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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 served as a parent representative on the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services‘ Employment First Advisory Group, is active in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and collaborates with professors at George Mason University in conducting research promoting partnerships between families and professionals serving individuals with IDD.

Mary retired from Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2018, 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.

Shekinah Stevens PhotoShekinah Stevens, Programs and Activities Manager
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Shekinah she has a B.S. in Management studies, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) and has 12 years of experience working in the non-profit Association sector. She has supported organizations from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Washington DC, to the Chief Executives Organization, to the American College of Cardiology and others. She has experience in developing programs, managing volunteers, membership management, marketing, HTML programming and planning and executing up to 30 conferences and symposia per year.

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.