JumpStart Career Development Conference

At the JumpStart Career Development Conference, discover your career interestes and maximize your networking potential. Use the links below to discover all that JumpStart has to offer.

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When: Sept. 23, 2017


  • Keynote talk: Bondurant Auditorium featuring Stephan Cassaday '76
  • Workshops: College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building
  • Networking lunch: Muse Banquet Hall

How do I register: Registration is open. Register online through Handshake. Once in Handshake, click on EVENTS. Choose JumpStart Career Development Conference

The JumpStart Career Development Conference is an immersion experience helping you discover your career interests, obtain skills to succeed, maximize your networking potential and thrive on your career development journey.

Program of Events (PDF)


Register in Handshake for the JumpStart Career Development Conference

For more information or assistance registering, email csc@radford.edu. 

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Keynote Speaker


Stephan Cassaday '76

Bachelor of Science in psychology, minor in business

Steve Cassaday has been advising investors professionally since November of 1977. He has held senior and/or management positions with several major New York Stock Exchange member firms. In 1993 Steve abandoned the traditional Wall Street brokerage model and started Cassaday & Company, Inc. in order to provide comprehensive integrated wealth management services to investors seeking independent, objective and impartial guidance. As of April 1, 2017 Cassaday & Company, Inc. has 43 employees and manages $2.1 billion on a discretionary basis for over 1,400 households throughout the United States.

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Schedule of Events


Bondurant Auditorium

8:00 AM -  9:30 AM

Welcome - Keynote

Bondurant Auditorium

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Concurrent Session  I          

College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences  

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Industry Networking Luncheon

Muse Banquet Hall

11:45 PM  - 1:15 PM

Concurrent Session II

College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences

1:30 PM  -  2:30 PM

Concurrent Session  III

College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences

2:45 PM  -  3:45 PM

Networking Hour/ Tail Gate

College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences

3:45 PM

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Featured Workshops, Panel Discussions, Highlander Chats and Networking Luncheon Tables

Featured Workshops

Everyone Communicates but Few Connect

The ability to connect with others begins with understanding the value of people. When thought, emotion and action are congruent, connecting goes beyond what we say.

How to Negotiate an Offer

Provides insight into the process, offers thinking points and helps you prepare for the next steps in securing the right position for you.

Me, Inc.: Personal Branding

You will learn how to use the same business principles that a major company would use to develop, market and sell their products and apply them to yourself as the product of your company.

Additional Workshops

  • Networking: How to Enter a Room and Have Meaningful Conversations: Explore practical ways to set yourself up for success.
  • Creativity: Capture and Capitalize: Creative techniques that can be implemented regardless of your discipline or passion.
  • Elevator Pitch - Improv Techniques
  • Effective Leadership - Find Your Inner Passion: Participants will gain a greater understanding of the characteristics of effective leadership.
  • Networking and Communication Skills: Networking should always be done with an intention, and not just to collect business cards and be seen. Set a goal for yourself and find a networking opportunity that meets the goal.
  • Go Team Go!: Team building - learn the five characteristics that you can personally bring to make your team more effective. Fun, interactive exercises to illustrate each of the five characteristics.
  • How to Manage your Money Like a Millionaire
  • The Arts of the Modern Resume: What Sells You, on a Resume?

Featured Ted Talks | Highlander Chats

Networking: Developing & Maintaining Personal Learning Networks
What's the Difference? The Gender Pay Gap
Careers in IT

Additional Ted Talks | Highlander Chats

  • The Emoji Career
  • Changes in Health care
  • Three Career Strategies Veterans Need to Know about in Today's Job Market
  • Nuts & Bolts: Handshake
  • Nuts & Bolts: Portfolium
  • Nuts & Bolts: E-portfolio

Featured Panel Discussions

Graduate & Professional School
So You Want to Work for the Government?
The Change in Leadership in the Economy Today

Additional Panel Discussions

  • Careers in Art & Design
  • Careers in Media
  • Veterans: From Boots to Suits
  • The Future of Criminal Justice
  • Young Alumni Panel
  • Preparing for a Career in Criminal Justice
  • Athletes: From Star Player to Star Leader
  • Ace the Interview
  • Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Featured Networking Luncheon Tables

Start Ups & Entrepreneurs
Healthcare & Human Services

Additional Networking Luncheon Tables

  • Government and Political Science
  • Non-Profit
  • Veterans & Military
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Liberal Arts & Other
  • IT & Technology
  • Graduate School
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Presenters and Speakers

N. Ray Tuck Jr. '94


N. Ray Tuck Jr., D.C. is a Virginia native and has resided in Southwest Virginia for his entire life. He is a Pulaski High School Graduate and also a 1994 graduate of Radford University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Science.

While in college, Dr. Tuck worked for his father, a Chiropractor, and saw incredible transformations in the lives of patients. He saw how his father would treat patients that were unable to walk and have them back on their feet, walking again – without the use of drugs or surgery. Dr. Tuck was amazed and knew that he wanted to be part of this profession that had such a significant and positive impact on the lives of others.

He was inspired to further his studies and earned his second Bachelor of Science, in Human Biology, and his Doctorate of Chiropractic from The National College of Chiropractic. After completing his education, he returned to Southwestern Virginia to work alongside his father Nathan Tuck, Sr. D.C. In 2002, he purchased the Christiansburg and Blacksburg clinics from his father. What began as two practices has now grown to 11 practices spanning from Galax to Bedford, Pulaski to Rocky Mount, and all areas in between. In 2011 Tuck Chiropractic Clinic was named one of the top 50 rising and growing companies in Virginia by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Tuck is a member of the Virginia Board of Medicine, which the Governor of Virginia appointed him to. This is an exciting role for him because he firmly believes in the need to collaborate with other medical professionals to advance the state of healthcare and chiropractic care. Dr. Tuck is currently on the Board of Governors to the American Chiropractic Association, which is a tremendous honor. Dr. Tuck, along with other doctors at Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, works with multiple sports teams including Radford University, Ferrum College and the Christiansburg High School Blue Demon Wrestling Team.

Andrew Barnes


Andrew has been a member of the Wells Fargo family since 1999. He joined the bank as a HR recruiter, along with currently supporting the Enterprise, as a Project Manager leading Veteran and Early Talent strategic initiatives.   

Through the years, he has become involved with veteran recruiting and is on the Board of Directors of the Veteran’s Team Member Network as the National Outcomes Chair.  He is the project manager for Cell Phones for Soldiers, a VTMN nationally sponsored campaign.   He is heavily involved in working with veterans to decode their military resumes, along with helping the transition into a corporate environment.   In 2012, Andrew received the Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. In 2014, Andrew started the Appalachian Warrior Foundation, an organization that assists military veterans.  The same year, Andrew created the Dr. Thomas L. Barnes Veteran Scholarship Fund in honor of his father who was the Director of Students at Wytheville Community College (VA) and a Retired Naval Captain (O-6). The scholarship helps provide educational needs to student veterans.

He served honorably in the US Navy Reserves, as a Petty Officer from 1992-2000 with the Seabees and was attached to Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 DET 106, in Little Creek, Virginia.  

He has an associate degree from Wytheville Community College in Education and is a graduate of Radford University (Virginia) with a BS degree in History.   Andrew sits on the Board of Directors for Charlotte Bridge Home, a 501c3 veteran non-profit, that Wells Fargo supports and as the Chairman for the US Army Advisory Board, along with leading the Charlotte Veteran Employment Initiative Roundtable.

Major Wendi L McBride-Rentschler


MAJ McBride-Rentschler enlisted into Alpha Company 299th Forward Support Battalion in 1997 as a 92A, Automated Logistical Specialist. After reaching the rank of E-5, she attended OCS and was commissioned in the Quartermaster Corps in July 2004.

Military and Civilian Education: MAJ McBride-Rentschler earned  a Bachelor of Science Degree  from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and a Master’s Degree in General Administration from Central Michigan in MT. Pleasant, Michigan. She is also a graduate of the US Army Quartermaster Center and School’s Officer Basic Course, Fort Lee, VA; the Combined Logistics Officer’s Captain’s Career Course, Fort Lee, VA and the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Assignments: After commissioning, MAJ McBride-Rentschler’s first assignment was as the Supply Support Platoon Leader, Alpha Company, 626 Brigade Support Battalion, Fort Campbell, KY in December 2004 were she served in Operation Iraqi Freedom III and IV from September 2005 thru August 2006. In January 2009, she was selected to be the Company Commander, HHC 782nd Brigade Support Battalion in Fort Bragg, North Carolina where she served in Operation Enduring Freedom from August 2009 thru August 2010. After finishing Company Command, she held several staff positions to include Distribution and Integration Branch Chief, Supply and Service Branch Chief and Operations Officer. In 2015 she became the Brigade S4 for 35th Signal Brigade. MAJ McBride-Rentschler current position is Assistant Professor of Military Science at   Radford University.

Awards and Decorations: MAJ McBride-Rentschler’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (OLC), Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War of Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, and Parachute Rigger Badge.

MAJ Wendi McBride-Rentschler resides in Radford, VA with her husband Jeff and son Jaxon.

Major Eric Horton


Major Eric Horton retired in 2014 after serving 20 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, serving throughout the United States and the Republic of South Korea and Iraq.  Eric decided the retired lifestyle suited him well, so he works part-time as a substitute school teacher in Wythe and Pulaski counties and currently is a football coach for the Pulaski County Middle School team. Eric's passion is helping prepare young people for the future. He is an avid golfer and father to three adult children who are in college in South Carolina and Kentucky, and in the U.S. Air Force, and one child who is a junior at Pulaski County High School.

Sofia Abraham-Hardee, D.O., Ph.D., FAAP, FACOP


Sofia Abraham-Hardee D.O., Ph.D., received her B.S in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She completed a post baccalaureate program from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She received her osteopathic medical degree from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. She also completed her Ph.D. in International Health Education from Virginia Tech in 2008. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania in June 2011. Dr. Abraham-Hardee is a board certified pediatrician at New Beginning Pediatrics in Blacksburg, VA and is Department Chair for Pediatrics at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Ashley Buckhannon '13

Ashley Nicole Buckhannon majored in sports medicine at Radford University. She played Guard for the university's women's basketball team, where she became the 20th member of the 1,000-point club. Ashley said she that since leaving Radford, she “started out getting a job from the RU internship through Roanoke County Parks and Recreation, then got a full time job at a Respite Crisis house known as R.E.A.C.H. in Radford through New River Valley Community Services, then to Mainstream Mental Health Services working with adults that have Mental health to promote independence (currently part time with them still) and I am working Full Time at Rivermont School in Roanoke in the Autism Program as a Mental health associate/classroom counselor.” 

Abraham ‘Billy’ Hardee III D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Hardee D.O/ PhD received his B.S in Science of Food Nutrition with a minor in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2002. He was also a one year lettermen on the Virginia Tech Baseball team. He received his osteopathic medical degree from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. He also completed his PhD in International Health Education from Virginia Tech in 2008. He completed his traditional rotating internship from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville Pennsylvania. He also completed his Family Medicine Residency at Montgomery Regional Hospital, Blacksburg.

Dr. Hardee is a board certified Family physician who practices medicine and is CMO of the Community Health Center, New River Valley. He is also a staff physician with Med Express Urgent Care. Dr. Hardee also his associate Professor at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he also precepts students on international medical missions to Central America twice a year.  He is also very active in multiple community activities, and has many speaking engagements covering a plethora of topics from medicine, life, religion, and motivational speaking.  He is married to his best friend and they have two young children.  

Herb Grant


VP & General Manager, ABB Inc

Herb has worked industry throughout his career. Beginning with GE in their Lighting business, he progressed in sales and marketing roles including channel management in the Lighting headquarters.  From their he worked with Hubbell Inc, the role that brought him to the New River Valley in the mid '90s where he focused on product management and regional sales management. ABB Inc approached him to drive profit improvement in their largest US division based in Missouri. This challenge was met and followed by successive roles where he has worked globally and regionally across the global, matrixed organization to lead change, growth and profit improvement. 

He and his wife of 33 years have 3 adult children and reside in the New River Valley.

Daniel Farhat, Ph.D.


Highlander Chat:  What’s the Difference? – The Gender Pay Gap

Dr. Daniel Farhat is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Radford University. His central research interests are in macroeconomics, simulation economics, social economics, labor economics, health economics and economic methodology. His recent work includes agent-based simulation models in: human and social capital accumulation and their macroeconomic implications, the evolution of scientific research programs (à la Lakatos), and consumption spending with business cycle dynamics. Dr. Farhat’s other interests include population dynamics (with applications to crime), the study of prosocial behavior and the provision of public goods, culturomics (with application to health), the study of entrepreneurship and innovation, and the use of neural network models in economic decision-making (with application to spending and social networking). 

Kevin Ayers, Ph.D.


The Art of the Modern Resume: What sells you on the resume?

Employers are looking for evidence that prospective employees will fit in and be productive. So how can a student sell themselves and demonstrate that they have what it takes? This workshop focuses on the resume as a tool to help students get interviews and avoid common mistakes that get resumes ignored.

Dr. Ayers is an Associate Professor in the department of Health & Human Performance at Radford Univeristy. He received his doctorate from Florida State University in athletic administration, a master of education from The Citadel, and undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Ayers' expertise and interests include financial aspects of sport, sport marketing and youth and college sports.He is a member of NASSM, CSRI, The Drake Group and VAHPERD.

Lisa Ghidotti


Panel Discussion: So you want to work for the government

Lisa Ghidotti is Radford University’s Director of State Government Relations.  She serves as a liaison to advance the University’s priorities and represent the University’s position on issues with the Virginia General Assembly and state government officials.  With almost 15 years’ experience in higher education government relations, Lisa has established a broad array of relationships in the executive and legislative branches of Virginia state government.

Graham Glynn, Ph.D.


Career Development: E-Portfolios

Dr. Graham Glynn is currently the Provost & VPAA at Radford University. Graham is a native of Ireland where he earned his B.Sc. in Pharmacology and Biochemistry from University College Dublin. He emigrated to the US in 1985 to pursue his doctorate in Neuroscience at Kent State University. The study of cognitive neuroscience led to an interest in how students can be taught to learn more effectively, and how faculty can better support the learning process. This led to his first administrative role at Creighton University where he provided faculty peers with assistance with learning technologies, eventually leading to the launch of the World’s first online school of pharmacy. Subsequent administrative appointments at Penn State and Stony Brook broadened his interests and support roles into pedagogy, assessment and the provision of effective learning spaces. Curricular design was added to his interests as Vice Provost & Dean of College Wide Programs at Mercy College, and overall organizational leadership and development as Provost at FHSU.

Further information is available at http://GrahamGlynn.com.

Gary Schirr, Ph.D.

Radford University Office of Public Relations

Networking: Developing and Maintaining Personal Learning Networks

Associate professor of Marketing at Radford University, Gary teaches social media marketing, innovation and professional sales. His research interests are service innovations and service or B2B sales. "I Love my 'Life 2.0' in the mountains of Virginia."

Before starting his academic career, Gary spent over twenty years selling and developing services. Some of Gary’s more recent pre-academic jobs included running the Asian derivatives subsidiary of a Wall Street firm, heading new product development at two online startups, and operating a solo consulting firm providing sales and marketing management to startup operations.

Ed Clyburn '94


Communication:  The Emoji Career

Description:  There seems to be an emoji to express everything.  Happy, sad, mad, confused.  You can express it with an emoji.  Ever wish you could express yourself as easily in other areas of your life?  Like how to express the value your degree may hold in other industries or professions.  Let's spend a few minutes discussing the possibility.  You may discover new opportunities are just an emoji away.

Ed spent 19 years in education teaching high school and coaching football/track.  In 2008 he changed careers to financial industry.  He is now a Limited Partner with Edward Jones.

Allison Felix '01


Bachelor of Science in communications, concentration in public relations
MBA from George Mason University in 2011

Allison Felix is the Chief Operating Officer at Cassaday & Company, Inc. Allison is responsible for helping the firm scale its operations and reports directly to the firm’s CEO. In this role, Allison manages the company’s Marketing Initiatives, Information Technology Efforts, Client Billing Operations, Financial Reporting, Human Resources, Administrative Support Team, and Facility Management. Allison is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. or Cassaday & Company, Inc., and does not offer securities or investment advisory services.

In her spare time, Allison spends time with her family, and enjoys reading and watching her favorite New England area sports teams. Allison currently lives in Sterling, Virginia with her family.

Sean Gallahan '08


Bachelor of business administration in finance

Sean Gallahan '08, CFP®, CMFC®, is a First Vice President at Cassaday & Company, Inc. and has been with the firm since 2008. Sean provides comprehensive strategies for his clients’ financial planning needs. Using a model of integrated wealth management, he guides his clients through all of the complexities associated with personal finance, which include investment management, retirement planning, cash flow generation, income and estate tax planning, and insurance. By working collaboratively with CPAs, estate planning attorneys, and insurance agents, Sean seeks to become a central resource for all of his clients’ financial affairs.

Outside of Cassaday & Company, Inc., Sean donates his time as a Wish-Granting volunteer with Make A Wish® for their Mid-Atlantic chapter. He currently lives in Ashburn, Virginia with his wife, Zari.

Chad Cassaday '08


Bachelor of business administration in management

Chad Cassaday '08, CMFC®, is the Director of Information Technology and has been with the firm since 2008. Chad began his tenure at Cassaday & Company, Inc. as a Research Associate, eventually transitioning into an IT Administrator role after taking charge of a number of the firm’s investment software applications.

As the Director of Information Technology, Chad is responsible for the organization, migration, and execution of the IT functions of the firm. This includes maintenance of all hardware and software in use by Cassaday employees, as well as the research of future technologies.

Chad currently resides with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.

Wendy Eckenrod-Green, Ph.D.


Dr. Wendy Eckenrod-Green joined Radford University’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership in 2013, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Eckenrod-Green has taught courses related to research, human development, and school and community relations. Dr. Eckenrod-Green has been invited to present her research at state and regional conferences. She is an active member of several professional associations and serves as a consultant for university, public schools, and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Eckenrod-Green has also been the recipient of several awards including, the Teacher of the Year for the College of Education and Human Development (2009), Outstanding  Teacher of the Year award from the Radford University chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (2010) and an Emerging Leaders Award for the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (2010).

Caitlyn Scaggs '07


Caitlyn Scaggs, a 2007 Radford University graduate, went from being a police officer to a marketing professional, and ultimately founded her own Marketing company, Blue Mobius Marketing. Her non-traditional background has helped shape her into the successful business person she is today.

Caitlyn is regarded as a thought leader in social media and digital marketing strategy and has an affinity for finding the intersection between creative concepts and overall strategy. Caitlyn is people-focused in all that she does and believes connecting well with others is a critical aspect of both business and life.

Christopher Robinson


Chris Robinson is a Marine Corps Veteran who served as a Tank Crewman from 1988-1996. During his military career, he participated in Operation Desert Storm and was honorably discharged as an E-5. After the Corps, Chris used his GI BILL and graduated with a B.S. in Education from Tennessee Temple University. Mr. Robinson has thirteen plus years of secondary teaching experience on three Native American Reservations. In 2009, Chris relocated to Virginia to serve as a Career Preparation Instructor at the Old Dominion Job Corps in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was here that he began studying Career Development and developed his passion for assisting veterans in transitioning from their military to civilian career path. In 2012, Chris began working as a Career Coach for Wytheville Community College where he earned his Global Career Development Certification. During his time at WCC, Mr. Robinson served as a Military Veterans Academic Advisor and started the first Student Veterans of America Chapter in Southwest, Virginia. Currently, Chris serves as a Local Veterans Employment Representative for the Virginia Employment Commission where he leverages veteran talent to employers.

Craig Stargardt

Craig Stargardt

Craig Stargardt began his 30-year sales career in the contract furnishing industry working for a furniture dealership, where he spent 8 years learning the industry.  In 1995, he joined Maharam, a textile company, where he spent 22 years honing his craft of selling and providing sales training for new hires.  Throughout his career, Craig has been a huge proponent of self-education in order to achieve personal and professional success.

Presently Craig sits on the Advisory Board for the school of Design at Radford University where he helps mentor and prepare students to enter the workforce. In 2012, he started Motivate Forward, a professional development company, where he became a personal strategist providing sales coaching, mentoring, motivational speaking, self-branding and business development.  In September of 2016 he left Maharam to focus on Motivate Forward full time.

Kim Taylor-Wilson '88, '92

Kim Taylor-Wilson is an Alumni of Radford University. She received both her Bachelors and Masters in Communication from Radford.  Kim begin her career working for Media Production Technology and has over 15 years’ experience in the Meetings and Event Planning, Media Technology Field.  Kim has worked with various types of Corporations, Organizations, Congressional Members and Presidential Administration; and, in her career she has consulted with Security Organizations and Advanced Teams of three Presidential Administrations regarding media and audio visual technology. She has extensive experience in Leadership development, Organizational Management, and Team Training. Kim has held the responsibility of Executive Coach and mentor, as he managed over 44 team members in her role as an Area Manager for the DC region for a Swank/PSAV. Additionally, while in this role she has written and delivered management training. After transitioning from the private sector, Kim pursued a career in education, and has previously taught Communication Studies courses at Northern Virginia Community College and Hampton University. She has completed scholarly presentations on “The Arab Spring” and the “Role of Minority Women in Films. Kim’s area of expertise is Leadership, Interpersonal Communication and Nonverbal Communication.  Her future topical areas of research are Business Analysis, Intercultural Communication and Business Globalization.  This fall she will begin pursuing her Doctorate in Business Administration at the American University of Leadership.  Kim currently works as a Contractor for DoDea (Department of Defense Education Activity) in Quantico, Virginia, and this fall she will assume a role as teaching Faculty at the American University of Leadership, in Communication Studies and Intro to Business courses.  Kim is currently the President of RUBANG (RU Black Alumni Networking Group) and a Board Member – Radford University Alumni Board, LLC.

Barry L. Kanode '81


Barry L. Kanode began his career with the Virginia Department of Corrections in 1987 as a Corrections Officer at Patrick Henry Correctional Unit.  In 1990 he promoted to the position of Corrections  Counselor  and in 1998 he assumed the role of Assistant Superintendent at Patrick Henry. In November of 2000, Mr. Kanode became the Superintendent of Patrick Henry and served in that capacity for fifteen years.  In May 2015, Mr. Kanode was transferred to River North Correctional Center as the Assistant Warden and, most recently, was appointed Warden of that facility in February of 2017, where he currently serves today.   Mr. Kanode is a graduate of the Virginia Department of Corrections’ Accelerated Management Development Program, a program designed to enhance Corrections management and leadership experience.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Radford University in 1981. 

Daisy Herndon

Daisy Herndon

Daisy is currently the HR Director for Corvesta, Inc. and has 34 years of Human Resource industry experience, holds an MBA in HR and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

During her career she has navigated through legislative issues, implemented new processes and procedures, negotiated benefit renewals, maintain up-to-date knowledge of best practices, oversee all areas of human resources functions and manage budgets and cost centers.  Daisy has three grown daughters and two grandsons and lives in Roanoke with her husband and two dogs. 

Beverly M. Baker

  • Hometown – Abingdon, VA
  • Graduated College from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN in December 1997 with a BS majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Sociology.
  • Hired with VSP in October of 1998 and graduated May 1999 from the 98th Basic Session.
  • First Assignment was Mecklenburg County VA
  • Transferred to Montgomery County VA in 2002
  • Obtained Specialty in Recruitment in 2003

My current assignment is a Senior Trooper within the Recruitment Unit.  I am currently assigned to Divisions 4 and 6 which encompasses 29 counties in Southwest Virginia.  My responsibility is to locate qualified applicants who want to become the next generation of VSP.  As a recruiter I also assist in Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the selection process.

JP Jenks '83


JP Jenks '83, Summa Cum Laude, Bachelor of Arts, German, Radford varsity soccer, 1980-83, national honor society, George C. Marshall Award, Radford ROTC Cadet Battalion Commander.  Colonel JP Jenks retired in 2010 after serving 28 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, serving in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Iraq, Italy and England and throughout the United States.  J.P. joined the U.S. Foreign Service, U.S. Department of State, as a political officer in 2011, then served as Labor Affairs Attaché in Bogota, Colombia and a Vice Consul in Bridgetown, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.   Over the past two years he served in multiple domestic bureaus, including the Western Hemisphere (WHA) desk as a U.S. - Central American public diplomacy officer, the China desk as a bilateral affairs officer, and a program officer in Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.  JP has a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Defense Intelligence University.   He speaks German and Spanish.   Married to Kathy Jenks, Radford ’82, for 33 years, he is a collector, a cook, a writer/composer/musician, a FIFA-qualified soccer referee, outdoorsman, national park ranger volunteer, and father to two adult children who live too far away in North Carolina and California.  Currently serving in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, J.P. current directs numerous international student exchange programs in support of national foreign policy objectives and serves as a Foreign Service volunteer recruiter.

Ben Wright


Mr. Wright has been employed as a Special Purpose Faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department at Radford University since August 2015.  He has taught classes in a variety of topics to include criminology, corrections, gangs, and criminal justice management. 

Prior to coming to Radford University, Mr. Wright was employed with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) for over 17 years.  Mr. Wright served in a number of roles with the VADOC, serving as warden for his final 5 1/2 years.  

George M. Hinkle

George M. Hinkle was assigned to the position of Regional Operations Chief (ROC) of the VADOC Central Region on September 9th, 2016 after serving more than 2 years as the ROC for the Eastern Region.  Mr. Hinkle began his career as a Corrections Officer at the Virginia State Penitentiary in July 1977. He then served in Counselor roles at the State Penitentiary and Caroline Correctional Unit #2, returning to the State Penitentiary as Treatment Program Supervisor in April 1985. In August 1987 he was promoted to the position of Assistant Warden of Programs at Mecklenburg Correctional Center (MCC) transitioning to Assistant Warden of Operations at MCC in 1988. In April 1993, Mr. Hinkle was promoted to serve as the first Warden at Haynesville Correctional Center. He assumed the position of Warden at Augusta Correctional Center in June 2001. In March 2003, Mr. Hinkle was promoted to the position of Chief Warden at Greensville Correctional Center serving in that role through his promotion to Western Regional Administrator (Institutions) in October 2011. Mr. Hinkle is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and a fall 2013 graduate of VEI (Virginia Executive Institute).  Altogether, Mr. Hinkle has almost 40 years of experience in the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Brian Corcoran '00

Special Agent Brian Corcoran is a Radford University alumnus, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a Psychology minor in May of 2000. S/A Corcoran also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership from Liberty University. S/A Brian Corcoran began his career with United States Office of the Inspector General, HHS in January of 2011. S/A Corcoran serves on the agency’s Rifle Team, assigned to high profile protection details and high-risk warrant service. S/A Corcoran serves as a lead agent on a federal and state task force combating white-collar fraud and prescription drug abuse. S/A Corcoran is also the Roanoke, Virginia Field Office Internship coordinator.

Before working as a Special Agent, S/A Corcoran worked as a police officer with the Roanoke County Police Department, as a Surveillance Officer with the Intensive Unit of Adult Probation and Parole, and served in the United States Marine Corps. S/A Corcoran has worked in several high profile criminal prosecutions and investigations resulting in millions of dollars in ordered fines and restitution to the United States Government. S/A Corcoran was the lead case agent in a recent Deadbeat Dad fugitive case where the target was on the Office of Inspector General’s 10 Most Wanted List. S/A Corcoran collaborated with multiple state offices on the east coast and through the teamwork was able to successfully locate the target and successfully arrest him.

Steve Cooper


Founder of two successful technology companies, Steve Cooper understands exceptional careers: how they’re made, who has them, and how leaders can build organizations around them. Taking what he’s learned from the world of technology and music, plus thousands of interviews, Cooper explores challenges, leadership, and growth with humor and storytelling. He’s also a prolific musician, and has performed for diverse audiences as a keyboard and harmonica player in several bands and ensembles. Over the past decade, he has shared his creative take on exceptional workplaces to corporate and university audiences.

Marquett Smith '85


In his most recent role with Verizon Wireless, Marquett was responsible for leading a team of over 4,800 customer service professionals -- providing national and area level support.  In partnering with my eight support centers we garnered enterprise leading customer satisfaction results, improved industry leading customer retention by 6.5%, drove productivity improvement of 9% YOY and drove direct savings to the bottom line by 17%.

Marquett also served as the president of the Washington/Baltimore/Virginia region for Verizon Wireless; he held full P&L and operational responsibility for a $2.8 billion revenue stream for the US's largest wireless company.  As the driving force behind sales, marketing, customer service, retail stores and network expansion across the tri-state area, he introduced both strategic and tactical initiatives to strengthen competitive advantage as well as shareholder value.

Amanda Reinartsen '16


Amanda Reinartsen graduated from Radford University with a bachelors degree in marketing in December 2016. She also received the Outstanding Marketing Graduate award for the winter Class of 2016. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a honor society that recognizes business excellence. Amanda recently began working as an Account Manager and Marketing Specialist for Blue Mobius Marketing, a marketing company located in Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Kathleen Harshberger '80


Ms. Harshberger is a graduate Radford University, Theatre ‘80, and of the highly acclaimed and respected Protocol School of Washington®. She is a Certified Consultant and Trainer on Business Etiquette and International Protocol, as well as Etiquette for Children, Teenagers and College Students. She holds a separate certification as a Protocol Officer, which is a  trusted advisor and  leader in planning and orchestrating VIP visits, ceremonies, meetings and special events. She is a published author, writing on etiquette and protocol topics. She writes a monthly column on protocol for the Valley Business FRONT.

Eric Thomsen '09


Eric Thomsen is a Radford graduate who specializes in software implementation for Project Management.  Eric understands the characteristics of a well run project: a clear plan, a strong team, clear communication, and bringing the most value to the customer.  Eric is a Project Manager and team lead for JPI, a company focused on government contracting in both Project Management and Software Development.

Hugh Stubblefield '87


Hugh Stubblefield, a proud Radford University alumnus and a brother of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, leads the Corporate Project Management Office at Valley Health developing processes for project governance, prioritization and return on investment evaluations. Mr. Stubblefield has experience with several industries and firms. He was a systems administrator at the Hecht’s Company, System Administration Manager for the Finance and Accounting Department at American Management Systems, and he spent several years at Accenture. In 2012, he began serving as the Administrative Lead for Valley Health's Electronic Health Record system replacement. He holds an MBA, as well as PMP, CPHIMS and CHCIO certifications.

Deron Hurst '00, '08


everis, an NTT DTA company, is a global management consulting, IT, and outsourcing professional services firm doing business with a comprehensive array of industries, including banking and financial, insurance, federal government, health, utilities and construction sectors. With over 17,000 professionals in over 15 countries around the world, we help U.S. companies build international business relationships that produce a far-reaching, global impact.

Mark Simons '95


Mark Simons is a successful businessman who credits his leadership skills to experiences at Radford University.  “I was hard core into Greek life, and took any leadership role I could get.  A lot of that has transferred into what I am doing today,” says Simons. In 2011, Simons was named on the Washington Business Journal 40 under 40 list which honors young, successful business leaders in the Washington D.C. region.

Hugh Hornsby '81


Competitive, energetic sales leader with high integrity and a bulldog, never-quit attitude; 20+ years of success identifying and closing high-impact opportunities and leading teams to accomplish joint goals.

Specialties: New Market Penetration, Strategic Planning & Execution, Manufacturers Reps Management, Customer Needs Identification, Relationship Building, Consultative Sales, Startups & Turnarounds, Key Account Management, Sales Presentations, Team Leadership & Motivation

Kathy '82

Kathy Jenks

Kathy, Radford University, Class of 1982, Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, Radford Cross Country, 1978, Class Treasurer 1978.

Kathy has lived all over the world first as a Military spouse and then as a wife of a diplomat. Kathy's career spanned from summer jobs in NYC during her Radford years to working for Marriott Corporation Health care services as a Food Service Manager/Director to her current job of 15 years as a Contracting Officer with the CIA. Kathy is a proud mother of two successful, well adapted young adults and considers that her greatest accomplishment. Kathy utilizes her Nutrition background to facilitate corporate resiliency and wellness in the workplace and is a CIA recruiter and Hiring advisor. Still running ever since her debut at Radford 34 years ago Kathy hopes for her personal best at this year’s Army 10 miler.

Lisa Bleakley

Lisa Bleakley

Lisa Bleakley is currently, the Executive Director for the Montgomery County-Blacksburg-Christiansburg Regional Tourism Office. She was hired in 2012 to create a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for Montgomery County and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg.  

Lisa previously, worked 18 years for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. She held management positions with the Virginia Beach Special Events and Film Office and the Virginia Beach Convention Center. She has also worked in higher education as an adjunct with Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech. She currently serves on the executive board of The Crooked Road; Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program in Montgomery County.  Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Marketing degree from Hawaii Pacific University and Master of Tourism Administration degree from The George Washington (GW) University. She holds the professional designations of Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Travel Marketing Professional (TMP), and Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA).

As a veteran of the United States Navy, Lisa shares a naval heritage with her husband, Zeke and oldest son, Jeremy. Both sons attended Radford University. Now empty nesters, Lisa and Zeke enjoy weekends camping, and attending music and sporting events.

Charles Cosmato '93, '95

Charles Cosmato

Charles “Charley” Cosmato is the Director of Radford University’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning [CITL] where he leads a team of instructional designers, technologists and new media developers. The CITL team leads the Radford University campus in brave exploration of learning science, instructional technology, instructional design and innovative teaching methodology.

Kellie Wheeler

Kellie Wheeler

Kelli is a Senior Diabetes Sales Specialist with Abbott Diabetes Care. She has been with Abbott for 19 years. She previously worked with Nashville Woman Magazine as an Account Executive. Kelli received her BA from Lynchburg College. She also graduated from AMDA, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy shortly after.

Neesey Payne '10

Neesey's Headshot

Neesey Payne is the bright, bubbly co-anchor on WDBJ7 Mornin’. It’s her smile, one-of-a-kind laugh, and signature phrase, “y’all”, that gets people going in the morning.

A native of Pulaski, Neesey is no stranger to our area. She attended Radford University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Media Studies in 2010. Neesey worked in radio and print media before coming to WDBJ7 in 2013.

She loves to read, blog, cook, shop (she has one big shoe collection), and is passionate about inspiring kids to follow their dreams.

For Neesey, being a journalist isn’t just a job description, but part of her life’s calling. She is honored when people allow her to tell their story.

Neesey owes everything to her family. They keep her inspired to be present in life’s fleeting moments, have an attitude of gratitude, and live each day like the blessing that it is.