Virginia’s Former 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.
Chloe Edwards graduated from Hollins University majoring in English, Multi-Cultural Literature, Creative Writing, and a Minor in Social Justice. Edwards is a proud triplet and has a close connection with her siblings! She has over eight years of experience in the child welfare field as she entered kinship foster care with her siblings at the age of fifteen. This influenced her advocacy and drive to help other youth surpass all odds.
Edwards began her work with Connecting Hearts in May 2015, where she has played a number of roles, from Ambassadorship, Consulting, Directorship, and more! In March 2017, Edwards was recognized by Radio One as one of the top “30 Under 30” Trailblazers initiating change in the Richmond Community. Edwards also started her own non-profit, Chloe Edwards Consulting Services, where her mission is to build a better you that will then build a more powerful community surrounding you! In June 2017, Edwards finished over 900+ hours with AmeriCorps where she participated in distinguished projects such as President Obama’s #Ali75 Service Project.
In her free time, Edwards is a CASA Volunteer. She also serves on the Henrico Too Smart Too Start Board of Directors in order to combat youth drug addiction and alcoholism. Edwards is the Co-Chair of the ADOPT Recruitment Committee, and serves on other community-oriented causes. Edwards is excited to further the CH mission of finding each and every child a permanent, loving home! Her personal mission is to work in connection with other causes to collaboratively build a wonderful future for Virginia’s kids. You can contact Chloe using Cedwards@connectingheartsva.org.
Jessica Carty, LCSW,MSW
Jessica Carty has worked in the Foster and Adoptive field for almost two decades. In addition to Connecting Hearts, she also works part time for Jewish Family Services in their adoption program. She received her clinical license in 2005, which allowed her to counsel individuals, families, and children. Jessica comes with a great understanding of grief and loss as well as experience working with families of origin. She looks forward to helping expand and enhance the already thriving Connecting Hearts program in order to further accomplish their mission to find each and every child a permanent, loving home.
Board of Directors
Barry Moore, Board President
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.