Three new trustees appointed to VOF Board

Governor Ralph Northam recently appointed three new trustees to VOF’s Board.

Dr. Elizabeth “Sissy” Hinton Crowther, of Northumberland County, has been named Board Chair. She is President Emerita of Rappahannock Community College, principal of Night Sky LLC, and owner-operator of her childhood homeplace, Bruington Farms. Although Sissy has worked in finance and taught at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University, community college education is where she has left her mark. As President of  Rappahannock Community College for 15 years, Sissy was a transformational leader that expanded enrollment, programs, and Education Foundation assets. Sissy pioneered the Guaranteed Admission Agreement statewide, for which she and her colleague received a state commendation. Sissy serves on many non-profit and industry boards and has lent her talents to a long and varied list of governmental appointments. With her free time, Sissy enjoys managing her family farm, raising horses and racing sailboats.

Elsie Delva-Smith, of Middlesex County, works as the Director of Diversity Inclusion and Culture at Christ Church School, recruiting of both students and faculty, serving as a resource for teachers and administration, and much more in service to Christ Church School’s mission to guide each student’s unique journey to self-confidence, purpose, and identity. Elsie previously worked in victim’s advocacy and criminal justice. She is a graduate from Florida International University and is currently working on completing her Ph.D. at Liberty University.

Ali Afonja, of the City of Hampton, is the CEO of Holistic Family Solutions, a mental health services organization that he co-founded with his wife, Stephanie. Holistic Family Solutions combines the best practices in fitness, cognition, nutrition, and spirituality to form a unique blueprint for the treatment of the whole person in body, mind and spirit. Ali is an avid outdoorsman. He loves to kayak, mountain bike, fish and camp. He is the founder of “Sons of York,” a group of African American outdoorsmen that holds workshops and seminars to educate urban youth about nature. He also created the Community Learning Garden in 2014 to teach local youth about the benefits of healthy eating, community service and  entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of Norfolk State University and California Southern University.

The new trustees replace Steph Ridder, Brent Thompson, and Beth Obenshain, who concluded two terms of service as permitted by statute.


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