Johanna Schuchert is the Interim Executive Director for Voices for Virginia’s Children. She is the former Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia/Healthy Families Virginia. She was a founding member of SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now.) Prior to that she served as one of the founders of Virginia Parents Anonymous and became its Executive Director until the two organizations merged in 1990. She has advocated on behalf of children and families with public policymakers since the early 90’s.
Johanna has served on several state-level boards and commissions. Among them: Early Impact Virginia, The Virginia Head Start Advisory Council, the Virginia Pay for Success Council, the Virginia Statewide Parent Education Coalition, the Three Branch Institute, the Virginia Early Childhood Policy Network, and the Children’s Cabinet work group on early childhood.
Johanna is the mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. Her interests include spending time with her family, volunteering, cake decorating, gardening, and reading.
Contact: johanna_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184
Michael Brown is Voices’ Philanthropy Director. He is responsible for developing and implementing the development plan, as well as building relationships with new and current individual donors, increasing Voices’ visibility within the Commonwealth, and increasing our fundraising capabilities. Previously, Michael was the Director of Development with Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia where he was responsible for the development, implementation, and execution of the organization’s development plan. He has his Certificate of Fundraising Management (CFRM) from the Indiana University School of Philanthropy as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from the College of William and Mary. He also played in the Detroit Tigers’ organization for 2 years.
Contact: michael_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184
Chloe Edwards is Voices’ Outreach Coordinator, responsible for connecting local and regional partners and Voices’ policy team. She focuses specifically on trauma-informed policy and practice. Her work is informed by her personal connection to kinship foster care and by her previous job as director of Connecting Hearts, a nonprofit that strives to find permanent, loving homes for every child living in foster care.
Chloe completed the Minority Research and Law Institute Program at Southern University’s Law Center in 2013 and was selected for the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Emerging Leaders program in 2019. Chloe graduated from Hollins University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and obtained a Master’s of Public Policy with a Leadership Concentration from Liberty University. Radio One recognized her as one of the top “30 Under 30” trailblazers initiating change in Richmond in 2017, Connecting Hearts awarded her its Outstanding Service Award in 2018, and in 2020, #RVAMicShare recognized Edwards as one of the top 33 Black woman influencers in Richmond. In her free time, Chloe serves as the President of Black Lives Mater 804, the Assistant Director & Digital Organizer for The Truth Telling Project to combat structural violence & racism, and is the founder of See Me #iamhere.
Contact: chloe_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 106
Ashley Everette Airington is Voices’ Policy Analyst for children’s mental health and health. Ashley comes to Voices with many years of nonprofit, early childhood development, children’s mental health, and research experience. Most recently, she worked for ChildSavers a nonprofit organization in Richmond, where she developed and implemented a community-based, early childhood mental health consultation program. She has also played an integral role in the Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health and is one of the first infant mental health professionals to be endorsed in the state of Virginia.
Ashley is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and earned her master’s degree in child development from Tufts University.
Contact: ashley_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 103
Allison Gilbreath is Voices’ Policy Analyst for foster care and juvenile justice. Allison comes to Voices with several years of experience working on issues related to children and families. She began her career at Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, then moved to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), and most recently worked with the lieutenant governor’s office, where she served on the Commonwealth Council for Childhood Success. Allison is a CASA (court appointed special advocate) and has been appointed to the CASA/Children’s Justice Act Advisory Board for DCJS.
Allison was a governor’s fellow in 2011 and was selected for the 2016 Emerging Leaders Program at University of Virginia’s Sorenson Institute. She has given speeches at the Virginia Child Abuse Prevention Conference, the Virginia statewide CASA conference, and in many other public-speaking forums. Allison received the 2015 RVA Inspiring Woman Award as well as the 2016 David Saunders Legislative Award from the VCU School of Social Work. She serves on the YWCA of Richmond’s Young Woman’s Leadership Alliance. Allison earned her Bachelor of Science and master’s of social work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Contact: allison_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 102
Emily Griffey is Voices’ Policy Director, leading Voices’ policy team and tackling cross-cutting issues, such as economic opportunity and racial disparities. Emily’s policy focus is on early childhood education. She convenes the Early Childhood Policy Network and leads the development of the Unified Policy Agenda. Emily comes to Voices with experience in working on early childhood issues at a local and regional level for Greater Richmond’s Smart Beginnings, Richmond City Social Services, and Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign.
Emily is a graduate of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond and earned her master’s degree in public policy at Johns Hopkins University. Emily is mom to Andy and Allison and serves on the Family Advisory Committee for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond.
Contact: emily_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 101
Nikkia Johnson is Voices’ Development Manager, responsible for assisting the director of development in the implementation of the annual development plan, maintaining current donor database systems, managing development activity, and providing support for fundraising events. Nikkia graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science in sociology.
Nikkia has a long background of interning at several Richmond nonprofit organizations, such as The Podium Foundation and ART 180, as well as working with youth and teens. She currently serves on ART 180’s programming committee and as vice president on her sorority’s executive board. Among her numerous hobbies and volunteer services are teaching dance, mentoring middle schools students, and traveling.
Contact: nikkia_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 100
Lauren Snellings is the Research Director for Voices for Virginia’s Children. Lauren is responsible for providing data and research expertise that informs our policy work. She manages the Virginia KIDS COUNT data platform, supporting the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT efforts. She is also the leads our 2020 Census advocacy and education initiatives. She is an appointed Commissioner on the Virginia Complete Count Commission, serving as a trusted voice and resource to make sure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census, including our youngest children.
Lauren is an epidemiologist with a strong research background having most recently worked at the Center on Society and Health studying social determinants of health. Lauren earned her Masters in Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education. Lauren is a mom to Brooks. In her free time she likes to do yoga and spend time outdoors. She is excited to use her skills and talent to further the data-informed advocacy at Voices.
Contact: lauren_at_vakids_dot_org, 804-649-0184 ext. 104
Mary Beth Salomone Testa is Voices’ consultant in Northern Virginia. Mary Beth became a part of the Voices team in 2014 to connect the organization’s work with agencies, programs, and advocates in the Northern Virginia localities.
Mary Beth advocates for smart policies and investments for child and family well-being; to ensure policy makers are considering the whole child and family; and encouraging advocates to tell the stories behind the data. Mary Beth works with Trauma-Informed Community Networks in the Northern region, as well as advisory councils, work groups, and coalitions of providers and families. Mary Beth brings nearly 20 years of experience in advocacy and policy development, with expertise in connecting policy and practice. Mary Beth graduated from American University in Washington, DC and lives in Fairfax County.
Contact: Marybeth@mbstsolutions.com, (202) 465-6278