Meet the Team

Ridge Schuyler

Dean, Community Self-Sufficiency Programs

Ridge Schuyler

Ridge serves as dean of Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Community Self-Sufficiency Division and Director of its award-winning Network2Work @PVCC program.

He graduated from the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia School of Law. Ridge spent 10 years on Capitol Hill serving as chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher and chief policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb of Virginia. 

In 2011, Ridge published the Orange Dot Report which analyzed the economic struggles facing a considerable portion of Charlottesville’s families and suggested solutions. 

In 2016, he joined PVCC and directs Network2Work@PVCC. Network2Work leverages partnerships in our community to identify and support people being left behind in our economy, and provides the training and support they need to find quality employment in our community. Ridge has been nationally recognized for the innovative Network2Work approach.

Christine "Chris" Allard

Rural Job-Seeker Network Coordinator/Network2Work Coach

Chris is very excited and honored to have recently become a part of the Network2Work team! She serves as a Network2Work Coach as well as holds the newly created role of Rural Job-seeker Network Coordinator where she hopes to expand the profound success that Network2Work has had in Charlottesville into 6 counties surrounding Charlottesville – Nelson, Greene, Louisa, Fluvanna, Buckingham and Albemarle. 

Chris comes to us with a strong creative background – graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Architecture, and an 18 year career as a graphic designer. However, all along the way she wished she could also play a part somehow in addressing poverty – one of the biggest problems our country and humanity faces - and finding a way to be a part of the solution to helping those who have been left behind in our economy find a path to changing their course and realizing their potential. Network2Work is all about helping people unleash their potential!

One of Chris’ greatest inspirations in life, guiding her to be compassionate, accepting and hopeful about those we share this world with have been the countless pets she’s lived with and loved so dearly ALL her life. Animals have so much to teach us in how to love unconditionally and support all with all we have to give! Chris currently shares her life with her two adorable dogs who have taught her so much about kindness, patience and love, Tashi and Bijou.

Mary Faulkner

Urban Job-Seeker Network Coordinator/Network2Work Coach 

Mary serves as the Urban Job Seeker Network Connector as well as a Network2Work Coach. Mary joined Network2Work earlier this year as a valued individual from the community that has been a resident of Charlottesville all her life. She brings a lot of perspective to the needs of low-income families in the area. Previously, Mary was a baker at a local bakery which inspired her to become a Culinary Arts student at PVCC in which she acquired her Professional Cook Certification.

In her spare time Mary enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and loved ones.



Leslie Jones

Administrative Assistant 
Leslie Jones serves as the Administrative Assistant for Network2Work. She is a native of Charlottesville, VA and has worked in the local non-profit realm for many years. She is a graduate of PVCC and also holds a degree from James Madison University in Communications. 

In her spare time Leslie enjoys reading and spending time with her children and pets.


Malena L. Smith 

Office Manager/Financial Assistance Administrator

Malena Smith

   Malena joins Network2Work having thirteen years of experience working at the college in various roles, including
   previously managing PVCC's culinary campus at the Jefferson School City Center. While there she also obtained
   her Associates degree in Culinary Arts.  She also has an extensive thirty year background in executive and office     
   management. Having served as the human resource manager for several years at an adolescent mental and   
   behavioral health hospital she fully adopted the moto of circumstances do not define a person. She is excited to join    Network2Work to be part of a collective team who shares this same outlook. Malena strives for excellent   
   customer service and is eager to help our job seekers understand they too can overcome anything and make   
   successful life and career changes.

In her spare time Malena enjoys growing her photography portfolio specializing in nature and historical architecture. She is heavily involved in animal advocacy and prior to the pandemic was an active member of a community emergency management animal response team. She also has a small farm where she cares for seventeen abused, neglected, and disabled farm and companion animals.

Bret Vollmer

Requests for Assistance Manager/Network2Work Coach

Bret grew up in Texas, first San Antonio and then Houston. He moved to Charlottesville in 2009. Bret misses good Texas barbeque, so if you have any recommendations on where to get some, let him know. He enjoys reading and film.



Kelsey Waters 

Provider Network Coordinator/Network2Work Coach 

Kelsey Waters serves as the Provider Network Coordinator as well as a Network2Work Coach.  A proud veteran of the United States Air Force she served for four years as a Public Affairs Specialist and was stationed at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall in Suffolk, England. 

After being honorably discharged she enrolled as a jobseeker with Network2Work before going to Piedmont Virginia Community College where she graduated with an associate degree in both Business Administration and General Studies. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Business with a concentration in Accounting from Mary Baldwin University in Stanton Virginia. 

Kelsey is also the mother of a set of twins named Oliver and Cecilia. In her spare time Kelsey enjoys reading, volunteering and spending time outside.