Meet Our Staff (UPDATED CODE ONLY)

 

 

Karen O'Brien

Karen has been a leader at CARITAS since 2009. She has helped drive the growth and vision of the agency, including founding the CARITAS Furniture Bank and turning the CARITAS Center project 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. 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 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a minor in math from Hartwick College. 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. Karen also earned a Mini MBA from the University of Richmond and graduated from the Bank of America Program.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: My life is richer thanks to the people I work with and the neighbors we come alongside. Radical HOPE demands we always believe the human spirit is stronger than our brokenness. This belief is at the center of our work, our culture, and in our hearts at CARITAS, making every day an opportunity for mutual healing.

Her favorite place in Richmond: Outside! I love spending time on the river, state parks, golf courses, bike/walking trails, and the pickleball court!

Karen O’Brien

President & CEO
kobrien@caritasva.org

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Mark brings more than 20 years of finance experience to the CARITAS team.  Throughout his career, Mark has strengthened financial controls, implemented and improved business processes, and created highly accurate financial models for short- and long-term planning.

Mark holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Richmond and a Bachelor’s of Science from Old Dominion University.  In his free time, he enjoys watching college sports, cooking for his family, and working on projects around the house.  Mark lives in Hanover with his wife and two sons.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: I am excited for the family atmosphere and genuine passion of the team for the mission of CARITAS,” says Mark.  “I look forward to joining CARITAS employees in the drive and commitment to the mission.

His favorite place in Richmond:

Mark Cassidy

Chief Financial Officer
mcassidy@caritasva.org

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Emily Lehmann has lived and worked in Richmond and the surrounding area for her entire life. She has a passion for serving and helping the Richmond community. She most recently worked at SOAR365 as the Assistant Vice President for Day and Respite Services. She oversaw programs and services for adults and children with disabilities, specifically, Adult Day Support, Children and Youth, Respite, Summer Camp, and emergency programs. In her 18 years of experience in Human Services, she has successfully led multiple programs, grown services, and had a positive impact on the community. She serves on the board for Girls on the Run Greater Richmond as Secretary.

Emily is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master’s degree in Teaching, a Bachelor’s degree in English, and a Post-baccalaureate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. She is currently a part of the Leadership Metro Richmond Class of 2023 and was voted Top 40 under 40 in 2022 by Richmond’s Style Weekly. Emily enjoys exploring the Capital Trail on foot and on the bike, enjoys traveling with her husband, and anything that keeps her body and mind active.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: Innovation – The strive to improve the community and the lives of the people served.
Her favorite place in Richmond: The top of the first hill on the Capital Trail coming from the city. It is the best view of Richmond by far!

Emily Lehmann

Chief Program Officer
elehmann@caritasva.org

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Clara directs all fundraising efforts at CARITAS. She joined the staff in 2015 and soon thereafter helped launch and manage the largest capital campaign in the agency’s history. With a fabulous team of development professionals, Clara is responsible for ensuring the financial needs of our programs are fulfilled through the philanthropic support of our community.

Prior to CARITAS, Clara has more than a decade of nonprofit fundraising experience as well as eight years as a Specialty Cut Flower Farm owner and operator. Clara received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wofford College and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and a 2001 graduate of Leadership Charlotte. Clara serves on the executive board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Virginia Chapter and also as the Chairperson of AFP’s National Philanthropy Day. She is a member of the Appomattox Education Foundation Board of Directors, and President of the A.R.G.S. Theater Arts Boosters.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I love authentic conversations with supporters and learning about their inspiration to give. It is my great privilege to work alongside our participants where I witness a magical space of loving and living that is uniquely CARITAS.

Her favorite place in Richmond: When I am not at work, you can find me hiking along the river, at the VMFA, or sitting on my porch with neighbors.

Clara Stokes

Chief Advancement Officer
cstokes@caritasva.org

 

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Ben developed and now manages the newest CARITAS program: the Recovery Residences, which offers a safe, substance-free living environment for newly sober men and women to live, save funds, navigate resources, connect to the local recovery community, and build habits to support long-term sobriety. Ben began as a participant of The Healing Place in 2017 and applies his own experiences in his work every day. He is a CARITAS Works graduate and an alumnus of The Healing Place. He has since earned several honors and certifications: Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Registered Peer Recovery Specialist, DBHDS Certified REVIVE! Master Trainer, and Former Virginia Association of Recovery Residences Board of Directors member.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: This organization has given me the opportunity to attempt to repay the debt that I owe for my life. There were others before me that paved the way of compassion and support, and I get to try to pay it forward on a daily basis.

His favorite place in Richmond: Pocahontas State Park; Galley Restaurant and anywhere I can get to the water, woods, or trails.

Benjamin Carr, CPRS, RPRS

Director of Recovery Services
bcarr@caritasva.org

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Emily oversees fundraising operations, special events, and community engagement at CARITAS. Her goal is to connect funds, supplies, and people with the needs of our program participants. Emily accomplishes this by building relationships with donors, volunteers, and community partners.

Emily earned a master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy from Auburn University and a bachelor’s in Psychology from William & Mary. In addition, Emily is a 2018 graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program and a 2020 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond. She currently serves as Chair of Impact 100 Richmond.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I rarely meet anyone in Richmond who doesn’t know and admire the work of CARITAS, which is really special.

Her favorite place in Richmond: My happy place is anywhere outside with friends, live music, or lots of plants and dogs.

Emily Millhiser

Senior Director of Community and Donor Engagement
emillhiser@caritasva.org

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Marilyn creates and implements programs and processes for workforce development and trainings for both program participants and staff at CARITAS. Marilyn has more than 25 years of experience in education and training, program development, 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. She is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and served as a past president of the Historic Jackson Ward Association.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: It is an honor to work with servant leaders so very committed to our mission to create a safe space to heal and time to rebuild. I learn something each day from witnessing the growth of our participants and staff. My heart is full working at CARITAS.

Her favorite place in Richmond: I love the James River Parks System; however my favorite place is in the presence of all 5 grandchildren.

Marilyn Milio, CPRC, CPC

Senior Director of Workforce Programs and Training
mmilio@caritasva.org

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Sandy has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. She is passionate about helping people and building relationships. As Director of the Furniture Bank, Sandy manages the complex logistics of working with thousands of case managers and clients from our 80+ community partners. She greets and welcomes all staff, clients, volunteers, and donors who call and come into the CARITAS Center. Sandy studied Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University with an emphasis on Broadcasting. She served as a mentor through VCU’s African American Alumni Council and is also a 2011 graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program. As part of Sandy’s mentorship commitment she was a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I love people, I enjoy watching the transformations and I enjoy building relationships. I am passionate about helping people and I strive to exceed expectations through great customer service.

Her favorite place in Richmond: I enjoy concerts, plays, church, local events, museums, marketplaces, new restaurants, and shopping.

Sandy Morris

Director of the Furniture Bank and Customer Service
smorris@caritasva.org

 

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A native Baltimorean, Charles brings more than 20 years of HR experience to CARITAS. He most recently served as Division Director of Human Resources at CommuniCare Health Services. In his decades-long career, Stafford has designed, implemented, managed, and administered HR, payroll, and benefits systems solutions for nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 corporations.

Charles holds a bachelor’s in communications from Towson University in Maryland and an MBA in HR management from Strayer University, as well as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certificate from the Society for HR Management (SHRM). An avid golfer, Charles loves to cook, travel, and spend time with his 27-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: by far the people and the mission.

His favorite place in Richmond: I don’t have one yet as I am a native Baltimorean.

Charles Stafford

Senior Director of Human Resources & Culture
cstafford@caritasva.org

 

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Paul makes sure everyone eats well and that our buildings are operating at their best for CARITAS staff, participants, volunteers, and visitors. That means nurturing partnerships in the community to help us secure food to serve more than 273,750 meals a year. With 175,000 square feet over two campuses, there is never a day that is the same. With talented people on his team, our participants are fed and our buildings are operational, ensuring our ability to serve our participants with our mission and values in mind. Paul brings 30 plus years in the hospitality industry with his values and own long-term sobriety journey to his work at CARITAS.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: The people. From our staff and participants, to our volunteers and board of directors, to our community partners and all those that support us in what we do I feel blessed, honored and grateful beyond measure.

His favorite place in Richmond: My screened-in porch with my morning coffee.

Paul Start

Senior Director of Operations
pstart@caritasva.org

 

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Stephen oversees the operations of both The Healing Place programs, of which he is an alumnus himself. 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.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: I enjoy the opportunity to serve our community’s Substance Use Disorder population. As staff, we practice a high standard of dignity and respect for each other and participants.

His favorite place in Richmond: I love to visit Pocahontas State Park.

Stephen Vicoli, CPRS

Program Director for The Healing Place
svicoli@caritasva.org

 

 

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As a data analyst, Paige supports CARITAS’ programs by collecting, processing, and analyzing data to help make informed decisions. By identifying patterns and trends in the data, we can garnish insight and draw conclusions that improve the outcomes of the people we serve; then use compelling visualizations to tell their story and our impact to the community. Paige has a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from VCU, an Advanced Paralegal Certificate from The Center for Legal Studies – Virginia Tech, and Google Data Analytics Certificate

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I love working at CARITAS because they give everybody a chance to grow into their best selves. CARITAS recognizes that a little support can go a really long way and I’ve personally seen the benefit of that in my personal life and community.

Her favorite place in Richmond: My husband and I spend a lot of time with our toddler at the Richmond Metro zoo, CMOR, and the Science Museum. We also really enjoy eating at Galley and Supper.

Paige Eshler

Data Analyst
peshler@caritasva.org

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Lori coordinates all of the furniture and household essentials arriving at the CARITAS Furniture Bank warehouse, the disbursement of essential items to clients at their homes, and manages an energetic warehouse team who help us serve the Richmond community with these critical services. Lori also helps welcome our dedicated volunteers who sort through donated items and set up our Furniture Bank shopping floor for participants. Lori has a Bachelor of Arts from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was honored by AmeriCorps as a National Service Alumni 2018 Outstanding Alumni Member.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I love how innovative CARITAS is. I love that I can attend meetings with the participants and learn from them.

Her favorite place in Richmond: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or the swing under my tree.

Lori Schmiege

Warehouse Manager
lschmiege@caritasva.org

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Anna manages and supervises The Healing Place for Women to ensure a safe space for healing and recovery. She feels it is an honor to bear witness to the amazing transformation process of a participant’s journey from hopelessness and despair to restoration and freedom. Anna has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Health Education, she is a certified REVIVE Trainer and a certified Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: My personal values and passions have always felt at home here with CARITAS. I believe that every person deserves to feel empowered within their purpose, and CARITAS truly embodies this spirit with each person we encounter.

Her favorite place in Richmond: I love running through each of the nuanced neighborhoods and parks of Richmond- Byrd Park, Seminary Avenue, and Buttermilk Trail/Belle Isle at sunset can’t be beat!

Anna Murphy

Program Operations Manager–THPW
amurphy@caritasva.org

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What he loves about working at CARITAS:

His favorite place in Richmond:

Ray Porter

Program Operations Manager-THPM
rporter@caritasva.org

 

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Dustin manages the day-to-day operations of the Workforce program and helps guide our participants through the process of learning about themselves both personally and professionally. He is a Virginia Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Certified REVIVE Trainer.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: I started my journey with CARITAS as a participant of The Healing Place in 2019 and since that time I have received so many gifts from this organization and its programs. I love having the opportunity to watch others receive those same gifts on a daily basis.

His favorite place in Richmond: Graybo’s Sports Cards (214 E Grace St).

Dustin Shipp

Works Program Manager
dshipp@caritasva.org

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Victoria Arkesteyn is the Senior Manager of Grants and Strategic Funding. With 10 years of grant writing experience, she previously served as the Donor Relations Manager at Housing Families First, Richmond’s largest provider of emergency shelter and housing programs for families with children. Victoria received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech, and holds a professional certificate in Grant Writing and Management from the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Victoria is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and serves on the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives (VAFRE) Board of Directors. In her free time, she enjoys vegetable gardening, as well as canning and preserving. Victoria lives in Mechanicsville with her husband, kids, two Great Danes, and two cats.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: I love working with such an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated group of individuals who are committed to creating a safe space where men and women can heal and providing them time and resources to rebuild.

Her favorite place in Richmond: My heart will always be in Varina!

Victoria Arkesteyn, CFRE

Senior Manager of Grants and Strategic Funding
varkesteyn@caritasva.org

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Sarah serves as the Senior Development Manager, overseeing and supporting all functions of the CARITAS Development Office. She has more than 10 years of experience in fundraising, philanthropy, and nonprofit leadership, as well as a keen understanding of nonprofit programming and how an organization must distinguish itself as a worthwhile philanthropic investment. She is eager to put her expertise to use to ensure that CARITAS’ different programs receive the financial support they need. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College and is a 2020 graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Program. When not at work, Sarah loves yoga, hiking, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

What she loves about working at CARITAS: The CARITAS community is magical, and I am passionate about sharing this magic with supporters and other members of the community in order to build strong, trusting relationships.

Her favorite place in Richmond: any of Richmond’s beautiful hiking and walking trails on a sunny day!

Sarah Young

Senior Development Manager
syoung@caritasva.org

 

 

Karen O'Brien

Matthew Boone is a creative and versatile multimedia designer with an array of experiences in various fields. He brings a diverse background in multimedia, graphic design, website development, and marketing. With a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and a minor in Communications from Norfolk State University, Matthew has proven his skills in multiple roles, including as a Marketing & Communications Manager at The Hampton Roads Chamber and as a Multimedia Designer & Marketing Specialist at Wireless Masters Inc, and has a successful Creative Marketing Agency MG Studios LLC.

Matthew’s proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, HTML 5, JavaScript, and social media platforms, combined with his exceptional communication skills, make him an asset in any creative or digital marketing team. His passion for web development, graphic arts, and customer relations is evident in his work, where he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity. Matthew recently relocated to the Southern Virginia Area and is open to new opportunities where he can leverage his skills and experience.

What he loves about working at CARITAS: I’ve always had a vision of franchising out an organization like CARITAS where I can help those in need find their purpose and expand their minds to the possibilities what they thought would not be possible and it only takes one thing, trying. CARITAS is a great vision of where I feel what my purpose is.

His favorite place in Richmond: On the Baseball and inside video gaming! He loves spending time doing competitive gaming, playing baseball and many other sports competitively. Outdoor activities like bike/walking trails are a must!

Matthew Boone

Manager of Marketing and Storytelling
mboone@caritasva.org

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BIO COMING SOON

Ejana Bennett

Manager of Community Engagement
ebennett@caritasva.org

Felicia Shea, Human Resources Generalist, fshea@caritasva.org

Food Service
Jackie Wilson, Kitchen Senior Coordinator–Dinwiddie, jwilson@caritasva.org, 804-249-7359
William Rigsby, Food Service Manager, wrigsby@caritasva.org
Anthony Phillips, Kitchen Supervisor, aphillips@caritasva.org

Facilities
Roy Haddick, Facilities Supervisor, rhaddick@caritasva.org
Terrance Rolle, Facilities Maintenance Technician, trolle@caritasva.org
Kenny Davis, Housekeeping and Janitorial Supervisor, kdavis@caritasva.org

Ci’Yasia Blackman, Women’s Emergency Shelter, cblackman@caritasva.org, 804-887-1588
Penny Dortch, Men’s Emergency Shelter Team Lead, pdortch@caritasva.org, 804-887-1583
Caitlin Reilly, Women’s Emergency Shelter Team Lead, creilly@caritasva.org, 804-887-1588
Khalil Sheffield, Men’s Emergency Shelter, ksheffield@caritasva.org, 804-887-1583
Diana Thomas, Women’s Emergency Shelter Coordinator, dthomas@caritasva.org, 804-887-1588
Teresa Jones, Emergency Shelter Team Lead, tjones@caritasva.org
Laura Shacklefield, Emergency Shelter Team Lead, lshacklefield@caritasva.org
Chad Skipwith, Emergency Shelter Team Lead, cskipwith@caritasva.org
Amanda Funk, Emergency Shelter Team Lead, afunk@caritasva.org

Huey Gordon, Warehouse Coordinator, hgordon@caritasva.org, 804-887-1569
Rodney Green, Driver, rgreen@caritasva.org
Darnell Coleman, Driver, dcoleman@caritasva.org

Vicki Mollenauer, Senior Career Development Coordinator, vmollenauer@caritasva.org, 804-887-1587

Administrative
Eleanore Ashman, Administrative Coordinator, eashman@caritasva.org, 804-887-1593
Michael McFadden, Program Data Assistant, mmcfadden@caritasva.org, 804-230-1185
Steven Wilson, Evaluation Assistant, swilson@caritasva.org

Men

Ray Porter, Program Operations Manager–THPM 804-887-1584
Benton Dial, Program Coordinator-THPM, bdial@caritasva.org
Patricia Saunders, Men’s SOTS Supervisor, psaunders@caritasva.org, 804-230-1184
Linda Anderson, Men’s SOTS Team Lead, landerson@caritasva.org, 804-230-1184
Carty Carnell, Men’s SOTS Team Lead, ccarnell@caritasva.org, 804-230-1184
Michael Embrose, Men’s SOTS Team Lead, membrose@caritasva.org, 804-230-1184

Women

Anna Murphy, Program Operations Manager–THPW, amurphy@caritasva.org, 804-401-8671
Casandra Jefferson, Program Coordinator–THPW, cjefferson@caritasva.org, 804-801-5079
Toni Simonson, Women’s SOTS Coordinator, tsimonson@caritasva.org, 804-418-3049
Angela Allen, Women’s SOTS Team Lead, aallen@caritasva.org, 804-418-3049
Amber Jenkins, Women’s SOTS Team Lead, ajenkins@caritasva.org, 804-418-3049

Brian Kelly, Senior Residence Coordinator, bkelly@caritasva.org, 804-401-8672
Sheyka Lyon, Peer Navigation Specialist, slyon@caritasva.org, 804-801-5082

Emily Millhiser, Senior Director of Community & Donor Engagement: emillhiser@caritasva.org or (804) 887-1578