Board of Directors

The Planning Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community-planning corporation governed by a volunteer regional Board of Directors.  We thank these dedicated supporters of quality childcare and community planning and engagement.


Ms. Oneiceia Howard – Chairwoman

Mr. Anthony D. Sandifer – Vice Chair

Mr. Carter Smith – Treasurer

Ms. Eva Wiggins – Secretary


Ms. Serena Amerson

Ms. Nicole Brown-Griffin

CAPT Matt Frauenzimmer

Mr. Greg Grootendorst

Mr. JT Hasty

Mr. James R. Herndon

Mr. Dalip Kapoor, ESQ

Mr. Richard J. Knox, Jr.

Ms. Kate Lennon, ESQ

Ms. J. Gail Nicula, Ph.D.

Ms. Patrycja Plucinski

Ms. Cydney Claren Robinson

The Honorable Martin Thomas, Jr., ESQ

RADM Byron E. “Jake” Tobin (Ret.)

The Honorable John M. de Triquet, M.D.

The Honorable Sabrina Wooten

Jo Ann Short, Ex Officio

Senior Management

The Planning Council has a long history of exceptional leadership across the organization, supported by a team of professionals and staff dedicated to helping people and communities improve their quality of life.

The Planning Council staff includes expertise in the human services needs in everything from quality childcare to homelessness prevention best practices, from nutrition and obesity prevention training to community assessments and programs, from grant writing services to connecting landlords to qualified families in need of housing.

Jo Ann ShortJo Ann Short serves as the President and CEO of the Planning Council. Her top priorities since joining the dedicated team in 2022 are Board Development, Program Expansion, and Fund Advancement.

Ms. Short has three decades of leadership experience with the YMCA Movement, where she served as CEO for 14 years. Jo Ann’s achievements include leading strategic growth, mergers, governance advancement, fund development, financial turnaround, and program innovation. Then, as founder and principal consultant of Simplify Nonprofit since 2017, Ms. Short has provided consulting services to nonprofit organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the USA and other for-profit and nonprofit startups.

Ms. Short is a graduate of Springfield College with a BS in Community Leadership & Development and an MS in Organizational Management & Leadership. She is originally from the Northeast and moved to Virginia Beach in the spring of 2022.


Julie DixonJulie Dixon serves as the Senior Director of Planning and Program Development for The Planning Council. In this capacity, she oversees a variety of community planning, assessments, and evaluation work, as well as the coordination of several coalitions across Hampton Roads.

Since 2002, Ms. Dixon has held positions with progressing responsibilities, beginning as a Community Planner/Continuum of Care Coordinator, then as Program Administrator, and now over the Community Planning Division.

Prior to joining The Planning Council, Ms. Dixon worked for five years in Washington, DC, and eight years in Moscow, Russia, in various positions for AIDS Foundation East-West, the American International Health Alliance, and New York University’s Center for War, Peace, and News Media.

Ms. Dixon received her bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Russian language from California State University at Sacramento and a Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University. In 2010 she received a certification from UNC-Chapel Hill for Business Planning in Public Health.


Amanda Northrop serves as Workforce & Community Engagement Administrator for The Planning Council.  Her top priorities include maintaining outward-facing communications, driving fund development growth, administering employee/employer relations, and conducting professional development for the TPC team.

Ms. Northrop hails from Kansas, bringing with her 5 years of experience in the social work field and 10 years of experience in accounting and customer service. Amanda’s strength in understanding people dynamics support our team, vendors, and partners. Her ability to create and maintain functional systems assist us in remaining organized and efficient, and her capacity to disseminate knowledge for personal, professional, and community development upholds the backbone of our mission.

Ms. Northrop is a Licensed Master of Social Work, a recipient of a Master’s and Bachelor of Social Work from Washburn University, and she earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kansas.


Diana Moran serves as the Vice President of Finance for The Planning Council. In this position, she oversees all finance and accounting matters of The Planning Council as well as functional systems to keep the organization efficient. The VP of Finance position is also key in communicating everyone’s role in the Planning Council’s financial success.

Prior to joining The Planning Council, Mrs. Moran worked as Accounting Manager at Fresenius Medical Care in Waltham, MA, Director of Student Financial Services at University of Arkansas, Controller at Allied Wire and Cable in Phoenixville, PA, Manager of Administrative Services at Washington University in St. Louis and has over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance roles.

Mrs. Moran received her associate degree in Merchandising from Brandywine College in Wilmington, DE, BS degree in Accounting from Widener University in PA and Executive MBA degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She has held the Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification and has a Yellow Belt, Lean Six Sigma Certification.