The SHAV Board of Directors is made up of 10 members who work on behalf of the membership and professional community. Board members are elected by the membership and serve a two-year term. The president’s term is divided into three phases (president-elect, president and past president) to facilitate a smooth transition.
Concerns, suggestions and comments should be directed to the appropriate Board member for discussion at the Board Meetings.
2018-2019 Executive Board
Tamara Freeman-Nichols, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Tamara L. Freeman-Nichols brings a unique blend of clinical, qualitative research, teaching and administrative experiences to her positions as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Hampton University and school-based speech-language pathologist with Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services. Tamara earned a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in mass media arts and a master of arts degree in communicative sciences and disorders from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. She continued her training at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia where she earned the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree in educational policy, planning and leadership with an emphasis in special education administration. Tamara teaches undergraduate and graduate courses addressing language disorders, clinical observation, diagnostic methods, treatment methods, professional communication and current issues in the field of speech-language pathology. Her teaching is enhanced by her experience in early childhood and secondary public education settings. Tamara’s research interests include cultural competence in service delivery, supervision and mentorship and the role of speech-language pathologists in the delivery of academic support for adult learners in institutions of higher education (IHEs).
Amber Handon, MEd, CCC-SLP
Amber Handon, Med, studied Linguistics and Kinesiology at the College of William and Mary and received her Bachelors of Arts in 2004. She received her master’s in communication disorders from the University of Virginia in 2007. Since graduation, she has been working as a school-based speech-language pathology with Charlottesville City Schools. For ten years she served preschool and elementary students and their families. She has recently made a transition to serve middle and high school students and their families.
Cornelia Hawkins-Long, MS, CCC-SLP
Cornelia is a proud and practicing speech pathologist with more than 20 years of experience in all professional settings to include outpatient rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation, acute care setting experience, public school practitioner and a former private practice owner where her specialization was accent modification and dialect reduction. Cornelia is seeking an endorsement by the Virginia Department of Education in Educational Leadership and will pursue a doctoral degree. Cornelia enjoys politics and is passionate about all things promoting or affecting the field of speech-language pathology. She has been married to Rendell for 23 years and they have 2 children, Lauren a sophomore at Troy University on a volleyball scholarship and Langston who is in 8th grade. Cornelia has served speech pathologist in VA and would be honored if elected to serve again.
Vice President for Member Services
Renee Garrett, MSEd, CCC-SLP, CBIS
Renee Garrett is a native of Hampton Roads, having graduated from Warwick High School and attended Christopher Newport University in Newport News. She later moved with her husband to Keflavik, Iceland, where she lived for three years. In 1997, her dad had a major stroke and she spent several months assisting with his rehabilitation for dysphagia and aphasia. She then had a career as a customer service representative for a large fundraising corporation, working with non-profit, community and school groups. In 2006, Renee decided to return to school and change career paths. She graduated with her Bachelors of Science in speech-language pathology in 2008 and her Masters of Science in Education in 2010, both from Old Dominion University. She has worked for Riverside Rehabilitation Institute in inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient settings, for Legacy Healthcare in assisted living, as well as for Sentara Health Systems in acute care hospitals and the day rehabilitation program, serving teenaged adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with dysphagia and a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. Renee is FEES trained, privileged and has supervised SLPs during their privileging process. Renee has a special interest in aphasia and in cognitive retraining post-TBI. She holds certification as a certified brain injury specialist from the Brain Injury Association of America and is active in educating families, friends and patients about dysphagia, communication and cognitive disorders.
Vice President for Governmental and Professional Affairs
Le Alexander, EdS, MS, CCC-SLP
Vice President for Audiology
Gary Lee Pillow, EdD, AUD, CCC-SLP/A
Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology
Kenzie VanDerwerker, MS, CCC-SLP
Kenzie VanDerwerker hails from a big family in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. She attended Radford University, where she received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology, with minors in American Sign Language and theatre studies. After interning within both acute hospital and school settings during her graduate program, she had the opportunity to complete her clinical fellowship within the school district servicing students from pre-k to 8th grade. Recently she has joined the speech pathology department at Culpeper Medical Center to expand her expertise to the clinical side of the profession. Her passions include anything pediatric, autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders, selective mutism, visual phonics, American Sign Language and childhood apraxia of speech. Kenzie enjoys researching various speech-language areas and presenting to peers at state and national conferences. In her free time enjoys eating downtown, theatre, volunteering, reading and watching movies with friends.
Vice President for Public Relations and Communication
Jennifer Ruckner, MS, CCC-SLP
Jennifer Ruckner, MS, CCC-SLP received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree and a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders from Auburn University. She has been a speech-language pathologist since 1990, working in a variety of settings to include Early Intervention, school districts and private practice. Jennifer piloted a preschool expressive language program for Stafford County Schools. She has been a guest speaker at the University of Mary Washington, Prince William County Early Intervention and presented Social Skills Workshops at The Arc’s Circle of Support Conference. She and her business partner co-developed an Early Language Skills checklist for Pediatricians and held trainings for pediatricians. As an adoptive mother, Jennifer was invited to present on special needs of children at the Joy for the Journey Conference which is for adoptive parents. Jennifer specializes in Social/Pragmatic Language, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Expressive Language Disorder, Feeding Disorders, and is Beckman Oral Motor Certified. In 2008, she and partner, Patti Minicucci, created Tots To Teens Therapy Services to provide speech and language resources to the families of Northern Virginia.
Vice President for Continuing Education
M. Johanna Fox Klein, MS, CCC-SLP
M. Johanna Fox Klein was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and graduated with a bachelor of science in communication sciences and disorders and with a master of science in speech language pathology at James Madison University. She has been a school based speech-language pathologist (SLP) for 14 years and is currently serving the preschool through middle school populations in Rockingham County. In the past few years, Johanna has begun supervising graduate students and truly enjoys sharing her expertise and knowledge with future SLPs. Her peaked interests include apraxia, selective mutism, language differences of rural areas and fluency. One of her favorite aspects of being a SLP is putting the pieces together during an assessment to figure out what exactly is going on with each child and why. She currently lives in McGaheysville, Virginia with her husband, son, daughter and two cats.
Morgan Arthur is currently a senior at Longwood University where she studies communication sciences and disorders, as well as special education. She serves as the Vice President for Longwood’s NSSLHA chapter. Morgan is also a tutor for Longwood’s Speech Hearing and Learning Services and holds the position as Program Coordinator for Longwood’s Big Siblings organization. It is her complete ambition to receive a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders and practice as geriatric Speech Pathologist.
Kirnetta Pittman, BS
Kirnetta Pittman is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in communication sciences and disorders from Old Dominion University in 2017. Currently, she is a graduate student at Hampton University, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders. At Hampton University, she is recognized as a scholar through the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), through which she is being trained to serve as an SLP in high poverty and/or low achieving urban or rural school systems. Additionally, Kirnetta is a proud alumna of the 2017 class of the ASHA Minority Student Leadership Program. Upon graduation, she plans to practice as a pediatric SLP.
The Office of President is a three year term, one year as President-Elect, one year as President and one year as Past President.
VP Offices are for two year and are elected in the follow years:
- VP for Membership
- VP for Speech-Language Pathology
- VP for Public Relations and Communication
- VP for Governmental Affairs
- VP for Continuing Education
- VP for Audiology
The President shall serve as chief executive officer of the Association, shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee, shall serve with the Vice President of Finance as the official signatory of the Association on all contractual agreements, and shall coordinate the functions of the Board of Directors and who shall automatically become Past President at the end of the term of President.
The President-Elect shall serve as chief executive officer of the Association and as Chair of the Executive Committee in the absence of the President, shall work in conjunction with the President in developing goals and policies of the Association, and shall automatically become President at the end of the term of President-Elect.
The Past President shall serve shall serve as the chief executive officer in the absence of the President and President-Elect.
Vice President of Public Relations and Communications
The Vice President for Public Relations and Communications shall lead the Association in the areas of marketing/public relations and communication.
Vice President For Member Services
The Vice President for Member Services shall be responsible for the direction of services provided to the general membership.
Vice President For Speech-Language Pathology
The Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology shall provide leadership in the clinical area of speech-language pathology. This will entail maintaining regular and consistent communication with the VP for Audiology and among the related interest groups/committees.
Vice President of Audiology
The Vice Presidents for Audiology shall provide leadership in the clinical area of audiology respectively. This will entail maintaining regular and consistent communication with the VP of Speech-Language Pathology and among the related interest groups/committees.
Vice President of Continuing Education
The Vice President for Continuing Education shall be responsible for the planning of the annual conference and/or additional educational opportunities.
Vice President of Governmental Affairs
The Vice President for Governmental and Professional Affairs shall provide leadership in the professional concerns of the members. This shall include monitoring governmental and third party activities that may impact the Association and its membership, and advocating for the Association, its members and the clients served.
Nominations for board positions should be directed to the President Elect. Nominees must be voting members of SHAV. Self nominations are permitted.