MEET THE VFN TEAM

Staff

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Bess Littlefield

CEO

Bess Littlefield joined the Virginia Funders Network as its CEO in July 2023. Prior to this appointment, Bess spent over thirty years in higher education advancement at several institutions leading fundraising, marketing, communications, and special events teams. Her most recent role as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Chief Strategy Officer for Reynolds Community College included leadership for strategic planning and institutional research where she led the college’s most comprehensive strategic planning effort to address barriers to social and economic mobility through the transformational power of education. During her 27-year tenure at Reynolds, the college obtained $80 million in grants and gifts and the college foundation assets grew from $1 million to $25 million. Prior to Reynolds, she worked in alumni relations at George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the College of William and Mary.

As a consultant, Bess has conducted development assessments, feasibility studies, and led strategic planning workshops. In 2016, Bess received the Nina Abady Award for excellence in fundraising from the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives.

Bess has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the Richmond region, including the VPM Media Community Advisory Board, Safe Harbor, and the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. She also served as a Trustee for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Patte Koval

Director, Member Engagement & Learning

As the Director of Member Engagement & Learning, Patte Koval helps ensure that the Virginia Funders Network is a vibrant network that effectively supports members’ needs. In partnership with the CEO and Advisory Board, Patte manages VFN’s many  learning and engagement opportunities, membership, and administrative functions.

Patte’s career in both the nonprofit and business sectors incorporates strategic planning and analysis; project and relationship management; and internal and external communications. In her previous consulting role with The Monument Group, Patte helped nonprofits raise critically needed funds and enhance and grow their own effectiveness to carry out their missions. Working with TMG colleague Bobby Thalhimer, Patte was instrumental in moving VFN from idea to reality. 

Her passion and acumen for strengthening organizations extends into her volunteer leadership as an active Board member on the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth as a two-time appointee by Governors Northam and Youngkin.  She also served 12 years on the board of the Jenkins Foundation, including serving as Chair and managing the board through its strategic planning process. Other active engagement and leadership includes Voices for Virginia’s Children, Richmond Promise Neighborhood, Peter Paul Development Center, Family Lifeline, United Way Leadership Council, and roles with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

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Robin Mockenhaupt

Director, Policy & Advocacy

Robin Mockenhaupt, PhD, MPH, MBA, serves as the Director for Policy and Advocacy. Robin has served VFN and its members through the strategic identification of potential policy and advocacy opportunities and partners, connecting local and national funders around policy and advocacy solutions; and conducting learning sessions for members on why and how funders can legally support and engage in advocacy work.

Prior to joining VFN, Robin held leadership roles with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for more than two decades. Her work spanned organizational management and planning, health policy, strategic relationships, program management, and Board relations. Robin most recently served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for the foundation, supporting efforts to improve health and healthcare at the highest level.

Robin also brings to VFN expertise gained through her role in the nonprofit sector as a senior leader for AARP and her current roles as a Public Member on the American Psychological Association Board, Chairing the Dean’s Council at the University of MD School of Public Health, and serving as a member of the George Mason University College of Health and Human Services Advisory Board.

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Angie Molina

Operations Manager

Angie Molina serves as the Operations Manager for VFN and works diligently to ensure members within the Network are well supported. With over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Angie has seen the impact that grantmaking and philanthropic organizations can have within the local community.

Prior to joining the VFN team, Angie helped set up, grow, and lead a small nonprofit organization in the Greater Richmond area called Grace Home Ministries. As Executive Director of that organization, Angie launched two significant programs: The Grace Project mentoring program with the aim of helping teen moms stay in school, and the COVID Crisis Relief Program for Single Moms assisting single and teen mothers impacted by the pandemic assisting with food, household goods, and basic infant needs.

Angie brings years of experience in relationship management, marketing and communication, and a passion for the philanthropic community. 

De’Andre Darby

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, De’Andre Darby plays a crucial role in ensuring smooth administrative operations, effective communication, and successful team coordination to support the mission of the Virginia Funders Network. De’Andre leverages her extensive experience in business consulting and customer relationship management to support VFN, honing a diverse skill set fueled by a drive to enact meaningful change in the Commonwealth.

Her background includes outlining business strategies and re-designing operating models, with her key accomplishment being a comprehensive three-year strategic plan that she developed for an educational nonprofit serving at risk youth. This hands-on experience enhanced her communication and collaboration skills, allowing her to connect with diverse stakeholders and advocate for meaningful business initiatives. Beyond her professional endeavors, De’Andre is deeply committed to community service and devotes her spare time to volunteering at her local animal shelter. Looking ahead, De’Andre is excited to apply her project management, stakeholder engagement, and business process design skills to making a positive impact on Virginia’s philanthropic community.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board members generously commit their time, resources, and experience to support the goals and priorities of the Virginia Funders Network. The Advisory Board’s composition represents and reflects VFN’s membership and the Commonwealth’s diverse geographic regions. 

Executive Committee

CHAIR

Clark Casteel
Danville Regional Foundation

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR

Jill Coleman
The Cameron Foundation

VICE-CHAIR/GOVERNANCE

Dan Layman
Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge

SECRETARY/TREASURER

Kate Keller
The Harvest Foundation

MEMBERSHIP

Paulin Cheatham
Dominion Energy & Dominion Energy Foundation

FISCAL SPONSOR

Christy Connolly
PATH Foundation

Members

Scott Blackwell | The Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond

Erin Hogan | Bank of America Private Bank

Travis Jackson | Wythe-Bland Foundation

Sean McMurray | Wellspring Foundation of Southwest Virginia

Sherry Norquist | Sentara Health

Stephanie Randolph | Cassiopeia Foundation

Sari Raskin | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Courtney Rice | Northern Virginia Health Foundation

Evette Roots | Wells Fargo