ACT Board & Staff

Meet the ACT Team


Heather Peeler Portrait

Heather Peeler

President and Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Heather Peeler assumed her role in February 2018 and comes to ACT from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (, a highly regarded organization dedicated to effective philanthropy and nonprofit success. As Vice President of Member and Partner Engagement, she mobilized a national network of more than 5,000 grantmakers in adopting practices to make the greatest impact on nonprofit performance. She previously served as Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service and as Managing Director at Community Wealth Partners. Throughout her career she has focused on bringing people together to make their organizations and their communities stronger. She regularly writes and speaks about capacity building, community engagement, collaboration, and learning and evaluation. Her own community involvement includes serving as Chair of the Board of Fair Chance, an organization that builds the capacity of grassroots youth-serving organizations, and as a Commissioner on the Washington, D.C. Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes. Ms. Peeler holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts and earned her M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

Brandi N. Yee Portrait

Brandi N. Yee

Chief Program Officer

As the chief program officer, Brandi Yee oversees ACT’s philanthropic and community investment initiatives, including the Capacity Building Grants Program, IMPACT: Innovation + Philanthropy, LEAD, and Spring2ACTion. She is passionate about strengthening the nonprofit sector and advising donors on strategic and effective philanthropic giving, and engaging them in the work of local nonprofits.

Prior to ACT, she worked with Workforce Organizations for Regional Collaboration (WORC) and Goodwill of Greater Washington, opening the Arlington Career Campus of Goodwill that offered bank skills and hospitality skills job training programs, English classes, and GED courses on-site. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Brandi worked with undergraduate students as a career consultant at the George Mason University School of Management and as a recruiter with User Technology Associates, Inc., a government contractor.

Brandi has an M.S. in Organizational Learning from George Mason University and a B.A. in Rhetoric & Communication and Sociology-Organizational Studies from the University of California, Davis. Brandi is a member of the Diaconate and Women’s Leadership Council of Grace Presbyterian Church-DC and is a founding board member of Girls on the Run – DC.

Tricia Ritchie Portrait

Tricia Ritchie

Chief Development Officer

Tricia Ritchie joined ACT for Alexandria in October of 2019, bringing with her almost two decades of professional development experience. She currently serves as Chief Development Officer, where she provides strategic oversight of ACT’s development program and helps build a strong donor base to support ACT’s community-building initiatives.

Prior to joining ACT, Tricia provided consulting services to local nonprofits and specialized in program evaluation and advising clients on fund development, solicitations, data collection and evaluation, and organizational development. For seven years she worked with Levine Music, a multi-campus music organization in the greater Washington, DC region. From 2010-2013, she worked with ALIVE!, an Alexandrian nonprofit that addresses short and long-term needs for those less fortunate in the community.

Before opening her consulting practice, Tricia held the position of Associate Director of Development at Maret School in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw their Major Gifts, Annual Giving, and Planned Giving programs. She also worked on all aspects of a $25 million fundraising campaign for the school.

Tricia holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary. Valuing community both in the workplace and in her personal life, she has served as a Girl Scout leader for six years and as a member of the Diaconate of First Baptist Church of Alexandria. Tricia lives in Alexandria with her husband, Branden, and their two children.

Sally Bolger Gardner Portrait

Sally Bolger Gardner

Operations Manager

Sally Bolger Gardner joined ACT in September 2017, returning to Alexandria, her hometown, from 11 years in the Northern California town of Grass Valley. Sally’s background is primarily in office administration and human resources with minor detours for graduate school and raising two children, Sam and Clara, whom she and her husband, Gary, adopted from Bolivia. Sally is looking forward to working with the ACT team and re-rooting herself within the Alexandria community.

Leeann Napoleon Portrait

Leeann Napoleon

Development Program Manager

Leeann Napoleon joined ACT in September 2019 and brings over 16 years of experience in managing daily operations of administration, data management, and capacity building for organizations. As the Development Program Manager, she provides day-to-day support for donor-advised fund holders and is committed to ACT’s mission to support local nonprofits who serve vulnerable and at-risk populations throughout the Alexandria community.

Leeann earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton and obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Health from A.T. Still University. She made the cross country move from the west to east coast in 2018 and enjoys everything Alexandria has to offer. Empowering resiliency and enhancing the needs of the communities most vulnerable has been both a personal and professional goal of Leeann’s and has motivated her to work in the non-profit sector. In her free time, Leeann loves to cook and enjoys being outdoors in beautiful Northern Virginia.

Aaliyah Kerr Portrait

Aaliyah Kerr

Program Coordinator

Aaliyah Kerr has dedicated her career to social service and is overjoyed to help achieve the mission at ACT for Alexandria. As the Program Coordinator, she manages aspects of the Community Access and Emergency Support and Childcare Stabilization Grant programs and provides support to ACT’s community investment initiatives.

Prior to joining ACT, Aaliyah worked with ServiceSource Inc. in the Employment Support for Parents program where she provided individualized job development services for parents looking to return to the workforce, making a career change, or seeking professional growth.

Aaliyah holds a B.A. in Sociology from the College of William and Mary. She is truly passionate about facilitating conversations centered on diversity and inclusion in an effort to promote understanding cultural awareness. While simultaneously sharing passion for the arts, Aaliyah teaches acro dance for school-aged children.

Caitlin Brown Portrait

Caitlin Brown

Youth Support Network Manager

Caitlin Brown is delighted to be working with ACT for Alexandria and supporting the dedicated out of school time and youth-serving organizations in the Alexandria community. Caitlin has a multi-faceted background as a non-profit co-founder, program director, and educator.  Prior to joining ACT for Alexandria, Caitlin was a program director at Levine Music, where she was responsible for the continued development of Camp Levine, a multidisciplinary arts program serving one thousand youth across campuses in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., each year.  Additionally, Caitlin established school partnerships, working alongside school administrators and teachers to create engaging programming for students in grades PK-12.  Caitlin also has experience in the classroom, having taught in public and private schools in Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County for ten years.

Kyle Reardon Portrait

Kyle Reardon

Communications Manager

Kyle Reardon joined ACT in March of 2022 as the Communications and Marketing director. With almost a decade in non-profit and government communications, Kyle is thrilled to be able to put his talents and experience to use in his home community. Kyle is focused on making sure that people have the tools and opportunity to tell their own stories, hoping to build more empathy between members of the community and find common connections here in Alexandria no matter our backgrounds.

Kyle graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Creative Writing and Film Writing. He has lived in Alexandria for almost a decade, working professionally in marketing departments, comms teams, and as a graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator.

Janae Thompson Portrait

Janae Thompson

Youth Council Associate

Janae Thompson was born in Buffalo, NY but has been a native of the metropolitan area for more than 25 years. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology and later her master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland. Janae’s passion for helping others in need has prompt her in pursuing her current full time career with Fairfax County Department of Family Services. Prior to working with the county, she was employed at National Spine & Pain Centers Stem Cell Arts as their clinic manager. Through her experience in healthcare, she enjoyed providing quality customer service and care to patients. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and taking her three-year-old Maltese Westie Terrier Dior on walks.


Chair – Molly Dahl, Congressional Budget Office
Vice Chair – Karen Avery, Isaacson, Miller, Inc.
Secretary – John Armstrong, Joy Riot Agency
Treasurer – Brian Lundeen, Grobstein Teeple, LLP

Chair Elect – Maureen Devine Ahl, Candor & Company

Chair Emeritus – C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute
Board Member Emeritus – Lori Morris, Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation


David Baker, Virginia Tech

Virginia Bennett, CNA

Julia Burgos, Alexandria City Public Schools

Scott Darling, Dyson Capital Advisors

Rose Dawson, Alexandria Public Library

Jennifer Ferrara, John Marshall Bank

Laurie Flynn

Chris Foster, BCW Global

Lisa Guernsey, New America

Charles Holt, Verdence Capital Advisors

Kurt Huffman, Alexandria City Public Schools

Bryan Jackson, Nonprofit HR

Basim Khan, Neighborhood Health

Joseph LaMountain, Reingold

Stephanie Landrum, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership

Lisa Martin, Embrace Communications

Peter Madigan

Peter McElwain, Baker Tilly, US, LLP

Erik Muendel, ESP Coffee & Tea

Phyllis Patterson, The Patterson Group – TTR Sotheby’s Real Estate

Betsey Rosenbaum

Amy Rutherford, Red Barn Mercantile and Penny Post

David Spinrad, Beth El Hebrew Congregation

Rob Whittle, Williams Whittle

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