Meet The Leadership Team
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 Director of Community Engagement in the fall of 2018, focusing on social media, fundraising, volunteers and donations. Outside of work, Ashton stays busy with her husband, Eric, and their 4 young children. She loves to find a good deal at a thrift store or yard sale and enjoys listening to podcasts and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Director of Community Engagement
Director of Operations
Ashley is from Mount Jackson, VA where she resides with her daughter and two dogs, Belle and Boone. In her free time, Ashley enjoys traveling and attending as many baseball games as she can.
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, and in 2021 Ashley transitioned into the Director of Shelter Operations role where she was responsible for the direct operations of the shelter. This is where she really found her passion for working with individuals experiencing homelessness as well as advocating for policy change. Ashley received her Associates in Applied Science in the Human Services program from BRCC in 2021 and is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Social Work at Mary Baldwin University. Ashley hopes to continue her work in advocating for the unhoused population in the future with Open Doors.
Hannah is from Harrisonburg, VA where she currently resides with her two dogs and two cats. She enjoys traveling, attending concerts and festivals, spending time outdoors, being creative through painting and drawing, and spending time with her loved ones and pets.
She began working at Open Doors in December 2018 as a Shelter Manager where she discovered her passion for serving the community, especially those facing homelessness. She worked as a Shelter Manager for three seasons. Hannah then gained more experience working with vulnerable populations and developed an administrative skillset through her positions at First Step as a Shelter Manager and at Strength In Peers as the Street Outreach Coordinator and Harm Reduction Services Specialist. Hannah is now back at Open Doors as our Administrative Director.
Colt grew up in Western New York, before moving down to attend Eastern Mennonite University. After graduating he travelled throughout the states and abroad, working as a camp counselor, an advocate for parolee youth, a sous chef, as well as program coordinator for a bicycle shop training youth.
Most recently Colt cycled across the US, from Delaware to Oregon, completing the trip with only three flat tires. He has since moved back to the Harrisonburg area, with a renewed interest in collaborating with the community. Using his experience at previous non-profits he is excited to apply that knowledge in his work with Open Doors.
In his free time Colt enjoys riding his bicycle, drawing and design, as well as hiking and camping in the Shenandoah Mountains.
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.
Betsy Hedrick, Treasurer
Betsy Hedrick is from Dayton, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in accounting. Betsy is currently a CPA and Partner at PBMares, LLP in Harisonburg. She is the youth leader at Dayton United Methodist Church for elementary school age children and that is where she first learned about Open Doors after DUMC participated as a host of the shelter. Betsy is grateful for the opportunity to serve in an organization that extends compassion and support to those experiencing homelessness in our community.
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!
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.
Rachel Jackman was born and raised in Northern Virginia. After graduating from JMU in 2010 with a B.A. in Global Justice and Policy, she and her husband settled in Harrisonburg. Rachel began her professional career as a client support specialist with Rosetta Stone in 2011. In 2014, Rachel knew she wanted a career path that involved a service aspect, so she applied and was hired with the Harrisonburg Police Department. She has experience working in our city's schools, in HPD's criminal investigations division, and is currently assigned to daylight patrol in the north area of the city. Rachel, her husband, and their two children enjoy living in the city and are members at Eastside Church. Rachel is honored and excited to further serve our community by serving on the board of Open Doors!
Ted Rose was born in Roanoke, VA while his father was a student at Va. Tech on the G.I. bill. After school, he took a teaching position with Arlington County Schools. His father held several positions in the Metro area resulting in my first 20 years being spent in the Annandale Falls Church area.
Following in his fathers foot steps, Ted also attended Virginia Tech from 1972 to 76. As is the case with many kids today, he had no idea what he wanted to do. Fortunately, his father had a friend that was part owner of a Kenworth dealership in Springfield. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Kenworth is the premier semi truck on the road today. He took an entry level job there from 1977 to 1979. In 1979, Ted was offered a similar job with Truck Enterprises Richmond. He worked there for 7.5 years holding several positions. In 1986, he was recruited by Kenworth Truck Co. to open a new dealership in Lexington Kentucky for the Worldwide Group. After getting the dealership up and running, Ted was approached by Whiteford Kenworth in South Bend, Indiana to head up their 5 stores. He moved there in 1988 and stayed for 13 years.
In 2000, his father developed Parkinson’s disease. Since he was an only child, he felt it was best to be closer than 13 hours away to help his parents. Ted had kept up with the dealer principal of Truck Enterprises, Jim Hartman, over his time in Indiana. Both served on dealer councils for Kenworth allowing them to get to know each other better. In 2000, his operations were stale. Jim offered Ted a position to oversee his parts operations for his 8 locations. He started with TEI in August of 2000 and remained there until retirement in December 2018. During his tenure there, he was promoted to Vice President in 2006, took over all fixed operations in 2012, and served on the Board of Directors until the end of 2020.
Tammy Kiser is from Dayton, Va. She has been married to Greg for 30+ years, has three adult children and two very fun grandchildren, Connor and Alina. She also has 3 cats and two dogs. A nurse for over 34 years, Tammy has a BSN from EMU, an MSN from JMU, and a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Nursing at JMU, teaching Community/Public Health and Faith Community Nursing. She also recently opened a business, Go-Getters, which offers concierge delivery, transportation, and maintenance services in the local community. Tammy has a passion for the vulnerable homeless population. She strongly believes that providing health care to this population is vital to better outcomes in their future, and she is always seeking ways to improve the care available to our guests.
Dale Dobroth was born into and raised in a military family until he left home to attend college at Murray State University in Kentucky. He and his wife moved to Richmond Virginia after college where he worked for an Environmental Consulting Firm and she completed her Dietetic Internship at MCV. They moved to the Shenandoah Valley in 1980 to start his career at Merck. He retired from Merck in 2011 after 31 years of service and then returned as a contract engineer for another 10 years. While at Merck he worked in Quality, Manufacturing, Technical Operations and Validation.
Dale has always been involved with both his family and the community. He has been both a Cub Master and Scoutmaster in the BSA and a Youth Leader at his church. As a Youth Leader he led a number of Youth Mission Trips both regionally and internationally. He is involved in the Food Pantry at his church as well. He is a volunteer with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (VaMRC) and has worked numerous COVID Vaccination Clinics and is currently coordinating Volunteers to help with the Afghan resettlement effort that is being undertaken by Church World Service (CWS) and Massanetta Springs. Dale became involved with Open Doors as a volunteer serving meals and spending the night at several different Host Churches as well as helping out with the Food Truck Fest. He wanted to become more involved and joined the Board in 2022. He is very excited about the future of the organization and the impact their new direction can have on these clients in need.
Brook Johnson lives in Elkton and has been married to his High School sweetheart Angie for 20 years. Brook and his wife do not have any children, but have helped raise their niece that is like a daughter to them. Also like their kids are their 5 cats and 1 dog. Brook is a full time Firefighter and is a 22 year vet of fire and rescue with Rockingham County. He and his wife helped to plant ImpACT Ministries in 2012 in Elkton. It started with lots of prayer and taking a step of faith along with others. They spent the first two Sundays in their garage, 4 years in Elkton Middle School before moving into Shen Elk Plaza where it is today. As a founding member, Brook is one of the original board members still serving today. ImpACT has been assisting Open Doors with meals and donating items. He has served with Christian Skaters and Christian Surfers. While serving in Action Sports Ministries, he traveled to India where he served and rebuilt a skate park with a mission to educate about human trafficking. Next he found himself in El Salvador, serving on the coast where he worked with surfers, kids at an orphanage, and feeding communities. A year after the first trip to El Salvador, Brook lead a team back to El Salvador where he worked with communities, kids projects and much more. COVID has kept him from planting feet on the ground of El Salvador, but it hasn’t kept ImpACT from continuing to serve there by still being able to help fund the work which helps with employees and clean drinking water. Brook believes his greatest asset is having compassion for people; he does it every shift on the job at Fire/Rescue and at ImpACT Ministries. One of the main things he heads up at ImpACT Ministries is pouring into those that are incarcerated. The other involvement he does is Motorcycle Ministry. The King’s Highway Ride is the main event that Brook has helped host for several years now and the past 3 of them raised funds for Our Community Place.