Melissa has recently returned to the University of Virginia as the John Forbes Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business and Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She is the former Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb, where she led the strategy and execution of their global internal diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging programs and retains an external senior advisor role focused on advancing connection and belonging research. Immediately prior to her role at Airbnb, Melissa served as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Professor of Management in the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Prior to that, Melissa served as global chief diversity officer and faculty at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where she led the Women in Leadership executive education program and was the founding academic director of the BRAD lab. She has also held faculty appointments at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, where she was a member of the faculty for nine years, and also taught at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Washington University’s Olin School of Business, and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Melissa has been actively engaged in nonprofit board service. She currently serves on the board of Airbnb.org and has previously been a board member at The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Piedmont CASA, The Center for Dispute Resolution, and the Women’s Opportunity Center.
Ralph graduated from the University of Virginia in 1983, where he led the Cavaliers men’s basketball team to an NIT title in 1980, an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1981, and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 1983. He was National Player of the Year three times. He played in the NBA for the Houston Rockets and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He later played for the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Bullets. His career also included play in Europe and coaching at James Madison University. Sampson was named a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s induction class of 2012. As a young man, Ralph won two state championships while playing for Harrisonburg High School, and has kept roots in Harrisonburg. He currently runs the Ralph Sampson Basketball Academy and the Sampson Family Foundation. His philanthropic interests also include organizations such as the Winner’s Circle Foundation, UVA Health, entrepreneurship programs in Houston, The First Tee of the Virginia Blue Ridge, Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg, and the Virginia Board of Forestry.
Damien Banks brings communities together through dance, sports, community organizations and media production. He is founder of the Banks Collage Basketball Association and co-founder (with his wife) of the dance company Elite Empire, as well as a football, track and basketball coach for more than a decade in and around Charlottesville. His work with hundreds of children through the Monticello Football League, City Basketball League, and Charlottesville Track Club resulted in league and state championship level competitions. Damien is known throughout the community as a videographer and frequently appears on Facebook Live, radio, and other media coverage in support of the BCBA and Elite Empire. For fun, Damien rides a longboard and lifts weights with his son. Damien lives in Albemarle County with his wife, Shawna, and their two
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Amanda had a career in Fashion
Merchandising from 1986 through 1999 designing men’s, women’s and children’s wear. A
resident of Charlottesville since 2018, Amanda has also resided in New Orleans (until 2005),
followed by New York City. She is currently on the President’s Council for the Gilder Lehman
Institute of American History, serves as a board member of Boardman Cottage an assisted living
residence in Islesboro, ME, and as an Executive Council member of the Monday Fund for No Kid
Hungry. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Paramount Theater and is chair of the
gala for the African Diaspora Consortium. We are lucky to have Amanda as the current
chair of the James River Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council. She and her husband, Gladstone
Jones, have a daughter, Charlotte, who is currently in her 3rd year at UVA.
Mike Milligan is President and CEO of Axel Johnson, which he joined in 2002. Prior to leading
Axel Johnson, Mike spent 17 years as a partner and member of the board of directors of
Monitor Group, a global consulting and merchant banking group. Mike is Chairman of the Board
of Sprague Resources LP, Kinetico Incorporated, Walk2Campus Holdings, LLC, Brazeway
Incorporated, and Parkson Corporation. He is a Director of ConforMIS and HighRes
Biosolutions. He has also served as a trustee at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, VA.
Mike holds an AB from Bowdoin College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard
Anita McGinty is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of
Education. She comes to us having spent the past 5 years in the non-profit and philanthropic
sector and is the founder of a consulting practice, ASEC Advisory. Prior to that she was a
Research Assistant professor within CASTL, and completed her Ph.D. at UVA in Risk and
Prevention (now Educational Psychology- Applied Developmental Science) as an IES-funded
fellow and IES Fellow of the year in 2009. Her research explores the importance of quality
environments for children’s language and literacy development and examines how research based
programs translate within applied practice, particularly in programs serving low-income
children. Dr. McGinty is a longtime volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club, serves as a reader and
grant advisee for the Ron Brown Scholar Program, and is a Board Member of the Virginia
Mentoring Partnership and works as a research adviser to Communitas Consulting to support
regional non-profit and philanthropic organizations in program design and evaluation.
Gineane grew up in Charlottesville and graduated from UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce in 1992. Shortly after college, she and her husband, Sean Stalfort, moved to New York City where Gineane worked in investment banking and insurance (Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, FGIC, MBIA and ContiFinancial). After returning to Charlottesville, she has provided part-time consulting services to small businesses in the areas of computer systems, invoicing, marketing and website maintenance. Gineane is a valued volunteer leader with various local organizations including the Contemporary Club of Albemarle, The Emergency Food Bank, US Lacrosse, WAHS Lacrosse Club, and the Special Olympics.
Gineane’s greatest joy has been being involved in her three boys’ schools, sports, and extracurricular activities. Gineane and her family are avid UVA sports fans, especially basketball, lacrosse and football. Gineane enjoys working with computers, listening to podcasts, reading, making home movies and throwing dinner and themed parties.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Eric Dewane Johnson graduated from the University of Virginia, where he majored in psychology. He served as the City of Charlottesville first coordinator of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in which he provided crisis intervention services and court preparation to victims and witnesses of violent crimes. One of his responsibilities was to educate students about establishing healthy relationships to prevent domestic violence. Eric developed an affinity for teaching youth.
After earning his Masters of Education from James Madison University, Eric entered the teaching profession as a science and math teacher. In 2001, he became an assistant principal at Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange County and then at Sutherland Middle School in Albemarle County. In 2004, Eric was appointed principal of Walton Middle School. In 2007, Eric was appointed principal of Buford Middle School where he served in that capacity for 11 years. During his tenure at Buford, Eric has played an instrumental role in the creation and implementation of the Buford Lab School for Advanced Manufacturing, including major renovations of the science labs, curriculum, and the inclusion of an Engineering courses for middle school students. He partnered with community representatives to create a schoolyard garden at Buford, which serves as a model for gardens throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. During his tenure at Buford, he implemented an athletic program, which now includes 11 sports. Eric enjoys working with people, especially middle school students.
In July 2018, he accepted a position as the principal of the Hospital Education Program, which is located at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. Eric is an adjunct professor at Mary Baldwin University in which he teaches courses to prepare teachers for the classroom. He has been a guest presenter for several classes at UVA, Mary Baldwin University, and Piedmont Virginia Community College. He has presented at numerous conferences, churches, and community gatherings.
Eric works collaboratively with various community agencies to ensure a successful middle school experience for students and their families. One of his proudest accomplishments is serving as one of founders of the Zion Union Tutoring Program, which provides free tutorial services to local youth twice a week. He serves on several boards throughout Charlottesville and has been a guest presenter at numerous workshops. He has been recognized by several agencies, including receiving the Alton L. Taylor Leadership Award (2013) and the Golden Trowel Award (2013). In 2007, Eric was recognized as one of the Distinguished Dozen by the Daily Progress.
Zion Union Baptist Church is very special to Eric as this is the place where he met his wife, Marcia. He enjoys attending and working in church.
He is married to Marcia Jones and they are the proud parents of two sons and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Eric enjoys officiating sports (basketball, baseball, softball) and watching Westerns.
Dr. B. Cameron Webb is a physician and lawyer who works at the intersection of health and social justice. He is an Assistant Professor in the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he serves as the Director of Health Policy and Equity and works as a hospitalist. His work at UVA includes a combination of clinical care, research and teaching courses in the MD and MPH programs. Previously, he completed a year as a 2016-17 White House Fellow. In his time at the White House spanning the Obama and Trump administrations, his portfolio included education, workforce and criminal justice reform work through President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, as well as White House healthcare policy work in both administrations. Dr. Webb is a passionate champion for health equity and is committed to advocating for the health needs of underserved and marginalized communities. He has served on several non-profit boards and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Doctors for America. He received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies as an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, a J.D. and health law certificate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and an M.D. from Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Ernie was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1987, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. Ernie served in the Marines for 20 years, in various capacities and all over the world. After serving as an artillery officer with the First Marine Division, Ernie earned his J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law in 1994, and served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps. Highlights of his service include shipboard deployment as the Staff Judge Advocate to the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), 2000 – 2002 and as Commanding Officer of Region 3, Embassy Security Group, commanding the U. S. Marines guarding U.S. Embassies and other diplomatic missions in Asia, 2005 -2007. He retired from military service in 2007, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Ernie has been practicing law in Central Virginia since 2007, first with the firm Tremblay and Smith and then, in 2016, as a proud partner with the firm Royer, Caramanis and McDonough. Ernie focuses on family law (divorce, custody, pre and post nuptial agreements, property settlements) as well as military law (military justice, command relations, administrative and judicial tribunals, security clearances). Ernie’s practice is based upon the motto “No better friend, no worse enemy.”
Ernie is a member of the Charlottesville – Albemarle Bar Association; the Virginia State Bar, where he has served on the Board of Governors of the Military Law Section; the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he served as an officer of Post 1827; the Virginia Gators swim club, where he served as President for six years; and Parade Rest, a veterans’ service organization where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Ernie is the proud father of three fine young adults – scholars, swimmers and good citizens. He has been happily married since 2015 to Amy, a nurse. He enjoys watching and playing nearly all sports, the outdoors (fly fishing in particular), good books and movies, working in the yard and a glass of fine Bourbon whiskey.