2024 Board of Directors


Tom Moss

Consultant, Group Benefit Agent

Atlantic Benefit

Vice President

Bryan Fowler


Architectural Graphics, Inc.


Scott Guirlinger

Senior Manager for User Experience



Angela Ianni

Capital Group

Past President

DiAna White

Vice President

American Funds


Janet Davis

Account Supervisor

Account Supervisor

Otto Design + Marketing

Richard C. Mapp, III

Partner/Chairman of the Employee Benefits Practice Group

Kaufman & Canoles

Pam Katrancha


Garden Gazebo

Dorothy Clark

Peers Advocate

Dr. Tom McCune


Jonathan Gray


Gray and Company CPA

Joshua Harris

Antoine “Tony” Jaume


Tony Jay Fitness

Priscilla Queen


Victor Pope

Staff Leadership

Shannon Pociask, Executive Director

Shannon Pociask

Executive Director

spociask@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x532

Since 2003, Shannon has played a leading role in Hope House's positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities and the surrounding community. Having a family member with a developmental disability, Shannon knows how important independence is to her sister. Influenced by this, Shannon has always been dedicated to ensuring that Hope House provides the best services in the region respecting the balance between independence and support, championing informed choice for all.

Shannon is dedicated to Hope House's mission. She consistently challenges the agency to break down barriers and spearheads change to better support people with disabilities in their own communities. Shannon is a champion of new ideas and can often be found brainstorming with both those we support and staff forging new solutions.

Shannon is an endorsed positive behavior support facilitator through Virginia Commonwealth University and received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from Christopher Newport University.

Leading a full life is important to Shannon and being the mother of two boys keeps her busy. When she is away from her role at Hope House, Shannon enjoys relaxing with a good book and spending time with family and friends.

Elena Montello, Development Director

Lynne Seagle

Transition Director


Lynne began her career at Hope House Foundation in 1978 as director of residential services, and has been our executive director for more than three decades. Prior to joining Hope House, she was a special education teacher. And throughout college, she worked as a direct support professional for the Arc of Tidewater, which later merged its services with Hope House.

Under Lynne’s leadership, Hope House has become internationally known for its innovative, person-centered approach. One of her proudest accomplishments was guiding us through our transition from group homes to supporting people in their own apartments in the early nineties.

In 1986, Lynne was honored as the Virginia Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Community Living Association (CLAMR), and also received an Innovation Award from the same organization. In 1990, she received the Leadership Award from the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities, and in 1998, she received the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation's International Future Leader Award. In 2011, she was appointed to the Arc of Virginia’s board of directors. She has also served on the President's Commission on Intellectual Disabilities and is on the advisory board of the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Educational Leadership, both from Old Dominion University.

Lynne is passionate about social justice and equality for all people, particularly those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. She also enjoys reading, travel, Mexican cuisine, and the beach.

Elena Montello Alt Text

Elena Montello

Development Director

emontello@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x507

Elena began her career at Hope House Foundation in 2000 as development assistant, moving to development coordinator in 2003 and into the development director position in 2006. With Elena at the helm of Hope House Foundation’s fundraising and marketing efforts since 2006, the agency has reaped the benefit of having a committed, passionate leader carrying the Hope House message throughout both the community and within the disability field. That tireless effort has resulted in enormous growth in the twice-yearly Stockley Gardens Arts Festival, quantifiable success in the grants arena, with its current core of diverse, committed funders; and demonstrated achievements in major gifts.

Elena brings to Hope House Foundation not only the knowledge and insights attained through her 1983 Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Virginia Wesleyan College but an instinctive understanding that success in fundraising means having a strong, continuous presence in the community.

To that end, she has volunteered for eight years with the Ghent Business Association, serving as events chair on their board; she served as the secretary of the board of the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council; and she was also the membership chair on the board of Hampton Roads Business Outreach.

While Elena is perhaps most proud of the love and respect she has gained among the men and women supported by Hope House Foundation, she has also been formally recognized with such accolades as the Fiorello H. La Guardia Award from the Sons of Italy; the 2011 Amazing Grace Award from the One 11 Gallery; the 2012 Virginia Wesleyan Alumni Service Award; and the YWCA’s 2013 Women of Distinction Award for the Arts.

When she's not working, she enjoys reading, gardening, spending time with family and friends and spoiling her rescue dog JoJo.

Susan Henderson, Associate Executive Director

Kim Black

Associate Executive Director

kblack@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x516

Kim began her career with Hope House Foundation, as a direct support professional supervisor in 2005 after earning her Associate’s Degree in Social Sciences from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor’s in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University.

Since joining Hope House Foundation, Kim has partnered in leading services at multiple teams and has filled several roles after transitioning to the administrative office, including team support director, service director and associate director. Currently, Kim supports quality services at the point of care from a compliance perspective while serving as the agency’s Risk Management and Quality Improvement Lead.

Kim finds her work at Hope House to be personally rewarding, as it allows her to have a positive and direct impact on the quality of people’s lives. She enjoys working with others who share a common vision, passion, and commitment to improving the lives of people in our community.

Susan Henderson Alt Text

Susan Henderson

Associate Executive Director

shenderson@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x512

Susan’s commitment to community service began in middle school and continued as she pursued her B.A. in Secondary Education and Social Studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College; her M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and in the years she spent at Cedar Crest College in Allentown Pennsylvania, as director of the Lutz Center for Community Service/Service Learning. While at Cedar Crest, she acted as an advisor to the Best Buddies Student Club, an international organization that facilitates friendships between college students and adults with developmental disabilities, and it was this latter experience that ignited her passion for her current work.

During a Best Buddies trip to the zoo, Susan served as the “Buddy” for a gentleman named David, and her words describe the impact of that outing:

“It was the best trip to the zoo of my life. He taught me more about people with developmental disabilities in one day than I had learned in the last 30 years. I knew then that I wanted to work with adults like David; to help them live lives like the one David was showing me — full of laughter, joy, independence, reciprocity, friendships, and the freedom to make choices like I do every day.”

Susan began her career with Hope House Foundation as a team leader in October of 2003. Promoted to service director, she supervised team leaders and coordinators, then led the team support department. As the need for affordable and accessible housing continued to grow, she began building partnerships with local property managers and developers and working with Hope House Foundation’s supporting organization, The Residential Corp.

In addition to her academic degrees, Susan is an endorsed positive behavior support facilitator through Virginia Commonwealth University.

Charne' Tate Lawson, Granby Team Leader

Deborah Cruz

Finance Director

dcruz@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x503

As Finance Director, Deborah provides strategic leadership for the Foundation’s accounting and finance functions. Deborah manages accounting, financial reporting, and financial analysis as well as oversees critical business functions including payroll, accounts payable and receivable, budgeting and financial planning for Hope House Foundation.

Deborah brings 20 years of progressively responsible finance and accounting management experience with companies in Hampton Roads and the Washington DC Metro Area. Prior to joining the foundation, Deborah was the Director of Finance and Administration for a financial software company where she was responsible for all aspects of finance and administration management, human resource management, and contract management. This included implementing financial controls, developing monthly operational metrics, budgeting, forecasting, business planning, and process improvement.

Deborah is looking forward to utilizing her experience in her new role at Hope House Foundation and assist in developing strategies that will improve current practices to increase efficiency and provide more resources to the individuals that the Foundation supports. Deborah always strives towards creating a productive, welcoming and friendly work environment, encouraging every team member to achieve their very best to collectively accomplish the goals of the team and the goals of Hope House Foundation.

Charne' Tate Lawson, Granby Team Leader

Maria Jones

Service Director

mjones@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x533

Maria began her career at HHF as a Service Coordinator in 2001. She worked as a Team Leader for the Princess Anne Team for many years where she honed her skills in designing person centered supports. After 17 years she transitioned to providing agency wide support as the Leadership Support Specialist, with a focus on mentoring Hope House Foundation's newest leaders. This position allowed her to visit multiple teams which broadened her knowledge of diverse services and creative solutions to support people in their communities. Maria is passionate about ensuring each new employee is properly equipped with training to carry out our mission. Maria graduated from Old Dominion University with a baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Maria enjoys reading, spending time with family, and spending time at the beach.

Nicole Adams, Service Director

Nicole Adams

Engagement Director

nadams@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x537

Nicole has worked with Hope House since 2012 in many capacities at several team locations. She began her career as a direct support professional, which includes work as a support assistant and community support coordinator. She served as team leader for the Afton and Pelham teams, and is currently a services director. These experiences deepened her fervor for promoting community involvement and self-advocacy. In her work with the Our Voices’ Diversity & Inclusion committee and as a Sexuality Abuse Friendship Education (S.A.F.E.) mentor she leads an intersectional approach to disability services. She is passionate about engaging team members to promote creativity and enhance work culture. She is trained in positive behavioral support, person-centered thinking, community connections, and is a certified MANDT instructor. She finds orienting new employees to person-centered techniques to be one of the most valuable uses of her time. In her time away from work she enjoys making candles, listening to public radio, and watching Star Trek.

Christine Billingsley, Riverside Team Leader

Christine Billingsley

Service Director

cbillingsley@hope-house.org757-625-6161 ext.535

Christine started her direct support professional career with Hope House Foundation in 2014. She began her career as a part-time support staff before being promoted to support assistant, then service coordinator, then team leader, and now, service director. Her enthusiasm and dedication for working with individuals with disabilities pushed her to excel and earn promotions within. Christine has raised five amazing children that share her passion for advocacy and humanitarianism, who have always been the biggest inspiration for her to achieve her goals. When Christine isn’t working, she enjoys going to the gym, spending time with her family and hanging out with the lifelong friends that she’s made while working at Hope House Foundation.

Stephanie Higginbottom

Program Director

shigginbottom@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x534

With over 16 years in leadership roles at non-profit organizations, Stephanie's greatest passion is developing leaders and fostering employee growth. She believes in empowering people to live life to the fullest, especially those with disabilities who she has dedicated her career to serving. Stephanie grew up in a military family and spent most of her time abroad living in places like England and Japan.

Stephanie brought her passion for advocacy to HHF, starting as a direct support professional supervisor in 2008. She served as a Team Leader and then Service Director. In these roles, Stephanie led the agency's efforts in person-centered services, finding innovative ways to ensure those supported received the best possible care. As Service Director, she mentored team leaders and instilled HHF's mission vision.

Now as Program Director overseeing many of HHF’s programs, Stephanie continues her focus on leadership development and employee growth. She supports direct support professionals in successfully implementing agency programs. Stephanie utilizes her master’s in public administration from Old Dominion University to drive non-profit management and leadership excellence.

Leading a full life is important to Stephanie as well. She is the mother of three young children and co-owns the largest antique mall in west Michigan with her husband. This entrepreneurial experience complements her leadership skills and business-minded approach to social services. Stephanie has a true passion for turning visions into reality to positively impact lives.

Kacy Connors-Boyters, Human Resource Director

Kacy Connors-Boyters

Human Resource Director

kboyters@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x522

Who knew starting an internship at Hope House Foundation could change your life? Kacy Connors-Boyters learned this in the best possible way over two decades ago when she found Hope House Foundation and a cause about which she is passionate.

Kacy is driven by the goals of supporting people with disabilities and the teams that help realize the goals of building community and independence each day.

She began her career in direct service positions, quickly moving from part-time to full-time then into team leadership. As her experience and knowledge of the agency grew, Kacy joined the Administrative team in a Service Director role and then the Human Resources team. Employee engagement, recognition, teamwork and a one-of-a-kind work culture set Hope House apart. Each person at Hope House makes a contribution!

Kacy is a Jersey Shore native who fell in love with Hope House Foundation’s mission and planted new roots in Virginia. Kacy graduated from Old Dominion University with her bachelor’s in Human Services/Counseling. Kacy is thankful for the many lifelong friends and mentors she has met at Hope House Foundation. At home she likes to make her husband and daughters crazy with her inability to sit still. Kacy enjoys traveling to visit family and friends out of state and loves to keep her sun blocked toes in the sand.

Kim Herborn

Therapeutic Consultation Director

kherborn@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x505

Kim began her career with Hope House Foundation as a service coordinator in 2007 shortly after graduating from Longwood University with her Bachelor of Science in Sociology.  Kim was employed with Hope House Foundation from 2007-2017 in various roles including service coordinator, team leader, and behavior support specialist. Kim has been a member of the Arc of Virginia and served as the former president of the Arc of South Hampton Roads local chapter.  One of Kim’s favorite events is the annual Arc of VA convention.  Kim became endorsed as a Positive Behavior Support Facilitator through Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 and has been actively practicing behavior therapeutic consultation services since.  Kim is also a certified MANDT instructor and provides behavior trainings to agency staff.  She is passionate about advocacy and providing person-centered behavior support by directly working with individuals and their teams.  Kim has provided behavior therapeutic consultation services as an independent consultant for over a hundred individuals throughout the Hampton Roads community prior to returning to Hope House Foundation in 2022.  She has extensive experience in providing behavior support in various residential and community settings. When she is not working, Kim enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 dogs and young nephews.  She is an avid embroiderer, enjoys live music and traveling.

Lauren Lavallee

Quality Assurance and Employee Development Director

llavallee@hope-house.org757-625-6161, x518

During the summer of 2014, Lauren began an internship with Hope House Foundation that would forever change her life. That summer, Lauren experienced the positive impact of person-centered services and found that, with the right support, people with disabilities could truly experience a life of independence and community connection. After her internship ended, she went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Human Services/Counseling with a minor in Special Education from Old Dominion University.

Lauren spent the next several years teaching special education in the public school system and though she enjoyed her students, she never forgot the passion she felt for the work she did during her internship. That passion guided her back to Hope House Foundation in 2017 when she became a Service Coordinator and later a Service Support Specialist where she expanded her knowledge of quality assurance and compliance and was able to bring together her experience in services and teaching through training others.

Now, as Quality Assurance and Employee Development Director, one of Lauren’s key focus areas is on training opportunities and professional development initiatives for all staff. She is particularly passionate about providing high-quality medical care for people who are supported. Lauren also enjoys learning and is especially excited to use technology to create digital training resources for employees.

When not at work, Lauren’s greatest joy is to spend time with her son and family, laugh with friends and take fun day trips to explore new places.