Lynne began her career at Hope House Foundation in 1978 as Director of Residential Services, and has been our Executive Director for more than three decades. Prior to joining Hope House, she was a special education teacher. And throughout college, she worked as Direct Support Staff for the Arc of Tidewater, which later merged its services with Hope House.
Under Lynne’s leadership, Hope House has become internationally known for its innovative, person-centered approach. One of her proudest accomplishments was guiding us through our transition from group homes to supporting people in their own apartments in the early Nineties.
In 1986, Lynne was honored as the Virginia Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Community Living Association (CLAMR), and also received an Innovation Award from the same organization. In 1990, she received the Leadership Award from the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities, and in 1998, she received the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation's International Future Leader Award. In 2011, she was appointed to the Arc of Virginia’s Board of Directors. She has also served on the President's Commission on Intellectual Disabilities and is on the Advisory Board of the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation.
Lynne is in great demand as a consultant and speaker on the topics of organizational and leadership development, strategic planning, and team-building, both nationally and internationally. She offers these services to local non-profits at no charge or a very reduced rate. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Educational Leadership, both from Old Dominion University.
Lynne is passionate about social justice and equality for all people, particularly those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. She also enjoys reading, travel, Mexican cuisine, and the beach.
Elena joined Hope House in 2000. She is responsible for leading our fundraising and marketing efforts, as well as overseeing our many events. During her tenure, attendance at the Spring and Fall Stockley Gardens Arts Festival has grown to more than 50,000 visitors a year. Elena’s passion for Hope House is contagious, as anyone she’s ever approached for a donation or sponsorship can attest.
Elena received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Virginia Wesleyan College in 1983. In the early Nineties, she worked part-time for Hope House coordinating the Stockley Gardens Arts Festival. She was immediately hooked on our mission, our creative approach to fundraising, and our commitment to community. Most of all, she enjoyed seeing the people we support out and about, enjoying life, and knowing that they’d be going home to their own apartment. So in 2000, she joined us full-time.
In addition to her fundraising and “friend” raising work for Hope House, Elena volunteered for eight years with the Ghent Business Association, serving as Events Chair on their board. Currently, she is the Secretary of the board of the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council and is also the Membership Chair on the Board of Hampton Roads Business Outreach.
Elena’s tireless efforts in the community have earned her the Fiorello H. La Guardia Award from the Sons of Italy, the 2011 Amazing Grace Award from the OneEleven Gallery, the 2012 Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Service Award, and the YWCA’s 2013 Women of Distinction Award for the Arts.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities – including those who may have mental health issues – often use what are known as challenging behaviors.
Supporting people as they use these behaviors to negotiate the anxieties, frustrations, and communication difficulties that are so often a part of life for someone with a disability is itself challenging.
As Hope House’s Positive Behavioral Support Facilitator, Angela collaborates with people both accepting and providing direct support by offering therapeutic services. These include a comprehensive assessment, detailed person-centered support plans, and individual staff and team training. Through thoughtful, consistent, and ongoing support, seriously challenging behavior can be diminished, and replaced by potential for real success.
Angela received her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from McGill University, and is an Endorsed Positive Behavior Support Facilitator through the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a Certified Mandt System Instructor, a program which promotes individualized support and safety in human service and health care workplaces.
Additionally, Angela has expertise in dual diagnosis (intellectual disabilities and mental health issues), general and specific positive behavior support training for those who support people with disabilities, and self and peer advocacy partnerships.
Angela has been working on solutions to behavior support issues at Hope House since 1984. Learn more about Angela’s consulting and speaking services.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more devoted to community than Susan Henderson. She started volunteering for various community service projects in middle and high school. While studying for her B.A. in Secondary Education and Social Studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College, she was named a Bonner Scholar, a program which supports students who are actively involved in community service and social justice.
Susan received her M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and did an assistantship as Volunteer Services Coordinator. She spent five years at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania as the Director of the Lutz Center for Community Service/Service Learning, and also served as an adjunct professor in Ethics.
While there, she supervised AmeriCorps workers and the America Reads program, organized alternative Spring Break programs, started community G.E.D. courses, and coordinated placements for all of the service-learning programs. But most significant to Susan was the time she spent as an advisor to the Best Buddies Student Club, an international organization that facilitates friendships between college students and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
During a Best Buddies trip to the zoo, Susan served as the “Buddy” for a gentleman named David, whose regular buddy was unable to make it that day.
“It was the best trip to the zoo of my entire life. He taught me more about people with intellectual disabilities in one day than I had learned in the last 30 years. I knew then and there that I wanted to work with adults like David; to help them live lives like the one David was showing me — a life full of laughter, joy, independence, reciprocity, friendships, and the freedom to make choices like I do every day.”
Susan began her career with HHF in October of 2003, and now works with Admissions and supervising Team Leaders and Coordinators. And of course, in her free time, she volunteers — at her daughter’s school, at a 4-H camp, and at Hope House events.
In addition to her academic degrees, Susan is also an Endorsed Positive Behavior Support Facilitator through Virginia Commonwealth University.
Becky has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Education from William and Mary. Looking for a career where she could put both degrees to good use, she joined Hope House in 1982 as Direct Support Staff, and later worked as a full-time residential counselor in one of the agency’s group homes. She became a Services Director in 1988, and has been our Administrative Director since 1998. Yet even after all these years, Becky’s still learning new things. And she loves knowing that her job is about much more than just earning a paycheck.
Becky works closely with Lynne to ensure that the agency adheres to its mission in all respects. Additionally, she supports and oversees all our administrative activities, including accounting, human resources, administrative support, hiring, and information technology. She is also responsible for property management and ownership, including supervising our maintenance coordinator, acting as our liaison with property management companies, and serving as staff support for the Hope House Residential Corporation’s board of directors.
Though she no longer works with horses, Robin is an experienced horsewoman who at one time, specialized in what she calls “people-challenged horses.” In 1989, Robin was boarding a horse at her farm, whose owner, Norma Andes, was a director at Hope House. Norma often talked to Robin about the work that Hope House did, its unique approach to services and its dynamic leadership, and the integrity and commitment of the people with whom she worked. Though she’d been self-employed for many years, Robin was intrigued by what she heard, and she soon applied for a part-time position at our Enfield team.
Over the years, Robin rose through the ranks to become a Services Director.
She continues to be amazed by the dedication of our staff, most of whom could work elsewhere for more money. In fact, some have given up higher-paying positions to be part of the work we do at Hope House. She is also an enthusiastic proponent of our participatory management system, which allows employees at all levels to help shape our future.
Robin maintains a system for ensuring all properties are maintained and oversees all maintenance repairs and improvements to Hope House owned properties and apartments. She manages all the financial activities related to properties and serves as liaison to the Hope House Residential Board of Directors. More important, she helps determine that our properties are what the people we support want and need. As Robin says, “It’s overwhelmingly what people with intellectual and developmental disabilities want. And it’s the right thing to do.”
Kim joined Hope House in 2005 after receiving her Associate’s Degree in Social Sciences from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor’s in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University.
Kim worked full-time as a Service Director, where she coordinated support services for our 14 teams. In December 2016, she became Associate Director. Kim is also a full-time mother. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, swimming, and going to the beach.
Kim finds her work at Hope House to be personally rewarding, as it allows her to have a positive and direct impact on the quality of people’s lives. She also enjoys working with so many other people who share a common vision, passion, and commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities.
Since 2003 Shannon has worked to ensure that the services provided by Hope House improve the quality of people's lives. She thrives as a leader – team building, staff development, and training are but a few of her passions and an integral part of her duties as a Service Director. Having a family member with a disability, Shannon knows how important independence is to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because of this, Shannon feels that Hope House is the only service provider in the area that she would trust to support her sister.
Leading a full life is important to Shannon and being the mother of two boys keeps her busy. When she is away from her role at Hope House, Shannon enjoys relaxing with a good book and spending time with family and friends.
Shannon completed coursework to become an Endorsed Positive Behavior Support Facilitator through Virginia Commonwealth University and received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from Christopher Newport University.