2021-22 Slate of Candidates
Joe Dobrota, Ph.D, Director of Financial Aid, William & Mary
It’s an honor to be nominated as VASFAA President-Elect for the 2021-2022 year. As a long-time member of VASFAA, I am humbled at the possibility of serving the organization in this capacity. Since returning to Virginia, it’s been an amazing experience reconnecting with the dedicated financial aid professionals of the Commonwealth. It’s also been an honor to be a part of the recent leadership teams of VASFAA as Rep-at-Large and Budget Committee Chair. I look forward to the helping lead the efforts of VASFAA as we enter our 55th year as an organization in 2022-23.
In terms of past involvement with VASFAA, I’ve served in a number of roles 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 a VASFAA Rep-at-Large for the 2020-21 year as well 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 to the opportunity of serving the members of VASFAA as President-Elect for the 2021-22 year.
Kelley Ann Florian – Director of Financial Aid, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
I am running for Treasurer of VASFAA because I would like to contribute to the essential support VASFAA provides to its many members. I have over 20 years of experience in Financial Aid and currently serve as the Director of Financial Aid for Bon Secours’ three Richmond Market Colleges. In my 20+ year career I have worked for both for-profit and non-profit college and universities. For the past four years, I have served as head chairman on two state boards that oversee the administration of nursing scholarships and state loan forgiveness programs for Virginia Department of Health. I also am a foster care to adoption mentor and work closely with families to counsel them through the child placement to adoption process.
As Treasurer I would find it rewarding to give back to an association that has aided me and my colleagues for so many years. As Treasurer I will be committed to VASFAA’s finances and to ensure policies and procedures under my leadership will continue to guide the association to further success. Adhering to budgets, investing in new ventures, and managing the association’s financial risks will be three of my primary goals during my tenure in this position.
I appreciate the nomination to serve as Treasurer and look forward to taking up this position if given the opportunity.
Melissa Franks, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, William & Mary
I am Melissa Franks, and I have been a member of VASFAA since 2013. I currently work at William & Mary as an undergraduate financial aid counselor and manage our customer service team. I have considered myself fortunate to get to be a part of this organization. I have met some wonderful people and received great advice along my way. I’m not sure how I ended up doing it, but I even presented at the 2019 Non-Conference Workshop at Blue Ridge Community College.
I’ve been fortunate in my career to have strong support for other FAA’s in this (is wacky the word?) financial aid family that we have. Since my New Aid Officer Workshop days, I have known that I wanted to give back to this community and get involved. I have been on the last two VASFAA conference committees, and I hope to continue my involvement and advocacy as your Treasurer-Elect.
Kaitlyn Lambert, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Lord Fairfax Community College
It is an honor to be considered for the position of Secretary. With nearly fifteen years in higher education, nine of those in financial aid, I look forward to utilizing my experience and enthusiasm in serving VASFAA to the best of my abilities.
I have been a member of VASFAA since 2013, and, in the last two years, I have taken a more active role as part of the conference planning committee and social media committee, which I joined this year as well. I will work efficiently and effectively to ensure all the duties and responsibilities under my position are complete.
The world of financial aid is challenging at times, but a challenge that I look forward to taking on every day. I am confident that I will bring that same determination and effort to the office of Secretary. Thank you for your consideration.
Dominique Maddux-Jackson, Financial Aid Technician, Reynolds Community College
I started my Financial Aid career fresh out of college in 2009 at Virginia Commonwealth University as a financial aid counselor. I loved my job, enjoyed working with students and learning the ins and outs of financial aid. I left the financial aid world in 2013, but remained in higher education in the Division of Student Affairs. In March of 2019 I came back home to financial aid and joined the team at J. Sargeant Reynold’s Community College as a financial aid technician specializing in verifications. I serve on the department’s SAP committee as co-chair as well as chair on the Professional Judgement committee (COI’s and DO’s).
Since entering into the world of financial aid, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, grown to love, and have been fascinated by the complexity of it and the students we serve. Financial aid has helped me grow professionally and personally and has even pushed me toward taking the necessary steps to advance my career in the field.
As secretary of VASFAA, I will ensure all minutes and records are completed in a timely manner and work to ensure that all board/committee reports are up to date and posted in a timely manner. I will effectively maintain an up-to-date version of the Policies and Procedures and distribute to all members. I will support the organization and its goals and work toward its continued growth. I was appointed as secretary to finish out Christina Russell’s term and have enjoyed being involved with the leaders of VASFAA and learning the responsibilities of the position of the Secretary. I welcome the opportunity to serve as Secretary and if elected I will give it my all.
Ryan McNamara, Director of Financial Aid, Central Virginia Community College
Ryan McNamara brings 17 years of financial aid experience to VASFAA. Those include being Director of Financial Aid at Clearwater Christian College, Senior Associate Director at Florida Southern College, Director at Randolph College, and currently Director at Central Virginia Community College. Heavily involved in my previous State Association, I was secretary for six years, head of the scholarship committee, as well as President of FASFAA (Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators).
Training and professional development are two things that I truly believe in. Early on in my career, I was at a small college, so the State Association was pivotal to my success. Without access to good training, we are lost.
I am honored to serve you and this great Association!
I am married to Veronica and have three children- Elizabeth who is a freshman in college, Alexa is in 9th grade and Wade in 2nd.
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master of Education in Educational Leadership both from Clearwater Christian College.
Andrew Quinn, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Reynolds Community College
I am submitting my name for nomination of Representative at Large. I have had the great privilege of working in financial aid for 8 years in a 4-year private institution, 4-year public institution, and currently work as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Reynolds Community College. VASFAA has played a large role for training, networking, and comradery during my time in financial aid. For the 2020-2021 year, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Training/Site Selection Committee chair. I would love this opportunity to be able to serve our VASFAA community alongside many great colleagues as one of the Representatives at Large.