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Board of Directors

RobertWoodruff
Robert W. Woodruff

Co-Chair

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Robert W. Woodruff

Bob Woodruff serves on the Loudoun Cares Building committee where his expertise as a seasoned civil engineer advances our ability to secure ideal building space for our offices and tenants. Over his career, Bob’s experience includes notable projects such as One Loudoun, Dulles World Center, Stonewall GEP, Potomac Green Active Adult Community, Broadlands and more. Bob established Rockbridge Alliance, LLC as a scalable development and development management services company whose mission is providing assistance to community-based nonprofits such as Loudoun Cares.

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Monti Mercer

Co-Chair

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Monti Mercer

Monti is a neuroscience researcher and a science philanthropist focused on sharing basic biomedical research and science education. He is the current Community Relations Coordinator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute – Janelia Research Campus where he manages an annual charity budget of $100K. In this capacity Monti finds and secures community partnerships that fall within the department’s mission and vision. Monti holds a BS from Hampden-Sydney College in VA and has been Make A Wish Foundation a wish granter for 16 years, a local religious youth educator and organizer, a member of the Leadership Loudoun Class of 2019, Community musician and singer, AIDS ministry and firefighter. In addition, Monti is a Wine Educator and Specialist and works at Life Time Athletic as a rock climbing instructor and volleyball coordinator.

Blake Ferrante
Blake Ferrante

Vice Chair

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Blake Ferrante

Blake works as a banker with MVB Bank in Leesburg and enjoys helping her community find financial security. A West Virginia native she grew up working on farms and participating in competitive horseback riding. During college she attended Marshall University. From 2013 to 2016 Blake worked with Make-A-Wish to organize an annual event to fulfill one local child’s full wish. In 2014 she joined the West Side Main Street Promotional Committee to aid in the revitalization of Charleston, West Virginia.  Blake moved to Loudoun County in 2017 and enjoys nature and spends her time outdoors gardening with her two dogs.

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Seema M. Kahn

Treasurer

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Seema M. Khan

Seema Khan is the CEO and President of Makpar Corporation, which provides IT consulting services to the Federal Government. Seema has an MBA from Wake Forest University and a CPA from Virginia. Seema has several years of experience in providing taxation, accounting and financial services to non-profits and small businesses. Seema is passionate about community involvement and wants to see Loudoun Cares prosper and grow.

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Melinda Gipson

Secretary

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Melinda Gipson

Melinda Gipson is an unabashed “change agent.” She currently edits Leesburg Lifestyle Magazine, but has enjoyed many careers on the cutting edge of digital media and marketing. (She is @DM2PRO on Twitter.) Her innovations in targeted mobile advertising for political and advocacy groups earned multiple professional awards in the 2016-2017 election cycle, and her journalistic honors for business-to-business reporting includes the prestigious National Press Foundation Award for breaking news. Her efforts helping the Fourth Estate adopt profitable digital publishing models earned her a “Digital Edge Pioneer” award from the Newspaper Assn. of America, and she has helped many local businesses streamline their business processes and burnish their brands online. She holds a BA from Wheaton College (IL), an MSJ (in Journalism) from Northwestern University, and an executive MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business.

Lynelle Novak Photo
Lynelle Novak

Director

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Lynelle Novak

Lynelle is originally from Buffalo New York where she earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Health and Human Services from Medaille College.  While living in Buffalo Lynelle worked with Catholic Charities and Monsignor Carr Outpatient Mental Health Facility as a Counselor and Intake Coordinator. Lynelle was also a Family Advocate at Coordinative Children’s Services Initiative for the Department of Erie County Youth Services which allowed her to Advocate on behalf of Families for Service Providers. Lynelle Novak has been a Loudoun County Resident since 2000. She worked at The Institute for Family Centered Services in Arlington as a Case Manager briefly but soon learned she wanted to be closer to Loudoun County. She has 17 years’ management and customer service experience at Tuscarora Mill which allowed her to be with her children during their formative years. “I am so excited to continue to serve Loudoun Cares. My passion is helping people with any challenge that is presented with my experience and empathetic ear. “

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Cynde Jackson Clarke

Director

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Cynde Jackson Clarke

Cynde Jackson Clarke, founder and managing consultant with The C Suite Solution combines “Big 4” consulting experience with fierce operational problem-solving skills. Her mission – to help local independent business owners reach their full potential of revenue & profitability with a successful company and an engaged workforce. Cynde’s varied volunteer experience runs the gamut from participating in annual company-wide “Impact Days” of community service, fostering dogs on behalf of Boxer Rescue, assisting the math department her kids’ middle school, to her recent certification as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line which provides free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.

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Josh Swirchak

Director

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Josh Swirchak

Josh is the Director of Marketing with Play To Win Sports Management. Along with marketing responsibilities, Josh focuses on corporate sponsors, partnerships, and advertisement. Prior to working with Play To Win, Josh worked in the finance industry and was responsible for providing outreach and financial education to low and moderate income communities and agencies, as a Community Reinvestment Officer. Sports have always been an integral part of Josh’s life. Born and raised in Northern VA, Josh attended and played baseball at Wilmington University, in which he received a Sports Management degree. After his college baseball career, Josh was fortunate enough to play professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Now, he enjoys mentoring young athletes and making an impact in his community.

Robert W. Woodruff

Bob Woodruff serves on the Loudoun Cares Building committee where his expertise as a seasoned civil engineer advances our ability to secure ideal building space for our offices and tenants. Over his career, Bob’s experience includes notable projects such as One Loudoun, Dulles World Center, Stonewall GEP, Potomac Green Active Adult Community, Broadlands and more. Bob established Rockbridge Alliance, LLC as a scalable development and development management services company whose mission is providing assistance to community-based nonprofits such as Loudoun Cares.

Susan-Synder
Susan K. Snyder

Associate Member

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Susan K. Snyder

Susan Snyder former Chair of Loudoun Cares and a Loudoun resident since 1972, has helped spearhead many Loudoun organizations that exist today.   Susan helped orchestrate getting Loudoun soccer off the ground in the early 1970’s.  Since that time she has served on numerous committees volunteered countless hours with our schools, Scout Troops, garden clubs, and tourism.  Susan has held nonprofit board positions over the years, including Chair of Loudoun Interfaith Relief, she has been on the board of Birthright for 25 years, and she has been a board member of Loudoun Cares since its inception in 2002. Susan, along with her husband George, raised their five children in Loudoun County.

Judy-hines
Judy Hines

Associate Member

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Judy Hines

Judy currently serves as Secretary of the board. Judy has served as a member and chair of the Loudoun County Community Services Board. She initiated the Loudoun chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and she is an active member, and past president, of Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, an enthusiastic tenant of Loudoun Cares’ South Street Nonprofit Center. Judy also served on a task force of the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, the group responsible for suggesting changes in Virginia’s mental health law, following the tragic killings at Virginia Tech. Judy was named Loudoun Times Mirror’s 2008 Citizen of the Year and she is a strong backer of the work of Loudoun Cares since its inception. Judy currently chairs our Tenant Committee.

Building Committee
  • Bob Woodruff (Chair)
  • Susan Snyder
Executive Committee
  • Bob Woodruff
  • Monti Mercer
  • Blake Ferrante
  • Seema Khan
  • Melinda Gipson
Governance
  • Seema Khan (Chair)
  • Lynelle Novak
  • Melinda Gipson
  • Blake Ferrante
  • Cynde Jackson Clarke
  • Susan Snyder
Development/Fundraising
  • Melinda Gipson (Chair)
  • Lynelle Novak
  • Blake Ferrante
  • Cynde Jackson Clarke
  • Josh Swirchak
Strategic Planning
  • Melinda Gipson (Chair)
  • Bob Woodruff
  • Monti Mercer
  • Blake Ferrante
  • Cynde Jackson Clarke
  • Valerie Pisierra
  • Susan Snyder
Audit & Finance
  • Blake Ferrante (Chair)
  • Bob Woodruff
  • Seema Khan
  • Judy Hines
  • Susan Snyder
Tenant Committee
  • Judy Hines (Chair)
  • Valerie Pisierra

Staff

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Valerie
Pisierra

Executive Director

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Valeria Pisierra

Valerie Pisierra has been with Loudoun Cares since the summer of 2015 and was named Executive Director in October 2017. Prior to coming to Northern Virginia, Valerie worked in the education field for over 20 years and holds a BS and MBA in Business Administration and Management.  As a military spouse living and working overseas for the past 16 years, volunteering and organizing nonprofit groups has been a large part of her career. Valerie has worked with student organizations for the past 14 years and has held several leadership positions in school affiliated nonprofit organizations over the years. She has also been involved with Americans Working Around the Globe (AWAG), a European non-profit organization focusing on training and connecting volunteers, for over 10 years and served as the Vice Chairperson for two years.  She was a Rheinland-Phalz Area Representative, a conference assistant, and conference speaker for 5 years. She has been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award, the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service, the United States European Command Award Certificate of Achievement, and the European PTA Volunteer of the Year. Valerie is thrilled to be working with Loudoun Cares and its many wonderful programs.  She encourages everyone to strive to be a contributing force in their community. “Getting involved in your community is a great way to enrich your life and the lives of those you help.” 

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Tamara M.

 

I&R Call Specialist

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Tamara M.

(Bio coming soon)

Una Giachinta

Una Giachinta, a native of Ireland, travelled to the U.S. for college. As chance would have it, Una met her husband here and decided to stay. She then obtained her Masters Degree in Social Work. Her work experience includes child abuse investigations, counseling in the New York and New Jersey school systems, and upon moving to Virginia, became a Social Worker for INOVA Alexandria Hospital. The skills Una has acquired throughout her career made for a smooth transition to our Loudoun Cares Helpline. “Helping connect Loudoun residents in need with vital community resources and services is very gratifying. Loudoun Cares provides such an important service to those who don’t know where to turn.” – Una Giachinta

Catherine Michela

Catherine Michela is currently Principal of CHM Associates, LLC, an independent consulting company.  She is an Executive Coach and Senior Business Advisor to CEOs and Presidents of middle market companies and serves on three Boards of Directors.

With background in Marketing, Strategic Planning and Business Development, Catherine spent of number of years in marketing and then managing business units and international projects for a large F-500 company in network systems and large system software development

Following that time, she co-founded two advanced technology companies in the Internet space.  Thenm after a period of consulting to middle market companies needing additional capital for growth in NYC, Catherine has spent the last 10 years coaching CEOs and key executives, first as a Group Chair for Vistage International and currently with her own consulting company, CHM Associates, LLC.

Catherine is from the Pennsylvania, New York and now Virginia area and holds a BS in Marketing from Penn State University and an MS in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University

Susan K. Snyder

Susan Snyder former Chair of Loudoun Cares and a Loudoun resident since 1972, has helped spearhead many Loudoun organizations that exist today.   Susan helped orchestrate getting Loudoun soccer off the ground in the early 1970’s.  Since that time she has served on numerous committees volunteered countless hours with our schools, Scout Troops, garden clubs, and tourism.  Susan has held nonprofit board positions over the years, including Chair of Loudoun Interfaith Relief, she has been on the board of Birthright for 25 years, and she has been a board member of Loudoun Cares since its inception in 2002. Susan, along with her husband George, raised their five children in Loudoun County.

Judy Hines

Judy currently serves as Secretary of the board. Judy has served as a member and chair of the Loudoun County Community Services Board. She initiated the Loudoun chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and she is an active member, and past president, of Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, an enthusiastic tenant of Loudoun Cares’ South Street Nonprofit Center. Judy also served on a task force of the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform, the group responsible for suggesting changes in Virginia’s mental health law, following the tragic killings at Virginia Tech.

Judy was named Loudoun Times Mirror’s 2008 Citizen of the Year and she is a strong backer of the work of Loudoun Cares since its inception. Judy currently chairs our Tenant Committee.