Meet the CHBS Advisory Board

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley has worked in the media as a writer and public relations professional for 39 years, including the athletic departments at Radford University and Virginia Tech. He has covered Maryland sports for the last 23 years and worked for Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook for 25 years as a freelance writer, among an array of other publications. Ashley has served on Hall of Fame committees of Salem/Roanoke Valley Baseball, the Big South Conference and Radford University athletics – and was also recently voted into the hall. He has been Big South SID Committee chair, on the Virginia Sports Information Directors board and a member of the National Basketball Writers’ Association.



Sherrie Austin

Sherrie Austin graduated Cum Laude in 1998 with a BS in Media Studies with an Anthropology Minor. While at RU, she co-created Radford on Camera (ROC-TV) with Kim Galante and Gavin MacCall. The television show was the University’s first entirely student-produced media and paved the way for many others to form as a result. Currently, Austin is based in Maui, Hawaii and owns Austin ImageWorks, LLC, an event production company specializing in large scale corporate events, video and television production and still photography. Her projects have given her the opportunity to travel the globe and interact with incredible teams of technicians along the way, broadening her personal and professional perspectives.



Robert Barrett

Rob is a 2007 graduate of CHBS with a B.A. in German and a B.B.A in Economics. While at Radford Rob was part of the Student Government Association, Sigma Pi Fraternity, and was a Resident Assistant. After graduating from Radford, Rob studied law and received his J.D. from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he focused on human rights and corporate law, spending a semester in Beijing, China studying their business legal system. In his professional career Rob has worked in three foreign countries, Germany, China, and Azerbaijan, and at two Fortune 200 companies in the US, Lowe's and Advance Auto Parts.  Rob is currently the Senior Privacy Counsel for Intapp, Inc., a SaaS company headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.


Jay Bienlien

Jay Bienlien is a retired Army General Officer and a business and technology executive who specializes in strategies harmonizing process, people, and technology to take companies to the next level in growth and profitability.  He currently serves as the Executive Director for business development for Oracle’s Army and DoD business areas.    Prior to coming to Oracle he served over 35 years in the Army in which he held command and staff assignments in the 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk; 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood; 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks; 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg; Human Resources Command; NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation; United States Army Pacific; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Headquarters Department of the Army; and the United States Army Futures Command.

Jim Bove

Jim Bove is the public affairs officer for the 43d Air Mobility Operations Group and serves as the local public affairs contact for all Air Force units, including four different MAJCOMs. As part of his job, Jim helps to provide communication advice and counsel to host and tenant commanders, senior leaders and staff and serves as the focal point for releases of official information. He also works to plan, development, coordinate, integrate, supervise and assess PA programs, products and activities. This includes communication planning, command information, community engagement, and media operations to achieve mission objectives; and achieves desired communication effects through the integration of all public affairs capabilities.


Jake Crocker

Jake Crocker graduated from Radford University in 1999 with a degree in Media Studies. He also hold an MBA from Virginia Tech. Professionally, Jake serves a variety of roles. His firm Crocker Strategy develops brand and business strategies and he has consulted in projects with Fortune 500 companies to small startups and everything in-between over the past two decades. He is also a restaurateur, as the owner and operator of Lady N’awlins Cajun Café in Richmond. More recently, Jake has taken on the role of Executive Director of the Virginia National Guard Management Group, managing the VNG’s officer and enlisted associations and historical foundation.


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Pattie DeLoatche

Patricia DeLoatche is a senior political advisor in the Government Strategies practice. She also serves on the firm's COVID-19 Task Force. Patricia provides strategic advice to the firm's clients on legislative and regulatory issues before the Administration, the U.S. Congress, and federal and state agencies. Her deep experience and vast network on Capitol Hill uniquely equip her to advocate on behalf of clients. Having worked in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, Patricia also has valuable insight into federal legislative process, which informs her skillful and effective approach to addressing clients' most pressing needs in a wide range of industries including life sciences, trade, technology, and non-profit.


Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kate Dobbins hails from Pulaski County and is a proud 2018 graduate of Radford University. She graduated from the university as Philosophy & Religious Studies Major with minors in Music and English. While studying at Radford, she had the great privilege of being a student of the Honors Academy along with a performer in Radford’s Percussion Ensemble. Kate still lives in the New River Valley and works as a Pastry Chef in Blacksburg. She is enthusiastic about championing diversity in Radford’s Alumni Board along with supporting efforts to help students study abroad.


Kay Dunkley

Kay Dunkley serves as the Executive Director of the Roanoke Higher Education Authority, and she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Radford University and a doctorate from Virginia Tech.  She has served in various senior leadership positions at VT, the Virginia Community College System, and in two public school divisions.  Kay serves on the board for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and is an active participant on the executive Committee and the Chamber’s Foundation. Her passion is connecting the resources of an academic environment to meet the workforce training needs of the region.

Jane Elizabeth

Jane Elizabeth graduated from Radford University in 1978 with a degree in journalism. She has been an award-winning journalist and newsroom leader at several media organizations including The Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. She has taught journalism at four universities around the country, and is currently a media consultant and educator.


Scott Light

Scott Light is a proud 1991 RU graduate, and Radford prepared him for a career in journalism that spans nearly 3 decades, across 4 continents and interviewing along the way more than 15,000 people. At Radford, he was taught to study, hustle, get involved, and hone your craft. Highlanders just work harder and have a lot more fun too, which he sees with his involvement with the CHBS Alumni Advisory Board. He and other Board members are re-connected to this beautiful campus, to terrific students and the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences where the arrows are pointed nothing but up! He lives in Columbus, Ohio and his best friend here is a fellow Highlander who lives nearby. Go Radford University network.


Jeffrey MacKinnon

Jeffrey MacKinnon has spent the past twenty-five years on the front lines of the important public policy debates in Washington. He began his career in the office of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx), and for eight years covered a wide range of issues including energy, the environment, health care and telecommunications. For the last four years of his tenure with Mr. Barton, he was the congressman’s legislative director. Mr. MacKinnon worked extensively on all titles of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. He was Director of Legislative Affairs for the Interstate Natural Gas Association (September, 1993-January, 1995), then joined the law firm as a partner and is now entering his sixteenth year in this capacity.

Curtis J. Martin II

Curtis J. Martin II is a 1992 graduate of Radford University and is the Managing Partner for The Law Offices of Curtis J. Martin II in Atlanta, Georgia.  Curtis was formerly a partner at two major law firms and developed a national practice in the areas of business and employment litigation. He has successfully defended and tried cases nationally, representing a full spectrum of clients from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies.  Curtis has extensive experience representing clients in state and federal courts in claims involving breach of contract, business torts, premises liability and employment matters. Curtis represents clients in various industries to include manufacturing, banking, hospitality, entertainment and transportation. Curtis is active in his community and serves on volunteer boards focused on youth and diversity initiatives.

Jonna McGraw

Russell Pompa

Mr. Pompa is a retired Special Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where he spent 32 years investigating local, regional and international drug trafficking cartels.  He has served in various duty stations to include, Washington D.C., San Ysidro, California, San Diego, California and retired in July of 2021 from the Norfolk, Virginia Resident Office. Prior to his employment with the DEA, Mr. Pompa was a uniformed patrol officer with the City of Fairfax, Virginia for more than four years. Mr. Pompa is a 1984 graduate of Radford University where he received BS in Criminal Justice.

Cynthia Price

Cynthia Price, associate vice president, leads University of Richmond’s media and public relations, multimedia, and UR Now teams. An expert in earned media, crisis communications, and reputation management, she has helped universities, international non-profits, and other organizations strengthen their brands and garner favorable press in the national media. She is a past president of the National Federation of Press Women and was named its Communicator of Achievement in 2012. She frequently presents at conferences and has won numerous national communications awards. She graduated from Radford University in 1987 with a B.A. in English with minors in journalism and German.


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John Rainbolt

John Rainbolt is the Director of Public Affairs for Alliant Energy, where he is responsible for leading federal legislative and regulatory government relations efforts for Alliant and its subsidiary companies. In this position, John is responsible for developing and implementing federal government relations strategies on public policy issues of priority to the company, and developing and maintaining relationships with key congressional, regulatory, and administrative personnel in Washington, D.C. He also leads the state-level public affairs team for Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin and Iowa utilities.


Ed Reams

Ed is a 1991 graduate of Radford University with a degree in Journalism. He joined WREX in Rockford, Illinois as General Manager in May of 2021. Before coming to Rockford, Ed was the News Director at sister-station WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin since September 2014. Ed has also served as Assistant News Director at WISN – TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and News Director for WHSV – TV in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Before his management roles, Ed was an anchor and reporter at WDSU in New Orleans for eight years and was part of the team covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. He has also worked at TV stations in Atlanta, Raleigh, and Roanoke.



John Shehan

John Shehan is the Vice President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He joined the organization in February 2000. He is a globally recognized subject matter expert, responsible for NCMEC’s operations related to sexual crimes committed against children. In this executive leadership role, John is responsible for a department of 135+ staff; conducts interviews with news media; testifies on behalf of the organization and provides training and information sessions around the world for the public, private industry, nonprofit organizations, governments and law enforcement agencies.


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Paula Squires

Paula C. Squires is a Virginia-based journalist and author. She has reported for the Virginian-Pilot and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and she is the former managing editor of Virginia Business, a statewide business magazine. Squires has published two books, A Different Kind of Courage, and a history of the Virginia Realtors, the state’s largest professional trade association. Paula graduated from Radford University in 1976 with a degree in journalism.



Holly Stein

Holly Gribble Stein has executive level experience in television production, digital media, marketing, communications, graphics and business management. She is considered a leader in the area of risk mitigation, with ideas and the ability to solve complex problems. Currently, she is consulting and doing contract work, most recently wrapping an eight-part series for National Geographic. She has worked across a variety of industries, including healthcare, media/entertainment, pharmaceutical, and research; with business structures spanning across multiple Fortune 500 companies, a non-profit, small business, and a government contractor. Holly currently resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland and is formerly from Norfolk, VA.

Ivan Thirion

 Iván Thirion is a Mexican-American foreign and public affairs professional and civil society leader based in Washington, DC. He is a Program Analyst at the Open Society Foundations, where he supports the Division Director for Regional Policy in managing U.S.-based foreign policy advocacy campaigns, regional initiatives, and efforts to advance the diversity and inclusion of historically marginalized communities in the U.S. national security field. Iván is currently pursuing a M.A. in Security Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He graduated from Radford University in 2018 as a distinguished Scholar-Citizen Fellow with a B.A. in Political Science.


Lisa Throckmorton

Lisa Throckmorton is Executive Vice President, Public Relations for REQ, a leader in digital marketing and brand management. In her role, she helps lead the charge on day-to-day operations, marketing, and business development efforts for the Public Relations team, which joined REQ through the acquisition of SpeakerBox in 2019.  She serves on Radford University’s Board of Visitors, the Advisory Board for Radford University’s College of Humanities and Behavioral Science, and the Organizing Board of Mindshare, an exclusive organization designed for CEOs of the most promising, disruptive technology and product companies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Lisa holds a BA in English from Radford University.


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Dante Washington

Dante Washington has over 40 years of experience at all levels of soccer in the United States.  He currently is the Director of Team Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Columbus Crew.  He holds every major goal scoring record for Radford University and Big South Conference, with 82 goals and 66 assists over his 4-year career, which makes him the 2nd leading scorer in NCAA Division I Men’s soccer history. He represented the United States at the international level as a member of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team, 1992 Olympic Team, and in the 1991 Pan American Games Team (Gold medalist).  He earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science at Radford and earned his MBA at The Ohio State University.


Karen Wheeler

Karen Wheeler is a 1991 graduate of Radford University with a BS in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Karen's career path primarily led her into the world of federal government contracts where she served as the Director of Contracts at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for many years, as well as held the positions of Chief Procurement Officer and retired as an Executive Vice President and Chief of Human Resources in 2019. Karen now is a consultant to various companies providing guidance and expertise in federal government contracts, leadership coaching, and human resources.


Denise White

Denise White is the President of Coordinated Services Management, Inc. where she has held positions of increasing responsibility since graduating from Radford University in 1983. She provides comprehensive leadership in the management of senior living communities including affordable senior housing, residential living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care, primarily for not-for-profit owners. Denise leads her teams with a passion to serve and meet owner's goals and objectives through strategic planning and effective implementation of programs and services, financial stewardship, and a clear understanding and communication of mission.   She is a licensed nursing home administrator. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Gerontology and a minor in business from Radford University.