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Women's History Month 2022

March is Women's History Month. This year, rather than looking at historical contributions made by women, we decided to focus on women who are currently making history in our local community. We kick off this month's profiles with none other than Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of Carilion. Our second feature is Cheri Hartman, program manager of the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Office-based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Program at Carilion Clinic. Our third feature for the month is Abby Hamilton, president and CEO of United Way of the Roanoke Valley. Our fourth and final feature for Women's History Month 2022 is Annette Lewis,  president and CEO of Total Action for Progress (TAP).

Annette Lewis

Annette Lewis, an african american woman, with black curly shoulder-length hair, a black blazer and wearing white pearls around her neck

Annette Lewis is proud to be the president of Total Action for Progress (TAP), a community action agency that employs over 300 employees, has more than 20 programs, and assists over 5,000 individuals each with the mission of helping individuals and families achieve sustainable and equitable economic and personal independence through education, employment, affordable housing, and safe and healthy environments.

Ms. Lewis has worked at TAP for more than 30 years, starting her career with the agency as a summer youth counselor and later assuming a variety of positions, including supervisor of Head Start family and parent involvement, director of This Valley Works, vice president of programs, and senior vice president of programs, prior to becoming president. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Lewis led the agency in the growth of its education and employment programs that provide a wide array of career development opportunities for youth and adults. Some of the results of her efforts include: forming a statewide employment training network; organizing the first comprehensive regional job fair; honoring individuals who contribute to the success of African-Americans in the community by hosting an annual Black History Month celebration; developing Sabrina’s Place supervised visitation and safe exchange program; implementing the Cabell Brand Hope Award in honor of TAP’s founder; and organizing an annual HBCU football classic in partnership with the founder, Mayor Sherman Lea,  Funds from the football game enabled TAP to retrieve over 900 high school dropouts returning them to education in public or alternative school settings.

A tireless leader and force for good within the community, Ms. Lewis has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2016 SCLC Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major of Justice; 2013 Regional Workforce Development Professional of the Year; 2009 YWCA Woman of Achievement in Business; 2008 Psi Phi Citizen of the Year; 2007 Morning Star Baptist Church Mother of the Year; 2006 Zeta Phi Beta Finer Womanhood Banquet Honoree; 2003-2004 featured in the Profiles of Achievement edition of Black Pages Magazine; and 1996 Morning Star Baptist Church Woman of the Year.

Ms. Lewis serves on the following boards and committees: Chairman of the Virginia Community Action Partnership and member of the Roanoke Higher Education Authority, Taubman Museum, Chamber of Commerce, Visit Blue Ridge, and a former chairman of the Roanoke City School Board.  She is also a lifetime member of the NAACP; co-founder and member of the board of the domestic violence awareness organization Ladies of Vision (LOV); served as a co-leader for the Inclusive Community Engagement Working Group for the VCSOM during its strategic planning process; and is a faithful member of Morning Star Baptist Church, the church her husband, Rev. Dr. L. A. Lewis, pastors.

Ms. Lewis is a native of Dallas, Texas, and graduate of West Texas State University.

The Lewis’ have two children and three grandsons.

Abby Hamilton a filipina wearing a red top and black blazer

Abby Hamilton

Abby Hamilton is a nonprofit Executive with 23 years of experience developing and empowering high-performing teams to drive transformational social change.  She is a native of the Philippines, and moved to Roanoke in 2002 to join her parents who had immigrated to the US several years prior. 

Abby started working at United Way of Roanoke Valley that same year and took on positions in both Resource Development and Community Impact there over the years. In January 2020, she was appointed as the President and CEO of United Way of Roanoke Valley, after having served as the Vice President for Community Impact for the organization for 9 years.  Now entering her 20th year of service to United Way, she provides leadership and overall direction as staff, volunteers, and stakeholders working together to deliver on United Way’s vision to “elevate 10,000 families to self-sufficiency by 2030.”  

Abby has spent over a decade building and growing various collaborations among multiple organizations to achieve community wide outcomes in areas like early childhood success, financial stability, and health.  Her distributive leadership style, natural inclination for engaging diverse audiences, and collaborating with others has successfully driven the development and growth of local and regional partnerships. 

With the nation still navigating the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way, under her leadership, has been working closely with local and state leaders in nonprofit, business, local government, healthcare, and schools to strategize and coordinate COVID-19 response, recovery, resiliency, and rebuilding efforts.

As one of a handful of Asian United Way CEOs in Virginia and in the national United Way network, Abby has also made it a priority to develop as a culture of innovation, continuous learning, as well as trauma and equity informed practice within her team, and in United Way. 

Abby has a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines, a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Colorado, and a Certificate in Leadership from the Hollins University - Batten Leadership Institute. 

Cheri Hartman

Cheryl Hartman

Dr. Cheryl Hartman’s (Cheri) career has focused on evidence-based best practices for prevention programming (school dropout, teen pregnancy, obesity, substance misuse) and addiction treatment.  Her grantwriting made possible housing for the homeless, infant car seats sent home from each of Roanoke’s hospitals, school gardens, an inclusive 10,000 sq ft playground (the Kiwanis Centennial Playground) in an impoverished Roanoke neighborhood, adolescent addiction treatment services, and supportive funding for Carilion's office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) program and Virginia’s first ED Bridge to Treatment for persons with an opioid use disorder.  She is currently serving as Project Director for the Virginia ED Bridge Replication Project.  She is an Assistant Professor on the VA Tech Carilion School of Medicine faculty and mentors medical students and residents in their research pursuits.  Cheri helped create Roanoke Valley’s HOPE Initiative together with Roanoke's Police Department and the Bradley Free Clinic, so persons in active addiction could get into treatment, rather than be arrested.  Cheri was also instrumental in starting an afterschool program at the church her family has attended ever since arriving in Roanoke 40 years ago:  St John’s Episcopal Church.  Working with several church leaders, Cheri helped establish the Community Youth Program at St. John’s that has served approximately 30 youth each year, providing enrichment, tutoring, life skills training and other supports over the past two decades.

Prior to starting an adolescent addiction treatment program at Carilion in 2011, Cheri worked for Family Service of Roanoke for 15 years and developed their Youth Development Department, focused on strengthening resiliency factors through the evidence-based Teen Outreach Program.  Recognitions include Carilion Clinic Psychiatry Department's faculty researcher of the year award for two consecutive years and was selected as the 2021 Roanoke Citizen of the Year.  Cheri serves on such boards as the United Way of Roanoke Valley, the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke (as past president), and on the Steering Committee of the Roanoke Valley Collective Response.  Cheri grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and attended Gettysburg College after returning to the US.  At Gettysburg Cheri met her husband, David Hartman.  She and David both attended Temple University in Philadelphia where Cheri obtained her PHD and David, the first blind person in modern medicine to be admitted to medical school, graduated with his medical degree.  They are celebrating their 49th anniversary this year.  Cheri and Dave have three children and four grandchildren!  

Nancy Agee

Nancy Howell Agee

NANCY HOWELL AGEE is President and Chief Executive Officer of Carilion Clinic, a $2.4B not-for-profit integrated health system headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, serving more than one million people in Virginia and West Virginia.

Before becoming CEO in 2011, Ms. Agee served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure as COO, she co-led Carilion’s reorganization from a collection of hospitals to a fully integrated, physician-led clinic. The reorganization resulted in a partnership with Virginia Tech to create an allopathic medical school and research institute.

Ms. Agee is a nationally recognized health care leader and past Chair of the American Hospital Association. Modern Healthcare named her one of 2021’s Women Leaders Luminaries that recognizes executives whose careers have been defined by reshaping the industry. She was first named to Modern Healthcare’s biennial list of Top 25 Women Leaders in 2017 and is perennially among its 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. She is a former member of The Joint Commission’s Board of Commissioners and past Chair of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and the Virginia Center for Health Innovation.

Ms. Agee was named Virginia Business Person of the year in 2017 by Virginia Business and has been on the list of most influential persons in Virginia for the past nine years. She was also named Virginia Business Magazine’s Virginia 500 – the 2020 Power List. Ms. Agee serves on several Boards including American National Bank & Trust, (NASDAQ:AMNB), Roanoke Gas Company, (NASDAQ:RGC) and Healthcare Realty:(NYSE:HR). She is a member of The Wall Street Journal Council of CEOs, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Virginia Business Council, Virginia Business Higher Education Council and on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates. She is a Fellow in the National Association of Corporate Directors. In January 2022, Ms. Agee was selected by newly appointed Governor Glenn Youngkin to serve on his Medical Advisory Team.

Ms. Agee has received many awards over her career including the Total Action for Progress (TAP) 2021 Cabell Brand Hope Award, 2020 University of Virginia Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center Distinguished Alumnae Award, Emory School of Nursing’s Nurses Alumni Association Distinguished Nursing Achievement Award, Multiple Sclerosis Silver Hope Award, the Carilion Paladin Award for Quality, and the Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award.

Ms. Agee holds degrees with Honors from the University of Virginia (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and Emory University (Master of Science in Nursing) and attended the Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University. In 2015, she received honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Roanoke College and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences.