Staff

Andrae Hash | New River Valley Organizer

Andrae Hash | New River Valley Organizer

Andrae Hash joined Virginia Organizing in August 2015 as the New River Valley Organizer. A native of Southwest Virginia and lifelong Virginia resident, Andrae has deep interests in grassroots organizing in his community. He received a Bachelor of Sci ...

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Ben Thacker-Gwaltney | Database Manager

Ben Thacker-Gwaltney | Database Manager

Ben Thacker-Gwaltney is the Database Manager for Virginia Organizing.  A native Virginian, Ben began working as an organizer in 1998 with the Lynchburg and Amherst County Virginia Organizing chapters before moving to Williamsburg in 2004. He then had ...

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Brian Johns | Southwest Virginia Organizer/Organizing Director

Brian Johns | Southwest Virginia Organizer/Organizing Director

Brian Johns first came to Virginia Organizing as an intern in 2000, and then worked as a community organizer from 2001-2005. He spent two years in Pennsylvania doing community organizing with a labor union, and returned to Virginia Organizing in 2007 ...

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Haley Wilson | Lynchburg Organizer

Haley Wilson | Lynchburg Organizer

Haley Wilson joined Virginia Organizing as the Lynchburg Organizer in March 2015. Before coming to Virginia, she worked on a number of local and statewide electoral campaigns in her native North Carolina. Haley developed a passion for community organ ...

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Harold Folley | Charlottesville Organizer

Harold Folley | Charlottesville Organizer

Harold Folley is a man who has a desire to obtain as much knowledge as possible, and to pass it on to the youth that he assists. He is a determined individual who seeks new pathways to help others. Harold believes that he can make a difference in his ...

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Isabel Castillo | Shenandoah Valley Organizer

Isabel Castillo | Shenandoah Valley Organizer

Isabel Castillo joined the Virginia Organizing staff in the summer of 2013. She has lived in the Shenandoah Valley in VA for the past 22 years. She holds both a Bachelor's in Social Work and a Masters in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite ...

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Joe Szakos | Executive Director

Joe Szakos | Executive Director

Joe Szakos has been the executive director of Virginia Organizing since 1994. He was the founding coordinator of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and has also done community organizing in Chicago and Hungary. Joe has a Masters degree from the Univers ...

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Laura Ramirez | Director of Finance and Administration

Laura Ramirez | Director of Finance and Administration

Laura Ramirez began working at Virginia Organizing in 1998 and is responsible for the financial management of the organization; administration of benefits and insurance policies; developing, implementing and maintaining a technology strategy that inc ...

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Maggie Murphy | Director of Advancement

Maggie Murphy | Director of Advancement

Maggie has been with Virginia Organizing as a fundraiser and event organizer since October 2012. An Irish native, she was a registered nurse specializing in care with people with intellectual and physical disablities. Her peace and social justice org ...

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Meghan McNamara | Portsmouth/Eastern Shore Organizer

Meghan McNamara | Portsmouth/Eastern Shore Organizer

Meghan McNamara is a community and labor organizer who joined Virginia Organizing in January 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Meghan worked on various social justice campaigns in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Chicago, and Hampton Roads. She beg ...

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Michele Mattioli | Special Projects Coordinator

Michele Mattioli | Special Projects Coordinator

Michele served as Development Director for Virginia Organizing from 1999 to 2008 and now serves as Special Projects Coordinator. Previously she directed a Montessori school for 17 years. Michele has lived in Charlottesville since 1980, where she has ...

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Nik Belanger | Southside Organizer

Nik Belanger | Southside Organizer

  Nik joined the staff of Virginia Organizing as the Southside Organizer in January 2010. Before organizing in Danville and Martinsville/Henry County, Nik was an active member of the the Williamsburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing, working on a ...

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Rabib Hasan | Fredericksburg Organizer

Rabib Hasan | Fredericksburg Organizer

Rabib Hasan joined Virginia Organizing in the summer of 2016, shortly after he graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a bachelor’s in Sociology. During his time at Mary Washington, he was a leader in a successful fossil fuel divestment ...

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Rosemary Gould | Director of Communications

Rosemary Gould | Director of Communications

Rosemary joined Virginia Organizing in May, 2017 as the Director of Communications. She grew up near Chicago but has lived in Charlottesville since 1989 when she came here to be a doctoral student in UVA's English Department. She has a husband and th ...

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Sally Bastian | Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Sally Bastian | Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator

Sally Bastian began working with Virginia Organizing in 2006, as the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator. In the past she has worked in education, housing, and in community development. She is also a Spanish speaker. Sally is excited about Virginia Or ...

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Tuere East-Brown | Chesapeake/Suffolk Organizer

Tuere East-Brown | Chesapeake/Suffolk Organizer

Tuere East-Brown began with Virginia Organizing as a volunteer and later became a leader in the community on environmental issues. She joined Virginia Organizing as the Chesapeake/Suffolk Organizer in January 2016. Tuere and her family moved from Mar ...

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Tyson Jackson | Central Virginia Organizer

Tyson Jackson | Central Virginia Organizer

Tyson is originally from Champaign, Illinois and began his organizing career in Jackson, Mississippi at the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. Soon after, he got involved with the labor movement and began as a Student and Community Organizer with th ...

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