House of Ruth

About Us

Board of Directors

Steve Badt

Steve Badt

Steve Badt has more than 18-years in non-profit management and project operations experience. He joined Impact Capital Strategies in 2016 as Operations Manager, where he leads operational management and client support.

Prior to joining Impact Capital Strategies, Steve served as the Senior Director of Kitchen Operations at Miriam’s Kitchen. During his 14-year career at Miriam’s, Steve helped transform a small “soup kitchen” into an award winning operation. His efforts earned him recognition by The Washington Post, NPR, the Today Show and other top-tier media outlets. In 2009 Steve had the honor of serving alongside First Lady Michele Obama, who volunteered at Miriam’s Kitchen in recognition of its quality programming and focus on nutrition and dignity for Washington’s most vulnerable residents.

Prior to this, Steve spent eight years as a chef in restaurants in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., and then transitioned successfully into non-profit work at Food & Friends, which serves meals to those battling life-challenging illnesses like HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Steve has a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Vermont and a Masters of Science in Nonprofit Management from the University of Maryland University College.

He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife and two children.

Monica Beckham

Monica Beckham

Monica Scott Beckham, Esq. served as Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, and Staff Attorney of United Planning Organization (UPO), the not-for-profit community action agency for Washington, D.C. for over 30 years. UPO’s extensive network of agencies, organizations and special programs provides core services for low income residents in neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia. Services and programs include specialized youth services, job training, weatherization training, homeless services, Head Start early learning, substance abuse treatment and counseling, and housing initiatives. Ms. Beckham represented and advised UPO on a range of legal matters, including corporate issues, general litigation, board development and governance, labor and employment, collective bargaining negotiations, contracts, and real estate development, and not-for-profit governmental regulations and compliance training for board, staff and other not-for-profit representatives. She is a graduate of Howard University Law School, served on the board of the Historical Society of Washington D.C. and as an advisor to Decatur House.

Monica Y. Brame

Monica Y. Brame

Monica Brame is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 15 years of project management experience and more than 18 years of Federal contracting and accounting experience with multiple government agencies including Montgomery County, MD County Government, Department of Defense (Army), Department of Education; Department of Agriculture; Internal Revenue Service; and several inter-agencies of Health and Human Services agencies such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).

Ms. Brame has volunteered for more than 18 years with the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA). She has served in multiple leadership roles including Eastern Region Representative on the National Board of Directors; Eastern Region Vice President; Eastern Region Student Conference Chairperson and past president of the NABA Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter. She also serves as an active volunteer in numerous church and community affairs.

Louis Cardenas

Louis Cardenas

Lou Cardenas grew up in Northern Virginia, though he spent much time in Colombia, where the majority of his family still resides. He graduated from Georgetown University, and has enjoyed a 30 year successful career in real estate in the DC area and Miami. After 25 years in commercial real estate, he made the switch several years ago to residential and is currently Vice President at Compass, and serves realty clients throughout DC, Virginia, and Maryland. He has always believed in giving back to his community and has served as President of the Board of Sitar Arts Center, a local after school and summer arts program serving inner city children. He also supports several animal rescue organizations in DC and Costa Rica.

Darryl E. Christmon, CPA, MBA

Darryl E. Christmon, CPA, MBA

Darryl Christmon is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Georgetown University’s main campus. Darryl previously served from 1997 until 2014 as Vice President and Chief Finance Officer for the main campus. Prior appointments include Vice President for Fiscal Affairs at Jackson (Mississippi) State University, Comptroller at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Budget Director at Howard University. Darryl held earlier positions at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). Darryl received his MBA from Howard University and his BS in Accounting from Jackson State University. He is a certified public accountant in the states of Maryland and Mississippi. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Darryl is a former Vice President of the Metro-Washington, DC chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. He has also served on the Washington Research Library Consortium’s Board of Directors. Darryl has been a member of the Hoya Federal Credit Union Board of Directors since 1998. He served as President from 1999 until 2007 and has since served as Treasurer. On House of Ruth’s Board of Directors, he is the Finance Committee Chair.

Carolyn Gruber, PhD

Carolyn Gruber, PhD

Carolyn Gruber is an adjunct faculty at Smith College School for Social Work, and is currently retired from private practice working with children, adolescence and adults. She was President and Dean of the Clinical Social Work Institute, as well as on the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work. She has published in clinical social work journals. She is a past President of GWSCSW. Dr. Gruber has served extensively as a social work consultant and a professional volunteer throughout the Metropolitan Washington region.

Andrea Harnett

Andrea Harnett

Andrea Harnett was installed as a Magistrate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in January 1985, and retired from the bench in 2014. Judge Harnett graduated from Northwestern University and from Columbia Law School, after being named a Harlan Fiske Scholar. Following law school, Judge Harnett worked as an Assistant United States Attorney, for 11 years in DC, prosecuting criminal cases.

While serving as a Magistrate Judge, she worked in the Criminal, Family, and Civil Divisions, and the Domestic Violence Unit, of the Superior Court. She was one of the founders of the unique and innovative Domestic Violence Unit and developed an expertise in the civil and criminal responses to domestic violence. In 2004, she helped to organize the court’s Domestic Violence Arraignment Court. She has spoken to many groups and attended many conferences in this field, as a student and as a faculty member.

Since retirement, she has served as a part-time mediator at DC Superior Court and as an active volunteer docent at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Judge Harnett is married to Ben Fisherow, a retired environmental lawyer, and has two sons and two granddaughters. They love to travel.

Elaine Horn

Elaine Horn

Elaine Horn is an attorney who represents clients in a broad range of complex civil and commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis in the areas of employment disputes, products liability, and commercial contracts. She is a partner at the law offices of Williams & Connolly LLP where she serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Employment Litigation and Counseling practice group. Elaine grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and received degrees from Texas A&M University in journalism and English. She received her JD, with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was on the Editorial Board of The University of Chicago Law Review. She lives with her family in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Andrew Kentz

Andrew Kentz

Andrew Kentz formed Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP in 2009, a law firm specializing in international law and international trade law. Previously, Andrew had been a partner with Dewey Ballantine LLP, and earlier had served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Hon. Byron L. Dorgan. Andrew is Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has served on the Board of Advisors of the Legal Network, an organization that provides legal services to the poor, and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the Georgetown University Alumni Association.

Stephanie Kushner

Stephanie Kushner

Stephanie Tavill Kushner has served on House of Ruth’s board since 2014. She brings to the board over 20 years of experience leading highly successful development programs at national political advocacy and nonprofit organizations working on behalf of the environment and women’s issues. She is an expert in the development and management of multi-faceted c3, c4, PAC, Super PAC, and bundling fundraising programs. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Development at the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Vice President of Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America. She began her fundraising career as a Loaned Executive for United Way Services in Cleveland, OH, and her first job out of graduate school was as Director of Development for Women in Community Service, Inc., a nonprofit organization helping women and youth overcome poverty. Stephanie holds a Master’s degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in Cleveland, OH, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Stephanie and her family live in Bethesda, MD.

Diane Lewis

Diane Lewis

Diane Lewis is Co-Principal and Executive Vice President of ALTA Consulting Group, Inc., a management and consulting firm with extensive experience in health care and community development. Ms. Lewis serves as Chair, Board, DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which is responsible for the insurance marketplace through which individuals, families and small businesses have access to health insurance. Ms. Lewis also serves on the Board of the HSC Foundation Board which works to improve access to services for individuals who face social and health care barriers due to disability and chronic illness. Ms. Lewis is a graduate of City College of New York and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

Patricia A. Massey, PHR, CBP

Patricia A. Massey, PHR, CBP

Patricia Massey is the Vice President of Human Resources for Clark Construction Group, LLC, one of the nation’s most experienced and respected providers of construction services. She specializes in human resources, benefits and compensation and has served in a leadership capacity at major corporations including Scientech, LLC, Primark/Disclosure as well as the National Standards Association. Patricia’s community activities include serving as an election judge, mock interviewer for naturalization preparation and an assistant volunteer coordinator.

Kalise Robinson

Kalise Robinson

Kalise Robinson graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Since graduating in 2010 she has had the pleasure of working with a variety of populations that included homeless families, homeless individuals, TANF recipients, and foster children. While matriculating at UDC she was a part of the signing of President Bush’s College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Kalise graduated from Howard University in December 2016 with a Master’s degree in Social Work. She is currently a case manager with her chosen population, homeless males at the Coalition for the Homeless-Emery Work Bed Program. Kalise has five children and one grandchild. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching her favorite television shows, and reading in her spare time.

Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer is the Co-Founder and CEO of 12 Ace Hardware stores located in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD and Alexandria, VA. She joined House of Ruth’s Board of Directors in 2009. Gina is a passionate entrepreneur who grew her company from one to eleven stores in a twelve-year period, and with her husband leads a multi-million dollar small business that employs 260 people. Gina has tirelessly focused on the “Return to Main Street” movement in DC to promote Shop Local campaigns and community revitalization projects in urban areas. This has resulted in partnering with many local entrepreneurs and creating a DC-based program to sell locally made goods from prime shelf space in her stores. She serves on the CCA Global Partners, Inc. Board of Directors and is a member of the Ace Center for Excellence. She also serves on the non-profit boards of Jubilee Jobs and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Julie Shroyer

Julie Shroyer

Senior Policy Advisor and Polsinelli Shareholder, Julie Shroyer, has more than 29 years of federal health policy experience including service on Capitol Hill as committee staff and in senior positions in both the non-profit and private sector. A respected advisor to congressional and presidential campaigns, she is sought after for her recognized expertise in health care and public policy. Julie served recently as the head of the Polsinelli DC Women’s Initiative Committee reinforcing her commitment to attract, retain and promote the success of women throughout the firm. In addition to serving on the House of Ruth Board, she has been a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill for 26 years and currently serves as a member of the Youth Minister Advisory Committee.

Defaul image 15

Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor serves as Director of Operations and Compliance at AppleTree Public Charter School in Washington, DC. He’s been with AppleTree since 2012. He has spent his career working in public service, serving as an appointee with the DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and working in charter school operations for the past eight years.

Tony has a degree in Psychology from American University, and he is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from American University.

Gale Thompson

Gale Thompson

Gale Thompson is a leadership coach and workshop leader. She enjoys working with all types of professionals who wish to bring more of themselves to their work and life. She believes that cultivating an inner experience of leadership will lead the way from success to fulfillment.

Before becoming an executive coach, Gale had a 25+ year career in management consulting/business development with Accenture and APM with a focus in healthcare, life sciences, and information technology. Most recently, she focused on convening global cross-organizational and multi-disciplinary teams to craft, sell, and execute healthcare information technology solutions in the US as well as Europe and Asia-Pacific.

She has dual-degrees from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA) and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (MA with a concentration in Middle Eastern Affairs). She also received a Fulbright Grant award for study of the Egyptian banking sector.

Upon moving to Washington D.C. several years ago, she opted to pursue leadership coach training at Georgetown’s Center for Transformational Leadership and is an experienced ICF (International Coach Federation) certified ACC Coach. She has also supported board and committee development for Women’s Way in Philadelphia and is currently spearheading outreach and partnering activities for several not-for-profits on a voluntary basis.

She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband while their daughter is currently attending college in California.

Stay in Touch With House of Ruth

Your support helps women and children build strong, stable lives.

Newsletter Sign-Up