Virginia CARES Statewide Staff Virtual Training 2020
DELEGATE SAM RASOUL
It is the honor of his lifetime to represent the Valley that raised him. Growing up he learned and worked at his parent’s corner store, a community hub. Through his experiences, he realized the value in listening, and neighbors helping neighbors.
Sam lives in Roanoke with his wife Layaly and their three beautiful children. He is continually inspired by the innocence and wisdom of his children. After completing his Master’s Degree, he became a small business owner, and later the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit healthcare firm helping with maternal child health in East Africa. Equipped with an understanding that leadership is a bold journey for justice, he organizes community leaders through The Impact Center; his initiative to develop & empower new age leaders. Sam committed to decline any donations from special interest Political Action Committees and lobbyists in an effort to raise awareness of the control many powerful special interests have over the political system. (Feel free to ask where my money comes from, and where it goes.)
Salaam Bhatti is the national spokesperson of the nation’s largest Muslim organization, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He is a public benefits attorney at the Virginia Poverty Law Center where he concentrates in public benefits law, which consists of programs that are administered by the state and federal government, assisting individuals with many of their basic needs. He also serves as a director at Virginia Hunger Solutions, an initiative to fight hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of children and families throughout the Commonwealth who struggle with poverty.
Bhatti, who grew up in Harrisburg, Pa., has spent time lecturing on Islam and human rights, and was co-editor of the books By the Dawn’s Early Light and The Wrong Kind of Muslim. While living in New York, he also hosted a weekly radio show called “The Real Revolution,” which discussed religion in today’s society. In addition, he has served as the national faith outreach director for MKA USA, the leading Muslim Youth organization in America.
While a student at Albright, Bhatti founded the Albright Muslim Student Association and served as its first president. He was also involved in the Criminal Justice Society, Student Government Association, Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, Domino Players, WXAC, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science fraternity. From Albright, he went on to study law in New York and graduated from Touro Law School in 2011. While in law school, Bhatti spent a good deal of time performing stand-up comedy. He has performed at Comix, Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Brokerage Comedy Club, The Comic Strip and various open mics throughout New York City.
Is a certified trainer is a training coordinator senior at the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) where he coordinates Basic Skills Program for Counselors and also teaches a variety of classes including the highly rated and much sought after Facilitation Skills for Offender Groups. He started his VADOC career as a correctional officer, working his way to his current position through sheer determination and a passion to succeed coupled with the opportunity he was given to leverage his experience in teaching and training.
Before relocating to the United States in 2012 and joining VADOC, sherif was Mathematics and College Algebra teacher as well as a career coach in his country of origin, Nigeria for 11 years. He was also a corporate technical training for an engineering firm.
In addition to being a passionate trainer, Sherif is a fervent preacher of the gospel. He preaches to the offender community at Sussex II State Prison where his teaching has been a blessing to Christian offenders and staff as well.
Training Description – Climate Setting for Group Facilitation The 1.5-hour training will help foster a positive group climate and deepen cohesion between members by equipping group facilitators with a better understanding of the stages of group development.
Speaker Jim Cowan
Jim is the Chairman of CowanPerry PC. His practice focuses on representing management in the
full spectrum of labor & employment related issues confronted by employers in today’s
workplace, handling complex business litigation matters and representing property owners and
developers on land use issues and commercial real estate projects. He represents a wide range of
employers, business owners and developers in the region, ranging from high-tech start-ups to
large manufacturers, and from local property owners to national developers.
He has twenty-five years of trial experience representing employers in non-compete litigation,
myriad types of business and partnership disputes, and the waterfront of employment-related
litigation, including employee benefits and ERISA claims.
Over the course of his career, he has represented companies in federal and state courts across
Virginia in commercial litigation and in the defense of wrongful discharge claims, including
disability, age, family medical leave, sexual harassment, race, and gender under the Americans
with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Family Medical Leave Act and
Fair Labor Standards Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981; and before
the Virginia Supreme Court on appellate matters. Jim also represents employers before the NLRB,
the EEOC and the Virginia Employment Commission. Additionally, he specializes in the preparation
of affirmative action plans and responding to OFCCP and other Department of Labor audits.
Jim serves as outside general counsel to a number of prominent companies and non-profits in the
region, and as the general counsel to Onward, the New River Valley’s economic development
alliance. He is passionate about land conservation in Southwest Virginia, and is an active member
of the Board of Directors of the New River Land Trust. Jim is also a sought-after speaker and
corporate trainer locally and for national programs, and is an active member of the Virginia State
Bar Labor & Employment Section.
Finally, Jim has been recognized for over a decade and listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”
[since 2006 to present]; as a Virginia “Super Lawyer” [Rising Star 2007-2009; and since 2010 to
present]; and also repeatedly named to Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” for
-Washington & Lee University School of Law, JD, 1994, Law Review,
Notes and Comments Editor, 1993-94, Staff Writer, 1992-93; Omicron Delta Kappa
-Towson University, BS, English, 1991, summa cum laude. Omicron Delta Kappa.
U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia
Speaker Eric Chapman
Eric focuses his practice in the areas of employment law, business law, and business/commercial litigation. As outside general
counsel, he routinely advises employers on compliance with federal and state employment laws, including the FLSA, ADA,
ADEA, FMLA, and Title VII, as well as provides advice on mitigating legal exposure across a variety of business transactions.
Eric also works with employers on day-to-day basis with regard to personnel and disciplinary issues, internal investigations,
drafting and negotiating employment contracts and separation agreements, and employer policies (e.g. leave and antiharassment
policies) and employer handbooks.
Eric has successfully defended claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act,
and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also regularly defends clients with charges pending before the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, and has represented clients in connection with claims before the Department of Justice, Virginia
OSHA, HUD, the Virginia Fair Housing Office, the North Carolina Department of Labor, and the North Carolina Business Court.
When claims arise, Eric guides clients through internal fact-finding investigations and claims analysis, assesses potential
exposure, and develops litigation strategies. In addition to disputes in the employment law field, Eric has also litigated on
behalf of clients, as both plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel, a variety of business litigation claims including but not limited
to intellectual property disputes, trade secrets misappropriation, noncompetition agreement enforcement, and varied
commercial contract disputes. Related to such proceedings, he has represented clients in federal and state court, in both
Virginia and North Carolina.
Given his experience working with employers to prevent and address claims, Eric is frequently asked to present and to provide
training to employers and professional organizations on a variety of legal issues, including, for example, employer trade
secrets protection, Fair Housing laws and compliance, curbing FMLA abuse, preserving and using ESI in litigation, best
practices for addressing harassment/discrimination claims, and successfully navigating ADA/FMLA/worker’s compensation
leave overlaps, among others topics.
Prior to joining CowanPerry, Eric worked as a summer associate and law clerk at LeClairRyan. During law school, he served as
a judicial intern for The Honorable James G. Welsh, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Virginia, and
as a yearlong extern for The Honorable Rebecca B. Connelly, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of
Virginia. Additionally, while at Washington & Lee University School of Law, Eric was selected as a Burks Scholar, and taught
legal research and writing skills to first-year law students.
Eric has been recognized by Virginia “Super Lawyers” as a Rising Star for Employment & Labor Law (2017-present), 2021
Best Lawyers®: Ones To Watch inaugural edition, recognizing extraordinary lawyers who have been in private practice for
less than 10 years for Commercial Litigation, and is on the Executive Committee of the Ted Dalton American Inns of Court.
He serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, and is a Board Member and
Legislative Chair of the New River Valley Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Washington & Lee University School of Law, JD, 2013, magna cum laude
- Law Review; Wine Law Society; Burks Scholar; Phi Delta Phi
George Mason University, MA, English, 2010
George Mason University, BA, English & Government, 2006, cum laude and Dept. Honors
Petrina Carter is the President/CEO for Tri-County Community Action Agency (TCCAA) an agency focused on empowering individuals and strengthening communities. Tri-County services are available to members of Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Charlotte Counties in Virginia. Petrina believes in the strengths of all members of the communities her agency serves and looks forward to a community where everyone lives a thriving life.
Before joining Tri-County, Petrina was the Senior Manager for the Virginia Employment Commission’s Danville Local Office, working diligently to empower communities through economic and employee development. She has served in various positions throughout the Danville region including Director of Career Services at Averett University and Executive Director of DOVES, Inc., a domestic violence shelter. Her strong background in the social services and education have allowed her the ability to empathize with the members of the community while working diligently to effect change on a broad scale.
She serves on the Board of Directors for The Halifax Chamber of Commerce, The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and The ARC of Southside. Petrina is the Chair of VACAP’s Ad-Hoc Racial Equity Committee and a Board Member for the National Community Action Partnership Association’s Equity and Economic Mobility Commission.
Petrina is a Master trainer with over twenty years’ experience in Training and Development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master’s degree in Training and Development from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois.
Dr. Deneen Evans, Tenured Associate Professor of Social Worker at Radford University is a clinically trained Social Worker and has dedicated her professional career to promoting social justice and eradicating racism. Dr. Evans started her career in higher education in 2000 serving as the Charter Director of diversity initiatives at Roanoke College. In 2005 she accepted a position at Radford University School of Social Work where she has held positions as the Coordinator of Field Education, Coordinator of the MSW Program and is currently the Coordinator of Diversity, Inclusion and Global Engagement. She has served the University as the Co-Chair of the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and as the President of the University’s Administrative and Professional Senate. Dr. Evans presents her research findings and consults on matters of diversity and inclusion to international and domestic audiences. In 2019 She and her husband opened the doors to Mosaic Mental Wellness and Health where the focus is on providing culturally responsive mental health services to diverse and underserved clients
Robert T. David Sr.
Robert T. David Sr. currently serves as Danville Virginia’s Youth and Gang Violence and Prevention Coordinator. He is the 2020 National Gang Crime ResearchCenter Frederic Milton Thrasher Award recipient for excellence in Gang Prevention and Intervention. Robert developed the 2019 Virginia Municipal League award-winning program, Project Imagine. He is an Air Force veteran with over 25 years in Public Safety experience consisting of Adult probation, Correctional Officer, Juvenile Probation, and Detention. Robert is the author of “Stand up and Breathe: 4 Steps to Recover from Failure” and “Gangs vs Kingdom: Battle for the Next Generation”, both of which have been implemented in programming to combat gang violence.
Robert holds a BA in Business Administration, MS in both Addiction Counseling and Professional Counseling. Robert is a National Gang Center Consultant as well as a Nationally Certified Gang Intervention and Prevention Specialist. He is a Master Certified Life Coach, Licensed Certified Addiction Counselor, and a North Carolina Department of Public Safety Certified Instructor.
Virginia CARES Inc. has decided to honor a participant at each site with the Cindy Martin Award. Cindy was a former Executive Director of this agency and she was instrumental in making this agency the agency that it is today. Cindy was a champion of the cause of Virginia CARES Inc.
We decided that every site will choose a participant that they feel is the best participant in their program. This participant will be awarded the Cindy Martin Award. And out of the Recipients only ONE participant will receive the Lin Edlich Award the Participant of the YEAR!
Cindy Martin Recipients for FY 17-18:
Billy Norris– NRCA
Corey Banks– People-F
Jason Pritchard-People –A
Lin Edlich’s Story
Sharon Lynne (L-Y-N-N-E) Stewart began her life on August 5th in Salt Lake City. Lin believed in the power of each individual, to shape and change their own life. Symbolically, she changed the spelling of her preferred sir name to Lin (L-I-N) Lin was and is an original. Lin held professional memberships in many organizations and was considered an expert in the field of rehabilitation. In 1988 she was appointed by Governor Baliles to the Governor’s Commission to Study Overcrowding in Prisons and Jails.
It was in the field of rehabilitation that Lin really left her mark. In 1972 Lin was the Administrative/Clinical Staff Coordinator for Rubicon, one of the earliest and best residential drug treatment centers in the U.S. In 1973 Lin was Director of Women and one of the co-founders of Hegira House in Roanoke. In 1974, Lin became a Human Relations and Organization Development consultant and trainer with TAP. In 1976, Lin was promoted to TAP Director of Offender Services. In 1981, Lin founded and became the Executive Director of Virginia CARES, a unique statewide pre and post-release program for ex-offenders, which she served until her retirement in 1999.
The secret of Lin’s success was a combination of her incredible intelligence, her quick wit, humanness, fighting spirit, and her ability to identify with the people she served.
FY 17-18 Lin Edlich Recipient Award Winner is “Galen Wright”
Galen Wright became a client in early December 2017. He heard about Virginia Cares while incarcerated at Dillwyn Correctional Center. Within a week of his release, he enrolled with the Cares Program. On Galen’s first attempt, he applied at a local grocery store and secured employment. He has been working full time at this location for the last seven months and has acquired two pay raises. He was able to save money and buy a used vehicle. He volunteers at the Lighthouse Community Center which helps pick up food. Galen volunteers in other areas at the Lighthouse including the food bank and helping with transportation for returning citizens and others who don’t have vehicles. Galen lives independently. His long-term goal for employment is to secure a job within the Railroad transportation industry. Galen credits the CARES resources for helping him transition back in society successfully.
BOARD MEETINGS – FY 2019-2020
January 29, 2020: – 2:00 p.m., 108 Henry Street 2nd Floor Auditorium, Roanoke, Virginia
April 22, 2020: – 2:00 p.m., 108 Henry Street 2nd Floor Auditorium, Roanoke, Virginia
BOARD COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON THE MORNING OF THE SAME DAY AS THE BOARD MEETING AND THE TIME WILL BE UPDATED HERE 30 DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETINGS- FYI Committee Meeting times are subject to be changed will update as needed
Finance Committee: 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Planning Committee: 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Contract Accountability Committee: 12:00 pm -12:45 pm
Personnel Committee: 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Nominating: Not meeting this meeting
Board Meeting: 2:00 pm – Until