Lynne Seagle
Executive Director

lynne.jpgLynne 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.

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Elena Montello
Development Director

elena.jpgElena 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. Formerly, she was the Secretary of the board of the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council and was 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.

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Angela Stevens
Positive Behavioral Support Facilitator

angela.jpgPeople with 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.

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Susan Henderson
Team Support Director

susan.jpgYou’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 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 developmental 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.

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Kim Black
Associate Director

kimberly.jpgKim 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.

Since joining HHF, Kim has supported quality services in collaboration with many teams. She has served HHF in the capacity of Team Leader, Team Support Director, Services Director and currently as Associate Director. Kim is also a full-time wife and mother. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family, gardening, reading and enjoying nature. 

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.

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Shannon Pociask
Service Director


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 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.

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Christina Slater
Human Resources Director

christina-small.pngWho knew stepping into the door of a part-time job one night per week at a local non-profit could change your life? Christina Slater learned this in the best possible way in 2003 when she found Hope House Foundation and a cause that she’s passionate about. Supporting lives for people with disabilities and the teams that help realize our goals of building community and independence each day are what drive Christina.

She began her career in direct service positions, quickly moving from part-time to full-time direct then into team leadership. As her experience and knowledge of the agency grew, Christina joined the Administrative team in Team Support positions and then the Human Resources team. Employee engagement, recognition, teamwork and a one-of-a-kind work culture set Hope House apart, and each person at Hope House makes a contribution!

Christina is a Norfolk native who has grown up experiencing the power of our community. Christina graduated from the University of Virginia with her bachelor’s in Psychology. Whether at work or at home, she loves growing – reading, learning, teaching her two children, spending time outdoors, and working on her green thumb. Christina believes in building a better future for all members of society.

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Diane Beaman
Fiscal Director

Diane Beaman

If you are looking for someone who can manage the complexities of the financial side of Hope House, Diane fits that bill. She was hired in January 2001 as the agency’s Fiscal Manager after relocating to Virginia from Northern Maine on her husband’s military orders. In 2015, due to her increasing leadership and financial decision responsibilities, her position was upgraded to Fiscal Director. Through the efforts of Diane and the financial team, the agency has enjoyed several years of successful audit outcomes.

Diane was born and raised in Upstate New York, and very early on began her career working for nonprofit organizations in their finance departments. In 1999, she returned back to college part-time while working full-time for a community action agency in Main, eventually earning an Associate in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University, and later her Bachelor in Business Administration from Trident University (formerly TUI), graduating Suma Cum Laude, in 2010. She also serves as a Notary Public for the State of Virginia.

Diane feels that it is an honor to work for an agency such as Hope House Foundation and its mission to provide support services to people with disabilities that do not entrap them but instead enables them to live their lives independently and with purpose.

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Stephanie Higginbottom
Service Director

Stephanie Higginbottom

Stephanie’s greatest passion has always been with services. She believes in helping people with disabilities live life to its fullest and the way they envision it to be. Stephanie grew up in a military family and spent most of her time abroad living in such places as England and Japan. Stephanie graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In college, she was an advocate among her peers and was involved in several politically forward groups that challenged the status quo.

Stephanie brought that passion and fire to HHF and started working in 2008 as a member of Team Support and later as a Team Leader. At HHF, she was able to lead the agency in person-centered services by finding unique ways to work within the system to ensure those supported received the best possible care. As a Service Director, Stephanie shares her enthusiasm with the Team Leaders and helps them envision HHF’s mission.

Leading a full life is important to Stephanie, as she is the mother of two young children and helps her husband own and operate a small business. Stephanie has found that these skills help her be a better leader and allow her to have a more business-minded approach to services. Stephanie graduated with her Masters of Public Administration from ODU and utilizes this skillset to focus on non-profit management and leadership.

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Nicole Adams
Service Director

Nicole Adams

Nicole has worked with Hope House since 2012 in many different capacities at several team locations. This includes work as a Support Assistant, Community Support Coordinator, Team Leader, and currently as a Services Director. These experiences deepened her fervor for promoting community involvement and self-advocacy. She is passionate about engaging team members to promote creativity and enhance work culture. She is trained in Positive Behavioral Support and is a certified Mandt instructor. She finds orienting new employees to person-centered techniques to be one of the most valuable uses of her time. In her time away from work she enjoys making candles, listening to public radio, and watching Star Trek.