Board of Directors 2017-2018
Elected Officials (Indefinite Term)
Representative of General Assembly
Chris Head, Delegate
Start of Term: January 2006
Representative of General Assembly
Sam Rasoul, Delegate
Start of Term: September 2014
Sam Rasoul represents the Eleventh District in the General Assembly House of Delegates and has won The Roanoker magazine’s Platinum Award for “Government Person Who Gets It” for the past two years. Raised in a working class family here in the Star City, Sam lives in Roanoke with his wife Layaly and their 3 beautiful children. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College and Master’s Degree in International Business from Hawaii Pacific University, he became a small business owner and later the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit healthcare firm. Sam channeled his passion for healthcare reform into finding more compassionate ways to care for our seniors and helping with maternal and child health in East Africa. Aside from working hard to best serve the people he represents in the Roanoke Valley, Sam currently has his own small business that helps organizations become more successful through developing better business plans and through investing in their employees.
Representative of Roanoke City Council
Sherman Lea, Jr.
Start of Term: September 2014
Sherman Lea, Jr. grew up in the Roanoke Valley, where he attended William Fleming High School. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Hollins University, where he received his Masters. Sherman has an established career in human services ranging from criminal justice to mental health services. He began his career with the Virginia Department of Corrections as a prison counselor and later transitioned to an Adult Probation and Parole Officer serving the Roanoke Valley community. Mr. Lea saw a correlation between criminal activity and individuals’ abilities to manage their mental illness symptoms. As a result he focused his efforts on prevention and stabilization and went on to become the owner and Executive Director of New Hope Support Services, LLC (NHSS). NHSS is a human services organization that provides community-based mental health supports and has offices throughout Southwest, Southside and Central Virginia. NHSS has close to 100 employees and has helped over 1000 people since the company began in 2008. Giving back to the community is a priority for Lea, Jr. he speaks on social issues and is active board member on numerous not-for-profit organizations including National Association of Black in Criminal Justice Board Member; Founding Board Member of Urban Professional League (Roanoke); Board Member for the Roanoke City School Foundation and the Salvation Army Board of Directors; and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.
2015 NAACP Roanoke Chapter Business Award
2013 National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Medgar Evers Award
2013 SCLC Drum Major for Justice Award
In the wake of events in Ferguson and Baltimore there was a need for dialog between our youth and police. The Lea Youth Outdoor Basketball League was established to have police serve as coaches and referees in the league to build positive relationships with our inner city youth. Over 200 kids participated in the league and it was a huge help in bridging the gap that exist with youth and law enforcement.
Representative of Roanoke City Council
Board Position: Vice-Chair
Start of Term: January 2014
After 26 years of continual law enforcement service to the Roanoke Valley, Tim Allen was elected as Sheriff for the City of Roanoke. He looks forward in utilizing his experience to serve the people of Roanoke City as their Sheriff. Sheriff Allen has a proven track record of integrity, management and administrative experience in correctional law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff Allen is a lifelong resident of Roanoke and was born and raised in Roanoke City and attended Roanoke City Public Schools and Virginia Western Community College. He and his family reside in Roanoke City. He and his wife of 25 years have two wonderful children.
Sheriff Allen began working as a deputy for the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office and spent over twenty-one years with that agency. He worked under three different sheriffs during his tenure and worked within all three divisions of the agency; which included the Jail Security, Court Security and Support Services Division. He worked in the ranks of deputy to lieutenant.
In August of 2008, he respectfully resigned from the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office to accept a Captain’s, Assistant Security Division Commander position with the Western Virginia Regional Jail in Roanoke County to help establish this newly organized agency as a highly regarded criminal justice agency in Virginia. In 2010, he was promoted to his Major, Services Division Commander. During his career, Sheriff Allen has provided a high degree of professionalism and leadership.
He retired in February 2013 to actively pursue the elected office of Sheriff and was elected Sheriff on November 5, 2013.
Representative of Covington City Council
Start Term: September 2016
Stephanie R. Clark, Councilwoman is married to Deacon Orlando Clark, Sr. he is employed at Alleghany Corp. They have 2 Children Victoria K. Clark- employed with Verizon Wireless in Roanoke, VA- Orlando (Lil ‘O’) who is employed with Hotel Roanoke, VA as Coordinator for Pantry., they have several God-Children.
Ms. Clark began her first term on City Council on July 1, 2004 as an Appointment to fill the Unexpired term of Mr. Wilbert Lee, Former Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Thomas Simmons sought after her for this Appointment…. She was Appointment in April… ran unopposed for 4 terms ..She appointed vice- mayor for four years… She as appointed the first African-American Mayor in July 2008. She was appointed by Rob Bennett, Bill Zimmerman, Buddy Brown, B.B. Bryant ..She is a native of Covington has volunteered in the school system, worked as a secretary Jeter- Watson and Edgemont schools, She was a teacher at the Alleghany Highlands Academy Christian School. Weekday Religious Education teacher from 2002-2004. She was a volunteer for H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel). HOPE helps children with homework, cognitive skills, prepares them for pre-school and is a guidance program for drug and alcohol prevention for grades 4-7, while providing them with a safe haven to learn. She is active in the community and is a licensed Evangelist in the Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Mayor Clark loves to sing at her church, in the community and at events in other states. She is a motivational speaker and helps with the literacy program for TAP (Total Action Against Poverty) so that others can obtain their GED.
Stephanie is currently on the RAC Secured Rural Board appointed by Secretary of Agriculture. She attended Mayors Training in 2006, 2008 @ the VML (Virginia Municipal League) conferences. She served VML as a representative for Covington on the Laws /procedures committee in 2006. She was on the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission; 2004-2008 She was on the Tap Board from 2004-2008. She served on the Safehomes Board in 2004, she was featured in USA Today in 2008, Bloomberg News 2008, She asked to join the Governor’s Transitional team in Local Government. She attended Goodnews Fellowship School of Ministry 2014, She moved her membership to the First Baptist Church in 2011 she was Licensed as a Minister In 2014. Pastor Willie Cannon Ordained her in 2014. She was the First Woman to be Ordained by Pastor Cannon. She was called to Pastor in Buena Vista at the First Baptist Church… She is the First Woman Pastor @ First Baptist. Pastor Clark is Motivational Speaker and Singer…Stephanie was employed by TAP (Total Action for Progress) as Fathers First Community Services Coordinator she worked in this position for 2 years. She helped Fathers with economic stability, healthy relationships, co-parenting. She helped over 30 men and women in the Rockbridge/Buena Vista area…In 2014 Stephanie accepted a position with TAP as Rural Community Relations Director. In 2016 Stephanie appointed by Covington City Council to serve on the VA Cares for the State of Virginia. Stephanie loves her community and Volunteers on a regular basis. Stephanie submitted to the Governor for Appointment of Senator Kaine’s seat if he and Hillary should win the election. It was humbly submitted. A Letter of correspondence was received on November 21. Thanking her for her letter it was being held until the election was over.. The saying is If at First you don’t Succeed.. You know She will try, try again…
Start of Term: September 2016
Private Representatives (5/10 Term)
Board Position: Parliamentarian
Term: January 2014 – January 2019
Colonel Bobby D. Russell was appointed Superintendent of the Western Virginia Regional Jail on July 1, 2010, after serving as Acting Superintendent. Superintendent Russell was one of the original members of the Regional Jail’s transition team. This team oversaw the construction of the Jail and performed the numerous other tasks required to bring the facility on line including equipping the new facility and hiring the almost 200 employees needed to staff it. As the Regional Jail’s first Deputy Superintendent, he was responsible for many of the Jail’s day-to-day operations and served at the Transition Team Leader. Superintendent Russell is presently serving in his 8th year as a member of the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Training, a policy making body responsible to the Board for “effecting” those provisions of the Code of Virginia related to training standards. Superintendent Russell is also the President Elect for the Virginia Association of Regional Jails, an association representing over 24 Regional Jails and over 1000 regional jail employees.
Superintendent Russell who is a native of Roanoke, Virginia, and a graduate of Cave Spring High School; has a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Ferrum College and is a graduate of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy. He holds training and certification as a Virginia Law Enforcement Officer, Jail Officer, and Criminal Justice Instructor. He has been involved in public safety since he was 16 and has over 29 years of professional experience in the field of public safety and corrections.
Before coming to the Western Virginia Regional Jail, Superintendent Russell served the City of Roanoke and the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years. During that time he has held a number of positions including Professional Standards Lieutenant and Captain – Court Security Division Commander. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Superintendent Russell is active in his church where he serves as Deacon and Chair of Church Council.
Superintendent Russell is married, and he and his wife Donna have two children— Samantha, a student at the University of Tennessee and Reves, a rising freshman at Patrick Henry High School.
Term: January 2014 – January 2019
Mr. Vassar is semi-retired after a long career in the legal, human service and criminal justice arenas. For 15 years prior to his retirement in 2013, he served as Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, in both Majority and Minority status. Before that, he served as Senior Counsel and Legislative Director to Congressman Bobby Scott (VA). Prior to working in Congress, he served in Virginia as Acting Secretary for Health and Human Resources, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Social Services, and Chairman, Virginia Parole Board. He also served as President of the Association of Paroling Authorities in 1987 and as a member of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Guidelines Commission from 1995 to 2001. He has served as a member and as Rector of the Norfolk State University Board, and now serves as a member and Vice Chairman of the Virginia Board of Corrections, as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Parole Review, and the Boards of the Sentencing Project, the Justice Policy Institute, the National Prevention Science Coalition and Virginia CARES.
Mr. Vassar began his career as an attorney at the Roanoke Legal Aid Society and has served as an attorney with the Laborer’s International Pre-paid Legal Plan, as Assistant Vice Chancellor at UNC-CH, and as Executive Director of the Peninsula Legal Aid Society. He is a graduate of Norfolk State University and of the University of Virginia School of Law.
Board Position: Board Chair
Term: January 2017 – January 2022
Mr. Curtis Thompson is a native of Roanoke, VA. And is a resident of the City of Roanoke.
He attended Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, VA. He completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology with a Minor in Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation at Seattle University in 1990.
He currently serves as Director of Financial Services at Total Action Against Poverty in Roanoke VA. He focuses upon products and services to assist small business owners become successful entrepreneurs in the TAP service area (lending & micro-financing). In a previous position, Mr. Thompson was founder, and Executive Director of New Vision Youth Services, a for-profit youth service organization serving the Roanoke and Alleghany Highlands. New Vision Youth Services provides a wide array of direct service programs serving the youth most in need.
Mr. Thompson is also deeply engaged in public service. He has served as President of Inner City Athletic Association (ICAA) for four years and helped the organization develop & write many successful grant applications to support its many programs. He also served on the Board of Directors for The Roanoke Adolescent Health Partnership (RHAP) for two terms.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Damon Williams is a graduate of William Fleming High School and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Virginia Military Institute.
While a cadet at VMI, Mr. Williams was a stand-out basketball player. Damon and his twin brother, Ramon, are the highest scoring twin duo in NCAA history. Along with his brother, he was inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He remains involved in the game as a NCAA basketball official at the Division I level.
Employed by First Citizens Bank for more than sixteen years, Damon now is the bank’s Regional Community Development Officer. In that role, he is responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and retail development efforts in the communities the bank serves throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Carilion Medical Center and served as a member of the Carilion Clinic’s Governance Task Force.
Mr. Williams is an active citizen in the Roanoke area. He has been the chairman of both the Foundation for the Roanoke Valley and the Economic Development Authority for the City of Roanoke. Damon also has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwestern Virginia and was a member of the Community Health Assessment Team for Healthy Roanoke Valley. His involvement with Total Action for Progress includes being a member of its Property Committee and serving on the board of its Business Seed Capital, Inc.
Damon has served his alma mater as member of the VMI Keydet Club’s Board of Governors and currently is a Director of the VMI Alumni Association.
Mr. Williams has been devoted to giving back to his community, especially its youth. Annually, he and his brother conduct summer basketball camps for both boys and girls in the Roanoke area which are sponsored by their non-profit group, Youth Sports, Inc. In 2001, Damon and brother received the “Key to the City” from Roanoke’s Mayor, Noel C. Taylor, in recognition of their service to the area’s young people.
Term: January 2017 – January 2022
Leslie Fields Matney, is a retired Chief Probation and Parole Officer who served the Commonwealth of Virginia through the Virginia Department of Corrections for 31 and one half years. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1982 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology. She initially worked for a local Community Service Board in Christiansburg, VA for two years as a Case Manager for New River Community Sentencing, working with offenders through the General District Court system. In June 1985 she was hired by the DOC as a Probation Officer in Williamsburg and worked there for approximately one year. She transferred to the Roanoke office in 1986 where she worked in a multitude of positions and interests for 23 years. During that time, she received her CSAC certification (Certified Substance Abuse Counselor) and spent much of her career working with chemically addicted state responsible offenders. She was involved in the first Drug Court in the State of Virginia, Roanoke and proudly served as one of the first Probation Officers, establishing it as the premier program in the state. The Drug Court at one time was based in the intensive supervision Day Reporting Center which focused on high needs offenders and their rehabilitation efforts in the community. She worked with the Roanoke based DOC Transitional Therapeutic Community programs through Bethany Hall and Hegira House, developing her position as a specialized Probation Officer. This position was involved in transitioning offenders from the institution to the program and then work on stabilizing the offender in the community before eventual release from supervision.
During this time, she was promoted to Senior CSAC Probation Officer as well as an Administrative Senior Probation Officer. Through these positions Chief Matney was not only able to work with offenders, but also work with the new Probation Officers, as a Training Officer and assisted in developing their career in the Virginia DOC.
In 2009, she was promoted to Chief Probation Officer in Botetourt supervising a staff of 11 people and a responsibility for 400 plus offenders in the Botetourt, Allegheny and Craig County area. She served that community for 7 years. During that time she assisted in the development of the BAC Home Re-entry Council, assisting in placement of difficult offenders in the community. She also worked with the teacher in the local Botetourt Technical Education Center (BTEC) to establish a mentorship program with the local students enrolled in the criminal justice curriculum. Utilizing the highlights of the institutions and community based elements, students were exposed to a variety of careers and opportunities within the Virginia DOC. She also worked on the Virginia DOC Directors Future Search program to review the direction of the department and assist with development of long term goals. She also served on the initial Healing Environment Council to implement a department wide communication initiative. In 2016 she transferred to the Bedford Probation office where she served that community until her retirement in September 2016
Chief Matney served in several capacities on the Bethany Hall Board of Directors for over 25 years. She currently serves as one of the Representatives from Bethany Hall on the current ARCH Board of Directors. She was recognized as Virginia’s Probation Officer of the Year. She has served her faith as an Elder and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church. She was a Core Group Council member and Sunday School teacher for her class.
Low Income Representatives (5/10)
Term: January 2017 – January 2022
Term: April 2016 – April 2021
Stephen Alan Musselwhite
Term: January 2015 – January 2020
John LaFlamme, Jr.
Term: April 2017 – April 2022
John LaFlamme came on the Virginia CARES Board of Directors in 2017 and serves on the Planning and Personnel committees.
John is employed as Assistant Manager with Stop In Food Stores.
John volunteers with Gift of Deliverance which prepares meals for those who are low income or shut-in at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He is a member of Christian Motorcyclists Association.
Term: June 2017 – June 2022