Meet the CHBS Advisory Board

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley has worked in the media as a writer and public relations professional for 40 years, including the athletic departments at Radford University and Virginia Tech. He covered Maryland sports for the last 24 years and worked for Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook for 27 years as a freelance writer, among an array of other publications. Ashley has served on Hall of Fame committees of Salem/Roanoke Valley Baseball, the Big South Conference and Radford University athletics – and was also voted into the RU hall in 2022. He has been Big South SID Committee chair, on the Virginia Sports Information Directors board and a member of the National Basketball Writers’ Association.




Sherrie Austin

Sherrie Austin graduated Cum Laude in 1998 with a BS in Media Studies with an Anthropology Minor. While at RU, she co-created Radford on Camera (ROC-TV) with Kim Galante and Gavin MacCall. The television show was the University’s first entirely student-produced media and paved the way for many others to form as a result. Currently, Austin is based in Maui, Hawaii and owns Austin ImageWorks, LLC, an event production company specializing in large scale corporate events, video and television production and still photography. Her projects have given her the opportunity to travel the globe and interact with incredible teams of technicians along the way, broadening her personal and professional perspectives.



Robert Barrett

Rob is a 2007 graduate of CHBS with a B.A. in German and a B.B.A in Economics. While at Radford Rob was part of the Student Government Association, Sigma Pi Fraternity, and was a Resident Assistant. After graduating from Radford, Rob studied law and received his J.D. from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he focused on human rights and corporate law, spending a semester in Beijing, China studying their business legal system. In his professional career Rob has worked in three foreign countries, Germany, China, and Azerbaijan, and at two Fortune 200 companies in the US, Lowe's and Advance Auto Parts.  Rob is currently the Senior Privacy Counsel for Intapp, Inc., a SaaS company headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, where he spearheads their global privacy efforts and advises on the legal and regulatory aspects of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. 


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Colby Bender

Colby Bender is a contracts and policy professional in the Information Technology industry. As Contracts Lead at Carahsoft Technology Corp., Colby oversees a team of contracts specialists who manage, negotiate, and draft government contracts. A Radford University graduate of 2016, Colby uses his Political Science degree to navigate regulatory and governmental affairs. 

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Jay Bienlien

Jay Bienlien is a retired Army General Officer and a business and technology executive who specializes in strategies harmonizing process, people, and technology to take companies to the next level in growth and profitability.  He currently serves as the Executive Director for business development for Oracle’s Army and DoD business areas.    Prior to coming to Oracle he served over 35 years in the Army in which he held command and staff assignments in the 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk; 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood; 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks; 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg; Human Resources Command; NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation; United States Army Pacific; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Headquarters Department of the Army; and the United States Army Futures Command.

Jim Bove

Jim Bove is the public affairs chief at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, where he has served since 2022. As part of his job, Jim leads a staff of six that provides audio/video products, graphic design, web design, content management, strategic communications, social media, internal communications, medical photography, event management and media relations for the hospital and clinics that serve 95,000 veterans across 19 counties in Wisconsin & Illinois.


Byron Chafin

Byron Chafin lives in the Bon Air section(Cherokee Road Corridor) of Richmond. He and his family enjoy snow skiing in the winter and also spend time on Hatteras Island in the summer. He is on the board of the Friends of the James River Park as well as the Alumni Board at RU. My wife is on the Board for the Richmond Ballet.

Professionally, I am an education consultant and business owner. I manage a small portfolio of properties in RVA and beyond. We also have a couple of small businesses in town as well. LinkedIn link below for details.

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Jake Crocker

Jake Crocker graduated from Radford University in 1999 with a degree in Media Studies. He also hold an MBA from Virginia Tech. Professionally, Jake serves a variety of roles. His firm Crocker Strategy develops brand and business strategies and he has consulted in projects with Fortune 500 companies to small startups and everything in-between over the past two decades. He is also a restaurateur, as the owner and operator of Lady N’awlins Cajun Café in Richmond. More recently, Jake has taken on the role of Executive Director of the Virginia National Guard Management Group, managing the VNG’s officer and enlisted associations and historical foundation.


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Amy Burton Davis

Amy Davis is now back in the United States working as an Independent Consultant providing technical assistance to both non-profits and small businesses using her substantial experience in international development focusing on women’s financial inclusion, food security and nutrition. Amy’s focus over the last 30 years has been on empowering vulnerable populations, particularly women, using market-led approaches to promote economic growth and resilience. Over the last decade she served as the Chief of Party for large integrated programs with USAID Feed the Future, USAID Food for Peace and scaling up Savings Groups funded by the Mastercard Foundation. Amy consulted from 2003-2008 providing strategic and technical advice to International Non-Governmental Organizations and multi-lateral institutions. She began her international career as a Community Development Volunteer with the US Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Geography from Radford University and completed graduate coursework in International Development Management at American University. She has resided and worked in Senegal, El Salvador, Uganda, WDC Area, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Zambia and Niger, and traveled extensively on other short-term assignments.

Pattie DeLoatche

Patricia DeLoatche is a senior political advisor in the Government Strategies practice. She also serves on the firm's COVID-19 Task Force. Patricia provides strategic advice to the firm's clients on legislative and regulatory issues before the Administration, the U.S. Congress, and federal and state agencies. Her deep experience and vast network on Capitol Hill uniquely equip her to advocate on behalf of clients. Having worked in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, Patricia also has valuable insight into federal legislative process, which informs her skillful and effective approach to addressing clients' most pressing needs in a wide range of industries including life sciences, trade, technology, and non-profit.

Katelyn Dobbins

Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kate Dobbins hails from Pulaski County and is a proud 2018 graduate of Radford University. She graduated from the university as Philosophy & Religious Studies Major with minors in Music and English. While studying at Radford, she had the great privilege of being a student of the Honors Academy along with a performer in Radford’s Percussion Ensemble. Kate still lives in the New River Valley and works as a Pastry Chef in Blacksburg. She is enthusiastic about championing diversity in Radford’s Alumni Board along with supporting efforts to help students study abroad.


Kay Dunkley

Kay Dunkley serves as the Executive Director of the Roanoke Higher Education Authority, and she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Radford University and a doctorate from Virginia Tech.  She has served in various senior leadership positions at VT, the Virginia Community College System, and in two public school divisions.  Kay serves on the board for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and is an active participant on the executive Committee and the Chamber’s Foundation. Her passion is connecting the resources of an academic environment to meet the workforce training needs of the region.

Jane Elizabeth

Jane Elizabeth graduated from Radford University in 1978 with a dual degree in journalism and English. She has been an award-winning journalist and newsroom leader at several media organizations including The Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Virginian-Pilot. Most recently, she was the managing editor at The News & Observer and the Herald-Sun newspapers in North Carolina. She holds a masters degree in communication from Virginia Commonwealth University, and was a Nieman visiting fellow at Harvard University. She has taught journalism at five universities around the country, including Radford, and is currently a media consultant.



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Reggie Gilmore

Reggie Gilmore is a 1995 graduate of Radford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  As a 28-year veteran of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, Reggie has a record of leadership and engagement, committed to mentoring youth, and building rapport and trust within communities.  His contributions to community policing have been recognized through the Chiefs Citation Award for the Police Activities League for establishing a virtual learning site to provide academic outlets for youth and provide athletics in a safe environment; as a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Community Relations Award Winner; and the Chiefs Award for Excellence in Policing – Exceptional Problem-Solving Initiatives. 

Scott Light

Scott Light is a proud 1991 RU graduate, and Radford prepared him for a career in journalism that spans nearly 3 decades, across 4 continents and interviewing along the way more than 15,000 people. At Radford, he was taught to study, hustle, get involved, and hone your craft. Highlanders just work harder and have a lot more fun too, which he sees with his involvement with the CHBS Alumni Advisory Board. He and other Board members are re-connected to this beautiful campus, to terrific students and the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences where the arrows are pointed nothing but up! He lives in Columbus, Ohio and his best friend here is a fellow Highlander who lives nearby. Go Radford University network.


Jeffrey MacKinnon

Jeffrey MacKinnon has spent the past twenty-five years on the front lines of the important public policy debates in Washington. He began his career in the office of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx), and for eight years covered a wide range of issues including energy, the environment, health care and telecommunications. For the last four years of his tenure with Mr. Barton, he was the congressman’s legislative director. Mr. MacKinnon worked extensively on all titles of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. He was Director of Legislative Affairs for the Interstate Natural Gas Association (September, 1993-January, 1995), then joined the law firm as a partner and is now entering his sixteenth year in this capacity.

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Jonna McGraw

Jonna McGraw graduated in 1980 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. She received a J.D. from Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary, and practiced law in Roanoke for ten years. She was the founding chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Virginia State Bar and served two terms on the Virginia State Bar Council. Ms. McGraw changed careers in 1997 and became an auctioneer and a real estate broker. She works with Woltz & Associates, Inc. in Roanoke where she concentrates her practice on the sale of all types of real estate by auction.


Russell Pompa

Mr. Pompa is a retired Special Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where he spent 32 years investigating local, regional and international drug trafficking cartels.  He has served in various duty stations to include, Washington D.C., San Ysidro, California, San Diego, California and retired in July of 2021 from the Norfolk, Virginia Resident Office. Prior to his employment with the DEA, Mr. Pompa was a uniformed patrol officer with the City of Fairfax, Virginia for more than four years. Mr. Pompa is a 1984 graduate of Radford University where he received BS in Criminal Justice.

Cynthia Price

Storytelling, raising profiles, and strategic thinking are hallmarks of Cynthia Price’s career. She has helped universities, international non-profits, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations tell their stories and garner favorable press.

Cynthia is associate vice president of communications and media relations for the University of Richmond. Her team advances the academic reach and reputation of the institution and shares major university news across multiple communication channels.

She currently serves as chair of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board at Radford University, vice president of the College Communicators Association of Virginia and D.C., and presidential advisor for the National Federation of Press Women. She is a past president of NFPW.


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John Rainbolt

John Rainbolt is the Director of Public Affairs for Alliant Energy, where he is responsible for leading federal legislative and regulatory government relations efforts for Alliant and its subsidiary companies. In this position, John is responsible for developing and implementing federal government relations strategies on public policy issues of priority to the company, and developing and maintaining relationships with key congressional, regulatory, and administrative personnel in Washington, D.C. He also leads the state-level public affairs team for Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin and Iowa utilities.


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Ed Reams

Ed is a 1991 graduate of Radford University with a degree in Journalism. He joined WREX in Rockford, Illinois as General Manager in May of 2021. Before coming to Rockford, Ed was the News Director at sister-station WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin since September 2014. Ed has also served as Assistant News Director at WISN – TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and News Director for WHSV – TV in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Before his management roles, Ed was an anchor and reporter at WDSU in New Orleans for eight years and was part of the team covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. He has also worked at TV stations in Atlanta, Raleigh, and Roanoke.



John Shehan

John Shehan graduated from Radford University in 1999 with a degree in Criminal Justice and now serves as a Senior Vice President at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. He joined the organization in February 2000. He is a globally recognized subject matter expert, responsible for NCMEC’s operations related to sexual crimes committed against children. In this executive leadership role, John is responsible for a department of 135+ staff; conducts interviews with news media; testifies on behalf of the organization and provides training and information sessions around the world for the public, private industry, nonprofit organizations, governments and law enforcement agencies.


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Paula Squires

Paula C. Squires is a Virginia-based journalist and author. She has reported for the Virginian-Pilot and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and she is the former managing editor of Virginia Business, a statewide business magazine. Squires has published two books, A Different Kind of Courage, and a history of the Virginia Realtors, the state’s largest professional trade association. Paula graduated from Radford University in 1976 with a degree in journalism.



Holly Stein

Holly Gribble Stein has executive level experience in television production, digital media, marketing, communications, graphics and business management. She is considered a leader in the area of risk mitigation, with ideas and the ability to solve complex problems. Currently, she is consulting and doing contract work, most recently wrapping an eight-part series for National Geographic. She has worked across a variety of industries, including healthcare, media/entertainment, pharmaceutical, and research; with business structures spanning across multiple Fortune 500 companies, a non-profit, small business, and a government contractor. Holly currently resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland and is formerly from Norfolk, VA.

Ivan Thirion

Iván Thirion is a foreign policy analyst, human rights advocate, and government affairs professional. He is a Program Analyst at the Open Society Foundations and a Fellow at the Bryce Harlow Foundation. Before getting involved in the philanthropic and government relations sectors, he worked in the international development field as an Operations Officer at the Bhutan Foundation. He also interned in the United States Senate at Senator Mark Warner’s Office and a was a Campaign Organizer for Representative Jennifer Wexton’s Campaign for Congress (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and for the Democratic Party of Virginia’s 2017 General Election Coordinated Campaign.

He was recently honored by Out In National Security and New America in their National Security & Foreign Policy 2023 Leaders List. Iván is currently pursuing a M.A. in Security Policy Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He graduated from Radford University as a distinguished Scholar-Citizen Fellow with a B.A. in Political Science. He has taken executive certificate courses at The Management Center and the Washington University at St. Louis Olin Business School. He has experience living and studying abroad in Mexico, Germany, France and Portugal. He is fluent in Spanish, and conversational in Portuguese and German.



Lisa Throckmorton

Lisa Throckmorton is Executive Vice President, Public Relations for REQ, a leader in digital marketing and brand management. In her role, she helps lead the charge on day-to-day operations, marketing, and business development efforts for the Public Relations team, which joined REQ through the acquisition of SpeakerBox in 2019.  She serves on Radford University’s Board of Visitors, the Advisory Board for Radford University’s College of Humanities and Behavioral Science, and the Organizing Board of Mindshare, an exclusive organization designed for CEOs of the most promising, disruptive technology and product companies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Lisa holds a BA in English from Radford University.


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Dante Washington

Dante Washington has over 40 years of experience at all levels of soccer in the United States.  He currently is the Director of Team Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Columbus Crew.  He holds every major goal scoring record for Radford University and Big South Conference, with 82 goals and 66 assists over his 4-year career, which makes him the 2nd leading scorer in NCAA Division I Men’s soccer history. He represented the United States at the international level as a member of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team, 1992 Olympic Team, and in the 1991 Pan American Games Team (Gold medalist).  He earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science at Radford and earned his MBA at The Ohio State University.


Karen Wheeler

Karen Wheeler is a 1991 graduate of Radford University with a BS in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Karen's career path primarily led her into the world of federal government contracts where she served as the Director of Contracts at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for many years, as well as held the positions of Chief Procurement Officer and retired as an Executive Vice President and Chief of Human Resources in 2019. Karen now is a consultant to various companies providing guidance and expertise in federal government contracts, leadership coaching, and human resources.


Denise White

Denise White is the President of Coordinated Services Management, Inc. where she has held positions of increasing responsibility since graduating from Radford University in 1983. She provides comprehensive leadership in the management of senior living communities including affordable senior housing, residential living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care, primarily for not-for-profit owners. Denise leads her teams with a passion to serve and meet owner's goals and objectives through strategic planning and effective implementation of programs and services, financial stewardship, and a clear understanding and communication of mission.   She is a licensed nursing home administrator. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Gerontology and a minor in business from Radford University.



Additional Board Members

  • Will Iandolo
  • Chris King
  • Zach McCoy
  • Jim McGuire