Each year, the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation names its Distinguished Alumni based on academic achievement, career success and community involvement. Nine alumni were chosen to be recognized as Distinguished Alumni this year, and will be honored at a dinner in May. This year's recipients are:
G. Edward Cassady ('94)
Cassady earned his associate degree from PHCC in administration of justice in 1994. He continued his education at Old Dominion University, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2000, and his master’s in criminal justice/sociology in 2005 from Longwood University. Cassady is the Captain of the Criminal Investigations and Uniform Division with the Martinsville City Police Department.
He is currently a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Chiefs of Police Association, the Blue Ridge Chiefs of Police Association, the FBI National Academy Association and is the Vice President of the Patrick Henry Lodge #73 Fraternal Order of Police. Cassady is also a department advisor to the Martinsville Henry County Crime Stoppers Association and a department representative to the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) Operation. He is on the Board of Directors for both the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Center and the Piedmont Criminal Justice Training Academy.
In addition to these professional commitments, Cassady is a board member of the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, the Master of Lodge at the Martinsville Masonic Lodge #152 A.F. and A.M. and is a member of the Martinsville Chapter #66 Order of the Eastern Star.
Rebecca Forestier ('06)
Forestier graduated from PHCC in 2006 with an associate degree in arts and science. A year later, she earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with a minor in human services counseling from Old Dominion University. Forestier is currently the associate executive director at the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA.
Forestier started her career as the summer camp director at the Collinsville YMCA, followed by the after school program site director at the YMCA for the Ridgeway Elementary School YMCA After School Program. Forestier is one of the founding members of the Martinsville Area Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy group. She is also a governing committee member for the Nonprofit Leader Network; the advisory board chair, head coach and organizer for Girls on the Run of Southern Virginia; a board member of CONTACT and the marketing and public relations secretary for The Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County.
Timothy Hall ('78)
In 1978, Hall attended PHCC to study general studies. He continued his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from James Madison University in 1981, and a master’s in business administration from Averett University in 2007. He then graduated from the Senior Executive Institute at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia in 2008, and in 2009 graduated from the LEAD Virginia program at the Weldon Cooper Center of the University of Virginia. Hall is currently the Henry County Administrator.
He started his career in the media, working as a reporter/columnist for the “Lynchburg News-Advance” and then as the news director for WMVA Radio in Martinsville. From 1991 through 1998, Hall worked as an English and media teacher as well as the public information coordinator for the Henry County Schools. In 1998, he became the public information officer for Henry County, followed by a position as deputy county administrator before transitioning into his current role in 2012.
He has been involved with the boards of the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA, Martinsville-Henry County Crime Stoppers, Boys and Girls Club of the Blue Ridge, West Piedmont Business Development Center, Community Policy and Management Board, Smith River Sports Complex, Gateway Streetscape and the Collinsville Jaycees. Hall is also a trustee of the Chatham Heights Baptist Church.
William H. Martin, Jr. ('78)
Martin earned his associate degree from PHCC in 1978. He continued his education at Averett University, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He went on to graduate from Cambridge College in 2008 with a master’s in interdisciplinary students with an emphasis on history. Martin earned a National Board Certification in 2012 in Adolescent Education – History. He is currently a teacher for the Henry County Public Schools, a role he has had for 33 years.
During his tenure at the Henry County Schools, Martin has also coached varsity baseball, JV baseball and varsity softball. Martin is an avid volunteer, giving his time to the Dyer’s Store Volunteer Fire Department; Dyer’s Store Volunteer Board of Directors; as a baseball, basketball and softball coach for Henry County Parks and Recreation; and as an usher, Deacon, softball coach and community meal assistant at Chatham Heights Baptist Church.
Cristy G. Reynolds ('00)
Reynolds graduated from PHCC with an associate degree in arts and sciences in 2000. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in human services counseling/psychology in 2002 and a master’s in occupational and technical education/business and industry training in 2005, both from Old Dominion University. Reynolds is currently an adjunct professor and the coordinator of Integrated Advising, Testing and Career Center at PHCC.
She got her start at PH as an office services assistant in 1999, followed by a case manager position with PHCC’s WIA One-Stop Center. In 2004, she became the site manager/career development specialist at the Danville Community College Virginia Workforce Center, but soon returned to PH as the outreach advising specialist in 2005, transitioning into her current role two years later.
Reynolds serves as the Secretary of the Martinsville City Board of Zoning Appeals, a Martinsville City Election Official, a member of the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association (MURA) and she volunteers with the Henry County Public Schools.
Vanessa J. Riddle ('77)
In 1977, Riddle earned her associate degree in business with education curriculum. She then attended James Madison University, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in special education. For 12 years, Riddle has been a special education teacher at the Galileo Magnet High School in Danville, Va., where she was recognized as teacher of the year in 2011.
Prior to her position at Galileo Magnet High, she taught as a special education teacher for Chatham High School in Chatham, Va.; Stow-Monroe Falls High School in Stow, Ohio; and at George Washington High School in Danville. Riddle assists with the GLEE Club and the SCA at Galileo Magnet High and is the junior class prom sponsor.
She has been a member of Oakland United Methodist Church since 1983, serving as the superintendent of Sunday School, president of the United Methodist Women, member of the Administrative Council, delegate to the Virginia United Methodist Conference, Sunday School teacher and co-director of Vacation Bible School.
Christy P. Spencer ('97)
Spencer earned her associate degree in business administration from PHCC in 1997. She then graduated from Old Dominion University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and in 2002 graduated from Virginia Tech with a master’s in education. Spencer returned to Old Dominion University to participate in the Leadership and Management Development Certificate Program in 2004, as well as for post-master’s coursework in 2005 and 2006. She completed PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Training through Martinsville’s Department of Social Services in 2008, the Nonprofit Management Program: Program Evaluation for Funding and Sustainability through Duke University in 2010 and the Master Advisor Certificate Program through Old Dominion University, also in 2010. Spencer is now the Middle College instructor and Great Expectations campus coach at PHCC.
Spencer got her start at PHCC as Old Dominion University’s site director on campus, as well as teaching early childhood education and student development as an adjunct professor. She is currently a member of the Great Expectations Advisory Board, the Piedmont Region Independent Living Coalition, the Anchor Commission, the Patrick Henry Community College Early Childhood Education Lay Advisory Board, the Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County and the Virginia Community College Association.
Cindy Summit ('12)
Summit graduated from PHCC in 2012 with an associate degree in general studies. She is currently enrolled at Averett University in the Graduate and Professional Studies Program through New College Institute and is scheduled to graduate in 2015. Since 1991, Summit has been the president and co-owner of S&K Office Products, Inc.
She is currently on the executive committee of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce as the vice chair of membership services, as well as a board member of the Martinsville City School Endowment Board. Summit has also served on the Board of Directors for the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association (MURA).
Kathy D. Whittle-Davis ('09)
In 2009, Whittle-Davis graduated from PHCC with a human services career studies certificate and has received an Achieve Global Genuine Leadership and Customer Service Instructor Certification. Prior to attending PHCC, she had graduated from Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., with a bachelor’s degree in English. She now serves as the Project TARE program coordinator and noncredit adjunct instructor at PHCC.
Whittle-Davis got her start at J.P. Stevens, Inc., in Burlington, N.C., followed by a customer service manager position at Gale & Lord Industries, Inc., in Greensboro, N.C. She moved back to the area in 1997 for a job at London Fog Industries in Ridgway, followed by a position at Drake Extrusion, Inc., as a customer service representative. After graduating from PHCC, Whittle-Davis assumed her current role at the college.
She is a crisis line specialist with CONTACT, a volunteer with Memorial Hospital, the service projects coordinator for the Martinsville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and a service projects volunteer for Piedmont District Convention of the Disciples of Christ, Mt. Olive East Christian Church and Homer Dillard Unit 78.