Our Staff

Kelly L. Persons

Kelly PersonsKelly Persons is the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation, where she is responsible for initiating, cultivating and maximizing philanthropic support for Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  Reporting to both the NOVA President and the Foundation’s Board of Directors, her responsibilities fall into three broad categories:  fundraising, Board relations, and Foundation administration. She is accountable for developing and implementing strategic, long-term plans to generate philanthropic support for priorities identified by NOVA and the Foundation Board which align with the College’s strategic plan. Ms. Persons also oversees all scholarship and emergency aid programs for NOVA students.

Most recently, prior to joining NOVA, she served as the Executive Director of the Novant HealthUVA Prince William Medical Center Foundation, where she managed day-to-day operations, the Foundation’s budget and administration as well as all aspects of fundraising, donor stewardship and Board relations. At a similar role at SkillsUSA, Ms. Persons led a team that raised $3.8 million annually, and was responsible for a robust donor portfolio that included Toyota North America, Snap-on Tools, NCCER, 3M, GE and Newell Rubbermaid.  She effectively managed and motivated the SkillsUSA Foundation, a volunteer board composed of industry partners/c-suite level leaders.

For nearly seven years, Ms. Persons served as administrator of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) and led the company’s corporate social responsibility. During her tenure, the LCEF grew from a $3 million private foundation awarding grants to 80 recipients to an impactful public foundation providing grants in excess of $19 million. 

Ms. Persons attended Wells College in Aurora, NY where she received her B.A., in American Studies (History & Literature).  She is also a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).

Rebekah Ball

Rebekah Ball is currently the Foundation’s Director of Operations.  She brings a wealth of knowledge about both the College and the Foundation, having started working at the Foundation in 2007.  Rebekah also spent five years supporting NOVA’s Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program and recently returned to the Foundation full-time.  In her role as Director of Operations, Ms. Ball oversees the day-to-day operations of the Foundation’s financial management, information management, donor relations, scholarship administration, prospect research and general business administration.  She oversees the development and implementation of both long-term and short-term operational and financial plans, including administration of the budget. 

Prior to coming to the Foundation, Ms. Ball worked in a variety of roles in non-profit organization, administration and accounting management.  She continues to be passionate about putting her skills to use for organizations dedicated to improving the lives of others. Rebekah holds a bachelors degree in accounting from Western Illinois University.  In addition to her career in finance, Rebekah is also a licensed real estate agent and enjoys interior design.  She lives with her family in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

Sarah Cioffi

Sarah Cioffi joined the Foundation in October 2019 as its new Manager of Development, where she is responsible for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating fundraising and development activities that reflect and support the mission and priorities of NOVA and its Foundation. Her primary focus is on increasing revenue and expanding a base of support for the organization by means of procuring corporate and major gifts, sponsorship, and individual giving.  In addition, Ms. Cioffi continues to serve as a NOVA Adjunct Professor in Political Science at the Alexandria campus.  Prior to joining NOVA, she was the Deputy Registrar for Elections for the City of Manassas where she supported all aspects of municipal, statewide, and national elections and voter registration in the City. 

Ms. Cioffi has also worked as Traveling Team Leader for Headcount.org, a non-profit, non-partisan voter registration advocacy organization and was the Northern Virginia Regional Coordinator for Virginia 21, responsible for promoting higher education initiatives and active citizenship.  Ms. Cioffi received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University and earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.  A lifelong Northern Virginia resident, she and her family, a horse and miniature pig and various other farm animals reside in Clifton, VA.

Linda Odorisio

Ms. Odorisio supports the Foundation as the Director of Corporate Relations and Special Projects. In this role, she creates, deploys and manages the Foundation’s communications strategy across multiple channels, including the website, print, email and social media.  In addition, Ms. Odorisio helps plan and deliver a range of donor engagement events, including the Foundation’s Annual Recognition Dinner. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent more than 30 years delivering business strategy and planning, marketing, and communications for CGI, a $10B global information technology firm. At the end of her tenure at CGI, Ms. Odorisio was the point person for strategic and crisis communications, media and public relations, events, and marketing communications programs, and led a team of more than 50 around the world. She received her undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College and holds a MBA from Georgetown University.  A longtime Northern Virginia resident, she resides with her family and two chocolate Labrador retrievers in Vienna, VA.  

Linda Kiemel

Linda Kiemel serves as the Executive Assistant for the Foundation.  She is responsible for planning and organizing all administrative functions of the Foundation.  Additionally, she supports the Executive Director in meeting planning, scheduling, Foundation Board member and meeting management and donor correspondence. Before joining the Foundation staff, Ms. Kiemel worked at the National Association of Schools of Music, a specialized arts accreditation organization offering accreditation to academic institutions in Music, Art and Design, Theatre, and Dance. When not working in an office, Ms. Kiemel remains active as a singer. She sings professionally in the choruses of Washington National Opera and Washington Concert Opera as well as singing in the chancel choir at Providence Presbyterian Church.  She is also an excellent chef.  She holds multiple degrees in music and earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois. Ms. Kiemel and her family live in Annandale, and both of her sons have attended NOVA at the Annandale campus.

Lynne Morton-O’Neill

Lynne works as a Donor Gift Assistant supporting the Director of Foundation Operations in recording, tracking and maintaining the organization’s financial records and donor correspondence.  She has worked at Northern Virginia Community College for 16 years, first serving as the assistant to the Budget Director. Upon his retirement, Ms. Morton-O'Neill joined the NOVA Foundation staff to work on receiving and processing Foundation donations and gifts.  She is a life-long Virginia resident and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. 

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