Ms. Heather Peeler assumed her role in February 2018 and comes to ACT from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (www.GEOfunders.org), 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.
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 joined ACT for Alexandria in November of 2019, bringing with her almost two decades of professional development experience. She currently serves as 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 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 joined ACT in September 2019 and brings over 16 years of experience in managing daily operations of administration, data management, and capacity building for healthcare specialty centers. As the Development Program Coordinator, 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.
Molly Klein joined ACT for Alexandria in April 2020 as an intern before being offered the position of Development and Program Associate in August. She studied Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida with a focus on Nonprofit Management.
Molly has worked and volunteered with several nonprofits and populations, working closely with Habitat for Humanity in Gainesville, Florida. She is passionate about pursuing sustainable change and serving the underprivileged in the community. In her spare time, Molly loves to spend her time outdoors, working on creative projects or volunteering in the community.
Brendan grew up in Alexandria, graduating from Alexandria High School in 2019, and has always wanted to give back to the wonderful community that raised him. He is now a Junior at the University of Mary Washington, where he is fulfilling a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Digital Studies. He is interested in pursuing a career involving non-profits. In his spare time, Brendan loves to spend time outdoors and is a member of the UMW Varsity Swim Team.
ACT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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 Emeritus – C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute
Board Member Emeritus – Lori Morris, Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation
David Baker, Virginia Tech
Virginia Bennett, CNA
Scott Darling, Dyson Capital Advisors
Rose Dawson, Alexandria Public Library
Maureen Devine-Ahl, Candor & Company
Sydney Etheredge, Planned Parenthood
Chris Foster, BCW Global
Kelly Grant, ALX Community
Lisa Guernsey, New America
Charles Holt, Verdence Capital Advisors
Kurt Huffman, Alexandria City Public Schools
Joseph LaMountain, Reingold
Stephanie Landrum, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Lisa Martin, Embrace Communications
Ericka Miller, Isaacson, Miller, Inc.
Phyllis Patterson, The Patterson Group – TTR Sotheby’s Real Estate
Amy Rutherford, Red Barn Mercantile and Penny Post
David Spinrad, Beth El Hebrew Congregation
Rob Whittle, Williams Whittle