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Ms. Bonita M. Pennino - Chairwoman of the Board
Pennino earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from the Medical College of Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree in 1977 from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been employed with the American Cancer Society South Atlantic Division (ACS) since 1997 where she is currently the Government Relations Director. During her tenure with the ACS she has held positions as Public Education Manager for the Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, Coordinator for the Cancer Prevention Study II LifeLink Research Project, and Cancer Control Specialist. Before joining ACS, Ms. Pennino worked for Fairfax County Government as a Management Analysis. From 1990 to 1995, Ms. Pennino worked for the Department for Rights of Individuals with Disabilities (DRVD), where she served as Administrative Liaison to Virginia General Assembly, state agencies, state policy boards and consumer groups. While at DRVD, she coordinated and facilitated studies requested by the Virginia General Assembly, drafted legislation, provided expert information to the members of the Virginia General Assembly, analyzed policies and legislation to determine consumer impact and developed and implemented advocacy training for consumers and disability advocacy groups, as well as facilitated grant writing and responses to proposals from federal agencies for model service delivery project development. From 1987 to 1990, Ms. Pennino worked for the Virginia State Department of Education, where she was responsible for the implementation of a demonstration grant from the US Dept of Health and Human Services for interagency case management and secondary transition for youth and young adults with disabilities - Project VAST. Project VAST was selected by the Secondary Transition Intervention Effectiveness Institute at the University of Illinois as one of ten exemplary projects for 1987 & 1989. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms Pennino worked with individuals with disabilities in sheltered workshop, job sight training, and recreation settings. Ms. Pennino lives in Vienna VA, with her husband of 7 years, W. Kenneth Garnes. She was diagnosed with breast cancer October 2006.
Mr. Ken Plum - Former COB
Occupation: Retired teacher and school administrator after nearly 30 years. Served as Director of Adult and Community Education, Fairfax County Public Schools. Member of Virginia House of Delegates: 1978-80; 1982-present.
Ken Plum has along history of community involvment, with a particular investment in the disability community. Current memberships include (but are not limited to):
• Dulles Corridor Rail Association - Founder and Chair
• Virginia Literacy Foundation - Charter Member of the Board of Directors
• Celebrating Special Children, Inc. (publisher of a resource guide for parents of special children) - Founding Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors
• Greater Reston Arts Center - Advisory Board
• Computer Learning Centers Partnership of Fairfax County - Board of Advisors
• Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty - Board of Advisors
His many recent recognitions include:
• Coalition for Northern Virginians with Mental Disabilities - Distinguished Leadership Award, 2007
• Virginia Association of Health Plans - Distinguished Public Service Award, 2007
• ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia - Appreciation Award, 2007
• Infant/Toddler Family Day Care - Achievement Award, 2007
• Recognition from the March of Dimes for the Expansion of the Newborn Screening Program, 2005
• Mental Health Community Contributor Award by the Fairfax-Falls Church Mental Health Advocacy Community at the Mental Health awareness Week Conference, 2005
• Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Foundation - Community Service Award for extraordinary commitment and leadership in improving public education for youth and adults in the Reston community and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, both as a professional educator and as a legislator, 2003
• Establishment of the Kenneth R. Plum Scholarship to the outstanding graduating senior, Fairfax County Public Schools, enrolled in "Project Opportunity."
Ms. Laura Nelson - Editor in Chief / Director of Operations
CSC currently has one full-time dedicated and committed staff member in Laura Nelson who, as editor-in-chief, gives immaculate attention to all details of the publication ensuring its accuracy and completeness. Being the surviving sibling of a brother with profound cerebral palsy, and having spent the last 14 years in the publishing industry, she is uniquely qualified for this position. She has recruited numerous expert writers, as well as laypersons, who provided content for the publication and website with minimal remuneration. Freelance associate editors assisted in this process. Having a single paid staff person to perform the tasks of editing, design and layout, distribution and community outreach, as well as office management, means that more than 75% of the monies donated can go directly to maintain the website.
• BA in Theatre, Catholic University -
• M. Ed in Educational Psychology (concentration in curriculum and instruction) George Mason Univ - 2010
• Fairfax County Council of PTA Liason to FCPS Human Relations Advisory Committee
• Former Newsletter Editor/Designer - Lake Braddock Marching Band, Burke, Va. Volunteer position included assembling/editing submitted information and designing newsletter layout.
• Former Newsletter Editor/Designer -Fairfax County Council of PTAs, Fairfax, Va. Volunteer position included assembling and editing submitted information and designing newsletter layout.
• 2001-2003 PTA President, Kings Park/Kings Glen, Springfield, VA
• Received Certificate of Appreciation from FCPS for volunteer service in 2002-2003
• Forty-seven year resident of Northern Virginia, one son, attends Northern Virginia Community College