Staff

Mary Ford PhotoMary Ford, ExecutiveDirector
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Mary is a parent advocate, a member of the Board of Directors of The Arc of Northern Virginia and a National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute alumna. She is a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and has collaborated with professors at George Mason University in conducting research promoting partnerships between families and professionals serving individuals with IDD.

Mary joined DSANV in 2018 after retiring from Northrop Grumman Corporation where she served as a Program Manager, to be able to devote her full attention to raising awareness, promoting advocacy and delivering programs to families living with intellectual and developmental disabilities like her own.

Anita Phares PhotoAnita Phares, Information Technology Manager
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Anita joined DSANV as a member in 2006, volunteered in the office in 2011, and served in the role of Program Assistant from 2012-2017 and is currently serving as the IT Manager. She earned a Masters degree in Information Systems from Virginia Tech and has experience in computer programming and management information systems. She has worked with constituent management systems, multiple listing services and mortgage payment processes. Ms. Phares is delighted to be involved with all things technical and functional and to work alongside the dedicated volunteers and knowledgeable staff of DSANV.

Stacy Engels, Programs and Activities Assistant
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Stacy received a BA in political science and
worked in financial services as a stock broker in Boston for 10 years. She moved to Northern Virginia in 1999 and had three boys. She became an active DSANV volunteer in 2016 through the Young Men’s Service League, which is a charity league for moms and their sons. Her volunteer work led to her position as Program and Activities Assistant, and she was hired to the DSANV staff in August of 2019.

Jennifer Cunningham PhotoJennifer Cunningham, Bookkeeper
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Jennifer joined DSANV as a member in 2007, when her son Gray was born.  She began volunteering on the Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2011.  In 2015, she stepped down from the board and became the bookkeeper for the organization.  Jennifer graduated from James Madison University in 1999.  She previously was an auditor at a public accounting firm. She is a devoted parent advocate and continues to volunteer in many community organizations.  She spends her little bit of free time running, reading and enjoying the little things in life.