CARITAS Leadership Team

Karen Stanley : President and CEO

Karen Stanley

President and CEO
Phone: (804) 887-1577

Karen has been working in the non-profit sector for more than 30 years as both a volunteer and a staff member. She began the role of Executive Director for CARITAS in 2000. In 2007, Karen took on the dual role as Executive Director for The Healing Place, a long-term residential recovery program for men struggling with substance use disorders. Effective July 1, 2012, she guided the efforts to merge the organization with CARITAS making CARITAS the largest homeless services organization in the metro Richmond area.  She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, a recipient of the Stettinius Award for Non-Profit Leadership, United Way’s “Champion for Change” of 2008, a 2010 YWCA Outstanding Woman Award winner and the 2010 Better Housing Coalition’s “Creative Collaborator.” She has served as an appointed member of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism and on the boards of Homeward and Leadership Metro Richmond. In October 2012, Karen was inducted in the Virginia First Lady’s FLITE Hall of Fame for Women in Business. She currently serves on the vestry of St. James's Episcopal Church.

Karen O’Brien : Chief Operating Officer

Karen O’Brien

Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (804) 887-1572

Karen has been a leader at CARITAS for more than 10 years. She has helped drive the growth and vision of the agency, including founding the CARITAS Furniture Bank and turning the CARITAS Center project (opening 2020) into a reality. She leads and oversees the operations for all of CARITAS's programs and facilities. She is passionate about effective leadership, powerful partnerships, and sustainable change.
Karen graduated with a BS in Business Management and a minor in math from Hartwick College.  While her business background started at a Fortune 500 company, Karen’s entrepreneurial spirit and expertise sharpened as a co-owner of a GE distribution center in Richmond, VA. Karen is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, a 2016 Stettinius Leadership Award winner and recipient of Boomer Magazines “IT” list award for 2013.  As the founder of  WINGS, a 17-year-old woman's faith group in Chesterfield County, she is thrilled to be breathing life and hope into The Healing Place for women.

Elly Flippen, CPA, SHRM-SCP : Chief Financial Officer and Director of Human Resources

Elly Flippen, CPA, SHRM-SCP

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Human Resources
Phone: (804) 612-1728

Elly is a licensed CPA and a Society of Human Resource Management, Senior Certified Professional. She holds an MBA from Columbia University, where she focused on strategy and operations, and a BA in Psychology from Vassar College. Elly brings a valuable blend of knowledge and nearly three decades of experience with non-profit organizations. She has demonstrated success growing organizations, managing turnaround, and advising startups. Elly provides strategic insight to the CARITAS leadership team by focusing on the financial picture.


Clara Stokes : Chief Development Officer

Clara Stokes

Chief Development Officer
Phone: (804) 887-1571

Clara was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and has lived in the Richmond area for the last 13 years.  In Charlotte, Clara worked in the nonprofit field for 10 years.  She served on several local boards, participated in Leadership Charlotte and was very active in her church and children’s schools.  A job relocation sent the Stokes family to Richmond. Clara returned to the nonprofit arena five years ago as the Chief Development Officer for CARITAS.  She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond.

Paul Start : Senior Director of Food Service and Facilities

Paul Start

Senior Director of Food Service and Facilities
Phone: (804) 801-5083

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Paul and his wife moved to Charlotte in 2003 for career opportunities. They have three children — one son and two daughters. Paul left his 30-year hospitality career and found time to reflect, attend therapy, and begin his road to long-term sobriety. While working as a hospitality consultant in recovery, Paul connected with Hope Haven in Charlotte, where he served as Vice President of Food Services for three years. After following his wife to Richmond in 2018, Paul joined the CARITAS team in 2020 in preparation for the CARITAS Center to open amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that our doors are open, he’s focused on refining many processes and creating new ways for the team to accomplish our mission every single day.

Stephen Vicoli : Program Director for The Healing Place

Stephen Vicoli

Program Director for The Healing Place
Phone: (804) 887-1595

Originally from New Jersey, Stephen studied Architectural Design and Engineering before owning a general construction business. Stephen entered The Healing Place in 2011 and went on to serve as a peer mentor and Transition Coordinator.  Stephen is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and a Certified Recovery Dynamics provider. He earned the James E. Ukrop Scholarship to attend the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program and was awarded a Manny Award from My Brothers’ Keeper, one of CARITAS’s long-time nonprofit partners. Stephen became Program Manager of The Healing Place for Men in 2019. Following the opening of The Healing Place for Women, Stephen became Director of both campuses of The Healing Place in June 2021.  Stephen is happily married, a landowner, and the proud father of two adult children. Talk to him about woodworking and mountain biking!

Steph Herndon : Director of Data and Evaluation

Steph Herndon

Director of Data and Evaluation
Phone: 804-612-1749

Steph came to CARITAS with over 20 years of experience as an innovative data leader in the healthcare industry.  She specializes in business intelligence and data storytelling-- turning program data into impactful insights, narratives and graphics.  Steph was recently recognized as a national leader in healthcare data visualization and is excited to bring her passions for data culture and digital literacy to Caritas.  Steph is a “Double Hoo” with a BS in Engineering and a MEd in Kinesiology from the University of Virginia.  Steph and her family moved to the Richmond area in 2010.  She is an avid explorer and enjoys boondocking in her Airstream trailer, listening to local music and spending quality time with family and friends.

Marilyn Milio : Director of Workforce Programs and Training

Marilyn Milio

Director of Workforce Programs and Training
Phone: (804) 612-1752

Marilyn has more than 25 years of experience in education and training, program development and management, non-profit leadership and community development. She is passionate about and dedicated to adult education, social justice and equality, and uniting resources to strengthen the community.  Marilyn is very active throughout the Richmond community and is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond. She served as a past president of the Historic Jackson Ward Association.  She enjoys the arts, the outdoors--most notably the James River Park System--food, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Emily Millhiser : Director of Development Operations

Emily Millhiser

Director of Development Operations
Phone: (804) 887-1578

A Richmond native, Emily has a wide breadth of experience volunteering and working in the local nonprofit community. An alumna of William & Mary and Auburn, Emily worked for higher education nonprofits for nearly a decade prior to coming to CARITAS in 2019. She serves on the leadership committee for Impact 100 Richmond and is a graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program in 2018 and Leadership Metro Richmond in 2020. Whether it's the next CARITAS event or an international adventure with her husband, Emily is always planning!


Sandy Morris :  Furniture Bank Program Manager and Customer Service Specialist

Sandy Morris

Furniture Bank Program Manager and Customer Service Specialist
Phone: (804) 887-1591

Sandy has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years in a variety of roles. She is passionate about helping people and building relationships.  As Furniture Bank Manager, Sandy coordinates our collaboration with 100+ community partners.  In addition, she helps manage the complex logistics of working with thousands of case managers and clients. Sandy is an active community volunteer outside of CARITAS as a mentor to young women within VCU's alumni organization, as a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and much more. Sandy is a 2011 graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program.

Lexie Haglund, Grants and Communications Senior Manager, (804) 912-4541
Dominique Harvey, Accounting and Finance Senior Manager, (804) 887-1585
Susan Carminucci, AmeriCorps Program Manager, (804) 887-1727
Kayla Smith, Development Coordinator, (804) 612-1727
Megan Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager (540) 894-6245 (cell)

Food Service and Facilities
Jackie Wilson, Kitchen Senior Coordinator–Dinwiddie (804) 714-5602
Sarah King, Kitchen Coordinator–Stockton
Matthew White, Kitchen Coordinator–Dinwiddie
Ray Porter, Facilities Manager (804) 887-1582
Mark Barbee, Facilities Assistant
Kenny Davis, Housekeeping and Janitorial Supervisor

Jenn Patterson, Director of Emergency Shelter (804) 887-1598
Wayne Meredith, Men’s Emergency Shelter Supervisor (804) 887-1583
Diana Thomas, Women’s Emergency Shelter Supervisor (804) 887-1588
Lindsay Cephas, Women’s Shelter Team Lead
Emily Bradford, Women’s Shelter Team Lead
Penny Dortch, Men’s Shelter Team Lead
Steven Bush, Men’s Shelter Team Lead
Jeffrey Rykard, Men’s Shelter Team Lead
Megan Corbitt, Housing Coordinator Senior Coordinator–Stockton (804) 888-8674

Furniture Bank
Michael Gordon, Program Coordinator (804) 887-1593
Huey Gordon, Warehouse Coordinator (804) 822-9902
Lori Schmiege, Warehouse Manager (804) 887-1592
Rodney Green, Driver

Vicki Mollenauer, Career Development Senior Coordinator (804) 887-1587
Dustin Shipp, Student Coordinator

The Healing Place 
Justin Woods, Program Operations Manager–THPM (804) 887-1584
Patricia Saunders, Men’s SOTS Coordinator (804) 230-1184
Tyrone Bates, Men’s SOTS Team Lead
Carol DiPerna, Women’s SOTS Coordinator (804) 418-3049
Deja Olds, Administrative Coordinator (804) 887-1589
Michael McFadden, Program Data Assistant
Anna Murphy, Child and Family Resource Coordinator (804) 401-8671

Property Management/Sober Living
Benjamin Carr, Recovery Services Senior Manager (804) 801-5084
Kevin Goodrich, Transition Coordinator

Community Engagement/ Volunteers
Emily Millhiser, Director of Development Operations, (804) 887-1578

Media Inquiries: Megan Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager: or (540) 894-6245