.
Chelsea Jackson serves as a community development specialist for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in the division of community development. She has a background in affordable housing, focusing on homeownership and grant administration, and previously worked for Community Housing Partners, Virginia Housing Development Authority, and Richmond Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys event planning, cooking, entertaining loved ones and traveling.
Rachel Jordan serves as a policy analyst for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Develop in the community development division, where she helps manage the state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and the CARES Act, among others. Ms. Jordan previously served as a research associate with the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Virginia Commonwealth University, and started her career as a planner in local government. Her interests include fair housing policy work, equitable transportation, and environmental justice.
Dan Kern serves as the business development and training manager for Virginia Housing, having joined the agency in 2016 after a 23-year career in the mortgage industry as a loan originator and processor. Drawing upon his product and sales knowledge as well as his industry contacts and passion for affordable housing, Mr. Kern is responsible for the management of Virginia Housing’s business development officer team, lender training, new lender approvals, and continuing education seminars throughout the state, among other tasks. Dan is a native of Richmond, Virginia and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Lauren Kunkel is the project and reporting analyst at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). As a former community development specialist at DHCD, Ms. Kunkel brings her program administration knowledge to the operations division, working to promote inter-divisional communication and improve reporting outputs for the agency. She now focuses on managing the Centralized Application and Management System (CAMS) in addition to creating specialized program reports and offering program set-up guidance. Ms. Kunkel is a graduate of James Madison University and a life-long Virginian. She loves spending time outside, repurposing/refinishing old furniture, and teaching Asher (her foster-fail pup) new tricks.
Dr. Melissa F. Mason
Dr. Mason holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Divinity. She is a 2016 Princeton Black Theology Leadership Institute Fellow as well as an Emerge Virginia 2015 graduate and received her doctorate in Ministry from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Dr. Mason served on the Mathews County School Board from 2016 to 2019, and was elected for a four-year term on the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, making her the first African American woman to serve on the Board of Supervisors. She also serves at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development as a program analyst in the community development division.
Cheri Miles’ three decades in mortgage lending, banking, nonprofit and public service have created a successful recipe. She is 1 part mentor, 1 part manager, 1 part problem-solver, 1 part fireman, 1 part entrepreneur, 1 part farmer, 1 part country girl and 3 parts cat herder.
Duane A. Miller has nearly 28 years of regional economic and community development experience, having started his career with the Region 8 Planning and Development Council located in Petersburg, West Virginia. Mr. Miller has continued in the field of economic and community development with the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission located in Duffield, Virginia, and has been with LENOWISCO for over 25 years, currently serving as the agency’s executive director. In his down time, Mr. Miller enjoys spending all the time he can with his 15-year-old twins, Davis and Harper.
Joni G. Moncure
Joni G. Moncure has served as a business development officer with Virginia Housing since 2018. She has a passion to help first time homebuyers, having served for 25 years in the mortgage industry as a mortgage loan originator prior to joining Virginia Housing. When she's not assisting lending partners and customers, Ms. Moncure loves to play tennis, read and listen to music.
Nancy Palmer has over 30 years of experience in the housing and community development field having worked at the Departments of Housing and Community Development in both Virginia and Maryland. She earned her degree in business administration from Averett University and has managed a number of federal and state funded programs supporting housing rehabilitation, new housing development, neighborhood revitalization, community development, community services and energy efficiency.
For the past 19 years, Regina Pinkney has dedicated her efforts to helping under-served segments of our community attain affordable and sustainable homeownership. She has served as a business development officer with Virginia Housing since 2017, and prior to that worked in the mortgage industry for almost two decades. Ms. Pinkney served on the City of Alexandria’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program Management Team and on the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinating Committee, and was named a Housing Hero by the City of Alexandria.
Rebecca Rowe has more than 20 years of experience in community revitalization, working with state and local governments and nonprofits. She has degrees from SUNY Geneseo and Texas A&M University. Ms. Rowe is an avid agritourist and loves a good road trip, especially one that ends with ice cream. She lives on the Northside of Richmond, in the Bellevue neighborhood, with her husband Foster and dogs Finnegan and Franny.
Dawn A. Scott
Dawn Scott is the housing program administrator for the Down Payment Assistance Program for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), having joined the agency in 2011. She is responsible for ensuring that program goals and objectives are properly administered to produce and preserve safe and affordable housing for lower-income citizens and targeted populations. Ms. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Virginia State University, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Averett University. In her spare time, she enjoys being a foster mom through Beacon of Hope and spending time with loved ones.
Lark Washington works as a community development specialist at Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development where she administers the statewide housing rehab program, Acquire, Renovate Sell (ARS). She recently graduated with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her seminal graduate work, "Rehouse Richmond," offers original research, findings, and recommendations concerning the eviction crisis in Richmond. In her spare time, Lark volunteers, reads, hip-hop dances, and occasionally paints. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She lives in Richmond with her husband and a pair of bonded pet bunnies.