2020-21 Election Results

Congratulations 

 President-Elect


  Beth Armstrong, Director of University Scholarships and Financial Aid at Virginia Tech

For the last six and a half years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve as the Director of University Scholarships and Financial Aid at Virginia Tech.  During that time, I have been able to develop some amazing relationships within VASFAA.  I very much enjoy living and working in Virginia, and I think it is important to keep VASFAA strong and keep providing a quality organization where all of our members can learn and grow within the financial aid profession.  I would love to be able to serve VASFAA as its President.

I want to see VASFAA build on its strong foundation and flourish as we continue to navigate changing times.  And, in my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors, at festivals—specifically anything involving music—and exploring Virginia. 


 Treasurer-Elect



  Marc Vernon, M.Ed, M.P.A, Vice President of Enrollment Client Services, 3 Enrollment Marketing

Fiscal responsibility requires action on many parallel tracks. It means managing VASFAA’s funding and investments to earn a good return on our capital. It requires developing new ways to raise revenue. It means looking at current programs and services and making decisions to end those that no longer deliver appropriate value. It also means increased spending on programs and new initiatives that can achieve VASFAA’s missions. Developing new ways to serve the needs of our members, expanding our membership, and supporting the missions of VASFAA effectively in today’s technological environment requires consistent and adequate funding and oversight. I have experience in doing all of this, both in my roles in the private sector and as a campus administrator.

I have three major goals as treasurer:

  1. To ensure that VASFAA operates in a fiscally sound manner and uses funds in a responsible manner that moves VASFAA forward on our missions and objectives.
  2. To make VASFAA finances transparent and accessible by providing the tools for members to read and understand VASFAA financial statements.
  3. To create strategic financial plans to allow the Association to navigate more successfully with a longer-term outlook.

VASFAA has many constituencies in academia, the private sector, SCHEV, SASFAA, NASFAA, the Department of Education, and vendors. Our members include campus administrators, regulators, consultants, managers, executives, and thought leaders. These many voices put VASFAA in a unique position to provide thoughtful analysis to the industry, the public, and policymakers about college access and affordability. We can also provide unique venues for education, research, and information sharing across these constituencies. To do so, we must have the resources, vision, and discipline to create and support sustainable programs and lasting membership.

I believe passionately in the multiple missions of VASFAA and that VASFAA needs to lead the professionals working in all aspects of higher education. I am committed to the strong stewardship of VASFAA’s finances and to policies and actions that will result in the Association’s solid, sustained financial performance.

I would be honored to serve as the treasurer of VASFAA.


Representative-at-Large


  Joe Dobrota, Ph.D, Director of Financial Aid, William & Mary (2 Year Term)

It’s an honor to be nominated as VASFAA Representative-at-Large for the 2020-2021 year.  As a long-time member of VASFAA, I am humbled at the possibility of serving the organization in this capacity.

I’ve served in a number of roles for VASFAA over my 25 years in the financial aid industry.  This service has exposed me to a network of outstanding financial aid professionals who have served as mentors, trusted colleagues, and friends.  These service roles include serving as chair of the following committees:  Budget & Finance (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20), Electronic Services (2003-04), and Public Relations (2006-07 and 2007-08).   I have also had the privilege of representing Virginia on a regional level by serving in the following SASFAA roles:  Electronic Services Chair (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11) and Conference Committee Member (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11). 

Professionally, I currently serve as Director of Financial Aid at William & Mary (since 2016).  Prior to returning to Virginia in 2016, I served as Director of Financial Aid at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC from 2012 to 2016.  Prior to that, I served as Director of Financial Aid at Regent University from 2005 to 2012 and served in various roles at Regent University from 1994 to 2005 (student worker, counselor, assistant/associate director).  I had the opportunity to serve as a financial aid systems consultant for the Ellucian Banner product during the 2005 year. 

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward the opportunity of serving the members of VASFAA as Representative-at-Large for the next two years.


  Laurie Owens, Director of Financial Aid, Virginia Community College System (2 Year Term)

I have had the privilege of serving VASFAA on and off over my last 18 years working in the Commonwealth.  However, I have only had the opportunity to serve on committees.  I have chaired Membership, Government Relations, and Electronic Services.  I have also assisted with several other committees as a committee member.  I have participated in board meetings and transition retreats over the years and found myself energized and challenged by that work.  Therefore, I am excited about the possibility of serving on the VASFAA Executive Board as a Representative-at-Large and respectfully ask for your vote. 

VASFAA has been a wonderful resource to me over the years.  When I first moved to Virginia in the early 2000’s, I knew no one.  I met so many wonderful and dedicated people through VASFAA that I not only call colleagues but friends.  I could not imagine doing this work for this many years without the support and camaraderie of my financial aid colleagues and friends.      

I have worked for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), including one of its colleges, for almost two decades now.  In my role at the VCCS, I have the pleasure of providing financial aid leadership and support to the 23 community colleges in the state.  I feel confident that the skills and expertise I have gained from this position will translate well to the VASFAA Executive Board.  I am humbled by this opportunity and hope you will consider me for one of the three Representative-at-Large positions.


 Kesha Wilson, Financial Aid Counselor, Norfolk State University (1 Year Term)

Kesha Wilson a Native of Norfolk has been in Financial Aid for nine years.  She is a graduate of Norfolk State University with a B.S. Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a M.P.A from Walden University.  I served as the secretary for VASFAA from 2013-2015.  I will do my best to ensure that VASFAA has a voice and abreast of all legislature.


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