Board Members

Executive Board Members

Doug Smith ’87, ’06


Doug Smith is originally from Long Branch, New Jersey. He is a 1987 graduate of the College (B.A. in Biology), a 1991 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (M.S. in Forensic Science), and a 2006 graduate of the Law School (J.D.), where he served on the editorial board of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. Doug currently serves as a Director, Assistant General Counsel in the legal department of Capital One, where he provides enterprise-wide guidance on a variety of state and federal laws and regulations. Prior to joining Capital One, Doug practiced law in the Richmond, Virginia office of McGuireWoods LLP. In addition to serving on the Ridley Board, Doug serves as the Vice President of the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association and is a board member of the Hill Tucker Bar Association. He also volunteers his time with 100 Black Men of Greater Richmond, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Doug and his wife Kim (CLAS ’88) live in Richmond, Virginia with their daughters, Michaela and Kellye.

Brandon Woods ’03


Brandon Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 2003. During his time at the University, he was active with the Black Student Alliance, Honor Diversity Advisory Board, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He obtained a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University with a concentration in International Finance and Policy in 2009. Brandon is currently a Marketing Manager with General Electric’s global healthcare technology business where he helps to direct commercial strategy and deliver outcomes for healthcare systems. He is a graduate of a GE leadership development program. Prior to joining GE, he served as a Presidential Management Fellow with the International Trade Administration and designed trade promotion programs in support of President Obama’s National Export initiative. Brandon served for four years as an Army officer and is an Iraq War veteran. He resides in Arlington, VA and serves as the chair of the Development/Marketing Communications Committee for the Ridley Scholarship Fund.

Beverly R. Allen ’88

2nd Vice Chair
Beverly Allen

Beverly R. Allen is originally from Washington, D.C. and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Rhetoric and Communication Studies. Thereafter, she received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Beverly is the Chief Integrity Officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. Her previous work history includes Booz Allen Hamilton and SRA International where she directed and led a variety of federal and commercial engagements designed to assess enterprise-wide compliance and risks associated with emerging technologies. In addition, Beverly was a Senior Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Department of Education, District of Columbia Enforcement Office, where she was responsible for leading complex compliance reviews and investigations. She also served as a Senior Advisor for the Department of Homeland Security.

Stefanie Morgan-Davis ’92






Board Members

Tom Baker ’79Tom Baker

Thomas M. Baker has a long history of service to the University of Virginia. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District and attended St. Christopher’s School from kindergarten until he graduated in 1975. He majored in English at the University and graduated in 1979. While at Virginia, Tom was a three-year basketball manager for Terry Holland and served as a Student Assistant in the Sports Information Office. He later served as a Graduate Assistant in the Sports Information Office during the Ralph Sampson era (1982-1983), and as Assistant Director of the Virginia Student Aid Foundation (now VAF) from 1999-2002. He has also held leadership roles for the UVA Club of Richmond and the VAF.

Tom joined BB&T in 2010 and is a Certified Wealth Advisor for the Central Virginia Region and Charlottesville. Tom has nearly 30 years of experience in investments, insurance, personal planning, estate analysis, and charitable gift planning. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from the American College in 2002 and holds FINRA securities licenses for Series 6 and 7, along with the Virginia Life and Health Insurance license. Tom is a member of the Virginia Gift Planning Council, the Charitable Advisors Council at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and is an active volunteer for St. Christopher’s School, St. James’ Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Tom and his wife Catherine reside in Richmond and Ditchley, Virginia, and they have two children – Richard, and Lissie (CLAS ’15).


Javona L. Braxton ’99braxton-picture


A native of Richmond, Virginia, Javona Braxton has dedicated her life to service in both her career and personal life.  She double majored in Sociology and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia and graduated in 1999. While at Virginia, she was a leader across Grounds with Student Council, Black Student Alliance, Black Student Admissions Committee, Phi Alpha Delta, Inc., and The Women’s Center.

Javona is currently the Senior Advisor, National Partnerships and Pipeline Programs in Talent Management with The American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC. She leads efforts in establishing the American Red Cross workforce diversity, inclusion, and university based pipeline programs in partnership with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Outside of her full time work with The American Red Cross, Javona also supports Avail Marketing in managing various client relations and event/logistics projects to help their non profits clients reach their fundraising and programming goals.

She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has been actively engaged across UVA grounds as an alum.  She has served as a member of the Jefferson Scholars Regional Selection Committee, chair for The University of Virginia’s Black Alumni Weekend and the Class of 1999 Reunion.  She has also been a member of the UVA Club of Richmond where she sat on the Walter Ridley Scholarship and Richmond Schools Committee.   Currently, she serves as Chair for the Richmond Region Ridley Scholarship Committee and as member of President Sullivan’s Alumni Advisory Group.  She also recently served on a committee established to address and strategize around Black alumni engagement.  Javona was also an initial area leader for the VAAN Program and still supports recruitment efforts for the Richmond area. Ms. Braxton also received The University of Virginia Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award in 2013.


Bryon Grant ’93

Bryon Grant is a native Washingtonian. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication Studies. While attending the University Bryon was active in many organizations, serving as Co-Chair of the University Union Diversity Committee, First-Year Focus Multicultural education facilitator, Co-President of Street Academics, On-Target Leadership Committee, and member of the I.M.P. Society. Since graduating Bryon has spent his career in marketing and technology positions. He is currently a Product Consultant at IBM under their Experience One division.




Consuelo A. Kendall ’03ck

Consuelo A. Kendall graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American Studies.  While at the University, she was active in the Kappa Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Black Student Alliance, the Black Fraternal Council, and the Madison House tutoring program, as well as served as a peer advisor for the Office of African-American Affairs’ Peer Advisor program.  After graduating from the University, Consuelo received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

Consuelo currently serves as corporate counsel for Videology, Inc., one of the world’s largest video advertising software platforms. In this role, she advises business teams on technology-related transactions, digital advertising and privacy regulations, and corporate governance matters. Prior to Videology, Consuelo was a commercial litigation associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where her practice focused on advising international companies on complex contractual disputes and federal antitrust merger reviews.

Consuelo currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland. In her spare time, she operates a baking company, Sway’s Sweets, which specializes in gourmet cupcakes and miniature confections.


R. Christopher Langhorne ’99, ’05chris-langhorne_03-1

Chris Langhorne is a native of Newport News, Virginia.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in System Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1999.  While attending the University of Virginia he was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and a Ridley Scholar.  Additionally, he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the Darden School of Business in 2005.

After undergrad, Mr. Langhorne worked in the consulting industry at Accenture and KPMG.  After graduate school, Mr. Langhorne held various roles with increasing responsibilities in brand, strategy, and business development for Johnson & Johnson and Dell Computers.   Currently, he is a Senior Manager in Strategy of Business Development for Altria where he advises the CEO and Executive Leadership Team on the development & execution of business strategies in pursuit of its Mission.  Additionally, he currently assists in leading the Altria Venture Fund focusing on investments in companies that have a passion and focus for new or emerging technologies and solutions that will help accelerate Altria’s innovation objectives.

Mr. Langhorne is a strategy and business development professional with experience driving revenue growth opportunities in the form of mergers & acquisitions, licensing, joint ventures, co-marketing & organic growth activities across technology and consumer packaged goods products in various sectors.

Mr. Langhorne is an avid golfer who currently resides in the Richmond, Virginia area with his wife, Brooke, and three children, Christopher, Cameron and Morgan.

John L. Newby II ’04john-newby


John L. Newby II serves as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. John served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber and commanded an Air Force special operations forward air control unit supporting the U.S. Army’s 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne). Following his military service, he served as an attorney at private sector law firms and an international defense contractor. He also serves as a member of Senator Tim Kaine’s Service Academy Selection Board. Commissioner Newby received his commission and Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He, his wife Reba and daughter Jillian reside in Richmond, Virginia.



Ashante Smith ’99 ’02smith_ashante_hr

Ashante Smith earned a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Virginia in 1999, as well as her J.D. from University of Virginia Law in 2002. While at Virginia Law, she served on the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law. Ashante serves as co-chair of the Ridley Scholarship Committee and is currently a partner at Troutman Sanders LLP in Richmond, Virginia. Her experience consists of commercial real estate, specializing in the multifamily housing industry, including lender representation in agency lending programs. She has handled a variety of multifamily and commercial loan transactions nationwide that are intended to be securitized or otherwise sold in the secondary market and has extensive experience with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac single project loans and multiple project portfolios. Ashante also handles transactions involving a combination of construction and permanent financing, tax credits, tax-free municipal bonds, and subordinate financing for affordable housing projects.


Kevin Best ’85

Immediate Past ChairKevin Best


Kevin D. Best is a native of Richmond, VA and received his BA in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the College in 1985. While at UVA, Kevin served as the Director of Community Service for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and as Vice President in Alpha Kappa Psi, a National Business Fraternity. Kevin earned a Master’s Degree in communications from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991, where he graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into the national collegiate academic honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Tau Alpha. Kevin is a 23-year marketing veteran and works for State Farm — the leading provider of insurance in the U.S. — with responsibility for brand standards and maximizing opportunities via partnerships, merchandising, apparel and other consumer touch points. Kevin lives in West Chester, PA with his wife Dani (COL 87), and their two sons Devin and Dixon.

Honorary Board Members

Dr. Walter N. Ridley ’53 (1910-1996)

John F. Merchant, Esq. ’58 | Founder

James M. Trice, Jr. ’63 | Chairman Emeritus