Jeffrey received a B.A. in Mathematics from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and his Masters and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Applied mathematics on 2013. He spent two years at Los Alamos national Library in New Mexico, continuing his thesis research and applying similar techniques for applications related to the nuclear weapons program. He is now a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, VA, studying chemical and biological weapons defense for the U.S. armed forces. Our Town Hall Consultants
Brad earned a Bachelor’s in Social Psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. He became a licensed clinical social worker in Virginia in May of 2015. For the last 5 ½ years, he has worked as a therapist in a short-term crisis stabilization unit providing therapy, medication management, and case management for people experiencing psychiatric and substance abuse crises, as well as serving people with co-occurring disorders. Brad is trained in social detox, in administering naloxone, and in supporting program residents completing relapse prevention plans and developing sober support networks.
Dr. Alethea Allen is a Board Certified Pediatrician who has lived in Winchester for the past five years. She is the wife of Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, Dean of Spiritual Life at Shenandoah University. She is a mother of three amazing children. (Two through childbirth and one through the gift of adoption.) She received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis where she completed her residency in Pediatrics and was privileged to rotate at the nationally recognized LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In 2011, shortly after moving to Virginia to practice, she was listed as one of Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top Doctors. In 2012, she completed a Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Dr. Allen will be opening a new practice, Grace Point Pediatrics, this May where she will welcome new patients from birth all the way through college.
Jenny comes to Winchester by way of Fredericksburg & Newport News in Virginia and Madisonville, TN. A graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan, she has worked as bookkeeper for Newport New Public schools, Director of Christian Education and Youth, a substitute teacher for Winchester Public Schools and, for the past 3 years, as the manager for Highland Food Pantry. An active member at First Presbyterian Church, Jenny has served on Fellowship Council, Chancel Choir, hand bell choir, program leader for Wonderful Wednesday fellowship dinners, director of middle school hand chime choir and children’s choir as well as being Guardian Angel team member. In addition, Jenny has volunteered at Highland, WATTS Program, and Back Pack Buddies and Santa Shop at Virginia Avenue Elementary School. When Jenny is not busy working at Highland Food Pantry she is off with her husband Roger to see one of their three children in Williamsburg, Greenville, NC, or San Antonio, Texas.
Lori is the owner and president of Your Healthy Side Corporate Wellness in Winchester, which provides corporate wellness services to local businesses and organizations and aims to create a culture of health in both businesses and our community. Lori’s background is in psychotherapy and health coaching. She also has 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur. Lori is passionate about her commitment to raising awareness about nutrition and health, and the implications that these have on our society, economy, and culture. She loves fitness and yoga, and feels like her job is way too much fun!
Phebe is an occupational therapist, recently retired after 22 years with Valley Health. She is a Master Food Volunteer with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, and she volunteers at the Highland Food Pantry. Phebe is the President of the Board for the Highland Food Pantry.
Oscar volunteered for AIDS Response Effort, Inc. (ARE), as an Interpreter (Spanish) in 2007. He returned in July 2013 and, shortly afterward, expanded ARE’s services to include the homeless and at- risk-of-homelesness populations. Oscar currently serves as the Housing Services Program Manager, administering the Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention Programs, and supervising the HOPWA and Tenant Based Rental Assistance Programs. As an agency, they were selected to present at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on collaborative initiative on homeless discharge protocols with Valley Health. Their commitment to the community is great and they are looking for ways to better serve those in need.
John’s work reflects this quotation from theologian Hans Kung: No peace among nations without peace among the religions. John is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at Shenandoah University. He has worked regionally and internationally for interfaith cooperation. He was a founder and past president of the regional Valley Interfaith Council and presented twice at the Parliament of the World Religions: in 1999 at Cape Town, South Africa, and in 2015 in Salt Lake City. He continues this work by serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. He is an ordained elder, in good standing, with the United Methodist Church, but was suspended for three months in 2015 for officiating at a same-sex marriage.
Rodney’s struggles as a child impassion him to help young people through the I’M JUST ME movement. He understands the challenges of poverty and street life, going hungry, and being homeless. Rodney learned from his learning-disabled classmates the falseness of the ideas of what and who are “normal” and, from a harrowing life experience as a child, understands the pain and fear that come from being bullied or attacked. He knows what it takes to recognize that these kinds of actions are not representative of everyone.
Deanna “Dede” Wallace is a Victim Assistance Specialist (VAS) currently assigned to HSI’s Washington D.C. & Virginia office, where she is responsible for victim services for victims of all forms of human trafficking (i.e., adult and juvenile sex trafficking, forced labor). Dede has trained in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and internationally. She provides training to law enforcement, social services, private sector, and community members. In this position, Dede’s responsibilities include assisting HSI special agents with crisis intervention, locating resources for the victims, and ensuring that a victim-centric approach is utilized during investigations.
James R. Coates, Jr., Ph.D., is a retired college professor. His work focuses on teaching cultural studies; and sport, leisure, and recreation in the African-American Community. Dr. Coates has lectured, consulted, presented, and published articles and essays on sport, education, and African American history. He is currently working on further research and understanding of the career of Harold “Killer” Johnson. Dr. Coates earned his B.S. from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES), and graduate degrees at the University of Maryland-College Park. He has taught, lectured and presented in the United States, Canada, and European countries including Austria, Denmark, and Germany during his 44 years as an educator.
As the Foreign Labor Certification Manager at the Virginia Employment Commission, Cindy received H2A and H2B visa filings from employers seeking to bring temporary foreign workers to the state. For five years Cindy was a Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative and filed immigration applications on behalf of clients at Catholic Charities Hogar Immigrant Services in Falls Church, VA. She is a certified teacher of English as a Foreign Language, taught abroad in the Czech Republic for a year, and has coordinated various ELL programs and taught adult learners in the U.S.
Kathryn is a Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach, owner and creator of The Nourish Company (better known in Winchester as Nourish). Kathryn has been in the wellness industry for over 35 years and is passionate about supporting her clients to reach higher levels of wellbeing. She received her Holistic Health Coaching Certification from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories.
Rev. Kristin Adkins Whitesides is a native of Martinsville, VA. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond and a current doctoral student at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, where she is focusing on Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation. She was ordained in June of 2005 and has served at First Baptist Church in Winchester since her ordination. Rev. Whitesides is an adjunct professor in the religion department at Shenandoah University and currently serves as president of the Valley Interfaith Council.
Sylvester is recently retired from Fairfax County Government as a Mental Health Specialist where he provided direct service including individual and group therapy, completing assessments for service delivery, developing service plans, and discharge planning. Sylvester is a graduate of Howard University with a Masters in Social Work. He is currently enrolled in Seminary at Virginia Union University, pursuing a Masters in Divinity focusing on Pastoral care with the hope of becoming a Chaplin. Sylvester also has a BA from the University of Maryland in Urban Studies with a discipline of underserved populations in rural areas where substance abuse, homelessness, and crime sometime go unnoticed in the mass media. He also volunteers in his local church with the youth and Sunday school programs.
Dennis Shannon has over 25 years of experience working as a substance abuse counselor. Along the way, he has worked in halfway houses, homeless shelters, and residential treatment centers. Dennis holds a MTS degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. Presently, he serves as the substance abuse counselor at Crisis Care, a crisis stabilization program located in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Diane Sheehey practices immigration law in the greater Winchester area. She focuses on keeping families together and safe in the community.
Nick Snow is a local physician who has lived in Winchester for more than 20 years. Growing up in Cleveland, he witnessed the community come together to finally clean up a river that had caught fire 13 times. This was his first exposure to environmental issues, and gave him hope that they could be successfully addressed. Nick’s passion is climate change and he works hard to engage our community in this issue.
Michele is the executive director of the Central Virginia Justice Initiative (CVJI). She has volunteered for her community and her church throughout her life. Michele currently sits on the Social Services Advisory Board for Spotsylvania County, VA. In 2012, she became aware of how fast Human Trafficking was growing, not just overseas, but also here in the U.S. In December 2013, she became a founder of CVJI, a faith-based organization, made up of volunteers in the Fredericksburg area, who are using their gifts and talents in the fight against Human Trafficking. In 2016, after a very successful business career, Michele left the private sector to focus her efforts full-time in fighting Human Trafficking, which she hopes will result in the establishment of an aftercare assessment facility in Virginia.
Tina Stevens’ struggles as a child impassion her to help young people through the I’M JUST ME movement. She grew up with the struggles of being a biracial child of a single mother doing her best to raise three young girls in Section 8 Housing Assistance in Alexandria, VA. Tina’s father passed away from a drug overdose when she was seven, and her mother turned to alcohol to self-medicate. By age eight, Tina was helping her mother care for her two younger siblings.
Dr. D’Alessio is a Pulmonologist providing excellent care for patients with lung disease in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. She is board certified in both Pulmonary and Critical Care, in addition to her original board certification in Internal Medicine. As such, she has worked in all of these areas throughout her career. Originally trained in New York and Boston at NYU, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and Boston University, she and her family moved to Winchester in 2001. Here, she has worked first with a large group of Pulmonologists seeing both inpatient and outpatient pulmonary patients, as an Intensivist (or ICU specialist) spending 12-hour shifts with the sickest patients in the hospital, and also working in the Martinsburg, VA, ICU.
Chad is a graduate of the University of Utah School of Medicine. He was a resident and chief resident at the University of Virginia in Pediatrics. He has been with Winchester Pediatric Clinic for over 16 years. In addition, he is a clinical faculty instructor with the Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency and currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics for the Winchester Medical Center.
Tyson Gilpin grew up in Clarke County and has practiced law there and in Winchester since 1972. He served in the U.S. Navy, in Vietnam in 1967, and ran a sheep and cattle farm from 1975 to 1995. Tyson prosecuted all criminal cases in Clarke County from 1973 to 1975, and was the land condemnation attorney for the Commonwealth from 1980 to 1983. Presently, he is the Education Chair for the Winchester Chapter of the NAACP. He received awards from the NAACP and the Coalition for Racial Unity for his work on racial issues. Tyson went on two bus tours (2008 and 2009) with Julian Bond studying the Civil Rights Movement in the South and helped gain the release from prison of two African Americans through a Governor's pardon in 2012.
Leslie Hardesty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from West Virginia University as well as additional formal training in Non-Profit Management and Community Leadership. She has 22 years of experience working in the mental health/human services field. She has served as Sexual Assault Program Coordinator for The Laurel Center since 2010 and has 13 years of experience with The Laurel Center, working with both domestic and sexual violence survivors and allied professionals. Leslie serves on several SARTs and MDTs in local jurisdictions as well as the Council Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.
Bradley has been a pastor since 1988. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah, and his Master in Theology from the Calvary Chapel Institute. He arrived to Winchester in March of 2012, penniless, homeless, and trying (unsuccessfully) to maintain a horrible habit involving a variety of opiates. He had nothing. He had only one friend left in the whole world (literally), and she happened to reside in Winchester. She allowed Bradley to stay at her home, if he 1) stayed clean; 2) got a job; and 3) attended NA meetings. His life radically changed. Bradley currently is the Senior Pastor and founder of Grace Downtown of Winchester, a ministry, for the most part, centered around the recovery community.
Heather is the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Winchester where she has worked since 2012. During that time, Heather has prosecuted the majority of cases involving human trafficking in the city. Heather earned her Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law. She has been practicing law for eight years.
Cathleen has lived in the Winchester area since 1995. She grew up in Hong Kong and completed medical school at Ohio State with residency in OBGYN and Fellowship in MFM at Duke. Cathleen is a maternal fetal medicine specialist, board certified for over 20 years. She is the perinatal unit director at WMC. Cathleen has raised two children, now in their 20s, and is married to Dr. Nick Snow, a gastroenterologist. She is an avid health enthusiast, including in exercise and nutrition. Cathleen is also a committed green enthusiast who has an active solar home and grows a lot of the family’s food.
Kathleen is a volunteer communications director and board member for Central Virginia Justice Initiative, an organization that is fighting human trafficking. She also serves on the board of Open Hand of Fredericksburg, a faith-based, non-profit that provides internships and career development to under-resourced youth. She earned her M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications and worked as a newspaper reporter for six years. In 2006, she returned to human services as a case manager and trainer for The Connections Program in Richmond. Kathleen is also a trained lay counselor. She facilitated a support group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She does freelance writing and is working on her first novel.
Margaret is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a BA from the Evergreen State College of Olympia, Washington. After 44 years as a federal employee, she retired in 2010 from the Department of Health and Human Services, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In February 2011, she joined the Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP) and is now manager of the clothing department.
Katie is the Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator at the Laurel Center. She earned her Masters of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and has worked as a clinician, adjunct professor, and sexual violence prevention coordinator. Katie is also the current Vice President of the local Council Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Julie Pettler began studying health and the human body as a physical therapy student. She came to believe that many factors are involved in health, particularly one’s food choices. She has researched raw milk, GMO foods, pesticides, local foods, grass versus corn-fed beef, and various types of diets, including Paleo and vegetarian. She has raised chickens and bees, and teaches classes on foraging for wild foods including mushrooms and medicinal herbs. One year ago, she began working as a Clinical Herbalist. An important part of her practice is encouraging people to incorporate the healing power of plants into their lives.
Matthew T. Peterson is the Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Winchester-Frederick-Clarke, VA, responsible for promoting the overall Affiliate and ReStore vision and direction, and ensuring the ability to increasingly serve families in need with simple, decent, affordable housing. Business lines include residential construction, mortgage lending, rental management, family and social services, community development, and retail store management.