CCVA Board of Directors (2018-2019)

Amira Barger Vice President of Development and Communications at Project Open Hand, Benicia, CA

Amira serves as a leader in nonprofit management and has done so for the last 12 years. The foundation for her leadership and community-building was set at an early age when her family moved from San Diego, CA to the tiny Pacific Island of Guam, USA to serve as missionaries in the 90’s.

She was intrigued by the budding ideas around what would one day be coined “collective impact”. She decided to use her skills to continue forward movement in the nonprofit sector and has worked her way through the ranks to her current role as Vice President of Development and Communications at Project Open Hand, an iconic and revered Bay Area nonprofit.

Amira received a B.A. in Marketing from Vanguard University, an MBA from Letourneau University, and invested in her professional development by receiving both the CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) and CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designations. In addition, she serves on the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration’s Board and External Relations Committee, is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and the Public Relations Society of America.

She facilitates many nonprofit courses and is a sought-after speaker on the topics of fundraising and volunteerism. She was recently accepted into the 2017-2018 Leadership San Francisco signature program through the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

She is an active community member, some examples include: Judge, Enactus; Mentor, Vanguard University Department of Business and Management; Hunger Ambassador, Food Bank; Volunteer, Make-A-Wish Foundation; 2012-13 Chair, Texas Volunteer Management Conference.

She lives in Benicia, CA with Jonathan, her life partner of 13+ years, and their daughter Audrey.


Erin L. Barnhart, Ph.D. Founder & President, Effective Altruism, LLC, Portland, OR

Erin's photo_reducedErin has developed and delivered effective engagement tools, trainings, and curriculum for domestic and international volunteers, interns, students, field professionals, and service/service-learning organizations worldwide.  She is the Founder & President of Effective Altruism, LLC, as well as Director of Operations for the American Gap Association; she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Building Bridges Coalition, as a member of the Oregon Committee on Volunteerism, as an online instructor for AmeriCorps VISTA, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon and Concordia University-Portland.  Her past professional roles have included Graduate Program Director of IPSL’s Master of Arts in International Development and Service degree program with Concordia University-Portland and Director of Volunteerism Initiatives with  Erin was also one of the founding members of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE).

A former Fulbright Scholarship recipient and AmeriCorps NCCC alum, Dr. Barnhart earned her Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University in 2012, having completed her dissertation research on global host organizations of international volunteers. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, a Master of Public Administration, and a Graduate Certificate in Not-for-Profit Management, all from the University of Oregon.


Jennifer I. Barrett CVA, Owner + Principal Consultant, Connect Consulting, Honolulu, HI

Ms. Barrett has two decades of experience engaging volunteers, developing public outreach programs,and connecting government agencies, private nonprofits, and other community partners to build award-winning, collaborative programs. In early 2012, she left her faculty position with Hawaii Sea Grant at the University of Hawaii to launch her own consultancy. For the next five years, Ms. Barrett helped nonprofits and community-minded businesses learn to harness the social web for social good.

Currently, she supports and coaches clients to build relationships, mobilize community assets, and champion civic participation to amplify their impact. Ms. Barrett  holds  graduate  degrees  from both the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, as well as an undergraduate degree in English from Colorado College.

She currently serves on the board of the Volunteer Leaders Hui, and as the president of Hawai‘i Nature Hui. A sampling of her past service roles include serving as a member of the global steering committee for the IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication, chairing the community advisory council for the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program, and co-chairing the leadership team for Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Generation Listen initiative.


Jennifer R. Bennett, CVA, Senior Manager, Education & Training, VolunteerMatch, San Francisco, CA

Jennifer BennettJennifer joined VolunteerMatch to formalize and manage the organization’s volunteer engagement program. She is a strong nonprofit generalist, with over 15 years of nonprofit management experience, most of those years spent directly managing volunteers. With her breadth of experience she is well qualified to help VolunteerMatch’s community of Nonprofits better recruit and engage volunteers. She shares her knowledge with volunteer managers through the webinars found on the Learning Center, in newsletters and blog entries, and in person at conferences around the country. She’s a strong believer in the importance of engaging volunteers in meaningful work and was Certified in Volunteer Administration in 2009.

She started her nonprofit work in the wildlife rehabilitation and conservation field, and continued that work with the Bar Association of San Francisco. She has also been an active volunteer all her life, and currently volunteers with Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco, and New Directions an organization dedicated to providing travel experiences for developmentally disabled adults. She holds a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA.


Christi J. Brown, CVA, CAVS, B.S

Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement for WellSpan Health

Christi Brown is the Senior Director of Volunteer Engagement for WellSpan Health. She is responsible for over 2,500 Volunteers & Interns, in addition to other departments, including hospital gift shops, Guest/Reception Services, Internship Services and Auxiliaries within the health system.

She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration at Drexel University. She is very active in the York County community, currently serving in several leadership roles, such as the Chair of Women United/United Way of York County, Sustainer President for the Junior League of York and is the Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Healthcare Volunteers Resources Professionals (PAHVRP).

Christi was recently recognized by PAHVRP for her passion for volunteer management and community service by awarding her with the 2018 Evelyn Burston award. When she’s not working, studying or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family & friends, going on cruises and cheering for Auburn University teams.


Mei Cobb, Vice President, United Way Worldwide, Washington, DC

Mei CobbMei Cobb leads Volunteer Engagement at United Way Worldwide headquartered outside of Washington, DC. United Way is a global network with a presence in 41 countries with 1,800 local organizations.

Prior to her work at United Way, Mei served as Senior Vice President for the Points of Light Foundation where her portfolio included volunteer center development, corporate volunteering, youth and family volunteering, national service, international volunteering and disaster volunteering.

Mei is also an international consultant and trainer who has consulted and conducted training in 26 countries and is a strong advocate for the leadership roles that volunteers play in creating and sustaining change. Globally she helped develop Pro Vobis, the national volunteer center in Romania and worked in the United Arab Emirates to develop Takatof.


Tammy Holland, Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Tammy Holland is certified in volunteer administration and holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas and an undergraduate degree in social work. She works at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department administering the agency’s community, family, and chaplaincy programs.

She is frequently asked to speak at conferences and share her experience of engaging the community and mobilizing volunteers to achieve organizational success. She is a published author in Volunteer Management Review, Nonprofit Boards and Governance Review, and We Review, and a contributing author in the book You and Your Nonprofit: Practical Advice and Tips from the CharityChannel Professional Community.


Suzie Matenchuk, BRS, CVA, Manager Volunteer Services, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Winnipeg MB, Canada

Suzie-Oct-2015-croppedSuzie has more than 20 years of experience working with volunteers in a variety of health care settings including acute care, long term care and community health. Suzie is passionate about building capacity amongst individuals and communities through volunteerism.

She has held various board positions with Manitoba Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) and Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC). During her tenure as President, VMPC released the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Managers of Volunteer Services, developed a certification partnership with CCVA and lead the association through a re-branding process.

Suzie has a degree in Recreation Studies, a Certificate in Health Care Management and is a Certified Volunteer Administrator.

Kylene Mellor, CVA, Manager, Volunteer Resources, IWK Health Centre, Halifax Nova Scotia

Kylene is a certified Volunteer Administrator who has been working in the field of Volunteer Management for over 15 years. As the Manager, Volunteer Resources with the IWK Health Centre in Halifax Nova Scotia, Kylene holds knowledge and expertise in all areas of the volunteer cycle. She has worked for, and volunteered for, a number of charities over the years and truly loves working with and motivating volunteers.

She is currently the President of the Board of Volunteer Management Professionals Nova Scotia and was the Chair of the National Conference Committee which hosted the national conference for volunteer administrators in 2016.



Nikki Russell, CVA, Director of Development and Community Engagement, United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County, Seattle WA

Nikki RussellNikki Russell, CVA, is a seasoned professional and leader in the field of volunteer resources management, delivering workshops regionally and nationally that promote the strategic advantage of effective volunteer engagement. Nikki Russell recently accepted a position with United Good Neighbors of Jefferson County as the Director of Development and Community Engagement, leaving her 7-year tenure with United Way of King County as the Volunteer Initiatives Manager. At United Way, Nikki managed and delivered the volunteer resources management training series and developed tailored trainings for local nonprofit organizations.   She was the lead trainer and consultant for the Volunteer Impact Program, a grant funded volunteer management capacity building program implemented locally for nonprofit organizations.

Nikki currently serves as the Chair of Steering Committee of the Volunteer Administrator’s Network (VAN) Northwest and as VP of Marketing on the Board of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) and as a Board Member of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA). She continues to develop and deliver workshops as well as webinars on effective volunteer engagement locally, regionally and nationally.  Her non-profit background includes 19 years of experience in program planning and volunteer resources management.  She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Boston University.

CCVA Committees

The CVA credentialing program is supported by many active CVA committee members. These individuals write test items, update the competencies, assist with marketing, address issues related to CVA renewal, and participate in special task force projects. All CVAs are eligible to apply for committee participation.

The Council is staffed by an Executive Director, a part-time Communications Manager, and an expert psychometrician for technical assistance, test diagnostics and guidance regarding program operation.


CCVA is governed by a board of individuals with extensive experience in the field of volunteerism and volunteer resources management, many of whom bring the perspectives of a number of the large national/international organizations which support this field. The board includes those who have earned the CVA and CAVS credentials.

Board Member Center

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