Meet Our 2019 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.
Dr. Gloria Hagans- 1st 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.
Regina Davis - 2nd Vice President(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.
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),
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. 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.
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.
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),
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 Touloon and Wilhelmshaven.
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.
Meredith Hobson (2019),
is Senior Coordinator, World Language and English as a Second Language Programs for Norfolk Public Schools. Meredith has taught Spanish and English as a second language. She was the director of the Migrant Resource Center for Pender County Schools in NC. Meredith has a BA in Spanish language and literature from Virginia Tech and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Instructional Leadership form the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently a PhD candidate at Old Dominion University in the Education Leadership program.
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.
Mina Barberis (2019),
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. Mina is an avid musician. She plays eight different instruments. She owns an olive orchard in Ancient Olympia, Greece and imports extra virgin olive oil to Hampton Roads. Mina is fluent in Modern Greek, Ancient Greek, and English.
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.
Bonita Anthony (2019),
has worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Newport News Shipbuilding. She is the Director of Engineering Student Success at the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. Bonita is an avid musician who plays the piano and violin. She has performed in the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and major concert halls in Venice, Italy, in Geneva, Switzerland, and in London, England.
Harry Acuna (2019),
is retired from the U.S. Navy. Harry works for the VA Medical Center in Hampton as a Biomedical Equipment Support Specialist. Harry is fluent in Tagalog, Cebuano, and Japanese.
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.
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.
Adisa Muse (2019),
ex officio City of Norfolk
Allan Bull (2019),
ex officio City of Norfolk