Allison Wingfield, Executive Director
Allison Wingfield is our Executive Director and was hired in February 2002 as Rush Homes’ first full-time employee. She oversees the organization including fundraising, budgeting, board relations, human resources, marketing, and strategic planning. Allison has been involved in the affordable housing field since 2000, starting out as an intern with the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Lynchburg College and is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional. She is a graduate of the Leadership Lynchburg program and has served on the board of directors for Interfaith Outreach Association and Bedford Youth Focus. Allison currently serves as the chairperson of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Central Virginia. She was recently honored with an award for the Top 40 Under 40 in Housing through the Virginia Housing Coalition. Allison enjoys running marathons and half marathons, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.
Jeff Smith, Assistant Director
Jeff Smith is our Assistant Director and is responsible for project development, management, and compliance as well as assisting in fundraising efforts. Jeff’s wide-ranging scholarly and professional background exemplifies his concerns for humanitarian causes, justice, a healthy environment, and healing. Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in physics from Emory & Henry College. After spending 11 years in the wire and cable industry as a product engineer, then the pharmaceutical industry as a quality engineer and middle manager, Jeff enrolled in Lynchburg College and earned his MEd in Agency Counseling. He has worked for Central Virginia Community Services, Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity, and the 500 Year Forest Foundation. Jeff is from rural southwest Virginia where he grew up on a small farm. He participates in a spiritual community, is an active member of the Sierra Club, and is a former board member of the Central Virginia Land Conservancy. Jeff loves to travel with his beloved wife Mary, backpack, get out with his dog Sandy, work on his house, and has been known to ride his bike to work once in a while.
Chris Howell Program Manager
Chris Howell is our Program Manager as of March 2012. She is responsible for property management including overseeing maintenance, income verification, leasing and compliance. She will also be assisting in fundraising, volunteer coordination and special programs. Chris has been a part of Rush Homes for many years as a volunteer and advisor. The mission of providing affordable and accessible housing is dear to her heart – she was a friend of Mabel and James Rush when they served Madison Heights United Methodist Church and knows first-hand how deeply Mabel wanted to see the dream of a home for Jimmy come true. She is an active community volunteer through Kiwanis, Interfaith Outreach Association, the Rivermont Area Emergency Food Pantry and Centenary UMC. In her quiet time she likes to canoe on the James, read on the beach and talk to her unresponsive cat.
Kristen Hern de Lepper , Executive Assistant
Kristen Hern de Lepper is the newest member to join the Rush Team as our Executive Assistant. Kristen has a diverse background in community service and property management. She has worked and volunteered with outreach organizations both nationally and internationally, primarily focused on homeless outreach, but generally interested in helping anyone in need. In addition, Kristen was co-founder and CEO of a property management company located in Denver, Colorado from 2001 to 2008. While much of her professional career has been focused in the “for-profit” sector, as a business owner and consultant, her true passion lies with assisting and serving those in need within the community. She has recently moved to Lynchburg from Waterloo, Belgium and has a love of all things outdoor and active.