Dr. Anne Atkinson
Dr. Anne Atkinson is the founder and president of PolicyWorks, Ltd., an independent program evaluation and policy research firm that has provided external evaluation services for ten federally-funded projects related to child welfare, children’s services, education, and school safety. She has authored more than a dozen curricula and guides for child welfare, criminal justice, and education professionals. Current studies focus on a statewide post-adoption services network, testing the theory of change for an innovative family finding and support program that facilitates placement of children in foster care with relatives/kin, a post-graduate adoption competency training initiative for mental health clinicians, and another national training initiative for child welfare and mental health professionals serving adoptive andguardianship families.
Frank Blechman is a consultant helping businesses, community organizations, and public agencies increase their effectiveness though internal and external consensus building. He has assisted with process design, system design, facilitation, training, and motivation. From 1991-2002, he was a member of the graduate faculty at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution of George Mason University. He has served on many boards and commissions including the Fairfax Partnership for Youth, the Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services, the Fairfax Committee of 100, the Northern Virginia Mediation Service, The Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax, Voices for Virginia’s Children, and the Wolf Run Foundation. Born in Newport News, Virginia, he graduated from Newport News High School (1965) and received a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia (1969) where he was recognized as an Echols Scholar. He is both an Honorably Discharged Veteran of Service in the United States Navy and a conscientious objector. He is married and has two children.
Dawn Chillon, Ph.D(c) has been active in educating and training the child welfare system across the state of Virginia on the impact of trauma on children and adults and effective treatment strategies for healing. Through her trainings on the neurobiological impact of trauma, awareness of the necessity of a trauma informed system of care and essentials of best clinical practice, Ms. Chillon hopes to be a catalyst to system reform and improvement in outcomes, especially in the foster care system. As the Founder and Executive Director of The Attachment and Trauma Institute located in Richmond, Virginia, she remains active in providing clinical development and oversight of a team of thirty counselors and various counseling services throughout central Virginia. She is currently a doctoral candidate with a concentration in prenatal and perinatal psychology and has special interest in the applied clinical support for the youngest victims of trauma; children in utero through four years of age. Ms. Chillon is married and has four, precious children. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and writing.
Betty Wade Coyle
Betty Wade Coyle is the Executive Director Emeritus of Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads. As well as serving on the FACT Board, she is also a member of the Hampton Roads and State Child Fatality Review Teams, the Norfolk Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, Norfolk Interagency Consortium, the Citizens Advisory Council of the Norfolk Juvenile Court, the Virginia Commission on Family Violence Prevention and is the past chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. Ms. Coyle received B.A. and M.A. degrees in sociology from the College of William and Mary and taught in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at Old Dominion University. She is the mother of two grown sons, an active volunteer and long-time child advocate.
Robin Foreman, Vice Chair
Robin Foreman-Wheeler is a Virginia Beach native who was first appointed to the FACT Board of Trustees in 2009. Ms. Foreman-Wheeler is Vice President for Administration at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, where she has worked since 2000. She earned a degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration degree from Old Dominion University. She is a graduate of the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ Project Inclusion and Lead Hampton Roads and earned a certificate in nonprofit management from the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence at Tidewater Community College. Ms. Foreman-Wheeler currently serves on the board of Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocates and has previously served on the board of Excellence Girls’ Club, the executive committee of the United Way of South Hampton Roads Young Leaders Society and the Tidewater Community College Women’s Center Advisory Group.
Kevin Keane is a public affairs, policy and marketing professional, with a background in federal and state government as well as the private sector. Kevin received a presidential appointment as Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he served five years and worked closely on social services issues. Prior to his federal service at HHS, he spent eight years as deputy chief of staff and communications director for a governor, devoting much of his work to health and social services issues at the state level. He currently is Senior Vice President for Policy and Public Affairs for a trade association in Washington, D.C. Kevin and his wife reside in Burke, where they proudly raised two sons and a daughter in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. He enjoys working with youth and has been a longtime baseball and basketball coach. In the winter, he rarely misses an opportunity to cheer on the George Mason University basketball team at the Patriot Center.
Pamela Kennedy is an intensive in-home therapist in Winchester, Virginia and has worked as a college professor, grants administrator, student counselor and human services manager in the behavioral health and intellectual disability field for years. She has a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry and an M.A. in Sociology from Kent State University. She is the mother of adult twins, and she and her husband are active in preservation efforts, history-related activities, politics, and travel.
Born in Lee County, Virginia, Kay Kovacs grew up in Bristol, Virginia and earned a B.S. degree in Social Work from James Madison University. Her career began at Bristol Department of Social Services, and with some years as a stay-at-home mom to three children, she worked in foster care, adoption, and child protective services until 1995. She became interested in the child-focused system of a child advocacy center (CAC) for child abuse victims and served as Volunteer Chair of the task force that was responsible for establishing Virginia’s first CAC in Bristol/Washington County. After its establishment, she served as the Executive Director from 1998-2004. During the next nine years prior to retirement, Ms. Kovacs served as the Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia, the statewide association of CACs and successfully garnered support from the Virginia General Assembly to provide annual funding to CACs throughout the state, mentored fellow CAC directors, and organized what has become an annual statewide conference to provide training and education to a wide range of child advocacy professionals. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her nine grandchildren, and volunteering with Southwest Virginia’s Communities in Schools program.
Judy Kurtz is a consulting and management specialist for non-profit organizations with over 15 years experience in program planning, fundraising, grant writing, community organization, public relations, volunteer management and board development. Her primary focus is on issues involving foster care, adoption, and day care. Ms. Kurtz most recently served as Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Court Appointed Special Advocacy program. Prior to that, she was a program development consultant for Westside Children’s Center in Los Angeles and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Prior to obtaining her master’s degree in public health from UCLA, Ms. Kurtz spent over 20 years working in the field of pediatric physical therapy in hospital, rehabilitation, and educational settings. She currently serves on both the Eastern Region Child Fatality Review Team and Friends of CASA. Previously, she was elected as a representative for California’s Early Intervention Service Delivery Project and served as PTA president in Virginia Beach.
Nadine is the President & Chief Executive Officer for Children’s Home Society of Virginia (CHS), where she has also served as a board member and an attorney who provided legal counsel to adoptive families until she joined the agency’s staff in 2006. Prior to leading CHS, Nadine practiced law for several years at Hill, Tucker & Marsh Law Firm where she was a litigator. Nadine got her juris doctorate from the University of Richmond Law School in 1995 and she has served on the law school alumni association. She also got her BA from the University of Richmond and has served on the Westhampton College Alumni Board.
Nadine has been appointed a Hull Fellow in Philanthropy by the Southeastern Council of Foundations. She currently serves a member of the Virginia Premier Health Plan Board of Directors and as an Executive Mentor at Nonprofit Learning Point. Nadine is also a member of the Virginia State Bar.
Nadine has served in a variety of nonprofit leadership capacities, including as a Trustee of the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and as a member of the President’s Council of UNOS. Nadine has also been a Board Member for the National Network for Youth Policy Council, the Mid Atlantic Network for Youth, the Old Dominion Bar Association, and Richmond Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Nadine has been a presenter at several professional and academic venues. This includes the National Network for Youth Symposium in Washington D.C., the Business Women’s Network Leadership Summit, the National Host Homes Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Her greatest accomplishments have included the adoption of her two children, Kaitlyn and David Samuel.
John Oliver, Treasurer
John Oliver, Esq. is currently in part-time private law practice, but he served for 31 years in the Chesapeake City Attorney’s office, first as an Assistant City Attorney and later as a Deputy City Attorney. During that time, he was legal counsel to several City departments and agencies, including the Chesapeake Community Services Board (now Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Healthcare), the Chesapeake Department of Human Services where he handled all child abuse and neglect, foster care and termination of parental rights cases brought before the Juvenile and Circuit Courts, all guardianship and adult protective service cases brought before the Circuit Court, and all agency-related legal matters. Mr. Oliver has given his time to a number of human services related efforts over the years. He was a former member and chairman of the Local Human Rights Committee of the Southeastern Virginia Training Center, the State Human Rights Committee, the former Governor’s Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect and a former member of the CHIP/Healthy Families program in Chesapeake.
Mary Russo Riley is the Community Programs Administrator with the Chesapeake Department of Human Services. Prior to going to work for the city thirteen years ago, she was employed by Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Family Services of Tidewater and owned a retail paint and decorating business in Durham, North Carolina. She has served as Treasurer of the Hampton Roads Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, Chairperson of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, a board member of Children’s Health Investment Program, a board member of Children’s Harbor, 2nd Vice President of the Hickory Marching Band, and a member of the Parish Council at Prince of Peace Catholic Church. She graduated from Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, got her Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame, and her Masters of Arts from the University of Akron. She has been married for 31 years to her husband, Morgan, and is the proud mother of a junior at James Madison University. She is also a stepmother and has three step- grandchildren who unfortunately live in Tennessee.
Margaret Schultze, VDSS Commissioner
Margaret Ross Schultze is the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services. Her experience in state government began in 1997 where she served as the former Executive Director of the Family and Children’s Trust Fund. Her tenure with FACT led to increasingly responsible roles within the Department culminating in her current position as Commissioner. Ms. Schultze oversees both programmatic and administrative functions within the Virginia Department of Social Services. VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide. A native of Roanoke, Virginia, she graduated from Hollins University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a teacher certification. Prior to her work in human services, she was the Director of Financial Aid for Roanoke College. Ms. Schultze and her husband live in Midlothian.
Lisa Specter-Dunaway, Chair
Lisa Specter-Dunaway, CEO of CHIP of Virginia, has built collaborative partnerships and developed programs to benefit children and families for more than 20 years in governmental, private and non-profit organizations in rural and urban settings. She has consulted with non-profit organizations on strategic planning and board development. Ms. Specter-Dunaway was deputy director of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative at the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Her program development experience includes the first Richmond’s federally-funded Healthy Start Initiative, the Goochland Office on Youth, and Smart Smiles. She was recently appointed to the Governor’s Council on Childhood Success. Ms. Specter-Dunaway has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from VCU and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
Yasmine Taeb is an attorney specializing in civil rights and civil liberties. She’s currently a Visiting Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Previously, she served as a Project Manager for the Center for American Progress and as a 2013-2014 Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) Leadership Institute. She has substantial legislative and advocacy experience and has served as the Government Relations Manager for the Arab American Institute as well as a Legislative Fellow for Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee. Yasmine currently serves on the Arlington County Human Rights Commission as well as on the Board of Directors for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. She holds a J.D. from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, pursued an M.A. in Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations at Georgetown University, and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.