BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Suzie is the co-founder of the Ryan Bartel Foundation and mother of Ryan. She has 30+ years’ experience as a senior marketing and business executive, running her own design and marketing business in London and then working in senior marketing positions for private and public companies in the US after moving to Loudoun County in 1999.
After losing Ryan to suicide in the fall of 2014, Suzie felt the need to turn their tragedy into something positive by helping other teens and young adults from spiraling into depression and suicidal behavior when times get tough. In a short space of time, what started as a peer-led support group for teens at the high school Ryan went to, has now become a non-profit whose programs touch all corners of the Loudoun community.
Today Suzie juggles her professional life with advocating and working in her free time for the Foundation. She is an active speaker in the community and an advocate for mental health and youth suicide awareness and prevention through the empowerment of youth.
Tom Julia is a Loudoun County-based management consultant who has been involved in local community and governmental affairs for more than 30 years. Tom also serves on the Board of Directors of the Middleburg Community Charter School, and chairs its Governance Committee. His past volunteer efforts include serving as Chairman of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Loudoun County Government Reform Commission and President of the Lansdowne Office Park Owners Association. Tom also spent two decades as an executive for a North American trade association representing the building products industry, the last 13 as its President.
He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University, a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, and graduate certificates from Leadership Fairfax and the ASAE School of Association Management. He also served for many years as a youth lacrosse coach and as the Northern Virginia women’s lacrosse league director.
Tom has a longstanding interest in mental health and in promoting positive role models. He has four children, two of whom graduated from Loudoun County public schools. His older son is also the artist and entrepreneur known as Lucidious, whose songs, music videos and self-help efforts are focused around suicide prevention and depression.
DOMINIQUE A. CALLINS
Dominique A. Callins received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Florida A&M University, and her J.D. from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, where, among other accomplishments, she was an Oliver Hill scholar and inducted into the Order of Barristers.
She was previously employed as a judicial law clerk, first to the Henrico County Circuit Court and later to the Honorable James W. Benton (Ret.) of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. She practiced family law in Northern Virginia for 15 years. She has also practiced in the areas of civil litigation, including personal injury and contract law, and criminal defense.
Dominique is an active member of Gateway Community Church in South Riding, Virginia, where she is a small group leader and activity volunteer. In addition to the Ryan Bartel Foundation board, she also serves on the board of the George Mason University School of Business, Women in Business Initiative (WIBI) and supports The Leadership Center, a school dedicated to developing future women leaders of Honduras. Dominique is also a published author. Prior to her career in law school, she worked as a middle school drama teacher in Newport News.
Margaret L. Brown is a Strategic Communications & Public Relations consultant with more than three decades of experience in public relations and internal communications for a variety of B2C and B2B companies. She has extensive experience in the technology and channel sectors, as well as retail, nonprofit and finance. Her current clients include 100WomenStrong, Wize Solutions, InterGrid, SWaN & Legend, Hill Top House Hotel, Quidne Press and Altor Locks. She also subcontracts as a blog writer for Strategic Communications Group. Margaret is adept at elevating company reputations and driving website traffic through integrated thought-leadership campaigns that use a mix of interviews, media relations, press releases, blog posts, digital marketing and social media. She takes an in-depth approach to creating public relations and outreach efforts for clients to ensure that their unique messages are clear and resonate with their targeted audiences.
Every year, Margaret Brown chooses an area nonprofit organization to which she donates time and services. Over the past 13 years, she has supported All Ages Read Together with pro bono communications and public relations activities. She also served as Secretary of the organization’s Board of Directors. She also has provided pro bono PR, writing and advice and counsel to the Thomas Balch Library Black History Committee, the NAACP of Loudoun, Friends of Leesburg Public Art, Key Lyme and many others.
Until recently, Margaret served as the Board Chair for Loudoun Literacy Council and led the organization, as well as supported the organization by writing press releases, working with local media to generate positive publicity and through PR advice and counsel.
Christina (Chris) Croll is a corporate leader and community advocate with a 30-year career in roles that include executive management, consultant, columnist, policymaker and community leader. She has led projects in the media, education, technology, legal and healthcare industries. Croll’s background includes executive roles at America Online, Gartner, Network Solutions, Quest Communications, The Walt Disney Company, Jones Intercable, and several technology startups.
Croll has been recognized for her extensive community advocacy work promoting teen mental health, childhood cancer research and equity in education. She recently served on the Loudoun County School Board which governs one of the largest school divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During her tenure on the Board, Croll played a leadership role in curtailing the seclusion and restraint of students, revamping division grading policies, ending discriminatory practices, and developing communications policies.
Croll sits on the Board of Directors for Asbury Communities, one of the largest aging services organizations in the US, and she is a member of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps. She was recently voted a “Loudoun 100” honoree and she was the recipient of the 2021, “Pride in Our Community,” award from Equality Loudoun for her work advocating for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Croll holds a Master of Professional Studies degree in Interactive Telecommunications (ITP) from New York University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Ithaca College. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband, two teenage sons and rescue puppy Luna.
Co-founder of the Ryan Bartel Foundation and father of Ryan. Ben is a business entrepreneur, experienced in mergers and acquisitions, turnarounds and management both domestically and internationally. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio University and an MBA in finance from New York University. Ben started his career as an assistant vice president at First Union National Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1992 after the German reunification, he formed Kabelmedia Holdings, a cable TV company in Frankfurt, Germany, growing the customer base seven-fold to over 420,000 subscribers. Ben left the company in 1999 after its public offering and returned to the United States to become the CEO of AvCraft Aviation, an aircraft service firm with an international client base. In 2006, Ben Bartel founded V1 Leasing in Virginia, a company that acquires, finances, and leases aircraft. In 2010, he founded Flock Management LLC, a financial and management consulting company providing alternative financings to small, well managed businesses and alternative investments to private individuals. Flock Management also provides aircraft management and worldwide aircraft ferry services.
DENISHA JOHNSON HAMILTON
Denisha Johnson Hamilton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is an excellent therapist that can work with many issues, and is particularly skilled in working with teens and young adults. In 2016, she won Loudoun’s Best Counselor for Kids. In addition to providing individual and family counseling, Denisha also provides group counseling services for high school teens in the Ashburn area.
Denisha entered the world of entrepreneurship and opened a mental health private practice in 2017. Prior to that, she was the clinical director for Wellness Connection in Ashburn, VA. The 10 years before that, Denisha worked with Loudoun County Mental Health in a variety of positions. Starting as a residential counselor, she obtained her Masters in Social Work and her LCSW and transitioned to become an Outpatient Clinician specializing in adolescent treatment. In that role, she provided individual, group, and family therapy, as well as crisis intervention to children, adolescents, and adults. Denisha is well versed in dealing with issues of trauma, attachment disorder, anxiety and depression, as well as a variety of other issues that impact children, teenagers, and adults. Denisha also worked as a Student Assistance Liaison for several middle and high schools in Loudoun County, where she completed assessments and evaluations of children who came to the attention of their guidance counselor for assorted reasons. As an Outpatient Clinician, Denisha worked closely with school officials, probation officers, Department of Family Services, and numerous other agencies to coordinate services.
Denisha has worked with a variety of populations, including the homeless population in Loudoun County providing homeless outreach services, the intellectually disabled population in Washington, DC to ensure they were receiving appropriate and humane treatment, and children from the ages of 7-12 who had behavioral and mental health issues and were residing in a residential treatment center in Norfolk, VA. Denisha has attended numerous trainings regarding transgender and LGBTQ issues in teenagers and the impact those issues have on their education, families, and support system, as well as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to guide survivors of trauma towards recovery and empowerment.
Denisha goes out of her way to create a comfortable and safe environment where children, adolescents, or adults feel supported in implementing change in their lives. Denisha considers herself to be a solution focused therapist but also utilizes acceptance and commitment therapy techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, and most importantly, providing client focused treatment. Denisha’s philosophy to therapy: “Life is a journey and any impact I can have on helping a person through that journey is an honor and privilege. I aim to help people understand and accept themselves, and move towards the life they deserve.”
Wallace H Owings, CPA is currently managing principal of the firm Owings & Company PLLC. He became managing partner of the predecessor firm Patterson, Weeks and Graves in 2010 when the name changed to Owings, Weeks and Graves. Mr Owings first joined the firm in 2008.
Prior to public accounting, Mr Owings served in local government as an Assistant Town Manager, Assistant County Executive, and Administrator of Special Tax District. In addition, he served as the CEO of a not for profit and owned a printing and graphics company.
Mr Owings attended the University of Notre Dame where he played football and obtained a degree in Political Science at the University of South Carolina. He furthered his education with a masters degree in Public Administration at South Carolina and accounting courses at the University of Virginia.
Mr Owings has a long history of community involvement and has served on numerous boards and commissions. He is past President of the Committee for Dulles, Dulles Rotary, and the Virginia Jaycees. He was appointed by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to the Lououn Water Authority where he chaired the Finance Committee.
Mr Owings is a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a licensed CPA in Virgina.
Joni Siker has over 25 years of specialized elementary education experience in both clinical and public school settings. She holds a BA in elementary and special education and a MA in Psychological Services with a licensure in elementary school counseling. Joni has taught students with learning and emotional disabilities. She has also taught in acute inpatient psychiatric care settings including the Children’s National Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric School in Washington, DC; Dominion Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatric School in Falls Church; and at a therapeutic day-school program at The INOVA Kellar School in Fairfax.
Joni worked as a homebound instructor, special education teacher, and school counselor with Loudoun County Public Schools for 18 years.
She collaborated with staff, parents and the administrators to provide small group counseling programs designed to promote resilience, enhance self-esteem, and resolve conflict in relationships; co-led Restorative Circle meetings; and helped implement the LCPS Bullying Prevention Program and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program. Joni has also been trained to administer the C-SSRS Suicide Assessment, and to respond to and de-escalate situations using MANDT principles.
A resident of Western Loudoun County for 25+ years, Joni is meaningfully involved with a variety of organizations including her Church, Mobile Hope, OAR, the Arc of Loudoun, Loudoun Hunger Relief, and the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corps.
Joni has a passion for wellness and seeks to build relationships, improve quality of life and foster resilience and problem-solving skills in those she serves.
Shane Langdon has been a resident of Loudoun County since 1983 and is currently a Training and Development Manager with Masco Corporation. He has experience in sales, marketing and training, and has established many personal and professional relationships throughout the 20+ years in the DC/Metro construction industry.
With close personal family losses, Shane has developed a passion for raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention. With many relationships within the community, he has also raised awareness and donations through a Loudoun County based Golf Society, Pen Pushers, where he holds a committee chair position and heads the charity arm of the society. In July 2020, Shane presented a check to the Ryan Bartel Foundation on behalf of the Pen Pushers at their annual Summer Championship at Loudoun Golf and Country Club. After suggesting how golf may help with fundraising, in 2021, Shane worked closely with Suzie Bartel, Val Walters, and others in the foundation to pioneer a local charity golf tournament, Fairways for Hope, that supports the Ryan Bartel Foundation. Shane was also recognized with the Volunteer Award for all of Masco, nominated by his peers for his collaborative work with the Ryan Bartel Foundation in organizing the golf tournament, thus raising awareness and bringing national attention to the great work the foundation does.
Shane and his wife Jessie are now raising their three children in Western Loudoun. Graduates of the Loudoun County Public School system and currently working in the county, they both will continue to raise the much-needed awareness throughout the community.