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HomeWAVE Board

Mary Jo Deering, President

Wyngate and Maplewood Neighbors Helping Neighbors, MD

Mary Jo has been active in village initiatives since 2014, when she created and led an intergenerational, no-fee village in her neighborhood and later shepherded its integration with a similar neighboring village. She joined the WAVE board in 2019 and developed WAVE’s successful 2019 conference; she became president in 2021. In her 27-year career in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mary Jo focused on pioneering programs and policies related to health care transformation through consumer and patient empowerment and eHealth technologies. She authored numerous book chapters and served on state and national advisory committees on these issues. Her interest in the role of health technologies to support aging in place, including support for self-care and caregivers and more effective partnerships with healthcare providers, sparked her passion for villages. Her other passions include saving/expanding woods, forests, and neighborhood tree canopies; dog rescue efforts; and, especially, her children and grandchildren who, thankfully, are nearby. Mary Jo holds a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva.

Wendy Zenker, Treasurer

Arlington Neighborhood Village, VA

Wendy is the Executive Director of Arlington Neighborhood Village (ANV) in Arlington, VA. Prior to joining ANV in 2017, Wendy was a Senior Vice President for the National Council on Aging, where she directed the implementation of nationwide programs to improve the health and financial well-being of older adults, especially those with low incomes. She had a 30+ year career with the Federal Government, her last position as the COO of the Corporation for National Service, which oversees the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs. Wendy also serves on the Board of the Village to Village Network.

David Prescott, Correspondence Secretary

Mount Vernon At Home, VA

Dave Prescott has been a resident of Mount Vernon, Virginia since 1975. He is a Charter member of Mount Vernon At Home village. As an MVAH volunteer Dave has provided computer expertise to the MVAH office and to MVAH members, as well as providing transportation and other services to MVAH members. Dave is currently the MVAH Office Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Database Manager, and Webmaster. He is also the WAVE Webmaster and a member of the WAVE Board of Directors where he currently serves as the Corresponding Secretary.

Cele Garrett

At Home In Alexandria, VA

Cele has been the executive director for At Home in Alexandria (AHA) since 2013. In addition to serving on the WAVE Board, she is a member of the Village to Village Network’s annual conference planning committee. She also serves on the Dementia Friendly Alexandria action team. Cele’s prior experience includes ten years with the national office of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in its development office, where she created fundraising tools, training and resources for public television stations across the country. She often served as on-air talent for televised fundraising drives. She also worked for many years on a freelance basis, providing copywriting, public relations, fundraising and project management work for clients that include the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Whitecoat Strategies, Classic Cottages, and several public television stations. She served as co-editor of a national fundraising newsletter (Development Director's Letter) and authored the book chapter “Donor Recognition” for Secrets of Successful Fundraising (F.E. Robbins & Sons Press. She has served as a board member for Running Brooke, a local Alexandria nonprofit. Cele has been a leadership volunteer for several local political campaigns, including a state senate primary race, mayoral campaign and a city council race.
Douglas Gaddis
Silver Spring Village, MD

Doug Gaddis currently serves as executive director of Silver Spring Village, a position he has held since September 2019. Over the preceding 28 years, he served as the chief fund development officer for the Higher Achievement Program, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Interfaith Works, and The Arc Montgomery County. In each instance, he launched the respective organization’s first development department. Since he arrived at Silver Spring Village, he has helped the organization increase its budget by 50 percent, tripled the balance of its operating reserve fund, ended each year with a surplus, managed the merger of a neighboring village into Silver Spring Village, and increased membership by 20 percent. Doug has collaborated with other area villages by implementing the first online system for promoting area villages’ shared programs, leading a political forum featuring all candidates for Montgomery County Executive and Council-At-Large, mentoring start-up villages, serving on the selection committee for WAVE’s new website, co-presenting at the 2022 Village To Village Network conference, and participating in VtVN’s LGBTQ workgroup.

Elizabeth Haile
Bethesda Metro Area Village, MD

Elizabeth Haile has been Executive Director of Bethesda Metro Area Village (BMAV) since April 2017. In this part-time role, and BMAV’s only staff, she works with village volunteers and board members to not only support our 125 members, but provide programming and connections with seniors around the area. She has focused on facilitating connections between villages and shared community resources. She recently helped to draft the FY21-22 Collective Impact Report for Montgomery County Villages.


Elizabeth’s background includes community service as a volunteer and an attorney. As an attorney Elizabeth represented victims of gun violence for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and continues to volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. In addition to working on litigation, Elizabeth represented the organization in debates with the NRA, in press conferences, and in live media interviews on national radio, local and cable television. She also analyzed and drafted proposed state and federal legislation and lobbying memos. Elizabeth’s earlier career was as an associate litigation attorney with major law firms after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. She has been a longtime volunteer and board member with her local public-school PTAs, her neighborhood community association, alumnae association, St Columba's Episcopal Church, DC, and a Girl Scout Troop leader and volunteer. In 2013 Elizabeth was an elected Commissioner for the District of Columbia Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

Maryann Long

Cville Village, VA

Maryann is a native of Upstate New York.  She led the planning committee that launched Cville Village in Charlottesville, VA on 1/22/24. She learned about Villages from reading Being Mortal and volunteered at Capital City Village in Austin, TX before moving to Cville. Maryann worked as a midwifery clinician and educator for more than 35 years and holds a Master of Public Health degree and a PhD in midwifery.  In addition to her work for Cville Village, she is active on the Site Visitor Panel of the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education and on the Workforce Committee of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She is a mother of two and grandmother of three.

Eva Lucero

Dupont Circle Village, DC

Eva is the executive director of Dupont Circle Village, a role she has been in since 2015. She is an experienced non-profit executive with demonstrated success in fundraising, special events, marketing, writing, editing, program development, volunteer management, board relations and office leadership. Eva has lived in Washington for more than 30 years, as well as in Santa Fe, San Antonio and New York City. She holds an MA in Art and Museum Studies/Non-Profit Management from New York University.

Laila Riazi

Cheverly Village, MD

Laila Riazi is co-founder and President of Cheverly Village. She is a dedicated voice for local government and civic engagement, having served as Councilmember for 11 years and through four elections and then elected for a term as Mayor of the Town of Cheverly in 2019. In community, she is an advocate for youth and our planet, having served as a member of the county school system’s Parent and Community Advisory Council, and as a producer of young people’s musical theatrical productions, and currently serving on the local green infrastructure committee and county Climate Action Plan Resident Advisory Group. Her professional roles have included Board and Director roles in Community Crisis Services, Inc., focusing on suicide prevention, homeless services, and crisis support. She is committed to building new forms of partnerships suitable to counties having both wealth and great poverty. Laila’s education background includes a B.A. in Slavic Studies and philosophy; work in international conflict resolution; and graduate studies in international relations.
Leo Sanchez
Mount Pleasant Village, DC

Leo M. Sanchez has been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Village for about 5 years and in the last two years has been an active member on its Board. In addition, he has worked with the Capitol Hill Village, representing Mt. Pleasant, on LGBTQ programs and deliverables such as the LGBTQ Intergenerational Symposium, a DC Village wide Pride celebration, and a “toolbox” designed to assist area Villages reach out to LGBTQ neighbors. Leo has been a resident of Mt. Pleasant since 1996 and fell in love with the neighborhood’s historic connection to the city’s Latino population and its proximity to the National Zoo. He remains an active Cluster Coordinator for Mt. Pleasant Village, a specific effort by the Village leadership to reach out to “inactive” neighbors to keep them informed and respond to any questions about the Village and its mission and programs. Leo retired from Federal Service in 2016. He believes that meaningful strategic alliances, such as WAVE, can help folks who want to age in place as long as possible, as well as those who are younger and love the DC Metro area as much as he does.
Jim Sanders
The Village in Howard, MD

Jim Sanders is a quality of aging advocate. He is Adjunct Professor at the Business of Health Program at Hopkins Carey Business School. He is a leader of Howard County Age Friendly and Community Foundation.  He was a Peace Corp volunteer which led to developing community based programs and business incubators. He has taught MBA programs on social entrepreneurship focused on sustainability, impact, and scale for 30 years. He is a former Board Member of VtV and The Village of Howard County (TVIH).  He is married to a hospice nurse and lives in Columbia Maryland.
Washington Area Villages Exchange
P.O. Box 7464
Alexandria, VA 22307-0464