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Posted on: March 16, 2021

Stafford Recognizes Women in Leadership to Mark Women's History Month


Stafford County recognized women leaders in local government in its annual proclamation honoring Women’s History Month. This year’s honorees include staff members in leadership positions in the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, the courts, the Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue and County Government. The women were recognized at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors on March 16, 2021.

“Stafford has more women than ever in positions that are integral to moving the County forward,” said Chairman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch, Rock Hill District. “This year, we wanted to highlight the women in staff positions who are leading the way for other women to move up the career ladder in Stafford County Government.”

Historically, women were relegated to roles in the home or traditionally female careers in nursing or teaching. Those types of activities, while very important, did not often result in mentions in history books. After the Civil War, women slowly but surely started making strides in the working world and filling more roles. At this time, Stafford has more female leadership than at any time in its past, with a wide range of diverse duties.

The female staff members recognized include:

  • Commonwealth’s Attorney - Lori DiGiosia, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney; Amy Casey, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney; Marilyn Dufrat, Victim/Witness Assistance Program Manager and Director
  • Courts - Honorable Victoria A. B. Willis, Circuit Court Judge; Honorable Angela M. O’Connor, General District Court Judge; Honorable Andrea M. Stewart, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge; LaQuita Buffington, Court Services Unit; Markita Brunston-Lyons, Court Services Unit; Bonnie Lee Camp, Clerk of the General District Court; Kimberly Shelton, Chief Deputy Clerk of Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court;
  • Sheriff’s Office - Captain Michelle Gibbons; Sergeant Carol Burgess; Sergeant Christine Hammond; Sergeant Alexandra Lugo; Sergeant Heather Torrance; Retired First Sergeant Nancy Morin;
  • Fire and Rescue –Retired Deputy Chief Lori Knowles, Emergency Medical Services Operations; Angela Wilhelm, President, Aquia Harbour Rescue 9; Patricia Copeland, Chief, Aquia Harbour Rescue 9; Jayne Toellner, Past Chief and current Lt., Aquia Harbour Rescue 9; Christine Schoon, Past President and current Vice President, Aquia Harbour Rescue 9; Jean Helmandollar, Chief, Rockhill Rescue 8; Martha Newton, President, White Oak Rescue 7; Laurie Adams, President, Brooke Fire Company; Rebecca Raines, Rescue Chief, Mountain View Rescue 4;
  • County Government – Donna Krauss, Deputy County Administrator; Shannon Wagner, Director of Human Resources; Rysheda McClendon, County Attorney; Andrea Light, Director of Budget and Management.

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