Meet Our 2021 Board of Directors:
Gary Bonnewell - President (2019),
is a Certified Financial Planner, with a Masters Degree in Financial Planning and a recipient of the Morgan Stanley coveted Family Wealth Director designation. Gary has served as Board Chair for Virginia Wesleyan University, Norfolk Collegiate School, and Chairman of the International Azalea Festival.
Jennifer Priest- Executive Director (2015),
has been the Executive Director since 2015 and was previously a board member from 2005-2010. Jennifer holds a BA in History from Old Dominion University.
Mina Barberis - Secretary (2020),
has been a dedicted Municipal Clerk since 2004 and joined Team Norfolk in January 2019. Mina is a graduate of Saint Leo University, majoring in Communications with a minor in Political Science. She also holds a degree from Old Dominion University (Communications in Public Service). Mina is an avid musician. She plays eight instruments. Mina owns an olive orchard in ancient Olympia, Greece, exporting extra virgin olive oil to Hampton Roads. She is fluent in modern Greek, Ancient Greek and English.
Regina Davis (2018),
is a retired education administrator and served as the Senior Coordinator of Community Engagement for Norfolk Public Schools. Regina holds a Master’s of Education from Norfolk State University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Old Dominion University, and a Certification in Supervision and Administration.
Risë Flenner- Treasurer (2020),
director of succession planning with PBMares, has more than 20-year experience in the professional client services field in the industries of public accounting and trusts and estates law. She is based in the firm’s Norfolk office and specializes in helping clients plan with both estate and business succession planning.
Ms. Flenner is a member of the Professional Advisors Committee for the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. In addition, she is a member of the William & Mary Tax Conference Advisory Board. Ms. Flenner is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Risë serves as Board Treasurer.
Georgeanna Fellio (2018),
is the Senior Coordinator of Art Education, Norfolk Public Schools, and currently chairs the YAYA Committee. Georgeanna holds a Post Graduate Cert. Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University and a Master of Fine Arts from Norfolk State University. She also received a Teaching Endorsement for Art PreK-12, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art History Minor, from Old Dominion University.
Marguerite Inscoe (2020), President Elect
is a consultant working in the areas of marketing and business. She holds undergraduate degrees from Danville Community College and Old Dominion University and a Masters of Science in Technical and Occupational Studies from Old Dominion University. Marguerite also chairs our Kitakyushu, Japan Sister City Committee.
Maritsa Alger (2021),
is the Chair our Education Committee. Maritsa holds a Masters of Arts Degree, Major: Learning Disabilities/Emotional Difficulties from New York University and has completed certificate and advanced studies programs in education at Hampton University and Old Dominion University. Maritsa is a retired educator.
Sonal Rastoi (2017),
is the Director of Libraries for the Norfolk Public Library system. She holds an MLS from Catholic University and a MPA from Old Dominion University. Rastogi’s honors include, Gold Medalist, Undergraduate Studies, Meerut University, India.
Dr. Anupama Keats (2016),
previously served as a board member from 2008-2011, and as Co-Chair for the Kochi, India Committee. Dr. Keats earned an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Delhi, India and holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Sarah Peoples-Perry (2016),
currently provides contract services to the Ministry of Education, United Arab Emirates. Sarah is a retired educator with Norfolk Public Schools, where her career spanned from classroom teacher to school administrator.
Meriel Burgess Wright (2017),
is a retired Cytotechnologist, CT( ASCP), Histology Technician, HT( ASCP). Meriel holds a She holds a B.S. from Old Dominion University and holds certificates from Averett College and DePaul Hospital. A native of England, Meriel is Chair of the Norfolk County, England Committee.
Dr. Harry Xhang (2017),
is an associate professor of Community and Environmental Health at Old Dominion University. Harry holds a Ph. D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Alabama, a B.A. in Economics from Fudan University. A native of Ningbo, China, Harry Chairs our Ningbo Sister City Committee.
Luba Seliavski (2016),
is an immigration attorney in private practice. Luba received a J.D. from Capital University Law School, Columbus, OH. and a law degree from Tomsk State University Law School in Tomsk, Russia. A native of Siberia, Luba chairs the Kaliningrad, Russia Committee.
Cynthia Melton (2020),
Cynthia Melton is an Interior Designer with CMD Interior Concepts. She creates commercial and residential design spaces from conception to completion. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she studied for her B.S. in Interior Design. She is a member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and IDS (Interior Design Society). Cynthia is also a veteran of the U.S. Army Signal Corp.
Allan Bull (2019),
ex officio City of Norfolk
Adisa Muse (2019),
ex officio City of Norfolk
Dr. Robert Wojtowicz (2017),
is Dean of the Graduate School at Old Dominion University. Robert holds an M.A. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University, a B.A. in American Civilization, an M.A. in American Civilization, and a Ph. D. in History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Ann Schwartz-Miller (2012),
is a retired economics professor. She earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics at Northwestern University. Ann is the Chair of the Kochi, India Committee.
Kenny Bullock (2019),
is retired from the US Navy. Kenny works for Norfolk Naval Shipyard. He holds a Double B.A. in Psychology and Human Resources Administration and a Masters of Science in Human Resources Management. Kenny’s volunteer and community activities have included: Ingleside Civic League; Mosque (Masjid) William Salaam; Together in Education (T.I.E.) awards charity banquets; 35St. Better Block Initiative and Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation.
Markus Wegener (2018),
Becky DiRose (2021),
is a retired educator with Norfolk Public Schools. Becky has a bachelor of science degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history from Shippensburg University f Pennsylvania and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia.
David W. Lannetti (2019),
is a judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court. He received a B.S degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.S. in management from Troy State University and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law. Dave and his family have been long-time members of NSCA and have participated in numerous student exchange programs with Toulon and Wilhelmshaven.
Dr. James Pohl (2021),
Abene Aforo (2021),
is the Co-Chair of our Tema, Ghana Sister City Committee. She is a native of Ghana and our new Tema, Ghnana Sister City Committee Chair. While Abena’s background is in medical administration, she is a local business woman and entrepreneur with several businesses in Norfolk.
Edward Usita (2021),
holds Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering BSCE (Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines) Class 1979, Philippine Licensed Civil Engineer 1980, Life Member (PICE) Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers. Edward has owned Edward’s Travel since 1990.
Anil Nair, Ph.D.(2021),
holds a PhD (Management), Stern School of Business, New York University. He has the rank of Professor and serves as Chair, Department of Management, Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University. Dr. Nair is a long-time member of our Kochi, India Sister City Committee. He also has the following accomplishments:
- Minor in International Business during my PhD
- Published in international business issues
- Served as senior editor of Asia Pacific Journal, and edited special issues of international journals focused.
Dr. Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander - Immediate Past President (2006),
is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University. She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.A. from Old Dominion University and a Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary.
Raylene Baumgart (2021),
is a retired nurse and long time member of Norfolk Sister City Committee. Raylene joins the Board in 2021 as the new chair of our Cagayan de Oro, Philippines Sister City Committee.
Thomas Cross (2021),
is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Government and serves as the Director, State and Local Government Relations for the Port of Virginia.
Tina Abrefa-Gyan (2021),
Co-Chair, Tema, Ghana Sister City Committee
Dr. Tina Abrefa-Gyan, a native of Wenchi in the Bono Region of Ghana, is endowed with an unquenchable passion for teaching, research, and community service. She received a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Washington University in St Louis and also earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology at the University of Ghana, Legon in 2005 and 2002 respectively. Her post–MSW experiences include graduate placement at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs-Division for the advancement of Women and clinical practice at the Hopewell Agency in St Louis, Missouri, where she served adults with mental disabilities.
She completed her PhD at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work with a dissertation entitled, ‘Socio-demographic factors, social supports, and quality of life among people living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana’ in May 2014