Meet Our Team
Since January 2018
Tonya is originally from North Carolina and has worked in the field of Disabilities for over 20 years. She began her career providing residential services and later worked with people in Supported employment. Through the years her passion for the rights of people with disabilities became the center focus of her career.
Her career brought her to Virginia in 2011, where she joined The Arc of Southside as executive director, and led the agency through a transformation from traditional services to inclusive supports that are built around the person and not their disability. At that chapter of The Arc, she and the leadership team successfully closed all of the segregated facility based programs, which included a Group Home for 15 people, a Sheltered Workshop for 135 people, and a Private Day School serving 30 students with disabilities. She and the leadership team developed and implemented new support services that partner with people with developmental disabilities to build their own lives with the supports they need to live the lives that they choose.
In January 2018, Tonya became the executive director of The Arc of Virginia, where she is advocating for change, so that every person with a developmental disability can have access to supports to live their life in their community
Since June 2016
Lucy helps individuals with developmental disabilities and their families navigate Virginia’s complex services system and fulfill their dreams by providing viable connections, information, tools and guidance. Her work also includes advocating and bringing the critical needs and challenging issues facing people to the attention of policy makers and others to heighten awareness and bring about change so that people can reach their goals for independence as members of their communities.
As a former special education teacher, case manager, director at a community services board and Executive Director of The Arc of Hanover, Lucy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as Director of Information and Referral, where she has supported countless individuals and families through their journeys since 2016.
Director of Peer Support
Since October 2020
Natasha is originally from Boston, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Wesley College in Dover, DE. As an Undergrad, Natasha began her 16 year non-profit career supporting at risk youth with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. With an overdue return to the city of Boston, 7 years ago, she began supporting people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities where she worked extensively with people to help them find the right match for suport in their lives during her time as a Case manager and Trainer.
Nastasha then moved to the DC area, where as a Community Inclusion Manager, she led teams of Direct Support Professionals, provided training to staff and managed data collection systems for quality assurance in both Residential and Day Support programs. As The Arc's Peer Engagement Director, she provides support to the A Life Like Yours Self-Advocacy Alliance and is partnering with people with developmental disabilities to design the Peer Support and Mentoring System for Virginia.
New Path Family Support Director
Since May 2020
As New Path Family Support Director, Robin is responsible for The Arc’s outreach, information and referral, systems advocacy and technical assistance activities, in the areas of early intervention and early childhood education.
Robin has a wealth of professional and personal experience. She worked for 9 years with Head Start in the public school setting, worked as a Family Service Specialist with Cameron Gallagher Mental health Resource Center (CMHRC) at VTCC for 4 years and worked 5 years as a Family Support Partner (FSP) with United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). In her roles she has helped countless families navigate systems to find resources for their child/children throughout the state of Virginia. She has two sons, and has personally experienced the Early Intervention System in Virginia, as well and many other community services.
Part-Time Contract Advocate
Since March 2021
Melissa Heifetz received her undergraduate degree in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Melissa is a member of the Bar in New York and Maryland. After moving to Virginia, she decided to focus on her passion, disability advocacy. At The Arc of Loudoun, she was Director of the ALLY (A Life Like Yours) Advocacy Center and later the Executive Director, where she worked on local and state-wide legislative advocacy issues and provided individual consultations with families.
In 2020, Melissa founded the consulting firm, Advocacy Partners, LLC. The firm advocates for individuals with disabilities and their families and helps navigate the unique challenges they often face on the path to full inclusion, equal participation in the community, fairness, and justice. In March 2021, The Arc of Virginia engaged with Melissa to work together with people with disabilities to advance Criminal Justice Reform in Virginia.
Part-Time Self-Advocacy Coordinator
Katherine is a native of Richmond, and attended Midlothian High School. Katherine is very passionate about her job advocating for disability rights, and helping with The Arc of Virginia’s advocacy campaigns while working to educate elected officials on issues important to the Disability Community.
She is a member of the Board for the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, a graduate of the LEND Program, and The Arc of Virginia's representative to multiple task forces and committees giving a voice to Virginians with disabilities. Katherine loves her job, the people she works with, and fighting for A Life Like Yours for all people with disabilities.
Part-Time A Life Like Yours Alliance Support Coach
Since October 2020
Rebecca is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master's in Social Work. During her education, she worked in legislative advocacy through an internship in the Virginia General Assembly. She also completed the Partners in Policymaking program and interned with the Partnership for People with Disabilities. She is the current chair of Virginia Advocates United Leading Together (VAULT). She utilizes her lived experience to support others with disabilities to live their lives as they choose.