Why do our board members volunteer their time to help women and children who have experienced homelessness?
A native Washingtonian, Iris Drayton-Spann serves as vice president, human resources and organizational development at WETA-TV in Arlington. She is committed to non-profit organizations and is very interested in homelessness and women’s issues.
“I want to be an additional pillar at NEW to help continue their work, impact, growth and longevity,” Iris said. “Their work inspires me to be better, to show up, fully engaged and to purposely contribute. I want to ensure that women and children who are homeless don’t feel neglected, alone, without hope, there is a brighter path, and organizations like NEW are on the front line to ensure change will happen.”
Serving others is nothing new to board member Joe Eggleston, an associate at Goulston & Storrs.
In high school in St. Louis, Joe participated in a 3-week long community service project at a homeless shelter for women and children. “It had a profound impact on me and my worldview,” he said. He continued to regularly volunteer for the shelter though out college. “Over time I developed relationships with families and a better understanding of homelessness.”
Before becoming a real estate lawyer, Joe taught at an underserved high school in St. Louis.
“It is so heart-wrenching to see someone sleeping outside,” Joe said. “It is less visible, but equally devastating for families to sleep on a different person’s couch every week. Homelessness, in whatever its form, just should not exist in a time when we have figured out how to fly to space, build skyscrapers, and video conference anyone in the world from a tiny device that fits in our pocket. Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep at night and I want to be part of the solution.”
Athena Katsampes is an associate at WilmerHale. She has clerked for a U.S. district court judge and served as a legal intern at the FCC. Athena is passionate about women’s issues and homeless causes and wants to make an impact by volunteering at NEW.
“I feel compelled to contribute to the DC community because I believe it is important that we all help each other in our times of need,” Athena said. “Everyone has dark periods in their life—it is important that, at the times when we have the capacity to do so, we help those who seek help. I have spent my life developing certain skills, and I want to use those skills to contribute to organizations that provide a safe place for people to get back on their feet when life gets tough.
Lindsay Spadoni works as an attorney-advisor in the office of legal counsel at Treasury and previously worked at HUD. She has extensive volunteer experience, including teaching and tutoring through the AmeriCorps program.
“I hope that I can introduce and connect NEW to my network,” Lindsay said. “I think that talking to people about NEW and its mission, as well as contributing to its fundraising efforts, is important to provide for NEW’s continued success and ensure that NEW reaches its long-term goals.”
Noah Sullivan is an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where he specializes in litigation and administrative law. Prior to that he served as counsel and chief legal advisor for Virginia Governor Terence R. McAuliffe. Noah has a strong belief in public service.
“My parents committed their careers to serving the underserved—my dad was a social worker, my mom, a special education teacher—and so I have always strongly believed that it is my obligation to help others, especially the most vulnerable,” Sullivan said. “More specifically, I believe that housing is one of the most important factors in alleviating poverty: it is foundational.”