Our Staff

Chris Hoover Seidel

Chris Hoover Seidel

Executive Director director@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Chris Hoover Seidel joined Bridge of Hope Harrisonburg Rockingham as the first director for the affiliate.  Chris is a multipotentialite, with a background in Behavioral Science and Education. Following her time as a public school teacher, she and her husband lived in Palestine for three years doing advocacy work through Mennonite Central Committee. Chris then served as Director of Children and Youth Programs at Community Mennonite Church in Lancaster, PA, while pursuing her MA in Religion at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Spiritual Direction Training at Kairos School for Spiritual Formation.

In 2016, Chris and her family moved to Harrisonburg, VA and she recently worked on staff at Eastern Mennonite University Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Chris currently practices spiritual direction and Reiki as a way of accompany others in the deep work of healing and presence. Chris has hung several art shows, depicting her experience of faith and the world.

When she’s not working, Chris spends time playing games with her children, walking in the woods, refurbishing furniture, or talking and laughing with friends.

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Maria Rodriguez

Neighborhood Resource Specialist nrs@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Maria moved from Pennsylvania to Harrisonburg to attend Eastern Mennonite University in 2002 and has since called the Valley her home. Maria’s undergraduate study areas of focus were Psychology, Family Studies, and Sociology. After earning a Master’s degree in Counseling, Maria worked in local schools for the last 12 years as a School Counselor. She enjoyed providing support to students and their families, collaborating with community agencies, teaching in classrooms, and facilitating community circles. Previous work experience included assisting adults with disabilities in their volunteer roles within the community and coordinating activities for youth in a residential program. Maria’s approach to working with others is founded in the belief that all individuals have value and finds joy in encouraging their strengths. She is excited to work on the Bridge of Hope team and to partner with participants to encourage their goals.


Maria loves the rich diversity of the Valley, the mountains to explore, and connecting with others to learn their stories. In her free time, Maria can be found biking with her family, reading in a hammock, organizing, or spending time outdoors.

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Makayla Anne Fulmer

Neighborhood Resource Specialist program@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Makayla Fulmer has a BA in Spanish & Interdisciplinary Religious Studies from James Madison University and is currently earning her MA in Transformational Leadership at Eastern Mennonite University. She also works at NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center as a Case Manager specializing in Immigration. Her passion is to connect and work with communities who have been marginalized and collaborate to help them meet their goals.

While born and raised in the Richmond area, she now calls the Shenandoah Valley home; she enjoys living in a diverse community and getting to know folks from all over the world. Makayla sees opportunity here in the Friendly City for collective, transformative healing and opportunities for us all to grow in cultivating an inclusive, accessible, and equitable community where families and individuals don’t just feel safe, but also loved, supported, and genuinely welcomed. 

In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors in nature, playing music, and learning new languages! 

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Jooyeon Kim

Book Keeper office@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Jooyeon Kim is from a rural ocean town in South Korea. She has a BS in Electronics Engineering but started her journey to become a CPA by taking accounting classes at EMU in 2018. She feels fortunate to be a part of a program that strives to end homelessness and help individuals move forward towards resilient futures using skills she feels passionate about. 

In 2008, she and her husband moved from Korea to Ohio, where her two children were born. In 2015, the family of four moved to the Valley. Their most recent family adventure was leading a semester-long cross-cultural to Thailand with EMU this past fall. In her free time, Jooyeon enjoys experimenting with global fusion cooking and listening to NPR podcasts on various topics.  

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Carolyn Nutter

Neighborhood Resources Specialist carolyn@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org
Carolyn Nutter comes to Bridge of Hope with 10 years of experience. Helping people navigate complex situations such as how to navigate benefits and disability at a time when there are many other factors such as a family or health crisis.  Carolyn has specialized in finding solutions and support for those in need. Coming from the UK Carolyn worked with a non-profit that supported statutory bodies such as the health services and social services. Giving people that needed it most a robust model of care and solutions that kept them independent and in their own home. Carolyn also implemented a model in local hospitals that has now been adopted nationally that helps to get people home in a timely manner.
Being passionate against poverty Carolyn also launched and ran a food program throughout the pandemic when many could not get out to stores.
Since moving to Harrisonburg Carolyn has been working with homeless individuals across a large part of Virginia.
Having settled in Harrisonburg Carolyn enjoys her family and pets, often walking the dog especially in the beautiful scenery around Harrisonburg. When time allows Carolyn likes to craft and bake.

Valerie Washington

Neighborhood Resource Specialist valerie@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Valerie Washington is from Charlottesville, Va and recently moved to Harrisonburg where her immediate family lives.  She has a BA in Economics and is currently pursuing her MA in Urban and Regional Planning from VCU.  Prior to joining the Bridge of Hope, Valerie spent time teaching adult education and providing case management services to individuals experiencing homelessness. She is an advocate for the concept of housing first and trauma informed practices. Valerie currently works full time advocating for reproductive justice services for low income women and birthing people of color.

Valerie brings lived experience, a deep love of community, and deep belief in equity and justice to her work. She believes that everyone should strive to be good neighbors and help build and repair communities through partnerships and radical hospitality.

In her free time Valerie enjoys exploring rural Virginia with her family, cooking, reading afro futurism and traveling.

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