Meet Our Board and Team

 

President: Jason Blackwell, Mobility Works

Jason Blackwell is the sales manager at Mobility Works and has been in the mobility industry since graduating from the University of Richmond in 2007. He is an avid Spider fan, a devoted husband, and father to 3 girls. In a chair himself since 2002, Jason has spent many years advocating for the rights of people in chairs including working to make the EZPass free for those with loss of upper extremity mobility. In his free time, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and watching the Spiders play basketball. 

 

Vice President: Alison Clarke, CTRS, Sheltering Arms

Alison Clarke, C.T.R.S. is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and the Director of Community Recreation & Wellness Services at Sheltering Arms. She graduated from West Virginia University with a BS degree in Recreational Therapy and a Certificate in Gerontology. Alison has worked in the physical rehabilitation setting for 26 years. She is a certified Diabetes Self Management, Chronic Disease Self Management, and PALS (promoting amputee life skills) instructor. Alison is an advocate for providing recreation, physical activity, and wellness programs in the community ensuring access and opportunities for all to maintain and active and healthy lifestyle regardless of their setbacks or mobility limitations.

 

Caitlin BrownSecretary:  Caitlin Brown, Samaritans Walk

Caitlin is co-owner of Samaritans Walk. She graduated from CA University of Pennsylvania with a sports management degree. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Caitlin is a two time VA State weight lifting champion and has been competing for 9 years.

 

Treasurer: Evan Wrinkle, CPA,  WellsColeman

Evan is an accountant at WellsColeman providing tax, assurance, and bookkeeping services to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations in the Greater Richmond area. In 2012, at the age of 21, Evan suffered a T12 spinal cord injury from a fall. Afterward, Evan graduated from VCU with degrees in accounting and personal finance. Evan lives in New Kent with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Mac.

 

Board Member:  Katie Sloan

 Katie Sloan is the Coordinator of Programs and Community Impact for Smart Beginnings Southeast, a regional affiliate of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.  She grew up in Franklin, VA and attended Longwood University in Farmville, where she received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education.  She taught kindergarten, first grade and special education in Chesterfield County for 10 years.  During that time she received her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and Preschool Special Education.  She founded and directed Bermuda Hundred Preschool at Bermuda Hundred United Methodist Church and taught Early Childhood Education at John Tyler Community College for the next 25 years of her career. She was also involved in children’s ministries at Bermuda Hundred.

Her board experience with non-profit organizations includes; The Longwood University Foundation Board, Bermuda Hundred Child Development Center Board Chair, Healthy Families Hopewell-Prince George Board and Advisory Board of Early Childhood Education, John Tyler Community College.

Katie is married to Gary Starr and lives in Chester, VA.  She has three sons. Will Sloan, a Methodist minister; Joe Sloan, a football coach with Louisiana Tech University and Josh Sloan, a librarian with Appomattox Regional Library Systems.

 

Board Member:  Bobby Whitten

Bobby was born and raised in Richmond, Va where he attended D.S. Freeman High School.  He went on to graduate from the University of Virginia in 1977 with a degree in finance and minor in marketing. In his professional life, Bobby was a 3rd generation owner of Whitten Bros. Jeep Chrysler Dodge Mazda for 40 years before retiring from the family business before passing it along to the 4th generation.

Bobby’s board experience includes; 10 years on the Hospitality House board, serving as chairman 2013-14.  a second stint on the Doorways board, former board member at World Pediatric, board member Virginia Automobile Dealer’s Association, member of the Massey Cancer Center board, member of the Park Sterling Bank board, and member of First Capital Bank board.

In his free time, Bobby enjoys the outdoors through hunting, fishing, and playing golf.

 

Dr.William McKinleyBoard Member:  Dr. William McKinley, VCU Health

Dr. McKinley is Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Director of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System. He has served as Project Director for the VCU SCI Regional Model System of Care (a grant supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research).  He is also Director of the PM&R Residency Training Program at VCU and board certified in PM&R, Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Spinal Cord Medicine.  Dr. McKinley completed his residency training in PM&R in 1989 at VCU and remained on faculty to focus on clinical, academic and research pursuits.  He has presented to numerous regional and national conferences and has published extensively within his expertise of spinal cord injury.

 

Dr. William Carter IIIBoard Member:  Dr .William Carter, VCU Health

William Carter, MD/MPH is a spinal cord injury medicine trained Assistant Professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He completed his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech University followed by his medical and public health degrees at University of Connecticut, internship in Montgomery Alabama, and finally residency and specialty training at VCU.  His professional goals are to improve education, communication, and systems based practice, with an eventual goal of spreading to community outreach. Outside of work Dr. Carter enjoys spending time with his family, community outreach, playing sports, learning new languages and cultures.

 

Board Member, Bill Fertig

Bill is Director of United Spinal Associations Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center. He lives with family in Virginia Beach, VA and telecommutes in his work with United Spinal. He served twenty-five years as a municipal police officer and training sergeant. An off-duty motorcycle accident resulted in T-7 paraplegia in 1999. Bill brings his past experiences and life with SCI to his Information Specialist team which helps support consumers who contact the Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center after injury or disease onset.

As an Executive Council member of the North American SCI Consortium for 2019, Bill hopes to help build NASCIC membership through his SCI community contacts and assist as needed in the project-based initiatives of NASCIC.

 

Director: Richard Bagby, United Spinal Assoc. of VA 

A native Virginian, Richard was born with the sense of wanting to help others. He played football for the University of Richmond, where he decided to foster his enjoyment of service by looking to joining the U.S. Marine Corps. Unfortunately, that dream was derailed when he suffered a c-5 burst fracture from a “6ft dive into a 4ft pool” resulting in complete quadriplegia. With the help of many friends and family, he refocused his aspirations and sought to aid veterans and people with disabilities through his work in accessible transportation sales, helping people become independent through driving. Richard stumbled upon the non-profit sphere somewhat by chance. Through efforts mentoring newly injured SCI’s (subsequently attaining certification as a Peer Mentor by the United Spinal Assoc. as well as the Trauma Survivors Network or TSN), he learned about the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Virginia where he became an active member and eventually a Member of the Board. Richard is extremely excited to be part of an organization that has the potential of creating an immensely positive impact on our SCI/D community. He is currently devoting his free time to rekindling his competitive fire through wheelchair racing with Sportable, as well as spending time at Virginia Beach. If you’re down that way, odds are you can catch him “pushing the boardwalk”.

 

Operations Coordinator, Kate Blackwell, United Spinal Association of VA

Kate Blackwell is a Virginia native having grown up in the Richmond area. She returned home after graduating from the University of South Alabama in 2001 with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching elementary students both in RVA and in Central America, she felt it was time to leave the profession and focus more on her marriage to Jason. Kate and Jason got married in 2007, and settled in Chesterfield where they live with their 3 girls.  Kate enjoys being a stay at home mom, providing childcare for friends, volunteering at their girls’ school, advocating for children in the foster care system and for those with disabilities.

 

Caregiver Chat” Facilitator: Julie Bivins, MSW

img_7137Julie Bivins is the social worker for the spinal cord injury team at VCU Medical Center’s Inpatient Rehab Unit. Prior to that, Julie worked for the Injury & Violence Prevention Program within the department of trauma surgery at VCU Medical Center. She previously worked in the mental health field, with individuals, families, and children. She currently lives in Richmond City with her husband and in her free time enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, and hanging with her pup.