Our Board is a highly dedicated team of professionals and lay leaders with varying backgrounds, experience, and expertise in a wide range of areas, including medical, accounting, self-advocacy and education.
A mix of individuals with and without disabilities, each plays a key role in the decision-making of our programs and the overall direction of Friendship Circle in the community, and we are thankful for each member!
Kendra Campbell, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in women’s health and integrated mental/physical healthcare. Prior to moving to Virginia, she served as faculty at the University of Alaska where she conducted clinical health research and trained doctoral psychology students. Her work has included addressing systemic health disparities and increasing accessibility to care. In her free time, she enjoys experiencing the outdoors with her husband and young children.
Dr. Harry Gewanter is a semi-retired pediatric rheumatologist who has been an active advocate for children, families and people with disabilities for decades. He is a co-founder of Medical Home Plus, Inc., an organization that provides information, support and resources for families with children and youth with disabilities. He also serves on the board of the disAbility Law Center of Virginia and other local, state and national organizations.
Karen Giles, CPA is a senior manager at a big-four public accounting firm with over 18 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. She provides multistate tax services to large multinational corporate and pass-through clients, in the energy, hospitality, manufacturing, technology, and the real estate investment trust industries. Karen assists clients with a wide variety of tax issues, with a focus on income /franchise consulting, tax compliance, tax planning, and tax reporting.
Dr. Peter Heyman has been a Friendship Circle board member for the past 3 years in addition to serving on the Board when Friendship Circle was founded here in Richmond over 10 years ago. He is also the immediate past treasurer. Peter has been practicing pediatrics for 25 years with RVA Pediatrics. He lives in the West End with his wife Allison, and his children Alex and Sadie.
Rabbi Yossel Kranz is the executive director at Chabad of Virginia and has served the Richmond community for over 30 years. He is a founding member of the board since its creation 10 years ago. Friendship Circle of Virginia is a project of Chabad Virginia.
Julie Marczak worked as a general education/ exceptional education teacher for 15 years. Her specialty was teens with developmental disabilities. She moved here from Idaho two years ago and has participated for the last year as a general board member before becoming Vice President.
Marissa Marczak is the past President of the Friendship Inclusive Teen Leadership Board and has been part of Friendship Circle for two years. Currently, Marissa is an undergraduate at Randolph-Macon pursuing a degree in Biology and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Jay McLaughlin survived a traumatic brain injury in 1988. He went on to attain a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He currently works in the community with adults and children with a wide variety of disabilities.
Carolyn O’Donnell has 10-years experience as a special educator, working with children K-12. Most recently, Carolyn worked as a teacher in the Integrated Services program at Glen Allen High School. Carolyn joined the Friendship Circle of Virginia after experiencing LifeTown in Columbus via the Friendship Circle of Ohio and is now the Director of the FCVA Inclusive Teen Leadership Board.
Dr. Nathan Zasler is founder, CEO & medical director of Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd., as well as Tree of Life Services, Inc. Dr. Zasler is board certified in PM&R, fellowship trained in brain injury and subspecialty certified in Brain Injury Medicine. He is an affiliate professor in the VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Richmond, and a visiting professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He has been working with people with neuro-disability for over 30 years and has a long history of disability advocacy. Nathan is the immediate past president of the board for the last 2 years.