Building the fundamental
element of community.
The Relationship Foundation of Virginia, formerly First Things First of Greater Richmond, recognizes that the strength of our community and the future of our city lies in the health of the family.
When our families and relationships are healthy, life is richer and more fun. Without strong, lasting relationships, life can be harder, feel emptier and lead to more challenges – not only for us, but for our communities.
As our name suggests, Relationship Foundation of Virginia is dedicated to building the fundamental element of strong communities: healthy relationships and families.
For youth, we deliver programs that teach self-respect and respect for others. For individuals – single or in long-term relationships and marriages – we lead engaging programs to create awareness and provide the practical tools to pursue and sustain strong relationships.
For new and expecting dads, we equip them with the skills to be active, committed fathers for life. We provide all with the confidence and strength to thrive.
By understanding the complexity and joys of relationships, we help everyone we serve be more successful, which makes our community a better place to live.
A native Virginian, Chris spent the first part of his career teaching at the elementary and middle school levels. Inspired by his students, he coordinated fundraisers that helped shed light on the challenges they were facing. After several successful events, it led him out of the classroom and into the non-profit world. More than six years later, Chris draws from his experiences as an educator, a father to four boys and a loving husband to lead the Relationship Foundation of Virginia.
Debra arrived in Richmond from D.C. in 2002. After several years in the corporate world, she happily started a fundraising career and now has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience, including fundraising, special events, annual fund management and marketing. She joined RFVA in August 2016 as the Development Director. Active in her community, Debra has been a member and board member of the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), as well as a member of the Grants Professionals Association (GPA). She graduated from Longwood College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Tammie was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and relocated to Richmond in 2009 from Maryland. In 2008, Tammie was featured as a Comcast Newsmaker for her nonprofit organization dedicated to providing mentoring to teen parents and her work as a domestic violence advocate. Tammie has received several awards for her commitment and dedication to the community, including the “Diva In Charge Award,” “The Educator Serving The Community Award,” “Circle Of Grace Award” and “Woman Of Inspiration Award.” She joined RFVA as Director of Youth Programs in 2014. She is passionate about helping the youth of today develop and maintain healthy and sustainable relationships.
After moving here in 1995 to attend VCU, Sherry declared Richmond home. She graduated with a BS in Communications/Public Relations. After many years of developing and coaching others in HR, she decided to use her skills to help non-profits. She is a wife of 16 years, mom to two amazing children and lover of all things animals. Sherry currently works with volunteers for the Boot Camp For New Dads program.
Our approach to programs and outreach.
RFVA stands on four foundational pillars. These core elements guide how we communicate and act as an organization. They shape the way we teach our programs and develop relationships within our community. Upon these pillars, we help build our community into one rooted soundly in relational wellness, strong youth, and stable families.
We take a holistic approach, knowing that by creating more healthy relationships we build a stronger community.
Our approach focuses on building, strengthening and preparing individuals for healthy long-term relationships.
We provide tools, education and experiences that are accessible, relatable and applicable to today’s modern world.
The nature of our work is engaging and fun, reflecting the idea that although relationships may take work, they are rewarding and a source of joy.
Jonathan Kennedy, Board Chair
Endeavor Capital, LLC
Amie McLain Carter, Vice Chair
Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries
Jeff Ukrop, Past Chair
Virginia Baptist Foundation
Chris Johnson, Treasurer
J.D. Beam, Secretary
37th Parallel Properties
Virginia Credit Union
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
High Hoos, LLC
Virginia Commonwealth University
Arete Consulting Group LLC.