About Us

Board of Directors

  • Valerie Rose, President
  • Robert Brennan, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs
  • Rhonda Turner, Vice President of Faith-Based Initiatives
  • Don Lakey, Treasurer
  • Shane Christopher, Board Member
  • Angela Lusardi, Board Member
  • Shirley Pettigrew, Board Member
  • Tina Page, Board Member
  • Shannon Watts, CFRE, Administrator, Ex-Officio


Rhonda Callaham (Turner) and Donna Claypoole were the visionaries for starting the group. The idea was inspired after Lynchburg Area AIDS Service Organization (LAASO) announced that it was folding. Both, being service providers knew the void that the closing of LAASO would leave in the Lynchburg community and decided to take action to ensure that HIV education and awareness could continue in the community. After meeting and discussing for several months about the folding of the the local AIDS Service Organization, it was decided that we would lead the efforts of starting an ASO by including a group of service providers and persons who were impacted by HIV. The mission would be to educate the community about HIV and stop the spread of HIV in Central VA. May 2000 we had a candlelight event as a group of independent service providers and interested community members. The above persons participated in the planning process and agreed that as a group we needed to take action.

The group formed in September of 2000 due to the folding of the AIDS Service Organization LAASO (Lynchburg Area AIDS Service Organization) earlier that year and the need for the presence of and ASO in the Lynchburg area. The group met monthly with the task of forming an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) that would be independent of the agencies represented. The lead agency was Central Virginia Community Services which funded the group’s prevention awareness programs and the process for incorporation and non-profit. Sandy Kanehl came up with the name CHAP which stands for the Coalition for HIV/Awareness and Prevention of Central VA, Inc. Stan Webb with Webb Graphics designed the CHAP logo and assisted with graphic designs for flyers and other public relation materials. Robert Morrow with Council of Community Services provided the group with its first grant funds to reach the homeless community. Mr. Morrow provided oversight and served as an Advisor to CHAP for many years.

The group worked with Patricia Price, then Project Coordinator for the Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC) which was housed in the Center for Community Development and Social Justice at Lynchburg College. This partnership provided funding from its mini-grant program to assist with a community event for HIV prevention targeting the faith-based community. Additionally, CHAP applied for and received pharmaceutical grants to assist with programming, a grant for capacity building from Virginia Department of Health which allowed us to purchase office equipment and to provide board training, and to complete the non-profit application process. CHAP acquired an office on the campus of the Virginia University of Lynchburg and operated there until the college could no longer provide the space due to the growth of its student body. Don Lakey assisted Rhonda Callaham with the non-profit process and was instrumental in helping CHAP to acquire this status.

CHAP, like many new agencies, operated with limited funding and struggled to survive but always continued to put emphasis on providing quality programs such as World AIDS Day, International Candlelight Memorial and Mobilization, Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, and National HIV testing Day. These programs were funded primarily by Central Virginia Community Services, pharmaceutical grants, and monies from individual and church donations. Rhonda Callaham served to spearhead these events and represented Central VA Community Services because of her role in providing HIV education and testing through the local community services board which had funding set-aside to assist with program planning and prevention.

Phyllistine Mosley was elected President of the organization in 2002 and set to work initiating a partnership with the Lynchburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. to help with program planning and to increase the volunteer pool. Mrs. Mosley was instrumental in mobilizing the black community and in the creation of the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS Awards Banquet which was Co-sponsored with CHAP. This signature event brought a greater awareness and education of HIV in the black faith community throughout Central VA via the special recognition of those citizens working in HIV/AIDS outreach activities. Many of those recognized still play integral roles in the implementation of our programs today!

In an attempt to reenergize the Board in October 2003, Rhonda Callaham hosted Board Planning Retreat at the Courtland Center, with Katie Campbell as the workshop facilitator. Katie helped develop a work plan for CHAP and provided CHAP with technical assistance. CHAP elected Joe Payne in 2004, then Vice President at Centra Health as the next President. Joe’s business acumen proved to be an asset and it resurrected the Board. Centra Health also began to sponsor our monthly meetings and providing meals for the meetings. The website was launched around this time and Joe served faithfully until he resigned from the Board and Centra Health in October 2004.

Gloria Berkley took over leadership in 2004. CHAP continued its prevention work but was operating on life support for many years and needed to be revived. Dr. Robert Brennan saw an opportunity to revive CHAP by partnering with the VA Ten Miler. Dr. Brennan presented the idea to Jeff Fedorko with Lynchburg Road Runners and this was the beginning of CHAP’s relationship with the VA Ten Miler. The 2007 Virginia Ten Miler was the first race with Lynchburg Road Runners serving as the coordinating organization. CHAP received $10,000 which allowed us to hire a grant writer. Shannon Watts, CFRE with Key Fundraising. Shannon’s grant writing efforts have contributed to grants from Centra Health Foundation, Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, Retail Merchant Association and increased individual and corporate giving. The Virginia Ten Miler served as a major fundraiser for CHAP for many years and increased CHAP’s community visibility.

Rhonda Callaham: 2000-2002 Co-founder/President; Partnership with Central Virginia Community Services; Instrumental in organizing and forming CHAP; securing Incorporation and Non-profit status. Partnership with the Balm in Gilead. Homeless Coalition grant through Council of Community Services. Capacity Building Grant through Virginia Department of Health.

Phyllistine Mosley: 2002-2004, Instrumental in the creation of partnerships with the Virginia University of Lynchburg and Lynchburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Partnership with Legacy Museum.

Joe Payne: 2004, Instrumental in partnership with Centra Health and re-organizing the Board; amending bylaws and re-structuring CHAP.

Gloria Berkley: 2004 – 2020, Instrumental in increasing CHAP membership; increasing public relations and the visibility of CHAP; secured new partnerships with Road Runners, YWCA, and increased faith-based organization participation; increase in financial contributions to CHAP; Black and White Gala Fundraiser; hired a Grant Writer, instrumental in implementing HIV testing in the community. Gloria unexpectedly passed away in 2020, and CHAP founded the Gloria S. Berkley Memorial Scholarship in her honor.

Valerie Rose: 2022 – Present, Instrumental in helping CHAP continue serving the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and filling the void that Gloria’s passing left in CHAP.