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 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.

Frances Christmon

Frances Christmon

Frances Christmon is a health care industry expert and business executive/consultant with over 30 years of service to more than 70 hospitals, physician groups, health plans and other healthcare entities. She is founder and Principal of Frances D. Christmon LLC, a business consulting firm that facilitates ethical financial performance and strategic operational evolution for health care organizations. Frances served as Vice President of Strategic Financial and Operational Information for the HSC Health Care in Washington DC between 2007 and 2016. There she supported extensive research into the healthcare needs and solutions for children with special needs.

Frances is a consistent supporter of several charities including The Boys and Girls Club, Food for Friends, Jack and Jill Foundation, and The House of Ruth. She served on the Board of Directors of Positive Options, Referrals & Alternatives, Inc. (PORA); a non-profit agency in Springfield, Illinois that helps transition women out of prostitution and to develop healthy, positive lifestyles.

Frances is a past president of the DC chapter of Health Care Financial Management Association (HFMA). She received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from Tougaloo College, in Jackson, Mississippi and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare from Howard University.

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.

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.

Kalise Mabry

Kalise Mabry

Kalise Mabry 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.

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.

William J. Mazzella, M.D.

William J. Mazzella, M.D.

Dr. Mazzella is a Board-Certified Internal Medicine physician who, for the past two decades, has been practicing medicine in hospitals and Intensive Care Units throughout the United States, primarily in underserved communities.

Dr. Mazzella earned B.S. in Biology from the University of Southern California and earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. While studying at UNC, he volunteered medical services to the uninsured/underinsured at the Student Health Action Coalition Clinic, and during his residency, he traveled abroad to impoverished countries on medical missions.

Today, in addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Mazzella is President of MedStreet, Inc., a nonprofit organization that he founded in 2019. MedStreet brings the physician to the homeless wherever they are and whenever they are needed. The organization operates primarily in the Northern Virginia region.

In recognition of his work, Dr. Mazzella was named a Daily Point of Light Honoree in June 2020. He resides in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia with his spouse, Brandy, and their son, Joseph. They visit the homeless as a family whenever possible.

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller is Deputy General Counsel, Retail Banking & Retail Lending, for The PNC Financial Services Group, one of the largest super-regional banking organizations in the United States. He and his team provide legal support to PNC’s retail banking, lending and branch operations.

Before coming to PNC, Andy was Senior Counsel on the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives where he worked on major pieces of financial legislation during the 111th Congress (2009-10), including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He also has worked as an attorney for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Fannie Mae.

Andy has a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics from Villanova University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and four children.

Christine Pembroke

Christine Pembroke

Christine Pembroke is a senior consultant within Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy market offering where she leads her clients in the areas of business transformation, workplace strategies and operations improvement. Prior to joining Deloitte, Christine was a construction engineer at Clark Construction where she scoped and priced contracts for various trades valued at up to $8M, and supported field managers by ensuring the timely and cost-effective completion of site work.

Christine attended the NYU Tandon School of Engineering where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Construction Management. As someone passionate about leadership and personal development, Christine has served in leadership positions across organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Women in Construction (WIC) Conference. Christine currently serves on the NYU Tandon Alumnae Advisory Council, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dan Morris

Dan Morris

Dan Morris is an Emmy award-winning producer, director, writer, and journalist. Since 2008, he has headed up Morris Media, working with clients that include the PBS NewsHour, the MacArthur Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Cancer Society and WebMD.  He spent nearly two decades at ABC News as a producer of Nightline and This Week with George Stephanopoulos, with additional stints at PBS, CBS News and NPR. In 2018 he produced Twelve Stories: Survivors of Domestic Violence Reclaim Their Lives for House of Ruth. He has won the House of Ruth Distinguished Service Award; the RFK Journalism Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged; the DuPont-Columbia Award; The National Association of Black Journalists “Salute to Excellence” Award; and five News & Documentary Emmy Awards. He majored in English at the University of Michigan, and lives in Alexandria, VA. with his wife when they are not traveling or visiting their grown children.

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.

Jane Stevens

Jane Stevens

Jane Stevens is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor who spent several years of her practice working in mental health clinics serving low income clients in Maryland. When she opened her own private practice she continued seeing many clients on a pro bono/low-bono basis. She is also trained in Collaborative Dispute Resolution and mediation and was an active team member for many collaborative divorce cases in the role of the mental health professional. She served on the board of the Collaborative Dispute Resolution Professionals in Maryland for three years, the final year as its president.

Jane has been active with several nonprofits, such as CASA (Court Appointed Advocates for Abused and Neglected Children), an adult reading program, a program through the county libraries that serves homebound patrons, and education nonprofits locally and internationally. Jane is a seasonal volunteer at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Springs, CA and is currently a board member for Wintergreen Music, an organization that focuses on annual summer music festivals and offers academy training and opportunities to students.

Jane enjoys participating in their scholarship program that reaches underserved communities, providing students equitable access to music education and programming. Jane joined the QALIC-B board of Kidspace in 2019, and has been an active contributor to House of Ruth since 1998.

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.

Helena Valentine

Helena Valentine

Helena and Fred Valentine have been donors of House of Ruth since 2007, and important influencers in Washington, D.C. for many decades before that. She and he are active in the Mu Lambda fraternity, and the Alpha Wives, who are big volunteers at Madison. Additionally, they wrote a letter of support to the Clark Foundation (who awarded House of Ruth $850,000 this year) — Mr. Valentine was Vice President at Clark Corporation for many years. Mr. Valentine was also a team member of the Washington Senators baseball team.

Mrs. Valentine will be a valuable asset to the House of Ruth board, with a long history of serving youth and families — she worked for Catholic Charities for more than 20 years — as well as tremendous contacts with city officials. She also serves on a couple of community boards that empower women.

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