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After experiencing the deaths of many family members, Alisha lost her mother to breast cancer in 2007. She first came to Comfort Zone as a volunteer Big Buddy in 2009, and joined the staff weeks later. She feels a personal commitment to providing support to grieving people of all ages and backgrounds. Alisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Health Sciences, and focused her studies on abnormal psychology and counseling techniques. Alisha lives in Cincinnati with her husband, son, and a frisky beagle.
For 36 years, Bill was president and owner of a consulting practice, and as an active retiree, still answers a few requests for executive coaching. After serving as a fighter plane mechanic in the Marine Corps, Bill enrolled at Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University) and earned a B.S. in Psychology. He then went on the Union Theological Seminary and earned his M.Div. and became a United Methodist minister. During that time, Bill became a local leader in community development, adult education and group dynamics.
In 1972, Bill took early retirement from the United Methodist Church and formed a consulting firm Strategic Solutions, and served a variety of organizations, both profit and nonprofit.
Bill’s main interests are travel, reading, cooking, gardening and enjoying family and friends. He was a volunteer for Comfort Zone Camp’s very first camp and has been a Healing Circle Leader at over 30-some camps. He also served on the CZC board and chaired both the Camps and Services and Governance Committees.
Elizabeth’s involvement with Comfort Zone Camp began when she was 12 years old. After her father died unexpectedly in December 1998, she attended Comfort Zone’s inaugural session in May 1999. Her experience as a camper was life altering and she and continued her involvement with the program as a volunteer until joining staff in 2008 as the Virginia Volunteer Coordinator.
Elizabeth is also an active member of Comfort Zone Camp’s local and national outreach team, and especially enjoys speaking about Comfort Zone to audiences that have not previously been exposed to the program.
As a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, Elizabeth is a huge fan of the Hokies and will hit the road to Blacksburg any chance she gets! She can often be found listening to, playing and writing music, cooking, or working on her new home in the heart of Carytown.
Jill FitzGerald, LCSW – Jill has a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor of Social Work from James Madison University. She has worked in both in-patient and out-patient psychiatric settings with experience in individual, family, and group psychotherapy.
Jill has been in private practice since 1991 and developed the Grief Resource Center, specializing in the field of grief work, in 1997. She has done extensive training workshops for schools, churches and various community agencies pertaining to grief, loss, and bereavement. She is a consultant for a local Richmond hospice, providing monthly support groups for staff.
Jill is a founding board member for Comfort Zone Camp and continues to be a clinical consultant and active volunteer. She currently conducts individual and family therapy at her private practice in Richmond, VA.
Lynne B. Hughes
Lynne’s mother died when she was nine and her father when she was twelve. She founded Comfort Zone Camp, as well as authored of the book You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk about Life after the Loss of a Parent.
In 1995, Lynne helped found the Motherless Daughters national organization. In 1998, she and her husband started Comfort Zone Camp, the largest bereavement camp.
Lynne was honored as one of Redbook’s Mothers and Shakers 2002, awarded to 12 women (including Laura Bush) who have helped to improve the quality of life in the United States. She has been profiled in numerous media outlets, including Parade magazine, People magazine and Parents magazine, and has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS news, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Friends and CSPAN among others.
In June 2005, Lynne was a keynote speaker to 10,000 people at the Million Dollar Round Table’s Annual Convention held for the premier life insurance and financial planners from around the world. In September of 2005, she published her first book for Scholastic Press: You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk about Life after the Loss of a Parent. The Richmond YWCA named Lynne Outstanding Woman of the Year in the Human Relations category in April 2006.
Lynne graduated from Michigan State University in 1986 with a degree in Communications.
Patti is certified in Bereavement Counseling and actively facilitates grief support groups for adults, teens and children. She is a member of the Bereavement Coalition of VA, and the Support Group Coordinator for Comfort Zone Camp. Patti is continuing her education and plans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She and her husband Richard have four grown children and three grandchildren.
Pete is the National Program Director for Comfort Zone Camp. He is responsible for the management and execution of all Comfort Zone programs nationwide, and ensuring quality of camp programs.
Pete holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and has been involved with children who have experienced a significant life trauma for five years prior to joining Comfort Zone. Most recently, he served as the Lead Case Manager for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authorities’ Youth Day Treatment program providing quality crises intervention services to Richmond, Va school children. He also has worked as the Case Manager for a Transition House and for Foster Care/Child Protective Services.