Keynote Speaker: Brian Koziol – Executive Director, Virginia Housing Alliance
Brian Koziol has served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Housing Alliance, a statewide advocacy and education organization committed to expanding access to affordable housing and ending homelessness across the Commonwealth, since 2019. Prior to VHA, he served as the Director of Research for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of VA, Inc. Brian has worked on a variety of housing-related topics including access to opportunity, affordability, mortgage lending, foreclosures, employment, health, and transportation. He has served as a consultant to local governments across the country helping them to advance equitable housing policy. Brian holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and resides in the Northside of Richmond.
Chris Thompson- Director of Strategic Housing, Virginia Housing
Chris Thompson is the Director of Strategic Housing at Virginia Housing. He leads a team charged with developing and managing relationships with the Commonwealth’s Housing Services Delivery Network. Mr. Thompson coordinates the design and delivery of trainings intended to strengthen the ability of local officials, land use planners, planning entities, and housing developers to better address local affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization issues. He also identifies strategic opportunities to provide technical assistance to individuals and organizations seeking to undertake transformational revitalization projects. Prior to joining VHDA he served as Deputy Director for Housing at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Jeanie Barbrow- Single Family Housing Program Director, United States Department of Agriculture
Jeanie Barbrow is a veteran of making the American dream come true for several thousand people. She is committed to helping improve the quality of life in rural America. She is also an advocator of partnership building between government, rural businesses, cooperatives, nonprofit agencies, faith-based and neighborhood organizations to better serve individuals, families and communities. Jeanie attended Liberty University and Va. Tech. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She has been with USDA Rural Development for 42 years. Jeanie started her career as a County Office Technician and has worked her way up to Single Family Housing Program Director for the State of Virginia. Jeanie has served on numerous National and State Task forces to improve Rural Development. She believes in what she does every day and has always loved her job.
Jason Tickle – Executive Director, Caroline County Habitat for Humanity
Jason Tickle has worked in housing for nearly 12 years. Jason has written and been part of grant writing teams that have been awarded over $3.1 million in new home and repair dollars. As of this date, Jason’s team has written and closed on over $2.5 million in 502 Direct loans. These loans resulted in 14 homes to date with more in the pipeline. Homeowners in Caroline County Habitat for Humanity’s 523 Self-help Program have built nearly $500,000 in sweat equity.
James Roberson – President, 516 Project
James Roberson is the founder and President of 516 Project, a non-profit construction and disaster response ministry. James’ background in construction, disaster relief, c-suite business positions, and entrepreneurship has set him up for success in business and life. Initially, 516 Project was founded in 2016 as a side project and way to give back to the community. Quickly it was evident that God had bigger plans for the organization and James became full time in July of 2018. James has led and coordinated groups of thousands of volunteers to help disaster victims recover and rebuild after floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. He has worked with multiple government and non-government agencies in multiple states to make the recovery process more efficient and cost effective. James did not attend college and is a strong believer in workforce and trades training. James grew up and still resides in Fredericksburg, VA. He is married and has 3 children ages 14, 10 and 8. You can find more about James and 516 Project at www.516project.org and on social media @the516project or @jamesbuildshope.
Sandra Powell – Sr. Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Sandra Powell serves as the Sr. Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). She joined the agency in October 2021. Sandra is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the Community Development and Housing division, which focuses on creating and implementing solutions in partnership with all levels of government, nonprofits, and the private sector to achieve essential housing and community development outcomes.
Before joining DHCD, Sandra served as the Deputy Executive Director with Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA). In her role as NNRHA’s Deputy Executive Director, she provided day-to-day leadership of all NNRHA operational activities related to implementing organizational and department goals and strategies. Some of Sandra’s accomplishments while at NNRHA included her contribution to the success of the $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant and the conversion of 296 housing units under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Sandra’s other focus areas include homeownership, construction, and renovation. She and her team collaborated with the planning and implementation of many city infrastructure and economic development efforts.
Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Christopher Newport University and earned her master’s degree in public administration from Old Dominion University. She has also achieved her Housing Development Finance Professional Certification.
Bailey Thompson – Community Development Planner, City of Fredericksburg
Bailey Thompson is the Community Development Planner for the City of Fredericksburg. Originally from a rural pocket of northwestern Pennsylvania, Bailey moved to Virginia early in his career to pursue city planning in a more urban setting. Bailey recently earned a master’s degree in Community And Economic Development from Penn State University and also just finished a six year enlistment with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
During his time with the City of Fredericksburg, he has had the opportunity to reach out to countless families and households with assistance through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. This program receives an annual allocation of approximately $200,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Design (HUD). The City has three housing programs that are designed to keep residents in their homes and to provide homeownership opportunities.
Patricia (Pat) Holland – Executive Director, Healthy Generations Area Agency on Aging
Ms. Holland is the Executive Director of Healthy Generations Area Agency on Aging in the Fredericksburg area. She has served as the Director of Client Services, supervisor of the Homemaker Program (assisting frail elderly with housekeeping and errand chores), Title V Coordinator (Older Workers Employment Program), and has coordinated many smaller programs for the Agency. In addition to her primary duties, Ms. Holland provides guidance to the Agency’s TRIAGE Committee, assessing seniors for all Agency programs and making referrals to various community programs.
Ms. Holland received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1985.
Ms. Holland holds affiliations with several boards. These include Mental Health America of Fredericksburg, Partners in Aging, TRIAD, and the Caregiver’s Appreciation Luncheon Committee. She was the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Wayland Marks Gratitude Award, which recognizes services to senior citizens in the Fredericksburg area.
Healthy Generations Area Agency on Aging is a private non-profit corporation established in 1976 in accordance with the Older Americans Act of 1965. HGAAA serves Planning Service Area Sixteen, comprising the Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties and the City of Fredericksburg. HGAAA strives to assist Older Americans in various ways to promote independence and enhance their quality of life.
Allison Balmes-John – Population Health Manager, Rappahannock Area Health District
Allison Balmes-John is the Population Health Manager for the Rappahannock Area Health District. She oversees health improvement planning for the health district, including the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan. Her role focuses on using data to understand the health of local populations, and then utilizing that data to identify ways we can prevent community health issues before they occur. She also coordinates communications and public information for the health district. Prior to her current role, Allison worked as a Violence Prevention Specialist at the Virginia Department of Health’s Central Office. She holds a Master in Public Health from the University of North Carolina and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Colorado, and she is an AmeriCorps alumni.
Ellen Justesen – Community Engagement Specialist, Rappahannock Area Health District
Ellen Justesen graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Minor in Health/Wellness Coaching in 2020. Prior to entering the public health workforce in 2019, her working background included: customer service/retail, fitness and wellness/personal training, and clinical/healthcare work. She currently serves as the Community Engagement Specialist with Rappahannock Area Health District and oversees progress related to the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), projects under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), tasks and projects related to Quality Improvement, and much more! She has always believed that everyone should have the means to pursue the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves, and she carries that belief with her in everything she does.
Teresa Bowers – Health Innovation Navigator and Health Care Coordinator, Micah Ecumenical Ministries
Teresa Bowers is an Occupational Therapist with over 37 years of experience specializing in the fields of behavioral health and geriatrics. She has practiced for over 29 years in the home health setting. In addition she served for 14 years as the Director of the Senior Visitors Program at Mental Health America of Fredericksburg, a volunteer based visitation program for lonely, isolated senior citizens. She is a clinical faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Currently she is the Health Innovation Navigator and Health Care Coordinator for Micah Ecumenical Ministries, a collaboration of churches working together under one non-profit umbrella, to cultivate community and care for the homeless neighbors in the Fredericksburg community. She has been instrumental in developing the Health Ministry at Micah since April of 2022.
Ms. Sandra Osborn – Chief Communications Officer, Stafford County Public Schools
Ms. Sandra Osborn has spent 27 years in public relations, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and subsequently the Marine Corps Marathon. Sandra joined the public school system in August 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Digital Media/Web Technology from the University of Maryland. Currently, she serves as the Chief Communications Officer for Stafford County Public Schools, supporting the division’s strategic initiatives. Learn more about the school system at www.staffordschools.net.
Dr. Rebecca Towery
Dr. Rebecca Towery has more than 20 years of experience in public education. She spent time as a substitute teacher, taught middle school and high school history and social studies, and led research, evaluation, and competitive grant efforts for Stafford County Public Schools. Currently, she is leading efforts for the University of Mary Washington in conjunction with area school divisions to design and launch the Academy of Technology and Innovation at UMW, a regional public high school focused on the reciprocal relationship between computer and data science. This university partnership lab school will support the region’s teacher pipeline through a close partnership with UMW’s College of Education. Learn more about the school’s development at www.atiumw.org.
Megan Samples – Program Coordinator, George Washington Regional Commission
Ms. Megan Samples has been working in small business development and community advocacy both locally and internationally for more than 10 years. Megan is a co-owner of Curitiba Art Café in downtown Fredericksburg, and currently sits as the Chair for Economic Vitality for Fredericksburg Virginia Main Street, the local Fredericksburg chapter of Main Street America. In this role, she advocates for small businesses and their unique needs within the downtown district. Megan also works in issues of housing and homelessness and currently serves as a Program Coordinator for Housing and Community Health for the George Washington Regional Commission. Megan has worked to bring the small business community’s voice to the table in the conversations around housing as a member of the Regional Housing Assembly and a member organization of the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care. Learn more about Fredericksburg Virginia Main Streets programs at https://www.fredericksburgdowntown.org/.
Dr. Theron Stinar – CEO, Fredericksburg Christian Health Center
Dr. Stinar is a Family Physician and CEO of the Fredericksburg Christian Health Center, a non-profit ministry providing charity care to the poor. The Fredericksburg Christian Health Center collaborates with community partners to meet the health care needs of some of the most vulnerable in our community who find the traditional health care system to be inaccessible, including those who are unhoused. Dr. Stinar and his team have partnered with Micah Ministries in a way that facilitates weekly physician visits with unhoused neighbors at Micah facilities and “house calls”. This “HealthBridge” program brings primary care and care coordination to a group of people who frequently neglect their health as a result of housing/shelter instability.
Ms. Kim McClellan – Public Policy Director, Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors®
Ms. Kim McClellan has served as the Public Policy Director for the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (FAAR) since April of 2010. Ms. McClellan works with local elected officials to advocate for private property rights and the important role of the real estate industry in the Fredericksburg-area economy. Ms. McClellan also represents FAAR in many regional coalitions and groups including the local Chamber of Commerce and various housing-related efforts. She serves as a member of the Mary Ball Washington Regional Council of GO Virginia and as Vice President for the Central Virginia Housing Coalition. Ms. McClellan is a 201 recipient of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce Top 10 of the Next Gen Award and a 2017 graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Fredericksburg program. In addition, Ms. McClellan holds the Realtor® Certified Executive (RCE) designation from the National Association of Realtors® and is a certified Professional Standards Administrator. Prior to working for FAAR, Ms. McClellan spent several years on Capitol Hill serving as a Senior Legislative Assistant to a North Carolina Member of Congress handling various issues including agriculture, transportation, and the environment. She is a graduate of The George Washington University and currently resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia with her husband and children.
Tyler Carroll – Economic Competitiveness Manager, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Tyler Carroll joined the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) as Economic Competitiveness Manager in 2022. In this role, Tyler collaborates with stakeholders across the Commonwealth to develop strategies to enhance Virginia’s competitive business position. Since joining VEDP, Tyler has led key strategic efforts such as supporting the development of the Governor’s Comprehensive Economic Development Policy and is currently spearheading VEDP’s strategic plan refresh. With over a decade of state government experience, Tyler previously held development-focused positions at Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia General Assembly. A proud native of Virginia, Tyler is a graduate of James Madison University and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He resides in Richmond with his wife, two daughters, and the world’s cutest French Bulldog.
Todd Gillingham – Vice President, Marketing and Operations, Fredericksburg Regional Alliance
Joining the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance in 2005, Todd held several positions within the organization before being named Vice President of Marketing and Operations. Todd works to develop and implement the organization’s marketing and regional business recruitment strategies and oversees the FRA’s economic development project management. His demographic and economic research experience has assisted hundreds of private sector businesses and has helped guide local governments in their strategic planning efforts.
He is the immediate past-President of the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation Board of Directors and has previously served on the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce NOW Board of Directors.
Jonathan Knopf – Executive Director for Programs, HousingForward Virginia
Jonathan is the Executive Director for Programs at HousingForward Virginia, where he leads housing research and education efforts across the Commonwealth. He regularly helps local officials, practitioners, and advocates find solutions to their housing challenges by telling stories anchored in data, crafting evidence-based policies, and designing effective communication strategies.
Since 2016, Jonathan’s work has led to the nation’s first combined community land trust and land bank, Virginia’s first regional housing trust fund, increased investments in manufactured home communities, and other innovative successes. He has also led or contributed to numerous state, regional, and local housing studies that sustain efforts to expand housing affordability and security for all Virginians.
Jonathan holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He serves on the board of directors for VCDC and Housing Families First, and is a member of policy advisory committees for HOME of Virginia and the Virginia Housing Alliance.
Chris Landgraf – Community Planning Liaison Officer, Marine Corps Base Quantico
Chris Landgraf is a Community Planning Liaison Officer (CPLO) at Marine Corps Base Quantico. He was the Program Manager for the Military Installation Resilience Review at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission until last month. Chris previously worked as the Deputy Director of Public Works at US Army Garrison Fort Belvoir in Virginia. While a US Army civilian, he served as the Director of Public Works in Operation Resolute Support in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Chris has also held the positions of Master Planner and Stormwater Program Manager at Fort Belvoir. Prior to his work at Fort Belvoir, Chris was the Environmental Planning Manager for New Kent County in Virginia during which time he co-authored an article on Low Impact Development for Land and Water Magazine. Chris has 25+ years of experience in stormwater and watershed planning. He holds a Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Mary Washington.
Meghann Cotter – Executive Servant-Leader, Micah Ecumenical Ministries
Meghann Cotter, a lifetime native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a 2004 graduate of Emory & Henry College. While studying Mass Communications and Public Policy & Community Service, Meghann served as editor of the student newspaper. She returned to Fredericksburg to work three years at The Free Lance-Star, covering business and Stafford County government. She left the news business in 2007 to become Executive Servant-Leader for Micah Ecumenical Ministries. Micah, a local non-profit organization governed by nine downtown churches, formed in 2005. The agency is founded on the biblical call of Micah 6:8, do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. She has a Master’s Degree in Community Development from Eastern University and is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry from Northern Seminary.
Sandra Serna – Director, Office of Health Equity, Virginia Department of Health
Sandra V. Serna is a public health professional with fifteen years’ experience working with local, regional, state, and national leaders across a variety of sectors to ensure all communities can become healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. Ms.Serna currently leads the Office of Health Equity (OHE) at the Virginia Department of Health, where she oversees the Divisions of Primary Care and Rural Health, Social Epidemiology, and Multicultural Health and Community Engagement. VDH’s nationally recognized Healthcare Workforce Incentive Unit and Partners in Prayers and Prevention Program are also within OHE.
Prior to joining VDH, Ms. Serna was the Vice President of Health and Housing at Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) in Washington, DC. As VP, Ms. Serna served as SAHF’s subject matter expert on leveraging health and housing partnerships to address the social determinants of health; the connection between resident voice and agency and improved health and community outcomes; and the benefits of trauma-informed and healthy building design. She has also held positions with Louisiana Public Health Institute, United Way Worldwide, and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).
Ms. Serna holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.
Suzanne Armstrong – Strategic Housing Officer, Virginia Housing
Suzanne Armstrong (Sue) is currently a Strategic Housing Officer with Virginia Housing and has been in the position for more than 6 years. Her current job focuses on development of supportive affordable housing and other authority initiatives. Prior to that she worked for Hampton Newport News Community Services Board in their Housing and Resource Development department administering multiple grants and in the development of multiple housing communities. Before working in the housing field, she worked for a number of medical practices, the DOD, and taught collegiately. Ms. Armstrong received her B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University, and her M.S. from Central Michigan University in Administration. She has received many awards including Housing Warrior Excellence Award. A native of Texas, she enjoys boating, outdoor activities, and traveling the world.