Board of Directors
The Board of Directors, with the aid of the school Leadership Team, makes major policy decisions and sets the direction of the school. Each member serves on at least one subcommittee in addition to their place on the general Board. Directors assess the overall performance and financial health of the school, assuring that all resources are being used for the purposes for which they were intended. They formulate the school’s mission and ensure that it is upheld and advanced through their review of strategic plans, major commitments, and the annual budget. The Board of Directors also supports the school’s job acquisition and fundraising efforts through personal and professional connections throughout the region. They strive to enhance and promote the public image of the school throughout the Richmond community.
Alexa is a CPA and attorney by profession but has spent nearly 25 years in public service. She is past President of the Junior League of Richmond, past President of the HomeAgain Board and a past Junior Board member of Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Hospital and Richmond Ballet. Most recently, Alexa has served on the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School and Armstrong High School Freshman Academy Boards. It is her work on these Boards that led to her passion for education of underserved, low-income youth and her excitement for bringing a Cristo Rey High School to Richmond, VA. Alexa graduated from Bucknell University and the University of Maryland Law School. She is married to Peter Quinn, President of RiverFront Investment Group, and has three children.
Alma W. Showalter is vice president–Tax for Dominion Energy. Showalter joined the company in 2001 as a tax consultant. She was named manager of Tax Research in 2002 and director of Tax Research in 2005. She became director of Tax in 2008 and controller of Taxation in 2009. She assumed her current post in January 2014. Before joining the company, Showalter held management positions in public accounting at Keiter and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Council on State Taxation, and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Tax Committee. She currently serves on EEI’s Tax Analysis and Research Subcommittee. Showalter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned her master’s degree in accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce.
Brian Ewald has been in the Medical Device Sector for his 30 year career. He has worked for two start-up companies that were both sold for a billion dollars in increased valuations. He has been involved with community service for most of his life in Richmond. He served in the Big Brother-Big Sister organization for over a decade in the early 90’s. Brian Ewald is a charter member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church and The Dominion Club in the far West End. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA South Hampton Roads and Camp Silver Beach. Brian was involved with Cristo Rey Richmond since the beginning on the feasibility study committee. He served as a member of the Committee for Jobs/Business liaison and relations. Mr. Ewald has a Certificate from the Harvard Business High Performance Management School and serves as a Course Director at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, CO. He has double BS degrees in both Management and Marketing. He is a graduate from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Brian and his wife Linda of 24 years have two daughters Rita (20) and Maddie (17).
Camille is VP, Head of Innovation, at West Cary Group, an award-winning performance marketing firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Her mandate is to enable rapid testing and integration of new marketing techniques and emerging technologies into client strategies and campaigns. Camille’s breadth of skills spans marketing, operations, data, technology and business management on both the client and agency sides. As a 10-year veteran executive of West Cary Group, she has provided strategic leadership for the agency’s Account Management and Innovation teams. Previously Camille led product, marketing and operations teams for several lines of business at Capital One. She’s a graduate of Wake Forest University. Camille is also the Dean of Kingdom Life School of Ministry and serves on the Board of Directors for Witness2, an international evangelistic ministry.
Christopher Habenicht serves as Secretary of the Boards of Cristo Rey Richmond High School. He practices law with the firm of MeyerGoergen, PC, after having practiced with the firm of Hopson, Habenicht and Cave and its successors for 35 years. Christopher attended Catholic schools in Richmond from Kindergarten through high school. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Washington & Lee University. Professionally, Christopher has been active in bar activities having served on the Council of the Virginia State Bar (VSB), and on and as Chair of the VSB Committee on Lawyer Discipline. He has been on the Executive Board of the Heart of Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America since 2006 and served as President of the Council in 2013-2015. Christopher has been an active member of The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for many years and has served on and as Chair of the Finance Council, on and as Chair of the Pastoral Council, and on various other committees that have helped to set up the Cathedral for a second century of service to the Diocese and the Richmond area.
Deacon Peter J. McCourt is a passionate ministry leader with experience in Catholic parish and diocesan ministry, Catholic Healthcare, higher education, and secondary education. He holds a master's degree in theology from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. and has completed post-graduate studies in theology at Union and in executive leadership at the University of Notre Dame. Pete is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the College Theology Society. Before coming to Cristo Rey Richmond, Pete served as Vice President of Mission for the Bon Secours Virginia Medical Group. He is active in pastoral ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and is an ordained Deacon for the Catholic Church. He has taught religious studies courses at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has lectured on religion at the University of Oxford, UK and ministry leadership at Loyola University Chicago. His most important role, however, is as a husband and father to two teenagers.
Yvette Johnson-Threat MD, MPH received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Alabama. Her medical degree was awarded by the University of Illinois, Chicago. She then completed a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She was Chief Resident of Outpatient Internal Medicine prior to moving to Richmond, Virginia in 1996. She was employed by Bon Secours from 2003 until 2015, where she served as a practicing physician in Primary Health Care Associates, and CMO for the Bon Secours Medical Group, Richmond Community Hospital, and Memorial Regional Medical Center. Dr. Johnson-Threat served as Vice-President of Medical Affairs for one year at Med Star Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Maryland. She returned to Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in October of 2016, and currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer.
Mr. Gerardo served as Director for Community Commitment and Social Investments for the Bon Secours Health System from 2006 to 2018. In addition to overseeing the community benefit functions of the health system, he was responsible for Bon Secours’ community investment and grants programs, as well as outreach efforts in the communities of Bon Secours. For twelve years he led the health system’s efforts to bring about healthy communities in vulnerable neighborhoods. In 2013, he oversaw Community Health Needs Assessments for 14 Bon Secours hospitals, and did so again in 2016. With Treasury Services of Bon Secours, he led the system’s impact investing work (Community Investment Program) which placed $34 million through financial intermediaries to support housing, economic development, and support structures in communities served by Bon Secours Health System.
Mr. Gerardo was with Bon Secours for over 27 years, much of it in Richmond, Virginia where he oversaw planning, business development and contributed to the establishment of a regional health system. Mr. Gerardo is a graduate from the University of Virginia (Religious Studies), and has Master’s degrees from Boston College (Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry) and Virginia Commonwealth University (Business Administration). He has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations and continues to be involved with Church efforts to improve education, health and economic conditions for the people of Haiti.
Fr. Jon Chalmers joined Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School as its second President in November 2015. He also serves as Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Gate City. He is a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fr. Chalmers holds graduate degrees from Harvard University in Education and from Yale University in Divinity, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining Holy Family Cristo Rey, he held leadership positions in Catholic Healthcare and at the University of Alabama in the Program for Rural Services and Research. In Catholic Healthcare, he held mission leadership positions focused on developing innovative approaches through community organizing, asset building and healthcare coordination. During his 12-year career at the University of Alabama, he was particularly engaged with programs that supported and sustained rural communities through the curriculum of small, rural, public schools. He also was instrumental in the founding of the Alabama Online High School. He is on the board of PACERS and enjoys local history, hiking, and travel off the beaten path.
As the Executive Director for the EDGE Center for Career Development at Randolph-Macon College, Dontrese continues his relentless pursuit of helping others maximize their potential. His commitment to transformational leadership and serving the youth of our communities is the driving force that inspires all those around him. A remarkable communicator and influencer, he fosters a culture of excellence through a compelling vision of respect, integrity and empowerment.
Throughout his career, Dontrese has led various teams from a creative and professional developmentperspective, and he is passionate about brand design, creative strategy and the business of design. He previously served as Director of Brand Creative for Capital One Bank; and as Creative Director, North America for Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. Prior to that, Dontrese served as Creative Director at SCHAWK!, a global brand and marketing strategy company. From 1999-2005, he served as a professor of graphic design at Georgetown College. Most recently, Dontrese led the historical movement and initiative to re-name the Boulevard to Arthur Ashe Boulevard for our City of Richmond.
A sought-after speaker on topics of design and strategic leadership, Dontrese serves as co-chair of the CRRHS board of directors, vice president of The O’Brien Foundation, member of the Leadership Metro Richmond 2020 Cohort, and member of the Dominion Energy Innovation Center board of directors. He previously served as chair of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) In-house INitiative Committee, former AIGA-RVA vice president board member and earned graphic design degrees from Georgetown College (B.F.A.), Morehead State University (M.A.) and Savannah College of Art & Design (M.F.A.).
Jacob is the Chief Administrative Officer at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.
Jacob has had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the success of Cristo Rey students who have worked at the Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Dallas office. He currently serves as the board chair for Family Lifeline. Before moving to Richmond in 2005, Jacob worked at his alma mater, Purdue University.
Julian Hillery is Vice President with Davenport Asset Management. Prior to joining Davenport in 2014, Julian was the portfolio manager for a $4 billion endowment-style portfolio. In this role, he was directly responsible for over 100 external manager relationships as well as $2 billion of directly managed investment strategies. Julian started his career at Davenport in Richmond, VA and later worked with a family business serving the international maritime industry from Houston, TX.
Julian graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration and concentration in Accounting. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and member of the CFA Institute.
Kim Gottwald is a community leader unparalleled in Richmond. She has served on numerous boards including World Pediatric Project, Junior League of Richmond, St. Christopher’s School Auction, and the Children’s Hospital just to name a few. She has raised millions of dollars through her service on the listed boards in which she has served. Her generosity, commitment, and enthusiasm will be of great benefit to Cristo Rey Richmond. Kim graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the mother of six children and grandmother of two.
Margaret is the Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation. She began working at the Diocese in 2010. As Executive Director, she works closely with the Board of DIrectos and oversees the management and administration of the Foundation. Her involvement with the Diocese began as a volunteer for the McMahon Parater Foundation for Education in 2009. She is an active community volunteer on the Boards of Directors of Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), Voices for Virginia’s Children and serves on the Advisory Board of Little Sisters of the Poor. Margaret and her husband, Jerry, have two children and live in Richmond, where they are active parishioners at St. Bridget Catholic Church. Margaret earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in History and American Studies and Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond.
Michel Zajur knows what was it is like for many hard-working immigrant men and women in the United States. Zajur immigrated to the United States from Mexico City with his family in the early 1960s when he was very young. He was taught the value of hard work as a youth by helping out in his family’s restaurant, La Siesta Mexican Restaurant. La Siesta was in business for over thirty years, eventually becoming an iconic Richmond eatery. In addition to catering, manufacturing, and distributing La Siesta’s personal line of salsa, La Siesta also created an education program for children.
Zajur attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University. Zajur married his wife Lisa, and now has three dynamic kids who have each started their own professional careers.
As a result of his work with outreach programs and his involvement within the community, Zajur founded a statewide organization, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC), in May of 2000. The VAHCC serves as the bridge linking the Hispanic business community within the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2003, the VAHCC Foundation was established as an effort to further provide education, information, and resources to the Hispanic community.
As Founder and CEO of the VAHCC, Zajur has helped to educate Virginia’s community about changing demographics within the state and has helped to provide business opportunities to include the Hispanic population in the business world. Zajur works to build partnerships with the Hispanic community on a national and statewide level, while connecting all those interested in Hispanic business, including the Virginia Hispanic business community; Virginia businesses and corporations; local, state, federal, and international entities; non-profit organizations; and individuals.
Zajur serves on many boards throughout Virginia and contributes to discussions on leadership, business, diversity, health, and education. He has been appointed by Governors Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Bob McDonnell to serve on various commissions, task forces, and transition teams. Zajur is a public speaker for many businesses and is a consultant for organizations looking for his expertise in helping them connect to the Latino community.
Zajur has received numerous awards which include: the National Conference of Community Justices Humanitarian Award in 2002, the Minority Small Business Champion Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2006, and the Global Excellence Award from the Virginia International Business Council in 2011. Zajur was recognized as “One of the 25 People You Need to Know in the State” by Virginia Business Magazine, and was acknowledged as one of Richmond’s most influential and inspiring people by Boomer Magazine in 2012. In September of 2012, Zajur received the Ohtli Award which is the highest award bestowed by the Mexican government upon a non-Mexican citizen. In June 2016, Zajur was recognized as one of 30 people who have “helped shape the Richmond Virginia community” in the Richmond Times- Dispatch's newspaper’s Metro Business 30th Anniversary Special Edition. And in 2018, The Richmond Times-Dispatch honored him as the “2018 Hall of Fame Inductee during their Person of the Year award ceremony.
Peter Farrell is a graduate of UVA and of the School of Business at VCU. He is a former member of the Collegiate School Alumni Board, the Board of Directors for the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, and currently serves on the Little Sisters of the Poor Advisory Board. In 2010, Peter was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Leaders by Style Weekly. As a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates (2012- 2017), Peter served on the House Committees for Courts of Justice Education, Finance, General Laws, and Commerce & Labor. In addition, he served on the Special Subcommittee for Workers Comp, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the 21st Century, and the Commission on Youth. Peter is currently a Managing Partner at Tuckahoe Holdings and lives in the Richmond area with his wife, Christie, and their two daughters. Peter Farrell Managing Partner Tuckahoe Holdings, LLC 919 E. Main St., Suite 2200 | Richmond, VA 23219
Sister Anne Marie’s ministry as a Sister of Bon Secours spans 50 years. After serving in Bon Secours facilities in Baltimore, Maryland and Grosse Pointe, Michigan from 1972 to 2005 at that time she was elected President of the Sisters of Bon Secours, USA, based in Marriottsville, Maryland and served in that role for seven years. Upon completion of her as president, she was appointed Vice President of Mission for two Richmond, Virginia hospitals and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Sponsorship for Bon Secours Richmond Health System. In 2014 she was also appointed Senior Vice President of Sponsorship for Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System in St. Petersburg, Florida. From 2008 to 2011, Sister Anne Marie served as President of the Board of UNANIMA International, a non-governmental organization of women religious serving at the United Nations and advocating on behalf of women and children (particularly those living in poverty), immigrants, refugees, and the environment. She serves as the chairperson of the Congregation’s International Peace and Justice Committee. Sister Anne Marie has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nursing.
Since 1981, Stuart has owned and operated a manufacturers’ representative agency providing sales and marketing support for HVAC equipment suppliers. He specializes in air quality, air purification, and odor control systems for commercial and institutional customers. His products and services are sold to mechanical contractors and through distributors in the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Stuart is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science and became a registered professional engineer in 1982. In addition to his business interests, Stuart is an active member of the Western Henrico Rotary Club and a board member for the Virginia Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His experience in the area of K-12 education includes eight years as the Tuckahoe District representative on the Henrico County School Board, serving as chair or vice-chair for four of the eight years. He and his wife Diane have three adult children and currently share their home in western Henrico with their rescue dogs.
Sue Baldwin comes with nearly four decades of experience in education. Her tenure has included serving in numerous teaching and leadership roles since joining St. Catherine’s School in the early 80’s. She began as a music teacher and transitioned into teaching study skills at the middle school level. Her leadership qualities were obvious, and she worked her way up to Director of the Middle School (16 years in that position), Interim Head of School (’11-’12), and then Assistant Head of School (’12 – present). Sue has a passion for a growth mindset and critical thinking skill development in children, global engagement, community and inclusion. She has presented many times at leadership and education conferences, and she is the Director of the New Teacher Mentoring Program, Chair of the Teacher Evaluation Committee, and assisted the Virginia Association of Independent Schools as Vice-Chair of many accreditation teams across the state of Virginia. Sue Baldwin received her B.M.E. from Longwood College, accomplished graduate study in Music at Westminster Choir College and Ethnomusicology, Choral Music, and Jazz at Central Connecticut State University, and has certification in Staff Development for Teaching Thinking from the National Center for Teaching Thinking.
Toby Desch is the Executive Director of UP RVA. He started UP RVA in August of 2015 with the dream of making Independent Schools more accessible to students from the East End of Richmond. He had the idea for UP RVA when he was working at The Collegiate School and saw how difficult the transition from inner-city education to private education could be. Toby is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied education. He originally thought that he wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher, but that changed after he started working with high school students at Collegiate. When not working, Toby enjoys spending time on the golf course and hanging with his fiancé and two dogs.
Tom is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Blue Heron Capital. He is a member of the Investment Committee and actively participates in the oversight of investments of CSA Medical, Verisma, Homecare.com, and Verato. He led Blue Heron’s investment in Avizia, a Blue Heron portfolio company that was recently sold to American Well. Tom has more than a decade of healthcare investing, private placement, and advisory services experience. Prior to co-founding Blue Heron Capital, Tom co-founded Benedetti & Farris, a full-service fundraising and special event planning firm. Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from the College of William & Mary and earned his MBA at Georgetown University. He and his wife Liz reside in Richmond, Virginia with their three children.