Staff

Addie Alexander | Richmond Area Organizer

Addie Alexander | Richmond Area Organizer

Addie Alexander grew up in Charlottesville and got involved in Virginia Organizing early. She was a summer intern during her college years and also joined the chapter in Williamsburg. After graduating from William and Mary, she taught at the Universi ...

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Amanda Dameron | Central Virginia Apprentice Organizer

Amanda Dameron | Central Virginia Apprentice Organizer

Amanda Dameron grew up in rural Franklin County, but after she moved to Harrisonburg for college she decided to stay in the Valley. Amanda lost her father very early in life, and as a result felt drawn to a major in psychology. She wanted to become a ...

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Andrae Hash | New River Valley Organizer

Andrae Hash | New River Valley Organizer

Andrae Hash joined Virginia Organizing in August 2015 as the New River Valley Organizer. A native of Southwest Virginia and lifelong Virginia resident, Andrae has deep interests in grassroots organizing in his community. He received a Bachelor of Sci ...

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Ben Thacker-Gwaltney | Database Manager

Ben Thacker-Gwaltney | Database Manager

Ben Thacker-Gwaltney is the Database Manager for Virginia Organizing.  A native Virginian, Ben began working as an organizer in 1998 with the Lynchburg and Amherst County Virginia Organizing chapters before moving to Williamsburg in 2004. He then had ...

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Brian Johns | Executive Director

Brian Johns | Executive Director

Brian Johns currently serves as the executive director of Virginia Organizing. He first came to Virginia Organizing as an intern in 2000 and then worked as a community organizer from 2001-2005. He spent two years in Pennsylvania doing community organ ...

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Ciera Killen | Hampton and Newport News Organizer

Ciera Killen | Hampton and Newport News Organizer

Ciera Killen joined Virginia Organizing in June 2018 as the Hampton and Newport News Organizer. Ciera has lived in Virginia her entire life. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy. During college ...

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Isabel Castillo | Shenandoah Valley Organizer

Isabel Castillo | Shenandoah Valley Organizer

Isabel Castillo joined the Virginia Organizing staff in the summer of 2013. Isabel Castillo, a “DACAmented” immigrant from Mexico, has lived in the Shenandoah Valley for over 25 years. She holds both a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s ...

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Joe Szakos | Organizer

Joe Szakos | Organizer

Joe Szakos was the founding executive director of Virginia Organizing from 1994-2017 and now serves as an organizer out of the Charlottesville office. He was the founding coordinator of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and has also done community org ...

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Jorge Mendez | Fredericksburg Organizer

Jorge Mendez | Fredericksburg Organizer

  Jorge Mendez joined Virginia Organizing as the Fredericksburg Organizer in June of 2019. He grew up in El Salvador, where he began to work for human rights and political and social rights at the age of 13. It was a time of civil war and depriv ...

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Laura Ramirez | Director of Finance and Administration

Laura Ramirez | Director of Finance and Administration

Laura Ramirez began working at Virginia Organizing in 1998 and is responsible for the financial management of the organization; administration of benefits and insurance policies; developing, implementing and maintaining a technology strategy that inc ...

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Meghan McNamara | Portsmouth/Norfolk Organizer

Meghan McNamara | Portsmouth/Norfolk Organizer

Meghan McNamara is a community and labor organizer who joined Virginia Organizing in January 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Meghan worked on various social justice campaigns in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Chicago, and Hampton Roads. She beg ...

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Michele Mattioli | Special Projects Coordinator

Michele Mattioli | Special Projects Coordinator

Michele served as Development Director for Virginia Organizing from 1999 to 2008 and now serves as Special Projects Coordinator. Previously she directed a Montessori school for 17 years. Michele has lived in Charlottesville since 1980, where she has ...

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Nik Belanger | Organizing Director

Nik Belanger | Organizing Director

  Nik Belanger serves as the Organizing Director of Virginia Organizing. In 2010, Nik joined the staff of Virginia Organizing as the Southside Organizer and worked to build local chapters in Danville and Martinsville/Henry County. A native of Lo ...

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Rosemary Gould | Director of Communications

Rosemary Gould | Director of Communications

Rosemary joined Virginia Organizing in May, 2017 as the Director of Communications. She grew up near Chicago but has lived in Charlottesville since 1989 when she came here to be a doctoral student in UVA's English Department. She has a husband and th ...

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Sally Bastian | Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Sally Bastian | Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Sally Bastian began working with Virginia Organizing in 2006, as the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator. In the past she has worked in education, housing, and in community development. She is also a Spanish speaker. Sally is excited about Virginia Or ...

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Susan Stancill | Southwest Organizer

Susan Stancill | Southwest Organizer

Susan has been a member of Virginia Organizing since January 2019 and became the Southwest Organizer in July, 2019. She is originally from Winston-Salem, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also complet ...

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Tony Jones | Suffolk Organizer

Tony Jones | Suffolk Organizer

Tony Jones joined Virginia Organizing when the Portsmouth Chapter was just getting started. He became the Suffolk Organizer in April of 2018. A native of Portsmouth, Tony knows first-hand the kinds of discrimination that students of color face in are ...

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Willie Justis | Eastern Shore Organizer

Willie Justis | Eastern Shore Organizer

Willie Justis was a longtime leader in the Eastern Shore Chapter when he joined Virginia Organizing as the organizer in August of 2018. A native of the Eastern Shore, Willie is also an ordained minister and father of two who wants to create change in ...

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