Richelle Brown, Co-Founder, CEO
Richelle Brown lives in Rochester, NY and spent 10 years in the Fairfax City region where she co-founded A Place to Stand. She attended The George Washington University for her M.Ed. and subsequently worked in the school system and with organizations that focus on socio-economic and racial equity. She has worked extensively with community organizations to improve the lives of people experiencing food insecurity and with families who are unhoused or in danger of losing their housing. Richelle loves spending time with her family, listening to music, watching soccer, and traveling.
Gordon Brown, Co-Founder, COO
Gordon Brown has spent over 25 years as a teacher mostly at large public schools in urban settings. In addition, he has worked in almost every position possible in the food and beverage industry, including manager and owner/operator. His five years as Chief Operating Officer of an international clinical research organization left him with contacts of hospital directors and other medical professionals in India, Romania, South Africa, Mexico and Panama. He is currently an adjunct professor at George Mason University and a consultant for Geodesic Revolution.
Katy Malesky, Director, A Place to Eat, Fairfax City
Katy Malesky is a Northern Virginia native who graduated from high school in Fairfax County and holds a BA in Mass Communication from George Mason University. Katy is driven to support students experiencing food insecurity in our schools and bring awareness to their needs in and around the Fairfax City community. In 2021, Katy was recognized as a Hometown Hero by Fox 5 during their Zip Trip City of Fairfax. The Fairfax City Commission for Women recognized Katy with their Women of Influence Award in 2023 for her service to the community.
Steve Solomon, Secretary
Steve Solomon is a partner in the Rochester, New York law firm Harter Secrest & Emery LLP in the firm’s corporate and transactional practice group. He received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College, and his J.D. degree from American University, Washington College of Law. Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Named as Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, NY for Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2021) and Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law (2018) Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, 2020-2022. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of Keuka College.
Erin Frank, Treasurer, Co-Director, A Place to Glean
Erin Frank has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Virginia. She makes a living as an auditor and feels that her volunteer work for A Place to Stand is the perfect way to balance her business background with her desire to help others. She started volunteering with A Place to Eat in 2018 when her family moved to Fairfax City. When the pandemic hit, she helped organize our online record system and establish processes so we could continue our work from different locations. In 2022, she helped to restart the Gleaning program after a COVID break. She now serves as treasurer and enjoys being able to lend a hand wherever it's needed. She is crazy about her family, animals and native plants.
Heather Thomas, Director, A Place to Thrive, A Place for Kids
Heather Thomas is a California native who moved to Fairfax, VA 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 of experience in planning and leading 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. She has served on several Boards over the years and currently serves on the Fairfax City Homelessness Task Force,
Kate Hebert, Co-Director, A Place to Glean
Kate Hebert has lived in the Northern Virginia area with her husband and two children since 2017. 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 involved in A Place to Stand’s food waste reduction efforts through gleaning at farmers’ markets and distributing produce in the Fairfax City area.
Elizabeth Molino, Co-Director, A Place to Eat, Mt. Vernon High School
Elizabeth Molino is an ESOL Teacher at Mount Vernon High School. She is happy to be an extension of APTS at Mount Vernon High School. She helps to provide much-needed daily food for the student body by organizing satellite stations throughout the school where students can access snacks throughout the day.
Rob Lubas, Co-Director, A Place to Eat, Mt. Vernon High School
Rob Lubas began his career in education as a volunteer with the Literacy Council of Berks County, Pennsylvania. He fulfilled a dream and continued his career teaching in Sendai, Japan for eight years. After returning to the U.S., Rob earned his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. He currently teaches English Learners at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia and as an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College. In addition to helping students reach their educational and career goals, Rob wants his students to have bellies full so their minds will hunger.