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.
Tara O'Brien, Executive Director Tara has a passion for helping individuals and families live more holistic and happy lives. Tara has a health coaching business informed by her belief in integrative approaches to health and happiness.
Prior to her role at Hope for Grieving Families, Tara worked in advertising, marketing and communications at a variety of companies including Arnold Communications, where she managed integrated brand campaigns for clients such as McDonalds, Volkswagen, and Bank of America. At Amtrak she worked on sports marketing and partnerships with multiple MLB and NBA teams.
Tara is a New England native, proud mother of two teenagers and active in organizations supporting community and small businesses such as MONA and BNI. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, workout classes, especially Zumba, and watching her kids play sports and act in theater productions.
Tara is a graduate of Fordham University and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Kim Levinson, Vice-President 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. Kim currently consults for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Advocates works to improve road safety in the U.S. by pursuing policies and standards that prevent and mitigate the major causes contributing to motor vehicle crashes.
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. Kim enjoys spending time with family, traveling, practicing yoga and cheering on her kids in their various sporting activities.
Alix Cooney, Secretary Alix has a background in retail management and recruiting. After becoming a stay at home mom she has concentrated on volunteering. Most recently she is working with the Literacy Council of Frederick County as an ESL Coordinator and tutor.
Rachel Maloney, Treasurer Rachel Maloney serves as the Founder & CEO for Raru Maloney Financial Solutions, Inc. (RMFS). In this role, she works closely with business professionals nationwide to gain clarity in managing their business’ finances and save thousands of dollars yearly using advanced tax strategies and tax planning. She is passionate about business finance and brings more than 20 years of experience to RMFS.
Rachel previously served as Associate Vice President, Finance for Ascension Providence Hospital, since 2014, where she provided financial oversight and support to the hospital. She successfully led the finance and financial planning departments leading to cost reductions and improved nursing productivity. Prior to that role, Rachel served as the Controller at The George Washington University Hospital, an academic medical center in the District of Columbia. In this role, Rachel implemented processes and procedures that reduced claims denials, increased upfront cash collections and eliminated productivity variances. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Rachel gives of her time and thought leadership in a number of ways. She is a member of the Health Care Financial Management Association as well as a member of The George Washington University Alumni Association. Rachel serves as Treasurer of the Cub Scouts Pack 888 in Alexandria, VA.
Rachel Maloney earned her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from The George Washington University. She holds a diploma in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Kenya Polytechnic University.
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.