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

Program Director nrs@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Maria began working with Bridge of Hope in 2021. Maria’s undergraduate areas of focus were Psychology, Family Studies, and Sociology. After earning a MA in Counseling, Maria worked in local schools for 12 years as a School Counselor. Previous work experience included assisting adults with disabilities in their volunteer roles within the community and leading activities for youth at a residential program.

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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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.

Jeana Simmons

Administrative Assistant office@hr.bridgeofhopeinc.org

Jeana Simmons and her husband, Jeff, both grew up in Rockingham County and they couldn’t imagine a better place to raise their three children. With two daughters in college now, Jeana is ready to get more involved with community outreach. She is very excited to support Bridge of Hope in their quest to end homelessness.

Watching the community come together to help those in need is one of the things she loves most about her hometown. Jeana also loves working with children and families in her role as a preschool teacher. When she’s not making messy crafts and cooking with her students, she enjoys doing home improvement projects and snuggling with her pets.

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