Meet Our 2018 Board of Directors:
Dr. Gloria Hagans- Vice President (2015),is the Chair of our Annual International Luncheon and Education Silent Auction and our Education Committee. Gloria holds an Undergradate Degree in History from Norfolk State University, a Master’s in Social Sciences from Old Dominion University, and an Ed.D. in Edcucational Leadership and Administration from the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University.
Alexis Alarcon(2018),is an Educational Counselor for the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education. Alexis earned a B.A. in Political Science and a M.Ed. in Psychology in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, holds a M.Div. in Theology from Virginia Union University, and has 36 credit hours from Howard University.
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.
Mizuki Hamada (1983),teaches Koto, a traditional Japanese musical instrument at ODU. A native of Kitakyushu, Mizuki currently serves as Co-Chair of Kitakyushu, Japan Committee with Dr. Hiroyuki Hamada. Mizuki is a principal coordinator of the Kitakyushu program, helping smooth communications between the counterparts of two cities.
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.
Cheryl McGarrigle (2015),serves as the Chair of the Cagayan de Oro, Philippines Committee. She holds her B.A. from Liceo de Cagayan University in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. She attended Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College. She previously worked at Bank of America as Operations Analyst. Currently, she works part time with Amazon.
Ralph Nahra (2014),is President Emeritus of the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads and ; he served as president of the Council for nine years. In January 2006, Nahra was elected as President of the Norfolk Sister City Association, a position he occupied until 2009.
Sarah Peoples-Perry (2016),chairs the Tema, Ghana Sister City Committee and 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.
LaWada Poarch (2016),is a banking and acquisitions professional. She holds a B.S. from Old Dominion University and studied at Howard University. LaWada has worked in the fields of banking; health care and non-profit administration.
Dustin Rinehart (2018),is the Director of State & Local Government Relations for the Port of Virginia. Dustin graduated from Virginia Tech where he majored in Animal and Poultry Science, as well as, studied abroad at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa.
Dr. Anne 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.
Peter M. Shaw (2014),is a Professor of Business Management & Administration at the Norfolk campus of Tidewater Community College. Previously, Shaw has served as an economic analyst with the Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia (1982-1987) and as a Legislative Assistant to the Honorable L. Cleaves Manning.
Lona Tonelson (2018),is a retired Library Media Specialist serving Norfolk Public Schools for 26 years. She holds a B.A. in Art History and English, Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia and an MS.Ed. in School Library from Old Dominion University.
Markus Wegener (2018),is a Marine designer and holds an Associate’s Degree in Architectural Design. Markus is a native of Germany and currently chairs the Wilhelmshaven, Germany Committee. Markus has traveled all over Europe as well as Saudi Arabia.
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.
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.
Charlene L. Christopher - Secretary (2014),is currently a member of the Tema Sister City Committee, Chair of the Scholarship Committee and is the Board Secretary. A retired special education educator for Norfolk Public Schools, Charlene severed on the Sister City Association Board of Directors from 1994-2000.
Joyce Pierce - Treasurer (2016),is the Accounting Manager at Eos Surfaces, LLC. Joyce chairs the Toulon, France Committee and is the Board Treasurer. She holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Utah and a Diploma in French Studies from Universile de Neuchatel.
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.
Dr. Hiroyuki Hamada (1983),is emeritus faculty at Old Dominion University and serves as Japan specialist in several international organizations. For 45 years Dr. Hamada has promoted international exchange programs between Japan and Hampton Roads. This includes serving as committee chair of Kitakyushu and VP and President of NSCA Inc.
Dory Morrison (2017),currently serves as the Director of Special Gifts for WHRO Public Media. Dory received a B.S. in Business from Old Dominion University. A native from the Philippines, Dory has linguistic abilities in Tagalog and Spanish.
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.
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. Kipp Rogers (2016),is the Chief Academic Officer for Norfolk Public Schools. . An alumni of Virginia State University, Kipp earned a Masters in Educational Leadership at Old Dominion University and a Ph.D from Virginia Tech.
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.
Randy Stoker (2018),is an Assistant United States Attorney and a member of the South Hampton Roads Bar Association. Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy and earned a law degree from Duke University. Randy is currently in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a JAG. Randy is Chair of the Personnel Committee.
Dr. Alok Verma (2015),is the Ray Ferrari Professor of the Engineering Technology Department at Old Dominion University. Verma holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from IIT Kanpur, a MS in Engineering Mechanics, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from ODU.