Executive Director and
Mandi has been a resident of Southside Virginia her entire life. She attended Radford University receiving her undergraduate in Fashion Merchandising and received her Master of Textiles from North Carolina State University. After graduating she moved back to South Hill where she married her husband Brian and they raise their three children, Bailey, Caroline, and Stella. Life took an unexpected turn when her son Bailey was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3. At that time there were very few resources for Autism in Southside Virginia. Together with Shannon Facchina, Mandi co-founded Families Embracing Autism Together out of a need for education, awareness, and support for her family and others in their situation.
Lynne joined the FEAT Board in 2023 after leaving a career with Google serving 8 years as the Senior Director of Risk and Compliance for their Extended Workforce. Prior to Google, Lynne was with Capital One in Richmond, VA serving several HR Executive Leadership roles over a 15 year tenure. Lynne has a JD and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of TN in Knoxville. Lynne has a strong passion for working with families with special needs stemming from her son who is on the spectrum and very successfully pushes through his unique challenges. She lives on Lake Gaston in Bracey with her husband Kevin and she is blessed with three children - Leslie, Kendall and Mac and loves her role as Nana to her three grandchildren very much.
Dennis is a retired CPA. He spent a forty year career in public accounting specializing in the field of taxation, splitting that time between two international accounting firms. Dennis received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Virginia and his masters in taxation from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a frequent instructor at his firms’ tax training institutes, panelist at tax conferences, and was published in national tax magazines. Dennis has served on boards of numerous organizations, including those focused on public education, healthcare, business community interests, charitable purposes and athletics.Dennis resides in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife. They have four daughters and seven grandchildren. Dennis enjoys just about any outdoor activity, particularly golf, fly fishing, hiking and cycling. He has a second home on Lake Gaston and enjoys time in, on and around the water.
Secretary and FEAT Founding Member
Taylor has held a career in speech-language pathology since 2009, focusing on medical endoscopy. She graduated from the University of Virginia. Go Hoos! Taylor was inspired for this career path by her brother who received speech services in Richmond, VA twice a week for several years due to the lack of additional services in the area. She resides in Lunenburg County with her husband Chip and three children, Channing, Charlee, and Crew.
FEAT Co-Founder and
Shannon holds a Child Development Associate in ECE and an AAS in ECE. She brings over 20 years of experience in early childhood education and is also the Owner/Operator of Caring Hearts Academy LLC, a childcare facility serving children aged 0-5. Alongside her business endeavors, Shannon is a proud mother of two, grandmother of three, and the wife of one cranky old man (LOL). Shannon’s entrepreneurial skills and passion for early childhood education have driven her success.
FEAT Founding Member
Kristin works as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the community and really enjoys providing for and educating her patients. She graduated with her Master's Degree in Child Health Nursing from VCU in 2010. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her children and her husband. She has two boys and twin girls. She especially enjoys traveling, time by the water, and reading.
Rebecca is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and was born and raised in South Hill. She graduated from Radford University with a degree in Recreational Therapy and has been working in the field for over 18 years. She worked at The Virginia Home in Richmond as a Recreation Therapist and the Volunteer Coordinator from 2003 to 2019 before moving back to her hometown to raise her kids closer to family and friends. Currently, Rebecca works as an Academic Assistant to a spectacular young boy with Autism and received her Autism Certificate from Mary Baldwin University in May 2023. Married to Tom Sontag, she has three kids and two dogs. When she’s not busy helping others, Rebecca loves to dance and work with individuals with special needs by creating an inclusive environment where they can be themselves, make new friends, and do the things that bring joy to their lives.
Aundrea is a career educator with over 15 years experience in the field. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Ferrum College. She has a Masters in Elementary Education from Mary Baldwin University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice in Education from Eastern Mennonite University. She completed her PhD from Liberty University in May of 2022 with a focus on Educational Leadership- K-12 Programs. She is the owner of a full service literacy center / consulting firm in Clarksville, VA where she lives with her 6 year old son. She serves as a literacy coach for a neighboring school division serving grades K-12. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Eastern Mennonite University where she teaches in the Graduate Teacher Education program.