2023 Chamber Board of Directors
The general governance, direction, finances, procedures, and policy-making responsibilities of the Chamber of Commerce are vested in the Board of Directors.
Rebecca Ivins, Hourigan
Chairwoman of the Board
Rebecca Ivins’ experience in the construction industry spans a decade, working on both the owner and construction manager side. Her servant attitude and friendly personality have helped to create deep relationships with clients. Rebecca strives to forge partnerships early in her projects among all stakeholders and is quick to look for ways to improve processes.
Prior to working at Hourigan, Rebecca was the Business Development Manager for Gilbane Building Company (Richmond) and Director of Business Development for JLL. She is a graduate of the University of Akron.
Sasha Tripp, Story House Real Estate
Vice Chairwoman of the Board
Sasha Tripp is a residential REALTOR® in Charlottesville, VA, and the Principal Broker and Owner of Story House Real Estate, an affiliate of Montague, Miller & Company, REALTORS. She also speaks and teaches internationally as a CRS Annual Sell-A-Bration Speaker and webinar instructor, and she coaches agents at state and local association conferences nationwide. Her experience and knowledge that she gathers from the other best real estate agents in the industry provide her company with invaluable marketing expertise, fresh ideas, and puts them on the leading edge of technology and marketing strategy. She has been selected by REALTOR® magazine as one of the Top 30 REALTORS Under 30, was recognized on the list of Inman Top 101 Real Estate Influencers in the nation, and has been the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year (2016), Sales Associate of the Year (2012), and Rookie of the Year (2008).
Charlie Rogers, Innovative Software Solutions
Governance Committee Chair
As the founder and CEO of Innovative Software Solutions (ISS), Charlie is resonsible for running all facets of the business. He has a proven executive management track record that combines the right mix of business, marketing, design strategy, and technical knowledge. His unrivaled vision and leadership keeps the company and its quality of work at the highest standards. Charlie's background allows him to identify opportunities and make smart decisions from a business strategy perspective while fostering a creative environment for day-to-day operations.
Prior to starting ISS, Charlie was the Engineering Manager at GE Fanuc, where he oversaw a diverse team of engineers locally and across the globe. At that time, he led a team that successfully launched GE Fanuc's next generation controller solutions. Charlie has also served as the Director of
Engineering at Alere Informatics and Medical Decision Network. Charlie holds a BS in Computer Science from Old Dominion University.
Todd Rowley, Old Dominion National Bank
Treasurer / Finance Committee Chair
Todd Rowley has over 40 years in the banking industry, most recently as Central Virginia President with Old Dominion National Bank, and oversees commercial banking for the Metropolitan Washington Region and Central Virginia.
Rowley holds an MBA with honors in Finance and Operations Research/Management Science from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, and a Graduate Degree in Banking Finance from the University of Delaware Stonier Graduate School of Banking with honors. He also has a personal interest in information technology, Cloud Computing and Cyber security, and as a means to address this interest, in 2019, Rowley completed an Associate of Science degree in Information Systems Technology (Summa Cum Laude) and an Associate of Applied Science in Cloud Computing: Infrastructure and Services (Summa Cum Laude) in 2020 from the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Currently, he is completing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity. In addition to serving on the board and executive committee of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rowley has a long history of involvement in community engagement, and currently serves as a member of Virginia Tech President’s Advisory Council, a member of the Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business Advisory Council, Board of the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board, a board member to the Northern Virginia Council of GO Virginia, a board member to the Capital Youth Empowerment Program.
On a national basis, Rowley serves as one of the 40 members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 5th District advisory council, which includes Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. For Virginia, Rowley serves as a member of the Commonwealth’s Cyber Initiative (CCI) Advisory Council, and the Virginia Tech Advisory Council overseeing Business Information Technology, which has concentrations in both Cybersecurity and Data Analytics.
Rowley is also a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, Leadership Charlotte, and the 2011 class of LEAD Virginia, to which he is a member of LEAD Virginia’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Guy Browning, MPS
Past Chairman of the Board
Guy Browning is responsible for the publishing distribution operations of Macmillan Publishers both in the UK and here in Virginia. He has over 30 years’ experience in publishing logistics and now divides his time between Charlottesville, New York and the UK. He moved with his family from the UK to Charlottesville in 2014.
Yolunda Harrell, New Hill Development Corporation
Past Equity Committee Chair
Yolunda Harrell originally hails from Alabama (Roll Tide) but grew up predominantly in South Carolina. She has worked, served, and lived in the Charlottesville area for the last 13 years. Yolunda is a Christian, wife, business partner, executive manager, entrepreneur and CEO and Founder of New Hill Development Corporation. As a professional business leader, Yolunda is able to leverage 24 plus years of profit management, staff development, external and internal customer experiences, community engagement, and self-development. Repeatedly hired and promoted to challenging operations to improve asset management, quality of service, employee recruitment and retention, training and development of staff, ultimately leading to increased profitability. Developed and executed strategic revenue, marketing, and business strategies in existing, transitional, and start-up assets from $1mm to $12mm in annual revenues whilst simultaneously leading teams ranging from 15 to 90 members. During her hotel management career, Yolunda oversaw renovations and redevelopment projects ranging from as little as $1mm to upwards of $10mm.
Since living in Charlottesville, Yolunda has endeavored to contribute positively to the fabric of what is deemed as “community” by: volunteering as a GED tutor for the Adult Learning Center, acting as a facilitator for Dialogue on Race, community organizing for the City of Promise, and helping to create a social networking organization to connect African Americans in Charlottesville known as the Black Professional Network to name a few. Yolunda also decided to return to college to get her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration while also participating in and volunteering for an entrepreneur development program known as Community Investment Collaborative which led to the development of her co-owned business, A Taste of Home Southern Cuisine; a food truck and catering business. Yolunda’s desire to work more effectively in her community led to her participation Board Development Academy through the Center for Non-Profit Excellence. Upon completion of her board training Yolunda began serving on the board of Girl Scouts of the Virginia Skyline, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and BPN. Yolunda was raised to believe in the Golden Rule, to seek to give more than you seek to receive, and to bring forth thoughtful solutions to challenging opportunities. These values are what drive her vision and her purpose.
Rita Bunch, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
Rita A. Bunch, MPH, FACHE, is president of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, a 176-bed, not-for-profit hospital in Charlottesville, VA. Rita joined Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in January of 2022.
Bunch has a track record of being a trusted leader and team player who continuously cultivates positive relationships with all team members. In addition, she is accustomed to working in a competitive marketplace and brings 24 years of health care experience to this role.
As president, Bunch is focused on building upon Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital's mission to improve the health of the community and advance the Caring Tradition to everyone in the community.
Before joining Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Bunch held the position of vice president, operations at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, VA. In this role, Bunch co-chaired the COVID operations task force for Sentara RMH, organized and led numerous community COVID vaccine clinics, and partnered with Sentara Medical Group to recruit and rebuild the orthopedic service line in Harrisonburg, to name a few of her most recent accomplishments.
She was the interim president and vice president of operations for Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton Roads, VA, from 2016 to 2018 and went to an executive leadership role in Tennessee before returning to Sentara in June 2020.
Kara Chandeysson, Ting
As City Manager, Chandeysson is responsible for Ting business operations in Charlottesville. This includes strategic planning, growing the customer base, leading the local team and supporting the brand within the community. Chandeysson joined Ting with 20 years experience working for Bell Atlantic and Verizon. She managed teams in Regulatory and External Affairs, Network Operations, Fiber Business Development and Marketing and Sales. She was invited to speak at the 2019 National Fiber Connect conference and can also be heard talking about Ting Charlottesville on several podcasts through the Broadband Bunch.
She currently serves on the board for Charlottesville Business Innovation Council, is a member of the Fiber Broadband Association marketing committee, is a Network2Work Navigator, and is a deacon at First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville. Chandeysson previously served on the boards for Westminster Child Care Center and Charlottesville Catholic School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hood College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy from George Mason University. She was a member of Project Rebound and is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Charlottesville.
Jonathan Chasen, Wells Fargo Advisors
Jonathan Chasen began his career as a Financial Advisor with Banc of America Investment Services Inc. (now a part of Merrill Lynch) in Orange, where he developed his fundamental investment knowledge. He joined Wachovia Securities, a predecessor firm of Wells Fargo Advisors, in 2008 to take a team approach in providing personalized financial advice for individuals and families.
Since 2013, Jon has earned the designation of Premier Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors which is a distinction held by a select group of Financial Advisors within the Firm as measured by completion of educational components, business production based on either of the past two years, and professionalism.
Jon serves in leadership roles on the boards of Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville Albemarle and Partner for Mental Health. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mariane Asad Doyle, UVA McIntire School of Commerce
Mariane Asad Doyle, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, is Chief Culture Officer for the McIntire School of Commerce. She is an innovative diversity, equity, and inclusion leader and human resources professional with 20+ years experience in higher education and 15+ years in K12 administration. She is Chair of the Chamber Public Policy Committee.
Libby Edwards-Allbaugh, The Tax Ladies, Inc.
Libby Edwards-Allbaugh is the founder, owner and partner of The Tax Ladies, Inc., a successful minority and woman-owned accounting service business. The success of her business is built upon providing accurate, personal service with integrity.
An active community member, Edwards-Allbaugh is a board member with Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council, Black Women of Central Virginia, Women United in Philanthropy and the Black Empowerment Coalition, to name a few. She is also actively involved with the Chamber’s Business Women’s Round Table and Minority Business Alliance.
Chris Engel is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Charlottesville. In this role, he leads the City’s efforts to build wealth and grow opportunity for all members of our community.
Engel has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) where he is a certified economic developer (CEcD). Chris is a graduate of Virginia’s statewide leadership program; LEAD Virginia, as well as Leadership Charlottesville and the Senior Executive Institute for leaders in local government.
Rudy Fernandez, Northrop Grumman
Rudy Fernandez is Director of the Maritime Systems & Integration Operating Unit and Charlottesville Site Lead at Northrop Grumman. The Operating Unit delivers a
wide array of electronic maritime systems to the Navy, Coast Guard and allied Navies, oversees Mission Package integration on the Littoral Combat Ship and has
the Prime System Integrator role on the Offshore Patrol Cutter. In this role, Rudy is the profit & loss and programs lead for the organization.
Prior to his position as the Operating Unit Director, Rudy was the Director of Strategy and Business Development for the Naval & Oceanic Systems Business Unit within the Maritime/Land Systems and Sensors Division. In this role he helped the Business Unit develop its strategy and pursue opportunities that led to profitable growth.
Rudy has also been the Director of Advanced and Strategic Transformation for Operations within Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector. In this role, Rudy led the transformation of Operations for the sector, responsible for the strategy, advanced programs/technology/capital, develop/make/buy, data analytics and visualization, and talent acquisition, development, and workforce planning.
Prior to joining the Operations team, Rudy served as Director of Strategy for the Maritime/Land Systems and Sensors Division within the Mission Systems sector. In that role, he led the strategy for a division with a diverse portfolio supporting primarily the Navy and Marine Corps customer.
Before joining Northrop Grumman in 2017, Rudy spent 10 years with Advanced Acoustic Concepts (AAC), a Joint Venture between DRS and Thales. At AAC Rudy served in multiple roles within Programs, Business Development and Strategy. His last role at AAC was Director of Programs and Strategy for all Thales products and programs.
Prior to AAC Rudy spent 22 years in the Navy as a submarine officer. During his career in the Navy Rudy served on three submarines and was a member of the staffs of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Central Command and Chief of Naval Operations. His last position in the Navy was the Pacific Fleet team lead for Deep Blue, the Chief of Naval Operations’ Think Tank. Rudy earned his MBA from Chaminade University and his BS in Applied Mathematics from Jacksonville University.
Trevor Henry, Albemarle County
Trevor Henry is the Deputy County Executive for Albemarle County. A former nuclear engineer qualified US Naval Submarine Officer and leader with extensive experience in management of process, operations and personnel in technical environments, he is experienced in leading and managing complex projects including capital project planning and execution. Henry previously served as Assistant County Executive, Director of the County's Facilities and Environmental Services Department, Vice President of Development for Stonehaus, and Senior Program Manager at Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.
Arlene Lee, Lee Construction Group, Inc.
Arlene Lee serves as CEO/Principal of Lee Construction Group, Inc., parent company of six businesses located in Charlottesville, VA, and working predominantly in the commercial building construction industry. In this role, she actively oversees the operations and strategic direction of all Lee Companies, which employ over 150 people in our community. Lee Construction Group’s companies handle the full life cycle of a building from development, to construction – both as a GC/CM and subcontractor – to facilities management and maintenance. She is committed to leading forward, based in the Lee tradition – simply stated in three words: Pioneering. Honorable. Professional.
Lee is involved in several professional organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) and the Virginia Council of CEOs. She is a member of the Virginia BEST Review Board. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. A commitment to community and education has guided her life and her volunteer efforts. She is currently on the boards of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and The Business Climate Executive Committee, The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, The United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, and is on the GSVSG Property Committee, the VOSH Convention Committee, and is a state leader for the Young Survival Coalition.
Allison Linney, Allison Partners
Allison Linney, President and Founder of Allison Partners, LLC, has built a career of commitment to her clients’ achievement of their goals. A former consultant within Accenture’s Human Performance Service Line, she received an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Together with her colleagues, Allison brings both sound theory and practical experience to the challenges of organizational development.
Allison has helped leaders, managers and employees be more effective in industries ranging from consumer products to government services to publishing, and she has more than 20 years of experience working in health care. Her expertise spans communication strategy and implementation, leadership development, professional coaching, organization design and development, group facilitation, training design, diversity and inclusion programs, project management, change management, and process engineering.
David G. Mitchell, Great Eastern Management Company
David G. Mitchell is Director of Development & Construction for Great Eastern Management Company. He oversees residential and commercial construction projects and manages new project development. Mitchell graduated from Virginia Military Institute with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. In 1999 he formed Southern Classic, Inc., a construction and development company.
Mitchell is a current member of the Miller School Board, Crozet Citizens Advisory Committee, and Albemarle Conservation Easements Authority. He has served as a board member for the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, the Government Affairs Committee of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association, Places 29 North Citizens Advisory Committee, Albemarle County Fiscal Impact Advisory Committee and Richmond Home Builders Association Board.
Ravi Respeto, United Way of Greater Charlottesville
Ravi Respeto joined the United Way of Greater of Charlottesville in July 2018 as the President and CEO. Her career in nonprofit leadership started as the Campaign Manager for the Charlottesville Waldorf School with a $3 million-dollar campaign to build an environmentally sustainable school. Her commitment to supporting the environment and sustainability led her to AHIP- Home Repair Nonprofit as the Director of Development and Marketing in August of 2010, where the mission is to focus on rehabbing existing older homes for low-income families. Ravi developed their fundraising program from a $50,000 a year revenue stream to $1.1 million over the course of seven years. In June of 2015, Ravi joined the Piedmont Family YMCA as the Development and Marketing consultant to complete a $19-million-dollar Capital Campaign to build a 77,000 square foot facility in McIntire Park. This project supports Ravi’s life-long passion for community health accessibility.
Ravi started her career at Whole Foods Market working across the Mid-Atlantic Region on the marketing and community outreach team, eventually managing the Triangle North Carolina and Philadelphia sub-regions with multi-store marketing campaigns and strategic community funding programs that supported healthy living and social community investment.
Ravi currently serves as the immediate past President of the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Miller School of Albemarle, and a Board member of Virginia Career Works Piedmont. Additional Board work has included serving on the Salvation Army Board chairing the strategic planning committee and the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association as the chair of the marketing committee. Ravi holds a degree in Communications with a focus in Public Relations as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society from George Mason University and has completed a certificate in Business Marketing from UVA Darden School of Business.
Colette Sheehy, University of Virginia
Colette Sheehy serves as the Senior Vice President for Operations at the University of Virginia, where she oversees the functions of the Office of the Architect, Business Operations, Facilities Management, Real Estate and Leasing Services, State Governmental Relations, and the University Building Official. She first came to UVA in 1982 as a budget analyst and served in multiple successive capacities in finance and operations before taking on her current role in 2015.
A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Sheehy earned a B.A. in economics from Bucknell University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Rutgers University Graduate School of Management. She is an active member of Virginia's Council of State Senior Business Officers, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Society for College and University Planning. Sheehy currently serves as a board member for the Emily Couric Leadership Forum and the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce; she previously served as a board member for several organizations, including the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association, the UVA School of Architecture Foundation, the Virginia Discovery Museum, and the Virginia Retirement System. In 1995, Sheehy was presented the Woman of Achievement Award from the UVA Women Faculty and Professional Association. She served as one of the chief architects and negotiators of the Higher Education Restructuring and Administrative Operations Act passed by the General Assembly of Virginia in 2005, a law that created a new relationship between the Commonwealth and its public institutions of higher education.
Abdi Somo, UVA Medical Center
As chief administrative officer of the University of Virginia Medical Center, Abdullahi Somo, MBA, collaborates with senior executives, physician leaders, faculty, and team members on a broad range of strategic priorities, system initiatives, and major projects. Somo is excited to be part of an exceptional UVA Health team, working together on the mission to provide excellence, innovation, and superlative quality in the care of patients, the training of health professionals, and the creation and sharing of health knowledge within a culture that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusiveness.
Prior to Joining UVA Health, Somo served in the perioperative services at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, OSU Brain and Spine Hospital, and Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. His focus was operational efficiency, growth and expansion, and financial stewardship.
Before taking the current role as CAO, Somo served as an administrator in primary care for OhioHealth Inc. There, his focus was delivering high-quality and cost-effective primary care, patient access initiatives, population health management, implementation of new care delivery models, and program development.
Somo holds a master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Franklin University's Ross College of Business and a bachelor of science in Molecular Genetics from the Ohio State University. Somo is Lean Six Sigma Certified and a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) by the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Deborah van Eersel, UVA Foundation
Deborah is the Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Marketing for UVA Foundation. She joined the Foundation in November of 2001 to promote the University's research parks and to help foster collaborative relationships between North Fork tenants and the University of Virginia. Since then, her role at the Foundation has evolved to include other important aspects of the Foundation’s operations, including oversight of all corporate human resources and information technology functions, strategic planning, and Foundation marketing and communications programs. Deborah is active in the community and serves on several volunteer boards, including the United Way of Greater Charlottesville. She is Chair of the Chamber Defense Affairs Committee (DAC).
Prior to coming to the Foundation, Deborah served as Chief Executive Officer of the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® for 10 years - focusing on business, process and professional development, information technology, strategic planning, leadership development, and legislative affairs. During her tenure, she was instrumental in establishing the Real Estate Weekly, the Central Virginia School of Real Estate and the Charlottesville Albemarle Legislative Action Coalition (CALAC) – now known as the Free Enterprise Forum. In 1997, she received her CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation from ASAE - the American Society for Association Executives.
Deborah received a BA in International Business and French from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, studied for a year at the Université de la Sorbonne in Paris, and is fluent in French. She is married to Michel van Eersel, a professional meeting planner and has a daughter, Katja, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia.
Keith Woodard, Woodard Properties
Keith O. Woodard is an architect who has established a development and property management company, Woodard Properties, striving to find new ways to make interesting, comfortable and affordable places to live and work. Projects have included new student rental apartments, historic rehabilitation, commercial buildings and renovations, business park revitalizations, and individual homes. Keith has experienced the ups and downs of the development world with many successes and an occasional fiasco…think West2nd.
Woodard Properties is a ‘Great Game’ company, engaging employees and rewarding them for success. Support of many community arts, building, educational, and other organizations is an integral part of the company’s purpose.
Keith still lives in the house he began building in 1978. The house, and numerous additions have been a hobby as much as a place to live and raise four children… all of whom are now educated, self-funding, and having families.
Keith travels and dances with his wife, Adrienne, enjoys playing tennis, skiing, playing piano, cheers on the Virginia Cavaliers and his alma mater University of Kentucky, and occasionally lays awake thinking about the next project.