Becky Wagner, Founder & Board President Becky received her B.A. in Economics and Sociology from the University of Richmond and moved to Washington, DC to pursue a career in IT Consulting. After working 8 years at Accenture, Becky chose to leave the consulting field to be a full-time mom to her children Caroline, Alden, and C.J. Her beloved husband C.A.M. (also a graduate from Univ of Richmond) was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia in 2008 and Becky took on the role of full-time caregiver and research advocate with passion. She fought fearlessly for her husband and advocated on his behalf through endless rounds of chemotherapy, clinical trials, a bone marrow transplant, and several unfortunate relapses.
After C.A.M.'s death in December of 2013, Becky started looking for opportunities to connect with other grieving families, recognizing the strength and support system that comes from meeting people who understand what you are going through. She found many individual support group opportunities, however, there were very limited opportunities to connect as a family. It was from that experience that Hope for Grieving Families was born, in the fall of 2014. What started as a small grassroots effort has continued to grow and flourish.
In 2015, Becky returned to work full-time as an IT Consultant. Currently she works for Coastal Cloud as a Salesforce consultant in the non-profit and higher education industry. She Becky lives in northern Virginia and loves spending time with her family, attending their sporting events, running and hiking outdoors, traveling, trying new things, meeting new people, attending church, and spending time with friends.
Sammi Hawkins, Director Sammi has experience in all aspects of nonprofit management including development, grant-writing, events, operations, volunteer management, and constituent services. She has previously worked with American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Alliance and LUNGevity in various capacities.
Sammi brings an understanding and passion to the mission of Hope For Grieving Families. In October 2018 she lost her 8 year old daughter's father Tony to a courageous 2 1/2 year battle with colorectal cancer. Finding resources to help Tennley deal with her grief led her to Hope For Grieving Families. She is humbled to be serving these wonderful families, and looks forward to growing the organization to reach, serve and connect more families in their grief journey.
Sammi received her B.A. and M.A. in Education from The University of Tennessee.
Sammi resides in Falls Church, VA with daughter Tennley and beloved animals Bubba and Lizzi..
Kim Levinson, Treasurer Kim was an Associate Director of Sales with Ritz-Carlton, a Sales Representative with Janssen Pharmaceuticals ( a Johnson & Johnson company) and Sales Director for The Sports Club/LA Washington, DC.She is currently CEO of the Levinson household where she manages the day-to-day operations for her two school-aged children, Emily and Kyle, and her husband, Marc.
Kim first met Becky at college where they were Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sisters.They later reconnected when their daughters were pre-school classmates and it was at the time that Becky's husband, C.A.M., was originally diagnosed with cancer.Having witnessed three close friends with young children lose their spouses, Kim has seen both the deep grief caused by the loss of a loved one as well as the resilience and hope that comes afterwards.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.Her experience as a treasurer comes from the Panhellenic Council in college, room parent for her children’s classrooms,serving as “Cookie Mom” for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and, of course, managing the household finances. Kim enjoys spending time with family, traveling, practicing yoga and cheering on her kids in their various sporting activities.
Stan Kang A native of Washington, DC, Stan Kang is a professional actor, director and drama teacher. Most recently, Stan co-directed his first film, Double Tap and worked on season 6 of House of Cards. His favorite theatre role was David Henry Hwang in Yellowface at Theater J. Film and TV credits include: The Confidential Informant, Sally Patcholok, Jamesy Boy, Fallen, 12 Monkeys, Murderous Intent, Homicide: Life in the Streets, The District, 20 Questions and Undefeatable. He has worked with many local DC theatres, such as Washington Shakespeare Company, Studio Theater, Horizons Theatre, Washington Stage Guild, Scena Theater, and the Kennedy Center. He worked as a director with Asian Stories in America (ASIA), where he directed Big Hunk of Burning Love and The Theory of Everything. He is a founding member and executive director of the Educational Theatre Company (ETC). The mission of ETC is to unlock the potential of children and adults through immersion in theatre arts.
Heidi B. Fordi, CAE Heidi Fordi is the Executive Director/CEO of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). She has served in this role since 2012 and has been with the organization since 1995. Her previous roles have included oversight of meetings, continuing medical education, and development.
AACAP represents over 9,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists. The mission of AACAP is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.
AACAP members are physicians with at least five years of additional training beyond medical school in general and child and adolescent psychiatry. AACAP members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
Ms. Fordi has devoted her career to serving medical associations. In 2008, Ms. Fordi earned the status of Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). This represents rigorous training and examination on all aspects of association management. As AACAP Executive Director, Ms. Fordi oversees a staff of 40 and a budget of $10 million.