Michael Town joined Virginia LCV as its Executive Director in June, 2014. Having grown up in Southern Maryland, New York State and Pennsylvania, he moved to Virginia to attend James Madison University, where he fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Commonwealth.
He has lived in Richmond since 1995, and is the father of four children and step-father of two. His 26 years of experience working in the conservation community includes running both state and national conservation organizations. Since his time at Virginia LCV he has helped build the organization into one of the most politically influential nonprofits in Virginia.
Lee Francis started work at Virginia LCV as its communications manager in early March 2015 and was promoted to his current post in the fall of 2018. Previously, he worked as editor of the (Hanover) Herald-Progress, a weekly newspaper based in Ashland. His tenure there followed a three-year stint in the Northern Neck of Virginia, where he served as managing editor of three weekly newspapers: the Westmoreland News, Northumberland Echo and Northern Neck News.
Lee graduated in 2006 from James Madison University with a bachelor’s of arts in English. In the spring of 2014, he completed a graduate degree in multimedia journalism through Virginia Commonwealth University’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.
Lee grew up in rural Nelson County, nestled in Virginia’s majestic Blue Ridge mountains, where conservation and environmental stewardship have always been near and dear causes.
Shantane Tho joined the Virginia LCV staff in September, 2021 and is the Chief Financial Administrative Officer (CFAO). She provides strategic leadership for the organization’s finance and administrative functions, as well as for the management of its financial resources and capital. Shantane has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and over 14 years of experience spanning finance, project management, and business administration within the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
As a Virginia native, Shantane has worked with local non-profit organizations on environmental sustainability, conservation, affordable housing, and providing resources to vulnerable communities. She is passionate about working with organizations focused on the societal impact of their work and are committed to racial justice and equity. She currently serves on the board of Reach Out Center 2.0.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, and interior design. She currently resides with her husband and three children in Chesterfield, VA.
Trevor joins Virginia LCV after serving VCU for over 5 years in different capacities. Most recently, he served as the Associate Director of Development for Massey Cancer Center. Trevor has the experience of a large organization, closing multi-million dollar gifts, but started his career in smaller nonprofits cutting his teeth on basic fundraising principles. Trevor is thrilled to join VALCV and grow the organization through private philanthropy to further our mission and vision.
Sarah Ahmed, based in Richmond, is the Statewide Field Director for Virginia LCV and has been with the organization for 6 years. Sarah first got involved in political organizing in 2017, working at the Progressive Turnout Project to ensure high voter turnout for the 2017 Gubernatorial VA Elections. She then briefly moved onto the world of Social Work and Human Resources, working at the Counseling Alliance of Virginia in Richmond as HR Coordinator right before switching to a life of environmental and civic advocacy, and finding a true passion and her career at Virginia LCV. Sarah Ahmed joined Virginia LCV in February of 2018, coming into the organization as a Field Organizer with the VA Climate Action Team of LCV National, where she played an important role in mobilizing and educating voters who saw environmental issues as a top priority. Sarah then moved to the position of Deputy Director of Voter Registration for Virginia LCV before finally becoming Statewide Field Director, the position she remains in today. In this role, Sarah leads our Grasstops/Stakeholders Program Field Team. Sarah's passion for civic engagement and environmental advocacy is equivalent to her love for breakfast, stand-up comedy, and a strong internet connection.
Chris Leyen joined Virginia LCV as senior policy manager in December 2020. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff to Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) starting in June 2016.
Chris graduated in 2015 from the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s of arts in Biological Sciences, a concentration in genetics, and a minor in law, science and public policy. From 2013 though 2015 he worked as a research technician in the Harrington, Hoffman and Mazourek labs engaging in veterinary and agricultural entomology research as well as plant breeding.
Chris grew up in Discovery Bay, California on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where early exposure to water quality, climate change, agricultural and recreational access concerns engendered an early appreciation for conservation and environmental stewardship.
Olivia Macior joined Virginia LCV as the Communications Manager in January of 2024. In March of 2023, she graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a double major in Environmental Studies and Communications.
While at UCSB, Olivia focused her studies on environmental justice. She worked as a research assistant on the Global Environmental Justice Project and started a nature-based education program, titled “Acorns to Oaks”, for low-income, minority elementary students. Olivia is very passionate about the intersection between digital communications and conservation.
After graduating, she gained further experience in creating effective communications as the Social Media Manager and Photographer for Paradise Guest Ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming.
When she's not at VALCV, Olivia loves to spend time outside, whether backpacking, climbing, or surfing. She is also an avid oil painter and photographer.
Andrea Kaniecki joined Virginia LCV in January of 2024 as the Development Manager.
Previously, she has fundraised for a variety of national progressive candidates and causes. Andrea started her career in NJ-11, working on the finance team for Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s 2022 frontline race for re-election, where she helped raise over $6 million dollars for the race. Andrea also spent time in New York City at Berger Hirschberg Strategies, where she served as the Development Manager and fundraised for a number of non-profit organizations and progressive candidates across the country. As a proud born-and-raised Virginian and VCU alum, she is excited to return to her home state and join VALCV’s cause. In her free time, she can be found enjoying live music, continuing her search to find Richmond’s best cappuccino, and religiously completing the NYT’s daily mini crossword.
Catherine Setaro joined the Virginia LCV staff in August 2021 as the Hampton Roads Organizer. In May of 2020, she graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Environmental Policy and Planning and a minor in American Indian Studies. During her time at Virginia Tech, she traveled throughout the state working for Undergraduate Admissions in Diversity Recruitment. She also spent some of her free time volunteering with nonprofits to encourage civic engagement across campus. After graduating, she gained more experience in nonprofit work as a Communications Officer for Native Americans in Higher Education and Mentorship. She has spent the majority of her life in the Richmond area and enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family, kayaking and cooking.
Jordan joined Virginia LCV in June of 2022 as the Northern Virginia Organizer. As a life-long Virginian, Jordan has had the pleasure of spending a lot of her time in our state’s parks and natural spaces. She spent the majority of her young life as a participant, volunteer, or employee of local 4-H programs where she fostered her love of nature and community building. While studying Political Science at the University of Mary Washington, Jordan was an active part of the campus community by participating in civic engagement initiatives and serving as leader in the Student Government Association. After college, Jordan worked as a session clerk for the Virginia House of Delegates and later as an Assistant Registrar for the City of Fredericksburg. Jordan now lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia and loves spending her time on the Rappahannock River and patronizing the many amazing coffee shops in town.
Jenny Morand joined the Virginia LCV staff in 2022 as the Richmond Organizer. Jenny is a lifelong Virginian and dedicated community activist who resides in North Chesterfield with her family. Growing up in Henrico, Jenny studied performing arts. She attended an 'acting for camera' course in New York and worked on independent film projects there and in Canada. But Jenny felt most at home living and working in downtown Richmond, immersed in the arts district, and in 2010, her family opened a cafe in historic Jackson Ward. When Jenny became a mother, she heard the calling to support other new parents as a birth and postpartum doula. During that time, she joined the fight to protect breastfeeding and reproductive rights in Virginia. For ten years, Jenny developed content for a national reading assessment program and began advocating for improvements in public education. In 2020, Jenny was proud to work for the Virginia LCV's Voter Education Fund, leading an outreach team in Petersburg during the pandemic. Through climate advocacy and environmental justice work, Jenny exercises her passion for civic engagement and voting rights and works to build a safer commonwealth for her children. Jenny enjoys volunteering for progressive candidates, relaxing in her husband’s garden, and watching her kids develop and grow.
Toni Robinson is the Finance Assistant at Virginia LCV and has been an accountant for 20 years working with companies and clients in both the public and private sectors. When she is not “counting and categorizing”, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren as well as spending time outdoors hiking with her husband.