Daniel Barrows – Coordinator, Coalition of Peer-Run Programs – daniel [at] vocalvirginia.org
Daniel has a passion for building communities of support and mutual aid. He has held leadership roles at organizations including a community of those who have experienced homelessness who demonstrate sustainable living skills, a bicycle repair shop emphasizing empowerment through collaborative skill-building, a residential addiction recovery farm, and a coalition for local criminal justice reform. In all his roles, Daniel cultivates spaces of mutual support. From teaching bicycle repair skills to coaching nonprofit leaders, Daniel approaches every interaction as an opportunity for mutual personal growth with vitality and warmth.
Ann Benner – REACH Program Director – ann [at] vocalvirginia.org
Ann has worked as a social worker in several settings, including the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and the Charlottesville Department of Social Services. She became inspired to help develop peer voices and to advocate for systems change following her own mid-life healing from depression and anorexia. She then directed ABIDE, Charlottesville’s eating disorders prevention program and worked as an art therapist.
Ann was VOCAL’s founding Network Program Director, from 2004 to 2012. In 2014, she re-joined VOCAL staff as REACH Program Director. Ann lives in Charlottesville; she enjoys visiting her adult sons in San Francisco and Ann Arbor.
Deidre Johnson – Executive Director – deidre [at] vocalvirginia.org
Deidre Johnson joined VOCAL in 2012, tending to the business matters that keep VOCAL running smoothly.
Deidre resides in Culpeper with her two wonderful children, a 14 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. She can often be found outdoors walking, fishing with her children, or reading. She also founded her own nonprofit, The Ayden Christopher Foundation, which raises funds to help families in Virginia with children in the hospital with critical congenital heart defects (CHD) and to promote awareness of CHDs.
Malaina Poore – Network Program Director – malaina [at] vocalvirginia.org
Malaina Poore was the first person in her family to attend college and this impressed no one. She has a degree in Sociology from Mary Baldwin College and soon will have a master’s in Creative Non-Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University. Usually, when asked what she does for a living, she says she is a mother. Now she will probably say that she is a mother and the VOCAL Network Program Director.
In the past she worked for five years at VOCAL, first as the Executive Assistant then as Firewalkers Coordinator. She led workshops and readings in graduate psychology classrooms at James Madison University, Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco and many places in between. Her work with Firewalkers won the 2011 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling from the National Storytelling Network. Her writing has been published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine, Amoskaeg, The Journal of Social Work in Education, Mutha magazine and other assorted publications.
Yolande Long – Network Program Coordinator – yolande [at] vocalvirginia.org
Yolande Long holds a B.A from Mary Washington College where she double majored in Sociology and English, and a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the former Executive Director of ABIL (Agoraphobics Building Independent Lives).
A native of New York and a current resident of Bon Air, Yolande joined the VOCAL family in 2005.