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 Attain, LLC as a Salesforce consultant in the non-profit and higher education industry. Becky lives in northern Virginia and loves spending time with her children, 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 two geriatric dogs, Bomber and Bubba.
Kate Ingrassia, Secretary Kate received her B.A. degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Vermont. After graduation, she moved to the Washington, DC area and began her 10-year career with KPMG LLP, in Human Resources focusing on Recruiting. After the birth of her second child, Kate decided to leave the business world in pursuit of full-time household management, family caretaking and community service.
Kate volunteers weekly with Bethesda Cares, an organization dedicated to serving the homeless population in and around Bethesda, MD. She organizes and participates in the tutoring program at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School providing reading support to students in need. Kate lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, son, daughter and dog. She enjoys music, live whenever possible, exercise, travel, excellent food, drink and time with friends and family.
Kate is one of three loving sisters of C.A.M. Wagner, the inspiration for the founding of Hope for Grieving Families.
Catherine Chase, Catherine Chase is Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), a coalition of national consumer, health and safety organizations and the major property-casualty insurance companies and trade associations. She serves as key advisor to the president on public policy and program decisions as well as develops, directs and executes Advocates’ legislative lobbying efforts. Because of her respected political and lobbying skills, she is frequently invited to give presentations on effective advocacy strategies and grassroots organizing in Congress and state legislatures. In 2014, Ms. Chase was a member of the Engaged Driver Symposium and was published in Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine (AAAM) Journal, “U.S. State and Federal Laws Targeting Distracted Driving.” Most recently, she was a speaker at the 2017 SXSW conference on the topic of autonomous vehicles.
Additional highlights of Ms. Chase’s career include leading the Truck Safety Coalition’s government relations efforts and working for a political consultant doing national fundraising for U.S. Senators, as a law clerk for Van Ness Feldman LLP, and as a legislative aide in the New Jersey State Assembly. While attending the George Washington University Law School, she worked for non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., including as an assistant to the Executive Director of Sasha Bruce Youthworks and as Coordinator of the Youth for Justice Summit at Street Law. A graduate of Rutgers College, Ms. Chase participated in The Washington Center internship program at the National Women’s Political Caucus her junior year. Ms. Chase was selected as a member of the 2016 class of the Women’s Executive Leadership Program of the Impact Center. In addition to serving on the Board of the Hope for Grieving Families, she has been an enthusiastic volunteer for a variety of community organizations including Horton’s Kids, Equal Justice Foundation, president of her children’s cooperative preschool, PTA board member and sports coach. Ms. Chase resides in Falls Church, VA with her husband and their two children.
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 fine dining, good wine, traveling, practicing yoga and cheering on her kids in their various sporting activities.