VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter offers virtual fall events

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter, in partnership with the VCU Alumni African American Alumni council and other regional alumni chapters, is excited to bring four series of virtual panels to discuss topics ranging from social justice to financial wellness to women empowerment. Learn more and register below.

Financial wellness webinars

Investing in an Election Year
Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24

2020 has been a year of many major events, including an upcoming presidential election. Regardless of your political views, for investors, the most important part might be how the markets react. Historically, markets sometimes have experienced increased volatility leading up to an election and it leaves many investors wondering, “What’s going to happen to the stock market if this candidate wins?”

We can’t predict the future, but this presentation brought to you by the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter will provide an historical perspective on what the markets have done following elections. It will show historical market reactions to all the various scenarios that have happened with party control in both the White House and Congress. John T. Cinella, associate managing director in the broker/dealer division of MFS Fund Distributors Inc., will discuss how politics can affect personal investments.

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speaker

John T. Cinella is an associate managing director in the Broker/Dealer Division of MFS Fund Distributors Inc., a division of MFS Investment Management. His territory includes central and southern Virginia and West Virginia. He joined MFS in 1993 and has held several client service and sales positions with the firm, serving as a retirement sales representative for three years. In 2000, he was named a regional manager, responsible for sales in eastern North Carolina and southern Virginia. He was appointed associate managing director in 2015. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono and holds the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 6 and 63 licenses.

Becoming a Homeowner
Noon- 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22

Ready to be a homeowner? This session will cover everything from how to weigh the pros and cons of home ownership to how much house you can really afford, down payment options, credit reports and the mortgage lending process. Join the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter and special guests Dave Seibert and Kimberly Fish Andres to discuss financial wellness and becoming a homeowner in today’s economic conditions.

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speakers

Dave Seibert: Founder of the Dave Seibert Real Estate Group, he brings 16 years of sales experience to the table along with an extensive background in building, renovation, design and real estate investing. From learning how to build and fix houses in high school, to buying his first home at age 24 and completely flipping it, he went from selling 11 houses his first year as a Realtor to consistently selling over 100 homes annually. 

Kimberly Fish Andres: With 30 years of experience, Andres has a thorough knowledge of the real estate and mortgage banking industries which has led to her recognition as one of the top 1% loan officers in America. Her focus on customer service coupled with her extensive product knowledge give her the tools needed to assist her clients in obtaining the best mortgage packages designed to meet their financial needs.

Understanding Open Enrollment at Your Workplace
Noon-1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2

Open enrollment typically occurs at the end of each year and is a great time for workers to review their insurance (life, health, disability), retirement plans and other workplace benefits. Join the VCU Office of Alumni Relations and the VACU Financial Success Center for this webinar, part of the alumni finance series, featuring alumnus Joseph Stemmle (B.S.’13/B) with Ameriprise Financial.

Register to learn about the benefits you should be evaluating at this time.

About the speaker

Joseph R Stemmle, CFP, is a financial planner with Ameriprise Financial with nearly 10 years of experience in financial services. In addition, he serves as an adjunct instructor at the VCU School of Business. He has been quoted/published in CNBC Acorns, Advisor News, and Investment News.

A strong advocate for the future of the financial planning profession, Stemmle has also been recognized as a part of the 2020 InvestmentNews Top 40 under 40, which recognizes up-and-comers in the financial advice industry. He serves as the 2020 national president-elect of the Financial Planning Association’s NexGen community, where he leads a community of 5,000 next-generation financial planners. He also serves as the 2020 president-elect for the Financial Planning Association of Central VA chapter where he leads the local community of 350 financial professionals. ​

He earned his B.S. in Finance and B.S. in Real Estate from the VCU School of Business. He received his Certified Financial Planner designation in 2015. Outside of the office, Stemmle is the president of the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter, a member on the VCU Alumni Board of Governors, a member on the Richmond City Treasurer’s Financial Empowerment Board and co-chair of the Alumni Charity Challenge. He has received the 10 under 10 award and Gold Award from VCU Alumni, been named Ameriprise Volunteer of the Quarter for the the past four years and received the VCU School of Business Connect Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for outstanding Organization – VCU Richmond Chapter.

End-of-year Tax Planning
Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12

The end of the year provides a number of planning opportunities and issues to reduce taxes. Year-end topics can include tax planning, investment and retirement accounts, charitable giving, cash flow and savings, insurance and estate planning. Join the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter and VCU Alumni Accounting Alumni Association and special guest Yann Reichelt (B.S.’14/B) to discuss financial planning through tax preparation at the end of the year.

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speakers

Yann Reichelt (B.S.’14/B): He joined the Business Assurance and Advisory Services group in 2015. Yann has experience with auditing procedures, financial reporting, business process reviews and evaluation of internal controls. He specializes in working with private closely held companies in the real estate industry and construction, manufacturing and insurance industries as well as many nonprofits within Virginia. 

Mike Gracik: He is a director at Keiter, and his clients benefit from his 41 years of experience and tax insights. His consulting clients include closely held businesses in the real estate, home building, manufacturing, construction, retail and wholesale industries. He also serves many estates, trusts and foundations. Gracik has significant knowledge and experience in planning and structuring acquisitions and sales of businesses, succession planning, executive compensation and benefit programs, estate planning and administration, tax issues of nonprofit organizations, and tax planning for businesses and their owners.

He is chair of the VCU Massey Cancer Center, director and past president for J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and a member of the Society of 100 for Virginia Blood Services. He was the recipient of the Innsbrook Rotary 2014 Business Leadership Award and the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow certificate of distinction.

Charitable Planning
Noon- 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10

For individuals who are charitably inclined, there are several strategies that will also help reduce their tax liability and impact their community. Learn about donor funds, corporate matching gifts, donating highly appreciated stock and qualified charitable distributions. Join the VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter and special guests Mark Newfield (B.S.’87/B) and Shannon Duvall as we discuss charitable planning. 

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speakers

Mark Newfield (B.S.’87/B): Newfield has spent many years providing IT consulting services to Fortune 500 organizations. He made a career change to become an adviser because of his passion for helping people. He and his wife, Natalie, are dedicated VCU basketball fans. He serves on the VCU athletic director’s advisory board and is a trustee of the VCU School of Business Foundation.

Shannon Duvall: She is the chief development officer for the School of Business.

Women’s power lunches

Amanda Seibert and Faith Wilkerson, Ed.D.
Noon- 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter hosts a lunch with Amanda Seibert (B.S.’12/H&S) and Faith Wilkerson, Ed.D. (B.S.’03/MC; M.Ed.’05/E; Ed.D.’15/E) moderated by Statia Gibson (B.S.’12/B).

Register for the Zoom link.

About the moderator

Statia Gibson (B.S.’12/B): Gibson began her career in commercial real estate with Colliers International in 2012. Working closely with the Retail Services Team at Colliers’ Richmond office, she obtained her real estate license and worked as a retail broker until 2016 when she was promoted to director of research and communications overseeing both the Richmond and Norfolk offices. She is active in the commercial real estate community through multiple organizations including the Society for Marketing Professional Services and the Greater Richmond Associate for Commercial Real Estate. She sits on the board for Commercial Real Estate Women and is co-chair of the VCU Association of Real Estate Alumni. She is also an active member of VCU Alumni and PEO International, a philanthropic organization committed to advancing women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College.

About the speakers

Faith Wilkerson, Ed.D. (B.S.’03/MC; M.Ed.’05/E; Ed.D.’15/E): She has worked at VCU for more than 15 years, managing many of the university’s annual traditions as well as overseeing student-centered diversity and inclusion programs. In 2019, she accepted the role of program director for the Minority Education Center housed within the VCU School of Education. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond and sits on the VCU Alumni board of governors. She somehow does all of this while constantly working on her passion, UnlockingRVA.

Amanda Seibert (B.S.’12/H&S): Seibert’s passion for real estate and design can be traced back to early childhood when she spent significant time at job sites with her family who owned a construction business. She is now founder/CEO of Nest Builders Development Co. and has been featured in several well-known industry publications, including Home Bunch and Houzz. By day, you can find her analyzing property deals and managing her rental portfolio. By night, she is typically blogging about her latest project or favorite recipe on

DaNika Neblett Robinson, Ed.D., and Dale C. Kalkofen, Ed.D. 
Noon- 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter hosts lunch with DaNika Neblett Robinson, Ed.D. (B.A.’11/H&S; Cert.’14/GPA; M.P.A.’15/GPA; Ed.D.’18/E), and Dale C. Kalkofen, Ed.D. (M.A.E.’76/A), for the final Women’s Power Lunch event of the year.

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speakers

Dale C. Kalkofen, Ed.D. (M.A.E.’76/A): For over four decades, Kalkofen worked in major urban school districts, including Richmond, Boston, Memphis and Chesterfield as a teacher, principal and executive leader. She was a transformative leader who excelled in restructuring operating systems to better serve students, teachers, parents and principals; reallocating resources to meet the greatest needs; and building relationships in the communities she served. She has proven that high educational achievement is possible for all students.

DaNika Neblett Robinson, Ed.D. (B.A.’11/H&S; Cert.’14/GPA; M.P.A.’15/GPA; Ed.D.’18/E): She has over 25 years of finance and administration experience, predominantly in higher education. She currently serves as the chief financial and administrative officer/director of diversity and inclusion at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/William & Mary. She holds a Doctor of Education with a concentration in leadership, a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management, a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate’s degree in business administration. Over 10 years ago, she established Wailing Women Ministries, a nonprofit that distributes book scholarships to female high school seniors who plan to major in STEM-related fields. In 2018, she self-published her first novella, “The Metamorphic Journey,” which serves as a resource for women experiencing crisis pregnancies or just need encouragement on how to overcome obstacles. Her passion for student, staff and faculty development has allowed her to strategically create programs and initiatives that benefit individuals throughout their academic and professional careers. In 2019, she served as the VCU School of World Studies’ May 2019 graduation ceremony speaker and was named a VCU Alumni Star.

10 Under 10 panel discussions

Marketing and Social Media
Noon- 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21

The VCU Office of Alumni Relations’ annual 10 Under 10 awards program recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who earned their first VCU degree (undergraduate, graduate or professional) within the past 10 years.

Christina Dick
Whitney Headen

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter hosts a virtual panel with 10 Under 10 honorees to discuss their journeys to success after graduating and where they are now in their careers. Hear 2017 recipient Christina Dick (B.S.’10/MC) and 2019 recipient Whitney Headen (B.S.’09/B) discuss their work in marketing and social media. 

Registration coming soon.

Millennial Scientists
Noon- 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16

The VCU Office of Alumni Relations’ annual 10 Under 10 awards program recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who earned their first VCU degree (undergraduate, graduate or professional) within the past 10 years.

Elliot Roth
Isaac Rodriquez

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter hosts two 10 Under 10 honorees to discuss their journeys to success after graduating and where they are now in their careers. Hear 2019 winner Elliot Roth (B.S.’15/En; Cert.’15/DVC) and 2017 winner Isaac Rodriguez, Ph.D. (M.S.’10/En; Ph.D.’13/En), discuss their unique careers in science. 

Registration coming soon.



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