No organization can run, much less flourish, without staff: the people who keep the place going. We are truly blessed with a wonderful support team. Most of these folks are exciting recent additions to the team and few others have been here for years. They all have stories about the road that led them to us.
Executive Director, Church Operations
Mike gained significant experience in church finance and operations while serving as the Director of Finance and Administration for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond. There he directed the accounting, personnel, technology, facilities and communications functions. Prior to joining St. Mary’s, Mike and his wife Allison partnered together to build their own business, LawPartner, into a successful legal recruiting and consulting firm. Before starting LawPartner, Mike held senior management positions at McCandlish Kaine and McGuire Woods. At both law firms he directed the firm’s budgeting, accounting, financial reporting and financial analysis efforts.
Mike and Allison have 3 grown children, all working in the Washington DC area. They both enjoy hiking and have recently completed the 105 mile Shenandoah National Park. When at home, they can often be found walking their Australian Shepherd, Annie. They are both active members at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
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Director of Communications and Parish Life
Ashley is a graduate of University of Mary Washington and a lifelong Episcopalian. She has most recently been the Communications Associate at the Diocese of Virginia, where she previously worked in the Mission and Outreach Department. She also served for a year in the Philippines in the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Service Corps. Her role includes overseeing and expanding our communications efforts, working with the Outreach Committee and our outreach partners to grow and improve our outreach relationships and opportunities, and facilitating involvement of St. Mary’s parishioners in other ministries and aspects of our common life.
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Director of Children’s Ministries
Amelia McDaniel has served as a Christian Education Director and teacher to several congregations and an Episcopal Day School over the past 20 years. She began her career in Richmond at St. James’s. Her travels have taken her to Raleigh, Alexandria, Nashville and Baton Rouge. She is thrilled to be back in Richmond. Amelia is excited to be working with the children and families of St. Mary’s to continue to build upon its nurturing and family friendly programs. Amelia grew up in Middle Tennessee and graduated from Sweet Briar College. She has two children, Wyly and Jed, and one badly behaved Labrador named Ruth.
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Director of Youth Ministries
Matt Rawls has significant experience in youth ministry, including service as a volunteer and intern with Young Life and, for the past three years, with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Perhaps more importantly, Matt has a heart and talent for youth ministry. His responsibilities at St. Mary’s encompass all aspects of our ministries to youth in grades 6-12, including acolytes, confirmation, outreach, and Sunday morning and other activities. He will enrich and expand those offerings, and will work closely with all of our staff, youth, and parents in his ministry. Matt is a native of Suffolk, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University and Pepperdine University School of Law. He loves music and was one of the leaders of last year’s Fall Line Music & Arts Festival. He was also involved in the founding of Spacebomb Records, where he continues to serve as a board member. Raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian tradition, Matt’s attraction to the Episcopal Church began when he attended an Anglican Church while in England for a law school semester and has grown steadily since then.
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Director of Music
Ryan joined the St. Mary’s staff in September 2017. He did his graduate work in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the University of Delaware, and his undergraduate study at Princeton University. Ryan has been involved in church music since high school, and over the past two decades has sung, played organ and piano, and conducted choirs in a variety of churches.
Before moving to Richmond from Philadelphia in 2015, Ryan served as Organist and Choir Director at Summit Presbyterian Church, Assistant Conductor of Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, an adjunct faculty member at The College of New Jersey, Music Director of the Newark Symphony Chorus, and maintained an active schedule as a professional singer. Since moving to Richmond, he has been the Artistic Director of both the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale and the Richmond Concert Chorale and served for a year as Interim Organist and Choirmaster at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Ryan lives in Richmond with his wife Kate, a chemistry professor at VCU, and their cat, Rocky.
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Elizabeth joined St. Mary’s staff on March 1 as the welcoming face when you stop by the office and the friendly voice who answers the phone. Elizabeth is a graduate of Sweet Briar College and received her Masters in History and Museum Studies from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has most recently been the Collections Manager at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, an art museum in Farmville, Virginia. Elizabeth is excited to be here at “such a welcoming, fun, collaborative work environment and to be part of an awesome community that shares a strong commitment to making a difference locally, nationally, and internationally.”
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Deedi joined St. Mary’s staff in March 2017. Deedi is a graduate of Monacan High School and Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, where she studied French, including a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris. After graduation, Deedi lived and worked in Avignon, France teaching English to French middle school students. Deedi has significant experience in church finance, having served as Financial Administrator at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church for nine years. Most recently, she was the Director of Loans, Administration, and Finance for the Episcopal Church Building Fund for six years. Deedi worked with Weezie during her time at St. Stephen’s and is thrilled to find herself at St. Mary’s working with her once again.
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Paul will have been our Sexton for 20 years this June. He was born in Goochland County in Hadensville, the 11th of 12 children. After three years in the army, he returned to his birthplace. He found us in 1992 and has been an important part of our parish family ever since. When we asked Paul if we could take his picture for this site, he said, “Do I have to stand or can I keep working?” The man is unstoppable. When asked what he likes about St. Mary’s, he doesn’t miss a beat. “Everything. These are some of the best people I’ve met in my whole life.” He and his wife Polly are members of Divine Baptist Church in Louisa, Virginia, where Paul served as pastor for many years.
Gersain came to St. Mary’s in 2002 as a part-time helper for Paul Pace. A native of Colombia, he immigrated to the U.S. with several of his family members , including his sister Noma Lamp, who has been a mainstay in the St. Mary’s nursery, taking care of infants and toddlers. Gersain continues to work part-time for St. Mary’s, and is the sexton on duty every Sunday. He is a trained optical technician, and has worked as a lens maker in Richmond.