CCVA Staff, Board and Committees

Staff

Faiza Venzant
Faiza Venzant, CVA
Executive Director

Temecula, California, USA

From a young age, Faiza Venzant's parents instilled a strong sense of volunteerism in herself and her two older brothers. They, as immigrants to Canada from Uganda in the early 70s made a successful transition into Canadian life with the help of many generous volunteers. A volunteer herself from a very young age, she has been an advocate for volunteer engagement and leaders of volunteers for the last 20 years speaking, facilitating and continually learning from others internationally.  Faiza is an active member of Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC) and Association for Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE.)In 2020, Faiza was the recipient of TAVA’s Innovation Award.  In 2019, she was the recipient of the inaugural IMPACT award in Canada for Exemplary Volunteer Leadership. From PAVR-O, she received  the Linda Buchanan Award in 2013 and has twice received the President's Award.  

Faiza is passionate about equity and access amongst volunteers and leaders of volunteers.   She believes strongly that a community with a thriving volunteer base improves the overall quality of life and health of all its members. 

In 2018, Faiza published her first children’s book entitled, My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up!  As a mother of two young boys, she has not actually eaten any of her children.

CCVA Board of Directors - Executive Committee

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Kristine Flynn, CVA
Chair 

Volunteer Engagement Manager, Western Development Museum
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 

Kristine supports the volunteer coordinators and the hundreds of generous volunteers who give of their time and talents at the Western Development Museum (WDM)’s five locations. Beyond her responsibilities at WDM and CCVA, she leads the Administrators of Volunteer Resources – Saskatchewan Board and has served the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS) Certificate in Community Museums program by sharing her expertise as an instructor in volunteer management and museum education.

In acknowledgment of her contributions, Kristine has been honored with the Young Professional Award by MAS (2020), the Literacy Volunteer Award by Foundations Learning & Skills Saskatchewan (2022), and a Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada Exemplary Leader Award (2023).

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Tim Suda, CVA
Vice Chair

Senior Volunteer Services Engagement Services Specialist, American Red Cross
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 

Tim Suda is an experienced leader of volunteers whose niche is empowering leadership volunteers who support their own teams of volunteers. He has a passion for volunteerism and bringing volunteer engagement professionals together.  Tim works for the American Red Cross and focuses on the engagement, empowerment, and support of more than 4500 volunteers across Georgia in activities ranging from disaster response, service to members of the military and their families, and the life-saving collection of blood. Tim also serves as the Vice President for the Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration (GAVA) where he supports efforts for professional development, networking, industry updates and information.

Tim was a 2021 Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) Impact Award recipient for the Emerging Leader Award. Tim has been a volunteer with AL!VE for multiple years supporting the presenter bootcamp, the board development committee, and the local associations community of practice. In 2023, Tim was published in the Engage Journal based on his experience with a tornado and stark reminders of the basics of volunteer engagement. When he is not working or volunteering, Tim can be found in his amateur carpentry shop.

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Julie Gallanty, Ed.D, CVA, CPC 
Past Chair

CEO, NJ YMCA State Alliance
Trenton, NJ, USA

Julie Gallanty has over 30 years of experience developing, managing, and sustaining volunteer programs in various nonprofits. Currently, she provides consulting and coaching services to volunteer and community organizations. Previously she was a CEO/Executive Director for 25 years in the YMCA. During this time, she worked with hundreds of volunteers in many capacities and successfully elevated the impact within the community. In addition, she provides executive coaching to professionals in Volunteer and leadership individuals. She graduated with a BA from Binghamton University and holds a MA in Education from Adelphi and an Ed.D in Higher Education and Adult Learning from Walden University. Julie is a certified professional coach. Ms. Gallanty has created and trained over 100 volunteer training and orientations for fundraisers, programs, boards of directors, and community collaborators. She is certified as a national trainer in Volunteerism and ESL (English as a Second Language). She has presented at workshops and conferences in volunteer management and engagement, board governance, and executive leadership. She is active in her community, serving on the boards of the Rotary Club of New York, Solar One, and Literacy Solutions New York and active with nonprofit professional networks.

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Becky Blumer, CVA
Treasurer

Volunteer Services Manager, Multnomah County Library
Portland, Oregon, USA

 

Becky Blumer, CVA (she/ her) has devoted her career to providing people with the opportunity to transform themselves and their communities through service. She is currently the Volunteer Services Manager at Multnomah County Library. Before joining the library, Becky was the Director of Portland, Oregon's volunteer center, Hands On Greater Portland. In 2019, she was awarded a Light A Fire Award as an Extraordinary Board Member from Portland Monthly Magazine for her board service with Store to Door of Oregon. Becky earned her CVA credential in 2008 and was a member and became the chair of the CCVA Test Writing Committee from 2009 - 2016. She is thrilled to continue her service to CCVA as a board member and is grateful for the opportunity to support an organization that has been a critical part of her professional development in volunteer management.

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Sammy Feilchenfeld, OCT, CVA (he/him)
Secretary and Director of Partnerships

Manager of Learning, Volunteer Toronto
Burlington, Ontario, Canada

 

Sammy Feilchenfeld is an adult educator, volunteer manager and lifelong learner. As Manager of Learning for Volunteer Toronto, he uses his nearly 20 years of experience as a volunteer manager to inform responsive and accessible learning experiences for non-profit engagement professionals, grassroots leaders and volunteer seekers. Sammy has a strong focus on a variety of educational interventions that support the changing needs of volunteers and volunteer managers. He also develops training for aspiring and established non-profit board members, and contributes to regular connections for the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN). Sammy's experience as a high school teacher, theatre producer, and policy volunteer inform his training development, professional goals, and outlook on the future of the sector.  In 2023, Sammy was the recipient of the Alison Caird Young Leader Award by PAVRO and an Exemplary Leader Award by VMPC.

Directors with Portfolios

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Michele Baker, CVA
Director of Marketing and Communications
Jackson, Mississippi, USA

 

Michele D. Baker, CVA began her professional career at the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits helping people start 501(c)(3) charities. Next, she worked for 15 years at Volunteer Mississippi, helping many of the same nonprofits find and keep volunteers, and working with a growing group of AmeriCorps national service members. She has been an officer of DOVIA Mississippi since 1998. In 2017, she was awarded the Hometown Hero Award from the Jackson (Miss.) Visitor’s Bureau for volunteer service; and in 2018, she won a Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Award.

Michele is the author of two books: “All We Need Is Love” and “Attitude of Gratitude.” She also edits Lifestyles After 50 and is the owner/editor of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine. She divides her time between freelance travel and food writing, writing curricula on volunteer management topics, training and speaking on volunteer management topics, writing and blogging on spirituality, baking, and international travel. She lives in a restored 1920s bungalow, owns too many cookbooks, and loves cats. Read her work at MicheleDBaker.com.

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Jennifer R. Bennett, CVA
Co-Director of Knowledge

Director, Education and Training - VolunteerMatch
San Francisco, California, USA

 

Jennifer leads VolunteerMatch’s Learning Center, and designs tools, trainings, and resources to help VolunteerMatch’s community of nonprofits better recruit and engage volunteers.

She shares her knowledge with leaders of volunteers through the trainings in the Learning Center, through the LOVs Newsletter and the VolunteerMatch Blog, and at conferences around the country. She also co-hosts the Time + Talent Podcast with Tobi Johnson from VolunteerPro, which finished its fourth season in December 2022. She is also the current Co-Editor and a contributing author for the 4th Edition of Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice, published by LexisNexis Canada in January 2021.

She’s a strong believer in the importance of engaging volunteers in meaningful work and was Certified in Volunteer Administration in 2009.

She volunteers with the Justice & Diversity Center and Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco, with the Social Justice Sewing Academy, and fosters kittens with Home-At-Last Rescue.

She holds a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA.

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Pamela Cox, CVA
Director of Ethics

Senior Director, Volunteer and Community Engagement
Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Pamela D. Cox is the Senior Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement for the Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc. (NCC) in Memphis, Tennessee.  She has been employed at NCC for over 30 years and has managed volunteers for over 15 of those years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi.  Pamela currently serves on the DOVIA Memphis Board as Member at Large after serving six years as Board Treasurer.  She is a Nexus Leaders Class of 2016 Mentor and an active member of the Junior League of Memphis, where she has served on several leadership committees.  In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her family and assisting authors with book publishing.
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Sasha Kress, MPA, CVA
Director of Engagement and Professional Development

Chief Operations Officer, Care Harbor
El Segundo, California, USA

 

Sasha found her passion for volunteerism at a young age. Initially on a journey to become a lawyer, her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity led to a 10-month AmeriCorps journey that inspired her to a career in the non-profit sector. Ever since, she has been committed to provide volunteer service serving those in need. She started as a volunteer with Care Harbor, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, dental, vision, and specialty services to the underserved, underrepresented, and underinsured in the Greater Los Angeles area, 10 years ago. Currently, she is the Chief Operations Officer and is responsible for managing over 3,000 volunteers annually. Sasha loves to engage with others who share her passion for giving back. Her passion for driving positive impact and change motivated her to obtain a Master’s degree in public administration and become a Certified Volunteer Administrator through the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

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Kylene Mellor, CVA
Director of CCVA Exam

Manager, Volunteer Resources, IWK Health 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Kylene is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) who has been working in the field of Volunteer Management for over 20 years. As the Manager, Volunteer Resources with IWK Health 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.

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Ashley Rieser, CVA (she/her)
Director of Outreach

Director of Volunteer Services and Front of House Guest Experience - Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Ashley Rieser has been in the volunteer administration field for over 12 years. She oversees more than 500 volunteers who assist in a variety of performing arts venues, festivals, and art galleries at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She is a forward-thinking leader focused on moving the profession of volunteer engagement to the next level on a local and national scale. She received her CVA in 2016. In addition to her work on the CCVA Outreach Committee, she is the Past President and current Treasurer for her local association VASP, Volunteer Administrators of Southwestern PA. Ashley was the recipient of the 2017 EVIE Award for Outstanding Volunteer Administrator of the Year. She is the Chair of Tessitura’s Managing Volunteers and Interns Community of Practice. She is also a Volunteer Management Instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Colorado and one in Human Resources from Point Park University. She is currently in the process of completing a dual master’s program in Human Resource Management and M.B.A.

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Keith Seel, PhD, CVA
Co-Director of Knowledge
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Keith Seel is the current co-editor of Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice and has been in the editor role since the start of CCVA. He is the former Dean, Centre for Excellence in Foundational Learning at Bow Valley College where he worked extensively with the nonprofit sector and government to provide basic literacy education and upgrading for a diversity of adult students. Prior to that, Dr. Seel was the Director, Institute for Nonprofit Studies at Mount Royal University where he was an active researcher into Canada’s nonprofit sector. He focused on both governance and social policy issues within Canada’s nonprofit sector. He has held board appointments to provincial committees working with persons with developmental disabilities, professional certification of teachers, and children’s services. At the national level Dr. Seel chaired the Human Resources Council for the Nonprofit Sector.

In semi-retirement, he is an active volunteer with Banff National Park where, as an advisory committee member, he helps support the volunteer administrator. As a sessional instructor, Dr. Seel works with Mount Royal University to deliver courses in social innovation. His consulting focus continues to be on board governance with a special emphasis on board-CEO relations, generative governance, and the mechanics of well functioning boards.

Members At Large

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Bentley Anderson, CVA
Member At Large
Orlando, Florida, USA 

Bentley Anderson most recently served as Director of Volunteers for Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity, where he supported and oversaw the strategic direction for 900 volunteers. Bentley’s experience spans over 13 years in both public and private sectors. With proven effectiveness as a full-cycle recruiter and innovative onboarder, Bentley’s passion is investing in volunteers so they are best equipped for their roles while having an experience that offers continual personal development. 

A native of Mississippi, Bentley earned both his B.A. in history and political science and his M.S. in political science with emphasis in public law and government from the University of Southern Mississippi. Along with being a certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) Bentley also earned certifications in both inclusive and ethical leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work place.
Bentley and his wife Hannah reside in Orlando, FL with their son Owen and larger-than-he-realizes Labrador named Beauregard. They are active volunteers, supporting JDRF, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Make-A-Wish, and Give Kids The World.
Leah Gagnier

Leah Gagnier, CVA
Member At Large
Port Dufferin, Nova Scotia, Canada

Leah has worked for Mission Thrift Stores since September 2011, starting as a Store Manager for the  first three years and then moving into a role at BFM Foundation Canada to support Mission Thrift Stores.  There, she began as the Director of Store Operations, then moved to the challenging role of the Director of Online Commerce, Merchandising & Digital Strategies. Leah has transitioned to the position of National Director of Volunteer Engagement.  She has studied and received the CVA designation to better serve the organization's stakeholders.

Leah has worked in various careers before joining Mission Thrift Store; she was VP of Marketing and Sales at a Furniture Manufacturing company she co-owned for 10 + years. Then, she returned to school and worked in Social Work for a few years before joining Mission Thrift Stores. Leah has volunteered for Missions and Food Banks for the past twenty-plus years.

Leah is married and has three grown daughters, one son-in-law, one adorable grandson and a new therapy dog in training.

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Rob Harrison
Member At Large

Volunteer and Guest Relations Manager, Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club
Regina, Saskatchewan, CanadaRob Joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013 as a part of the Grey Cup Volunteer Team. From there he progressed from a Volunteer Director to a staff member as the club created a full time Leadership Position for the Rider Squad. With over 20 years of event experience, Rob specializes in event based volunteering primarily in major sports, concerts and competitions.

Rob also volunteers as a board or committee member with many organizations including REACH, The Saskatchewan Trade Board for Cooks, The Curriculum & Examination Board for Cooks, The Provincial and National Technical Committees for the Skills Canada Competitions.He is a strong supporter of the skills and abilities volunteers bring to organizations to provide meaningful interactions for guests, fans and clients in multiple ways while enabling positive outcomes and opportunities for volunteers as well.

Rob received his CVA in 2018. He also holds his Red Seal or Professional Designation in the Trade of Cook.

 

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Rut Kessel
Member at Large

Manager, Courier Program - NMDP
Osceola, Wisconsin, United States

Rut (pronounced “root”) Kessel has been engaging and supporting volunteers at the NMDP since Sep 2016, and her main focus since August 2018 has been the staff & volunteer couriers. Currently she manages a team of over 700 couriers that travel across the globe to deliver on our promise to save lives through cell therapy  – best job ever!

Volunteer Management has been Rut’s passion and career since graduating from the U of MN with a BA in International Relations back in 1999. She has worked in a wide range of non-profits focused on disaster & medical relief, animal rescue and child advocacy before coming to the NMDP.

She got her CVA in 2018 and has been advocating to her peers to do the same ever since!

Originally from Germany and having travelled and lived throughout Africa and the United States, Rut now lives in beautiful Osceola, WI with her husband “Santa” Joel. She loves gardening, trail riding with their side-by-side and dog sitting/fostering!

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Jennifer Short
Director at Large

Director, Disaster Workforce Readiness, American Red Cross
San Jose, CA, USA

Jennifer Short serves as the National Program Director for Disaster Workforce Readiness at the American Red Cross, providing volunteer management support including program, procedural, and technical guidance to regional disaster workforce teams across the country. She started as a volunteer with the American Red Cross 12 years ago, kicking off her passion for volunteerism, before transitioning to an employee in 2016. Along the way, she has served on many disaster relief operations with a focus on supporting the deployed volunteer workforce. Prior to working at the American Red Cross, Jennifer spent 13 years working in quality assurance and product development at Intuit, Inc. She earned a Master of Science from Cal State University - Long Beach in Emergency Services Administration and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Justice Systems Policy and Planning from Northern Arizona University. In addition to being a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA), Jennifer is also a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

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.

Outreach Committee

Many thanks to these individuals who partner with CCVA to reach new audiences and provide Informational Webinars to potential CVA candidates. Not pictured below are Drew Delbaere, Yvonne Dunphe, Renée Fleming and Eileen Small.

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Corina Sadler, CVA
Volunteer Resources Manager, City of Plano
Plano, Texas, United States

Corina has been a volunteer since the age of thirteen. In high school she began service at a municipal senior recreation center and was mentored by two inspiring women in government. Their involvement was central to Corina’s future success and to this day serves as her inspiration to motivate more people to volunteer or become mentors. She is currently Volunteer Resources Manager for the City of Plano, Texas “Volunteers in Plano” and has worked in local government for the last 18 years. She enjoys providing volunteer management guidance to nonprofits and municipalities to unite the community through volunteerism. In 2019, Corina received a national IMPACT Award from the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). In 2022, Corina was appointed by Texas Governor Abbott to serve on the OneStar National Service Commission. Ms. Sadler holds numerous certificates in the fields of volunteer and nonprofit management along with a B.S. in applied gerontology and nonprofit management from the University of North Texas and has been a CVA since 2012.
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Heather Jackson, CVA
Manager RSVP and Volunteer Programs, Volunteers of America
Ft.Collins, Colorado, USA

Heather began managing volunteer programs in 2011 out of a belief that each person has unique talents, gifts, and experiences to offer.  She loves assisting people in finding their best fit in service and helping volunteers connect in meaningful ways that impact their world.  She believes in building community and creating belonging and is an expert at how to convey purpose when discussing volunteer roles and impact.  She enjoys creating new programs and teaching.  Heather successfully built and managed the volunteer and intern program for the Denver Rescue Mission in Northern Colorado before moving on to Volunteers of America, where she now manages their AmeriCorps Seniors – RSVP grant with over 600 active volunteers.  She also provides volunteer management oversight and training to both Volunteers of America staff and the over 50 community partners they work with.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Human Services from Metropolitan State University of Denver and is a Certified Volunteer Administrator through the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.  In addition to her work on the CCVA Ethics and Outreach Committees, Heather is active with her local DOVIA and is the Secretary of the Colorado VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) as well as the Volunteer Committee Chair for their Long-Term Recovery Group.

Ethics Committee

Many thanks to this dedicated group of CVAs who are working to promote the Professional Ethics in Volunteer Management.

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Renewal Task Force

Many thanks to this dedicated group of CVAs from around the world who are working to revise and update the Renewal Process for current CVAs.

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Governance

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.