July 1, 2017 commenced the new year for the Virginia Hemophilia Foundation Board of Directors. This time of year is always bittersweet, as we must say good-bye to some Board members while we welcome new members and gear up for the year ahead.

This year, we must say good-bye to Murai Johnson, who served on the BOD since 2009, including as Board Chair since 2015. Murai was a passionate, dedicated leader. Her personal and professional experiences and perspectives have been invaluable to the board! She and her family are a constant positive presence at events.

Kathy Mortimer also rotates off the BOD this year. Kathy was a Board member since 2009 and served as Treasurer since 2015. She was a strong leader on the Governance committee and very active in the recent re-write of our bylaws.

Murai and Kathy will be missed, but we look forward to seeing them at our events and perhaps on the Board again one day…

We also said good-bye to Sara Cheeks this year. Sara was a Board member since 2015, but due to her recent relocation to Ohio she will no longer be available to serve. Sara brought a great deal of enthusiasm and creativity to the BOD, and she is especially known for always bringing a well-costumed team to the Trick or Trot 5K and Fun Walk – her energy will be missed!

Our final goodbye this year is to Zack Bordone. Zack was a Board member since 2013. He was a great leader on the Bowling for Bleeding Disorders Fundraiser and very interested in youth programming and expanding health and fitness opportunities. Zack has accepted a job with DrugCo Health, and although he will no longer be eligible for the Board, we are happy he will be continuing to work for the community!

Murai, Kathy, Sara, and Zack will be missed, but their contributions to the Board will remain and the current members look forward to carrying on their good work. The Board meets quarterly as a group, and smaller subcommittees meet intermittently throughout the year. Subcommittees focus on governance activities, one of our many fundraising opportunities, educational event planning, and legislative advocacy. The Board is committed to maintaining a high level of engagement from all its members, and on Sunday September 17th, we will participate in a Board Development Summit facilitated by the National Hemophilia Foundation. The Summit will help us identify new and effective ways to achieve that goal!

This year’s Board consists of eight returning members and one new member. Returning Board members are: Beth Leftwich (President), Sarabeth Spasojevich (President Elect), Jean Parnell (Treasurer), Megan Lawson (Secretary), Kelly Cartwright, Monika Eiden, Daniel Warren, and Michael Welshonce. We extend a warm welcome to Michael Silva, as this is his first year on the Board. Mike has been an active member of the finance committee. He is the manager of Investment Accounting at Market Corporation. We look forward to him bringing his talent and passion for helping others to the VHF Board.

As the new Board President, I would like to take a moment to let everyone know how excited and honored I am to have the opportunity to lead the Board this year. I have been a Board member since 2015 and have always been so impressed and inspired by the VHF community, including the families, the staff, and the Board. I have big shoes to fill, but I am confident that the VHF community will provide the space to succeed! My goal is to continue the great work of the Board, and to find new and innovative ways to continue to build the Board’s engagement with the VHF community!


Elizabeth Leftwich | VHF Board President