Virginia’s Adoption Champion & Connecting Hearts Founder
Debbie Johnston has been recognized as the Entrepreneur of Richmond, Philanthropist of the Year, and Woman on the Move. As founder of Care Advantage, Nurse Advantage, and All About Care, she has created a dynamic, compassionate care company that is devoted to giving back to the community.
Today, Debbie is the Founder and Vice Chairwoman of Care Advantage, Inc., which has become a leading company for personal and companion home healthcare, with 15 offices and affiliates throughout Virginia. Debbie’s companies, Care Advantage, Inc., Nurse Advantage, and All About Care, together employ approximately 3,000 health care professionals in Central Virginia and surrounding areas.
In August of 2014, Debbie Johnston was appointed by Governor McAuliffe as Virginia’s Adoption Champion. As an adoptee herself, Debbie is thrilled to give children without a home a voice in Virginia. She formed Connecting Hearts to help with her awareness, advocacy, and educational efforts. Debbie was also appointed to the Governors Health Workforce Development Authority to help in the mission of the Commonwealth to ensure a quality health workforce for all Virginians.
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Connecting Hearts
As a former Connecting Hearts board member and with over 17 years of experience in accounting and finance (10 years in healthcare accounting), Michael brings considerable financial expertise to Connecting Hearts. Michael formerly was the Vice President of Finance for Care Advantage, Inc. and All About Care, LLC. Previous to his time with Care Advantage, Michael was the Director of Accounting and Finance (Controller) at HCAs Reston Hospital in Reston, VA. Michael holds an Associate in Arts degree in Economics, Bachelors in Economics, Bachelors in Finance and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Health Care Operations. Michael shares his blessings each day with his college sweetheart Tonya and their three children Jasmine, Michael Jr and Desmond. Michael enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering as a karate, football and basketball coach, listening to jazz, writing poetry and watching ESPN.
Foster and Adoptive Family Recruitment Specialist
Chloe Edwards is a Richmond native who recently graduated from Hollins University majoring in English with a Double Concentration in Multicultural Literature, Creative Writing, and a minor in Social Justice. College opened Chloe’s eyes to the social aspects that played a role in the many hurdles that occurred in her familial narrative. This led Chloe to her path towards Connecting Hearts, where she interned and was later promoted to Ambassador and Advocate. After serving Connecting Hearts for two years an finishing her service for AmeriCorps – The Domestic Peace Corps, Ericca put her faith in Chloe and officially made her apart of the Connecting Hearts team. Chloe became a passionate advocate in the child welfare advocacy field when she went into kinship care as a teenager. After Chloe began her efforts with Connecting Hearts, she began mentoring children in foster care and thus far developed the drive and inspiration to not only act as a mouth piece for Virginia’s children but also a social activist. Quite recently, Chloe was recognized by Radio One as one of the top 30 trailblazers in Richmond under the age of 30 initiating change through exemplary leadership. Chloe hopes to continue to work to change the stigma associated with being an alumna of the system, whether the person is an alumn through kinship care, foster care, or adoption. Her ultimate vision is for individuals and organizations to act as a team and together implement change more efficiently and effectively.
*This position was made possible through the Virginia Department of Social Services*
Field Program Coordinator
for Family Match Program
A Virginia native, Autumn grew up in Virginia Beach and has lived in Richmond since 1994. Autumn has over 20 years experience in the Information Technology field that spans software development, leadership, finance, internet and mobile. She received her BS in Mathematics from Old Dominion University, her MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her MS in Management of IT from University of Virginia.
Autumn and her husband, Jim, reside in Henrico county with their 7 year old son, Alec, who they adopted as an infant. Autumn and Jim are also foster parents for Henrico County. Autumn is passionate about helping others and is thrilled to be a part of supporting the Adoption-Share mission.
Board of Directors
Tim M. Duffee
Market President of First Community Bank
Tim is Market President with First Community Bank and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Richmond. His 16 years of banking experience in the Richmond market covers retail, commercial and investment banking. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Cum Laude) from James Madison University in 1996 and a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Richmond in 2002. He graduated from the RMA‐ECU Commercial Lending School in 2005 and completed their Advanced Commercial Lending School in 2006. He’s a 2009 honors graduate of the VBA’s School of Bank Management at University of Virginia.
Tim is an active and founding member of the Virginia Bankers Association Leadership Division, currently serving as Regional Director for the Capital Region. He is passionate about financial literacy. In addition to helping develop the curriculum for the Commonwealth’s new required high school course in economics and personal finance, he regularly volunteers to teach on the subject. His work at the University of Richmond, where he’s been on the faculty for 13 years, focuses on Leadership and Ethical Decision Making and earned him the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2012. He volunteers for the American Cancer Society, the YMCA of Greater Richmond and serves on the Board of Directors at Hermitage Country Club and the Downtown YMCA. He enjoys golf and fishing and currently lives in Manakin Sabot, VA with his wife Allison and their son Ben.
General Manager of Haley Buick GMC
Barry Moore relocated to Virginia from New Jersey in 1999. Barry attended Seton Hall University obtaining a degree in Political Science and attended the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA. Barry has been in the automobile business since 1983 and serves as General Manager at Haley Buick GMC. In 2015 he ran for the State Senate seat in District 11 and was defeated in the primary.
Along with being on the Board of Directors for Connecting Hearts, Barry serves on the Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau and The Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation. Barry has also collaborated on programs with The American Cancer, Kidney Foundation, ALS, Caritas, The Healing Place, The Richmond City Jail Fathers program, Bridging RVA and attended the Drug Enforcement Agency Community program.
Barry has been married for 26 years to his wife Mary Lou and they have a daughter who graduated William and Mary College in December 2015.
Christine A. Cestaro
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, City of Richmond
A Bronx native, Christine graduated from the College of William & Mary. She first worked as a newspaper reporter, covering the Fairfax County courts and police. Her experience covering crime and the “street lawyers” she admired led her to become a public-interest criminal attorney. She earned her law degree from George Mason University and in 1999 moved to Richmond to join the Public Defender’s Office. In 2006, she switched sides to become a prosecutor with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Having worked with children for many years in the City of Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, Christine now specializes in cold case and vehicular homicides. Outside of court, she is often found kickboxing, cooking, baking, or visiting with her niece and nephew.
Picture and bio coming soon!
Mary Catherine Washo
Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Mary Catherine is a Richmond native who recently moved with her husband David, son Michael, and dog Stash. After graduating from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she started her career in commercial real estate in Washington, DC. At Cushman and Wakefield, she specializes in working with global companies on a portfolio basis to align their real estate with their business needs. In her spare time, Mary Catherine enjoys spending time with family, being outside, doing yoga and trying new restaurants. She is honored to be involved with Connecting Hearts and to show every child they are loved.