Board of Directors
OAR is a community-based nonprofit operated by a staff of dedicated professionals who are advised by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members represent the various communities that OAR serves.
Susan Olson, Chair
Susan Olson is a Vice President for Government Relations at Natixis Global Asset Management-U.S. Distribution. In this role, she serves as the company’s point person for interactions with government and helps keep it up-to-date with respect to the regulatory environment as well as ongoing governmental issues and initiatives. Her previous positions include serving as a Managing Regional Director for this company. Susan earned a B.A. in International Business with a minor in Spanish from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a chairperson for the community outreach program of the Rock Spring United Congregational Church in Arlington. She is a graduate and member of Leadership Arlington and volunteers at the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), a nonprofit that helps people in the community who are homeless. Susan joined the OAR Board in 2014 and was elected Board Chair in July 2016. She currently serves on the Executive and Development Committees and is co-chair of the latter.
Kate Miner, Treasurer
Kate Miner is currently the Director of Finance for the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland. She previously served as Director of Finance and Administrative Services for Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington D.C., where she worked since 1997 overseeing all financial operations, managing an endowment portfolio of $16 million, and overseeing plan operations. Before her career at Georgetown Visitation, she was the Director of Program Budgeting for Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Federal Employee Program, managing a $12 billion annual contract with the U.S. Government to provide health insurance to 2.1 million federal workers and their families. Kate joined the OAR Board in 2014 as a concerned citizen who now has time to be active in helping the community understand its role in reducing mass incarceration. A resident of Alexandria, Virginia, she serves on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and Governance Committee.
Rev. Dr. Kathy Dwyer, Secretary
Rev. Dr. Kathryn Nystrand Dwyer (Kathy) is the Senior Pastor of Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ in Arlington, Virginia. Before coming to Rock Spring and Arlington in 2010, Kathy served churches in the central Ohio area and also spent several years working as a development officer. She is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and earned a Masters of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from the Chicago Theological Seminary. Kathy has two grown children and lives with her husband, Dale Dwyer. She joined the OAR Board in 2015, became its Treasurer in 2016, and currently serves on the Executive and Development Committees.
Sheila Berry is part of the Human Capital Management team at Accenture Federal Services. In this position, she helps predict federal staffing needs, identifies skills needed in the workforce, and recommends ways for federal agencies to recruit, develop, compensate and motivate staff in a cost-effective manner. She previously served as Director of the Centers of Excellence at Freedom Partners Shared Services in Arlington and worked as a senior business systems analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sheila is also the founder and Executive Director of Living Vicky, an Arlington-based nonprofit that develops and delivers workplace soft skills for women. A 2014 graduate of the Leadership Arlington Signature Program, she earned the designation of Certified ScrumMaster from the Scrum Alliance and holds a B.A. in Business Administration/Management from Strayer University. Her areas of professional expertise include strategic planning, risk management, organizational change management, and IT application development and governance. Sheila joined the Board in 2016 and chairs the Technology Taskforce.
Brett Covington joined the OAR Board of Directors in November 2017 after providing pro bono legal services for the organization over a two-year period. He is a Senior Associate with Hollingsworth LLP in Washington D.C., where he manages complex civil litigation for corporate clients. He was an Associate with Saul Ewing LLP from 2011 to April 2017 and worked for two years as a Law Clerk for a U.S. District Court Judge in Tennessee, a position in which he dealt extensively with criminal sentencing issues. Brett earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2009. He is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and New York, serves as a mentor with Big Brothers, and is active with Leadership Arlington. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Religion from Wake Forest University. He currently lives in Alexandria and has also been a resident of Arlington. Brett serves on the OAR Board’s Governance Committee.
Mara D’Amico is a Training Administrator with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington, D.C. From 2014-2016, she served as a Communications Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Mara earned a Master’s of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she earned a B.S. in Business Administration. A resident of Arlington, she is an alumni Board member for the Clinton School and Central Michigan’s Volunteer Center and volunteers with Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia and the Crisis Text Line. She joined OAR’s Board of Directors in November 2017 and serves on OAR’s Development Committee.
Alejandra Santaolalla is currently the Grants Manager and Compliance Liaison at the League of Conservation Voters. She has previous experience as a grant writer and has worked for nonprofit organizations advocating for women’s reproductive health and for increasing the number of women in elected office who support reproductive health choices for all. Alejandra is a Commissioner on the Arlington Commission on the Status of Women. She graduated from Trinity Washington University with an M.A. in Nonprofit Management. She is also a graduate of the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership and was a member of the Leadership Arlington Young Professionals Program Class of 2013. She joined the OAR Board in 2016; she currently co-chairs the Development Committee and serves on the Governance Committee.
Ann D. Springer is Associate General Counsel at the American Psychological Association, a large 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. There she focuses on counseling and policy guidance on a range of corporate governance and risk management issues, as well as nonprofit tax, employment, education, ethics and accreditation. She has also served as General Counsel to the American Association of University Professors and on the faculty of the Washington College of Law at American University. Ann previously practiced law at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown and Enersen in San Francisco, where she joined the ACLU and other team members in bringing impact class action litigation against the State of California regarding Constitutional violations in the provision of health care in women’s prisons. She joined the OAR Board in 2016 and chairs the Governance Committee.
Wendy Webb is currently the Human Resource Commander for the Alexandria Police Department. She previously served 30 years with the Alexandria, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office, from 1986 through her retirement in December 2016, in positions that included Chief Deputy (2013-2016), Captain (2009-2013), and Division Chief (2007-2009). Her responsibilities ranged from managing administrative and inmate support services to directing the operations of the Alexandria Adult Detention Center itself. Wendy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the University of Virginia and completed Master’s level courses in Psychology and Human Resources Management at George Mason University. A life-long resident of Northern Virginia, Wendy lives in Alexandria and volunteers at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in programs to help the needy. Her volunteer service in the past included work with Rising Hope Mission Church, the Capital Area Food Bank, and a community center in southeast Washington. She joined OAR’s Board in November 2017 and serves on OAR’s Finance Committee.
Ex-Officio, Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, MA, CVA, Executive Director
Elizabeth Jones Valderrama is Executive Director of Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church (OAR). She has been an integral member of the OAR team for more than 13 years, including five years as OAR’s Chief Operating Officer. As a manager, she has focused on implementing best practice and evidenced-based models for OAR programs and creating a working environment where staff quality, professionalism, and commitment grew and new staff positions were created. At nine years old, Elizabeth moved with her family from Costa Rica to Arlington, Virginia where she graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 1998 as the high school’s first Hispanic/Latina Valedictorian. She earned a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia in 2002 and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix in 2005. She is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA), a 2009 graduate of Leadership Center for Excellence Leadership Arlington Signature Program, and was honored in 2014 as one of the 40 Emerging Community Leaders under 40 years old in Arlington County. Elizabeth currently serves on the Alexandria Community Criminal Justice Board, the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council, the Arlington County Community Criminal Justice Board, Leadership Center for Excellence’s Programs Committee, Arlington Independent Media Board of Directors, and the Community Progress Makers Advisory Council. For the last five years, she has worked to shape statewide reentry programs through the Pre and Post Incarceration Services Coalition (PAPIS: Virginia Reentry Coalition).