VA-ACME Officers: BEING UPDATED
A proud graduate of East Carolina University, holds an MBA with a concentration in Management from Strayer University. Presently the Enrollment Coordinator at Troy University in Hampton Roads, VA, he has been a leader in secondary and post-secondary education for over 22 years. Mike also serves the VAACME community as the Coordinator of the annual golf tournament. He serves on the board of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, chairs the Chamber’s Armed Forces Committee, and serves on the Transportation, Parking, and Pedestrian Committee of the Virginia Beach Resort Advisory Commission. Mike enjoys volunteer opportunities to support local and national organizations and spending time and travel with family.
Melinda Gainer, a native of Hampton Roads, is a graduate of Indian River High School in Chesapeake and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Hampton University. Prior to beginning her career in higher education, she completed the National Executive Training Program with Sears Corporation. Melinda currently serves as the Eastern Regional Coordinator of SIU Extended Campus for Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois
Melinda has served on the Board of Directors for Girls, Incorporated, has been a member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the International Society of Event Specialist (ISES) as well as the inaugural committee of the Young Executives at the Town Point Club, Norfolk. She is a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Incorporated where she served as Vice President (2004-2008;2010-2014) and Chairperson of the Debutante Program (2005-2008;2016-2017). Grace Episcopal Church, Norfolk is where she is a member; she is active with the Adult Choir and the Altar Guild.
Michelle Thomas is the Site Representative at Naval Station Norfolk. She has worked for Coastline Community College since June 2007. Prior to working for Coastline, she worked as a Navy College Contract Counselor in Norfolk, VA. She learned a huge amount of information from working at the Navy College. Everything from NCPACE details, instructions from CPPD, counseling service members who are attached to ashore and/or afloat commands, even processing Tuition Assistance applications. For the past two years, she has also volunteered to assist with the Membership Committee with VA-ACME.
Ellen Coleman a native of Philadelphia works as the Associate Director for the Mid-Atlantic Region at Thomas Edison State College since 2005. Ellen has a Bachelor of Business in Accounting from Temple University, BA in Psychology from Saint Leo University and Masters in Education from Troy University.
Prior to working at Thomas Edison State College she began her career in accounting for a firm in Philadelphia. As she followed her husband to Virginia Beach, she worked as a substitute teacher to become familiar with the area. Ellen then worked for Tidewater Community College on the Norfolk Naval Base and then onto Navy College as a counselor. She has been involved with VA-ACME for 5 years, chairing the Membership Committee and presently Member-at-Large. Ellen currently resides in Virginia Beach with her family.
Carla Bell- Thompson, a native of Hampton Roads, is a graduate of Bethel High School in Hampton. Received a BS in Business Studies and MS in Education from Southern New Hampshire University. A Project Coordinator, for Military Contracts Programs at the Center for Military and Veteran Education at Tidewater Community College. A former teacher for the public schools in Virginia, California, and DOD, in addition to an Education Advisor for Navy College Offices, NAS Oceana, with several years of experience in Higher Education as a Liaison transitioning service members interested in educational opportunities. Serving as Planning Committee Chair and Member At-Large; the second year of her 5 years of volunteer service with VAACME.
Linda Isaac, At-Large is currently the Assistant Director of Admissions with Saint Leo University. She received her Master’s in Public Administration from Strayer University and her Bachelors in Sociology from Saint Leo University. Linda served on the planning committee, as well as both the scholarship and marketing committees for the 2014 VA-ACME Symposium. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Armed Forces Committee. Linda resides in Virginia Beach, VA with her family.
Florence Hayes-Addison is currently the Military Education Coordinator for Military Partnerships at the University of Maryland University College - Hampton Roads Region . She received her professional post-graduate degree in Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University. Florence has served on the planning committee since 2015 and currently serves as the coordinator of the VA-ACME Job Fair & Education Expo. Florence resides in Virginia Beach, VA with her family.