Welcome. We are the National Capital Area chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.
As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapter.
The Chapter Leadership Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention approved the application of the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) to become a local Chapter on July 1, 2010. The NCAC serves the Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia.
Through our local chapter, we seek opportunities to help spread the word about suicide prevention and mental illness, highlight the many activities of AFSP National and our local chapter, and educate the public on the important research studies and results looking into the underlying risk factors that contribute to suicide.
Meet the NCAC 2013-2014 Board
Lawrence P. Riso, PhD
Dr. Lawrence Riso is Professor of Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University and President of our local chapter of AFSP. He has served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh, Georgia State University, and theUniversityof Georgia. Dr. Riso is an author of over 50 articles, books, and book chapters on depressive disorders and psychotherapy. He has been a practicing clinical psychologist for over 15 years and has in the course of his research and clinical work, he has evaluated or treated hundreds of patients with varying levels of suicidality.
Chair, Vicki Johnson
Vicki owns her own meeting planning company, working with corporations and associations all over the world assisting them in various capacities with their conferences. Vicki became involved with AFSP over two years ago when she lost her life partner, Paul, to suicide. She leads the educational committee and supports the chapter’s efforts with participation in trade shows, public speaking engagements and educational opportunities.
Treasurer, Marge McConnell
Marge lost her 17 year old daughter, Allie in July 2006 and joined AFSP’s movement when she signed up for the 2008 Overnight; and proudly has walked in the Overnight every year that followed. She has been a volunteer in many capacities since the formation of the chapter in 2010, including a SOP volunteer and “More than Sad” facilitator. And she most recently joined the Chapter’s exec committee as Treasurer in January 2013.
Secretary, Allie Deucher
Allie is currently a team lead at Cvent, an event management technology company. She has five years of experience in their client services department, assisting hotels and meeting planners with their upcoming events. Allie and her family got involved with AFSP shortly after she lost her brother to suicide in June 2010.
At Large Members
Danielle currently works as a communications manager for a consumer advocacy organization. In her position, she is responsible for media relations, contributing to social media content, and maintaining the organization's website. Danielle lost a close friend to suicide at the age of 15 and has channeled her energies in a positive direction by becoming involved with AFSP.
Charlie is a retired Air Force officer who is currently employed as a Federal Civilian working for the Department of Defense. He has held numerous positions as staff officer, first line supervisor, and managing projects. Charlie comes to AFSP having lost his 19-year-old son to suicide in April 2012.
Mary Anne Burke
Mary Anne lost her 21 year old son Matthew to suicide in 2001, who was active duty Navy at the time. She is NCAC's Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator, Lifekeeper Memorial Quilter contact, and facilitates a Survivor of Suicide Loss Support Group.
Allison is a manager at a DC-area consulting firm with over 8 years of professional experience in analysis, data gathering, team leadership, training, and client-facing support. She became involved with AFSP after the suicide of her younger brother--a U.S. Army combat veteran--in April 2011. Allison has played an integral role in many educational activities of the NCAC, as well as development of the NCAC quarterly newsletter.
Lisa is currently a Program Manager for the Federal Government, with over 15 years of professional experience in project management, business development, leadership, commercial real estate brokerage, community outreach, and social networking. Lisa got involved with AFSP after the suicide of her 18-year-old son, a graduating senior from TC Williams High School, in May 2012. She was integral in facilitating the NCAC showing 'More Than Sad' in the Alexandria Public School System.
Peggy DiVincenzo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia. She maintains a private practice in Centreville, Virginia. Areas of specialty include the use of mindfulness in healing and recovery, anxiety and depressive disorders, trauma, postpartum stress and depression, relationship therapy and geriatric populations. In 2013 Ms. DiVincenzo became a certified meditation teacher through the Meditation Teacher Training Institute in conjunction with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington.
Ms. DiVincenzo has worked with many suicidal patients over her 30 year career, particularly in her seven years of service at the Emergency Services at Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health. She lost her 25 year old son, who had a severe psychiatric disorder, to suicide in 2007. She was instrumental in establishing the National Capital Area Chapter of AFSP in 2010 and served as its first president.
Wendi has run her own training and consulting firm for the past 20 years, specializing in leadership and communication skills. She is an accomplished writer, speaker, and curriculum designer. Wendi lost her son in April 2012.
Jerry is a survivor who lost a son within the last three years. He is passionate about the AFSP cause, with specific interests in advocacy and education to help others.
George is the Vice President for Strategy and Operations for Creative Information Technology, Inc. He has been instrumental in the success of the NCAC Golf Tournament all three years, and is passionate about AFSP and suicide prevention.
Maureen currently supports the Research Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention as a contractor onsite at the National Institute of Mental Health. She lost her cousin, Danny, to suicide in July 2005 and has helped organize the Fairfax NOVA Community Walk for the past four years.
Steve is the Executive Director for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He has helped lead the Fairfax NOVA Community Walk for the last four years and has been a driving force in establishing the National Capital Area Chapter.
Joy is a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Education. She lost her 14-year-old brother J.J. to suicide in 2001 and first got involved with AFSP in Chicago at the Overnight Walk in 2009. She began volunteering with the NCAC chapter in 2013.
Simone is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and works as Senior Program Manager for a European Embassy in Washington, DC. She lost her Dad to suicide when she was a teenager. Simone has been supporting AFSP’s efforts since 2013, and has chaired the 2013 Washington, DC Out of the Darkness Community Walk. As board member, she now serves as advisor for all 2014 Community Walks in the National Capital Area Chapter of AFSP.
Gail Romansky is a real estate professional and life long resident of Northern Virginia. Prior to her real estate career, she worked in law firms and was a substitute teacher. She has vast experience in fundraising for various charities. Gail became involved in AFSP a year after her son died in July, 2010. She is passionate about destigmatizing mental health issues and suicide.
Gail is currently chairing the NCAC Golf Tournament.
Michelle has been a Labor Economist for over 10 years, specializing in support litigation in major arbitration cases. She got involved in AFSP shortly after she lost her brother Michael at the age of 32, who succumbed to his battle with Bipolar Disorder in July 2010. Michelle has volunteered in many local and national AFSP walks, including the last two Overnight walks in Washington, DC and San Francisco. Now, along with volunteering at local events herself, she is the Volunteer Coordinator for the National Capital Area Chapter of AFSP, which consists of maintaining a database of volunteers and organizing volunteers for all of our educational and walk events.