Class Instructors

Our instructors offer a wide spectrum of knowledge and insights to class attendees. Below is a list of current and past CVANE instructors:



Dr. James C. Anderson | Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)

Dr. James C. Anderson is the Director of Distance and Graduate Education for the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and the Program Director for the Online Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

In addition to these administrative roles, he supervises undergraduate communication courses on communicating agriculture in writing and speaking as well as graduate courses in research methodology, collaborative leadership, and problem solving for change. Dr. Anderson travels around the country conducting training and consulting groups around the topic of social justice in formal and non-formal educational settings. Special attention is given to the creation, facilitation, and evaluation of interventions that utilize non-traditional methods to increase motivation and engagement. Dr. Anderson received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Agricultural Education, his M.A. from the University of Delaware in Economics and Entrepreneurship, and his B.S. from the University of Illinois in Agricultural Education.



Marijean Jaggers | Jaggers Communication (Charlottesville)

Marijean Jaggers, a social media specialist and public relations professional, is president and CEO of Jaggers Communications, a strategic communications firm based in Charlottesville, Va. Jaggers provides education and counsel to clients in several industries using communications strategy to further business goals.

With a strong commitment to community, Marijean serves as a board member of the Building Goodness Foundation and the Legal Aid Justice Center. She has also devoted time and effort as a board member of the American Diabetes Association. She is a graduate of Lindenwood University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English.

In her spare time, Marijean bakes pies competitively.



Dr. Sally Selden | Lynchburg College (Lynchburg)

Dr. Sally Selden is associate dean of academic affairs and professor of management at Lynchburg College. As associate dean for academic affairs, Dr. Selden is responsible for the General Education Program, assessment of college competencies, summer school, the Teaching and Learning Center, new faculty orientation, department chair training, and other matters related to undergraduate curricula and academic policies. She also serves as the Director of Research for the Ed.D. program in Leadership Studies program and as the college’s Research Integrity Officer. Dr. Selden earned a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and her B.A. and MPA from the University of Virginia. She holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and her primary teaching interests are in the areas of public and nonprofit management, human resource management, and leadership. She received the best article published in the Review of Public Personnel Administration in 2011. She was selected as the 2009-2010 recipient of the Sydnor Professorship Award for Teaching Excellence in the School of Business and Economics. She won the James A. Huston Award for Outstanding Scholarship and received the Leonard D. White Award for the most outstanding dissertation in the field of Public Administration from the American Political Science Association in 1996. In 2012-2013, she received grants from the SHRM Foundation and the Pew Center on the States.



Alyson Ball | BoardWorks LLC (Charlottesville)

BoardsWorks, LLC promotes successful nonprofit organizations by helping boards practice good governance, interface effectively with their staffs and volunteers, and create a culture of achievement. As President of BoardWorks, LLC, Alyson Ball consults with boards and Board President/Executive Director teams. She applies her extensive managerial experience and practical approach to teamwork, planning, and implementation to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.

Alyson Ball holds a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Duke University and an MBA in Marketing (International Business and Corporate Planning minors) from the Wharton School. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University.



Amy A. Gallagher | Davidson Doyle & Hilton (Lynchburg)

Amy A. Gallagher, CPA, is a partner with Davidson Doyle & Hilton, LLP, in Lynchburg.  She is a graduate of the University Virginia and has been in public accounting for 24 years following her start with a Big 8 accounting firm.  She has performed audits, reviews, compilations and tax preparation for not-for-profits for over 60 local organizations.  In addition to performing the attest work, Amy has served on several boards in Central Virginia.  Davidson Doyle & Hilton is a member of the AICPA Non-Profit Quality Center.



J. William Gray, Esq. | Hunton & Williams LLP (Richmond)

Bill Gray is a partner in the Richmond office of Hunton & Williams LLP, where his law practice focuses on tax-exempt organizations, charitable giving, and estate planning and administration.  He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a founding director and former president of the Virginia Gift Planning Council.  He is also a frequent speaker on estate planning and charitable topics and has presented recently at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning, UNC’s J. Nelson Young Tax Institute, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Southeast Regional Meeting, planned giving councils in Boston, Washington, D.C., Hampton Roads, Raleigh and Richmond, and various Virginia CLE programs.



Amy Nisenson | Amy Nisenson Consulting (Richmond)

Amy Nisenson is a senior philanthropy professional with a 20 year proven track record of success across corporate, foundation and nonprofit sectors. Amy’s consulting reflects her passion to help build the capacity of the nonprofit sector and the professionals in it.

Amy’s consulting practice focuses on three main areas: 1) Nonprofit Governance and Management, 2) Resource Development and Fundraising, and 3) Foundation Management and Corporate Community Engagement. Amy is a certified Board Trainer and is skilled at group facilitation. Amy’s consulting is focused on board development, strategic planning, committee structure and implementation, and organizational capacity assessments.

In addition, Amy offers mentoring and leadership development to other nonprofit executives, fundraising assessments, and strategic thinking and implementation of solicitation plans of individuals, corporations, and foundations. Amy also offers consultation to foundations in grants management and to businesses around corporate social responsibility and community engagement. (Amy’s bio courtesy of  The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Charlottesville)



Dr. Maryfrances Porter | Partnerships for Strategic Impact (Charlottesville)

Dr. Maryfrances Porter is Founder and President of Partnerships for Strategic Impact.  She completed her B.A at Emory University in 1996 and received her Master’s in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) in 2001. In 2005, Dr. Porter completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at U.Va. with an emphasis on community psychology. She is a licensed, clinical psychologist.

Dr. Porter brings 20 years of research experience and 10 years of using data in leading local change initiatives across a wide range of service providers, including experience evaluating public service systems across sectors (including working with courts, school districts and local governments). She has expertise in assessing system and individual opportunities for growth and change, developing strategic vision and action, and facilitating collaborative, strengths-based problem solving across diverse groups.