People at A Place to Stand

Executive Management and Board of Directors

Richelle Brown

photobioFounder, CEO, President and Executive Director. Earned her Masters in Education at the George Washington University which she put to use teaching in Washington DC public schools.  In 2002, she led an effort to open a charter school with comprehensive services.   In 2007, she established an emergent literacy program for the rural indigenous population in Panama that continues to grow and has spread to numerous districts. Her work as an in-home counselor in Northern Virginia heightened her awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues, food insecurity and homelessness among families in the area.  In her capacity as a Family Resource Specialist for a local elementary school, she continues to connect families to local resources and learn more about the system’s inadequacies and how they affect our target population:  the hungry and homeless.  She currently serves on the Fairfax City task force to end childhood food insecurity.

Dr. Gordon Brown

photobioFounder, COO, Vice President and Director of Operations. In addition to his more than 15 years as a teacher, Gordon has worked in almost every position possible in the food and beverage industry, including manager and owner/operator. His teaching in urban schools in the U.S. and his work in an orphanage in Panama developed an affinity for accessing the untapped human potential in these settings. His five years as Chief Operating Officer of an international clinical research organization leaves him with contacts of hospital directors and other medical professionals in India, Romania, South Africa, Mexico and Panama.

Kate Hebert

Has been living in the Northern Virginia area with her husband and two children since 2017.  Before that she and her family moved around the country to support her husband’s career in the US Navy.  Kate grew up in New Mexico and has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of New Mexico.  She currently teaches in the Enhanced Autism program for Fairfax County Public Schools.  She has always chosen to take the path less traveled which has allowed her to take part in many unique and rewarding opportunities.  She is strongly involved in A Place to Stand’s food waste reduction efforts through gleaning at farmers’ markets and distributing produce in the Fairfax City area.  She has a strong sense of community and feels that if we all do our small part, we can create the change that so many of us envision.

Katy Malesky

photobioDirector, A Place to Eat Is a Northern Virginia native who graduated from high school in Fairfax County and holds a BA in Mass Communication from George Mason University. After 20 years of working in the professional recruiting industry, Katy embraced her passion for volunteering and her family. She served on the PTA boards of Daniels Run Elementary and Lanier Middle School in Fairfax City and remains a member at Fairfax High School. On evenings and weekends, you’ll find her cheering on the sidelines at soccer and basketball games as well as Fairfax HS sporting events. Katy is devoted to assisting poor and hungry families in and around her Fairfax City community.

Steven Y. Solomon

photobioIs a principal in the Rochester, New York law firm Merzbach Law Office, P.C. He concentrates his practice in general business law, mergers and acquisitions, private placement and venture capital transactions for investors and issuers, financing transactions and licensing. Mr. Solomon received his J. D. degree from American University, Washington College of Law and received his B.A. degree from Lafayette College. Mr. Solomon is a member of the Business Law Council of the Monroe County Bar Association and a member of the New York State and American Bar Associations. He is listed in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America (Business Organizations, including LLCs and Partnerships).

Dr. Anthony S. Terrell

photobioServes as principal of Mount Vernon High school in Alexandria, VA.  He has over seventeen years of experience in Fairfax County Public Schools.  Prior to his current position, he served as principal of Rocky Run Middle School and as assistant principal at Fairfax High School and Cooper Middle School.  He spent 8 years teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and also served as the first Director of High School Placement for KIPP DC: Key Academy Public Charter School. A former naval officer, Anthony is both a Desert Storm and Iraq war veteran. After his active service, he spent three years as a project manager for a computer systems integration firm. Anthony holds a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel, an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from George Mason University.

Heather Thomas


Director, A Place to Thrive Is a California native who moved to the Fairfax Area in 2008.  She earned her BA in Sociology with a minor in psychology from California State University-San Marcos. She is an enthusiastic community advocate and leader with 19+ years experience with planning, leading and improving business management functions in both business and social service fields. She has extensive experience in providing intensive case management services, risk reduction counseling, health education services and coordinating crisis interventions.  In 2012 while working at FACETS, she served on the Fairfax County CoC-Singles Redesign Team which led to her involvement with the 100K National Homes Project-Fairfax.  She volunteered with the Fairfax County Healthcare for the Homeless Program-Outreach from 2012-2016 which afforded her the opportunity to continue her work with the chronically homeless population.  Since 2019 she has served on the Policy Council of the Fairfax County Head Start/early Head Start Program where she currently serves on the Executive Committee as Chair.  In October 2019, she was appointed and voted in by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to serve as the Head Start Representative for the Community Action Advisory Board (CAAB).  In December 2019, she was selected by the Virginia Head Start Association to serve as a Parent Ambassador for the State of Virginia.  She is passionate about advocacy issues surrounding homelessness, food insecurity and mental health stigma.

Advisory Board

Wendy Castro

Has worked in international and domestic health and development for two decades. Currently a Senior Program Officer on the Maternal and Child Survival Program at Save the Children, she oversees newborn health projects in Africa and Asia. Previously she worked on a broad range of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS projects with FHI 360 and PATH. After being advised to lay off the long distance running, Wendy has become an enthusiastic hiker and biker. She currently resides in Washington, DC and is always looking for more hiking partners.

Terri Ennis

photobioGrew up in poverty.  After a bad marriage she found herself in the shelter system with two children and another on the way. Terri wants to work. She dreams of going to school to become a nurse or cosmetologist.  She wants to provide advocacy services for families like her.  She has worked in retail and fast food restaurants, but couldn’t afford the day care and food.  She doesn’t have the money for transportation.  She wants to stand on her own two feet, but needs a way.

Lauren Jackman

photobioIs a journalism graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. Lauren worked in broadcast television and media communications before shifting her focus to issues surrounding hunger and homelessness. She works for a local nonprofit that helps people who suffer the effects of poverty in Fairfax County, Virginia, coordinating a program which feeds the homeless 365 days a year. Lauren is completing her graduate degree in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management from George Mason University and envisions a day when everyone has access to adequate food and housing. She fervently believes in the power of individuals to bring about systemic change.

Howard Kaplan

photobioGraduated from Tufts University in 1991 with a degree in International Relations.  After an initial career in sales and marketing,  he went on to pursue product management and product marketing roles while completing an MBA in Finance and Organizational Strategy at the University of Rochester.  Over the last 15 years, Howard has served as a consultant and entrepreneur with experience in franchising, real estate, and small business management.  Howard holds a USCG 50 Ton Master of Vessel License and has volunteered as a High School Football Coach for 12 years.

Leslie Pechman Koch

photobioIs an entrepreneurial professional with over twenty years in the non-profit sector who has held leadership positions in the areas of fundraising, organizational growth, board development and governance and special events. Leslie founded and currently runs LongPoint Group, LLC, a firm providing strategic consulting services to non-profit organizations. LongPoint Group specializes in planning and implementing large-scale fundraising events, building leadership for events and boards of directors, and overall resource development. Prior to establishing LongPoint Group, Leslie spent thirteen years at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in senior development roles, where among other tasks, she managed the organization’s National Board of Directors and its major annual fundraiser, which raised over $1 million annually. Leslie is the former President of the Chappaqua School Foundation and continues to serve on its Board. Leslie received her BA from Tufts University and her Master’s in Management of Human Services from the Heller School at Brandeis University. Leslie resides in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two school-aged children.

Glenn E. Martin

photobiois a criminal justice reform advocate who spend six years in New York State prisons. Prior to founding Just Leadership (JLUSA), Glenn served for several years as Vice President of The Fortune Society and Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center. He is Co-Founder of the Education for the Inside Out Coalition, an America’s Leaders of Change National Urban Fellow, and a member of the governing boards of the College and Community Fellowship, prisoners’ Legal Services, New York Foundation, California Partnership for Safe Communities and the Reset foundation. Glenn regularly contributes his expertise to national news outlets on topics such as policing, decarceration, alternatives to incarcertion, and reentry issues.

Marsha Evans

is the founder of Willow Tree Counseling and Educational Center, LLC. Marsha earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from New York University and draws on her experience as a certified teacher and licensed professional counselor to help children and families navigate the social, emotional and academic stages that they face. She takes a holistic approach in her practice and utilizes her training in play therapy, trauma, yoga, mindfulness and Reiki to reinforce her approach. She is a Registered Play Therapist, a Certified Yoga Teacher and has been involved in the public school system advising, educating and advocating for students and families for over thirteen years.

Jennifer Pickering

Has served as the Executive Director and founder of the non-profit organization LEAF since 1995. Her mission is to connect cultures and people through music and arts. LEAF has three core programs: LEAF Festival, LEAF in Schools & Streets, and LEAF International. During this time, she has produced 36 festival events, presented over 3,000 performing artists, created the local arts in education program LEAF in Schools & Streets which has empowered over 29,000 under-served youth through the arts, and started 9 cultural music programs in 5 countries through LEAF International. With LEAF [also known as LEAF Community Arts], she has led teams to present at least 50 different cultures|genres each spring and fall for 18 years, introducing attendees to music and arts they may be unfamiliar with and taking people around the world through music and dance. One may not be able to travel to places such as Haiti, Nigeria or Rwanda; however, music and song can take you there. Collaborating has been one of her core principals and personal commitments. Her strongest life influences have been global travels and service projects. Presently, she continues her work presenting excellent festivals, empowering youth in our community with a dedication to kids living in public housing and underserved communities, and creating international music projects that connect youth to their local cultural traditions using THEIR local artists and instruments.

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