Russ Merritt, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Merritt joined Blue Ridge Literacy ( formerly Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley) as Executive Director on January 3, 2011, bringing with him much experience in non-profit management, organizational development, institutional advancement, and mission-building. Born and raised in Roanoke, in a family of public educators, engineers, and religious and community leaders, Merritt received his B. A. from Davidson College (in religious studies and sociology) and his D. Min. from Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary), with a focus on theological communication and community development. Ordained into the Presbyterian ministry, he has served congregations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, and has held a number of ecumenical and regional church-related positions. He continues in part-time ministry with local congregations. In 1990, Merritt began a second career in wealth management and community asset-building. He worked with IDS Financial Planning and in economic development with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, before assuming the role of Founding and Executive Director for the Franklin County (and Smith Mountain Lake) YMCA organization. Beginning in 2007 he served as Director of Development and Communications for the YMCA of Roanoke Valley, until joining Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley in 2011. Merritt is married to the former Kimberly Maritz of Kansas City, and they have two grown children. His interests include tennis, hiking, music, and reading.
Stephanie Lohmann, Program Manager email@example.com
Stephanie joined the Blue Ridge Literacy team in July 2012. The daughter of a Chilean immigrant, she is committed to advocating literacy on a very personal level. Originally from Houston, Stephanie graduated from Hollins University in 2008 with a BA in Studio Art and Creative Writing. Since graduating, she has taught in Baltimore city schools and an arts magnet school in Texas, collaborated on an art book in South America for a Henry Walter’s Traveling Fellowship, and received a grant from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for poetry. She was a Graduate Assistant at Hollins University’s Jackson Center for Creative Writing, where she was the recipient of the Gertrude Claytor Poetry Prize and the Melanie Hook Rice Award for narrative non-fiction. As program manager of Blue Ridge Literacy she is dedicated to serving learners through programming that promotes literacy with a purpose, improving adult learners’ lives with collaborative goal-making and community-building curricula.
Cynthia Peavey, Administrative Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Peavey joined Blue Ridge Literacy as Office Manager in August, 2012. She earned her B.S. degree in Computer and Managerial Science from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Cynthia’s range of experience in the computer field includes Programming, Database and Systems Administration, Information Technology Department Management and Project Management. Born and raised in Upstate New York, she lived in Raleigh, N.C. for twelve years and in Virginia for the last fifteen. Cynthia recently reached a point in her life where she wanted to work part-time for a non-profit organization that had a positive impact on folks’ lives. Her position with Blue Ridge Literacy fulfills that desire! Cynthia, her husband Neil, son Eric, daughter-in-law Laura, dogs Caedon and Parker, cat Grayson and parrot Joey reside in Roanoke.
Alyssa Bostrom, Community Outreach and Social Services Intern email@example.com
Alyssa is a senior Spanish Major and Communications Minor at Roanoke College. After she graduates in December 2012 she plans to work with immigrants and refugees. She is an avid volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and would love to travel to Latin America to do mission work.
Stephanie Floyd, Community Outreach and Social Services Intern firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie is a junior at Roanoke College studying English and French. Next semester she will be studying abroad in Savoie, France in the hopes of improving her French, expanding her horizons, and becoming an authentic wine connoisseur. She enjoys singing with the Roanoke College Choir, touring prospective students around her campus, and updating her training blog for her first marathon in November!
Jamie Sievers, Education Intern email@example.com
Jamie is a junior at Roanoke College. She is a Spanish major with a concentration in anthropology. This spring, she’ll be studying abroad at la Universidad Católica de Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina! She hopes to one day teach English in South America or to work for Teach for America with bilingual education.