Development staff directory
Samantha Wheeler Marrs
Senior Associate Vice President for Development Operations
Phone: (804) 828-1229
Samantha Wheeler Marrs joined VCU in 2000 as director of corporate and foundation relations.
Today, her primary responsibility is to manage key DAR areas, including budget, Strategic Marketing and Engagement and Advancement Services, including donor relations, communications, annual giving, regional philanthropy and corporate and foundation relations.
Her previous experience includes eight years as program associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where she coordinated higher-education grants. She holds degrees from Smith College and Columbia University. She has served as president of a local middle school PTA, chair of the board of the Virginia Poverty Law Center and secretary/treasurer of the board of VirginiaFIRST, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding STEM activities across the commonwealth.
Ingrid “Izzy” Kane
Development Operations Specialist
Phone: (804) 828-4708
Izzy Kane joined VCU in 2010 as a graduate student worker in corporate and foundation relations. She then went on to work in the Office of Research Subjects Protection at VCU before coming back to Development and Alumni Relations as senior project coordinator. She holds a bachelor's in hospitality administration from Boston University and an M.P.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill.
King P. Goldman
DAR Building Manager
King P. Goldman joined DAR in July 2015 as assistant Advancement Services trainer. In January 2016, King became interim project manager/executive assistant. Given his previous experience directing and managing housekeeping and environmental service operations in both hotels and VCU Health, he transitioned to building manager in May 2016. Goldman earned a bachelor's in human development from the University of Illinois at Urbana, a master's in instructional design from Bellevue University and a post-master's certificate for Six Sigma Greenbelt course completion via Villanova University.
S. Annette Meade
Director of Guest Relations
Phone: (804) 828-2047
Executive Director of Prospect Development
Phone: (804) 827-4588
Kristin Richardson, who joined the VCU staff in 2015, earned a bachelor's in marketing at Virginia Tech and an M.L.I.S. from the University of South Carolina.
Richardson had more than 15 years of financial sales, customer service and home health care administrative management experience before diving into the higher education development arena. Her current career path began in 2012 when she joined the staff at the University of South Carolina as director of prospect research. In that position, she grew and expanded the resources, deliverables and capabilities of the prospect research team. Richardson introduced data analytics to the development office by implementing data analysis, predictive modeling and data visualization tools that informed decision making by leadership.
At VCU, Richardson implements a prospect management system, coordinate prospect strategy, manage the prospect development team and implement data analytics for the DAR team.
Carrie Naumann (M.P.A.’08/GPA; Cert.’08/H&S)
Sr. Associate Director of Prospect Development
Phone: (804) 828-2850
Carrie Naumann joined VCU in October 2012. She provides primary prospect research, management and strategy support to various campus partners. She also is helping support the growth of data analytics within the prospect development office. She received a B.A. in government and international relations from George Mason University and an M.P.A. and certificate in nonprofit management from VCU. Before joining VCU, Naumann worked in prospect research for a nonprofit consulting firm in New York City as well as for the marketing and communications department of the Metropolitan Opera. She is webmaster for the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement Virginia Chapter and has been involved with Women in Development, N.Y., New York Women’s Agenda, APRA Greater New York Chapter and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Day in New York.
Associate Director of Prospect Research
Phone: (804) 828-4546
A member of the VCU team since 2014, Ben Bromley earned a B.A. in history and religious studies from the College of William & Mary and a M.S.I.S. in information science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His career has spanned different facets of managing information, having previously worked in special collections and archives for William & Mary and the Library of Virginia.
Adrienne E. Robertson
Sr. Prospect Research Analyst
Assistant Director of Prospect Development
Phone: (804) 828-0808
Sr. Prospect Development Analyst
Phone: (804) 828-2043
Gifts and Records Management
Mandy L. Smith
Director of Gifts and Records Management
Phone: (804) 828-0348
Courtney Buckio Rowe (M.P.A.’08/GPA; M.B.A.’12/B; Cert.’15/B)
Associate Director of Gifts and Records Management/Manager of Compliance and Stewardship
Phone: (804) 828-2048
Courtney Buckio Rowe, a member of the VCU team since 2007, has a B.A. in political science and Spanish from the University of North Carolina and an M.P.A. and an M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.
She has more than five years of development and prospect research experience. Most recently, she worked on managing various projects for the Advancement Services area of DAR. She joined VCU in June 2007, as a graduate research assistant in the prospect research area of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Previously, she spent nearly four years working for two local credit unions.
Michaelann Greene-Russell (B.S.’91/B)
Senior Matching Gifts Coordinator
Phone: (804) 828-4595
A member of the VCU team since 1992, Michaelann Greene-Russell has a B.S. in business administration from VCU. Her previous work experience includes various roles in alumni relations and accounting.
Phone: (804) 828-4222
A member of the team since 2015, Betty Palmer has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University. She has held a variety of positions through the years, from automotive service and parts factory rep, owning three family businesses and accounting management.
Connie M. Rigsby
Manager of Data Integrity
Phone: (804) 828-0288
A member of the VCU team since 2011, Connie Rigsby has more than 20 years of experience in Advancement Services with an emphasis on IRS guidelines, CASE best practices, database management and data integrity, all while adhering to the intentions of donors.
Heidi Hernandez (B.A.’10/H&S)
Team Lead, Data Integrity Tech
Phone: (804) 828-9812
A member of the VCU team since 2012, Heidi Hernandez has a B.A. in English from VCU. Her previous work experiences involved inventory control data management and sales auditing in the retail industry.
Cynthia D. Brunson
Data Integrity Tech
Phone: (804) 828-1218
A member of the VCU team since 2004, Cynthia Brunson has almost 20 years of experience in the field of accounting, financial reporting and reconciling and nine years of processing, customer service and analytical service.
Data Integrity Tech
Clevon Hall earned his B.A. in English and film studies from Randolph-Macon College in January 2017 and joined VCU in February 2017 as a data entry clerk. While a student, he worked as an assistant for the R-MC Office of College Advancement.
Russell Johnson (B.S.’15/H&S)
Data Integrity Tech
Data Integrity Tech
Phone: (804) 828-1221
Brenda L. Smith
Data Integrity Tech
Phone: (804) 828-3774
Khaleliah N. Williams
Gifts and Records Manager
Phone: (804) 828-9430
Phone: (804) 828-0348
Catherine L. Vincent
Team Lead Transaction Analyst
Phone: (804) 828-8987
A member of the VCU team as of April 2016, Catherine Vincent has 19 years of experience in the Advancement Services areas of gift and records management and database management.
Johnathon D. Hanson
Phone: (804) 828-9804
Symanetta L. Powell
Phone: (804) 828-2816
Phone: (804) 828-5019
Melanie Riezner joined the VCU team in 2015 as a transaction analyst. She has a B.S. in psychology from the University of Houston. Before relocating to Virginia, she spent 17 years at a Houston nonprofit in various roles, including director of gift records.
Phone: (804) 828-1672
Rob Downs (M.S.’06/B)
Director of DAR Information Systems
Phone: (804) 828-0421
A member of the VCU team for more than 10 years, Rob Downs has a B.S. from James Madison University and an M.S. from VCU. He was worked in VCU Technology Services, Creative Services and Advancement Services in all aspects of web and technology.
Nate Parker (B.S.’10/B)
Senior Associate Director of CRM Development
Phone: (804) 827-4587
A member of the VCU team since 2011, Nate Parker earned a B.S. in information systems with a concentration in application development from VCU in 2010. He is part of the team that implemented the new DAR online giving and event database, systems and websites.
Matthew E. Chitty (B.S.’01/B)
Phone: (804) 828-9853
Sam Giacco Jr.
Phone: (804) 828-7025
Jenny J. Yoo
Phone: (804) 827-4589
Matt Kane (B.F.A.’06/A; Cert.’09/B; M.S.’17/B)
Assistant Director of Data Management and Analytics
Phone: (804) 828-0462
SQL Report Developer
Phone: (804) 828-5160
Phone: (804) 972-3986
Jeff Green (B.F.A.’08/A)
Jeff Green joined the VCU team as a web developer in 2014. His main responsibilities include event registration and giving forms as well as maintaining and developing the VCU Alumni website, DAR support website and DAR intranet. He has a B.F.A. in graphic design from VCU and worked previously as a graphic designer and web developer.
Assistant Director of Desktop and Systems Support
Phone: (804) 828-5315
Matt Yopp, who joined the VCU team in 2012, has a B.A. from Collins College and holds A+ Certification and HDI CSR Certification. He has 10 years experience in IT and related technology fields.
William “Chris” Faris
Desktop and Systems Engineer
Phone: (804) 828-2285
William "Chris" Faris joined Advancement Services in 2016 as a desktop support technician. Faris has more than 10 years' experience in the IT support field and holds Network+ and HDI CSR certifications.
Strategic Marketing and Engagement
Melanie Irvin (B.S.’96/MC)
Assistant Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Engagement
Phone: (804) 828-3975
In 2019, Melanie Irvin was named assistant vice president of Strategic Marketing and Engagement, a new division in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations that brings together Annual Giving, DAR Communications and Donor Relations and Events. Previously, Irvin lead the DAR Communications team for 13 years. Before arriving at VCU, Irvin spent nine years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She holds a bachelor degree in mass communications with a double major in political science from VCU, where she was executive editor of the thrice-weekly Commonwealth Times, and is a 2012 graduate of the VCU Leadership Development Program at the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. In 2011, she won an Emmy for her work on an institutional philanthropy commercial, “Invest in VCU.”
Caleb Nathaniel Capaz, CAPM (B.A.'16/H&S; M.P.A.’17/GPA)
Senior Project Manager
Phone: (804) 827-4590
Caleb Capaz received an M.P.A. from VCU in 2017, directly following a B.A. in political science in 2016. Capaz has previously worked for VCU's Honors College, as a VCU UCI Worlds Ambassador and as a VCU student orientation leader.
As the senior project manager, Capaz strives to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of Strategic Marketing and Engagement while also acting as a chief of staff. Other duties include strategic planning for the department and the implementation of new systems. Capaz has earned recognition by the Project Management Institute as a certified associate of project management.
Michael P. Andrews (M.S.’05/E)
Executive Director of Annual Giving
Phone: (804) 828-0236
A member of the VCU staff since 2006, Michael P. Andrews earned a B.S. from Hofstra University and a master's from VCU. After seven years of business-to-business sales and marketing experience with two Fortune 500 companies, he transitioned into higher education. Today, his primary focus is generating annual fund revenue streams through direct marketing via mail, phone, digital, crowdfunding and emerging technology strategies.
He excels in multichannel marketing, emphasizing alumni engagement and fundraising. In August 2011, Andrews split responsibilities with the College of Humanities and Sciences and Development and Alumni Relations to build the university's first centralized annual giving office. In 2012-2013, Andrews was instrumental in building out a 19-center, on-site call center known as the Gold Line. It continues to be the most successful tool in the effort to attract alumni donors.
Since his arrival in DAR, Andrews has been the catalyst for increasing alumni participation donors by 42 prcent (8,064 in FY12 to 11,469 in FY18). That increase in alumni donors also helped to increase alumni annual giving revenue to from $12.7 million in FY12 to $40.1 million in FY18.
In 2013, Andrews received an Emmy award for his role in producing the "Invest in VCU" TV spot. In February 2016, under his direction, the annual giving office received Platinum and Gold honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In April 2016, Andrews earned a merit award in the CASE category of Brief Events and Observances for the Battle for the Capital Alumni Giving Challenge.
Jenna Baer Hart (B.S.’06/B)
Director of Annual Giving Outreach
Phone: (804) 828-0232
Jenna Hart joined VCU in August 2014 as associate director of annual giving. She works to increase alumni participation by focusing annual giving operations on retaining, renewing and acquiring alumni donors. She earned a B.S. in business administration and management from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's in human resource management from the University of Richmond. She spent five years working at the University of Richmond, where she managed direct mail, email and social media annual solicitations for the undergraduate alumni population. She also recruited, trained and motivated more than 250 alumni volunteers who worked toward the university's class giving goal of $2 million annually.
Jessie Pavlidis (M.S.’19/B)
Phone: (804) 827-2664
Jessie Pavlidis has been a member of the DAR team since May 2015. She has a B.A. in communication from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in business from VCU. Her duties include working with campus partners on their annual giving solicitations, coordinating mailings and organizing and implementing an approach for each area to achieve its annual giving goals. She also manages the Igniter crowdfunding platform.
Development and Alumni Communications
Kristen Caldwell (B.S.’94/MC)
Senior Director, DAR Communications
Phone: (804) 828-3977
Kristen Caldwell joined VCU in 2006 as a managing editor and assistant creative director in University Relations before joining the DAR Communications team in 2015. In her role of associate director of development and alumni marketing and communications, she manages the VCU Alumni magazines, Shafer Court Connections and Scarab; writes and develops communications for membership campaigns and alumni events; and sets strategy for social media. She holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications from VCU.
Katie Buzby (B.S.’10/B)
Director of Constituent Marketing
A member of the DAR team since 2011, Katie Buzby leads the team of constituent marketing associates who interact with all campus partners to execute DAR-related business communications. She is responsible for coordination, scheduling and quality control for alumni and donor emails, direct mail and event communications. She earned a B.S. in marketing with a minor in Spanish language from VCU in 2010. Buzby won the DAR Spirit Award in 2015.
Joshua Cross joined VCU in March 2018 as communications analyst. He graduated with a B.S. in Information Science from Christopher Newport University in 2010. Before joining DAR, he was in the inaugural class of University Fellowship Program at Christopher Newport and later was responsible for maintaining the database used in communicating with prospective students.
Brendan Hood (B.S.’15/B; Cert.’15/DVC; M.B.A.’19/B)
Associate Director of Constituent Marketing
Phone: (804) 827-3574
Brendan Hood, a member of the DAR team since 2015, supports DAR's campus partners in their efforts to engage constituents through strategic marketing and communications. Hood consults with partners on multichannel strategies, ensures consistent messaging and coordinates projects through VCU’s CRM, RADAR. He holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A. from VCU, where he was president of the student alumni association and student representative to the university's Board of Visitors.
Constituent Marketing Specialist
Phone: (804) 828-0880
Kyle Springer (B.F.A.’15/A)
Creative Content Specialist
Mitchell Moore (B.S.’07/MC; M.S.’08/E)
Director of Creative Content
Phone: (804) 827-3617
Mitchell Moore joined DAR Communications in January 2014. In his current role, he serves as creative director for all donor and alumni digital and print productions, including Impact donor magazine, Shafer Court Connections and Scarab alumni magazines, direct mail solicitations, donor events and alumni programming. Moore has worked as part of multiple CASE award-winning productions, including a Grand Award for graphic design of a donor impact report in 2016. Before joining DAR, he spent six years in the VCU Athletics Communications office as a graphic designer and primary media relations contact for six intercollegiate sports. Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master’s in recreation, parks and sport leadership from VCU.
Assistant Director of Creative Content
Phone: (804) 828-1223
Terri Curtis is a leading graphic designer with a passion for higher education design. In 2015, she joined VCU as a creative content assistant. In DAR, Curtis visually reaches out to alumni, donors, friends and colleagues. Previously, Curtis worked for Virginia State University, contributing her diverse design and marketing skills for several campaigns. She holds a bachelor's of fine arts degree in graphic design from VSU and was named Better Creative Directors on the VSU homepage in 2014 to promote the graphic design program. Curtis received a Master of Professional Studies in the Business of Art and Design (M.P.S. BAD) from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2019.
Desiree Charity (B.S.’17/MC)
Creative Content Specialist
Phone: (804) 827-2349
Creative Content Coordinator
Phone: (804) 828-5563
Communications Project Manager
Phone: (804) 828-6511
Donor Communications Specialist
Phone: (804) 828-3797
Brelyn Powell joined VCU in 2016. As donor communications specialist, she writes feature articles for Impact, the magazine for donors and friends of VCU, as well as articles for DAR’s campaign giving news site. She graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2014 with a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing, and she has maintained a focus on writing for public relations, development and civic engagement throughout her education and career.
Director of Digital Engagement
Phone: (804) 827-0632
Rob Reid joined VCU in 2016 as media director for University Relations, where he developed media strategies and managed the paid advertising budget for the Make it real. undergraduate recruitment campaign. In 2018, he joined the Office of Annual Giving team as a digital fundraising strategist and is now director of digital engagement for strategic marketing and engagement. As part of DAR, his primary responsibilities are to develop data-driven strategies that increase engagement and giving through digital media.
Reied earned a B.S in communications from the University of Tennessee and has worked in various media-planning and buying roles at ndp, RightMinds, Cavalier Telephone and S&K Menswear. He has also been active in the advertising community, serving on the board of directors of the Advertising Club of Richmond as president and treasurer.
Anthony Langley (B.S.’16/MC)
Digital Media Specialist
Phone: (804) 828-0022
Anthony Langley joined DAR Communications in October 2015 and earned his B.S. in public relations from VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture in 2016. During his time as a student, he helped design public relations campaigns for the Central Virginia Emergency Management Alliance and the Virginia Department of Social Services. He is responsible for researching and writing articles for the alumni magazine, website, and monthly e-newsletter, as well as helping to develop social media strategies and campaigns.
Donor Relations and Events
Executive Director, Donor Relations and Events
Phone: (804) 828-3383
A member of the VCU team since 1999, Anne Hoffler has a B.A. and an M.Ed., both from the College of William & Mary. She has 25 years of experience in stewardship, donor relations and university special events.
Jenn Papenfuse (M.P.A.’06/GPA; Cert.’06/GPA)
Senior Director, Stewardship Programs
Phone: (804) 828-0745
A member of the VCU team since 2004 (she started as a student worker), Jenn Papenfuse has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.P.A. from VCU.
She won the DAR Team Spirit Award in 2012.
Anita D. Yearwood (B.S.’06/H&S; Cert.’14/GPA; M.P.A.’14/GPA)
Director of Stewardship Events
Phone: (804) 828-2875
As director of stewardship events in the Office of Donor Relations, Anita Yearwood is the lead event planner for strategic, creative, universitywide and other donor stewardship events. She comes from the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art, where she had served as special events manager since 2016. She has more than 13 years of special event planning/strategy experience.
Debrielle K. Williams (B.S.’13/H&S)
Assistant Director of Stewardship Operations
Phone: (804) 828-2049
Debrielle Williams joined the VCU DAR staff while still an undergraduate in 2012. She previously served as an administrative assistant to the development coordinator at the nonprofit Greater Richmond SCAN. She obtained her bachelor's degree in sociology from VCU in 2013.
Stephanie Monn (M.B.A.’19/B)
Assistant Director of Donor Engagement Events
Phone: (804) 827-8247
Stephanie Monn plans regional and presidential-level salon events with regional giving, principal giving and VCU Alumni. She comes from the VCU School of Pharmacy, where she had served as gift stewardship and special events coordinator since 2016. She has worked in nonprofit business strategy, marketing and customer service for more than 10 years. She holds an M.B.A. from VCU and holds a B.S. in marketing and management from Portland State University.
Stewardship Communications Specialist
Phone: (804) 828-3858
Kyra Molinaro joined VCU in May 2018 after nearly three years on the marketing team at The Steward School. She has a B.A. in journalism from Elon University and hopes to pursue a graduate degree at VCU. Her major duties include managing presidential gift acknowledgements and writing/overseeing donor award nominations, donor biographies, annual holiday mailings and event communications. In her spare time, Molinaro is an award-winning freelance writer whose work frequently appears in Richmond magazine, R•Home and Richmond Bride.
Donor Relations Project Manager
Phone: (804) 827-4570
Budget and Finance
Henry Davis III
Director of Finance and Budget
Phone: (804) 828-5142
Henry Davis joined VCU in June 2014 as director of finance and budget.
A licensed C.P.A. in Virginia, Davis spent 10 years as controller at GRTC followed by three years as CFO. He was responsible for a $45 million operating budget and a $9 million capital budget.
Davis earned a bachelor's in commerce with a concentration in accounting from the University of Virginia.
Manager of Finance and Budget
Phone: (804) 628-2720
Joy Heaton is a C.P.A. who earned a bachelor's in accounting and mathematics. She worked in the banking, insurance, and software development industries for many years before returning to graduate school to earn a master's and doctorate in theology. In 2009, she was diagnosed as being in the final stage of blood cancer and was successfully treated at VCU's Massey Cancer Center, where she recovered fully. In 2012, she and her husband founded a small, nonprofit corporation, Just Compassion, which provides free medical and dental care via mobile units to underserved children in pockets of poverty throughout Virginia and West Virginia. While her husband manages the nonprofit during the week, she does public speaking/fundraising on the weekends. Heaton joined the DAR staff in 2017 as a grateful patient/staff accountant and is now manager of finance and budget. She loves giving back to the university that literally saved her life!
Lutie Hanson (B.A.’89/H&S)
Assistant to the Director of Finance and Budget
Phone: (804) 828-1219
Regina Phinizey (B.S.’82/B)
Phone: (804) 828-7022