Board of Directors

AL!VE Board Members serve a three year term with an opportunity to run for a second term. 

Executive Committee

President: Cathy Thoma, CVA (She/Her)

Minnesota - Great Lakes Region

Director of Volunteer Resources at Hammer Residences

Cathy Thoma, CVA, is the Director of Volunteer Resources at Hammer Residences, Inc. This non-profit in Minnesota supports individuals with developmental disabilities in homes and apartments, helping them to live their lives to the fullest. Cathy is Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA), an international certification that recognizes education, experience, core competencies and ethical standards. Cathy is a member of the Program and Advocacy Committee for AL!VE, and is the facilitator for AL!VE's Transportation Community of Practice. She is also a member of MAVA - Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement where she received her Certification in Volunteer Leadership. Cathy is a member of the Program Committee for the Corporate Volunteer Council - Twin Cities. Cathy received her BA in English/Elementary Education from Moravian College and her MA in Human Resources Management from Rollins College. Not only does Cathy lead volunteers, but she cannot help but be one herself!

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President-Elect: Darlene Laird, CVA (She/Her)

Georgia - Southeast Region

Skilled Volunteer Strategy & Engagement Manager at Habitat for Humanity

Darlene is the driving force behind Habitat for Humanity International's Skilled Volunteer Strategy and Engagement initiatives, specializing in crafting dynamic resources, trainings, and best practices for the Habitat affiliated network. She holds a CVA credential from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration, solidifying her professional acumen and dedication to excellence in volunteer management. In her capacity as President Elect for the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE), Darlene is dedicated to advancing the field and instigating positive change within the sector. Her visionary leadership and passion for driving meaningful impact position her as an industry leader,
inspiring others to join the movement towards building stronger, more engaged communities through
the power of volunteers.

Treasurer: Christi Brown, MHA, CVA, CDVS, CAVS (She/Her)

Pennsylvania - Atlantic Region 

Volunteer Engagement Professional

Christi Brown served as the Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement for a South-Central PA healthcare organization for 16 years. She was responsible for over 6,000 Volunteers and Interns, hospital gift shops, hospital guest Services, and auxiliaries within the health system. Christi earned her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Drexel University and her B.S. in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College. She is currently serving in several volunteer leadership roles, such as Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Healthcare Volunteers Resources Professionals (PAHVRP), Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services (KPETS) board member, and a committee member of the Health Administration Advisory Council for Drexel University. Christi was recognized by several organizations for her passion, dedication, and community service, including the Evelyn Burston award from PAHVRP, the Volunteer of the Year from United Way of York County and the Alumni of the Year award from Leadership York. She enjoys working with Volunteers and understands the value and impact they have with organizations.

Secretary: Wendy McClure, CVA (She/Her)

Pennsylvania- Atlantic Region

Human Resources Specialist 

Wendy has a unique combination of experience thanks to her career working in non-profit public libraries, human resources and volunteer management. She has done temporary work with the Pennsylvania Library Association as a conference assistant to prepare for their state conference. Wendy has also led and moderated a group of library volunteer managers from across the US and Canada. She has served as a mentor and presenter at the Central Indiana Association of Volunteer Administrators Summit.

Vice President of Membership:

Ashley Rieser, CVA (She/Her)

Pennsylvania - Atlantic Region

Director of Volunteer Services and Front of House Guest Experience at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Ashley Rieser oversees more than 500 volunteers who assist in a variety of performing arts venues, festivals, and art galleries. She is the Past President and current Treasurer for her local DOVIA, Volunteer Administrators of Southwestern PA. Ashley was the recipient of the 2017 EVIE Award for Outstanding Volunteer Administrator of the Year. She is also a Volunteer Management Instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County.

Vice President of Programs:

Jordanya Reeves, CVA (She/Her)

Texas - South Central Region

Associate Manager of Volunteer Management at Mindpower

Volunteerism is Jordanya's passion. She has seen and believes the world can change if its people answer the call to make it better. She has built volunteer programs from the ground up and has seen them thrive. She actively seeks opportunities to advance volunteer management on a global scale. She uses her proven expertise in the field to train and mentor other volunteer engagement professionals.

Vice President of Advocacy:

Alicia Morris Campbell, CVA (She/Her)

Illinois - Great Lakes Region

Director of Volunteer Expertise Hub at Habitat for Humanity

Alicia is a nonprofit professional with over 10 years of experience in volunteer management. She has developed and led volunteer programs and services for both locally-focused and nationally based organizations. She has specialized in engaging youth and young adult volunteers and has extensive knowledge around volunteer event planning and management. She has presented at conferences such as Points of Light and the Illinois Conference of Volunteer Administrators. She also served as the VP of Marketing and Communications for the Association of Volunteer Administrators of Metro Chicago. Alicia has served on employee resource committees where she's led the charge in her local area around DEI initiatives. Alicia has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from La Salle University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration-Nonprofit Management, and a graduate certificate in Human Resource Management both from Keller Graduate School of Management. She currently resides in the Chicago area.

Vice President of Marketing:   

Equity Leader:

Jenn Forristal, CVA (She/Her)

Oregon - Pacific Region

Volunteer Resources Manager at Oregon Public Broadcasting

For more than 16 years, Jenn Forristal, CVA has had the privilege of working with volunteers serving in diverse fields including social services, animal welfare, public media, national service, political campaigns, and professional associations. She served as board president for the Northwest Oregon Volunteer Administrators Association. As AL!VE's local association committee chair, she strives to lift up the transformational work of members by providing meaningful and engaging programs and networking opportunities. Jenn is dedicated to centering equity and inclusion in volunteer programs, is a trained equity facilitator, and will help AL!VE support our members and their organizations who are working to strengthen equity in communities. 


Carol Ayars, CVA (She/Her)

Virginia - Atlantic Region

AmeriCorps Seniors Programs Manager at Senior Connections at The Capital Area Agency on Aging

Carol Ayars, CVA has been in the field for over 25 years and contributes her real understanding of what volunteers want because she is a volunteer at heart. Carol is the AmeriCorps Seniors Programs Manager at Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging whose mission is empowering seniors to live with dignity and choice. Carol is President of her local AVA, GRAVA (Greater Richmond Association for Volunteer Administration), Vice-President for the DC-VA AmeriCorps Seniors Director’s Association, and serves in an ex-officio role for the Governor’s Advisory Board for Volunteerism and Service. She serves on the Board of Directors for the AmeriCorps Seniors Professional Network (ASPN) and is on the Member Benefits Committee. As part of AL!VE, she loves to share her knowledge and experience through presentations, workshops, and informal mentoring. Carol lives with her husband and their cat, Bella. They enjoy being empty nesters but miss having their three granddaughters nearby.

Shelli Beck, CVA (She/Her)

Minnesota - Great Lakes Region

Director of Volunteer Services at Lyngblomsten

Shelli Beck was introduced to volunteer management as a volunteer introducing volunteerism to the small private school that her children attended. Then she began an AmeriCorps position with Goodwill/Easter Seals as a Volunteer Coordinator. Over the years she has turned a very part-time Volunteer Coordinator role at Lyngblomsten into a full-time Director level position. Shelli has been a staple of volunteer engagement in Minnesota helping deliver Service Enterprise training, having served as a Conference Chair and Board Member for MAVA, and actively connected with her local peers.

Grace Belizario, CVA (She/Her)

Virginia - Atlantic Region

Senior Manger, Volunteer & Member Engagement at American Alliance of Museums

Grace's background includes communication and marketing strategies, program/event management, volunteer engagement and life & health coaching. She has helped cultivate, implement and evaluate 450+ programs, including the launch of online opportunities. Grace also has experience in local and nationwide partnership development. She has been a lifelong volunteer and believes volunteering has a huge impact on society. "Volunteer Administration Professionals create environments that ultimately can have a direct impact on our communities. The more people are award of this, the further our field can be understood, supported, and legitimized." 

Julie Booth, CVA (She/Her)

Ohio - Great Lakes Region

Volunteer Services at Columbus Metropolitan Library

Julie Booth is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) and public relations professional with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, including national and community-based organizations. Along with a love for and commitment to the volunteer engagement profession, Julie brings to AL!VE skills and experience in strategic thinking and planning, program development, policy and procedure evaluation and development, relationship building, volunteer communication, and nonprofit capacity building.

Mark Heffner, CVA (He/Him)

New York -  Atlantic Region

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at ADAPT Community Network (formally United Cerebral Palsy NYC)

Mark has led volunteers for more than 20 years in the areas of cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness. prior to choosing volunteerism as his career, Mark taught Special Education for those who are disable or differently abled. In his current role, he is able to do both! His role was created to build a volunteer program with serve those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in an agency setting.

Amy Pinger, CVA (She/her)

Kansas - Midwest Region

Senior Community Engagement Manager at Harvesters - The Community Food Network

Amy has extensive experience managing volunteers, national service members, and leading organizational change. In her current role, she is responsible for evaluating annual resource development strategies for volunteerism, community outreach, and donor engagement at Harvesters, a certified member of Feeding America. Amy is one of eleven individuals in Kansas to become Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA). She serves as a Governor appointed Commissioner for the Kansas Volunteer Commission and Board Member for the local association, Managers of Volunteer Engagement (MOVE). Amy brings her experience and passion to the AL!VE board serving on the Service Enterprise Advisory Council, AL!VE Development and AL!VE Academy sub-committees.

Amanda Schmierer, CVA (She/Her)

Idaho - Upper West Region

Volunteer Engagement Professional

Amanda Schmierer has over 12 years of professional experience as a Volunteer Manager. Her desire to help others find their passions came from her own volunteer experiences leading others in service. She has grown her interest into a career, with a specialization in program development and retention, educating peers and nonprofits, mentoring, and advocating for the volunteer management profession. She is a Certified Volunteer Administrator and recently became certified in Human Rights through the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. She lives in Nampa, ID with her husband and 3 fur children.

Allison Schwartz (She/Her)

Maryland - Atlantic Region

Volunteer Manager at Maryland Zoo

Allison has been working for the Maryland Zoo for ten years. During this time she has been a catalyst for change, organization, and strengthening the ties within the organization itself and also the local community. Additionally, she has spent five years as a volunteer manager in the animal sheltering world where she was able to find her confidence and start the journey of becoming a leader and teammate to those around her. Currently Allison is the president of the Maryland Council for Directors of Volunteer Services. The organization has been through a lot in the past few years and she is proud to say they are starting to get their feet under them once more and offer the support volunteer administrators in the state of MD have not had recently.

Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, CVA (She/Her)

Ohio - Great Lakes Region

Director of Strategic Engagement at ServeOhio, Ohio's Commission on Service and Volunteerism 

Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss is an innovative and strategic thinker with experience in the nonprofit and government sectors. At ServeOhio she establishes the vision and operating parameters for volunteer and outreach programs to increase AmeriCorps service and community volunteer engagement and participated in Leadership Ohio's Class of 2021. Previously while at HandsOn Central Ohio, she led programs mobilizing over 10,000 volunteers per year. Rebeccah is a current AL!VE committee member and has served as a board and committee member for additional organizations including the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Volunteer Administrators Network of Central Ohio, and United Way of Central Ohio. 

William Webber, CVA (He/Him)

Washington DC - Atlantic Region

Associate Director, Community & Volunteer Engagement at Partners for the Americas

William Webber holds both the Certified Volunteer Administrator credential from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration and the Certified Association Executive credential from ASAE. He is a highly organized, detail-oriented, strategic, systems focused, and thoughtful professional who aims to get maximum results as efficiently as possible. William has experience working with the US Government, implementing various grants and cooperative agreements, as well as writing grant proposals. William is looking forward to grow professionally as a board member and expand his network of colleagues within the profession.

Administrative Staff:

Association Manager: Gretchen Jordan, CVA (She/Her)

Florida - Southeast Region

Gretchen Jordan, CVA is the Association Manager who works with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors to prepare and deliver support to member services, the board of directors, and special projects.  Previous work experience includes management in the corporate, non-profit sector and as a small business owner in addition to over twenty five years experience managing volunteer programs.   She is an active member of local and national volunteer manager associations and has presented on volunteer management issues on the local, state, and national level.  Gretchen earned her Certification in Volunteer Administration designation in 2004 and has a Bachelors degree in Community and Human Service from Empire State College.  Her skills are public speaking, management, customer service, leadership, and organization.  Gretchen and her husband have a home base but travel often in a 35' motor coach around the United States & Canada when they are not enjoying Walt Disney World.

Email Gretchen

Service Enterprise Administrator: Kayla Paulson, CVA (She/Her)

Iowa - Midwest Region

Kayla Paulson, CVA has been with the Service Enterprise Program since the national pilot over a decade ago. During her tenure with United Way, she led the regional volunteer center. She fought for strategic volunteer engagement by working with and building the capacity of almost 100 local agencies, managing 4 RSVP programs of more than 500 volunteers, and volunteering with the state commission, Points of Light, and United Way Worldwide to help improve volunteer engagement practices.  Kayla Paulson has spent her professional career in marketing, training, community relations, and volunteer management. She is an experienced state, regional, and national trainer, delivering interactive and empowering workshops.

Kayla has a passion for volunteerism and has served as President for the local DOVIA, Chair for RSVP Directors of Iowa, Alburnett School District Foundation Board Member, United Way Worldwide Committees, Service Enterprise Curriculum Design Team Member, LAP-AID Emergency Volunteer Center Leader, AL!VE's President-Elect, and as a pro-bono volunteer for various nonprofits across the nation sharing her skills in volunteer management, strategic planning, training, marketing and communications.

Email Kayla

Mailing Address for AL!VE:
AL!VE Association Manager Gretchen Jordan
2791 St George Drive
Davenport, FL 33837
Email AL!VE

View a map of the AL!VE Board of Directors.