657A0163.jpg

Our team

DOC_Laura_Headshot.jpg

Laura Toni-Holsinger 
Executive Director

I like to think of myself as a professional connector.  Remember the marching band kids in high school?  And the basketball players?  Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, an incredibly diverse and culturally rich community, I was both an athlete and a musician and always seemed to find myself bridging the gap between unlikely social circles.  Somehow I’ve turned that into a career.  Enter United Way.  After 4 years in Blacksburg marching to the tune of the Hokie Pokie, 7 years in Boston serving the city, working on a masters degree in public administration and wondering why people don’t pronounce their “Rs”, my husband Brent and I found ourselves in his hometown of Harrisonburg, VA.  Since joining the United Way family, I’ve found myself connecting businesses and nonprofits; educators and health professionals, Rotarians, and social workers, just to name a few, all in the name of a collaborative approach to change.  I love my job and hope that my little ones, Lucy and Myles, will grow up and find work that they love too. We’re better together. Let’s do this.                                    

Jo Benjamin 
Coordinator of Community Impact

I am a first-generation college student and the first in my big, loud, funny family of five kids to earn a bachelor's and master's degree from Lynchburg College in Virginia. In a former life, I worked at James Madison University, first as an academic advisor for international students and later recruiting youth to participate in an online sex-ed program as part of a research project. I’ve also worked in both domestic animal and wildlife rescue, a shelter environment, and a veterinary clinic. I share my home with a collection of fun-loving four-legged furry creatures and several hardy houseplants I haven’t killed yet. I have had the opportunity to wander the world and enjoyed getting lost in Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Vietnam, China, and Haiti as well as many parts of the US. Somehow, I always find my way back to Virginia. I’ve been an active member of the local Harrisonburg community and have called the Shenandoah Valley home since 2011. My eclectic mix of interests includes animals, nature, live music, and consuming local beer, wine, food, and LGBTQ culture. I’m glad to be part of the team at United Way and look forward to finding impactful and meaningful ways to connect with Rocktown community members and their pets around town!

Marsha Fuller 
Financial Associate

Not pictured is our very diligent finance associate, Marsha Fuller. Marsha processes all campaign funds and can address issues related to billing and the financial status of your workplace campaign.

DOC_Amanda_Headshot.jpg

Amanda Leech 
Director of Business Engagement

The tag line for my personality type, ENFP, is "People are the product". As a kid, I thought I wanted to be a Marine Biologist- mostly because I thought sea animals were cute. As I got older, I spent much of my time at camps and stepping up in leadership roles at school and at church, I started to understand that developing people was really my passion. I spent four and a half years “brightening the lights” of my alma mater, JMU, in the Office of Alumni Relations, building relationships with alumni all over the world to create opportunities to connect, learn, and celebrate life as alumni. During that time I received my master’s degree in Adult Human Resource Development (securing my place as a “Double Duke”!) which provided me a framework for developing people in the professional world. At United Way, I get the opportunity to make more of those connections while also improving the lives of people in the community that I have grown to love. I couldn't be happier to be in the Valley, where my husband, Matt, daughters, Frankie and Mirah, and I spend much of our time hiking, biking, eating, and enjoying time with the best people in the world.                                                                         

DOC_Rachel_Headshot.jpg

Rachel Springer 
Program Support Coordinator 

I grew up on a farm in the mid-west where I learned the importance of a strong community at an early age. I was very active in service projects throughout my own community and enjoyed engaging and working with others in these settings. I left my home community to attend Eastern Mennonite University and I quickly fell in love with the Shenandoah Valley. After graduation, I worked with an International Non-Governmental Organization for a year before returning to Harrisonburg and filling an AmeriCorps VISTA position here at United Way. I connected with volunteers, businesses, and local nonprofits and organized book distributions and Build United projects. My VISTA term ended in August 2018 and after a long road trip throughout the United States with my husband, Malachi, I am excited to be back in Harrisonburg and back at United Way.