Gina Apperson, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Gina oversees Developmental Connections' programs, operations, communication and strategies for furthering its mission. Gina joined Developmental Connections in 2013 and became Project Manager in 2015, where she managed activities relating to student programs, fundraising, marketing and administrative infrastructure.
With a background in strategic communications and a passion for nonprofit development, Gina recognizes that collaboration and creativity are crucial ingredients for success in life. She is dedicated to building awareness and programs to help all children expand their social, emotional and creative abilities. When she graduated high school, she was named one of Loudoun County's "Future Leaders" by the Loudoun Times Mirror. Gina graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications.
Daphne Papageorge, Director of Program Development
Daphne Papageorge is a special educator in Loudoun County, Virginia. She is dedicated to educating special learners in a fully inclusive environment and works to create a positive classroom community that fosters risk-taking, collaboration, trust, understanding, and acceptance of differences. Mrs. Papageorge spearheads Developmental Connections’ social learning programs and supports teachers across Loudoun County. She has been recognized for excellence by The Co Teaching Connection for team teaching in inclusive classrooms. She received her Master of Education from George Mason University and is currently pursuing a Master in Education Administration.
Bethany Showers, Project Manager
Native to Loudoun County, Bethany works with the team to manage and execute activities related to program management, fundraising events, community infrastructure, and communication with schools, volunteers, and businesses. Bethany holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in professional writing, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She uses her creative prowess and passion for nonprofit work to help grow Developmental Connections and build more awareness surrounding social learning for children and adults alike.
Board of Directors
Keri Schoenbrun, Founder and President
Keri Schoenbrun is the founder and President of Developmental Connections. Keri is a parent of two boys, one who experienced serious developmental delays as a young child. To support her son’s journey, Keri put her career as a marketing and sales leader aside. She and her husband spent countless hours conducting research and networking to find the right interventions for their child. Through intensive early intervention, Keri's son achieved impressive gains and is now nearly indistinguishable from his peers across almost all developmental categories. As a result, Keri is passionate about helping families expedite their search for help. She is committed to sharing information and generating financial assistance for families who cannot afford these life-changing therapies.
Andrea Vavonese, Secretary
Andrea T. Vavonese is Corporate Director, Division Counsel for Northrop Grumman Corporation. . Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2015, Andrea served as Senior Counsel with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. Andrea has represented government contracting firms on all aspects of dealing with the federal government, including procurement, contract negotiations, protection of intellectual property, changes and compliance. She also represented clients on litigation matters relating to claims against the US Government, contract disputes, intellectual property disputes and construction disputes. She is a member of the D.C. and Virginia Bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and various federal trial and appellate courts. Andrea is committed to supporting the needs of children. In addition to serving on the board of directors for Developmental Connections, she also serves on the board for the National Council For Adoption, a nonprofit adoption advocacy organization.
Meredith Kopit Levien, Director
Meredith Kopit Levien was named chief operating officer for The New York Times Company in June 2017. Meredith oversees the teams responsible for digital product, design, audience and brand, consumer revenue, advertising, live events and new product development. Before joining The Times, she was the chief revenue officer at Forbes Media, where she led the North American and European revenue operations for Forbes.com, the Forbes Magazine Group and Forbes Conferences since 2011.
Alisa Rulnick, Director
Alisa Rulnick, a child welfare policy consultant, works as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues, focusing on U.S. implementation of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. Prior to her work at the State Department, Alisa was a policy analyst and research manager for the Council on Accreditation. Alisa also practiced Employment & Labor law. Alisa received her law degree with honors from the George Washington University Law School, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland Honors Program with a B.A. in Government and Politics. She currently resides in Potomac, Maryland with her husband and two children.
Janis Manalang, Director
Janis Manalang is the founder/CEO/Director of the Key Center. She has a passion for helping others and their families put forth the effort in reaching their utmost potential. Dr. Manalang completed her doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision with Argosy University. Her dissertation study was focused on Cyberbullying.
She earned her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at NovaSoutheastern University located in South Florida. Dr. Manalang is licensed in the State of Florida, Virginia, District of Columbia and currently working on Maryland. She is a member of American Counseling Association (ACA) and other subdivisions. She has worked heavily on her professional development with ACA and has presented in several conferences presenting the following topics: Counseling professional updates, Professional Consultation & Private Practice and Mental Health topics. She appeared in Oprah's OWN network, Unfaithful, Season 2. Dr. Manalang has also taught students in higher education and have also fostered a home for completing internship clinical hours at The Key Center.
She attends and is a member of Grace Covenant Church located in Chantilly, VA. During her spare time and away from professional duties and career endeavors, Dr. Manalang enjoys working out, shopping, traveling the world and spending time with loved ones.