2020 – 2021 Board of Directors Candidates

John Braley (ARCH ’92)

John graduated from the School of Architecture in 1992 and has been a resident of New York and active member of the Club over the years since moving to the city in 1999 for business school at NYU.

John is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and has served is a financial contributor to the UVA Architecture Foundation and is a Cornerstone Member and is currently a Virginia Club of New York Board Member in good standing, first elected in 2019. John has joined several club committees: Grants & Hoos Hungry, while also assisting in launching the “Hoos in the Know?” program, as well as providing emcee services for the bi-annual Real Estate Round-table Panel sessions over the years.

John has been a regular participant in several events curated by the club –UVA/NY Cares; DEI Committee; and, of course, Mr. Jefferson’s Annual Holiday Party (even when virtual)!

Using his professional platform at Delos in health & wellness real estate, in 2019-2020 John joined the Centennial Campaign Team for Next Cities for the Foundation of the School of Architecture in celebration of its 100th year anniversary. His work has helped foster the continued expansion of the Grounds in Charlottesville, including the adoption of the WELL Building Standard – founded by Delos – in the newly designed Student Health & Wellness Center and continues to bring his expertise to various relevant programs in the Engineering school’s LinkLab, Architecture School, Medical / Nursing Schools and the McIntire School, as they build out their Real Estate platform.

John’s interactions with Hoos in New York both within the real estate business and beyond, keeps him in close contact with both new alums, the administration, and classmates in Belfast, Charlottesville, the Upper East Side, and elsewhere.

John’s goals for joining the Board of the Virginia Club of New York include the continuation of his work professionally, as well as supporting the excellently curated programming already in place, building on the important work of the Club.

 

Chris Casscells (COMM ’06)222f3aa[1]

Chris graduated from UVA from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2006. He has been a very active member of the Club since 2011, and on the Board since 2013. Chris served as the Club President from 2018 – 2020.

He’s a regular at Virginia Club events, including lectures, Cav’s Care, Wahoo Wednesdays, game watches, and more. He enjoys spending time with fellow Hoos in any setting and is always encouraging participation in Club events.  His favorite Virginia Club event is Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party.

Chris was the Giving Co-Chair for his 10 year UVA reunion in 2016. He’s a regular on the squash courts at the Yale Club and serves on the Yale Club’s Athletics Committee. He also volunteers his time for the Beta-Iota Scholarship Foundation, where he sits on the Selection Committee. The Foundation gives merit-based financial aid to students in need. 

Chris is a Vice President in the Business Development at Fox News Channel / Fox Business Network, where he has worked for the past 13 years. He currently sits on the Board of Directors at TrustX alongside members from NBC, Meredith, ESPN, and CBS. TrustX is a premium supply-side platform formed through the Digital Content Next trade association.

 

Juliana Echeverri (CLAS ’14 & BATTEN ’15)  

Upon graduating from UVA’s Batten School in 2015 with her Master’s in Public Policy, Juliana moved to New York to serve as the Virginia Club’s Executive Director. Throughout her time at the Virginia Club, she helped launch the Hoos Hungry Community of Interest and the Grants Committee. Her favorite events are panels that highlight our amazing alumni community and community service outings. She is excited to return to the board and continue to serve as the Hoos Hungry Chair and help lead the Community Service Committee. She currently also serves as a Vice President.

Originally from Cali, Colombia, Juliana is a double Hoo, having received a B.A. in Anthropology from the College in 2014. During her time at the University, she was involved with the University Dance Club, Peer Mentoring Program for Latino and Hispanic Students, and Class Council. She is a Class of 2014 Trustee and recently completed a Master of Science in Organizational Change Management at The New School. Juliana is a Strategist at The Medici Group, an enterprise solutions firm that helps organizations build and sustain high-performing and innovative teams. In her role, she has had the privilege of working with clients such as Spotify, HSBC, AstraZeneca, Mastercard, and many others.

 

Kate Sommi Edmondson (CLAS ’19)

Kate Sommi Edmondson graduated UVA in 2019 with a Bachelors in Foreign Affairs from The College. After graduation, Kate returned to her native New Jersey and began work at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the IAB, in Manhattan as part of its Learning and Development team. Kate was introduced to the IAB while attending a Virginia Club of New York event! Kate saw an opportunity for unparalleled networking and growth with the Virginia Club of New York and began attending as many events as she could. This quickly evolved into a deep sense of camaraderie with other members and enthusiasm for the club. She promptly joined the events committee, and has enjoyed working behind the scenes. Her favorite event so far has been volunteering at the New York Marathon!

Originally recruited to UVA as a coxswain on the women’s rowing team, Kate maintains a deep love for athletics. When she is not finding ways to be active herself, Kate enjoys cheering on the Hoos whenever she can, particularly during lacrosse season. Her senior year, she was fortunate to experience both the men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse teams win their respective National Championships; the perfect way to end her time on the grounds.

 

Dylan Fogarty (CLAS ’15 & COMM ’16

Dylan Fogarty graduated from College of Arts & Sciences in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Economics, then returned to receive an M.S. in Commerce degree from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2016. During his time at the University, Dylan held leadership positions on Class Council and Trustees, Hoo Crew, Lighting of the Lawn Committee, First Year Players, and Project SERVE. He was an employee (and Elite member) at The Virginian Restaurant and a graphic design intern for Virginia Athletics. Dylan currently serves as co-chair for the Virginia Club of New York’s Membership & Marketing Committee.

Dylan relocated from his home in Virginia to experience the hustle and bustle of New York City in 2016. He previously was a Managing Partner at a digital & data education company, Decoded, but now works for a start-up in the higher education space, Rize Education, which helps smaller liberal art institutes provide newer and more competitive programs. When not working, he enjoys traveling, reading, and drinking coffee. You can easily find him at American Whiskey for a UVA game watch or as an active participant in our UVA community book club.

Allison Geller (CLAS ’12

Allison graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2012 with majors in French and English (Area Program for Poetry Writing), enjoying a semester abroad in Lyon and four years penning poems in the UVA gardens. A writer, ballroom dancer, and one half of the marketing agency G+T Creative, Allison is passionate about helping others pursue lives and careers in creative fields. Allison is co-chair of Hoos in Entrepreneurship, a Community of Interest she began in 2020 to provide founders and solopreneurs with both practical help and moral support, and always enjoys mentoring current students. A devoted Astorian and museum junkie, she can otherwise be found looking at the same five paintings in the Met or cooking and workshopping with her UVA poet friends. She is continuously impressed and humbled by the strength and warmth of the UVA network.

Azeezah Goodwin (LAW ’16

Azeezah Goodwin (she/her) graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2016. At UVA Law, she served as an editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law and 1L Representative on the Black Law Student Association.

Azeezah has enjoyed being a member of the Virginia Club Events Committee for the past year. She loves participating in the virtual events offered by the Club (notably the cross-stitch class, cookie decorating, and beverage tastings).

Azeezah is a wellness blogger (www.laviedezee.com) and NY-barred attorney. During her spare time, she enjoys swimming, reading, trying out vegan recipes, and getting spa treatments. She is excited to become more involved in the Hoos community.

 

Justine Gozzi (SEAS 04)  

Justine Gozzi is an active member of the Virginia Club and served on the Board last year.  She serves on the Membership and Marketing Committee and actively posts on the Club’s LinkedIn page. Justine plays on the Alumni Softball team, participates with the Book Club, volunteers with Story Pirates, CavsCares, and KEEN, attends STUDIO events, lectures, and much more. Justine is very passionate about UVA and her various activities allows her to interact with a diverse group of UVA Alumni, which provides an avenue for your thoughts/ideas be conveyed to the Board.Justine graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science (Civil Engineering) at UVA in 2004, and from Brooklyn Law School in 2007. She is a Special Counsel at Baker Botts LLP and registered patent attorney. She practices all aspects of intellectual property law and counsels clients on due diligence, freedom to operate, patentability, licensing and litigation concerns. Justine lives in the Upper West Side with her husband Joshua Kinberg and son. 

 

Joshua G. Holmes (CLAS ’01) 

Joshua G. Holmes currently serves as Co-Treasurer of the Virginia Club’s Board of Directors. Upon completion of his term as President in 2014, the Board reelected him Treasurer. He also serves as an observer on the Yale Club Membership & Marketing Committee, and contributes to multiple committees & groups, including: Hoos Hungry, Book Club, Events, and Grants. Prior to joining the Board, he served on the Membership & Marketing and Social Committees, where he lent support and helped to plan multiple events. Joshua’s first introduction to the Club came through softball in Central Park; you will still find him in orange socks at shortstop co-captaining our team on most summer Sundays.

Joshua spends his days supporting roughly 250 charter schools across all five boroughs for the NYC Department of Education. Previously, he served as a Policy Advisor for Senator Cory A. Booker while he was Mayor of the City of Newark, New Jersey. While in Newark, he received his Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers-Newark. Prior to joining government, Joshua worked in the publishing industry; his final stop within the industry was at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he primarily focused on the circulation of its stalwart publication, Foreign Affairs.

 

Michael Ihrig II (CLAS ’06)

Mike graduated from UVA in 2006 majoring in Economics and Foreign Affairs. Mike enjoyed attending all UVA sporting events as an avid fan during his time as a student. He then graduated from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2009. Because of his then girlfriend (and now wife) who is an alumna of UVA (COMM ’08), he moved to New York City to practice law. He spent approximately 10 years in the private practice of law focusing on all forms of litigation with a specialty in commercial litigation. Recently, Mike accepted an in-house counsel role with a small IT company that provides the Department of Defense services and software solutions.
Mike is a regular at the monthly Business Forum Breakfasts and other social events. During his spare time, he and his wife enjoy traveling (not so much anymore), fine wine, and participating in and watching sports, especially the Hoos!

 

 

Andrew Kirwin (CLAS ’88)andrew kirwin

Andrew Kirwin graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 with a BA in History and received his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City in 1992.  Andrew has helped guide the Virginia Club as a Board Member since the mid 90s.  As one of the first Virginia alumni to join the clubhouse, Andrew has helped us sustain a healthy relationship with the Yale Club. Andrew currently serves as a Vice President of the Board and runs the Virginia Club’s monthly Networking Breakfasts.  Beginning in 2011, he has helped pilot the Club’s partnership with College Bound Initiative, an organization that places college guidance counselors in underserved schools in the New York City region.  Andrew is also a committee member of the Glenn D. Kirwin Scholarship which supports a scholarship at the University of Virginia that honors his brother Glenn D. Kirwin.  Glenn was a 1982 graduate of the University who lost his life in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The scholarship is awarded annually to one or more  third or fourth year students whose character and involvement in University life most resemble Glenn’s. 

 

Christian Lang (CLAS ’04) 

Christian graduated with a B.A. from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2004, majoring in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies.  While at UVA, he was a member of the Virginia Gentlemen, The University Guide Service, and Resident Staff, and he also served as the Entertainment Chair and a Trustee for the Class of 2004. A native Georgian, Christian first moved to New York in 2007 and is an active member of the Virginia Club of New York, attending as many lectures, panels, forums, and social and sporting events as he can throughout the year. He first joined the board in 2017 and sits on numerous board committees, including having taken on leadership roles in connection with the Club’s Bicentennial celebration and the Club’s new UVA Attorney Networking group. Christian serves as the chair of WahooLaw.

A recovering corporate lawyer, Christian graduated from NYU Law School in 2010, clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and practiced with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in both New York and London.  He currently works in the legal technology space, running two blogs (Blacklines & Billables and Dealtech), a podcast, a consulting practice, and the NYC Legal Tech Meetup, as well as working on two nascent tech ventures: an effort to improve—and leverage the habits and existing workflow of lawyers to more effectively crowdsource—the management and curation of law firms’ institutional memories; and a blockchain-based accreditation tracking and management tool. Christian lives in the East Village and—when not hunched over a laptop typing furiously—can usually be found at one of his favorite live music jams around the neighborhood.

 

Natalie May (CLAS ’17)

Natalie graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2016 with a double major in Music and Arts Administration. While at UVA she was passionately involved in the arts, holding leadership positions with the Student Council Arts Committee and First Year Players, serving as a student representative on the Arts Council and Music Arts Board, singing with the University Singers, and founding the Arts Grounds Guides.

Natalie moved to New York City in 2017 to support the city’s vibrant arts community. She worked in development at the Metropolitan Opera for several years prior to her current position as Development & Special Events Officer at the French Heritage Society. She has been an active member of the Virginia Club for years, and proudly joined the Board in 2019. She currently serves as a member of the STUDIO  and Grants committees, frequently volunteers at events, and loves attending special lectures and panels at the Yale Club. If you need to find her outside of Club functions, you’ll have the best luck at Lincoln Center or on Museum Mile.

 

EricaJoy “EJ” Oliverio (CLAS ’17)

EJ graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2017 with a degree in English & Media Studies. During her undergraduate career, she was an active member of University Programming Council (UPC) and Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

Following graduation, EJ served as the Virginia Club’s Executive Director from 2017-2019. As ED, she enjoyed building a new partnership with UVA’s School of Architecture and expanding the Club’s membership recruitment efforts by hosting a new happy hour specifically for current UVA graduate students. Her favorite memories from her term include hosting President Ryan and Coach Bennett at the Yale Club and watching Virginia Basketball’s first NCAA championship win at American Whiskey. She continues her commitment to the Virginia Club as the co-chair of Admissions and Membership & Marketing committees. Her favorite events are Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party, Hoos New to New York, and Book Club.

EJ currently works at NYU’s Stern School of Business, advising undergraduate clubs and organizations. Simultaneously, she is working towards her Master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs at NYU Steinhardt. But don’t worry—her loyalty still lies with Virginia!

 

Julia Pedrick (CLAS ’15, COMM ’16)

Julia Pedrick graduated from UVA in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art (sculpture). She then went on to attend the M.S. in Commerce graduate program at the McIntire School of Commerce, focusing in Marketing & Management. During her time at UVA, Julia was active in Fraternity and Sorority Life, serving at the President of the Inter-Sorority Council, as well as an active member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She was also an avid participant in the arts on grounds, serving as a docent at the Fralin Museum of Art and an active member of the sculpture community. 

After 5 years on grounds, Julia moved to New York City to work in social and digital advertising. After a few years at small agencies, in May 2019, Julia began her own freelance strategy business. She has been working freelance ever since, and has enjoyed building partnerships with a variety of start-up and established marketing clients. Outside of work, Julia has really enjoyed the UVA community in NYC, especially the STUDIO committee. She is the Co-Chair for STUDIO and loves setting up group events for others to experience art outside of their day-to-day activities. She also loves the Virginia Club of New York’s social events, such as Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party, game watches, New Student events, and many more.

 

Sarah Raymond (CLAS ’06 & DARDEN ’12) 

Sarah is a Double ‘Hoo and native New Yorker who has been involved in the Club since joining the ‘alumni’ softball team during undergrad summers. You can still find her on the field most summer Sundays, now as a co-captain (and co-Treasurer of the Club). Sarah currently leads operations at Context Travel – which means lots of travel to Europe! – while considering the perpetual question of what to eat for her next meal. Sarah serves as Co-Treasurer of the Virginia Club.

 

Caterina Recio-Farias (CLAS ’14)

Caterina graduated in 2014 with a BS in Psychology. At UVA, Caterina worked as a Supervisor at Slaughter Gym, was a mentor at the Peer Mentoring Program (for Latino and Hispanic students), and a volunteer at TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America).

Caterina moved to New York after graduation and is a Recruiter at Two Sigma Investments. She was introduced to the UVA Club through the Wahoo Wednesday Happy Hours and enjoys attending Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party and basketball game watches. She also is a member of the Events Committee and enjoys thinking about fun events to keep the UVA alumni community engaged.

During her free time, she enjoys travelling, especially to Colombia (her native country), and spending time with family and friends.

 

Gillian Robinson (CLAS ’18

Gillian graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2018 with a double major in Economics and Cognitive Science. While at UVA, she served as a Program Director for Madison House’s Swimming Program, interned with UVA Athletics, and was an active member of Club Swim. She also worked with the Office of Undergraduate Admission to plan and execute the Days on the Lawn series. Gillian currently serves on the Membership & Marketing Committee.

Gillian currently works at FIRST, a global events agency, as an Event Technology Coordinator. Her favorite Virginia Club events include Wahoo Wednesdays, industry panels, and Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party. When she is not at work or a Virginia Club event, you can find her walking around exploring different neighborhoods with friends, participating in a yoga class, trying a new recipe, or cheering on the Hoos.

 

Bradley Scharff (CLAS ’82)

Brad Scharff graduated from UVA in 1982 with a double major in Psychology and English. While at UVA, Brad served in many roles at the Cavalier Daily, including as Features Editor, Associate Sports Editor, and Photographer. He still has his press passes from covering the Hoos Men’s Basketball team in the 1982 NCAA Tournament. Brad’s many hours spent in the Newcomb Hall offices of the CD convinced him that publishing was the right place for his career path.

Brad is a founding donor of the newly established Cavalier Daily Endowment Fund with the UVA Alumni Association that will ensure the continued success of student journalism on Grounds. He currently serves as a member of the Events Committee of the Virginia Club of New York and is an active member of several UVA Alumni LinkedIn groups. As a native New Yorker who was born in Manhattan, UVA and Charlottesville were the only places that have ever drawn Brad further than 20 miles from NYC for more than a vacation.

Brad is currently the principal of BMS Management Consulting, LLC, focusing on media organizations. He was previously Director of Finance at Time Inc where he led a team responsible for the expenses related to printing and distributing all 27 domestic magazines for the publisher.

 

Anthony Simasek (CLAS ’08)

Anthony graduated from UVA in 2008 with a major in Economics. As an undergrad he served as captain and President of the UVA Men’s Rugby Team, was an active member of the University Guide Service, and founded a 501(c)3 charity with his fraternity (Sigma Nu). While living in Pittsburgh, Anthony served as the Young Alumni Chair for UVA Club of Pittsburgh and has joined the Virginia Club of New York as Co-Chair of the Hoos in Entrepreneurship Community of Interest.

Upon graduating from UVA, Anthony moved to Pittsburgh to work for BNY Mellon for 8 years before joining a startup fintech firm out of London. In 2016, after helping to grow the fintech firm from 8 employees to 30+, he left to pursue his lifelong passion of becoming a chef and running restaurants. For the last 4 years he worked for Hillstone Restaurant Group as Executive Chef and General Manager at their NYC locations. Recently he left Hillstone to combine his love of hospitality with his finance and technology background and founded his own startup hospitality technology company, Hospitality Innovations. Anthony lives in Midtown with his wife and dog and can usually be found on running along either river, training for his next marathon.

 

Clare Spooner (CLAS ’14)

Clare graduated from the University in 2014 with a double major in psychology and French and was a member of the varsity tennis team. A native Virginian and a diehard Wahoo, Clare moved to NYC just after graduation to work in the arts–as an interior design and an artist–and immediately connected with the Virginia Club. Clare sets her love of the arts in motion as a Co-Chair of the STUDIO Arts Committee and connects three of her favorite things: art, UVA, and NYC! Along with the terrific events that the STUDIO committee puts on, she also enjoys reaching out to prospective UVA students in the NYC area, dancing at Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party, and sipping a glass of vino on the Yale Club rooftop in the summer with fellow alumni.

 

John Straton (CLAS ’54)

John Straton is the “godfather” of the Virginia Club of New York. His dedication to the University and to the Club enabled us to have a home in the Yale Club of New York City. Before the Yale Club residency, John would host Board meetings at his office. John is an active clubhouse member and swears by the Yale Club’s eggs benedict. At the University, John was a brother of the Sigma Pi Epsilon fraternity and was influential in the running of The Cavalier Daily. Currently a Vice President of the Club and active on the Finance Committee, John acts as a part of the Club’s sounding board.

 

Amelia Wald (CLAS ’19)

Amelia graduated with High Distinction from the College of Arts and Science in 2019 with a major in History. At UVA, Amelia was an Orientation Leader, Resident Advisor, sister of Alpha Delta Pi, and student researcher with the Nau Center for Civil War History. She is currently a Class of 2019 Trustee and serves as co-chair of the College Agents for the College Foundation at the University of Virginia.

Amelia served as the 2019 – 2021 Executive Director of the Virginia Club of New York. During her term, Amelia oversaw the Club’s transition to virtual events as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. While weathering the pandemic in lower Manhattan, she found hope in the nightly 7:00 pm cheers from her fire escape and in the strength of the UVA alumni community – even over Zoom! Her favorite Virginia Club events include faculty lectures, soup kitchen volunteering, apple picking, and, of course, Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party.

She is looking forward to continuing to serve NYC Wahoos as Events Committee co-chair.

 

Mark Weber (CLAS ’91)mark

Mark Weber has been an active part of the Virginia Club of New York’s Board of Directors for over a decade and tries to help in whatever way is needed. Most of his efforts have been organizing community service events and summer softball in Central Park, but he is often caught lending a hand along with good spirit for various other Club events including the annual Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party, during which he organizes the Winter Coat Drive. Mark is currently the Co-Chair of both the Community Service and Grants committee, a group that organizes an average of two volunteer opportunities per month. He has an MBA in Health Care Administration and in his day job manages development of medical software and databases for 3M Health Information Systems. Wahoowa!

 

Lorna Zhen (CLAS ’07)

Lorna Zhen graduated from UVA in 2007 with a B.A. in History and Economics and a minor in Art History. Following Charlottesville, she attended law school at Boston University School of Law, graduating in 2010. After spending a hippie year in Oregon, Lorna moved to New York City in 2011. She currently serves as a Supervising Attorney for the New York Legal Assistance Group representing domestic violence victims in family litigation in New York City.

As a Board Member for the Virginia Club of New York for the past eight years, she helped found the new Hoos Hungry Affinity group which has organized restaurant and food tasting and cooking events and serves as the the Club’s President. Her favorite Virginia Club events include Soup Kitchen, Hoos New to New York, Mr. Jefferson’s Spring Party, and Mr. Jefferson’s Holiday Party. Lorna spends her free time illustrating, experimenting with recipes, visiting museums, and endlessly redecorating her apartment.