Meet The Administrative Team
Director of Shelter Operations
Ashley first began her work with Open Doors at the first Food Truck Fest as the event Photographer. She expanded her photography services to taking photos at the shelter. Ashley joined the Open Doors staff in August of 2019 as the Office Administrator. Ashley is currently pursuing her Associates in Applied Science in the Human Services program at BRCC. Ashley hopes to continue her work with Open Doors and the population we serve after graduation. In her free time, Ashley enjoys going to Baseball games with her daughter, and hiking with her dogs.
Ashton first became involved with Open Doors in 2015 by volunteering at the inaugural Food Truck Fest alongside the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class. Raised in Broadway, she stayed local and graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. She joined the staff part-time as the Communication Engagement Coordinator in the fall of 2018, focusing on social media, fundraisings, and donations. After the changes of Open Doors model in 2020, Ashton began to coordinate all volunteers for the shelter. Outside of work, Ashton stays busy with her husband and 4 young children and enjoys listening to true crime podcasts.
Meet The Board
Graham Witt, President
Graham was first drawn to the Open Doors program in 2012 after several summers spent serving those experiencing homelessness in the Atlanta-Metro area. His first experience was serving as host coordinator for his church, Dayton United Methodist Church, in December of 2012 and has continued in that capacity for DUMC since that time. His current role at Dayton UMC is Youth Pastor/Coordinator and has been blessed to serve in this role for the last 10 years.
Graham graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Chemistry, where he also met his wife, now married 23 years, Mary Helen Will. After a short stint in the Army as an Airborne Medic, he completed his MA in Computer Information Systems at Virginia Commonwealth University. His involvement with the community has included PTA president of Wilbur Pence Middle School for 3 years, Turner Ashby High School Band Boosters President for 3 years and is currently on the board of directors with Rockingham Educational Foundation Inc.
Josh Lowe, Treasurer
Josh Lowe works as a Certified Financial Planner with Edward Jones here in Harrisonburg. He graduated from James Madison University with a BBA in Finance and Concentration in Financial Analysis.
Josh is passionate about the flourishing of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. He is blessed to be able to work towards that vision as the President Elect for Open Doors, and also as the treasurer for his Church, Church of the Incarnation.
Emily Shickel, Secretary
Emily Shickel serves as the Volunteer Services Manager at VMRC where she has been employed since 2010. Emily oversees a volunteer program that includes over 500 volunteers and is excited to bring her passion for volunteerism and her local community connections to the Open Doors board. Emily graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a BS in Management & Organizational Development. Emily worked as a night shelter manager during two shelter seasons with Open Doors during which time she enjoyed both getting to know the guests and volunteers, but also sharing ideas and helping to streamline and improve shelter operations/processes. Emily is thrilled to be a member of the board and to help support the operations and mission of Open Doors!
Tammy Kiser is from Dayton, Va. She has been married for over 30 years, and has three adult children and two very fun grandchildren. She also has six cats and four dogs. A nurse for over 30 years, Tammy has a BSN from EMU, an MSN JMU, and a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama. Currently she is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at JMU, teaching Community Health and Faith Comm, Tammy has been very involved in providing health care to the homeless population in the local homeless shelters through the Suitcase Clinic, staffed with a nurse case manager and volunteer nurse practitioners. The Suitcase Clinic travels to the shelter sites each week with supplies in a suitcase, to care for the homeless residents.
Larry Barber was born and raised in West Virginia and came to Virginia in 1971 as a teacher in Bath County. He moved to Rockingham County in 1974 and has lived in Bridgewater for over 30 years. He retired after spending 37 years in education as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Central Office administrator in Rockingham County and Staunton City Schools. Larry & his wife Donna have a son, Thomas who teaches in Salem City Schools and a daughter, Catherine who teaches in Botetourt County Schools. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.
Larry became involved in Open Doors the very first season as a Lead Volunteer at Trinity Presbyterian Church. After his church hosted the first time, he was “hooked” on the mission and purpose of Open Doors. He has been involved every season since and has served multiple terms on the Open Doors Board of Directors. Larry firmly believes that without our faith communities and the surrounding volunteers in our area we wouldn’t exist. He looks forward to many great years ahead in finding creative ways to assist our clients and their many needs.
Liz has been connected with the Open Doors program through Loads of Love for the past several years. She has served as the Youth Coordinator at Bridgewater United Methodist Church for the past 6 years. Liz introduced her group to this outreach program and through that opportunity, many youth groups have joined LOL as a way of serving their community. Liz continues to serve as the coordinator of LOL and thanks all church and community groups that have embraced this program as a way of assisting our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness.
Liz graduated from the University of Oswego with a BA in Communications. She began the cross cultural program to China, being the first student from Oswego to study abroad in Beijing. She moved from NY to VA in 1988 with her newly married husband, leaving Wall Street behind and loving the Shenandoah Valley ever since. Liz is currently a Product Manager at Rocco Building Supplies and has been involved in her community in numerous ways and capacities for more than 30 years. She is honored and privileged to be part of the Open Doors Program.