dLCV Board Members

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Donna L. Gilles, Ed.D. (President)

Associate Professor, and the former Executive Director of the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University (Virginia’s university center for excellence in developmental disabilities and part of the Developmental Disabilities Network with dLCV and the VBPD), Dr. Gilles has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with severe disabilities, their families, teachers, and service providers.  Prior to coming to VCU, she administered training and technical assistance projects at the University of Florida, specifically addressing issues in autism, multiple disabilities, and deaf-blindness. Earlier in her career, Dr. Gilles taught students with those same disabilities listed above, in a public school system in Maryland.

For seven years, Dr. Gilles served on the Governing Board of TASH, an organization that advocates for the inclusion of individuals with severe disabilities in schools, at work, and in their communities. For three years of which she served as President of the Board.

Sierrah M. Chavis (Vice President)

Mrs. Chavis has over 10 years of experience in education. She has worked in different educational settings, but her passion for youth and helping the underserved or the “underdog” see their full potential remains consistent throughout her work in advocating for people with disabilities, DEI, and domestic violence victims, and survivors. She currently serves as the Director of Education with United Way of South Hampton Roads. She has a master’s degree in Special Education and School Leadership and Administration from Old Dominion University.

Mrs. Chavis is a published author and has written for several educational publications, blogs, and articles. Mrs. Chavis has presented at several conferences, women empowerment events, and radio. She has received several awards including the Diversity Champion award from Old Dominion University, the Impact Leadership award from the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD), the Teacher of the Year award from the Virginia Council for Learning Disabilities, and most recently National Teacher of the Year from the Council of Learning Disabilities. She enjoys cooking, writing, and volunteering her time in the community with her three daughters.

Sally Conway (Secretary)

Sally Conway is a former Deputy Chief in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. During her 23 years in the Disability Rights Section, she directed the Department’s wide-reaching Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Technical Assistance Program, including the nationwide ADA Information Line and the development of technical assistance documents and other guidance, to meet the ADA’s statutory mandate to educate those with rights and responsibilities under the ADA. She also oversaw the Department’s ADA Mediation Program, and the Intake Unit, and served as liaison for Congressional staff on questions related to the ADA, constituent issues, and disability rights generally. Having worked in the fields of disability and civil rights for more than 35 years, she has conducted training sessions, workshops, and presentations on the ADA for members of the public and private sectors, advocacy organizations, people with disabilities, and the general public throughout the country.

Prior to her career with the Department, Ms. Conway worked in New Hampshire as a program director for Granite State Independent Living, as an investigator for the state’s Commission for Human Rights, as a medical social worker, and as a grade four through 12 music teacher in the public schools. In the last century, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Plymouth State University.

Stacy Ruble (Treasurer)

Stacy Ruble has worked for 25 years in the grant profession and as a domestic violence and sexual assault victim advocate. She entered the disability field in 2001 as a sign language student. Her three interests converged when she won a multimillion-dollar U.S. Department of Justice grant to support people with disabilities being impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This grant educated disability service providers about these issues and educated sexual and domestic violence agency staff about disabilities and accessibility.

Stacy served on the dLCV Foundation Board 2015-2020, serving as Gala Committee Chair for multiple years and ending her tenure as President upon the merger of the foundation with dLCV. Stacy has been a Richmond-based independent grant consultant since 2011, writing and reviewing grants, and conducting prospect research, policy review, and training.

Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell is a 4th generation public educator and has over 20 years of experience in the public education field. Sean earned his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and his Master’s degree in child development from Virginia Tech. He also holds a post-graduate certificate in gerontology (Virginia Tech), a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership (VCU), and a post-bachelor’s certificate in disability leadership (VCU). Sean graduated from the Partners in Policymaking program in 2013 and graduated from the Virginia LEND program in 2019. Currently, Sean serves on the State Council for the IFSP Program at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. He also serves on the Education Policy Committee at the Arc of Virginia, and he is a family navigator at the Center for Family Involvement.

When Sean has free time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife, also an educator, and his two teenage sons. He enjoys watching movies, working with the local Boy Scout troop, and attending concerts.

Henry Claypool

Henry Claypool is the former Director of the Health and Human Services Office on Disability and a founding Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. He also was appointed by the President to serve as a member of the Federal Commission on Long-Term Care, advising Congress on how long-term care can be better provided and financed for the nation’s older adults and people with disabilities, now and in the future, and was Executive Vice President of the American Association of People with Disabilities, which promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities.

Henry is Affiliated Faculty at the Institute for Health & Aging at UCSF and principal of Claypool Consulting.

Greg Crapanzano

Greg Crapanzano is a civil litigation attorney in Richmond, Virginia.  Greg grew up in Richmond and, after many years away, moved back in 2016.

Greg has a passion for using his skills and energies towards connecting people to resources and putting his own expertise to work. Greg founded Peanuts and Crackerjacks while a student at the University of Virginia, which tutors low-income Charlottesville elementary school kids and take them to UVA baseball games as a reward. Greg has also volunteered with reading programs for New York City public schools and coached high school mock trial teams from the Bronx.

Greg joined the Board to help advocate for those with disabilities and assist Stacy Ruble in applying for grants in addition to his role Greg is also a member of the Board of Young Professionals of Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now).

Greg earned his B.A. in English from the University of Virginia in 2009 and his J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2014.

Diana Crosswhite

Diana Crosswhite is the Policy & Training Manager for the Housing Choice Voucher Program at Virginia Housing. Through a referral program with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health, Diana is instrumental in providing integrated living choices for individuals with developmental disabilities. Prior to joining Virginia Housing, Diana worked at K.W. Poore & Associates, Inc., as an Associate Planner, where she oversaw numerous community development and revitalization projects throughout Virginia. Diana has over 20 years of experience working in federal housing programs.

Diana is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning. As a person with a “hidden” disability, Diana is passionate about disability rights especially related to workplace accommodations.

Harry L. Gewanter, MD, FAAP, MACR

Harry L. Gewanter, MD, FAAP, MACR is a Richmond, Virginia, pediatrician and pediatric rheumatologist. He is a graduate of Duke University, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital Pediatric Residency and Fellowship Program. Beyond his pediatric rheumatology practice, Dr. Gewanter has also served as a general pediatrician and chronic illness/disability consultant. Throughout his career, Dr. Gewanter has always advocated for children, families, and people with disabilities. He has been a member and held leadership positions in a variety of national, state, and local committees and organizations.

Dr. Gewanter was the initial Walter E. Bundy, Jr. Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Chair of the Division of Community Pediatrics at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the first pediatrician to receive the Paulding Phelps Award from the ACR. In 2017, he was named a Master of the American College of Rheumatology. Along with two colleagues, he founded Medical Home Plus, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting families of children with any chronic or disabling condition with the appropriate information, services, and support.

He and his wife, Cynthia, have four adult children, some of whom have chronic issues. His personal and professional experiences fuel his passion for improving the lives of all individuals with varying abilities.

Carrie Knopf

Carrie Knopf is the Student Affairs Coordinator and disability access liaison at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, VA. She previously served as the school’s Community Outreach Manager from 2016-2018. A Virginia native, Carrie returned to Roanoke in 2016 after working in marketing/public relations and fundraising in Birmingham, AL, and New Orleans, LA.

Profoundly deaf in both ears, Carrie has over a decade of experience advocating for individuals with disabilities and is proud to serve on the board of dLCV. In her free time, Carrie enjoys painting, golfing, and spending time outdoors with her dog, Bennett.

Gavriel Legynd

Gavriel Legynd is a 20-year Technology veteran, who is the brainchild behind VisioneerIT, which specializes in Marketing, Technology, and Digital Security. VisioneerIT’s flagship product, RepSec Management; was born out of Mr. Legynd’s 20-year background in cybersecurity where he witnessed the challenges that corporate brands face when integrating marketing with Digital security.

Mr. Legynd has held Technology positions with Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Commerce, HHS, ESRI, and CACI, just to name a few. Mr. Legynd has spoken at Inc 5000, National Business Inclusion Consortium, Congressional LGBT+ Equality Caucus,  John Hopkins School of Business, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce events, Metropolitan College of New York Bronx, and The Jewish Federation, and featured in Hispanic Network Magazine and the Baltimore Business Journal. He is the Co-Chair of the mentorship committee for the NGLCC Trans Taskforce, Vice President of the African American Marketing Association, and has been on the executive board of the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce and served as a Business Mentor for the American Marketing Association.

He is a passionate advocate for the Transgender Community, Jews of Color, and those with Disabilities.

Cameron Lynch

Cameron Lynch is a fourth-year student at the College of William and Mary, where she is studying Sociology and Government, with a concentration on Social Problems, Policy, and Justice. Cameron is a disability rights advocate who works specifically with young disabled individuals. She has had her work featured in USA Today, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the BBC. Cameron founded Chronic and Iconic, a support and advocacy organization for disabled college students, and works to ensure that disabled young people feel supported and informed through college accommodation processes.

In the past, Cameron has served as the Policy Intern at Disability Rights UK, where she had the opportunity to write disability policies for the British Government and work closely with young people throughout the country as well as interning for the Department of Justice Disability Rights Section. She served as the President of Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity on campus, a Confidential Peer Advocate for the campus sexual assault center, and recipient of the 2022 James Monroe Prize for Civic Leadership.

For fun, Cameron loves to dance, hang out with friends, and start knitting projects that she will never finish.

Carol W. Tuning

Carol Tuning is the Executive Director of the Disability Rights and Resource Center, whose mission is to help any person with any disability achieve and maintain a life of independence. In addition to working closely with her Board of Directors to ensure efficient and effective operations of the center, she continues her efforts in working closely with community non-profit agencies to foster collaboration and strengthen existing programs.

Carol recently retired from the local government where she served as the Human Services Administrator, responsible for writing grants, overseeing staffing and projects as well as fostering community collaborations to benefit local residents. She currently serves as the Board President for Restoration Housing in Roanoke. She is a past board member of the United Way Emergency Food and Shelter Board, the Community Impact Committee, the Governors Coordinating Council on Homelessness, the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, and the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center.

She received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Ferrum College and her graduate degree from Hollins University with a focus on leadership development.

Thomas Walk Esq.

Thomas Walk is an attorney in private practice in Tazewell, Virginia with 40 years of experience in the general practice of law. He is a former member of the Governing Board of the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy. Tom was the Board Chair of his local Center for Independent Living for several terms. It was his privilege to serve the Commonwealth for over 15 years on a part-time basis as a Special Education Due Process Hearing Officer and Special Justice for civil commitment hearings. Tom is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Tom’s educational background includes a B.S. from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from Wake Forest University. He is certified as a Family Financial Specialist mediator by the State of North Carolina. Tom has a physical disability.

Tyler Williamson Esq.

Tyler Williamson decided after practicing law for six years in Hampton Roads, to follow his passion and joined FACT as its new Executive Director in 2020.  He is a former Camp Counselor and has been a member of the FACT Board since 2018. Tyler’s younger brother Brian was one of the first children with autism to attend Camp Gonnawannagoagin’. Tyler oversees the organization’s programs, fundraising, and special events.

Evan Wrinkle CPA

Evan Wrinkle is a Richmond-based CPA specializing in tax preparation and planning for individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. He has an older brother with autism and became disabled himself due to a spinal cord injury in November 2012. A student at Virginia Commonwealth University at the time, Evan later graduated with degrees in Accounting and Business with a concentration in Finance. Once established, Evan began advocating for those with disabilities in his community, particularly through the United Spinal Association of Virginia, where he continues to serve as Treasurer of the Board. The Virginia Society of CPAs recognized Evan as one of their Top 5 Under 35 award recipients for 2021.

In his free time, Evan enjoys playing wheelchair tennis and exploring Richmond’s many restaurants.

Zipporah Levi-Shackleford (PAIMI Council Chair)

Dr. Zipporah Levi-Shackleford is the Founder and the Behavior & Education Consultant for the Creative Approach Development Center in Richmond, VA. Inspired by her experiences as a special needs sibling and parent she is a strong advocate in the fields of disability, mental health, and education. Zipporah is a consumer, a parent of children with various mental health disorders, and a sibling to a brother who is a consumer in addition to being a provider and advocate. She assists individuals and families with setting up systems and learning new skills to overcome challenges and behaviors that interfere with reaching goals and increasing independence. She also provides training to businesses and organizations to help them better understand how to support people with disabilities and mental health impairments and those who support them.

Zipporah has a Doctorate in education and certifications in Positive Behavior Supports, Disability Leadership, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has spoken and trained across the country on these topics and serves as the Secretary for the Arc of Virginia, Chair for the Parent to Parent USA DEI Taskforce, and Chair for the PAIMI Council for the disAbility Law Center of Virginia.