VersAbility Resources Adds Seven to its 2023 Board of Directors

A graphic displaying the seven new members of VersAbility's 2023 Board of Directors

VersAbility Resources welcomes its newest members to the 2023 Board of Directors. All hold leadership positions in industry, education or the nonprofit sector in addition to being active volunteers in multiple organizations.

The Board of Directors recently added:

  • Towuanna Porter Brannon, President of Virginia Peninsula Community College
  • Dian Calderone, Retired President, Calderone Abbott PC
  • Kapua Conley, Regional President/Peninsula, Sentara Healthcare
  • Rick Dwyer, Executive Director, Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance
  • Quentin Kidd, Provost, Christopher Newport University
  • Lisa Pennyfeather, Commercial Lender/Senior Vice President, TowneBank
  • Karen Velkey, Corporate Vice President, Compensation & Benefits, Huntington Ingalls Industries

“VersAbility is extremely fortunate to have this impressive group of community leaders devoting their talents to our organization,” said Kasia Grzelkowski, President and Executive Director of the Hampton nonprofit. “The breadth and depth of their expertise and experience will help us innovate and expand opportunities for people with disabilities of all ages.”

VersAbility Resources is a leading provider of comprehensive services for people with disabilities of all ages. Headquartered in Hampton, the nonprofit provides early childhood, residential, day support, and diverse employment programs throughout Hampton Roads and beyond.

Meet the new members:

Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon

Dr. Brannon became Virginia Peninsula Community College’s ninth president at the beginning of 2021.

She has spent more than 20 years in higher education. She came to Hampton Roads from Mitchell Community College in Statesville, North Carolina, where she was Vice President of Student Services.

Dr. Brannon’s interest in serving VersAbility stems from a “commitment to providing the differently abled with training and skills to be independent.”

Dr. Brannon holds Board positions with the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Community Action Program, Greater Peninsula Now and Virginia Council of Presidents.

Dr. Brannon earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. John’s University and a doctorate from Fordham University.

Dian Calderone, CPA

After nearly 40 years of providing personalized financial guidance to individuals and businesses, Calderone retired as President of Calderone Abbott PC, in December 2022.She held two gubernatorial appointments to the Virginia Board of Accountancy in Richmond, VA where she served as Chairman of the Board. Calderone has served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula and the Junior League of Hampton Roads Inc., as a member of the Executive Committees of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula and the Bernadine Sisters Foundation. She is a trustee for the Williamsburg Community Foundation, and previously served on VersAbility’s Board. She is currently serving as Chair of the Sentara Healthcare Board of Directors.

Calderone earned a bachelor’s in business with a focus in accounting from Christopher Newport University and a master’s in taxation from Old Dominion University.

Kapua Conley

Kirkpatrick “Kapua” Conley is a Regional President for Sentara Healthcare responsible for the system’s Peninsula hospitals, which include Sentara CarePlex Hospital and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Conley is also the President of Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton. Prior to joining Sentara, he was the Chief Operations Officer of Tri City Medical Center in San Diego.

Conley is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the Academies of Hampton Steering Committee and Greater Peninsula Now. He is a Board member of the YMCA Peninsula and United Way of the Virginia Peninsula.

Conley earned a bachelor’s in business and a master’s in health administration, both from Tulane University.

Rick Dwyer

Since July 2022, Dwyer has served as Executive Director of Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the many federal installations in Hampton Roads. A career Air Force officer, Rick served over 20 years on active duty as a civil engineer and worked in a number of installation level, RED HORSE (heavy construction unit), major command and Headquarters Air Force engineer positions.

Dwyer also holds Board positions for The Eustis Civic Leaders Association, Langley Civic Leader’s Association and Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Virginia Peninsula Chamber. He is on the Advisory Committee for the Association of Defense Communities Federal Outreach. In addition, Dwyer is Past Local Chapter President of the Society of American Military Engineers, a former local chapter representative of the United States Air Force Association of Graduates and a member of the Sen. Warner and Rep. Luria Service Academy Selection committees.

Dwyer earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from United States Air Force Academy, where he also played football. He holds master’s degrees in construction engineering and management from Virginia Tech and military operational art and science from Air University.

Quentin Kidd

Kidd has been at Christopher Newport University for 24 years and is its current Provost. Kidd was named Provost on August 1, 2022. Prior to being named Provost, he served as Dean of the College of Social Sciences. He is also the founding academic director of the Wason Center for Public Policy.

“I am committed to the mission of the equal integration of people with disabilities in society, where they can create lives of their choosing in dignity,” Kidd said.

Kidd serves on the boards of the Riverside Foundation and United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and a doctorate from Texas Tech University.

Lisa Pennyfeather

Pennyfeather has spent 32 years  in the banking and finance industry and is currently a Senior Vice President at TowneBank.

“I have been an advocate for VersAbility for over 30 years,” she said. “I applaud the work they do; it is a privilege to serve.”

Previously, Pennyfeather served on the Board of the Peninsula YMCA. She volunteers with the Hampton Roads Community Action Program, Newport News and Hampton Public Schools, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and Habitat for Humanity. She has a heart for financial literacy and disability resources. Her son has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Karen Velkey

Since 2015, Velkey has served as Corporate Vice President of Compensation and Benefits at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). A leader at HII since 2011, she previously worked at Northrup Grumman and has more than 20 years of experience in human resources.

“I really love the mission of VersAbility,” Velkey said. “I think the world has so much room to grow in learning how to make space for everyone and appreciate that everyone brings something special to the table. VersAbility is making that happen.”

Velkey is Past President of the Virginia Living Museum and Co-Chairperson of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Health Care Committee. She volunteers with two Boy Scout troops in Smithfield and with her church, First Presbyterian, in Hampton.

Velkey holds a master’s in business from the University of Montana and a bachelor’s in psychology from Millsaps College.

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