Board Members 2021-2022
Vanessa Evans-Grevious

Vanessa M. Evans-Grevious serves as the Vice President for the Ron Brown Scholar Fund and has worked there for 20 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and her master’s degree in education from JMU. Vanessa has been involved with JMU through her service on the JMU Alumni Association Board of Directors and Women for Madison. She has previously been involved with the Board of Directors for the National Scholarship Providers Association and the Monticello Community Action Agency Board of Directors. She has also served as Rector of the Board of Visitors.

Chris Falcon

Christopher Falcon serves as Legal Counsel and Civil Division Supervisor for the Arlington Circuit Court Clerk’s office. He has been a practicing attorney for 13+ years having been the founder and owner of The Falcon Firm PLLC. He earned his undergraduate degree in Management from JMU and his JD from the Widener Commonwealth Law School. In 2016, Chris was the recipient of the Arlington County Manager’s Excellence Award.  He currently serves on the Fairfax County Human Services Council, the Arlington County ASAP Policy Board and the Board of Directors of Edu-Futuro. He previously served on the Virginia Latino Advisory Board. Chris was a first-generation college student.

Buddy Gadams

Frank "Buddy" Gadams is the President/CEO of Marathon PR, LLC. He previously served as President/CEO of Marathon Development Group for 20 years. He received his undergraduate degree from JMU in Finance with a minor in Economics. Buddy was recognized as the 2014 Norfolk Downtowner of the Year. He serves on the Board of ReAlta Life Sciences, Benedictine School, and Puttshack/Promethean. He is the founder of the Virginia Chapter of Young Presidents Organization. Buddy is an avid runner and marathoner having completed the Extreme Marathon, a 150 mile run through the Sahara.

Jeff Grass

Jeff Grass is the CEO and Co-Founder of HUNGRY Marketplace, Inc. He is also the chairman and co-founder of buySAFE. He co-founded PayMy Bills.com and LiveSafe throughout his 20+ years as an entrepreneur. Jeff earned a double major at JMU in Finance and Economics. He has an MBA in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School. Jeff has received numerous awards and recognitions including Forbes Best Startup Employer Award in 2020 and 2021, Ernst & Young 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year-Mid-Atlantic and Top 100 Start-Up Companies to Work for in the U.S. (HUNGRY) from CEO World Magazine in 2020. Jeff is an avid international traveler.

Matthew G-K

Matthew Gray-Keeling is a full-time parent and previously served as the Virginia State Director for The Humane Society of the United States. Before that role, he worked as the Executive Director for the Virginia Public Safety Foundation. Matthew received his political science degree from JMU. His passion is advocating for equality in the adoption services. 

Maribeth Herod

Maribeth D. Herod is the Senior Vice President, Strategic Risk Executive for Bank of America.  She has been in the finance/banking industry for 37 years having previously worked for Freddie Mac. She received her bachelor of business administration from JMU. Maribeth received the Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Business from JMU. She also serves as a board member for the NextStop Theatre and has served as the Rector for the JMU Board of Visitors.

Lucy Hutchinson

Lucy Hutchinson is the Head of Executive Talent Acquisition at Capital One. Since joining the company in 2014, Lucy has held a variety of roles in Human Resources, Risk Management and the Commercial Bank. Lucy joined Capital One from Korn/Ferry International where she was a member of the firm’s Global Nonprofit Practice. Previously, Lucy served as the director of gubernatorial appointments for Virginia’s Governor, Timothy M. Kaine. Lucy earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from JMU.

Maria Jankowski

Maria D. Jankowski serves as the Deputy Director for the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. She previously served as an Assistant Public Defender for the District of Columbia and the City of Richmond. Maria received her undergraduate degree from East Carolina University in Political Science and her JD degree from the University of South Carolina. She currently serves on the board for the Orchard House School and has previously had appointments by the Governor and the Speaker of the House. She has also served on the Criminal Law Section Virginia State Bar and the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar.

John Lynch

John Lynch is a partner at the national law firm of Troutman Pepper, LLP and has been at the firm for 22 years. He does civil litigation and has consistently been named on the legal elite list and best lawyers in America. He graduated from JMU with a degree in political science and received his law degree from the University of Richmond. John also serves on the board of the Achievable Dream Academy. 

Lara Major

Lara P. Major is an educational consultant with Major Consulting facilitating professional development of teachers and developing literacy curriculum and assessment models. She previously was a teacher and reading specialist in Fairfax and Loudoun County Public Schools, as well as an adjunct instructor on the graduate level for the University of Virginia and George Mason University and has worked for 25 years in the field of education. Lara received her BS degree in Education from JMU and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia. She and her husband, Eric, received the 2019 Inez Graybeal Roop Alumni Service Award from JMU. Lara serves on numerous boards including All Ages Read Together, Elevate Early Education, 100WomenStrong and the Willowcroft Foundation. She also serves on the JMU Executive Advisory Council for the College of Education. Lara and Eric are also parents of a 2020 JMU graduate.

Maggie Ragon

Maggie Ragon is the Commissioner of Revenue for the City of Staunton and has served in this capacity for 15 years. She has a bachelor of business administration from JMU, an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Master Commissioner of Revenue Certification from the University of Virginia. She is the past president of the Virginia Commissioners of Revenue Association. Maggie serves on the Virginia Aviation Board, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission, YMCA Staunton Board of Trustees, Shenandoah Community Capital Fund, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Staunton.

John Rothenberger

John C. Rothenberger is currently the Managing Partner for Volition Partners. He has founded and grown two award winning, successful IT businesses during his career which he subsequently sold. He received his undergraduate degree from JMU in Marketing. In 2017 he received the Ronald E. Carrier Distinguished Alumni Award and the university’s first Entrepreneur in Residence. Jon has also served on the College of Business Executive Advisory Council and chaired the Advisory Council for the JMU Center for Entrepreneurship. He co-created and co-taught a senior level course at JMU called Venture Creation and taught at the University Côte d’Azur in Nice, France.

Deborah Tompkins Johnson

Deborah Tompkins Johnson is the retired Policy Director for Dominion Energy where she worked for 33 years.  Previous to her work at Dominion Energy she was a news anchor, reporter, producer for ABC News @WXEX TV-8 in Richmond, Va. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from JMU and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Marymount University. She received the JMU 1995 Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Deborah serves on the Joe Gibbs’ Youth for Tomorrow Board of Trustees. She is a co-founder of the Black Alumni Chapter and has served on the University Foundation Board of Directors and the Alumni Association Board. She authored a book, How Did They Do That?-Career Highlights, Triumphs & Challenges with a companion journal in 2019 to the book. She currently serves as Vice Rector on the board and a Co-Chair of the Task Force on Racial Equity.  Deborah has served on the Board of Visitors from 1988-1994.

Kathy Warden

Kathy J. Warden is the Chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman and has worked there for the past 13 years. She previously worked for General Electric and General Dynamics. She received her undergraduate degree from JMU in Computer Information Systems and her MBA from George Washington University. Kathy has been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the Most Powerful Women and by Forbes magazine on the list of Power Women. She has also been recognized by Virginia Business as one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians. Kathy also received the Ronald E. Carrier Alumni Achievement Award from JMU. She serves on a number of boards including Merck and Co., Aerospace Industries Association and the Greater Washington Partnership.

Craig Welburn

Craig B. Welburn is the owner/operator of E.C.C. Enterprises Holding company, LLC, McDonald’s Franchisee and has been involved with the company for over 25 years. He currently owns and operates five McDonald’s restaurants in the northern Virginia area. He also serves as Vice President, Capital Business Unit/McDonald’s Corporation. He graduated from JMU with an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences. 

Xaiver Williams

Xaiver Williams serves as the student representative to the Board of Visitors. He is a junior at JMU with a major in K-12 Music Education Instrumental. He has an Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor. Xaiver is involved with the Black Leadership Coalition, the Black Student Alliance, and the Student Virginia Educators Association. He is an ambassador for the College of Visual and Performing Arts and serves on the Task Force on Racial Equity. 

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