Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Mary Beth joined the staff at St. James’s as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in 2014. Mary Beth has always had a special place in her heart for young people and helping them find their identity in the Body of Christ. She started out teaching first and third grades before realizing her true calling to youth ministry. In 2011 she became the Children & Youth Minister at Christ Church Episcopal in Alexandria. Mary Beth graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Elementary Special Education. She served for over a decade at Shrine Mont Camps of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, working as a counselor and camping director at St. George’s Camp and as the director the St. Elizabeth’s Camp for youth and young adults with disabilities. She also serves on the Shrine Mont Board of Directors and as a church consultant for Ministry Architects. In her free time, Mary Beth loves to make homemade pizza, go on road trips, and hang out in the back yard of her new home! Her husband Chris is a registered nurse in the surgical ICU at a local hospital and an integral partner in youth ministry. They live with their two cats, Smokey and Jojo, and their dog, Bella, and are expecting their first child in June 2017.
Director of Stewardship and Development
Suzanne began at St. James as Director of Stewardship and Development in July 2015, and oversees Annual Giving, Planned Giving, major gifts, and memorials. Prior to joining our staff, Suzanne spent 30 years directing communications and marketing at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She has been an active parishioner for 40 years, having served on the Vestry, strategic planning committees, the Missions committee, Mardi Gras for Missions, WomanKind, as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and on the Video Squad, among numerous other ministries. Suzanne completed the four year Education for Ministry program in 2009, and has been an active missioner to domestic and international mission trips for more than 20 years. Suzanne has always been active in the arts, community, historic preservation, and social justice. She currently serves on the boards of the Woman’s Club of Richmond, Bus Rapid Transit RVA, Historic Monument Avenue and Fan District Foundation, and the 1708 Gallery Emeritus Council. She is a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, past national board member of the American Alliance for Museums, and active with the Virginia Society of Fundraising Executives. Suzanne earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from VCU and has an M.S. in communications. She and her husband Joe Willis have four children and five grandchildren.
Director of Communications
Russell joined the staff as Director of Communications in 2013. A lifelong Episcopalian, he has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 40 years. Russell was trained as a journalist, but has worked in integrated marketing communications, branding and positioning for services businesses most of his career. Over that time, he has acted as marketing strategist for businesses from small and local to very large and national, in the process managing both centralized and decentralized marketing staff and functions. In addition to church communications, he has served in marketing and public relations positions at for profit and non-profit firms, usually in the Virginia market, in the legal, health care, real estate and advertising industries. Russell has earned the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) designation from the American Marketing Association. He received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Richmond. He is a musician and songwriter, and plays guitar, piano, drums, banjo and harmonica. He is currently a member of Oak Lane, a bluegrass and Americana acoustic band in Richmond. He and his wife, Katherine, live in Henrico County near the Westhampton Lake. They have two adult children and one grandchild.
Director of Servant Ministry
Nancy joined the staff as Director of Servant Ministry and Social Worker in 2006. Her passion is servant ministry, calling forth faith based people and congregations to understand ministry in the context of serving as the hands and feet of Christ, and helping to build community service systems and congregational partnerships that serve those in need. She is a graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Union Presbyterian Seminary) where she received a Masters of Art in Christian Education. She earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and served as Director of Christian Education and then Pastoral Associate for 27 years at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church before coming to St. James’s. Nancy has been a leader in the formation of the Richmond regional homeless services system helping especially to connect faith based communities and non-profit agencies. She helped found Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS) in Richmond in 2006 and received their highest volunteer recognition in 2016. Nancy is a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and is the recipient of the Pagnoni Award and the YWCA Outstanding Woman award in the area of religion. Nancy loves to read books on theology and, for fun, mysteries and detective stories. She enjoys cooking and her greatest joy is spending time with the children in her family.